Tag Archives: society

Schrödinger’s Arab

13 Mar

I never really cared whom I date or sleep with, as long as he’s hot, clean, and hung. Well, so I do care. I will also admit I have a type. Somewhat darker skin, dark hair, big eyes, lush lashes… You get the picture.

So I met a lot of Middle Eastern guys not all of whom are Jewish Israelis. I mean to say, I dated a lot of Arabs, and this is where Jewish rightwingers usually start clamouring that I should be raped and murdered for being the “whore of terrorists” – or assimilating at all. I find this especially ironic coming from Jews, but let’s not. I’m not even Jewish, I just pass as such because I’m a white-passing Israeli. I only pass as white because of my Protestant-but-Atheist German mother. My father, a brown man from two Iraqi parents, only shines through in my sarcasm and penchant for writing. My Mum’s no longer official religion also saw me registered as Christian in Israel, because yeah, they kinda register your religious affiliation on your ID card, or they did, so now they only register it in your file. “Ethiopian” also tends to get registered, while “Russian” or “american” sure doesn’t. But this type of racism is not what I want to talk about right now. Let’s just say, it’s rampant.

Schroedinger’s Arab – be a terrorist, don’t be a terrorist, but please confirm our bias and prove us wrong at the same time.

So I’m basically as Christian as the Arab guy I had an unlucky crush on. I’m as Christian as the other Arab guy this guy unwittingly introduced me to, or at least he implied he was Christian once. Since that Arab guy is also a celebrity, I befriended some fans of his, also Christian Arabs. We ended up going to a festival in Jordan together, thrown and main-gigged by said celebrity, and we all had a good time. Upon re-entry to Israel, however, nerves grew raw. The girls passed through security without a problem, and when I think back, it’s probably because none of them seem “typically Arab”. Y’know, hijab and explosive vest, all that. Pierced, tattooed, dreadlocks, torn jeans, short hair, rockabilly, not how you imagine radicals. But we waited what felt like a half hour for the boys. I say boys, because the oldest was 19, I think. When it dawned on me what was happening, I wanted to go in and exploit my “white Jew” privilege to vouch for them, when they came out, tired and scowling. One said, “I don’t wanna talk about it”, because he was pissed past talking. You could see it took him quite a bit of restraint to not burst into a raging fit. He was a 17-year-old geek whose penchant for violence was limited to the same super hero and anime franchises I liked. But after he had his backpack searched more thoroughly than mine when we met up a year later, I was sure: if this guy was to ever pick up a gun and shoot into a crowd, blame Israel’s anti-Arab mentality according to which he can either be a terrorist or garbage, or both. Not someone to be trusted, not someone to dedicate the front page to were he to join and die in the army. Not someone who has any reason to value us, because we don’t value him. Individually, some of us might, I do, but the white Jewish collective? They’ll leave him for dead. He will always be expected to prove that he’s better than other Arabs, while he will also always be expected to confirm that Arabs are “human animals” as they’re often called. Schroedinger’s Arab – be a terrorist, don’t be a terrorist, but please confirm our bias and prove us wrong at the same time.

Palestinian terrorists follow Hamas because while Israel is robbing them of reasons to live, Hamas, at least, is giving them a reason to die.

Having to work twice as hard to get half as much is what brings me to my ex, who’s Muslim, not that he cares, but “Israel’s dominant demographic” very much does. While he gobbles down pork chops and drives drunk like the raging student and rebellious brother of too many sisters that he is, the army makes damned sure not to encourage him to enlist and abuse the weapon he’s handed. He could, but he absolutely doesn’t have to. Ethical issues of Arabs recruited to shoot Arabs on behalf of Jews aside, (dis)trust is obviously a factor.
And society makes damned sure not to encourage him to take up too much space in general, because no matter what kind of helpful, contributing, life-saving career he envisions, what a loving soul we all know he is, he’ll always be less-than. A few years ago, this racism at least energized him, even if through anger. He said, “The next person who gives me shit for being Arab, I’m gonna punch him.” I wanted to say, “Don’t, because you’ll be trayvoned*,” but didn’t want to make him feel even more hopeless. And as we were talking about an ongoing war between Israel and Gaza, he said something about going there to get himself killed – as food for thought for the fighting parties. Like, right, nobody is going to care. That’s the sad thing. A Jewish guy getting killed in the cross fire, sure, that’ll make headlines and sit Israelis down for a bit, but only to get up and hate Arabs some more, because obviously, Arabs are the only ones to blame for the conflict. If you ask a zionist. But an Arab? Israel is gonna laugh, because that’s one Arab who kindly got himself killed to make room for another Jewish immigrant. I didn’t share that bit of insight with him either, because why rub it in that he’s garbage in the eyes of Israel’s rule-making majority, the rightwing Jews? He nailed it when he said that Palestinian terrorists follow Hamas because while Israel is robbing them of reasons to live, Hamas, at least, is giving them a reason to die. I mean, they got universities in Gaza, but where are you going to take your degree? Nowhere, because you’re not getting out. And then, you get bombed.
And when I recently reminisced out loud about my short time with him, remembering how he complained I was going to die before him, and I replied “Keep talking that way and you’ll die before me”, he soberly answered that life and death have become all the same to him. Because while he still wants to find his raison d’être in charity and philantropy, he, too, feels robbed of reasons to live by this society. All the success and wealth he could achieve, and he would still feel like his life has no point, because we as a nation begrudge him that point.

A Jew murders his girlfriend, nobody bats an eye. An Arab guy dances during Memorial Day’s siren? “Fire him, kill him, rape his mother, bomb all those fucking terrorists!”

As a person who passes for both white and Jewish, I only know part of his struggle. I know the hate, discrimination, and dismissal I feel for being a fat female. However, while fatphobia is cruel and has a strong impact on its victims, fat people are not cooped up in shitholes that get bombed, bulldozed, or have their water cut off on a regular basis. My Arab friends may not live in the territories, but their people do. And all Arabs are the same to those oppressing these Palestinians, anyway. An Israeli Arab peds surgeon’s welcome in this country is as fickle as that of a Ramallah stabber. If said stabber snaps and stabs, the surgeon won’t be safe from the hatred and incitement that ensues. Guilt by association. A Jew murders his girlfriend, nobody bats an eye. An Arab guy dances during Memorial Day’s siren? “Fire him, kill him, rape his mother, bomb all those fucking terrorists!”

This isn’t about me. But it is. I’m part of Israel’s society, and I’m with the lucky part. The only problem I share with Arabs, is being cussed out for dating them. Since “dating” usually means “casual sex behind closed doors with no public hand-holding”, I can easily stay safe by not talking about it. But I have friends who live here knowing they are fair game. No, you can’t walk up and shoot Arabs as you please, but wait a second, yeah, you kinda can. I am afraid that these Arab people, especially young men, are Israel’s Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Hell, american cops don’t even have the homes of their black victims’ families bulldozed. On paper, Arabs have all the same rights as Jews. In practice, the collective bias wants to dismiss a victimized Arab’s complaint, and lock up any Arab upon accusation, no trial, no investigation. Schroedinger’s Arab – victim or perp, and somehow, both at the same time: they will call you a terrorist while burning you alive – you’re in a dark little box and nobody cares that you’re asphixiating in there while expected to do the expected and yet defy it.

And I’m not saying Arabs can’t make a nice life for themselves. But that doesn’t mitigate the fact that they live in a society that sneers at them and only expects the worst from, and wishes the worst upon them. How do you raise a happy, peaceful child in such miasma? How is this helping peace? How is it not obvious that most Arab violence against Israeli Jews can be traced back to said Arabs being treated like vermin? Is it reasonable to expect people to respond with acquiescence and submission when they get bulldozed, bombed, and kept from thriving? Walled in, starved, cut off from water, power, and economy? I will never defend acts of terror, but I am smart enough to see what prompts them, and it’s us. Hamas’ rhetoric of hate wouldn’t work if they didn’t have us proving them right over and over and over.

“All Arab Areas Access Citizenship” is a myth.

And to make this about me, because I like making things about me: I don’t know how to help. I have friends hurt to a point of numbness by this racism, and I can’t do much to help. We barely ever even meet. I want to tell them to leave the country for better places, but that’s easy for me to say – I have dual citizenship and am indeed leaving Israel, in part because I don’t want to be a part of this anymore. Arabs? Told by nutwing zionists to “go back to Jordan”, except, “All Arab Areas Access Citizenship” is a myth. So I’ll be leaving soon, a country that was never out to hurt me, leaving my friends behind to get angrier – or number – with every bulldozing and every bombing and every Palestinian kid with scissors getting shot dead because a trained soldier with an M16 “feared for his life”.

See, this is how you radicalize people. Nobody wants to be hated for no reason, so if all attempts at being accepted, fail… you give those haters a reason.

*killed with no repercussions for the killer, because his ethnicity makes it easy for the law to assume he asked for it

Fat Lives Matter

1 Dec

Except, those 2 statements are ignorant and factually incorrect. When society tolerates large parts of itself plus the media shaming, hazing, discriminating against, and ridiculing overweight people, that society is hardly any more advanced than one that arrests women for not covering their hair. Fat people, women especially, are being terrorized all their lives and smugly expected to hate themselves. Sometimes this terrorism is thinly veiled in “health concerns” not shown in similar harassing fashions to smokers and other way less healthy people, meaning it’s really just a fib as nobody can possibly be sincerely concerned with a stranger’s weight-related health if not with a smoker’s or an alcoholic’s – plus, concern isn’t voiced by ridicule and unsolicited, demoralizing commentary.
Unlike Iranian women who uncover their hair, fat women in the West may not be legally prosecuted or punished, but they are beaten and bullied as children, and shamed and ridiculed as adults, if not personally, then by blanket fat hate, and little is done about it other than victim-blaming: “So just stop being fat” or, while kinda hard to convince an impressionable child it’s possible to be lovable when everyone is violently hating you, “Nobody ever gonna love you if you don’t love yourself”, which is nonsense, because you can love yourself all you want and still be brutalized and no child sets out hating herself – self-hate is conditioned, not inherent. I don’t know of any fat girl/child who hated herself for being fat before getting repeatedly and meticulously bullied for it. Plus, me hating myself entitles no one else to attack me in any form or fashion.

Fat hate, and (mostly women’s) fear of fatness, is a huge contributing factor to body image issues, eating disorders, and depression leading to suicide. But since the hate continues and is tolerated in school, in professional settings, while shopping, pretty much everywhere and accepted as a thing of daily life, there isn’t much a fat person can do other than suffer to lose weight in order to stop suffering from being dehumanized by society (and usually failing, while not owing anyone thinness to begin with and being an equal, worthy human being at 500 lbs as much as at 80). And failing that, many kill themselves, and nothing changes, meaning society accepts it. Just look at the internet’s response to suicides. Pretty thin girl: poor thing, so young, so pretty, why? Fat person? Lots of victim blaming and posthumous belittling and diminishing the cruelty the person suffered leading up to the suicide. Shouldn’t have been so fat then. Fatty got their giant butt hurt. If the fat person’s suicide gets any attention at all.

Hand these cards to people of color, disabled people, anorexic or mentally ill people, the world would be up in arms. But since it’s “just” fat people who have no right to respect and dignity, as confirmed by entertainment media who mostly cast us as a source of comic relief or villainy, we’ll just have to torture ourselves to lose weight in order to be treated like equal human beings, right?

#FatLivesMatter
Because obviously society is fine with us being bullied into suicide – which is a thing, which happens. A lot. Face it. Fight it.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-01/women-body-shamed-on-london-tube-by-overweight-haters-ltd/6989574

Germany, get a grip.

17 Jun

There is a very specific and simple reason why I am not interested in benefiting from my German citizenship and returning to the country I partially grew up in. While life may be cheaper and easier than it is in Israel, the German mentality is one I profoundly abhorr. Of course, a disclaimer of “But I know not all Germans are like that” goes here, and then the pin that bursts the bubble: exceptions confirm the rule. The widespread mentality of Germans is what made the Nazis possible.

There, I said it.

Did you know that in Germany, you can get sued and pay high fines for flipping someone off? That you can even go to prison for a short time for saying something like – gasp – “asshole” or “wanker”? I hear that you can be fined as much as 700 Euros for flipping someone off in traffic.
What I’m saying is, that Germany’s obsession with politeness and political correctness is not only ridiculous, but tragic because when was the censorship of free speech at its peak in Germany? 1933 to 1945. And remnants are still clung to in modern German society. Clung to for dear life.

Germans claim that they – and their country – are tolerant and open-minded. However, it is typically German to complain about an incorrectly/illegally parked… bicycle. It is typically German to feel bothered for the sake of feeling bothered, because the object of the bother “should” bother you. Even if, upon second thought, it does not because it could not possibly. Eyes roll, noses exhale exhaustedly, when someone just talks loudly on the subway. What’s it to you?
The truth is that Germany’s obsessively squealing “We’re tolerant!” suggests that this is a symptom of denial. How likely are you to see a slim woman going around crying out, “I’m not fat!” as opposed to a fat woman? Which black person is less likely to be offended when you say “Nigger”, the one who scoffs, shrugs, and moves on, or the one who, in a high-pitched voice, keeps reassuring you that he is not offended? Now who’s more likely to run around screeching “I AM TOLERANT!!” – the one who truly is tolerant and hence, tolerates their situation rather than crying out, or the one who only wishes he were (perceived as) tolerant?

Yeah, thought so.

Germany is not like flyover states in america, where millions of children die from the horrible disease known as “Potty Mouth” each year. Potty Mouth is an infectious disease where a “dirty word” is picked up by the child and starts poisoning the child’s brain. If the child utters the word or or more so-called dirty words are heard by the child, the child’s brain will slowly and painfully turn spongiformous and the child’s skull will explode due to the subcranial swelling having nowhere to escape to. This is also why american mothers tend to get extremely aggressive and hysterical when they see words such as “shit”, “fuck”, or “cunt” – or wose, “penis” – on Internet platforms such as Facebook and deviantART. Let us not dwell on the fact that a child below the age of 13 has no business being on or reading either site.
However, Germans are not that prone to “Potty Mouth”. Swearing in German can actually be quite the experience, only topped by Hebrew sweet-talk in its brutality. My, those consonants; you could sand a factory worth of pallets with those consonants integrated in those swear words. “Verdammte Scheiße, du dreckiger Hurensohn; ich schlag dir die Fresse ein!”.

Now, let’s get serious again. No, dear american mothers, your children will not be harmed by exposure to dirty words. Relax and stop telling the world to raise and babysit your spawn for you. Thank you.
Back to business. Germany’s desire for politeness and political correctness is adorable, errr I mean, admirable. Those words, don’t they look just the same! However, the degree to which Germany enforces this, does not strike me as sane or reasonable. German law and law enforcement, as well as German online community administrators who are held legally liable for member content published on their platforms, act like kindergarten teachers, constantly reprimanding and punishing people for slips of the tongue that are deemed offensive.
I appreciate there is a legal limit to what you can say in Germany as Germany takes hate speech and incitement especially seriously, as well as slander or libel. This is a good thing. We do not need people flocking to the streets chanting “Death to (whomever)”. We do not need people getting away with destroying someone’s livelihood by speaking ill of them.
But beyond that, impersonal insults being policed by law enforcement is deeply disturbing. Why is the German assumed to be incapable of coping with being called an asshole or being given the finger? How can the German take solace in the fact that he can have a subpoena sent to their neighbor for saying “Kiss my ass”? The nature of law is rooted in the mentality of the people. This is why different countries have different laws and moral standards.

In Germany’s case, the tolerance that is so proudly paraded around, is only skin-deep. The truth is that Germans would still rather not be confronted with overt Jews, because, trigger! I guess Jews in Germany should wear “Trigger Warning!” on their shirts. Blacks, well, they get the whole inclusiveness pity party. “Look, we embrace a black person in our midst!”. It does not really NOT matter that a person in Germany is black, Muslim, or gay. Germans tend to “accept” you “in spite of” what you are. They tend to think they are being progressive and un-Nazi by feeling and spreading the feel of, an obligation to tolerate. They squeal hysterically at the slightest hint of racism, homophobia, islamophobia, or antisemitism, but not protectively so much as dutifully. And that’s infantile. It’s like the snitch in elementary school running to the teacher to report Susan saying a bad word.

Expressing tolerance and politeness as an obligation rather than a conviction, isn’t only disingenuous, it is dangerous. A pointless obligation that earns you nothing other than skin-deep approval from people whose opinion needn’t concern you, sounds like a heavy weight to bear.
And dear Germans hysterically shivering in a corner every time rightwings flap, by censoring and outlawing them you are making them stronger. Does it really matter what political movement outlaws what party? And does silencing people for their political beliefs, eradicate or ease those beliefs, or does it reinforce the additional belief that they are at war with a hostile system? If I were a neo-Nazi and German law tried to silence me, I would not sit down and say, “Oh gee, you know what, they’re right!”. No. I would grow in my hatred because my liberties to express myself – I’m not talking about violence, vandalism, or arson – are oppressed for the sake of the protection of who I deem my enemy.

Policing speech silences it, but when you mute the TV show, it is still running. If you obscur it by chaning channels, it is still airing. If you scramble the network, the show is still happening at the studio. And Germans just love to mute and scramble and rock back and forth in the comfort of denial. They will feel good about themselves for policing someone who said something unpleasant.

Case in point: on a forum that has a thread for angry rants, people still can’t fully express their anger unless they do so in that typical German social language: very cuddly. Like, “Hi you lovelies, I’m so sad. Like, y’know?”. It’s hard to translate. Germans insist on “Ihr Lieben” even when addressing strangers on the Internet. God forbid they may appear cold or uncuddly. Boochieboo.
So, this angry rants thread. I tell of an encounter with a woman who tried to kill a baby by smoking next to the newborn when she could have stood elsewhere. At some point, that same woman insulted me racially, and so I told her – as self-quoted in said thread – to “take her racist Nazi ass out of my country”, and I may also have described her as ugly. Note the woman was not on that forum. I found myself banned for using the words quoted above.
Another time I found myself banned when I asked an antisemitic Muslim woman, who constantly attacked me for living in Israel and being one of those “cruel Jews”, where she got the Cyclon-B insecticide for her balcony flowers.
In neither case do I understand what was so horrible about what I said, rather than what I was talking about. In an argument, the German tends to defend the one expressing themselves politely while saying or representing horrible things, rather than the one who talks in a crude manner but is making the better points. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to stumble upon a scenario where a person would get silenced for shouting abuse at a child molester because the latter is expressing themselves in a meek, polite, and conscientious manner while the other person says, “You’re such a sick fuck, I hope you rot in hell”. I can actually guarantee you that on an online forum, the moderators would reprimand the latter by pointing out a violation of “etiquette” through crude language, while the other person, well, they may be a horrible person confessing to having done horrible things, but hey, they express themselves inoffensively…

The Cyclon-B example illustrates a great danger in Germany’s censorship of “rude” expression. In Germany, you can say anything and get away with it, as long as it’s expressed politely. You can slander someone and destroy their lives by politely expressing phony concern for their sanity, and you can veil your antisemitism by saying “cruel Zionists” instead of “stinking Jews”. The one who gets punished in Germany is, illogically, not the one spreading the questionable content, but the one subjecting people to crude language. However, “Fuck you”, for its meanings and intentions, is a lot less harmless than “I think this person is mentally unstable and I feel very sorry for them. They are clearly devoid of any moral notions and have been very unloved. I suggest they get treatment and be removed from the community until they have healed.” I’m sorry, but the latter undermines a person’s credibility and, in young people, may even undermine and permanently damage their confidence and their trust in themselves and their surroundings. “Fuck you” on the other hand, is something any sane person will get over within seconds unless the context makes it painful. Like getting dumped with those words.

This brings us semi-back to tolerance. No, Germans are not openly hostile, on the contrary, they are jovial, polite, and helpful when approached. While not very approach-y themselves. Save a German from breaking a sweat and feeling an obligation to be polite by not approaching them if you’re a minority person… Just kidding. Germans have this way of acting like they accept, tolerate, and embrace – as if these words were interchangeable – anyone as they are as long as they’re a good person.
Whoa.
Define “good person” and “anyone as they are”. They may be nice to the gay guy but more for a sense of being nice being the right thing to do, rather than truly believing that being gay is totally cool. They may be nice in the face of the very obviously Jewish or Muslim person, but still feel uncomfortable deep down and tiptoe so as not to offend. And who doesn’t hate feeling like one has to tiptoe? Make the cause go away! Make that person go away! They may force a smile when they see you in your green hair, 42 facial piercings, and radical idealist statement on your shirt, but they truly wish you didn’t poke at their comfort bubble looking like that.
Basically, the German creed of “Come as you are” has a small print that reads “If you fit in with the rest of us. Otherwise we’ll fake it but not call when you stop showing up”. Fitting in and being accepted/acceptable is extremely important to Germans. It’s important to all people everywhere but Germans have a way of overdoing it that is not too far removed from the Japanese. Hell, in Germany it’s considered rebellious or naughty (mostly in an approving “You’re cool, you’re noncomformist!” way) to get an eyebrow piercing or dye your hair bright red. It’s rebellious but socially acceptable because it’s inoffensive and subtle, but it’s already enough to be considered nonconformist or punk in Germany. The lady at the bakery counter may wink at you and smile like she’d smile at an experimenting child who has just entered the age of cute defiance. Because, there’s a stud on your tongue. Ooooh you’re so tough. Only in Germany. And Japan.

I understand Germany is doing all this because they’re terrified of free speech getting out of hand, morphing into hate speech, and causing a Fourth Reich to rise. However, penalizing rudeness, encouraging phony tolerance, and rewarding insincere politeness, is not the way. These things are what the Nazis did; it does not matter whether it’s the leftwing or the rightwing policing expression. This mentality is the breeding grounds for Nazi ideology. Nazi ideology is based on policing thought and speech and how and who people should interact with.
The aftertaste of Nazi Germany can only be truly overcome by sincerity. A sincere change of attitude, a sincere approach to one-another even if negative given it be harmless. Yes, “Asshole” or “I don’t like your face” is harmless. Policing what people say, doesn’t change what they think. It only adds resentment to the mix. And that’s a Holocaust waiting to happen.

Last, but not least, it is simply embarassing and dishonorable to the superiority and greatness of human intelligence when you swing the banhammer at grown-ups for using “bad words”. It’s like kindergarten, only worse. You say a bad word, you get sent to time-out, and the context doesn’t matter. Even if you quote someone else insulting you, YOU get banned. It’s like in kindergarten, really, where a kid gets intro trouble for crying disruptively after having gotten a beating from the bully.

All I’m saying is: Germany, loosen the fuck up.

Women’s Freedom in the West

9 Feb

Which woman is less oppressed, people ask, the one in the Israeli Olympic parade, or the one leading the Iranian team? The Israeli lady features bare thighs, the Iranian features bare nothing.

So obviously, the Israeli woman is a symbol for freedom and women’s rights, right?

Wrong.

Actually, people saying that the Iranian dress is oppressive and putting females in any kind of unfavorable or objectified position, aren’t really thinking. They seem to just grab anything that can reinforce their negative views on Islam in order to feel better about wherever they live.

You can be smart and successful all you want, if you’re an ugly female, that will still be more interesting to others. Or, best case scenario: “for someone so ugly, she’s got a good thing going”. 

ALL cultures objectify women. ALL cultures somehow make sure women look and dress in a way that pleases men and society. ALL cultures want women to be the object of pleasure and approval of some sort. You think the weightloss craze really worries about our health? No. Otherwise it’d address men equally. And think a bit further – when weightloss geared towards women is advertized, it’s usually about looking nice in a bikini or this and that outfit, or “for him”. Yes, you have the choice to disregard all the objectifying beauty demands, but we all know how fat or otherwise “ugly” (not conforming to beauty ideals) women are regarded and treated. Lovely choice we have here, huh. Either suffer to look pleasant, or be disregarded.
Do you think women in Israel would be wearing 12 centimeter shorts that almost make their labia majora pop out if it weren’t considered “sexy”? It’s not the heat, really, a long flowing skirt would actually keep them cooler than tight “hot pants” or “jorts”. Do you think the 2 tons of make-up that Israeli women tend to wear, all the hair dressing booths in the malls, the gigantic makeup departments, do you think those aren’t there to “help” women do their “job” and be pretty in the eye of the beholder? The Israeli woman in the picture is wearing a skirt with a seductive opening up her thigh, very close to the inside, for no reason other than her being a woman and her task being looking good and making the Israeli team look good. And that is the essence of objectification. The same reason – looking good and making who you represent look good – is behind the Iranian woman not showing skin. Both dress the way their culture says is pleasing.
Because while in Israel and other western(-ish) cultures women are supposed to look sexy and share the pleasure of that view, in Iran women are supposed to look modest and share the pleasure of that. Both cultures put woman in a spot where their main task is to please others. Even manners apply to women differently than to males. Women don’t fart, no, we also don’t poop, oh no, and we certainly do not talk about it because it’s not pleasant or pretty for us to do so. Men? “Duuuuuuuuude I just took a dump your mom’s size!”.
Why else are women in Israel exploited for commercials, advertizing, marketing etc. NO LESS than in other western(-ish) countries? Why are there half-naked or otherwise attractively presented women on every other billboard? Why is Bar Rafaeli one of the first things you see on the Ayalon? Because, in Israel too, the freedom of the female is an illusion and a ploy to make her WANT to fit into society’s expectations and demands. In the west, this is being pleasantly sexy, in Islamic countries, this is modesty. But in both countries, women, once they leave the privacy of their homes, are expected to look pleasant. THAT is why we are always told to lose weight (except in the breasts!), have hair extensions, dye our hair, get our nails done, wear this, wear that, black women relax their hair and are told to bleach their skin, and if you come dressed skimpily to the club to attract more male customers to buy drinks, admission is, of course, free for girls.

We women spend ridiculous amounts of time getting ready for as little as going to the supermarket, because we hate not looking good in public. We sigh with relief and comfort when, in the privacy of our homes, the bra and the half ton of makeup and the heels come off. Why do we wear all that if it’s so uncomfortable? If the best feeling is all that landing in a corner so we can crawl into our jammies, belch, fart, and put our feet on the table once no one’s watching?
This is NOT natural. This is conditioned. Women EVERYWHERE are conditioned from early childhood to always be pleasant. In Israel no less than elsewhere, are women who “don’t take care of their appearance” or who dress in certain ways, looked down upon and gossiped about. And in Israel, too, religious Jewish women and girls cover up every inch of skin. Many do so no more willingly than the “poor” Muslim women. Let’s not forget there are neighborhoods in Israel where a woman showing a bare thigh can get spat at or disowned and beaten by her family. Because everywhere, a woman’s main task seems to be earning society’s approval by being pretty and pleasant. A woman could find the cure for cancer and still not get the respect she deserves if she were to let her facial hair grow wild, be fat, shave her head bald, and wear unflattering clothes. The response all over (social) media would be: “Cool but she needs to shave that shit”. A man would get away with it. Men are measured by their achievements, their words, and their actions. Nobody has a problem with ugly, old or fat male Hollywood actors, but women? Face lifts, boob jobs, nose jobs, and rigorous diets and fitness, or the career. Is. Over. Women are judged by their appearance first and foremost. Everywhere.

Women aren’t free anywhere. Not in Israel, not in Iran, not in the US, not in Japan, not anywhere. Women are ALWAYS expected to please the local views. Women are always objectified. And as we can see by the comments here, a lot of them don’t even realize it. Oh, you’re applauded for wearing jorts and a crop top? Yeah, ever occurred to you that that is because you’re giving people what they want and making yourself the object of their pleasure? No girl wakes up one morning and decides to dress like they do in Amsterdam’s redlight district. She has seen it somewhere, presented as a desirable way to look if you want to be considered sexy, pretty, or attractive. Because if those 3 aren’t your main priorities as a woman, nobody pays attention to you. Susan Boyle “failed” because, while being an amazing singer, she was ugly. Adele is a great musician but her weight is more important to the media. Angela Merkel is a strong leader with balls and authority, but people only ever talk about her shitty looks. Miley Cyrus is a kinda okay singer but if she wants to keep selling, well, off go the clothes. Britney Spears’ career was dead when she shaved her head and gained weight. Gabourey Sidibe is a great actress, but she’s fat so her acting isn’t half as interesting to reporters as how she looks in some dress. Madonna has made a tremendous life’s work, but her year is summerized by interest in her flabby old skin. Girls are given Barbies and other whorish dolls for inspiration, and what is Barbie? A dumb blonde who is impossibly thin, ridiculously shallow, and all about a pleasant outside. Models are considered fat if they don’t have a 10 inch thigh gap. Models and celebs are photoshopped to death before their faces are printed, because god forbid the woman has flaws. And we women are all expected to try our hardest to look like that. Spend as much money on beauty as possible, and busy and distract ourselves with attempts to become prettier and thinner and smoother and younger-looking 24/7 because men can no longer commit us to the nuthouse when we suddenly start having opinions and ambitions. Oh, did I mention women often get paid less than men in similar or identical positions?

Yeah, women in the west are sooooooooo freeeeeeeeeee. LOL keep telling yourselves that.

 

Erin Hunter’s Irresponsibility

9 Jan

The importance of religion and politics in the Warriors universe has always worried me, from the very first book onward. I finally decided not to recommend Warriors to children below or within the target age – 9 to 12 – when it became clear that Hollyleaf was, hair by hair, modeled after an Islamic jihadist. She actually murders in order to protect the Warrior Code or at least whatever she could pretend was left of it as long as certain secrets died with Ashfur. 
And while at some points, Hollyleaf was implicitly depicted as insane, mostly when the absolute simpleton Lionblaze questioned her zeal, her attitude usually seemed to be glorified throughout the narration. Was Ashfur truly so bad for wanting to reveal the truth that the law had been broken? Aren’t those who silence the truth through murder, the bad guys? Oh, but Hollyleaf grew herbs and chased off a fox, that makes it okay.

Now I finished “The forgotten Warrior”, in which Sol turns out to be little more than a butthurt lol-cow out for revenge. He is finally demonized without any room for rationalizing his actions and attitude. He is purely bad, purely out for revenge and wreaking havoc.
However, this seems too easy. Is this really what Erin Hunter had planned for him from the beginning? And if so, what do the writers want to tell their target group, easily brainwashed children, about choice, free will, and democracy? 
I thought that when Sol first made ShadowClan question the Warrior Code and Clan life, this was a good thing. Only when informed about all options, should one pick a certain lifestyle. It was a good thing that ShadowClan – or any Clan cat – was educated on other possibilities and encouraged to question dying for another cat, or for principles that practically make little difference or bear little negative consequence, such as frequenting kittypets or interacting with humans. Shunning and deriding kittypets actually has a lot in common with racism, homophobia and other such concepts of unjustified discrimination. But while no fictional hero would get away with calling a black character “Nigger” or a gay one “Faggot”, or disadvantage a Jew for being a Jew, it is perfectly acceptable for handsome Lionblaze to snarl at a kittypet for being a kittypet, and remain the popular good guy. Clan life may be the way of life of the central characters, but that does not mean that all other ways of life need to be depicted as negative. However, that is exactly what Erin Hunter do (for those not familiar with Erin Hunter: I refer to them in the plural form because Erin Hunter is actually a pen name behind which there are four writers). And just because the heroes are cats, I guess that means that all other creatures are “crazy”, “ugly”, “clumsy”, “smelly” or other bad things. Can one concept not be glorified without vilifying all others? Are Erin Hunter such simpletons that they cannot think in shades of gray, or do they deliberately present the reader with “the only right way”?
Basically, what Sol did, was introduce the concept of independent thinking to a flock of mindless sheep. Nowadays, that is a bad thing only in radical Islam, and certain Asian societies. Right, Kim Jong Un? Oh, and Russia, and… Ah, forget it.

I had already noticed how it was not depicted as merely unusual, but actually bad, when the ancient pre-Tribe cats cast votes rather than yowling agreement like an angry mob at whatever their leader decided. One person “up there” preaching to the applauding crowd, is what Achmadinejad does, what Hitler did, what Jerry Springer does. But is it a good thing? Mindlessly following one person’s orders?  Unless you’re the teacher of a bunch of children or mentally handicapped people, bascially people who cannot be trusted to make their own sound decisions, no, usually it is not. Clan life, like it or not, is a dictatorship. Sol, in the beginning, suggested a shot at democracy. Free will, independence. That such actions would be chosen by Erin Hunter as Sol’s evil scheme of petty revenge over a rejection, what does that say about what the writers want children to think in terms of sociopolitical issues? 

Probably that a fundamentalist, absolutist dictatorship is the desirable way of life. With Islamization growing and smothering more and more of the Western ways, maybe this is a way to gently ease this generation into an oppressive way of life and not become suicidal from it. Maybe Erin Hunter are doing the kids a kindness. Or maybe, children should not be reading such crafty brainwashing bullshit.

I love the Warriors saga, but I am a 30-year-old responsible adult with an IQ that allows me to question shit. 9-year-olds are neither responsible, nor able to make up their own minds. They think they are, but that is not the same. At this point, I don’t even know if I care whether Erin Hunter infused their books with political brain bleach on purpose, or not. The message one can read not just between the lines, is very clear:

“Baaaah! Baaaaah! Let’s graze over thaaaaaaar!”

There is a reason that user-generated content networks like deviantART and Facebook want kids below 13 off their turf. This is not because a 12-year-old is an easier target for pedophiles than a 13-year-old. It is because somewhere, a line has to be drawn and children too young to not be influenced by content only mature persons should see, need to be kept off certain platforms that are likely to provide such content. A versatile art platform like deviantART, or Facebook, where everyone propagates their religious or political radicalism, are such places. Children as young as the Warriors target group, cannot yet question the actions and opinions of their idols. Meaning their idols should, if they have to be political, not represent radicalism or fundamentalism.
I know many Americans try to make democracy look bad because Obama mad a few wrong calls – or maybe because he’s black – but any regime will produce errors along the way. That does not make democracy a bad thing. Take Israel for example; it is the only democracy in the Middle East and also happens to be the only place where women, homosexuals and even animals, have rights. Democracy is not anarchy, as some seem to think and as Erin Hunter seems to depict it.

I am a very political person with a few very extreme views. But Erin Hunter have to be either evil or utterly retarded (or high?) to think such views are appropriate in books written for children.

Rape is never okay.

9 Jun

Unless you’re a violent criminal or a rapist yourself. Then you deserve it.

Do read on.

Browsing [a forum], I just came across a thread discussing a news event in Zimbabwe. A 19-year-old man had been abducted and his sperm had been forcibly “sucked” from him through a machine, 3 times a day for 7 days. Several adult women were involved in this. Basically, the man, or rather, the boy, was being sexually abused and held captive, for a week.
The vast majority of commenters on the news item were female, and they were making jokes. Some expressed disgust for the messy practice of forcible semen extraction rather than the fact of violent sexual abuse. The general feeling seemed to be that abducting and raping a man is funny. Especially when the culprits are females. Oh, so naughty. Not “vicious”, no, “naughty”.

Well, it’s not. I will now make a lot of enemies but I’ll say it anyway. While it must be noted that I am fervently against the sexual abuse of any gender or age, it is simply a fact that the younger you are, the more likely you are to grow out of all kinds of emotional memories. I am not remotely implying that it’s preferable to abuse a toddler rather than an adult. Never. All rapists should be tortured to death, and I will back this statement if push came to shove. However, the farther back an event lies, the more the memory of it is likely to fade. I don’t remember my 3rd birthday as well as I do my 27th. My first beating lies farther back temporally and emotionally, than does the last one. Time does heal wounds unless they are kept open in some way. That’s all I’m saying, realizing full well that there is no non-shocking way of saying it.
I was abused once when I was 7. I can’t say it traumatized me; I thought we were playing doctor and I didn’t really see the big difference between his penis and his hands. He inflicted no degree of pain on me, and there was no possibility of physical damage. Actually he had been the one to beg me to bite him “there” and I loved being allowed to bite someone. If my mother hadn’t brought it up 7 years later, I would not even have remembered it – let alone care about it. Obviously, this doesn’t make it okay. No violation of anybody’s physical or mental indemnity, is ever okay. But since the incident was isolated and is now 23 years in the past, I cannot say I have issues with or for it.

Now imagine any degree of abuse happening to a grown man. Not only are you old enough for your memory to store and categorize everything and brood it ten times over, you are a man. Society expects you to be strong and dominating. You rule, you are responsible. You are at  the top of the social food chain because you are physically stronger than women, and mentally riper than children. Or at least, so they say. So they demand.
What is sexual abuse? It doesn’t really matter. What matters, is what law, culture, and society make it. To me personally, it is no worse than other physical abuse – actually I’d rather be raped than have my face cut up or my skull bashed in. That’s just me though. And law, culture, and society make it something that is only horrible when it happens to children and females. Because children are classically associated with innocence and helplessness, and women with weakness and an inherent lack of responsibility. Women, like children, have gone through history being taken care of either by men, or by other women. Men are the caregivers, women are culturally assumed to be on the receiving end of such care, or authority, unless the care is directed at children, the elderly, or animals – basically anything that needs nursing is okay for a woman to care for. But who is the provider of food, shelter, and safety for the woman? The man.

How dare you, man, to get into a situation where you claim the innocence that was assigned to the child, or the weakness that was assigned to the woman? Here’s the problem, I think. Men are expected to be the do-ers, the strong ones, the ones who make force happen rather than have it happen to them. It’s absurd in the eyes of a man-run society, and the absurd is laughable. This is especially predominant in sexual force, since sex is typically associated with gender and gender roles – the male on top. What happens when a female turns the tables, or when a man is on top of a man? Even in consensual sexual relations, this is seen as “different”. Men are not expected to be submissive to women, and men are not expected to sexually submit other men.

To make things worse, men are assumed to be in the mood for any kind of sex at any given time, as long as homophobic men are spared homosexual encounters. So why would any heterosexual man complain about having his penis aggressed by females? Shouldn’t he enjoy it and tweet about it? “Getting gang-raped by hot black nymphos, lol”.
While this often works in womens’ disadvantage, social sexual expectations of women give them one advantage over men: women are expected to use their sexuality sparingly and deny sex to as many as possible. So if a woman is forced to give what she is not supposed to give, of course society will harshly condemns her rapist. And so it should.
But men? Society cares little for male virginity or “purity”, so a man being forced to give his body to a sexual encounter, is not viewed as as much of a victim as is the woman. Men are expected to stick it in everything, so they might as well have it stuck for them.

To sexually abuse a woman or a child is already a horrible crime and I would not protest public executions of rapists. But we women are raised with warnings and expectations of being sexually abused. Sexual abuse of women by men, is an integral part of our belief system, whether it happens to us or whether the media tell us about yet another case. As women, we know how real and likely it is to become a victim of sexual abuse. Similar conditions are true for children, though children are handled more carefully.
Men? Rape an adult man whose world views have been established and which he believes in. Rape a man who has grown out of the innocence of childhood, and into a big, strong testosterone silo men are made to believe they are, and often rightly so. Rape a man who has been led to believe by his culture, that he is a ruler for no more than being male.
Unlike a woman who has grown up being brainwashed into “knowing” that she, for being female, is a subject to this man’s world, and a potential victim of sexual abuse, the man’s world collapses far beyond the feeling of having been violated or betrayed. The man is confronted with something he was not prepared for – being a victim of sexual aggression, something much more typical for women and children. This atypical experiences may lead him to question his gender identity. His biological position. His whole world that was never once about men being sexual victims. Despite being a man, he was overpowered physically, and forced into what is “typically” the position of a female – getting fucked rather than fucking. Hebrew language distinguishes this very clearly. Women fuck in English just like men do, they fuck in German just like men do, but in Hebrew, women get fucked while men fuck and I have been corrected for saying “I fuck” many times.

Call me a sexist all you want, I am presenting things from a cultural point of view rather than my own. Women are supposed to get fucked, by men who are supposed to fuck. A man unwillingly getting fucked, “worse” even, by the typical get-fuckedster, a woman, is turning the world (as it is, perhaps not as it should be) upside-down. It does more than inflict physical pain/injury, and create the trauma of having had your sexual intimacy invaded. It un-creates your established mental manlihood. It un-creates your biological, sexual belief system. It un-creates your understanding of the world.

Yes, the understanding that women and children are the typical rape victims, is unfair. Nobody should be a victim, much less inherently categorized as such. But children, for their innocence and helplessness, for their inability to give informed consent or refusal, and women, for their physical weakness and their inherent biological “task” of being penetrated by the male, are “accepted” victims. This is not right, this is not ethical, but this is our culture. We sadly and desperately expect women and children to be abused, which is why we tell women and children to steer clear of male strangers, while we do not tell this to teenage boys or adult men. It hardly occurs to us that men, too, should be warned of this danger. We inherently expect them to either be off the menu of the sex predator, or to be strong enough, “man enough” to either defend against, end up enjoying, or get over it. This, to me, is just as sad as looking at a woman in a dark street and hoping she won’t be raped. This, to me, is just as sad as worrying that your child, on his way home from school, may be assaulted. Society has little worry for a male’s sexual safety if he is too big to be a “sweet, innocent child” – and a man becomes too big for this very quickly.

I’ve been sexually assaulted to various degrees at various ages. Mostly in my early 20s, only by males, not counting a disturbed 9-year-old girl who enjoyed dry-humping people. But while I find it awkward to talk about, and while I prefer not to recall any incident, I manage to shrug it off. Maybe I’m more hardened than other women, or maybe it is because I have grown up being warned of, and prepared for, the abuse for being a helpless female in a man’s world. With all the warnings to women and children, how can I not grow to expect and shrug at it when it happens to me? All of society keeps telling me: as a female, I can expect to get assaulted.

Since this predictability is not the case for men, for men not having been raised with the fear/expectation of being sexually abused, men lack the mental preparation that is latently present in women. For this lack of preparation, men have jolly little coping mechanisms, no ready-made phrases like “It’s not my fault” or “He’s just a woman hater”. Women have these phrases, women in most cultures and legal systems, have a support system that condemns their assaillants and defends their own innocence in the matter. Men have society tell them to be strong, man up, and stop being a whiny little bitch. Men have society belittle them and call them “homos” for “letting” another man assault them, men have society tell them to be grateful if a woman forces herself on them because hey, at least he got some…

Even children have better coping mechanisms. Since adults are an absolute authority in the minds of most children, a group of adults repeatedly telling them that they are not to blame, and that they will be okay, and that their assaillant was just a bad person, is likely to help tremendously. This can be parents, this can be therapists. Even if such support is offered to men, culture has taught them to feel much more awkward and ashamed about accepting or reaching out for help, than women or children.

For who doesn’t snort at the thought of sitting down with a grown man who got raped, hold his hand, wipe his tears, and tell him what they would tell a female or underage victim? I don’t snort, many other people don’t either, but I think we all know that as a whole, men get a lot less sympathy for being victims of sexual assault.

Yes, most victims are females and children, yes, most perpetrators are male. But gender or age should not determine how much of a victim you are or how much support or sympathy you get, or how horrible your assailant is. Personally, I don’t want to be beat up any more than I want to be raped; personally, I am no more disturbed by the incident when I was 7, than by the incident when I was 24, and personally I think a violent criminal, sexual or non-sexual, should hang from every street lamp.

I am not saying raping a woman or a child is preferable to raping a man. I am however saying that the latter is being downplayed unjustly when, due to cultural attitudes, the impact can actually be more severe for male victims. But how about not raping anyone? I think that would be good.