This happened today to my friends. They were on a study trip at the Dome of the Rock in the muslim neighbourhood in Jerusalem. I wonder where coexistence stands when some still don’t accept their own “neighbours” trying to know them. I’m not saying it does not happen on the jewish side as well, it’s just that I think it is important to remind that extremism exists and does not help at all.
You wanna talk about co-existence? Palestinian worshippers in the Noble Sanctuary were attacked twice in recent days by the Israeli army under the guise of allowing Israeli Jews to enter the area. And then your tourist friends come along and sit down like they own the place, giggling and laughing and posing for pictures. Of course, they’re not going to be welcome!
As I said, I don’t deny the intolerance on both sides. All I said was it is not a bed of roses for anyone here. Btw, tourists do take picture and marvel at the beauty of the places they visit. If the behaviour bothers the locals, they can ask them nicely to stop, and not behave like that.
There is no “both sides” here. Palestinians do have the ability to do to Israelis what the Israelis do to them day in and day out. And this is emphatically not about “intolerance.” This is about Palestinians who are constantly under attack while you condescendingly sneer at their unwillingness to host disrespectful tourists on their holy sites just days after armed Israelis attacked them in the exact same place. You as tourists are not entitled to respect in this situation. Get the hell out if you don’t like how the “locals” respond to your hubristic behavior.
How is shouting allahu Akbar extremist? Just because the tourists are latent islamophobes and the women knew how to exploit that doesn’t mean they’re terrorists.
the piece i wrote that i promised y’all i’d link to eventually :)
(and here’s the text!)
Hannah Giorgis ’13, and current president of the Women of Color Collective, shares her thoughts on how to be a good ally. The WoCC meets every Tuesday @ 6:30pm at the CWG. Everyone is welcome! Especially good allies!
-Stephanie, Asst. Director of the CWG
Whenever I speak about racism or sexism (and especially the ways in which the two intersect), I am met with complex questions from privileged people who are often every bit as well-intentioned as they are misguided. Perhaps the most difficult question I receive with regularity is also among the most important:How can I, as a privileged person, be a good ally to people in marginalized groups? What does it even mean to be an ally?
Before beginning to discuss the role of allies in activism centered on marginalized groups, it is necessary to explain which identities are typically being referenced in the phrase “marginalized groups.” For the purposes of this piece, “marginalized groups” refers to the following parties: people of color, cisgender women, LGBTQ people (including trans women, who are often wholly ignored by feminist movements), Muslims (as well as people who “look” Muslim), and immigrants.
It is important to remember that people can simultaneously exist in any combination of these groups; intersectionality is real. Similarly, marginalization on one axis does not necessarily negate privilege on another axis. For example, a homosexual Black cis-male still benefits from male privilege despite being oppressed on the bases of his race and sexual orientation and a white cis-female lesbian still benefits from white privilege despite marginalization on the basis of her gender and sexual orientation.
The answer to the question of an ally’s duties is not a simple one, nor is it static and unchanging. More importantly, however, my answer is not the only answer. I speak from my personal experiences with racism and sexism in particular, but I do not speak for every person of color or every woman. I am not, as a friend once joked, “Elected Negro Representative” (or, by extension, “Elected Female Representative”).
- Do not treat individuals as Elected Representatives or Walking Encyclopedias. Remember that they do not owe you answers, nor do they always even have the answers to every question. Remember that every group is comprised of human beings—and, like all human beings, they will not agree on everything. To burden individuals with the task of representing their entire race is problematic not only because it adds yet another weight to an already overburdened group, but also because it fuels the same kind of thoughtless overgeneralization that contributes to the stereotypes that still continue to harm these very communities. To deny a community the privilege of internal disagreement is to insist that all its members conform to one particular mold. It is to rob them of their right to individuality and their own opinions. It is tremendously unfair to expect every person living through systematic oppression to not only live through it but also explain it to you. Google is a wonderful resource. Make use of it.
- Defer to marginalized groups’ authority on their own lives. This guideline may seem simple, but it is by far the most contested by all the faux allies I’ve encountered. To tell a marginalized person that their own knowledge of their lived experience is less valid than your external assessment of their life is arrogant, patronizing, self-aggrandizing and oppressive.
Imagine for a moment that I walked up to you and punched you in the face. If I then insisted that it were up to me and not you to decide how much the punch hurt you—or whether it even hurt at all—would you not be irate?
This is how marginalized people feel when privileged people speak over us about our own lives. This is how I feel as a Black woman when white women tell me that a white woman holding up a sign that says “Woman is the nigger of the world” at SlutWalk NYC isn’t racist; this is how I feel as a Black woman when Black men tell me that Black History Month coverage focusing almost solely on Black male historical figures isn’t sexist.
When you are privileged, you are not forced to confront the ugly realities of these oppressions. As a heterosexual woman, I am not forced to wake up each day and see homophobia and heteronormativity in my life. I have the privilege of remaining ignorant. I could choose to turn a blind eye every time another event like the recent vandalism of the gender neutral flooroccurs. Regardless of how many scholarly articles I’ve read or how many episodes of “The L Word” I’ve watched, it would be absolutely ridiculous for me to argue with LGBTQ students about the validity of their opinions on homophobia and transphobia. As an ally, it is important to remember that your intellectual knowledge of an oppression will never trump lived experience.
- Be patient. Remember that being called a “racist” or “sexist” or “homophobe” is never more harmful (or more important) than being on the receiving end of racism, sexism, or homophobia. Do not police tone. If racism makes people of color angry, do not tell them to be more patient. If LGBTQ people express frustration with cisgender heterosexual people, do not tell them to be patient. Do not tell them their anger is “just as bad” as the active marginalization they experience. It’s not. Do not tell them to be nicer. The entire world tells them to be quiet about their marginalization, to accept it without saying a word, to smile in the face of unrelenting dehumanization. No ally would ask the same.
- Remember that oppression is systemic. Racism, for example, exists not simply as negative attitudes towards people of color but—more importantly, and as a direct result of these attitudes—an entire system of government, education, laws, law enforcement, media and any other innumerable institutions that directly privilege whites over people of color.Do not conflate prejudice with racism. Do not conflate negative remarks made by women about men with an entire structure of inequality that privileges men. Remember that systems of oppression work together; they are interlocking.
- Use your voice to amplify the voices of those who are part of the marginalized group(s) in question. Understand that your privilege means people will automatically see you as “more credible” and “more objective” than marginalized people despite your socially conditioned biases. Do not use this privilege to speak over marginalized people. Use this inevitable disparity in credibility to amplify those whose voices need to be heard. Do not use your allyship as a platform to gain fame, money, or attention. Direct attention to those who would not otherwise get it. Refer people to writers and activists who live the marginalization they write about/speak on.
- Remember that allyship is not static. Allyship requires a constant evaluation of self, of surroundings, of society. Allyship is a process—it is not a one-time action. One does not simply learn about homophobia or racism one day and magically become an ally, without blame and above reproach. Even the best allies make mistakes. What distinguishes them is their willingness to accept criticism and apply it to the future—by correcting both their own actions and the similar actions of their privileged counterparts. Don’t forget that being an ally isn’t about making yourself feel good. It’s not about getting pats on the back for your benevolence. It’s not about assuaging your guilt about your own privilege. It’s not about getting special ally cookies or a gold sticker. It’s not about being popular. Quite simply, it’s not about you. It’s about being a decent person; it’s about seeing fellow human beings as human and working to ensure others do, too.
Having good allies is important to any group. An earnest desire to dismantle systems of oppression and a willingness to interrogate your own privilege are the first two tools any ally needs. “Safe spaces” on campus like the Center for Women and Gender, Cutter Shabazz, and OPAL office are open to all of campus. Don’t be afraid to go check them out. Too often on this campus we are told that feeling mildly uncomfortable is wrong, that our own discomfort with being called out on our privilege(s) is somehow more unbearable than living on the other side of that privilege. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable. Some of the most valuable learning experiences emerge from uncomfortable experiences. Don’t be afraid to challenge your peers. More importantly, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
~Hannah Giorgis ’13
i’m getting really sick of bette + tina’s bullshit tbh like i really want to like them as a couple but they’re getting to be too much, too much
Never trust a person who can’t gracefully accept that they shouldn’t say certain words due to violent histories of those said words
|me at age 12:||ew older men|
|now:||wow he's only 30?|
I really want a science fiction story where aliens come to invade earth and effortlessly wipe out humanity, only to be fought off by the wildlife.
They were expecting military resistance. They weren’t counting on bears.
Canada’s time to shine has come