I considered fleeing to a remote island for a few weeks, but I realized I wasn’t craving physical escape. I didn’t actually want to be alone. I just wanted to be mentally free of obligations, most of which asserted themselves in some digital fashion. I decided to stay still, find an Airbnb residence right in Brooklyn (technically homeless, remember?), and step back from digital interaction. Yes, me. The recipient of the 2011 Shorty Award for Foursquare Mayor of the Year would not check in. At least for a few weeks.
I need you to know something. I need you to know that I just can’t talk to you about this game. I don’t understand Minecraft at all and I have no desire to try. Sure, I want to be interested in what you’re saying to me, but I just can’t. Because you say things like, I built a chair! I saw a chicken! I got an egg, ha ha ha!!! and my eyes get that unfocused look because I’m staring past you and my brain has shut down. I can’t help it. I’m only human.
But there’s something very important to realize as we ponder these first two examples: whatever body parts someone insists on being covered, those are the parts that they are sexually objectifying. The logic is simple: if a body part is not considered “sexual,” it need not be covered at all.
Stated more simply… That which we cover, we objectify.
In the video, Miley is seen with her “friends”: Mostly skinny white boys and girls who appear to be models. But in a few scenes, she’s seen twerking with three black women. Are they also her friends? Or is she just hoping for street cred? Note that she is wearing white, in the spotlight, the star of the video — and they are treated as props, a background for her to shine in front of. We’ve tackled the use of people of color in the background before; it’s a theme that persists, but remains wrong.
For me, I needed the reminder that my son is a little sponge, soaking in how the adults around him interact with the world. Children learn by imitating their role models, and if we — as the adults closest to them — show them that electronic devices are what’s most important, this may have a significant impact on their later attention and empathy skills.
Let me be clear: I don’t believe that previously non-raping audience members are going to take to the streets in a rape mob after hearing one rape joke. That’s an absurd and insulting mischaracterization. But I do believe that comedy’s current permissiveness around cavalier, cruel, victim-targeting rape jokes contributes to (that’s contributes—not causes) a culture of young men who don’t understand what it means to take this stuff seriously.
24. This sign means you have to make an important decision of whether to brave the garage, or just give up on life and go home.
Really allyship, the kind that takes place daily, means continual reflection and self-examination. It means understanding why your priorities are what they are, and changing them to whatever they should be. It means listening to marginalized people when they have been hurt, and not asking them to feel bad for making you aware of your privilege. It means being able to take criticism on board without filtering their feelings through a validity prism, and without insisting loudly and longly that no really, I’m not like that.
But the kids who attend our local school are not the ones I see at the parks, the summer concerts, the arts fairs and the kid-friendly restaurants in our neighborhood. The majority of the students at our local school have “choiced in” from other parts of town, where the schools have more serious problems than weak test scores. The demographics of the school don’t reflect the demographics of our neighborhood. Our neighborhood is ethnically and socioeconomically diverse, but the student body at our elementary school is not. Only one race (“Hispanic or Latino”) is “numerically significant.” Over half the students are “English language learners,” and 98.5 percent are “socioeconomically disadvantaged.” These descriptors themselves aren’t necessarily problematic, but the numbers are. Ethnic homogeneity of any flavor is not ideal, and the combination of poverty and language deficiency tends to complicate the learning environment. Thus, the educated, middle-class parents whose involvement might change the school culture, raise the test scores and improve the performance and reputation of the school instead choose to send their kids anyplace but here.
There is a burden that comes with black skin. It’s the burden of being human inside, which comes with all the emotion and responses that everyone else has, but the super-human responsibility of having to always keep control of the very human emotion and response, less you be labeled as an aggressive or violent person.
That really skinny old scientist dude says anything from an animal will give you cancer. But a super-ripped 60 year old with a best-selling diet book says eat more butter with your crispy T-Bone and you’ll be just fine as long as you stay away from grains. Great abs beat out the PhD so you end up hanging out on a forum where everyone eats green apples and red meat and talks about how functional and badass parkour is.