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Male feminists still need to do the emotional work

feminist men sexism
I appreciate pieces like Lauren Rankin's "Feminism Needs Men, Too" over at PolicyMic and interviews like this one Brittney Cooper (of Crunk Feminist Collective) did with The Feminist Wire because they force me to consider more deeply what it means when I identify as a male feminist. I come into this space with a set of privileges (cis, male, hetero) that are in constant need of interrogation, so it's important to take some time to reflect on that a bit.

I'm deliberate about saying I'm a feminist for a couple of reasons. I believe in equality and tearing down the systems of oppression that stand its way, so identifying as a feminist signals my dedication to radical change. But one can be invested in that work without applying the label. I choose it because I always want to be held accountable.

The line that struck me the most in Brittney's interview is when she said: "The thing that we aren't saying about male feminists is that they have to do the emotional work." Relatively speaking, the politics is easy. The emotional work? That shit is hard, but is some of the most important work we're charged with doing.

Because after the dust has settled, the reproductive rights have been won, the pay is equal, and there's equal representation in Congress, the mission is only half complete if sexism still dominates our social spaces. You can say the structural stuff is more important, but it's the everyday stuff that reinforces the structural stuff that adds up to a clusterfuck of mind-numbing oppression. And so many of us are guilty of allowing ourselves to perpetuate it without ever taking a moment to see the damage we're doing.
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Mysterious bite marks on disabled Philadelphia teenager trigger investigation

© Fox
In this undated screenshot, 16-year-old Ariel Alexander and her father Randell Alexander are seen.
A Philadelphia teenager with cerebral palsy is recovering after a brutal attack in which she was bitten across her back and shoulders. However, from where the bites originated remains a mystery.

16-year-old Ariel Alexander's condition has confined her to a wheelchair for most of her life, leaving her unable to communicate to authorities about who committed the savage act, MyFoxPhilly.com reported.

Yet the human bite marks across her left shoulder and upper back are clearly visible.

Ariel's parents reportedly believe that the incident occurred at MLK High School, where Ariel is a student in a special needs classroom. Her parents say that a few days after the attack, which they claim took place on May 1, a male teacher took them to one side and informed them that a fellow student was responsible. The school rejects the notion that it occurred on school property, stating that all teachers interviewed have denied seeing anything.
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Inequality surges in world's richest countries, especially in times of crisis

Beggar
© Reuters / Jon Nazca
A man begs for money in downtown Malaga, southern Spain May 15, 2013.
Not only has social inequality risen in the industrialized nations over the past three decades, the economic crisis of 2008-09 sped up the deterioration as "pain of the crisis was not evenly shared," a new report says.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which unites the world's most developed countries, has published an update to its report 'Divided We Stand'. The report published in December 2011 showed that by 2008 the industrialized nations had the worst situation with inequality in three decades.

According to the new data, the gap between the rich and the poor in most of its 34 members has been getting wider since the crisis started at a higher pace than it did before. Inequality grew more over the three years between 2007 and 2010 than it did over the 12 years before that.

Among OECD countries, it appears that "the top 10 percent has done better than the poorest 10 percent in 21 countries," with the widest gaps seen in the United States, Turkey, Chile and Mexico. In the three years described above, their income status had been continuously plunging by 2 per cent every year.
Pistol

Hofstra student fatally shot in home invasion near campus

© Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
Students and friends near the scene of a home invasion in Uniondale, N.Y., on Friday that left Andrea Rebello, a Hofstra University junior, dead.
A 21-year-old college student was shot and killed early Friday on Long Island after an armed man broke into the home she shared with her twin sister, held her hostage and then engaged in a gun battle with the police, the authorities said. The man who forced his way into the home was also killed

It was not immediately clear who fired the fatal shots, the police said.

The violence played out in the middle of the night on an ordinarily quiet residential street, only blocks from Hofstra University, where the victim went to school. Students who were preparing for their last day of exams awoke to the news that one of their own had been killed, and the normally festive atmosphere that comes with the end of the academic year turned terribly sad.
Ambulance

Dozens injured when car hits Virginia parade

© Earl Neikirk/Associated Press
Emergency personnel respond to one of the people hit by a car, at right, during the beginning of the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days Festival in Damascus, Virginia.
As many as 50 or 60 people were injured Saturday in southwest Virginia when a car plowed into the annual Appalachian Trail Days parade in the town of Damascus, sending hundreds of people scattering amid shouts and screams.

Nine of the injured were taken to hospitals after the incident at the annual trail festival, but none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, authorities said.

"Reports to us indicate that no one was injured beyond stable" said Pokey Harris, director of emergency management in Washington County, Va. where Damascus is located, about 300 miles southwest of the District.
Blackbox

Connecticut crash might snarl Northeast train service for days


Train service in the busy New York-to-New Haven corridor may be restricted for days as officials investigate Friday's rush-hour collision of two trains in Connecticut -- an incident that sent dozens to hospitals -- officials said Saturday.

Officials from the federal National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the site Saturday morning to begin their investigation of the Metro-North train crash in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The wreckage won't be removed until investigators finish examining it on site -- possibly Sunday, NTSB member Earl Weener said -- and then two tracks will have to be repaired before they can be reopened.
Magic Hat

Weapons of Mass Distraction: French president Hollande signs gay marriage bill into law, thousands protest

© Associated Press
The first gay wedding can be held on 28 May - 10 days after Mr Hollande signed the bill.
France's president has signed into law a controversial bill making the country the ninth in Europe, and 14th globally, to legalise gay marriage.

On Friday, the Constitutional Council rejected a challenge by the right-wing opposition, clearing the way for Francois Hollande to sign the bill.

He said: "I have taken [the decision]; now it is time to respect the law of the Republic."

The first gay wedding could be held 10 days after the bill's signing.

But Parliamentary Relations Minister Alain Vidalies told French TV he expected the first ceremonies to take place "before 1 July".

Comment: Meanwhile, Hollande has troops in multiple west African countries blowing things up and causing chaos in order to secure Africa's natural resources for French multinationals like Areva, the world's largest uranium mining/nuclear energy company.

In addition, French jihadists are waging proxy war on behalf of Hollande in Syria.

France's media admits that the Syrian "opposition" is Al Qaida, then justifies French government support to the terrorists

The conflict in Mali has nothing to do with fighting terrorists

At least 50 French citizens 'waging jihad in Syria'

But don't mind all this folks, the real issue is gay marriage, so y'all get protesting about this non-issue and we can all congratulate each other on how free we are.

Dollar

Pay-As-You-Go American Democracy: Billionaires Unchained

This piece first appeared at TomDispatch. Read Tom Engelhardt's introduction.

Billionaires with an axe to grind, now is your time. Not since the days before a bumbling crew of would-be break-in artists set into motion the fabled Watergate scandal, leading to the first far-reaching restrictions on money in American politics, have you been so free to meddle. There is no limit to the amount of money you can give to elect your friends and allies to political office, to defeat those with whom you disagree, to shape or stunt or kill policy, and above all to influence the tone and content of political discussion in this country.

Today, politics is a rich man's game. Look no further than the 2012 elections and that season's biggest donor, 79-year-old casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. He and his wife, Miriam, shocked the political class by first giving $16.5 million in an effort to make Newt Gingrich the Republican presidential nominee. Once Gingrich exited the race, the Adelsons invested more than $30 million in electing Mitt Romney. They donated millions more to support GOP candidates running for the House and Senate, to block a pro-union measure in Michigan, and to bankroll the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other conservative stalwarts (which waged their own campaigns mostly to helpRepublican candidates for Congress). All told, the Adelsons donated $94 million during the 2012 cycle - nearly four times the previous record set by liberal financier George Soros. And that's only the money we know about. When you add in so-called dark money, one estimate puts their total giving at closer to $150 million.

It was not one of Adelson's better bets. Romney went down in flames; the Republicans failed to retake the Senate and conceded seats in the House; and the majority of candidates backed by Adelson-funded groups lost, too. But Adelson, who oozes chutzpah as only a gambling tycoon worth $26.5 billion could, is undeterred. Politics, he told the Wall Street Journal in his first post-election interview, is like poker: "I don't cry when I lose. There's always a new hand coming up." He said he could double his 2012 giving in future elections. "I'll spend that much and more," he said. "Let's cut any ambiguity."
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KFC smuggled into Gaza via underground tunnels

KFC
© RedAlertPolitics

Turns out that the underground smuggling tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip to Egypt have been used to transport more than weapons lately.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip can now be supplied with Kentucky Fried Chicken delivered via the tunnels, as CNN reported.

The American fast food is brought into the Palestinian territory by Al-Yamama, a delivery service that advertises on Facebook. The "finger lickin' good" chicken doesn't come easily to Palestinians in the Strip, however.

A 20-piece bucket can cost about $30, which is about three times the amount it sells for in Egypt. The delivery also takes about three hours to travel 35 miles from the KFC branch in al-Arish, Egypt, to Gaza, sometimes being stopped by Hamas policemen who check the deliveries for other prohibited items.

"Sometimes Hamas checks meals, sometimes the taxi picking up Sinai orders is late," a spokesman for the delivery company told The Mirror.

Palestinians don't seem to be thrown off by the higher prices and lengthy time it takes the food to be delivered, however.
Arrow Down

Would you get a scar tattoo carved into your skin?

Scar Tattoo
© Facebook
Yeah, your trad demon-eating snake tattoo is really edgy and all, but if you're looking to take your body art to the next level, why not ditch the black ink and use hypertrophic scar tissue instead? Apparently, slicing your skin into bloody tattoos is totally a thing now, and you can go get your very own "I Love Mom" heart made out of your own mutilated skin in (where else?) Williamsburg.

Called "scarification," the practice has deep roots in ancient tribal arts, but it feels creepier now that it's headed West. Having said that, it's certainly an art form: just check out the scar work done by Brooklyn resident Brian Decker, who runs Pure Body Arts in Williamsburg. He's been cutting elaborate symbols, designs and seahorses into people's skin for the past thirteen years, and told DNAinfo the practice has become more popular over the years. "People started to implement the ideas of tattoo reference to the design, which made them more extravagant, more detailed," he said. "You were able to build much more beautiful designs, which I'm sure caught more people's eyes."

Then again, some people just think scar tattoos do a nice job highlighting their Alice in Chains Hot Topic tees: "Someone who is freshly 18 probably relishes the idea of someone being repulsed by that," Chris Beierschmitt, who works at Pure Body Arts, told DNAinfo of the practice. But is a scar tattoo really any more frightening in theory than shooting possibly cancerous black ink into your skin? Even if that ink is shaped like Rex Ryan's wife? Plus, scar tattoos are great for sending scary messages to time-traveling law breakers.
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