Teju Cole on the term “First World Problems”

“I don’t like this expression “First World problems.” It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.”

 

- Teju Cole

 

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An arrow in the recreation yard at Camp Delta, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, points the direction to Mecca, the Islam holy city, so the detainees know which way to face if the call to prayer sounds while they are outside. Every cell and recreation yard has similar arrows.

Former Vogue editor: The truth about size zero

Former Vogue editor: The truth about size zero

Society is understandably concerned about the issues surrounding body image and eating disorders, and the dangerous and unrealistic messages being sent to young women via fashion journals. When it comes to who should be blamed for the portrayal of overly thin models, magazine editors are in the direct line of fire, but it is more complex than that. The “fit” model begins the fashion process: designer outfits are created around a live, in-house skeleton. Few designers have a curvy or petite fit model. These collections are then sent to the runway, worn by tall, pin-thin models because that’s the way the designer wants to see the clothes fall. There will also be casting directors and stylists involved who have a vision of the type of woman they envisage wearing these clothes. For some bizarre reason, it seems they prefer her to be young, coltish, 6ft tall and built like a prepubescent boy.

The Sexy Lie

From the video’s description on YouTube:

A leading advocate for spotlighting how the mainstream media contributes to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence in America, Caroline Heldman offers straight talk and an often-startling look at the objectification of women in our society. She illustrates how it has escalated, how we have become inured to its damaging effects and what we can do individually and collectively to demolish the paradigms that keep us from a better world.

You’re Not A Nice Guy (“Feminazi Stole My Ice Cream”)

From the creator, Scott Benson:

A quick editorial cartoon about the intersection of self-pity, entitlement, rape, territoriality, misogyny and fear of women. You see it all over the place online in the form of Men’s Rights Activists (of whom there are a few reasonable non-misogynists), Men Going Their Own Way, Pick Up Artists, and dudes touting the “Red Pill”, because The Matrix is a good movie. Look any of these up if you have the stomach for it. These are extreme examples, but watered-down forms of these ideas are everywhere.

In lurking their blogs and youtube channels for a while, I’ve noticed that beyond the standard patriarchal chauvinism there is this deep fear of women – what they will do to me, how they will reject me, how they will use me, how they are changing society in a way that does not favor me, how they are making men into something I don’t like, how they are making themselves into something I don’t like, that they won’t give me what I want, and that they won’t give me what I think is rightfully mine. This goes beyond fear of feminism- this is fear of women at its purest. And that, to quote a puppet, leads to anger and hate. It’s sad.

I am a feminist. I think there’s enough ice cream to go around, but it does mean those of us with 3 scoops might have to give one or two up. Also, The Matrix is a fun movie but probably not anything you should be basing a philosophy on.

 

You can read more about the dialogue around this video, facilitated by Benson, here. You can enjoy his tumblr here and his vimeo page here.