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The World War I in Africa Project Sheds Light On An Often Forgotten Part of History.

As a student of history for all my years of secondary education, I can’t say that I never learned about World War I, the events leading up to it as well as the aftermath it had on Europe and to some extent the United States. Perhaps we never delved into it in quite as much depth as we did World War II, but even then, I’d be hard-pressed to think of time where my history teacher (bless her soul) ever mentioned the impact that the First World War had on Africa and Africans. Such a truth wouldn’t concern me if the circumstances were different; if I wasn’t at a school in an African country, if I weren’t an African myself, if I wasn’t one of five black students in a history class of over 20, if I didn’t come from a country that was colonized by the British (who, as history goes, love war).

But all these things were and still are a part of who I am, and it is for these reasons – and so many more, that the World War I in Africa project is incredibly important learning for me. Even beyond the personal connection of history and heritage, the ignorance of many to the involvement of Africans in World War I and the integral roles the played speak to a much broader concern of the omission and reduction of black people and Africans in many important events in Western history.

It’s been 100 years since the First World War began. 100 years since the first shot fired by British troops occurred in what is today known as Togo, on August 7th, 1914. 100 years gone by and still, the world is yet to actively include and universally commemorate the lives of the estimated two million Africans who in some way contributed to the efforts of their colonial empires during this bitter war of the 1910s. World War I was indeed what its title refers to it as – a war that saw involvement on a global scale.

From the Gold Coast to German East Africa, Algeria to the southernmost tip of Africa, a new initiative is bringing to light the forgotten ways in which European politics brought the Great War to African homes. Through the efforts of World War I in Africa project, we are provided with a multimedia database that both highlights and archives the ways in which African lives were affected by a war they had no agency in. Because what happens in Africa should be told around the world.

World War I in Africa.

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"Let men be men": Fox hosts eagerly agreed with the NY Post article that claimed “catcalls are flattering.” 

A few more gems from this segment

  • "They mean it in a nice way."
  • "It’s nice to get compliments."
  • "As long as you don’t come within arms length, it’s fine."

But for many women, catcalls are humiliating and degrading. Some blame themselves, wondering what they could have done differently to prevent it. And the consequences can considerably affect a person’s social behavior and habits, as women report they avoid eye contact and walking alone in public, or change their outfits or routes to avoid harassment.”  

In reality, this is no small problem. According to Stop Street Harassment, “at least 65% of women have experienced catcalls, leers, and unwanted sexual propositions,” disproportionately affecting those with low incomes, women of color, and the LGBTQ community. And while there are federal laws protecting women from workplace harassment, street harassment is addressed on a state-by-state basis.

Let’s bring some voices of reason into this discussion:

Natalie DiBlasio, USA TODAY:

Catcalling does not mean you are beautiful, smart, strong or interesting. Catcalling means a stranger values you so little he doesn’t care if he makes you feel uncomfortable or threatened.

Margaret Eby, Brooklyn Magazine:

Catcalling is about control, not about your cute shorts. It’s an assertion that women are just visitors in a male space, there to be assessed by appearance and summarily dismissed or flirted with.

Ashley Ross, TIME:

To legitimize catcalling is to give voice to those who don’t deserve it: the man who told me he wanted to perform oral sex on me, the man who said he wanted it the other way around and the man who said he could have me if he wanted me.

The dehumanizing culture of catcalling must stop, but conservative media outlets like Fox aren’t helping. It’s up to us all to educate ourselves about the harms of harassment, so that women can truly be free in the streets of America.

Do yourself a favor (with a TW caveat) and go look at the #YouOkSis tag on twitter. (also beware the trolls that are all over it.)

Coverage of street harassment tends to be very, very, white and cishet-centric. Coverage of online harassment, ditto.

When roofie-detecting nail polish and handing out cards to shame harassers are considered viable options to dealing with the culture of male sexual entitlement and its violence…we need to do better at talking about it.

TW: Misogynoir, rape culture, abuse of power.
This post is from 2009. Considering that the daily violence, both physical and psychological, that black women face is often invisible…

And for clarity: that violence comes from all corners. It is police, white men, black men, and very often it is white women. Yes, even well-known white feminists. Yes, some of your faves. Yes, white men who are well-known for social issues. Google Hugo Schwyzer and Chuck Clymer+abuse.

One of the terrible features of privilege, is that it makes the traumatic lived experience invisible, makes microagressions into, “Jokes,” makes, “Internet outrage,” easily dismissed.

And people who inflict abuse may not be doing so in a predatory way, but simply because no one has ever told them that this is what they’re doing so that they believed them.

Because they don’t *have to believe* someone they have privilege over.


the actress playing wanda maximoff doesn’t have to be specifically half-jewish half-romani, I mean wundagore doesn’t exist, it’s just that it would be fucking nice to have an actress who is at least one or the otherespecially considering her parents’ history as holocaust survivors, how being romani is an integral part of her character history/development/motivation, and that a significant part of her narrative is explicitly about fighting the oppression she’s been subjected to her whole life.

like do you honestly not see how casting some pretty petite blonde white girl as wanda maximoff is just a little fucking off? especially with how lily-white the MCU currently is?? AND I MEAN SHIT I dunno about you but I’m just not here for whedon’s waify blonde british wanda especially considering his history with the ‘delicate/overpowered/crazy’ girl trope. so stop telling me to calm down wanda tag, I’m allowed to be mad about this shit.

And anyone who says, “Well, they dyed her hair,” can gtfo.

I mean, Hailee Steinfeld was too much of a reach to cast, here?

Yes, it is nitpicky. The reason it’s nitpicky is that while Jewish and Romani people *may* be a value of whiteness depending on an individual’s ethnic/racial background, *culturally* there is a weight to being either. In terms of, yanno: people trying to literally kill them all.

It’d be nice if we actually saw casting reflect this. Especially since, while the MCU/e has had greater visible diversity, out of the 8 recurring roles in the main MCU played by PoC, 4 are invisible (The Collector, Gamora, Drax, Groot) and one turned out to be HYDRA (Sitwell.)*

Cultural competence in media, or the lack thereof, is not something that we can ignore. The most well-intentioned people and companies may not have the cultural competence to avoid screwing up.

*We don’t know if we get Falcon as recurring, yet. Much as it pains me to say that.




And if you’re coming to @DragonCon & enjoy it when academics and industry professionals have SUPER intense conversations about issues of class, race, gender, and sexuality, then here’s some more clarity:

Sunday Night. 10:00 PM. Comics Track in Hyatt, Hanover F. The “ROUNDTABLE ON RACE,…

Echoing wolvensnothere on this. If race, gender, and sexuality matters to you, come out and participate in the roundtable in Hyatt, Hanover F at 10pm. It’s going to be a hell of a conversation.

Also, new followers I picked up at my panels, welcome! The interesting stuff can be found in my philosophy, race, phenomenology, or philosophizing the apocalypse tags. I’ll try to engage in some form of organization.


If you are at D*C: GO TO THIS.

A few coherent words on the lies we tell ourselves about “Free speech”

Look, I protested the PMRC back in the day, had to take a good hard look in the mirror about whether I could defend the right to spew hate speech, too, and I am TIRED OF HAVING TO EXPLAIN THIS CRAP. This lather, rinse, repeat mode of responding to criticism is becoming a level of willful ignorance that speaks volumes.

But, I need people (lots and lots of people,) to stop doing two things when talking about, “Censorship.”

1. Stop freaking conflating business decisions with censorship, or expulsion from social media spaces with censorship, and stop talking about, “Economic censorship,” which isn’t a real thing.

2. Read the constitution and the legal definition of censorship. Oh, and go look up more of the ACLU’s cases before you talk to anyone. I’ve had at least 3 people use the same case to me, without having a point in doing so because guess what: That case was an actual action by the state infringing on free speech.

Okay, now we can have a meaningful discussion.

What you are telling me, and everyone else, when you make these illogical conflations between companies responding to consumer demands and, “Censorship,” is that not only are you not bothering to know your own rights, you don’t want those pesky consumers influencing your job.

Suck it up, sweeties, that’s what employment is. Our employers, unless we have union or contract recourse, decide what our duties are in performing our jobs. They have things they can’t demand of us, too, but mostly: you’re hired to do a job and if that’s not the job you want, don’t take it.

Regarding creative expression: You have the right to make whatever art (in any format) that you desire and can afford to make. No one stop you from doing so unless you commit a crime in the process.

HOWEVER, my sweet summer children: you are not entitled to make money from it. You are not entitled to get hired to make art. You are not guaranteed a platform (unless you pay for it and don’t violate ToS of your hosting service or a gallery) where your artistic endeavors will be seen. You are not guaranteed freedom from criticism, you are not guaranteed ONE GODDAMN THING except for not having the state bust down your door for making art.

When you make art for money, you are still not guaranteed a living if people don’t like your art or like you.

Them’s the breaks. And repeat: no one is stopping you from making the art you burn to make.

"Economic censorship," is a non-entity people throw around. It doesn’t exist. What you’re saying is that your audience should buy things they don’t want. That publishers, galleries, studios, and the audience have no right to say they don’t want what’s being sold.

It doesn’t work that way. It never has. Except possibly behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War.

You have the absolute freedom to make what you want. If nobody wants what you’re selling, you don’t get to cry, “Censorship.”

I will defend to the death, your right to make what you want. I will also defend to the death OUR collective right to criticize art until the cows come home as well as demanding diversity and complex representation in any media. If you think that’s censorship, you’re wrong. It’s not a difference of opinion, you’re just actually, substantively wrong.

We don’t get to make laws that stop artists from being sexist, racist, ableist, anti-lgbt bigots. Artists don’t get to tell the market they can’t vote with their wallets. Are we all on the same page?

If a vocal audience and critical journalistic pool scares you, maybe you need to look in the mirror to find out why that is. There are laws to protect people from discrimination, too.

*NB: I’m pretty sure this is my third post on free speech in two weeks. FFS, GO READ THE CONSTITUTION. It takes like, 20min max.





Meet The First Woman To Make It Into The FDNY’s Calendar Of Heroes.

Danae Mines became one of the few female firefighters in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) 11 years ago, despite her family telling her that only men joined the department.

This year, she broke down another barrier by becoming the first woman to be featured in the FDNY’s 2015 Calendar of Heroes. She had been told that the honor was reserved for men, but when she saw the open call for firefighters, she went, despite feeling a little intimidated standing in line with more than 100 men.

There are currently only 41 women in the department, but perhaps the attention Danae is getting will increase that number. “I wanted my picture in the calendar so that young girls and young women can see me and know that they can do this job,” she told the New York Daily News.



She’s gorgeous. …and I’m sure brave and all that too! May she be protected while saving lives! !!

Lemme explain you a thing: it’s not”Gamer culture” or”Geek culture” it’s THE Culture

I get it, our instinct is to isolate the infection to kill it without killing everybody else. Small subsets of subcultures are manageable outbreaks that can burn out with acceptable casualties. “Gamers,” “4chan trolls,” “Geeks,” “Racist cops,” “The racist south,” “Taliban,” ad infinitum.

We keep trying to make the problem small, when it’s overwhelming. It’s understandable, but it is allowing bigotry, violent misogyny, and bias that causes grievous harm to flourish.

From the tiniest dismissals, “That’s just his artistic style,” to the gaslighting, to the rape and death threats, to politics, we keep isolating the symptoms without treating the source. The reason geek and gamer culture has a problem with misogyny and racism is because our larger culture supports misogynists and racists. The reason politics is biased against everyone but white, cis, het, middle-class, able-bodied males, is because structurally, that’s where the ruling class in the US democratic republic has always been centered.

Microcosm and macrocosm.

Microcosm and macrocosm.


We only get up in arms about threats to women when they become so extreme that someone could die. We only get up in arms when it’s white, cis, feminist, status-privileged women, (class on the internet is a little trickier.) White supremacy, the gradations of whiteness, and the ability to police the bodies and words of women based on youth, transgender status, appearance, and color BY women (and men) who are allegedly feminists or, “Liberals,” is constant.

The political rhetoric we see every day, street harassment, the repetitive fights for reproductive autonomy, to end rape culture, to end ableism, to stop the murders of black and brown men, women, and children by white cops with impunity, to stop poor people from being starved and shamed for being poor while billionaires profit and threaten to move their tax base outside the US, these are not separate from geek and gamer culture.

Microcosm and macrocosm. Our society supports oblique and direct bias by individuals up to and including murder, and we don’t leave that bias at the door of any subcultural space.

We have to stop acting as though the latest horrible thing is an isolated outbreak and realize we are living in an epidemic. We cannot isolate the infection, so we damn well better find a cure because none of us are immune.











Dear STFU-Moffat and associates,

From now on, I insist you…

Somehow, I feel like this backfired on the snot who thought an award removes the reasons for crit. And LBR: Mel Gibson has an Oscar, but that doesn’t mean he’s not bigoted, misogynist, abusive trash. If you wanna get technical and all.

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