Never Violence

When I was about 20 years old, I met an old pastor’s wife who told me that when she was young and had her first child, she didn’t believe in striking children, although spanking kids with a switch pulled from a tree was standard punishment at the time. But one day, when her son was four or five, he did something that she felt warranted a spanking–the first in his life. She told him that he would have to go outside himself and find a switch for her to hit him with.

The boy was gone a long time. And when he came back in, he was crying. He said to her, “Mama, I couldn’t find a switch, but here’s a rock that you can throw at me.”

All of a sudden the mother understood how the situation felt from the child’s point of view: that if my mother wants to hurt me, then it makes no difference what she does it with; she might as well do it with a stone. And the mother took the boy into her lap and they both cried. Then she laid the rock on a shelf in the kitchen to remind herself forever: never violence. And that is something I think everyone should keep in mind. Because if violence begins in the nursery one can raise children into violence.

Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking, awarded a peace prize in West Germany in 1978 for her books, excerpt from her acceptance speech titled “Never Violence.”

Find a Sense of Self

“Figure out who you are separate from your family and the man or woman you’re in a relationship with.

Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that’s the most important thing in life.

Find a sense of self because with that, you can do anything else.”

–Angelina Jolie, humanitarian and award-winning actress

Any Infringement

“A man’s natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime, whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, (or by any other name indicating his true character,) or by millions, calling themselves a government.”

— Lysander Spooner

Words Can Literally Change Your Brain & Perception Of Reality


Wow. Here are some powerful thoughts about the misanthropy (and corresponding self-loathing!) of religion, spoken from the perspective of someone who got away from religion to reason and science.

Originally posted on Victoria N℮ür☼N☮☂℮ṧ:

In 2011, on New Year’s Eve, I started thinking about all the years I spent in church listening to preachers talk dirt about humanity. I recalled the years I had a negative self-image. I knew why.

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Alejandro: Layers of Gender Expression and the Counter-hegemonic “New Man”


Interesting take on masculinity.

Originally posted on Brandon in MFA-land:

In 2009, Lady Gaga released what would become a smash hit of that summer; the danceable, mid-tempo track with an infectious melody and subtle latin groove–Alejandro.   Released on her third EP, “The Fame Monster,”   The lyrics, with only subtle references with any sort of specificity, are sufficiently vague to allow for multiple interpretations.  Aside from two short verses, the lyrics use the pop trope of heavy repetition.  Meaningful lines such as: “She’s got a halo around her finger; Around You”–which supposes a marriage (halo as wedding ring) interrupted by tragic death (also seen in the opening funeral scene in the video); and “But her boyfriend’s like her dad, Just like a dad”–which suggests a controlling patriarchal romance, are in limited company with the bulk of the writing staying much more superficial.  Like the lyrics, the strong imagery, production design…

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Kiran Gandhi: Menstrual blood and the London Marathon

Originally posted on Feminist Philosophers:


The picture to the left is of Kiran Gandhi, a drummer for M.I.A., who ran the recent London Marathon after having started her period. She did not use a tampon. One result is the stain between her legs. Another is a lot of outrage and accusations. Her account of her motives is on her blog.

There are a lot of issues that surround menstruation. One set of issues she wants addressed more widely is the shame many women feel about menstruating. Another is the fact that many women in the world do not have access to products that can in some way contain the blood. She also thought she would be compromising her health choices in order to make people more comfortable, which doesn’t sound like a great idea.

So what do you think? For my own sake I have the uneasy feeling as I put this post up…

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Russian Censorship

Here are some relevant news reports, if you care about press freedom and the police state in Russia…

A Russian court on Monday awarded symbolic damages of one ruble ($0.01) to a former “Kremlin troll” who sued her ex-employer and demanded closure of what she describes as a “factory” that has been churning out Internet propaganda defending President Vladimir Putin.

News that Wikipedia may soon be censored in Russia?

Meanwhile, in neighboring Azerbaijan…

U.N. human rights experts have criticized a court in Azerbaijan for what they say were “politically motivated” convictions of a prominent rights defender and her husband.

A Place for the Values that Really Matter


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