When you grow up as a girl, the world tells you the things that you are supposed to be: emotional, loving, beautiful, wanted. And then when you are those things, the world tells you they are inferior: illogical, weak, vain, empty. The world teaches you that the way you exist in it is disgusting — you watch boys cringe backward in your dorm room when you talk about your period, blue water pretending to be blood in a maxi pad commercial. It is little things, and it is constant. In a food court in a mall, after you go to the gynecologist for the first time, you and your friend talk about how much it hurts, and over her shoulder you watch two boys your age turn to look at you and wrinkle their noses: the reality of your life is impolite to talk about. The world says that you don’t have a right to the space you occupy, any place with men in it is not yours, you and your body exist only as far as what men want to do with it. At fifteen, you find fifteen-year-old boys you have never met somehow believe you should bend your body to their will. At almost thirty, you find fifteen-year-old boys you have never met still somehow believe you should bend your body to their will. They are children. They are children.
I did some actual journalism and wrote an article about internet addiction for The Week magazine, and interviewed the head of an Internet Addiction Rehab. Here’s an excerpt.
Researchers have noted a rise in something called Digital Attention Disorder — the addiction to social networks and computers in general.
How does it work? More than 50 years ago, psychologist B.F. Skinner was experimenting on rats and pigeons, and noticed that the unpredictability of reward was a major motivator for animals. If a reward arrives either predictably or too infrequently, the animal eventually loses interest. But when there was anticipation of a reward that comes with just enoughfrequency, the animals’ brains would consistently release dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that (basically) regulates pleasure.
What does this have to do with the internet? Some researchers believe that intermittent reinforcement — in the form of texts, tweets, and various other social media — may be working on our brains the same way rewards did on Skinner’s rats.
“Internet addiction is the same as any other addiction — excessive release of dopamine,” says Hilarie Cash, executive director of the reStart program for internet addiction and recovery, a Seattle-area rehab program that helps wean people off the internet. “Addiction is addiction. Whether it’s gambling, cocaine, alcohol, or Facebook.”
And thus begins my contributions to The Week!
I took this last year, but in retrospect, I think it’s my strongest piece from high school.
Working on this project really made me examine my own opinions, preconceptions and prejudices about “slutty” women and women who choose to cover all of their skin alike. I used to assume that all women who wore Hijabs were being oppressed, slut-shame, and look down on and judge any woman who didn’t express her sexuality in a way that I found appropriate.
I’d like to think I’m more open now.
“It’s Christmas, for goodness sake! Think about the baby Jesus… up in that tower, letting his hair down… so that the Three Wise Men can climb up and spin the dreidel and see if there’s six more weeks of winter.”
Women constantly finds themselves apologizing for their non-conformity to patriarchal values: “I’m a lesbian…but I don’t hate men, ” “I’m a feminist, but I still like girly things,” “I’m anti-porn, but it doesn’t mean I can’t have fun.” Female feminists still bare the brunt of their conditioning, feeling the need to diminish how powerful they are when they reject certain aspects of the sexist culture. Whether it means not needing male approval or male comfort, whether it means not being feminine-presenting, reaching outside the boundaries of hearth, home and their “innate” maternal drive, or not having any interests in fulfilling sexualized fantasies of female subjugation, female feminists often find themselves trying to lessen the impact of their beliefs. This manifestation of conditioning, where women try to avoid coming across as intimidating or anti-patriarchal, consoles and reassures men that we still know our “place” and is a product of us still wanting to hold some appeal to them, even if it means downplaying our anger and objections towards the sexism we fight so passionately against.
No more apologies (via thirdwavefeminism)
my feminism will be mean and loud and irreverent or it will be fucking bullshit (via farahjoon)
Even we think you’re a joke!
The relatively new trouble with mass society is perhaps even more serious, but not because of the masses themselves, but because this society is essentially a consumers’ society where leisure time is used no longer for self-perfectication or acquisition of more social status, but for more and more consumption and more and more entertainment. And since there are not enough consumer goods around to satisfy the growing appetites of a life process whose vital energy, no longer spent in the toil and trouble of a laboring body, must be used up by consumption, it is as though life itself reached out and helped itself to things which were never meant for it. The result is, of course, not mass culture which, strictly speaking, does not exist, but mass entertainment, feeding on the cultural objects of the world. To believe that such a society will become more “cultured” as time goes on and education has done its work, is, I think, a fatal mistake. The point is that a consumers’ society cannot possibly know how to take care of a world and the things which belong exclusively to the space of worldly appearances, because its central attitude toward all objects, the attitude of consumption, spells ruin to everything it touches.