Wow, accidentally deleted my original post. Reblogging so I can keep it in my archives.
As defined by urban dictionary, the friendzone is…
“When you are expected to support a girl you really like while she searches for a smarter, richer, and more handsome boyfriend. There is little you can do without feeling like a dick. All in all, one of the meanest things a girl can do, whether they mean it or not.”
and ”The perennial location of nice guys everywhere.”
Although this hypothetical situation could work both ways, friendzone is almost always applied to a man who is rejected by a woman. Therefore, there is something inherently unequal, something inherently sexist about the term “friendzone”. But what and why?
From my experience, this is what friend zone is. A “nice guy” pursues a woman, but isn’t forward with his intentions from the get-go like, say, a “jerk”. The woman is pleased to see a man who is interested in her not as a sexual object but as a human being and wishes for things to stay that way. The man is not satisfied with seeing the woman as a human being because being “expected to support a girl” is a bad deal if she’s not putting out.
Before I delve into the sociological aspects of this, I just want to point out that ”friendzone” is no more pleasant for a woman than it is a man. First, that is to say unrequited love works both ways, but the person who doesn’t return affections is considered mean only when she’s a woman. And second, what option does the woman have in a traditional “friendzone” situation? Just stop talking to a close friend to avoid “leading him on”? In high school, I found out my best friend of 2 years liked me. Having to tell him I didn’t feel the same way and being immediately ex-communicated via Facebook status (“Thanks for wasting my time”) was one of the worst things that ever happened to me. Were our two years of friendship invalid because I didn’t want anything more? Was all our time together really wasted because there was no hypothetical pay off?
Guys who do this and claim to be “nice guys” are the worst misogynists because of their sense of entitlement toward a woman. They make investments in property and expect their dividends. They are fake friends. They are selfish. And they will jump at the chance to vilify you and victimize themselves when their attempts at manipulation don’t work. Clearly, “friendzone” is the remnant of a phenomenon that has plagued women since the beginning of time: women are not independent creatures. Our love lives exist only in the context of a man’s desire. When we make independent decisions, we are subject to a host of derogatory terms. “Slut” is how we vilify a woman for exercising her right to say “yes”. “Friendzone” is how we vilify a woman for exercising her right to say “no”
You Can’t Fight Racism One Racist at a Time
Justice against George Zimmerman, while a must, will do little, if anything, to relieve the everyday stress and pain so many must bare due to the racism around them. The problem runs much deeper than a single racist. George Zimmerman is a symptom of the disease, not the disease.
This is not simply a case of a racist with a gun.
Nor a racist with a gun and a racist police department.
Nor simply a racist city, county or state.
What happened in Florida is a consequence of the institutional racism in the United States. The focus can not be on Zimmerman as though racism is simply personal fault of individuals that can be ridden from the world one racist at a time.
Racism in the United States has not been limited to Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians or Arabs. Over a century ago the same false beliefs many have against these minorities were commonly held against Germans and the Irish. So it isn’t even about skin color.
To fight back this must be properly understood so that the commonality between these cases — economic threat and competition enforced on the working class by capitalism — can be seen and the benefactors — capitalists — of society’s racism can be highlighted.
The Many Problems With ‘Kony 2012’
I wanted to give a few links related to the viral video from Invisible Children Kony 2012.
This is a very dangerous video and certainly a hard one for anti-imperialist activists to argue against because it is true terrible acts are being committed and mass suffering is occurring.
But Kony 2012 is not providing current information, or even accurate information. They are calling for support of a Uganda military that also commits crimes and intervention by the West. This feels very similar to the attempts by many, with much support from Islamophobes, to get Western intervention in Sudan.
- Joseph Kony is not in Uganda (and other complicated things)
- Acholi Street. Stop #Kony2012. Invisible Children’s campaign of infamy
- African Reactions to the Kony 2012 Campaign
- Behind Kony 2012 and Ugandan war criminals
- The Soft Bigotry of Kony 2012
- Invisible Children “KONY 2012” Leader Suggests It’s About Jesus, and Evangelizing
- Is Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army the world’s most evil man?
Update, March 8th, 21:10
Update, March 9th, 8:52
- Online, a Distant Conflict Soars to Topic No. 1
- Ending Uganda’s “Brilliant” Genocide
- Otika Genocide
- We got trouble.
- Planned massacre of the Acholi?
Update, March 12th, 12:30
Lesser of Two Evil Voting Hurts Anti-War Movement
Obama will attempt to not attack Iran until it is politically beneficial or neutral. Those who play by the ‘lesser of two evils’ voting strategy hurt the ability to use political pressure to stop these wars.
Coming into office in 2008 Obama knew he had to show strength with regards to Afghanistan and to do whatever the generals asked for as not to be attacked politically as weak and “not listening to the military”. This led to a massive 30k surge in troops in Afghanistan which drastically increased violence. On top of this, the use of drones in Pakistan and Yemen was increased, resulting in many more civilian casualties.
So we have evidence that Obama not only is very much willing to go to war and that his decisions even on this matter are swayed mostly by how it hurts him politically. With this understanding we can be certain that how he deals with Iran will be much the same.
At this time it appears he is attempting to keep Netanyahu happy without Israel launching a military attack on Iran, by backing increased sanctions and talking tough and saying he doesn’t bluff. This makes sense politically with the violence rocking Afghanistan at this time as the people there attempt to throw out their occupiers and with the 2012 presidential election coming up.
The idea of voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’ means many who oppose war with Iran will vote for Obama and the Democrats whether he helps Israel militarily or not. This is terrible strategy when dealing with someone like Obama who thinks first of his political career.
Congress Shelves SOPA… For Now
Congress has shelved SOPA for now. As I mentioned in my last post the mass outcry and protest from the public (both individuals and organizations) they seemed to be recognizing the impossibility of getting away with the current forms of the bills.
This comes just after the White House released a statement that many are spinning as being opposition to PIPA and SOPA but it is in no way speaking out against the Acts. It is a case of typical political talk. By proclaiming they “we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression” people have taken this to mean, or have purposely spun, this to mean they are opposing the Acts and even will veto them. In no way does the White House say they will do either. They use the same phrases as the authors of the Acts to assure us they are only going after “bad guys” and that they will protect our freedom — which they then explain later sadly requires the possibility it will restrict our freedoms, but they really are trying not to. It is the same lie from the government used over and over.
The White House’s letter makes clear they are on the side of censorship but hope to calm public outrage so that they can more easily pass the bill.
Now that the delay has been made we can be clear that tweaks will be made before they are voted on. But in the end any version of these Acts are creating Internet censorship we can not let happen.
So the end result is both good and bad. The good is that they our protest actions have worked and gives hope for more change. The bad is that the powers for censorship and control are regrouping and will be coming back in full force for sure.
But we know we can fight back and win. We just can’t forget the war isn’t over.
Dick Durbin Supports Internet Censorship: Kill the Bill!
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is currently co-sponsor of the Protest IP Act (PIPA) — the Senates version of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). PIPA was written by and for the large entertainment companies and the MPAA.
So little do the politicians in support of the bill not care about being puppets that Utah’s Attorney General Mark Shurtleff wrote an op-ed for the Salt Lake City Tribune that was literally, and obviously, written by the MPAA. We know this because the content of the op-ed can be found verbatim in other propaganda. For example the sentence from the AG’s op-ed, “It will take a strong, sustained effort to stop Internet thieves and profiteers.” This EXACT sentence was used by MPAA President Bob Pisano in 2010. And numerous other cases in the op-ed that are taken verbatim from other sources and passed off as the writing of the Attorney General.
The Senator himself has taken hundreds of thousands from the entertainment industry.
These Acts are attacks on freedom, innovation and even job creation. Movie companies use what is called ‘Hollywood Accounting’ in order to claim nearly every movie they release loses money. These are flat out lies so they can play the victim. They have paid off our politicians to support their goals of being able to have almost unlimited ability to shutdown websites, without a hearing, and it even threatens the security of the Internet due to possible changes necessary to Domain Name Services (DNS). This is the NDAA for the Internet.
The Acts show a clear either lack of understanding of how the Internet works or malicious intent by our politicians. The powers in these Acts extends to forcing websites to shutdown, without hearing, if content is claimed to be copyright material being misused. Even if the content in question is user submitted. Which means companies like Flickr and Youtube could be forced to shutdown when any user uploads what someone claims is a violation.
But this isn’t such an issue for large companies like Google, facebook, Flickr (Yahoo), Youtube (Google) because they have the money to fight lawsuits. However, since the potential laws and regulations would be so damaging to their infrastructure, to implement and enforce, they are rightfully lobbying in opposition.
The real losers are the small businesses, self run websites and the users.
Prominent angel investors, very important to web startups, have already stated that if this passes it will greatly change their investments because of the great risks it will be put on sites that are now so popular, those with user generated content.
Politicians who speak so often about innovation and job creation clearly only say these phrases to garner support while behind the scenes doing the bidding of those who fill their coffers, the 1%.
In this case the 1% they are fighting for is the parasitic capitalists of the media industry who have failed to innovate and thus have been left behind by this new era. No matter how we feel about the sharing of media by the people, it is still important to note that it is also not actually a problem for profits of these industries. Most of those who share would not spend, even if they could, for the media had it only been available for sale anyhow.
There is much more that can be written about the many studies and cases that show the PIPA/SOPA propaganda to be false. And even more to show the love real artists feel about the ability to share their works online and to have people enjoy their art and pass it on.
But the capitalist parasites do not care. They are convinced they can increase their profits through introducing censorship to the Internet and they have succeeded in convincing many of our politicians with speech… I mean money.
Six Republicans, some co-sponsors of the Act, have called on Harry Reid to delay the vote. Yes, the “more evil of the two evils” is the party attempting to make changes after the outcry from their public. Another example of the thin line between the two evils.
But a delay and revisions are not enough. Both must be stopped completely. To protect our freedoms and to make clear we will not allow any censorship or national firewall on the Internet.
Call and write and mic-check Dick Durbin and all Congress-people and Senators to tell them to end their support!
Ron Paul is for Tyranny : The myth of libertarian civil liberties
There has been a welcomed new force on the Left speaking out against the misconceptions and ill-placed support many have put on Ron Paul. I think one element is not stressed enough, especially since the claim is even given credence from journalists like Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU, the idea that Ron Paul is the ‘civil liberties’ candidate. It is not simply false in the cases that many accept, but find less important than his opposition to the wars; women’s rights, gay rights, workers’ rights, civil rights, immigrant rights, etc. But Ron Paul is the candidate of total tyranny and thus the candidate for the total loss of civil liberties for those ruled under this tyranny.
This is the myth of libertarian civil liberties. The tyranny supported by “libertarians” (the perverse definition used in the United States) is the owner of property over those without. Remove the laws that restrict owners and ensure public spheres dissolves the ability for non-owners to express their liberties, and then do they truly have them?
Serfs, slaves and workers have long fought harsh battles to win gains against the tyranny of their owners and landlords and in today’s republics this is enforced by the central government. Ron Paul and “libertarians” want to dissolve all of these protections against tyranny and hand the power over to those unelected bastions of freedom, the capitalists.
Ron Paul has made clear his total adherence to these ideals. When asked about federal laws protecting against sexual harassment he argued that if one is made uncomfortable by sexual harassment it is up to the individual to switch jobs.
With real unemployment in the teens (and far higher for minorities) this is hardly an option favorable to the working class. This forces men and women to accept the conditions of their workplace no matter how insulting and demeaning and perverse. If you are lucky enough to even get a job under Ron Paul when people will have the freedom to hire and fire based on anything they dislike about you.
If the tyrant abuses you, move to a new tyrant, for you are free!
Response to “Jesus” the Revolutionary?
In Phil Gasper’s article ‘Jesus the revolutionary?’, for the Socialist Worker, while being a great article and giving important details of the time “Jesus” lived as a revolutionary period, I take issue with:
We have evidence that Jesus was a real historical figure not only from Christian writings such as the four gospels of the New Testament, but also from the 1st century Jewish historian Josephus and the early 2nd century Roman historian Tacitus.
These are the two historians theologians always point to as evidence of the historical single Jesus Christ, because there is no real evidence. The problem is, Josephus was born in 37 CE. That is, after the life of the supposed single Jesus figure.
While obviously historians write great works on events that happened before their birth, even the authenticity, let alone the factual basis of the work, of Josephus is disputed.
The same is the case for Tacitus.
We do know that this period was a time of revolutionary struggle against the Roman oppressors and a time of miracle workers and messiahs being not uncommon. The Jewish people were greatly oppressed and looking for their God to bring them out from this oppression. The stories in the Gospels are of not just revolutionary struggle but end of times struggle where Apostles must leave behind all ties with their property and family and prepare for the end of the world essentially.
John the Baptist and any single Jesus were clearly not the only revolutionary, end of times preachers or miracle workers during this time. There were sects setting up for all out war in the mountains around Jerusalem.
It seems more likely that the figure of Jesus Christ was not only a mythological messiah with elements taken from Jewish and pagan traditions (many incorporated much later, like the halo, as the Christians began to assimilate with society, as Phil Gasper’s expands on in his article) but a collection of stories of real preachers and real leaders during the times which he supposedly lived.
In addition to the excellent works by Kautsky, Paul Siegel, and John Molyneux’s, I’d suggest comrades check out the PBS Frontline series From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians.
I do agree with Phil that the right wing Christians of today do not stand with the tradition of the radical revolutionary Jesus who gained followers with a message against the oppressive 1% (though they may not be so off in regards to the other Jesus who was an ‘end times are near’ preacher). And can not stress enough the importance for socialists of all faiths or no faith to embrace the radical messages that religion can have, like Liberation Theology, and to embrace those of faith to join in the cause of the social revolution.
Don’t Burn Down Wal-Mart
This lecture by David Harvey has some great parts about the use of the purposeful growth of the debt and deficit by the right, what China did following the drop in exports (using Keynesian and authoritarian methods), the idea of the end of the supposed tie between democracy and capitalism and then the fact that corporations do not work on the market (really they hate the free market, but thats another issue) but instead work through centralized planning and what a new society could look like.
He starts on what a new economy could look like at about 59 minutes in. Here he brings up Wal-Mart, to my surprise because I’ve been making this same argument and was very glad to hear it from someone like David Harvey.
I call it my ‘Don’t Burn Down Wal-Mart’ spiel. And I compare the Wal-Mart infrastructure to the predecessor of the Internet that Chile had begun to develop in the 1970’s under Allende, Project Cybersyn.
Wal-Mart, and others, have created massive infrastructures and technologies for distribution. And that doesn’t just mean how to get X to Y, but who needs X, if Y needs X what also should go to Y, etc, and then the best way to get all these things distributed. It is much more complicated than it sounds.
Much of this is done in their different headquarters that are surrounded by large fences and practically military guard… (I spoke to a guy once who had been to one to install a Netezza database appliance). So I don’t think during a revolution some anarchists will go and torch those. But we may have to guard some of the stores infrastructure.
This discussion and debate I think comes from the idea many have of small businesses being somehow better and regressing our capitalist system is actually a progressive move. They are similar to the luddites. While luddites were responding to real exploitation by capitalists and fighting for their jobs — their very livelihoods — instead of destroying the technology that displaces workers and increases the productivity of the workers remaining but without raising their wages proportionately, it is not the technology that needs destroying but the economic relations, and classes altogether!
Instead we must take power of the mass means of production and distribution the workers have built for the profit of the capitalists and use it to fullfil ‘from each according to their ability, to each according to their need.”
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
December 7th, 2011 Abu-Jamal’s sentence was commuted to life in prison. But that is not enough. That is not the end of the struggle both to free Mumia but to free us all.
“Mumia is legally non-guilty and factually innocent, but he also chooses to straighten his back up and tell the truth. And anytime in America you tell the truth about the vicious legacy of white supremacy and connect it to the role of oligarchs and plutocrats that keep track of the patriarchy and the homophobia and the anti-Jewish, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim bigotry, they’ll assassinate your character, assassinate you literally, or put you on death row. Let’s just be honest about that.” —Cornel West