here's some stuff i've been reading lately that i thought was worth sharing. in each case, i'd strongly recommend that you click on the link and read the whole piece.
this on rihanna choosing to collaborate with chris brown, and related issues:
...much of the rest of the world seems to have forgiven Chris Brown his trespasses, if they ever held him accountable in the first place. So why is it the sole responsibility of Rihanna to withhold her forgiveness and force his accountability? Why should she be any more forceful than a legal system that apparently felt that his domestic violence merited no jail time? Or a fan base that apparently feels his talent far outweighs a little thing like beating his girlfriend?
In the wake of these recent instances scholars and critics have reinvigorated various long held discussions around the twin crises of black manhood and black womanhood in the United States, both of which are crucial considerations whose urgency needs to be sustained. At the same time, I think it is also important to consider the crisis of an American consumer culture that only seems able to engage society on the level of commodity without consequence. In this crisis American consumer citizens can be confronted with Chris Brown’s brutality and see it as separate from the talented pop star.
this piece by ruth desouza on her presentation to the "people of colour decolonistion hui" (note that there is a link to the full audio of her presentaion, also well worth listening to):
Using the example of maternity I talked about the ways in which heath professionals draw on culturally and socially available repertoires of care that can be less than helpful when imposed on women of colour. This is because so often these repertoires are drawn on the basis of an implicit ideal user who tends to be cis-woman, heterosexual, white, middle class and one who takes up the ‘imperative of health’. That is the ideal neoliberal consumer who makes herself an expert through her consumption of self-help books and its acceptable accoutrements, who takes responsibility by attending ante-natal classes and who labours naturally with her loving and supportive partner present. She obeys the edicts of the health professional and makes reasonable requests that align with the dominant discourse of maternity as an empowering experience (if you are “informed” and “take responsibility”).
the bloomberg piece that was in the news recently, that gives details of the appalling working conditions of workers in the fishing industry (quite a harrowing read):
Yusril was desperate for the promised monthly salary of $260, plus bonuses, for unloading the fish. His young wife was eight months pregnant, and he had put his name on a waiting list for this opportunity nine months earlier. After taking a bus eight hours to Jakarta, he had given the agent a $225 fee which he had borrowed from his brother-in-law. Other fishermen had taken debts from loan sharks to cover the fee, and a few had sold their possessions, such as livestock, or land. The agent rushed him through signing the contracts, at least one of which was in English, which Yusril could not understand.
The terms of the first contract, the “real” one, would later haunt him. In it, IMS spelled out terms with no rights. In addition to the agent’s commission, Yusril would surrender 30 percent of his salary, which IMS would hold unless the work was completed. He would be paid nothing for the first three months, and if the job was not completed to the fishing company’s satisfaction, Yusril would be sent home and charged over $1000 for the airfare. “Satisfactory” completion was left vague. The contract only stated that Yusril would have to work whatever hours the boat operators demanded.
and finally this piece from tiger beatdown on anger:
More than one person has complained in the past few weeks about my anger. People who have said that I “rant” about issues like racism or immigration but I do not offer advice on actions they can follow. They are frustrated, they say. They say they wish I told them what to do. Here is what you do: you find your moral imperative and you act. Ranting is one of mine. What is yours? If your anger is only limited to reading these words I string together and then wondering “oh but what can I do?” then I am afraid to say, your anger is not powerful enough. The kind of anger that does not lead you to, at least, google for more information on the topic you just read and then at the very least reflect on what you read and position yourself in relation to the topic and how you could contribute, no matter in which small way to fix it, is not anger. It might be upsetting because you have just been exposed in your complicity with this system of inequalities we are all forced to partake in. That might as well make you uncomfortable. But angry? No, obviously not angry enough if all you have left is to complain because I “rant”.