community Service means Business!
23 May 2011
17 May 2011
photo © 2009 Jessica S. | more info (via: Wylio)Whiteness is always looking for sell outs to encourage people of colour to be passive. Every once in awhile, they choose the wrong person, and it comes back to bite them directly in the ass. The Braves recently hosted a civil rights day in Georgia (I know, ironic considering their name), and they decided to honour Carlos Santana. It seems that
5 May 2011
4 May 2011
Here is my third installment in pulling down random books from my shelves and writing about them, under the belief that the internet is better when not all of it comes from the internet.
Eugen Weber is a wonderful, sassy cultural historian. His best-known book is probably Peasants Into Frenchmen: The Modernization of Rural France, 1880-1914.
When I first moved to Philadelphia, one of my favorite things about staying up too late was catching episodes of his documentary series The Western Tradition on PBS at 3 AM. (Now you can stream the whole series free at Learner.org, which I just found out today.)
This is a passage from France Fin de Siecle, a really terrific book about art, culture, and literature in mid-to-late 19th-century France. And I swear to God, I think about this particular section all the time.
If one considers the scarceness of water and of facilities for its evacuation, it is not surprising that washing was rare and bathing rarer. Clean linen long remained an exceptional luxury, even among the middle classes. Better-off buildings enjoyed a single pump or tap in the courtyard. Getting water above the ground floor was rare and costly; in Nevers it became available on upper floors in the 1930s. Those who enjoyed it sooner, as in Paris, fared little better.
Baths especially were reserved for those with enough servants to bring the tub and fill it, then carry away the tub and dirty water. Balzac had referred to the charm of rich young women when they came out of their bath. Manuals of civility suggest that this would take place once a month, and it seems that ladies who actually took the plunge might soak for hours: an 1867 painting by Alfred Stevens shows a plump young blonde in a camisole dreaming in her bathtub, equipped with book, flowers, bracelet, and a jeweled watch in the soap-dish. Symbols of wealth and conspicuous consumption.
In a public lecture course Vacher de Lapouge affirmed that in France most women die without having once taken a bath. The same could be said of men, except for those exposed to military service. No wonder pretty ladies carried posies: everyone smelled and, often, so did they.
Teeth were seldom brushed and often bad. Only a few people in the 1890s used toothpowder, and toothbrushes were rarer than watches. Dentists too were rare: largely an American import, and one of the few such things the French never complained about. Because dentists were few and expensive, one would find lots of caries, with their train of infections and stomach troubles, it is likely that most heroes and heroines of nineteenth-century fiction had bad breath, like their real-life models.
Yep. That's why we call them "the unwashed masses."
It wasn't until the twentieth century that most people took a bath, washed their underwear, flushed a toilet, saw their own reflection in a mirror, or stopped dying at atrocious rates every time they gave birth to a child. How's that mistake looking now, Werner?Tags: baths Eugen Weber France literature
18 April 2011
In the center of this picture is my Great Grandmother, Adalene. I was quite young when she died, but I do remember her, frail and white-haired, threatening to spank me. I didn’t believe her, and was duly surprised at what came next.
This is why the title of Buzzfeed‘s framing of a photographs of women basketball teams from the 1900s is so disappointing:
Liz Babiarz, who sent in the link, asks what’s so funny. I have to agree. They aren’t “strangely funny”; they’re awesomely awesome!
Many more at Buzzfeed.
14 April 2011
In this hilarious two minute video, twin toddlers practice having a conversation. They don’t really know words, but they know HOW to do it. They’ve figured out how to sound sure of themselves, how to sound inquisitive, how to gesticulate, how to aim their efforts at a second person, and how to take turns. They’ve learned, in other words, the rules of talking to another person, even before they’ve learned how to talk. A fun example of socialization.
11 April 2011
[Cross-posted at Prison Culture]
Recently an article by Rachel Pfeffer titled “In Post-Racial America, Prisons Feast on Black Girls” has been making the rounds on social media. I am glad to see the attention that it has garnered. I hope that this attention translates to action. The article opens with these words:
African American girls and young women have become the fastest growing population of incarcerated young people in the country. Efforts to stop mass incarceration focused on black girls are almost nonexistant in government policy, the media, foundations and academia.
A recent study by Moore and Padavic points to how black girls are discriminated against in the juvenile justice system:
“As expected, compared to White girls, Black girls received more severe dispositions even after taking into account the seriousness of the offense, prior records, and age. This finding provides evidence of Black-White racial bias in the juvenile justice system. Hispanic girls, in contrast, were not disadvantaged vis-a-vis White girls.”
The authors acknowledge that their finding that Hispanic girls do not receive harsher punishment than their white peers is surprising in light of previous research that has pointed to Hispanic girls’ disadvantage (Miller, 1994). Other studies have found that 7 out of 10 cases involving White girls are dismissed, compared with only 3 of every 10 cases involving Black girls (Girls Incorporated, 2007, p.3).
Suffice it to say, Moore and Padavic’s research does confirm what we already knew anecdotally: black girls are discriminated against in the juvenile justice system. African American girls bear the brunt of multiple systems of oppression – racism, sexism, and poverty — and among girls, are at greatest risk of entering the juvenile justice system, as well as being treated more harshly once in the system.
I have worked with black girls for over 20 years now. I worked in grassroots organizations dedicated to addressing their needs, I have been on the board of several nonprofits that have focused on girls’ issues, and I have been an adult ally for over 8 years to a youth-led organization of mostly black girls here in Chicago.
A few years ago, I developed and ran a workshop for young black girls using Lil’ Kim as a window for opening up discussion about their own identities and inner lives. I ran this program for several weeks with my friend Francesca. It held some promise and I hope to return to it in the near future. This time, I want to include more discussion about the criminalization of black girls in the workshop. I also want to make the literacy improvement aspect of the workshop more explicit. In other words, a large part of the new workshop will be devoted to us reading together.
Sociologist (actually social psychologist) Charles Cooley invented the concept of the “looking glass self” and that idea is what animates my interest in Lil’ Kim. Cooley emphasized that other people represent the mirror or looking glass through which we perceive ourselves. This idea has significant implications for young Black women who seem to be particularly despised within the culture. In fact, I once read an interview conducted of R & B singer Jill Scott where she spoke about the general disregard with which Black women are treated in American society. She is quoted in Essence Magazine (August 2004) as saying: “Black women. We are so out of style…the problem is, it doesn’t seem like anybody’s loving sisters anymore. What happened?.”
A 2004 study by MEE productions found that:
“Black females are dissed by almost everyone. Young African American females hold little status within their communities, reflected in the name-calling and devaluing of young girls. Not only do males not trust females, but overwhelmingly, girls reported that they do not even trust each other.”
The sense that nobody loves Black women and young black ones in particular is pervasive. It is not surprising then to find that black girls who are considered disposable by everyone find themselves increasingly criminalized in the culture.
Tomorrow, I will post some reflections from the Lil’ Kim Workshop that Francesca and I facilitated in 2007. As I refine that workshop and hopefully run it again this Fall, I hope to continue to blog about it here. I welcome any ideas that readers want to share for the workshop curriculum.
Note: Here is a more involved definition of the Looking Glass Self concept that I referenced above:
Looking Glass Self- the process of developing a self-image on the basis of the messages we get from others, as we understand them. There are three components to the looking glass self: 1.We imagine how we appear to others; 2. We imagine what their judgment of that appearance must be; 3. We develop some self-feeling, such as pride or mortification, as a result of our imagining others’ judgment.
31 March 2011
from I Blame The Patriarchy by Jill
Sexual Assault Prevention Tips Guaranteed to Work
1. Don’t put drugs in women’s drinks.
2. When you see a woman walking by herself, leave her alone.
3. If you pull over to help a woman whose car has broken down, remember not to rape her.
4. If you are in a lift and a woman gets in, don’t rape her.
5. When you encounter a woman who is asleep, the safest course of action is to not rape her.
6. Never creep into a woman’s home through an unlocked door or window, or spring out at her from between parked cars, or rape her.
7. When you lurk in bushes and doorways with criminal intentions, always wear bright clothing, wave a flashlight, or play “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)” by the Raveonettes on a boombox really loud, so women in the vicinity will know where to aim their flamethrowers.
8. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If it is inconvenient for you to stop yourself from raping women, ask a trusted friend to accompany you when lurking in shadows.
9. Carry a rape whistle. If you find that you are about to rape a woman, you can hand the whistle to your buddy, so s/he can blow it to call for help.
10. Give your buddy a revolver, so that when indifferent passers-by either ignore the rape whistle, or gather round to enjoy the spectacle, s/he can pistol-whip you.
11. Don’t forget: Honesty is the best policy. When asking a woman out on a date, don’t pretend that you are interested in her as a person; tell her straight up that you expect to be raping her later. If you don’t communicate your intentions, the woman may take it as a sign that you do not plan to rape her.
In other words, the best way to prevent rape is to not rape anybody.
25 March 2011
Matthew Pillischer has just completed a new documentary about race and criminal justice in that is worth checking out. Here’s a trailer for the film (6:58):
The film includes an interview with Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, which we’ve written about here before. While most third year law students are busy studying for the bar exam, Matthew Pillischer found time to produce and direct a documentary film about this important social justice issue. I don’t know how he did that, but I’m glad he did as his film promises to bring this important issue to a much wider audience.
24 March 2011
I’m pleased to announce my book The Ethics of Voting (Princeton University Press) is now published. You can read the introduction here.
The main positions I defend in the book are:
1. There’s generally no duty to vote.
2. People can exercise exemplary civic virtue and pay whatever debts they have to society (if there are such things) without participating in politics. Political participation (and knowledge) is nothing special when it comes to civic virtue.
3. If people do vote, they have strong obligations to vote for what they justifiedly believe will serve the right ends of government, or otherwise they must abstain. This holds true even though individual votes are inconsequential. (I expanded and revised my argument from”Polluting the Polls”, as, for example, I realized that it didn’t cover cases of people voting for the right things for the wrong reasons, and it didn’t handle bad fringe voting very well.)
4. It’s okay to buy, trade, or sell votes, provided you don’t violate #3.
5. If social scientific work on voter behavior is correct, then most voters probably qualify as bad voters per my theory.
I’m going to be on CBC radio (I think on Sunday Edition) this weekend discussing some of these topics in light of the likely elections in Canada.
Brent Couchman is a designer located in San Francisco. His works are totally amazing, very stylish with great use of colors to engage the viewer with such eye candy illustrations. Enjoy!
About the author
Hi there! I'm Paulo Canabarro, 25 year old web designer from Brazil currently living in Providence RI, USA. I'm truly passionate about design of all kinds. Finding and sharing inspiration has become part of my life. If you have any suggestions or requests just get @ me - firstname.lastname@example.org For some cool stuff make sure to Follow me on twitter!
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