Posted 1 week ago

afangirlstreehouse:

hheath541:

Apple download - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aspire-news/id733163167?mt=8

Android download - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.collectiveray.aspire

I’m sorry - not my usual stuff - but this is incredibly important. Please share around. It could save someone’s life.

Posted 1 week ago

jnenifre:

From Facebook

After spending years developing a simple machine to make inexpensive sanitary pads, Arunachalam Muruganantham has become the unlikely leader of a menstrual health revolution in rural India. Over sixteen years, Muruganantham’s machine has spread to 1,300 villages in 23 states and since most of his clients are NGOs and women’s self-help groups who produce and sell the pads directly in a “by the women, for the women, and to the women” model, the average machine also provides employment for ten women. 

Muruganantham’s interest in menstrual health began in 1998 when, as a young, newly married man, he saw his wife, Shanthi, hiding the rags she used as menstrual cloths. Like most men in his village, he had no idea about the reality of menstruation and was horrified that cloths that “I would not even use… to clean my scooter” were his wife’s solution to menstrual sanitation. When he asked why she didn’t buy sanitary pads, she told him that the expense would prevent her from buying staples like milk for the family. 

Muruganantham, who left school at age 14 to start working, decided to try making his own sanitary pads for less but the testing of his first prototype ran into a snag almost immediately: Muruganantham had no idea that periods were monthly. “I can’t wait a month for each feedback, it’ll take two decades!” he said, and sought volunteers among the women in his community. He discovered that less than 10% of the women in his area used sanitary pads, instead using rags, sawdust, leaves, or ash. Even if they did use cloths, they were too embarrassed to dry them in the sun, meaning that they never got disinfected — contributing to the approximately 70% of all reproductive diseases in India that are caused by poor menstrual hygiene. 

Finding volunteers was nearly impossible: women were embarrassed, or afraid of myths about sanitary pads that say that women who use them will go blind or never marry. Muruganantham came up with an ingenious solution: “I became the man who wore a sanitary pad,” he says. He made an artificial uterus, filled it with goat’s blood, and wore it throughout the day. But his determination had severe consequences: his village concluded he was a pervert with a sexual disease, his mother left his household in shame and his wife left him. As he remarks in the documentary “Menstrual Man” about his experience, “So you see God’s sense of humour. I’d started the research for my wife and after 18 months she left me!”

After years of research, Muruganantham perfected his machine and now works with NGOs and women’s self-help groups to distribute it. Women can use it to make sanitary napkins for themselves, but he encourages them to make pads to sell as well to provide employment for women in poor communities. And, since 23% of girls drop out of school once they start menstruating, he also works with schools, teaching girls to make their own pads: “Why wait till they are women? Why not empower girls?” 

As communities accepted his machine, opinions of his “crazy” behavior changed. Five and a half years after she left, Shanthi contacted him, and they are now living together again. She says it was hard living with the ostracization that came from his project, but now, she helps spread the word about sanitary napkins to other women. “Initially I used to be very shy when talking to people about it, but after all this time, people have started to open up. Now they come and talk to me, they ask questions and they also get sanitary napkins to try them.”

In 2009, Muruganantham was honored with a national Innovation Award in 2009 by then President of India, Pratibha Patil, beating out nearly 1,000 other entries. Now, he’s looking at expanding to other countries and believes that 106 countries could benefit from his invention. 

Muruganantham is proud to have made such a difference: “from childhood I know no human being died because of poverty — everything happens because of ignorance… I have accumulated no money but I accumulate a lot of happiness.” His proudest moment? A year after he installed one of the machines in a village so poor that, for generations, no one had earned enough for their children to attend school. Then he received a call from one of the women selling sanitary pads who told him that, thanks to the income, her daughter was now able to go to school. 

To read more about Muruganantham’s story, the BBC featured a recent profile on him at http://bbc.in/1i8tebG or watch his TED talk at http://bit.ly/1n594l6. You can also view his company’s website at http://newinventions.in/

To learn more about the 2013 documentary Menstrual Man about Muruganantham, visit http://www.menstrualman.com/

For resources to help girls prepare for and understand their periods - including several first period kits - visit our post on: “That Time of the Month: Teaching Your Mighty Girl about Her Menstrual Cycle” at www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=3281

To help your tween understand the changes she’s experiencing both physically and emotionally during puberty, check out the books recommended in our post on “Talking with Tweens and Teens About Their Bodies” at http://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=2229

And, if you’re looking for ways to encourage your children to become the next engineering and technology innovators, visit A Mighty Girl’s STEM toy section athttp://www.amightygirl.com/toys/toys-games/science-math

Posted 1 week ago

howprolifeofyou:

smitethepatriarchy:

therothwoman:

blairellis:

this never gets old

I met the creator of this a month ago and he said he got a lot of hate mail from dudebros who thought that he was a woman complaining about these problems.

Gold.

Bolding mine.

The animator that made this is a really cool guy! His tumblr is here if anyone’s interested.

(Source: arrdeearr)

Posted 1 week ago

Socially Awkward Isn’t An Excuse

hobbitkaiju:

memj0123:

zedrin-stormshock:

This is an amazing article. Long, but amazing.

Deals with harassment, the difference between being (offensively) ‘awkward’ (or using it as a cover) and having actual social anxiety, and includes notes on how to deal with harassment as well as notes that are worth reflecting on.

dear lord this is important, read this, for those who have experienced people like this, and those who aren’t aware of the distinction between someone who has social anxiety and a creeper.

I’m ashamed to admit I’ve been one of the people complicit in enabling “socially awkward” creepers. For many years I believed the “He’s just awkward and doesn’t understand why what he’s doing isn’t appropriate” excuse, so I either sat by while “awkward” guys I knew creeped on women or I actively excused creepy behavior when it came up later. Ugh, this article just cements for me why this excuse is bullshit. Ugh ugh ugh. 

Posted 1 week ago

universalequalityisinevitable:

Peter Joseph on structural violence, from this video.

Posted 1 week ago

houseofalexzander:

Lustrous.

A man in the grocery store line today approached me and said, “Sir, when I first saw you I was extremely attracted to you, but then I noticed that you are a boy. How… I mean, why do you dress so provocatively?”

I responded, “Well, in today’s world the majority of the straight male race view women as objects, or something that belongs to them. I dress provocatively because it attracts the attention of men in a sexual and OBJECTIVE way. However, when realized that I am actually male, they often become confused, disgusted, upset or all of the above. By inflicting this minor emotional damaged upon the ego of a man raised by twisted societal gender norms, maybe, just maybe the individual will think twice before viewing another woman with an objective attitude and sense of belonging. No woman, belongs to ANYONE. Male or female, the equality of human beings needs to be a priority. It is something worth dressing up for.”

I AM NOT KIDDING. The woman behind me, the female cashier, the old lady bagging groceries and the woman in front of me who was talking on the phone STOPPED, …. and proceeded to gasp and clap. The man shook my hand, told me to have a blessed day and then said, “excuse me ladies, I need to visit my daughter.”

…. I was shaking by the time I walked out of the store.

- Elliott Alexzander

Posted 1 week ago

http://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/post/81786434634/theletteraesc-medievalpoc-fuckyeahalejandra

medievalpoc:

whitefriartuck:

theletteraesc:

medievalpoc:

fuckyeahalejandra replied to your post: Ancient Art Week! Various Roman Sculpt…

Are these sculptures of roman citizens or slaves?

The association of Black people with enslavement is an entirely modern invention, as in, chattel slavery in the…

Regarding the whole ‘men hunted, women gave birth’ thing (and wildly off topic from racism in classical Rome, sorry), it is looking increasingly like a load of nonsense (no surprise). 

There are prehistoric hunting scenes showing hunts which (probably *1) show women hunting for one thing and despite this male researcers still declares that men hunted and men created these hunting scenes and were also the first artists. But now we know that these hunting scenes not only show women hunting in some cases but WERE PRODUCED BY WOMEN primarily!

So what evidence for male = hunter is there?

When you look at the evidence for male hunters you have gender bias (men obviously hunted because men hunt now), gender essentialism (men hunted because they had less body fat and didn’t need to produce babies and Reasons) and ethnographic evidence (indigenous Australian hunters were solely male in the 19th-20th centuries).

We assume that because violent activities today are associated with men while women nurtured young that has always been the way. We also assume that women who were not pregnant would be compelled to behave in the same way as women who were pregnant/looking after children. It also assumes that hunting was much more dangerous than it probably was, hunters were often as much scavengers as far as we can tell from archaeological evidence of kill sites and often employed tactics like driving pray off cliffs to die or into dead ends were they could be picked off more safely. That isn’t to say it was completely safe of course. But who is to say gathering was necessarily safe in an age where a simple cut could result in death from infection and there were no anti-bodies for the admittedly few venomous creatures in Europe or that the gatherers would be free from the attentions of now extinct predators.

Much of the ethnographic evidence comes either from African nomadic peoples which have still had thousands of years of contact with patriarchal cultures or Australian Aboriginal and Papua New Guinean groups. The ethnographic observations were made in the 19th and 20th centuries and are deeply racist because they were based on the assumption that these cultures were primitive and unchanging since settlement of Sahul (Australia + New Guinea when they were connected) 50,000 years ago! We know, for example, in the early nineteenth century the power structure of Australian indigenous populations shifted in favour of young men after various epidemics killed 90% of the Aboriginal population in the space of 50 years or thereabout (something we never learnt in school, funnily enough). We do not know who hunted prior to European colonisation of Australia. We guess and the further back in time you go the more problematic that becomes because the hundreds at least indigenous cultures in Australia have all evolved over time just like any other culture.

IF we accept the creators of the hunting scenes across Europe were hunters themselves then we have to accept that women were as likely to be hunters as men. If we do not want to accept that the people who made the art were hunters then we have no evidence beyond ethnographic evidence for males solely being hunters and then we have to look carefully at the ethnographic evidence and accept it is deeply, deeply problematic.

So, in my opinion as a humble archaeology undergraduate, we either accept we have no firm evidence to say men or women hunted, just that hunting was done. If you accepted the cave paintings as evidence of male hunters when they were believed to be produced by men you should also accept they are now evidence of female hunting.

If you think you can say with certainty that ‘women have always been subjected to men because Reasons’ then you have no clue what you are talking about.Sadly much of the scholarship on the subject assumes male = hunter and works forward from that, trying to justify the assumption rather than addressing the actual evidence. Because if we accept that there is no evidence for that then it undermines a lot of nonsense gender essentialism used to handwave away sexism in society today. 

Sources:

Australian Archaeology by Peter Hiscock

Cave paintings created by women 

Lectures, seminars, lost media articles etc. 

Image source

*1 Of course it is ‘accepted’ (read: assumed) that all the figures are male by default unless there are obvious feminine traits as opposed to just representing people in general.

Oh my god, I could not have said that nearly as well as you did.

This is such a concise and accessible explanation of why and how so much of what we “know” about the ancient world, prehistory, and a lot of history in general has almost EVERYTHING to do with looking for confirmation of reflections of our CURRENT SOCIETY, and any academic with a lick of honesty will tell you the same thing.

Posted 3 weeks ago

modalitout:

notanothersonglyric:

ruinedxfate:

ruinedxfate:

ham-safar:

Rayhaneh Jabbari is sentenced to hang for killing her rapist in self defense in Iran. She is now 26 years old and has been in Tehran’s dreaded Evin prison since 2007. The petition for her release can be found here: http://bit.ly/1h7EP4D

UNBELIEVABLE

EVERYBODY SIGN THIS PETITION

It needs 100,000, and only has 8,000 as it stands. 

SIGNAL BOOST THE FUCK OUT OF THIS GUYS

(Source: captain-majed)

Posted 3 weeks ago

cuphaz:

cuphaz:

I feel like nobody on Tumblr cares about what happened in Taiwan because we are a small, small country.

Even though I’ve been acting chilled and keeping on my blogging stuffs, I still feel a little bit sad and worried that everyone on Tumblr only knows things happening in big countries. I’ve talked about this on my blog only a few times but nobody really pays attention to what I said. Maybe because I don’t have enough followers, maybe because media doesn’t have enough reports about this thing, maybe because nobody has died in this event so people don’t consider it serious. 

You guys probably think governments which are being harsh to their people are scary, but recently I realized governments which ignore their people are scary too. My country, Taiwan, is trying to pass a Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement with Mainland China. The problem is not about this agreement, the problem is that our people have no idea how this agreement work, who is in charge with this agreement and how many professional estimation has been done before the agreement gets signed. We are afraid, because if this agreement has some problems, our economy might collapse and thousands people might lose their jobs and their families. This agreement is too sloppy to be signed. Our people tried to express our worry but the government didn’t give a shit.

So on March 17th, hundreds of college students broke into the Legislature and occupied the building. It has been 6 days since those students are inside the building. They have no resources and everything is in bad condition. The building is surrounded by bunches of police officers. Even though the government promised they wouldn’t attack those students, we have no idea what would happen if those students keep on occupying the building. The leader of the students, Lin and Chen, declare that their purpose is to fight for everyone’s right in a peaceful way. They want the government to accept their 2 simple requests: disapprove the agreement and make a new law making sure the agreement would be deliberated in a reasonable procedure. But after 6 days, the government still doesn’t pay attention to them and resist all their requests. Our president, Mr. Ma, also refuses to meet the students leaders to listen to their demands. Students inside and outside the Legislature have been irritated by the government’s attitude. The situation has gone wild and there are even some violence stuffs happened despite how hard the leaders are trying to handle all over 30 thousands angry students.

I just want more people to know about this. My government doesn’t listen to their people’s voice. We are angry and hopeless. Most of these people are under 25, they are just a group of college students who don’t want to watch their own country being treated unfairly. They have no bids to fight with our government. They have been constantly fighting for 6 days. Their parents can’t even go into the building to meet their beloved children. They are exhausted and frustrated but they still don’t want to give up. You think college students only know partying and skipping classes? No. These young adults are fighting for their won country like real warriors. I don’t understand why nobody cares about their actions. They are brave and strong and they are probably just in your age. They need more attention. Even though you probably can’t do anything for them, but your attention might help them keep going on. And your attention might help them to make our government fear. Government needs to be feared by their people.

PLEASE READ THIS AND REBLOG. Things have been out of control last night. Students and people got beaten up by police. I couldn’t stop crying when I watched the news. There were bloods everywhere and the police were even trying to get the media away so they wouldn’t get to record the violence scene…we really need attention. WE NEED MORE PEOPLE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED! These students are still young and innocent. They just want to protest for the future of the country but they probably not gonna even meet their families anymore. We’ve got enough coldness from our government. PLEASE DO NOT IGNORE US.

Posted 3 weeks ago

The concern for overly exposed young bodies may be well-intentioned. With society fetishizing girls at younger and younger ages, girls are instructed to self-objectify and see themselves as sexual objects, something to be looked at. A laundry list of problems can come from obsessing over one’s appearance: eating disorders, depression, low self-worth. Who wouldn’t want to spare her daughter from these struggles?

But these dress codes fall short of being legitimately helpful. What we fail to consider when enforcing restrictions on skirt-length and the tightness of pants is the girls themselves—not just their clothes, but their thoughts, emotions, budding sexuality and self-image.

Instead, these restrictions are executed with distracted boys in mind, casting girls as inherent sexual threats needing to be tamed. Dress restrictions in schools contribute to the very problem they aim to solve: the objectification of young girls. When you tell a girl what to wear (or force her to cover up with an oversized T-shirt), you control her body. When you control a girl’s body—even if it is ostensibly for her “own good”—you take away her agency. You tell her that her body is not her own.

When you deem a girl’s dress “inappropriate,” you’re also telling her, “Because your body may distract boys, your body is inappropriate. Cover it up.” You recontextualize her body; she now exists through the male gaze.