A Response to ‘Women Against Feminism.’
The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.
Your world is full of freedom and possibility.
Then you pick up a newspaper or go online. You read about angry women ranting about sexism and inequality. You see phrases like ‘rape-culture’ and ‘slut-shaming.’ You furrow your brow and think to yourself: ‘What are they so angry about? There is no such thing as sexism anymore.’
Now imagine this:
The year is 2013. You are a 25 year-old Pakistani woman. A few months ago, you married the man you love. A man you choose for yourself. You are also pregnant with his child. You see your life stretching out before you, filled with hope and happiness. Suddenly, you and your husband are dragged away from each other. You are both beaten with bricks and batons. You can’t fight back. You can’t escape. No one comes to help you. Through your fading vision, you look up, and look into the eyes of one of your assailants: into the eyes of your father.
The year is 2013. You are a 23 year-old Indian woman. You are a physiotherapy student with a promising career ahead of you. You are sitting on a private bus travelling home alone on a warm December evening. You gaze out of the window as the buildings of New Dheli rush past you and feel content. Suddenly, a blunt force hits the back of your head and you fall to the floor of the bus. A group of strange men are standing over you. They bring the metal bar down on you again and again and again until all you can taste is the blood filling up your mouth. You pray that you will die soon. And you do, but not then. You are raped, beaten, and tortured over and over again. Death is slow and agonising.
The year is 2014. You are a 13 year-old girl from Niger. You no longer live there though. You are now living in the neighbouring country Nigeria, sitting alone in small room on a small bed in a small apartment high above the city of Kano. You are not allowed to leave. Your stomach is swollen from the unwanted life growing inside of it. You had no choice. The father is a man in his 40s. He is a businessman. He has bought you as his wife. You were a penniless, uneducated girl when he came for you. You don’t know of any life you could have had. Neither did your family: just one less mouth for them to feed. You still have the body of a child, and it’s straining under the pressure from the one inside of you. You feel like you’re about to be split in two. You don’t wonder if you will survive the birth. A part of you doesn’t want to.
These are fictionalised accounts of real events that have happened to real women living in our world today. They follow the past 250 years of women and men campaigning for women to be given equal rights to men to prevent these kinds of injustices and abuses on the grounds of gender taking place. Over the course of this time, campaigners – Feminists, both female and male – have been locked up, beaten, tortured, and even killed, in the pursuit of equality. They did this with pen and ink and print; they did this with their voices; they did this with their bodies; they did this with art and music; they did in courts of law and halls and houses of government that they fought be to allowed into.
They did this so that women would no longer been seen as property, livestock, breeding machines, sex objects, punching bags, or infantile morons. They did this not just for themselves, but also for their daughters, and their daughters, and their daughters for generations to come. They did this for women they would never meet – women who lived across countries, across vast oceans, across the entire globe, and even across time.
They did this so that women like me – a white Western woman – could attend school and university; to learn to read, write, and think critically; to gain a degree; to get a job and be paid an equal salary to a man in the same position; and to sit here with my own computer and type all of this.
Feminism is a movement for freedom, equality, choice, love, compassion, respect, solidarity, and education. We may argue, we may disagree, we may struggle to understand the choices and perspectives of others sometimes, but these core beliefs of the movement have never changed, and they never will.
That is why I am a Feminist.
If you feel that you have so far lived your life unaffected by even the mildest form of sexism – anything from feeling uncomfortable when a man catcalls you in the street, to feeling scared walking home alone at night in a secluded area – and are treated with love and respect by every man in your life, then to you I say: I’m glad for you. If you don’t think you need feminism, then that is a victory for the movement. You have fulfilled all those dreams that every suffragette being force-fed in prison and every ‘witch’ burnt at the stake dreamed you would one day.
But perhaps take a second to consider the life of the Pakistani woman who was beaten to death by her own family for marrying a man of her choosing. Or the life of the Indian woman who was raped, beaten, and murdered on a bus by a gang of men. Or the life of the little girl in Niger who was sold to a man more than twice her own age and forced to carry a baby that may kill her to deliver. Do they still need feminism?
And perhaps take a second to consider this too: Even in our liberal, Western world, why do women still only fill 24% of senior management jobs? Why are more women than men domestically abused or even killed every week at the hands of their male partner or ex-partner? Why is there still a pay gap (in the UK specifically) of 15% for women doing the same jobs and working the same hours as men?
And what about on a cultural level? Have you ever noticed how comedy panel shows usually only have one female panellist compared to 4-5 male ones? That almost every dieting product on the market is solely aimed at women? How a lot of newspapers and advertising campaigns will use a sexualised or pornographic image of a woman to sell news or products that have nothing to do with sex?
Or perhaps on a personal level: Do you choose to wear certain clothes because you want to or because you feel ‘unfeminine’ if you don’t? Do you choose to cover yourself up because you want to or because you feel ashamed or intimidated by a man looking at your body? Do you shave your legs and underarm hair because you want to or because you will look ‘ugly’ if you don’t? Did you parents dress you in pink as a baby because they liked the colour or because you were born a girl? Do you want to have children because you want to or because you are a woman?
When you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning, do you see yourself through your own eyes, or through the eyes of the men that will look at you when you walk out the door?
The fact is, like it or not, you still live a world where gender matters. Where gender controls not just the entire course of your life – but the lives of women all over the world. Every second, a child will be born female in a country where she will persecuted for this random biological occurrence for the rest of her life. So before you hold up your anti-Feminist placard proudly and smile at your own sense of empowerment, think not what Feminism can do for you, but what it can do for that one girl. She needs someone to stand up for her. That someone could be you.
[ x ]
an important factual presentation by me
All the facts.
How about half the facts.
Cleopatra was of Hellenistic Greek descent, not Egyptian.
Cleopatra was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek  origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great's death during the Hellenistic period. The Ptolemies, throughout their dynasty, spoke Greek and refused to speak Egyptian, which is the reason that Greek as well as Egyptian languages were used on official court documents such as the Rosetta Stone. By contrast, Cleopatra did learn to speak Egyptian and represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess, Isis.
Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler. As pharaoh, she consummated a liaison with Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in name.
She probably would have been darker than Elizabeth Taylor, but no, she would not have been African or Egyptian in complexion.
Here is a bust which was made of her during her lifetime:
Compare to a bust of Nefertiti:
Ramses the Great:
And the last, native Egyptian Pharaoh before Egypt was first taken over by Persia, and then Alexander the Great (Greece):
Cleopatra clearly bears little resemblance to any pharaohs who descended from “native Egyptian” stock, prior to the Persian and Greek conquests. She is not Egyptian like the people you have shown in the book of the dead (bottom slide) or the depiction of Isis at the top, both of which come from classical Egypt, well before the time of conquest and invasion (and by “well before” I mean hundreds and even thousands of years). She is Hellenistic Egyptian, she spoke Egyptian, she declared herself the reincarnation of Isis (who was, when all is said and done, one of the most powerful, popular, and well known deities of the ancient world, so it wouldn’t have been unusual even for some Greek women who did not live in Egypt to associate with Isis) … but Cleopatra traced her lineage to the ancient Greeks.
This is a painting from the tomb of Seti I, and depicts how Egyptians saw themselves and others:
From left to right: Berber/Libyan, a Nubian, a guy from the Middle East, and an Egyptian.
You can see the Egyptian is brown. There are other paintings and sculptures which suggest Egyptians could also be darker, and even black such as the Nubian Pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty.
As for what the Greeks looked like …
Finding artwork of ancient Greece where the colors haven’t been washed off (ie, in the statues) or that are not replicas can be tricky. The best approximation I can find of ancient Greek skin tones is through Minoan art, which predates Cleopatra by many thousands of years. But here are some frescoes from that time and place:
You can see these Cretan women are pale with dark curly hair.
This is a Minoan fisherman. He is fairly dark red-brown, perhaps because he was outside much of the time.
This is a prince/noble. He is paler.
These boxing children are fairly tan in complexion.
In this fresco the bull jumper is darker than both of his companions, perhaps for dramatic effect, but we’ve already seen both men and women painted with lighter complexions in other frescos.
Here are some busts of women during the Hellenistic period, the same time as Cleopatra:
As you can see … they bear a lot more similarity to Cleopatra:
Curly hair, intricately styled (very in fashion for Greek women at that time!), plus the facial features are a closer fit.
Cleopatra was not native Egyptian. She was a Greek Egyptian. She would probably not be as dark as some of the Egyptians, though, I am guessing she would still not be milky, creamy, pale white as Elizabeth Taylor.
But nope. Not native Egyptian, and not Nubian Egyptian by any stretch of the imagination.
If you want to dispute racism and ethnocentrism in history, that’s really cool, but get your facts right please.
PS. You guys know that race isn’t a binary from white to black, right? That humans, since migrating out of Africa, have been pretty racially diverse, right? I mean, you can SEE that the Greeks weren’t, de facto, ”white” and that there were different shades all over the place, right?
Because these binary (black/white) discussions about race in the ancient world are insultingly simplistic.
A graduate student has created the first man-made biological leaf. It absorbs water and carbon dioxide to produce oxygen just like a plant. He did this by suspending chloroplasts in a mixture made out of silk protein. He believed it can be used for many things but the most striking one is the thought that it could be used for long distance space travel. Plants do not grow in space, but this synthetic material can be used to produce oxygen in a hostile environment. (Video)
Help Our Turtle Friends!!!
NO NO NO NO
SO VERY WRONG
LISTEN ALL MY FELLOW FRIENDS: I’VE VOLUNTEERED AT THE NEW ENGLAND WILDLIFE CENTER, A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD TRAVEL TO INTERN AT, FOR MORE THAN YEAR AND THIS IS SO VERY WRONG
IN CASE YA’LL DIDN’T KNOW, TURTLE ARE CONNECTED TO THEIR SHELLS, AND PICKING THEM UP LIKE IS SHOWN IN THE PICTURE CAN SEVERELY DAMAGE THEIR SPINE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU JERK THEM AROUND
SO LET ME TELL YOU A THING
IF YOU SEE A TURTLE IN THE ROAD, STOP YOUR CAR FAR ENOUGH AWAY THAT THE TURTLE CAN STILL BE SEEN THROUGH YOUR WINDSHIELD.
IF YOU’RE ON A NON-BUSY ROAD AND/OR THE TURTLE ISN’T FLIPPED ON IT’S SHELL (WHICH BY THE WAY WHAT THE FUCK TURTLE DON’T ACTUALLY FALL ON THEIR BACKS LIKE THAT PRETTY MUCH EVER ESPECIALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD SO I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON IN THAT PICTURE) GET A STICK OR JUST USE YOUR FOOT TO GENTLY NUDGE THE TURTLE’S REAR IN THE DIRECTION IT’S GOING IN. THOSE FUCKERS ARE FAST WHEN THEY WANT TO BE.
IF PICKING UP THE TURTLE IS NECESSARY, APPROACH IT FROM THE SIDE, MAKE SURE IT SEES YOU, THEN GO AROUND THE BACK. ALL TURTLES HAVE JAWS LIKE THE VIRGIN ASSHOLE OF SATAN, EVEN IF IT’S NOT A SNAPPER, AND YOU DO NOT WANT THOSE CLAMPERS ON YOUR HAND OR ARM. BELIEVE ME.
PICK THAT SHELLED CUTENESS UP LIKE A HAMBURGER, ONE HAND ON EACH SIDE OF THE SHELL HALFWAY BETWEEN FRONT AND BACK LEGS, FINGERS ON THE BOTTOM SHELL, THUMBS ON THE TOP SHELL. KEEP THE TURTLE AS HORIZONTAL AS YOU CAN AS YOU CARRY IT TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.
DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BRING THE TURTLE TO A “SAFE HABITAT.” DISPLACING ANY SPECIES OF WILDLIFE LOWERS THEIR CHANCE OF SURVIVAL DUE TO NOT KNOWING WHERE THE FUCK THEY ARE. MAKE SURE THE TURTLE IS SOMEWHERE AROUND TEN PACES AWAY FROM ANY KIND OF HUMAN CONTRAPTION, INCLUDING HOUSES AND SIDEWALKS, AND THEN LEAVE HIM TO HIS DEVICES. THEY’RE NOT STUPID, THEY’RE NOT GONNA TURN AROUND AND WALK RIGHT BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM.
THINGS TO REMEMBER:
-DON’T PICK UP BY THE TAIL. IT CAN BREAK THE SPINE.
-DON’T MOVE TO ANOTHER HABITAT.
-DON’T TAKE ‘EM HOME. THAT’S ACTUALLY ILLEGAL IN MOST STATES.
-DON’T PUT YOUR HANDS ANYWHERE NEAR THE MOUTH.
-BE WARY OF THEIR FEET, THEIR CLAWS CAN BE SHARP.
-WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER, REPTILES CAN CARRY SALMONELLA AND WHILE IT’S PRETTY MUCH IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTRACT IT UNLESS YOU SUCK ON THEIR CLOACA IT’S BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY.
-DON’T MOVE THE TURTLE TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD THEY JUST CAME FROM. WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU DO THAT. THEY WANT TO GO THE WAY THEY WERE GOING, GENIUS.
-IF THE TURTLE IS ON A HIGHWAY, IT’S PROBABLY BEST TO PICK THEM UP- AS DESCRIBED ABOVE- AND PUT THEM IN A BOX FOR TRANSPORT SINCE THEY’RE SQUIRMY LITTLE BITCHES.
-SNAPPERS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS OTHER TURTLES, DON’T IGNORE THEM BECAUSE THEY LOOK LIKE DEMON CHILD OF A T-REX AND BOX TURTLE. NO MATTER HOW BUSY THE ROAD IS, THOUGH, THE RULE OF THUMB IS DON’T PICK THEM UP IF THEY’RE BIGGER THAN YOUR HEAD. STOP TRAFFIC AND NUDGE THEM ALONG. PEOPLE MAY BE PISSED AT YOU, BUT AT LEAST YOU’LL KEEP YOUR FINGERS.
WIELD YOUR NEW FOUND KNOWLEDGE FREQUENTLY, MY FELLOW TURTLE SAVIORS.
it is important that you read this shining example of wildlife safety literature all the way through to fully appreciate its radiance and learn the ways of turtle protection.