Wednesday 30 November 2022

The Colour of Death Penalty

In the United States, people convicted of killing white people are seventeen times more likely to receive death penalty than those convicted of killing a Black person. While only 13% of the US population is Black, Black people make up 42% of those on death row. Since 1973, 185 persons (of whom 99 Black, 16 Latinx, 1 Native American) have been exonerated for wrongful convictions that sentenced them to death (via).

"Labels tied to core values of slavery and discrimination have resulted in a brutal and violent path for black individuals. Despite being aware of the unjust nature to assume the worst of race and people of little or no income, nothing is being done to correct such false assumptions made. Racism and discrimination remain deeply rooted within our society and engrained in the way American prison systems are run. Through racial and economic bias, those most typically arrested or placed on death row are people of color and those in poverty." (Tylor Keegan, Racism in Capital Punishment)

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photograph via

Tuesday 29 November 2022

Samuel Fosso's Introspective Engagement with the Self

Samuel Fosso was not photographed until he was ten. As a child, he was partially paralysed until the age of three (after he had been thrown off the roof of a building by a healer which, again, was arranged by his very grandfather who had also been a healer) making his father believe that having the portrait made of a disabled child "might be a waste of money". The absence of the photographs and the Biafran Civil War, which broke out when Fosso was five, left a void in his formative years (via and via).

Above: "The Chief (who also sold Africa to the colonists)", Fosso's best shot: "This is the best. I am an African chief, in a western chair with a leopard-skin cover, and a bouquet of sunflowers. I am all the African chiefs who have sold their continent to the white men. I am saying: we had our own systems, our own rulers, before you came. It's about the history of the white man and the black man in Africa. Because they may try to cover it up these days, you know, but underneath it's still the same." Samuel Fosso

Photography became both a space of self-enunciation and a space of refuge as a child exile in the Central African Republic. The studio became the space where he could establish symbolic lines of communication with home. That’s what led him to turn the camera on himself.
Chika Okeke-Agulu

Above: "The Liberated Woman of the '70s"

Fosso's photographs might have started as self-portraiture - and, in his early years, he used to play "with a pleasant form of narcissism, common in adolescence" but they soon became performance and photographic masquerade, "a place to explore the spaces where history, politics, religion, and culture mingle and merge", a way to examine aspects of Black identity (via and via) and, as Fosso says, "a form of therapy that has enabled me to bring about a sense of self and tell the world that I exist, that I am here. Self portraits give me the opportunity to engage with my own biography." (via)

One unifying theme behind all my self portraits is the question around power. I want to express the idea that a person who is not free is not alive.
Samuel Fosso

Above: "The Golfer"

Africa was arbitrarily divided into countries by European colonialists. I wanted my studio to reflect my desire to create a sense of pan-African unity and identity.
Samuel Fosso

Above: "The Pirate"

Fosso uses photography as a tool of postcolonial critique to examine the interconnectedness of modern life through the dual lens of Pan-Africanism and foreign influence from both the East and the West. While many critics have focused on the aspects of gender and sexuality in Fosso’s work, Okeke-Agulu points to a much deeper line that runs through his practice: the fundamental issue of displacement he experienced in his youth. (via)

The yearning to return home is one of the most powerful motivations for him as an artist. His art was one of the only avenues to accomplish that homeward journey,” Okeke-Agulu says. “There is a ritualistic aspect of acting that is important to him. The masquerade is not simply about the physical performance, it is also a philosophical and spiritual connection to imagined communities in his hometown in Nigeria, or the Pan-African world of Blackness – a quest to return home that he did not accomplish until 2015 when he moved his family back to Nigeria and built a studio there.
Chika Okeke-Agulu

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photographs (series TATI) via 

“That’s how my Tati series (1997) began, because I did not want to go back to the black-and-white style as Keïta and Sidibé had done for their Tati commissions. Since there were three African photographers, I wanted my project to register a different mood of the African imagination, and not the images that were already associated with African photography. My goal was to take a new direction in my work.” Samuel Fosso

Sunday 27 November 2022

Them. By Mohammed Gardaya.

Muhammed Gardaya is a young Sudanese man who was forced to flee the violence of Darfur and seek asylum in Europe. His film "Them" is, according to its director Adrien Landre, "a metaphor for the refugees' condition." He continues: "Their lives become a loop, an eternal resumption, an infinite vertigo. Labels such as 'migrant' or 'refugee' systematically reduce people to a monolithic group. It denies any notion of their individuality." (via)

::: Watch "Them": LINK

Gardaya's open letter:

In the name of Allah! I will tell you about my story. Today I am here in Paris. I am only here because I was obliged to. I have left my people to death and rape, and for this I am a criminal. I should have stayed in Sudan and died there with a clear conscience instead of living in this world of punishment. At every moment I remember my father, my mother and siblings. My body is here but my mind is always there with them. I am a young man who has let his people and homeland down by coming here, only to live in loneliness and suffering.

Seven years ago, back in my village called Wand, I had a decent life. There was peace and dignity. I enjoyed horse riding, camel racing, swimming and shepherding. But one day we woke up to a nightmare. Our own people came and destroyed everything. They raped our mothers and sisters and killed our fathers and brothers. We wept until our eyes dried up and our hearts became hard like stones. We wanted to take revenge, but if my father were not there I would have taken a gun and killed them, like they killed us. Without my father I would not be alive today. So, for my father I fled my homeland. I now have no fear for my life because my life has no meaning anymore. It is full of suffering and bitterness and sadness. My life is useless. 

I am talking to you today as friends so I can attenuate my deep suffering, distress and sorrow. I was lonely and humiliated until a group of people came and asked me to leave this sphere of sadness. I found friends at Good Chance who made me feel like a human being. They made me feel that there is still humanity in the world and a chance for life. I am so grateful for all of them and I thank them so much for everything they did for me. They used to ask me what I was looking for when I fled my homeland. I am just looking for dignity, peace, happiness and humanity. I just want to live like everybody else in this world.

Thank you very much.

Your brother, 

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image via

Saturday 26 November 2022

Never Look At The Sun

Congolese-Belgian filmmaker and rapper Baloji explores the practice of skin bleaching in black communities using the expression "Never look at the sun" and knowing a lot of people who have experience skin bleaching ... not "to reject their Black or African identity but more to decrease the effect of darker skin has in society".

Never look at the sun is an expression I heard growing up,. Never look at the sun and don’t play under it because you're dark enough. It's a way parents try to protect their children, but this has side effects.

::: Watch "Never Look At The Sun": LINK 

The film's protagonist bathes in a fictional lightening product, is covered in withe lace and heavy fabrics, Baloji plays with darkness and light. The film is "a declaration on the beauty of dark skin", the poem is written by Thandi Loewenson and  narrated by Dorrie Wilson, a decolonial thinker.

I know a lot of people who have experienced skin bleaching, It's never done to reject their Black or African identity but more to decrease the effect darker skin has in society. Ancestral patterns combined with modern prejudices and stigma explain skin bleaching. We can’t criticize the practice because it’s rooted in cultural conceptions, interpretations, and questions of self-consciousness. (via)

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image via

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Tennis, Unstable Girls, Sexist Comments and Questions

"You know, the girls, they are more unstable emotionally than us. I'm sure everybody will say it's true, even the girls. … No? No, you don't think? But, I mean, it's just about hormones and all this stuff. We don't have all these bad things, so we are physically in a good shape every time, and you are not. That's it."

"Hopefully they're (his sisters) not going to pursue a professional tennis career. Hopefully, because for a woman, it's tough. I wouldn't like my sisters to become professional tennis players. It's tough choice of life. A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids. What kids you can think about until age of 27 if you're playing professional tennis, you know. That's tough for a woman, I think."

“As a woman, you start getting to a certain age, hitting certain milestones and then it is straightaway assumed – ‘okay, well, when’s the baby coming?’ I’m not sure they’re asking Rafa Nadal when was finally going to marry his girlfriend before he did, or when he is going to have kids.
 I don’t think it’s done with any harm, but it would be nice to talk about my career and things like that – like my male counterparts in the sport. 
One, it’s a very personal decision and, you know, I think it can be a bit insensitive, especially for people who maybe don’t want to have children, or have other difficulties.
I think it was unfortunate that I was asked such questions, but I was not alone in that. And while our tennis press is mainly made up of middle-aged men, I think the questions are going to be catered so.” 

"After games us women still receive provocative comments on social media. I doubt that is the case for those on the men's tour. Our outfits are discussed, and how we wear our hair."

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photograph via

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Women Who Objectify Other Women

Abstract: This study was designed to test the extent to which women who self-objectify also objectify other women. One hundred thirty-two university students and their friends (64 women and 68 men) completed three questionnaires: (1) Noll and Fredrickson’s (1998) Self-Objectification Questionnaire, (2) a modified version of that questionnaire that measured individuals’ objectification of others, and (3) Slade, Dewey, Newton, and Brodie’s (1990) Body Cathexis scale. 

Women were more likely than men to self-objectify. Self-objectification was negatively related to body satisfaction for women but not for men. Both women and men objectified women more than they objectified men, although women’s objectification of other women was not significantly different than their objectification of men. Men objectified women more than women did, and women objectified men more than men did. Women were more likely to objectify other women than to objectify themselves. Higher self-objectification among both women and men was related to increased objectification of other women and men, but the relationships were stronger for women. Results indicate that women also objectify women, although not to the degree exhibited by men. (Strelan & Hargreaves, 2005)

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- Strelan, P. & Hargreaves, D. (2005). Women Who Objectify Other Women: The Vicious Circle? Sex Roles, 52, 707-712, link
- photograph via

Monday 21 November 2022

Male fashionistas, female football fans, gender stereotypes and neurophysiological correlates

Abstract: Recent studies have shown that pre-existing contextual information, such as gender stereotypes, is incorporated online during comprehension (e.g., Van Berkum, van den Brink, Tesink, Kos, & Hagoort, 2008). Stereotypes, however, are not static entities, and social role theory suggests that they may be influenced by the behavior of members of the group (Eagly, 1987). Consequently, our study examines how gender stereotypes affect the semantic processing of statements from both a male and a female speaker, as well as investigating how the influence of stereotypes may change as listeners gain experience with individual speakers. 

Participants listened to male and female speakers produce sentences about stereotypically feminine (fashion) and stereotypically masculine (sports) topics. Half of the participants heard a stereotype congruent pattern of sentences (e.g., for the male speaker, semantic errors about fashion but no semantic errors on sports sentences) and the other half heard a stereotype incongruent pattern. We found that the N400 effect of semantic correctness is larger in stereotype incongruent conditions. Furthermore, in stereotype congruent conditions, only stimuli presented in the male voice show an N400 effect in the expected direction (larger N400s to semantic violations). Additionally, when we examined ERP changes over the course of the experiment, we found that the degree of change in amplitude was predicted by individual differences in ambivalent sexism. These results suggest that not only are speaker characteristics incorporated during online language processing, but also that social knowledge influences language processing in a manner congruent with social role theory. (Grant, Grey & van Hell, 2020)

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- Male fashionistas and female football fans: Gender stereotypes affect neurophysiological correlates of semantic processing during speech comprehension. Journal of Neurolinguistics, 53, link
- photograph (stock photo from 1970s, H. Armstrong Roberts studio) via

Sunday 20 November 2022

Blacks vs Whites Detecting Racism

Black and White US-Americans disagree when it comes to the prevalence and definition of racism. 53% of Blacks but only 17% of Whites believe that racism is a critical issue in the US. While both groups agree that the amount of anti-Black bias decreased in the past decades, Blacks still see it as relatively prevalent today in contrast to Whites who believe it to be historically low and negligible... On the contrary, they think that anti-White bias has increased over time.

Shootings motivated and/or possibly motivated by racism are hence also interpreted differently; so are their consequences. 18% of Blacks report a great deal or fair amount of confidence in shooting investigations compared to 52% of Whites who do.

Whites tend to have difficulties detecting subtle racism and rather focus on blatant clues while Blacks are vigilant for ambiguous cues.

One reason for this discrepancy may be that participants were differentially motivated to perceive racism because of their racial group membership and the degree to which their own group was implicated by the task. Because people strive to protect and defend their ingroup (Tajfel & Turner, 1979), considering the category of “White racist” may threaten White individuals’ egalitarian selves, implicating their group as the perpetrators of racism against racial and ethnic minorities. Thus, Whites may be motivated to adopt a higher threshold for behavior (i.e., only blatant cues), as a way to afford their ingroup the benefit of the doubt in ambiguous situations. However, considering the category of “White racist” would not pose the same threat to racial and ethnic minorities whose group would ostensibly be the targets of racism in this scenario. Instead, their past experiences as targets may cause minorities to be more vigilant for indicators of discrimination against minorities compared to majority group members (Crocker & Major, 1989; Kaiser, Vick, & Major, 2006; Pinel, 1999). Thus, racial and ethnic minorities may be motivated to protect and defend their group by using a lower threshold when determining what counts as racism (i.e., blatant and subtle cues).

- Carter, E. R. & Murphy, M. C. (2015). Group-based Differences in Perceptions of Racism: What Counts, to Whom, and Why? Social and Personality Psychology Compass 9/6 (2015): 269–280, link
- photograph by Bruce Davidson via

Saturday 19 November 2022

Haiti, Carnival and Leah Gordon's Performed Ethnography

After enduring slavery and other kinds of savagery for centuries, the Haitian people introduced the archetype of the zombie and by doing so continued telling their tale and preserved their history and culture in carnival, an annual masquerade that is "a magnificent celebration of a people who have survived against all odds, honouring their ancestors and passing their stories along from one generation to the next".

British photographer Leah Gordon began travelling to Haiti in 1991 and started working on "Kanaval" in 1995 chronicling the unique expression of Carnival over a period of seven years and collecting "the mythic figures that convey the hypnotic energy of carnival". Gordon speaks Kreyòl to be able to establish a connection with the sitters.
As a photographer, I have always been keenly aware of the difficulties and responsibilities in representing Haiti. Since the [revolution], Haiti has been a mythological epicentre for racist and colonial anxieties and many of these encoded mythologies are reproduced and replicated through the visual representation of Haiti.

Gordon collected oral histories - since images alone were not enough - aiming to "reduce the spectacle and restore the narrative to the photographs" and making sure her photography did not reinforce negative stereotypes.

"For centuries, the Taino-Arawakan people and the Carib Indians lived on the island of Ayiti (“land of high mountains”) in the tranquil blue waters of the Caribbean. All of that changed when Christopher Columbus arrived on 4 December 1492, charging in alongside the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Conquistadors brought colonisation, slavery, and disease to the once idyllic land, wiping out the indigenous communities and repopulating the island with people stolen from Africa.

Spain wasn’t the only European nation taking what was not rightfully theirs. By 1697, the French made inroads, forcing the Spanish to cede the western third of the island to France. After a century of brutal rule, the people overthrew this barbaric regime in 1804 to become the first Black republic on earth and the only nation to arise from a successful slave revolt. Suffice to say, Western powers were terrified by this ferocious show of force. Fearing retribution, they marshalled their resources to destroy the young nation, which took the name Haiti in tribute to its pre-Colombian roots.

In 1825, France ordered Haiti to pay reparations (worth £200 billion today) for the loss of income made off the free labour of slaves, a debt that wasn’t settled until 1947. Then, in 1915, the United States invaded the tiny nation, took control of the banks, and established a return to slavery through forced labour. After two decades of brutish occupation, the foreign invaders were finally ousted from the land, though that wouldn’t stop them from continuing to meddle in Haitian affairs.

Today, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, and ranks 68th on the UNDP Human Poverty Index sale, with an estimated 65 per cent of the people living below the poverty line, earning less than £2.04 per day." (via)

photographs by Lea Gordon via

Thursday 17 November 2022

When did you forget how to fly? By Samira Saidi.

"When Did You Forget How To Fly ? is a photo series about mental health and the journey through depression and unhappiness. The topic of mental health in the community of people of colour, has only been discussed very recent and has shifted stigmas about mental health across all communities. Through this personal journey guided by emotions of heaviness, uncomforted, and anxiety the goal was to visual these indescribable feelings."
Samira Saidi

photographs via

Wednesday 16 November 2022

Men Dreaming, Women Dreaming. Some Gender Differences.

Men and women share a great many similarities when they dream. There are, however, also some interesting differences between their dreams that have been found based on white US-American samples. Women, for instance, tend to have more characters in their dreams (2.8 vs. 2.4) (which could also be due to the fact that women's dream reports are about 8% longer than men's). Men dream twice as often about other men than about women (67% vs. 33%) while women dream more or less equally about both sexes. In contrast to men, women more often dream of characters familiar to them, such as family members, friends but also celebrities. In the dreams of both men and women, male strangers are the most intimidating human characters, but especially for men. Also, men's dreams are more likely to be in outdoor settings than women's

Generally, men' dreams contain more aggression and this phenomenon is shown in cross-cultural studies, e.g. in Mexico, Peru, Argentina, the Netherlands, and Switzerland men's dreams show the same patterns when it comes to aggression and gender differences. 

We turn now to other, less dramatic differences in the dreams of men and women. Contrary to cultural stereotypes about dreams, they do not often involve sexuality, not even so much as a romantic hug or kiss. Only 12% of the American men's dreams and 4% of the women's dreams had at least one sexual interaction, and the figures are equally low in the few cross culturally studies that mention sexuality at all. In one study of American women in the late 1980s, the percentage of dreams with at least one sexuality reached 8%, double the normative figure (Dudley & Swank, 1990). Since the studies are few and the difference are small, it is best not to make very much of them.

Kumi Oguro is a photographer - born in Japan living in Belgium -  who is ...

... intrigued by the images of our dreams just before awakening: it is difficult to find the logic there, there is nothing to indicate time, the space is indeterminate. In my work, I try to create an atmosphere that is quite close to those dream images. During the shooting, everything seems to be under my control. I examine the (day) light in advance, according to my planning I build up a scene and fix the pose of the (female) models, as if they are dolls. Still, I leave a certain space for what happens on the spot: unexpected light effects or a subtle change in the pose of the model… The faces of the models are hidden. It is not clear whether we see a frozen moment of what was going on (whatever it is) or rather if they are waiting to be awakened from a long, long sleep. These anonymous women are balancing on a thin line between the childlike and the sensual, the fragile and the destructive, the tragic and the playful. Kumi Oguro 

- Domhoff, G. W. (2005). The Dreams of Men and Women: Patterns of Gender Similarity and Difference; fulll article: link

- photographs by Kumi Oguro via

Tuesday 15 November 2022

“Poverty is a very complicated issue, but feeding a child isn't.” Jeff Bridges

“35 million people in the U.S. are hungry or don't know where their next meal is coming from, and 13 million of them are children. If another country were doing this to our children, we'd be at war.”
Jeff Bridges, spokesperson for the No Kid Hungry campaign

photograph via

Monday 14 November 2022

Prayers to Myself. By Samira Saidi.

"Prayers To Myself is a visual story depicting a gentle and different angle towards religion, especially Islam. Redirecting the focus towards the simple understanding of religion as a connective experience between body and nature. Despite all the negative and charged conversations against Islam and its impacts on the worlds. should this story function as an enabler and reminder of different discussions and understandings. Shifting stigma and prejudice towards Muslims in our society and open up a world with different realities, that allows Muslims to exists as individuals with their own thoughts and ideas rather than an unity supporting extreme measures that we are exposed to on the news."
Samira Saidi

"Samira Saidi is an Afro-European, woman of colour, whose practice has the aim to inspect and shift the sociological structures of race (sic), belonging, and explores the duality of intersectional identities through the body." (via)

photographs by Samira Saidi via and via and via

Sunday 13 November 2022

After Black Power, Women’s Liberation. By Gloria Steinem (1969)

Once upon a time—say, ten or even five years ago—a Liberated Woman was somebody who had sex before marriage and a job afterward. Once upon the same time, a Liberated Zone was any foreign place lucky enough to have an American army in it. Both ideas seem antiquated now, and for pretty much the same reason: Liberation isn’t exposure to the American values of Mom-and-apple-pie anymore (not even if Mom is allowed to work in an office and vote once in a while); it’s the escape from them.

For instance: 


A coven of 13 members of WITCH (The Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, celebrating witches and g*psies as the first women resistance fighters) demonstrates against that bastion of white male supremacy: Wall Street. The next day, the market falls five points.

More witches and some black-veiled brides invade the Bridal Fair at Madison Square Garden. They carry signs (“Confront the Whore-makers,” “Here Comes the Bribe”), sing, shout, release white mice in the audience of would-be brides, and generally scare the living daylights out of exhibitors who are trying to market the conventional delights of bridal gowns, kitchen appliances, package-deal honeymoon trips and heart-shaped swimming pools.

At the end of the Columbia strike, the student-run Liberation School offers a course on women as an oppressed class. Discussions include the parallel myths about women and N*groes (that both have smaller brains than white men, childlike natures, natural “goodness,” limited rationality, supportive roles to white men, etc.); the paternalistic family system as prototype for capitalistic society (see Marx and Engels); the conclusion that society can’t be restructured until the relationship between the sexes is restructured. Men are kept out of the class, but it is bigger and lasts longer than any other at the school.


What do women want? The above events are in no way connected to the Bloomingdale-centered, ask-not-what I-can-do-for-myself-ask-what-my-husband-can-do-for-me ladies of Manhattan, who are said by sociologists to be “liberated.” Nor do the house-bound matriarchs of Queens and the Bronx get much satisfaction out of reading about feminist escapades. On the contrary, the whole thing alienates them by being a) radical and b) young.

The women behind it, and influenced by it, usually turn out to be white, serious, well-educated girls; the same sort who have labored hard in what is loosely known as the Movement, from the Southern sit-ins of nine years ago to the current attacks on the military-industrial-educational complex. They have been jailed, beaten and Maced side-by-side with their social-activist male counterparts. (It’s wonderful to see how quickly police from Selma to Chicago get over a reluctance to hit women.) They have marched on Senate committees, Pentagon hawks, their own college presidents and the Chase Manhattan Bank. But once back in the bosom of SDS , they found themselves typing and making coffee.

“When it comes to decision-making or being taken seriously in meetings,” said one revolutionary theorist from Berkeley, “we might as well join the Young Republicans.”


Finally, women began to “rap” (talk, analyze, in radical-ese) about their essential second-classness, forming women’s caucuses inside the Movement in much the same way Black Power groups had done. And once together they made a lot of discoveries: that they shared more problems with women of different classes, for instance, than they did with men of their own; that they liked and respected each other (if women don’t want to work with women, as N*groes used to reject other N*groes, it’s usually because they believe the myth of their own inferiority), and that, as black militants kept explaining to white liberals, “You don’t get radicalized fighting other people’s battles.”


The older, middle-class women come first, the ones who tried hard to play subordinate roles in the suburbs according to the post-war-baby-boom-women’s magazine idyll but found Something Missing. Betty Friedan, who explained their plight clearly and compassionately in The Feminine Mystique, named that Something: rewarding work. But when these women went out to find jobs, they found a lot of home-truths instead.

For instance, there is hardly a hierarchy in the country—business, union, government, educational, religious, whatever—that doesn’t discriminate against women above the secretarial level. Women with some college education earn less than men who get as far as the eighth grade. The median income of white women employed full time is less than that of white men and Negro men. The gap between women’s pay and men’s pay gets greater every year, even though the number of women in the labor force increases (they are now a third of all workers). Forty-three states have “protection legislation” limiting the hours and place a woman can work; legislation that is, as Governor Rockefeller admitted last year, “more often protective of men.” The subtler, psychological punishments for stepping out of woman’s traditional “service” role are considerable. (Being called “unfeminine,” “a bad mother” or “a castrating woman,” to name a traditional few.) And, to top it all off, the problem of servants or child care often proves insurmountable after others are solved.

In short, women’s opportunities expanded greatly for about 15 years after they won the vote in 1920 (just as N*groes had more freedom during Reconstruction, before Jim Crow laws took over where slavery had left off), but they have been getting more limited ever since.

The middle-class, educated and disillusioned group gets larger with each college graduation. National Organization for Women (NOW)—founded in 1966 by Betty Friedan, among others, “to bring women into full participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal partnership with men” — is a very effective voice of this group, concentrating on such reforms as getting irrelevant sex-designations out of Help Wanted ads and implementing Equal Employment Opportunity laws.

If the WLM can feel solidarity with the hated middle class, and vice versa, then an alliance with the second mass movement—poor women of all colors—should be no problem. They are already organized around welfare problems, free daycare centers, for mothers who must work, and food prices. For them, equal pay, unequal training and sex discrimination for jobs (not to mention the woman-punishing rules of welfare) exact a daily price: Of all the families living below the poverty level, 40 per cent are headed by women.

A lot of middle-class and radical-intellectual women are already working with the poor on common problems, but viewing them as social. If the “consciousness-raising” programs of the WLM work, they’ll see them as rallying points for women qua women. And that might forge the final revolutionary link. Rumblings are already being heard inside the Democratic party in New York. It’s the women who staff and win elections, and they may finally balk at working for only men—not very qualified men at that—in the mayoral primary.

There is plenty of opposition to this kind of thinking, from women as well as men. Having one’s traditional role questioned is not a very comfortable experience; perhaps especially for women, who have been able to remain children, and to benefit from work they did not and could not do. Marriage wouldn’t go straight down the drain, as traditionalists keep predicting. Women’s liberation might just hurry up some sort of companionate marriage that seems to be developing anyway.

But there is bound to be a time of, as social anthropologist Lionel Tiger puts it, “increased personal acrimony,” even if the revolution fails and women go right back to darning socks. (Masculinity doesn’t depend on the subservience of others, but it will take us a while to find that out.) It might be helpful to men—and good for women’s liberation—if they just keep repeating key phrases like, “No more guilt, No more alimony, Fewer boring women, Fewer bitchy women, No more tyrants with all human ambition confined to the home, No more ‘Jewish mothers’ transferring ambition to children, No more women trying to be masculine because it’s a Man’s World …” (and maybe one more round of “No more alimony”) until the acrimony has stopped. 

Because the idea is, in the long run, that women’s liberation will be men’s liberation, too.

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photo via

Thursday 10 November 2022

Vienna - City of Human Rights. Declaration.

"The City of Vienna pledges to act as a guardian and defender of human rights by striving to respect, protect, fulfil and be accountable for human rights in all of its areas of competence. Based on this approach, the City of Vienna actively supports its citizens in asserting and upholding their human rights by providing adequate framework conditions and using them as a basis for its actions. This approach is based on the principle that every person living in the city has the same human rights – regardless of their nationality or residency status." (via/more)

photograph of Thomas Bernhard in Vienna, 1970 via

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Awkward Puppets: Drive Through

Diego: "Let me do a double cheeseburger with fries and a coke, please."
Voice: "Great, so that's one taco and guacamole and coconut water. Anything else?"

::: Awkward Puppets, Drive Through: WATCH/LISTEN


image via

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Awkward Puppets: Becoming Friends with a Robber

Diego: How would you feel if I assumed you only eat chicken and watermelon?
Robber: How would you feel if I assumed you only eat tacos and fajitas?
Diego: Damn, I could really go for a taco right now.
Robber: Hey, actually, I could do the same.

::: Awkward Puppets, Becoming Friends with a Robber: WATCH or WATCH

image via

Monday 7 November 2022

The Drive to Marry. Several Gender Differences and One Abstract.

Abstract: In this study we examined a new construct—the Drive to Marry (DTM). Young single men and women (149 men and 246 women) rated their desire to get married and completed measures of their valuing of marital, parental, and occupational roles; concern about others' views of them; and feminist attitudes. We found that women had a higher DTM than did men. In both genders, DTM was predicted by the value of parental role and by concern about others' views of them. In women, DTM was also predicted by traditional attitudes toward gender roles, and there was a trend for women who valued the occupational role to have a lower DTM. Conservative women, women who valued the parental role, and women with a higher DTM were also more likely to want to use the title “Mrs.” and to adopt their husband's surname. (Blakemore, Lawton & Vartanian, 2005)

- Blakemore, J.E.O., Lawton, C.A. & Vartanian, L.R. (2005). I Can't Wait to Get Married: Gender Differences in Drive to Marry. Sex Roles, 53, 327–335.
- photograph by Martin Parr (1985, Magnum) via

Saturday 5 November 2022

How locals vs. non-locals see Glasgow

According to a survey carried out in 2016, Glasgow is the most stereotyped and misjudged city in the United Kingdom. The top two words used by non-locals to describe the city were deprived (21%) and unsafe (16) while locals described Glasgow as happy (59%) and relaxed (38%) (via).

"This misunderstanding of Glasgow is further highlighted when people were asked to rank the cities in order of how safe they are. Glasgow ranked in the top three most unsafe cities for nearly half (45%) of all respondents, which is unreflective of the official statistics released by the Police and Scottish Government, where the number of crimes committed in Glasgow ranks second only to Edinburgh in the whole of the UK." (via).

photographs taken in Glasgow by Magnum photographer Raymond Depardon (1980) via

Thursday 3 November 2022

Iran, the Not-So-Islamic Republic

According to a survey among 40.000 Iranians living in Iran, Iranian society shows a clear tendency to secularisation. While Iran's official census claims that almost the whole population (99.5%) is Muslim, the survey carried out by the Group for Analyzing and Measuring Attitudes in Iran (GAMAAN) in 2020, only 40% identify as Muslim (of which 32% identify as Shia, 5% as Sunni Muslim and 3% as Sufi Muslim). 9% say they are atheists, 7% call themselves rather spiritual than religious, 8% are Zoroastrians, 1.5% are Christian. 47% report losing their religion in their lifetime, 6% say they have changed from one religion to another. In other words, "the trend towards faiths other than Islam is unmistakable". Also, in the past decades, fewer religiously associated forenames were chosen for children.

A third occasionally drink alcohol, over 60% do not perform theoretically obligatory Muslim daily prayers, 68% agree that religious prescriptions should not be part of the legislation, 72% oppose the law mandating women wear hijab. Younger people report higher levels of irreligiosity and conversion to Christianity. Apparently, the state made more and more people move away from their religion (via and via and via and via

Music selection (YouTube):

::: Kourosh Yaghmaei, Havar Havar: WATCH/LISTEN
::: Pari Zangeneh, Do Beh Do: WATCH/LISTEN
::: Pari Zangeneh, Baroun Barouneh: LISTEN
::: Pari Zangeneh, Mastoom: WATCH/LISTEN
::: Kourosh Yaghmaei, The Heartbroken Town Girl: WATCH/LISTEN

photographs (Teheran, 1976) by Bruno Barbey (Magnum) via and via and via

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Ice cream preference: gender differences in taste and quality

Abstract: 69 college women showed a preference for expensive ice cream while 53 college men preferred the less expensive ice cream. Analysis indicates the taste for more expensive ice cream is linked to gender, but it is not clear whether this is learned or not. (Kunz, 1993)

- Kunz, J. (1993). Ice cream preference: gender differences in taste and quality, Perceptual Motor Skills, 77, link
- photograph by Martin Parr via

Tuesday 1 November 2022

The Actors School, Martin Luther King, and Julia Roberts' Birth

Julia Roberts was born in 1967, a time defined - among other things - by segregation and racist violence. Her parents had founded the Atlanta Actors and Writers Workshop in Georgia and saw "their fair share of hatred for welcoming black children into their acting school", one of them being Yolanda King (via).

“My parents had a theater school in Atlanta called the Actors and Writers Workshop. And one day, Coretta Scott King called my mother and asked if her kids could be part of the school because they were having a hard time finding a place that would accept her kids. And my mom was like, ‘Sure, come on over.’ And so they all became friends and they helped us out of a jam.”
Julia Roberts

... the jam being paying the expenses for her birth. Martin Luther King, Jr. und Coretta Scott King paid for her parents' hospital bill after Roberts was born since her parents, Betty Lou Bredemus and Walter Grady Roberts, could not afford to do so (via).

When, in 1965, Yolanda King was cast as the romantic interest of a person played by a white actor, a racist blew up a car outside of the theatre during the production, then went inside to throw things onstage at the actors (via).

Yeah, because in the ’60s, you didn’t have little Black children interacting with little white kids in acting school. And Julia’s parents were welcoming, and I think that’s extraordinary, and it sort of lays the groundwork for who you are.
Gayle King

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photograph by Bernie Kleina (1966) via