Works in Progress

“Mansplaining”: Sexist?

Well, mansplaining wraps up the sexist privileged blinding in one word and to me is legitimately used when it’s referring to the specific concept of a guy explaining something to a woman (or someone he views as subordinate) out of the assumption that the person does not understand because of their gender. (It can include the self-perception that a person has superior knowledge, often connected to their own male gender, when this kind of explaining extends to another male, probably viewed as inferior.) It is explaining something when no explanation is asked for or no explanation is warranted, offering knowledge as if the other person could not possibly have this knowledge or know how to find it, or instead of explaining what the person did ask about, explaining something very basic or giving lay-person level or pretty unrelated information to show off and/or as if the person is not smart enough to realize you’re not answering the actual question. Often the explanation is offered by someone who does not actually know much about the topic, but either believes he does in what seems like a male privilege superiority complex (esp. or when around females).  And the reason there is a term “mansplaining” now is because it is a recognizable experience. It is so common that women from many perspectives immediately know what someone is talking about who describes this, and that is why the term took so easily. It nice to finally have a word for it, and one that indicates a behavior that’s frowned upon.
There may be audible intonation of condescension, or the “explanation” may be contextually condescending and politically condescending with its sexism. Occurs especially, but *not* always or only covering topics, disciplines, or situations over which male dominance has traditionally maintained a stronghold (cars, machinery, math, film directing, computers, carpentry lawn mowing, politics, business…but also everything else under the sun).
For fairness’ sake, I invent the term “transplaining.”
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Some examples would be:
  • When I asked my male coworker to help hang a large framed picture on the wall over a staircase by holding it in place while I stepped back to get a view of whether or not it is level and by holding it while I marked where to nail in the picture hangers, and he started to ‘explain’ how to correctly nail in a nail with a hammer and insisted that the picture was level while up against it holding it on the wall looking side-line at it from off-center.
  • Two women at a bus stop discussing NASA’s achievements, the history of rocket engines for use in space, decisions regarding funding of space exploration, the shuttle program, the recent New Horizons images and discoveries, etc. A man at the bus stop “informs” them that the first images of Pluto were just taken, and explains to them how a rocket engine works (supposedly).
  • At a café or bar near a high school or college campus, a woman reading Richard III and enjoying her drink looks up to a man standing at her table. “Shakespeare! Best author in the English language,” says the man, nodding approvingly. “Arguably,” the woman says. “Have you read any others?” he asks. “I teach; I’m teaching the Histories,” she responds. “Romeo and Juliet, now that’s the best love story of all time,” he says, then ‘explains’ the plot to her, and how Shakespeare’s plays were the soap operas of their time.
  • See How to Find a Mechanic and Fix Your Car where a “solution” was explained by a mentor missing the point.
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Articles and Essays

Blag Furning & Bible Unbinding

File:Jasper Johns's 'Flag', Encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood,1954-55.jpg

Flag, for instance, is primarily a visual object,
divorced from its symbolic connotations
and reduced to something in-itself.
Wikipedia,
painter Jasper John

Expressing yourself with the American flag IS FREEDOM OF SPEECH…one of the pillars that we hold so dear of this country and upon which it is founded. It erodes the foundation of the nation, in fact, and erodes the freedoms which make it great to consider so heinous or try to make illegal to exercise expression with a piece of cloth. What if a creation or change made to a flag is art? What if “defiling” it is done to make a *statement* about the hypocrisy and corruption so abundant in the nation’s government? One example of such hypocrisy and corruption would be the flag of slavery flying 45 years after Civil Rights. Even if it offends your sense of nationality or patriotism, there are SO many *much* worse examples of disrespect to the nation and its principles including freedom and justice–which two of the U.S. flag’s colors are popularly claimed to stand for–such as (see previous example, and) all the ways in which censorship is used to perpetuate one usually-already dominant and hegemonically oppressive group’s beliefs at the expense of others, marginalizing them and exploiting them and their minority position, taking advantage of their oppressed position. An example would be the ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL swearing on (in courts) and swearing in (of political executive officials) on one dominant religion’s text, spitting in the face of SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. Freedom of religion includes freedom FROM religion.

Please review the Bill of Rights, “Amendment I: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion….”

***

As for bible-burning:

Tearing up a book may result in insult felt by the person who blindly ascribes to religious doctrine translated and printed therein, but I kind of think waving it as reason/excuse to discriminate, fire, deny rights, harass, bully, ostracize, degrade, deride, hide, harm physically, kill, and look the other way at any of these–oh, wait, and burn people (mostly women) at the stake and, oh, the Crusades’ decades of torture and bloody murder and threats as methods to force conversion, all in the name of that religion,  makes understandable and more-than-calmly reasonable such a minor reaction or making of a statement or taking of a stand.
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Works in Progress

RE: “Sweet Cakes by Melissa Didn’t Just Deny a Lesbian Couple Service, They Also Doxxed Them and Their Kids”

Not-so-sweet cakes, eh? In this article, the bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa refused to bake and decorate a cake for a lesbian couple for their wedding. But the bakery owners, Melissa and Aaron Klein, took their discrimination a lot farther–to dangerous actions of exposing the women and their children to gobs of hate mail and threats active homophobes by posting their address on hate sites, until the family was forced to seek protection.

 I wouldn’t want to bake a cake for the KKK’s birthday if I ran a bakery business, or for a celebratory NAMBLA event (though I’d be glad to take money out of these organizations’ pockets). And if Melissa & Aaron Klein really think that would be analogous, may the universe help them. Legally, though, these scenarios could entail  unlawful discrimination against someone for their political beliefs, but because of the Klein’s actions, the case does not provide precedent to allow a person to exercise their own political beliefs in their public service business practice. So when Michigan’s ruling gets overturned, and Governor Brownback and his disciples get broiled federally or, say, Mormons and Muslims join forces to use the new Kansas “religious freedom” executive order to only perform bigamous weddings, no one can use this case to insist on their right to.

Perhaps the Kleins are some kind of socialists who believe that lesbians should only request donation vegan dog biscuits for their weddings because they already have enough of that sweet cake? Two per couple is twice as much as hets!

Adendum: Two females and a male want to get hitched? Let them eat cake, I say. Two males and a female, let them eat long john(s). Maybe I’ll start a bakery.

Additional sources:
HRC: Kansas Governor Brownback Issues Anti-LGBT Executive Order
KS Governor: Religious freedom to discriminate which federal law to follow

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Articles and Essays, Works in Progress

‘Oink, Oink’ becomes ‘Oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink…’

Let's bring it home.

Let’s bring it home.

I am not a vegetarian, and I believe humans are mostly ultimately biologic omnivores. I have anemia and have a difficult time not eating any meat. Also, I love bacon, despite my half Hebrew heritage. I respect matanza tradition that feeds a whole community with the slaughter of a pig.

I live where many of the nation’s pigs are raised. You can smell the difference. There is a smell of rot, feces, and death when near the factory farms so pervasive in the air it makes most people gag, so thick it can make your eyes sting. Near small family-owned farms, there are just the normal smells of animals and manure. When IBP and [Tyson, &, &, &] Big Pork industrialized meat animal companies moved in to the state, they bought up family farms when the public and family farmers were not knowledgeable of their practices, until they had enough to affect the market price of pork or meat*, so that more and more small farms or family farms could not afford to keep their operations running. But the way they did that was to put TEN TIMES as many pigs into an area as was usual and considered necessary for the health and safety of the pigs. And you could smell the difference.

Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, incrementally increasingly, the farm-smell out in the country went from an organic manure smell (or an “eww! man-oo-er!” smell if your family is from the city like mine) to a suffocating chemical-y smell that leaves a person feeling sick. This is partly because there is so much more feces in the same amount of space. Well, pee-yew! But besides simple city-slicker nose wrinkling, there is more sulfur, and the waste cannot be treated the same way. These companies use unsafe methods of dealing with the magnitude of animal waste to turn it into manure or dealing with what cannot be turned into manure: see the viral FactoryFarmDrones.com.

Even in relatively smaller family farm operations, because they must buy in to the pork industry methods to make a living, and they use hog confinement to raise pigs for meat, the danger is fatal. Hog confinement is deadly to humans. It has killed four farmers in one month alone in the hog livestock states.

These companies often purposely ignore the rules of pigs allowed per square foot, because the fine or citation or cost of sanction is affordable to them. Additionally, the rules grew more lax on allowances for treatment of animals and health, safety, and sanitation measures for sickness or deaths per capita, dealing with feces, disposing of dead animals, etc. because these companies intensely and forcefully lobby congress–whereas family farmers did not have such political power, but struggled until in order to continue farming or {continue} making a living, each farmer or family would be econmically forced to either sell the land and lease it back to continue running it–under the new rules of meat industry’s company in the area, just like Big Ag and sharecroppers. Nowadays, often the company fully owns the animals and the farmer raises them or “leases” the animals from the company, originally often involving selling the family’s livestock to the company and “leasing” them back to raise them.

*Industrial livestock animal companies also alter the price in behind-the-scenes stock market and finance industry deals or political negotiations. They use other political tactics, too**, muddying the environmental cause with corruption and essentially not just victim-blaming but economically crushing the family farm, yet again.

Meat is infused with the anti-bacterials the livestock animals must be given just to survive in such close quarters and uncomfortable [worse than] sparse [worse than] cold metal pens. Meat is infused with Red #40 that causes sterility. Brits in the U.S. can taste the formaldehyde in the ground beef.

Last but not least, pigs are as smart or smarter than dogs.

Oh, wait, they’re *&%$ing delicious. Then use a local/family hog-raising farm. Save up for eating it if that’s what it takes. Hey, even if you love swine or meat, there’s no need to eat meat for every meal. In fact, eating less of it from having to buy the expensive local, well-fed, humanely treated meat actually means your meat tastes better because less fear and less infection and not living in your own feces your whole life gives that more satisfied pig better meat, for a more satisfied human.


Some o' my sources:
**Here's a poultry example.
Iowa farm independent film from 2011 (on Big Ag corn?) screened in conjunction with local sustainably-sourced food organization
Applied Animal Behaviour journal's article on cows
"Inside a pig farm" video by Animal Equality, via their Facebook page


PIC: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1381013
Updated 07/28/2015

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