Now let’s just unpack who is “conventionally attractive”
I mean, it’s called “attractive” for a reason right? Biggest challenge is employers seeing past the outward appearance. Most hiring managers are trained on this when it comes to not discriminating against race, obvious religious beliefs or sexual orientation… but most are NOT trained on this. Possibly because business owners WANT attractive people to sell their goods? Just something to think about…
I have a story and a message for those of you whose consciences have not yet despaired of trying.
So today, on my way home from Orlando, a purely domestic flight, my family and I were detained at the airport.
Now, my father being held up at airports is not an unusual occurrence for my family (and, I’m sure, many other Muslim families), primarily because of his prolific Muslim activism over his past 32 years as an American - indeed, we’re far more surprised when it doesn’t happen. But this time, something different happened - my mother and I also ended up on the mysterious (and supposedly random) “SSSS” list.
What this meant is that the three of us (with my little brothers in tow), the only ostensibly Muslim family, were pulled aside in front of everyone by an incredibly rude TSA officer (who chose to primarily escort us by finger-wagging) and forced to stand there as another officer called the powers that be (the FBI) to determine if our evil Muslim-ness was a threat. At that point, we did not make much of a fuss, and instead made jokes about “random” searches and smuggling coconuts from the Bahamas and similar things, because sometimes laughing in the face of injustice really is the only thing you can do.
Apparently, the powers said something, because we were graciously allowed to continue to a search more prolific than that of our fellow passengers: a pat down, a thorough bag and shoe search by hand, and that hand swipe thing that checks for drugs and explosives. During the bag search, an officer made some rather shameless comments about the contents of my mother’s bag, and then asked her if she spoke English. Being the fantastic person she is, she began a vehement discussion of sorts with the officer about the clear failure of the system to secure liberty and justice and rights to all Americans and about the complete insensibility of the situation.
Although I had been restraining myself previously, deciding to not take it up with the officers who have little control over the incredibly broken system, something snapped in me and I decided to join my mother. Together, we told the officer about this infringement upon our freedoms, this constant reminder that we were guilty until proven innocent. The officer, while not exactly rude, was still standoffish. The discussion continued.
And then… another officer came. This officer decided to begin lecturing my mother and me about how loud we were being, and how he could hear us all the way from the other side of the area. He told us that we shouldn’t be talking like that (a textbook example of tone policing) and that we were disturbing other travelers. I told him that I couldn’t care less if others were being inconvenienced by my standing up against injustice, and suggested that they in fact SHOULD be inconvenienced when others are facing such an infringement - nothing ever comes from an ignorant and complacent public.
This officer, however, decided to treat me like a child, telling me that this was “inappropriate” and that I needed to “calm down.” I told him that my anger was justified, and repeatedly told him that I was an adult and that his condescension was not appreciated, but he insisted that it was respect. I told him there was a clear line between respect and condescension and that I was an adult and that he needed to stop treating me like a child, especially when it came to an issue as fundamental as this.
In response (get this), he turned to my mother and began to tell her that I was causing a scene and it was unnecessary. I told him to stop talking to my mother about me like I was a child, and that my concerns were legitimate, and that I would not take this 80000th injustice with a smile and a nod.
At that point, my father came back from his patdown, and this officer turns to my dad and begins lecturing HIM about me. I approached the conversation, and the officer told me it didn’t concern me, but I told him hell yes it did if he was talking about me and if he had my passport in his hand. He decided to ignore me and I sort of stormed sort of stepped aside to get my shoes and bag and try to cool down, because I was 10000% done with this guy.
Another officer then came over and began talking to my mother about how she completely understood and there was little she could do and gave her a number and email to contact. She was the only officer who treated us with respect and like human beings - clearly the exception, not the rule.
After that, we left to get onto our plane, and now I’m sitting in the gate and writing this. But I am left with several conclusions and questions.
It is impossible to be an active Muslim American and not be controversial. That’s why my dad is on the list.
But if that’s why my dad is, then why my mother, who is a law-abiding American citizen who teaches at a community college and hasn’t been involved in heavy activism or other activities of the sort?
And why me, a 17-year-old American-born-and-raised teenager whose favorite pastimes include reading, blogging, and marathoning TV shows?
If we’re going to accept the premise that my dad is on the list reasonably (and we shouldn’t), then are my mother and I on it by association? Is this collective punishment, something illegal under international (and by extension) US law?
And if we aren’t going to accept that premise, then are we just going to accept that Muslim Americans should be put on lists by virtue of their religious beliefs? Are we going to accept that the US engages (and it does) in profiling in its law enforcement and homeland security, and that this is a part of life we are willing to stomach?
And if this only happens on a domestic flight, please consider what happens on international ones. (Answer: Hours of search and questioning - even on the port back from the Bahamas.)
(And, perhaps tangentially, if DHS is this horrible to citizens domestically, consider what happens to those who are undocumented being held in detention centers miles from home?)
In the aftermath of 9/11, the US government has engaged in massive programs that criminalize and victimize Muslim Americans, from the micro(ish) level in the NYPD to the macro level in the Department of Homeland Security. And while civil rights groups have made some progress on such issues (shout out to CAIR, the ACLU, and the ADC among others), the path remains long and unpleasant. My family still goes to the airport hours early because we know what will happen. We still tell family members to pick us up hours late from international flights. We still gird ourselves for extra scrutiny from law enforcement.
We still feel like second-class citizens in the only home we have.
We still feel like we are seen through lenses of guilty-guilty-guilty, when the Constitution guarantees us innocent-innocent-innocent.
We are sick and tired and disappointed.
There’s something deeply wrong here, America. And we are so, so tired of being the only ones who see it.
More than 90% of Americans believe that the US government is unduly influenced by money, and the Mayday.US super PAC is raising $5M to fund the election campaigns of politicians who’ll pledge to dismantle super PACs and enact other campaign finance reforms. They raised more than $1M in 30 days last month, and this month, the goal is $5M. It’s the brainchild of Lawrence Lessig, who’s going to run prototype the project by running five electoral campaigns in 2014, and use the lessons of those projects to win enough anti-corruption seats in 2016 to effect real change.
Again, I’m not able to contribute to Mayday.US, because I’m a Canadian and Briton. But I ask my American friends to put in $10, and promise that I’ll put CAD1000 into any comparable Canadian effort and/or £1000 into a comparable UK effort. We all win when countries embrace evidence-based policy guided by doing what’s best for its citizens, rather than lining the pockets of corrupting multinationals.
Gender violence has occurred with such frequency for so long in this country that many people are no longer alarmed by how common it is. It is the status quo, an unremarkable feature of the social landscape.
What is perhaps even more disturbing is that in this culture, many people see gender violence as a problem of sick or damaged individuals, and not as a social phenomenon that’s causes—and solutions—lie in much larger social forces. So let me be clear. There is no such thing as an isolated incident of rape, battering, sexual abuse, or sexual harassment. These are not merely individual pathologies. It is not enough for us to ask in each case: “What went wrong in his life?” “Why would he do something like that?” These problems are much too widespread for us to think about them in such narrow terms.
By Jackson Katz, Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and and How All Men Can Help (via wretchedoftheearth)
Seven people killed as son of Hunger Games assistant director carries out drive-by shooting ‘because women rebuffed his advances and he was a virgin at 22
Elliot Rodger, 22, went on a shooting rampage in Santa Barbara, killing six
He posted a video to social media Thursday in which he rants about how women have rejected his advances
Lamenting that he was a 22-year-old virgin, Rodger promises ‘retribution’ and ‘punishment’
He says he plans to enter the ‘hottest sorority on SCSB’ and ‘slaughter’ the girls inside
This is a Daily Mail article, so expect sensationalism, but it’s one of the few mainstream articles framing this as a misogynistic murder and it contains a surprising amount of information. It’s also the first articles I’ve seen which also focusses on the victims. Some of the pictures are on the graphic side though. proceed with caution.
The SCAR Project is a series of large-scale portraits of young breast cancer survivors shot by fashion photographer David Jay. Primarily an awareness raising campaign, The SCAR Project puts a raw, unflinching face on early onset breast cancer while paying tribute to the courage and spirit of so many brave young women.
Dedicated to the more than 10,000 women under the age of 40 who will be diagnosed this year alone, The SCAR Project is an exercise in awareness, hope, reflection and healing.
Does your brand of feminism remove barriers for women, or simply move them around? Does is expand options for women, or does it just shift them? You don’t liberate women by forcing them to choose option B instead of option A. What is comfortable for you might not be comfortable for someone else, and it’s entirely possible that what you see as oppressive, other women find comfortable or even downright liberating.
Before you think the girl in the middle is a strawman, let me tell you I used to be her, back in my misguided youth. I considered myself the standard to which other people should adhere. But that was stupid. It’s not up to me to tell people how to dress, and it’s much nicer to let everyone choose for themselves.
Some women would feel naked without a veil. Some women would find it restrictive. Some women would feel restricted by a bra. Some women would feel naked without one. Some women would feel restricted by a tight corset. Others love them. Some wear lots of clothes with a corset. Some only wear the corset and nothing else. What makes any article of clothing oppressive is someone forcing you to wear it. And it’s just as oppressive to force someone not to wear something that they want to wear.