Is Wesley the only person who is paying attention to what is going on here? It seems like no one else cares. :(
If you look at the study, three of the people were “put down” because of mental illness…we’re not talking about people with cancer choosing not to do another round of chemo, here. This is outright killing of people who are not terminally ill, but just extremely distressed and probably isolated. Ableism and eugenics at its ugliest.
i can’t parse this out. my brain is kind of not working. but i can tell this is very very bad and scary. so um. i am reblogging it. if it makes the rounds when my brain is not broken for other reasons maybe i will say other things
Concerning the “sane person fakes insanity to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital and expose its horrors” trope: there is a much easier way to go about this, and it’s called “asking the actual mentally ill people who are already there.”
I should note that when Nelly Bly did it, things were a bit different -
one - No one had ever thought of investigative journalism before and wow.
two - they weren’t letting people (see: women) out - not with much of themselves intact.
three - it was the 1880s and no one was giving these institutionalized women a platform or a way to spread their voice other than Nellie Bly.
In summary, while I agree, with the general sentiment, applying it historically is a bit shaky.
Also I may take any opportunity to reassert how bad ass Nellie Bly was.
The political philosophy that BBC Sherlock is predicated upon just doesn’t sit well with me well I’m probably the only one; also, Eleven is so Tory I can smell it from outside the laptop screen
As if canonical British colonialism and imperialism aren’t enough, it has to layer institutionalized surveillance and harassment in the name of counter-terrorism on top of that. The depoliticizing, de-contextualizing, trivializing approach that BBC Sherlock has taken to the issue of institutionalized, unchecked surveillance and government secrecy is not only disappointing as in an opportunity missed, to me, it is downright offensive.
Here having a brother that can send surveillance teams on you out of his personal concern, without any semblance of suspicion of criminality, and have the full might of the British government stand behind him, is never treated as a seriously objectionable act, nor morally/ethically questionable. Instead, in-universe, it is treated as a personalized, utterly non-political trivial annoyance, a personal beef you had with your brother, the magnitude of state intrusion into private space only an indication of how powerful he is; how much he cares. “you invaded Afghanistan,” and that’s a joke, a punchline; army doctor got sent to the frontlines of the war and became a good shooter and that’s just an utterly individualized asset free of political connotations that is used to move the cold and eccentric male protagonist. There is no reflection, no acknowledgement at all, of the war and the motivations for it, let alone how decades of evolution in foreign policy had affected it, let alone how warfare takes its toll on those who fought in it in ways no magical healing danger/friendship/sex can effortlessly overcome.
And so the utterly logical pattern emerges. The characters and their stories - whether one can love, whether one has sexual desires, how much a self proclaimed sociopath is capable of feeling (never mind how privileged he is and what those privileges are), who the copper you don’t like is shagging, how you don’t give a fuck you friend drugged your drink, how not gay you totally are for your flatmate - are utterly devoid of any awareness of, let alone willingness to address the concentration of unchecked institutional power that inform and are built into the fictional universe they inhabit. In allowing development as such, the show took the the government-sanctioned post-9/11 paranoia and the surveillance state it added fuel to, and treated it as a normal and healthy and utterly non-objectionable part of daily life devoid of political and cultural context, a perfectly harmless neutral medium through which to premise and articulate cliches, trivia, candy romances, dysfunctional relationships and trivialized and de-politicized personal trauma. And so it renders the oppressive institutional premises - the surveillance and wiretapping and data mining, the power and machinations enabling them and the legal justifications thereof - invisible, unalterable, necessarily righteous and normal, a thing to take granted for.
To me, the show’s acquiescence to and normalization of the institutional skeleton it has to operate from within and the shallowness of the utterly depoliticized and decontextualized plot are offensive on a personal as well as political level. To me it is also predicated on a conservative if not authoritarian political philosophy and an unspoken and taken-for-granted narrative compulsion of conformity.
But hey it’s probably just me, being verbose late at night, ruining everyone’s fave with my politics.
P.S. Call me a partisan hack or whatever, but I find it gobsmacking that Eleven was on good terms with Nixon of all people, and it annoys me on a personal level that Moffat wrote the plot in that direction. I believe that if you strip down the Doctor’s traits one by one, the last one left standing would be that he’s thoroughly anti-authoritarian, utterly skeptical of powerful establishment of all sorts. Did I forget to mention (again) that there’s a fucking reason FOUR IS MY DOCTOR?
Fuck you Amazon
Apparently, using the text-to-speech accessibility option on my mac, which is by far the best way for me to get through the 200+ pages of reading due nearly every weekday, counts as “copying” which means I can’t actually use it to read 200 pages, much less the whole book.
There is no way for me to use text-to-speech on the ebook I PAID FOR from amazon unless I buy a $100+ dollar kindle, but if I had pirated it and had it in mobi or epub, or you know, not DRMed, I could listen to the whole thing and actually do my work.
So, just getting this off of MY chest…
[Trigger Warning: mention of racism, transphobia, ableism, and sexual violence]
Tonight, I saw a picture from the Occupy Wall Street protests of two white women in agony…and I liked it.
Let me deconstruct that for you.
The two people in that picture had just been pepper sprayed by police. I’ve never experienced pepper spray before, but I am pretty sure it’s absolutely terrible, and I know that government forces get the kind that is even stronger than what ordinary civilians can buy. So this was not a joke. Those people were in real pain, and someone had captured the moment on camera.
For some reason, though, my first thought when I saw this was that they were faking. It just looked so unreal, like they were making such a big deal about it. And then I read the accompanying text and I realized that it was real, and I liked the fact that they were in pain.
Okay, so there is something seriously wrong here.
Let’s not lie— the people who participate in protests (not always, but usually) have a lot of privilege. Think about it: you have to have money for travel, money to buy supplies, and then be in a position which allows you to spend several days away from your job, school, your family, etc. So people who protest either have nothing to lose or they have something that they can fall back on if things go wrong— family, friends, money, lawyers, a social safety net, etc.
Another aspect of this is that you also generally need to be able-bodied and mentally “together” to participate in things like this. I am extremely near-sighted to the point where I cannot go out without my glasses. I can only imagine how completely fucking scary it would be if I was in a protest and suddenly things got heated and I lost my glasses— I would be totally helpless, and if anyone hurt me, I wouldn’t even be able to later identify them. I also have debilitating allergies, asthma, and skin problems that would be a problem if I had to stay in an environment that is largely beyond my control.
In addition to these physical issues, I have social anxiety, panic attacks, and PTSD from sexual abuse— so the idea that I could be handled by strangers, arrested, and forced to stay in a confined place is almost too much to think about. Not to mention being transgender— there have been lots of instances of trans people being assaulted or sexually abused/raped in prison in the past few weeks. I am also Asian American and male presenting right now, and there’s a culture of emasculation and weakness surrounding Asian American men, so it is very likely that I would be in danger if I were in jail.
I am also a college student from a poor family, and as I’ve already established, I have physical limitations that prevent me from doing a lot of normal things. So I cannot afford to miss school— I can’t work the majority of untrained jobs.
As you can see, there are many different factors that are preventing me from participating in these protests. If I were not an Asian American, Trans, disabled, poor, survivor, then things would be different. But unfortunately, that’s who I am— there’s just too much risk and not enough incentive for me to put myself on the line. So you must understand that when I see a bunch of people at a protest in New York, I actually see a bunch of able-bodied, mostly white, cis-gendered people who have some money and privilege that I don’t. There is absolutely no denying this.
When I saw that photo of two women in pain from pepper spray, I saw two white, probably more wealthy than I am, able-bodied women. I saw two people who go to protests and never have to worry about possibly being blind for the rest of their lives from pepper spray, because they never have to deal with the fear of being blind from living each day with poor eyesight. I saw two people who would probably be on the front page of a newspaper because they are white and cis-gendered, not dark-skinned and queer like me. I saw two people who already get more social and institutional support than I do, simply by virtue of being white and having been born with “normal” bodies.
I saw the frustratingly old trope of the white-woman’s tears. I saw the rich person’s false solidarity, trying to give their paltry crumbs to the poor without making any real sacrifices for the future. I saw the able-bodied person doing things that I can’t— things that I can only dream of.
And maybe these problems do exist, but it doesn’t mean that how I felt was okay. Because it should never, ever be okay to rejoice in, to feel good because someone else is suffering. Even if they have more than you, and even if they are luckier than you are. Because they’re still suffering, and every time we see a person hurting, we should do what we can to help them.
Often on Tumblr, and recently after the execution of Troy Davis, I’ve seen a lot of racial frustration and flat-out hate expressed towards white people. This is totally justified, and I shared in these feelings. But maybe I internalized that hate and fear and frustration. I saw myself, the Asian American person, the perpetual foreigner in this country that I try so hard to love and not hate. I saw an entire life of never belonging, always being the outsider in every social situation. I saw the people who made excuses to fire my mother from her job last year, and the people who have yelled racial slurs at me on the street, telling me to go back to China, even though I’ve lived here my entire life.
So today, when I saw two white women in agony on my dash, I saw crocodile tears, and some part of me wanted to laugh. Look, I said to myself, they’re finally getting a taste of what we (people of color) have to deal with every day!
bell hooks says that when we are trapped in dehumanizing systems, we learn to take on and even adopt the oppressor’s attitudes of domination and violence. She calls this the “internalized oppressor”. I think my internalized oppressor came out today when, instead of acting out of empathy for someone else’s pain, I acted out of my own pain and fear. That’s what racism, classism, transphobia, ableism, and other oppressions do to you— they hurt you so much that you start to hurt yourself and others in turn. It is in these moments that we need to remind ourselves that people are still people, no matter how inhuman or how violent they have been to us. We need to be critical of ourselves and root out that internalized oppressor that makes it okay to laugh at someone else’s pain. Because you know what? That’s what the oppressor wants us to do— to fight each other instead of working together to tear down the flawed power structures that actually hurt us.
So I am leaving this message here, because I am sure that other people have seen that same photo or seen these protests and felt the same way. Yes, there is a certain privilege that those protestors carry with them— but it doesn’t mean that we can’t support and empathize with them. They are trying to do something that is badly needed— draw attention to and reform a broken financial system that hurts all of us in some way. Being privileged is never a reason to write off another person’s suffering. Being privileged is never an excuse for police brutality.
There are a lot of things in this post I could write tomes on, but I will ignore your section of blaming whites (as a group) for Troy Davis’s institutionalized murder, I will ignoring your seeming need to divide the 99% of the occupy wall street movement into further levels of have and have not, and go right to the heart of the problem.
I don’t know which two white women you saw, but in all your admission, you did not once admit that maybe you were assuming too much about these women. One of my acquaintances was there and got arrested, with full brutality. To the camera, she would look just like the people you described - white women. Maybe you saw a picture of her. Did it even occur to you that she might be more than that?
This friend of mine, who you dismissed as a privileged white woman looking for a thrill, is, in fact, a survivor of abuse, suffers from several MI’s and PTSD, and a physical chronic invisible condition. Not that you considered that one of the women you dismissed as a rich white women being used for sympathy could have possibly had any abuse of her own, right? When you dismissed them, you dismissed her, and hundreds of other white women who are survivors of abuse, LGBTQ, living with MI and chronic invisible conditions, etc.
I’m sorry, but screw your “able bodied” bullshit. She was arrested, handled, and yes, it was traumatic, AND denied medication. But she was still a white women, huh - still has that going for her.
I’m glad you realized that feeling joy at others pain is wrong, but you missed the biggest mistake you made - the assumptions you made about the two women in the picture. Your post comes away still labeling them as privileged, rich, able-bodied cis women. And you can’t know that from the picture any more than I can know all the things about you that you have listed on the side of your blog from a picture of you.
Where is your warning for all that erasure, huh? Because you erased my friend. You erased me. You erased the people who are at that protest in spite of difficulties of any sort. And I don’t think you realize that at all in all your talk of internalized oppression.