posts tagged "Social justice text posts"

Have you seen the Doctor Pepper 10 commercials? 

How the fuck are those allowed on television when it’s 2012 

I'm seriously torn with this whole Kony thing... on one hand, I'm feel like I shouldn't be donating to sketchy-ass invisible children, but on the other hand I feel like I should be doing something to stop this. Do you know of any way I could actually help?

@Anonymous

Don’t donate to Invisible Children.

Don’t donate to anything about Kony it’s a bullshit manufactured cause that’s years late and the charities raising money for it right now and greedy and corrupt.

Don’t feel like you should be told what to care about, if you’re sincere about wanting to give to charity than look around, figure out what it is that you’re passionate about. Maybe it’s kids in Africa, maybe it’s the thousands of kids in our own country who live in poverty and go without food every single day. That’s for you figure out.

Personally, the causes I have long supported are: ending poverty in the Appalachia region, equal gender rights, and body acceptance/ prevention of eating disorders. The one I give the most money to and probably talk about most often is fair and humane labor/workers rights/anti-sweatshop labor. These are texts posts I’ve made about said topics. 

Feeling like you want to help is human. It’s a good thing. But more often than not fad causes and charities are blown out of proportion or are in it mostly to take your money. 

So my advice is think about it. Figure out what it is, if anything, you want to give to. Do your research. Real research. I’m not talking reading the Wikipedia page for Joseph kony kinda research- invest time in getting all viewpoints possible about something. Then form an opinion for yourself. 

There are a lot of really great charities and organizations who actually give your money to what you think you’re giving it to. And please always give because you want to- not just to say you did or assert self righteousness over other people.

Moral of the story is just stay informed, figure out what you care about, and don’t buy into the hype.

FUCK YOU. Get a fucking clue.. people are trying to make a difference. You are so ignorant!!!!!!!!

@Anonymous

"trying to make a difference"

ok so by buying tee shirts and bracelets where 30% of your money goes to a bullshit organization for a bullshit cause that not even the Ugandan government approves of you’re trying to make a difference

I’m sorry but I’m really not the one whose ignorant here. 

I’m sure you and people trying to do good and I applaud your intentions but you’re doing absolutely nothing. 

Hey remember in January when over 3,000 were killed in a Massacre in South Sudan?

If not- don’t worry- in six years Invisible Children will make a documentary about it and we’ll all feel guilty about it then.  

There are a lot of people bothered by the Kony 2012 campaign, including myself, I attempted to articulate why

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We got trouble.

visiblechildren:

You do not need to ask my permission to share this. Please link it widely.

I do not doubt for a second that those involved in KONY 2012 have great intentions, nor do I doubt for a second that Joseph Kony is a very evil man. But despite this, I’m strongly opposed to the KONY 2012 campaign.

KONY 2012 is the product of a group called Invisible Children, a controversial activist group and not-for-profit. They’ve released 11 films, most with an accompanying bracelet colour (KONY 2012 is fittingly red), all of which focus on Joseph Kony. When we buy merch from them, when we link to their video, when we put up posters linking to their website, we support the organization. I don’t think that’s a good thing, and I’mnotalone.

Invisible Children has been condemned time and time again. As a registered not-for-profit, its finances are public. Last year, the organization spent $8,676,614. Only 31% went to their charity program (page 6)*. This is far from ideal, and Charity Navigator rates their accountability 2/4 stars because they haven’t had their finances externally audited. But it goes way deeper than that.

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money funds the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission.

Still, the bulk of Invisible Children’s spending isn’t on funding African militias, but on awareness and filmmaking. Which can be great, except that Foreign Affairs has claimed that Invisible Children (among others) “manipulates facts for strategic purposes, exaggerating the scale of LRA abductions and murders and emphasizing the LRA’s use of innocent children as soldiers, and portraying Kony — a brutal man, to be sure — as uniquely awful, a Kurtz-like embodiment of evil.” He’s certainly evil, but exaggeration and manipulation to capture the public eye is unproductive, unprofessional and dishonest.

As Christ Blattman, a political scientist at Yale, writes on the topic of IC’s programming, “There’s also something inherently misleading, naive, maybe even dangerous, about the idea of rescuing children or saving of Africa. […] It hints uncomfortably of the White Man’s Burden. Worse, sometimes it does more than hint. The savior attitude is pervasive in advocacy, and it inevitably shapes programming. Usually misconceived programming.”

Still, Kony’s a bad guy, and he’s been around a while. Which is why the US has been involved in stopping him for years. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has sent multiple missions to capture or kill Kony over the years. And they’ve failed time and time again, each provoking a ferocious response and increased retaliative slaughter. The issue with taking out a man who uses a child army is that his bodyguards are children. Any effort to capture or kill him will almost certainly result in many children’s deaths, an impact that needs to be minimized as much as possible. Each attempt brings more retaliation. And yet Invisible Children funds this military intervention. Kony has been involved in peace talks in the past, which have fallen through. But Invisible Children is now focusing on military intervention.

Military intervention may or may not be the right idea, but people supporting KONY 2012 probably don’t realize they’re helping fund the Ugandan military who are themselves raping and looting away. If people know this and still support Invisible Children because they feel it’s the best solution based on their knowledge and research, I have no issue with that. But I don’t think most people are in that position, and that’s a problem.

Is awareness good? Yes. But these problems are highly complex, not one-dimensional and, frankly, aren’t of the nature that can be solved by postering, film-making and changing your Facebook profile picture, as hard as that is to swallow. Giving your money and public support to Invisible Children so they can spend it on funding ill-advised violent intervention and movie #12 isn’t helping. Do I have a better answer? No, I don’t, but that doesn’t mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it’s something. Something isn’t always better than nothing. Sometimes it’s worse.

If you want to write to your Member of Parliament or your Senator or the President or the Prime Minister, by all means, go ahead. If you want to post about Joseph Kony’s crimes on Facebook, go ahead. But let’s keep it about Joseph Kony, not KONY 2012.

~ Grant Oyston, visiblechildren@grantoyston.com

Grant Oyston is a sociology and political science student at Acadia University in Nova Scotia, Canada. You can help spread the word about this by linking to his blog at visiblechildren.tumblr.com anywhere you see posts about KONY 2012.

*For context, 31% is bad. By contrast, Direct Relief reports 98.8% of its funding goes to programming. American Red Cross reports 92.1% to programming. UNICEF USA is at 90.3%. Invisible Children reports that 80.5% of their funding goes to programming, while I report 31% based on their FY11 fiscal reports, because other NGOs would count film-making as fundraising expenses, not programming expenses.

Magazines are one of my least favorite things- particularly magazines marketed to the girls ages 12-17 bracket like “Seventeen” they are seriously just one of the worst things ok.

Today I was looking through some old ones from when I used to to subscribe and they’re just so full of bullshit- on one page they’ll preach”body confidence” and why you should love yourself but then literally the very next page will be an article about how to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks. It’s not even about getting healthy, no, they prioritize losing the weight. Which says to me “sure ok, love your body! As long as you fit within our preconceived ideal of what’s physically attractive.” And, like, they do use many different sizes of models and races which I have to give them credit for but it all seems really hypocritical to have girls who wear a size 16 model jeans then run an article about how to become a size 2 in 10 easy steps. 

Also I saw in one issue there was an article about this party drug and why you shouldn’t use it, which is all fine and good- whatever, but their argument for why you should avoid it was because it could cause you to gain weight and get acne. NOT BECAUSE IT COULD HAVE SERIOUS LONG TERM EFFECTS ON YOUR HEALTH OF COURSE BUT BECAUSE, GOD FORBID, YOU MIGHT GAIN TEN POUNDS!! 

Then throughout a lot of the articles there was this underlying tone of degrading girls who are sexually active, like they’d feature articles along the lines of “I HAD SEX AT 16 NOW LOOK WHAT I’VE BECOME” which I mean, I guess I wouldn’t have so much of a problem with that if maybe they also ran an article that read something like: “I HAD SEX AT 16 AND I’M A RELATIVELY NORMAL HUMAN BEING AND A FULLY FUNCTIONING MEMBER OF SOCIETY.”

Then everyone asks “why do all these young girls have such low self esteem?” well maybe taking a look at the magazines she’s reading which, in so many words, tell her she’s not worth having confidence unless she has the right clothes, makeup, hair, jewelry, body, boyfriend, and sex life are somewhat to blame. l just, ugh, these magazines are really really bad for young girls and females in general and they make me sad. 

This is a little late but I just really want to commend the New York Times for running consecutive front page articles regarding the working conditions in Apple factories overseas along with making a new series entitled “the iEconomy”- and encourage anyone who hasn’t already to read a few of the pieces: 

Critics Question Record of Monitor Selected by Apple February 13, 2012

Apple Asks Outside Group to Inspect Factories  February 13, 2012

THE IECONOMY; In China, the Human Costs That Are Built Into an iPad January 25, 2012

Daily Report: Chinese Factories and the iEconomy January 26, 2012

Dear Audrey Kitching,

You claim to be “changing the beauty standards one sequin at a time!” however I find this claim to be completely false and in fact I really think you conform to many standards of beauty accepted by society.

To start off with, you are a 5”4 white female with long naturally blonde, dyed pink hair. Your measurements are 34-24-30 and your face is conventionally pretty. Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but you do your makeup, your hair, and dress in clothes essentially predetermined to the “alt girl” convention of beauty. And just because it isn’t the “tan skin, blue eyes, blond hair, big boobs” convention of beauty, doesn’t mean you aren’t conforming to something most of society has deemed acceptable and attractive.

Also, I understand you have a clothing line. So I checked it out. Not only is it aesthetically underwhelming but after looking through the entire site and all of your look books I found that every single model (with the exception of one girl who looked to be of Asian descent) you’ve used to model your clothing is white, size 0-6, with long hair, and a classically pretty face. In addition they were all made up to accentuate their looks.

So Audrey, you can keep doing whatever you want to do. It’s not my personal taste but I don’t really care. However, until you start using models of different sizes and races and looks, making them up, or stop conforming to a predetermined and socially accepted as attractive look and style yourself, I cannot see how you can claim that you are changing absolutely any beauty standards.

That’s all.  

OKAY, PLEASE ANSWER THIS ONE. If you hate urban outfitters, forever 21, pink, ect where do you get your clothes??

@Anonymous

I really don’t shop all that often but when I do I honestly get most of my clothes from second hand stores, eBay, and some from American Apparel (I know, I know- make fun of me but I like their jeans and some of their dresses and they use ethical labor.)

Besides American Apparel I also I really love Worldofgood, Novica, Gaiam, Justice Clothing, Fair IndigoMarketplace India, and Mama’s Earth for fair trade/ sweatshop free clothing options. While their stuff can look a little “earth mother”-y I can usually find good basics like sweaters or shirts there. 

It’s very very hard to shop exclusively fair trade or avoid retailers which utilize inhumane labor practices altogether and fair trade products can be expensive, so I fully sympathize, understand, and respect if one does not have the means to afford. But I would encourage everyone to really try and make a conscious effort to stay informed as to which companies, retailers, stores, and businesses have made repeated or severe violations when it comes to ethical labor practices through outsourcing. Some stores/ labels I will not shop at/ for altogether due to their track records are: 

- Forever 21

- Urban Outfitters 

- Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic (all branches of one company)

- H&M 

- Hanes 

- LL Bean 

- Sears

- Victoria’s Secret, the Limited (branches of the same company) 

- Target

- Kohls

- J.C. Pennys

- Walmart 

- Nike

- Tommy Hilfiger

- Calvin Klein 

- American Eagle

- Guess 

- diamonds of any kind

- Abercrombie and Fitch 

The list goes on but those are the main offenders.

If you would like to learn more about fair trade or about businesses who use ethical means of labor I’d encourage you to check out the Ethical Trading Initiative, the Fair Trade Resource Network, the World Fair Trade Organization, and to find fair trade products or retailers in your area you can use this Fair Trade finder, look at this very good list of Fair Trade options, check out the national Green Pages, the SweatFree Community’s list of sweatshop free clothing stores, or read a bit of the Responsible Shopper. Keep informed about corporations here.

If you can’t afford fair trade or do not wish to seek out specialty fair trade products I’d just tell you that shopping second hand, thrift, or making your own garments is the next best thing you can do. While this does not ensure that your clothes weren’t produced via unethical labor practices it does put less of a demand on mass retailers. 

I apologize if I sound preachy but this is something I am very passionate about. And if you have any information about the subject which I overlooked please shoot me a message. Also please understand that I completely respect the shopping choices you make, whatever they might be. 

Also I think it’s worth pointing out that unethical practices expand beyond clothing manufacturers. Coco cola, McDonalds, and countless others have been found guilty of utilizing inhumane labor.

Ah and one last thing in case you wanted to know, if you ever see the following labels on a garment it means it was not made in a sweat shop:

   

Please don’t use the word slut

This is a summary as to why the word slut upsets me so much and why I don’t think anyone should use it.

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So this is going to sound really lame and dumb and cliche it probably won’t even make much sense but here goes.

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being feminine in its definition would be to act girly which i'm assuming would be wearing make up and liking girly things. (i don't think diamonds are necessarily girly though.) just because you're a girl doesn't mean you need to be feminine. just because you don't like these things or aren't this way, you don't need to think people are dense because they think make up and dresses are feminine. because those things are feminine..

@Anonymous

No, I am feminine. I enjoy femininity. I wear dresses, I don’t exactly think that has anything to do with femininity but I don’t want to go into a rant about lame conventional traditional gender stereotypes/ roles.

I don’t like fucking glitter or makeup because it’s just not my thing (diamonds is an entire different rant about child slavery/ inhumane labor.) I don’t think differently of anyone who does like those things because you should do what makes you happy and feel good about yourself. If those things give you confidence? More power to you. But the assumption that you have to like any specific group of things and activities to be girly and feminine is really dumb. 

If you honestly think that in order to be feminine or “a girl” that you need to like diamonds or mascara or straightening your hair fucking unfollow me right now. 

Even though you're a girl a lot of things on your hate list pertain to things you need as a girl. Are you secretly a boy or?

@Anonymous

this is the dumbest ask I’ve ever gotten and that’s saying a lot