This one is for all the political activists. I am so sick of seeing people praying and wishing for the government to start enforcing a high income tax on the rich to redistribute the wealth of the people. There will always be rich & poor people in a society, some more unevenly distributed than others. But quite frankly the way I see it is that the government has no business going into an individual’s bank account and STEALING 50%-60% of their income. If that person has lawfully and honestly earned that money, then no one ought to be able to take it away.
Think of it this way: as a student working hard in a challenging class you finally receive the well deserved 100% in the class. Shortly after you see your report card you are informed that 50% of your grade will be taken and redistributed to the students in class with the lowest grades. You have no control and no say in the fact that your 100% will now be seen as a 50% despite the numerous hours you put in to earn that A+.
Money is an incentive to work harder, to be better. Taxing the rich is discrimination, believe it or not. When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be rich and help my family. Nowadays, how could I strive for that when I know my hard-earned money will be taken from me?
If you want to do something about the uneven wealth distribution and its effects, go to the SOURCE such as regulating business and cleaning up budgets, NOT stealing from the well-off citizens to balance the mess.
I’m sorry, but I’ve lived in Sweden, and that’s not how it works. Also note that that number, for Sweden at least, is the MAX income tax percentage possible. But that’s not my issue here. Let’s talk about how this money is redistributed.
Do you live in the United States? If so, please tell me about the state of the roads in your area? If it’s at all like where I live in the good old US of A, they’re shit. Why? Because the governments, local and state and federal, don’t have enough money to keep them in good repair. In Sweden, a nice chunk of that tax money goes toward making sure the roads are well kept, because if the roads are well kept, then odds are better your car is not going to be damaged by them and oh hey then that’s less money you have to spend on the upkeep of your vehicle.
Tell me, how’s your health insurance? Can you go to any doctor or clinic in town and be seen for a nominal fee? Of course not! This is America, where everything’s privatized and we’re all looking to make the best profit. What about hospital visits? We all know those kinds of things can bankrupt a family here; it does on a regular basis. And yet you’re putting down a country with a higher income tax when I know for a FACT that a good portion of that money goes into the healthcare system that ensures that ALL residents have access to healthcare for minimal out-of-pocket fees. And you know what else? If you spend more than a fixed amount in doctor’s visits within a year, you get a nice little card that gives you FREE doctor’s visits for a year from that first payment. You know, so people are not having to forgo having sufficient food or new clothes because they have to go to the hospital. Oh, and the hospital visits? You don’t pay out of pocket for the treatments; you pay for your bed and food in the hospital, an amount that ends up being something around $10/day. And they can do this because their doctors are paid reasonably for the work they do, and also they don’t have ridiculous amounts of student loan debt to pay off.
Which brings me to my next point: higher education. Tell me what’s your student loan debt like? I just saw a statistic that we, in the United Stated, have a trillion dollars in student loan debt. Why is that? Well, we’ve privatized education. You want to know how much my husband paid to attend university in Sweden and get both his Bachelor’s and his Master’s degrees? $0 in tuition. That’s also what I paid to attend an intensive Swedish language course while I lived there. Now, you still have to buy your books and pay your student union fees, but that’s nothing compared to the $44,000/year I was paying in tuition here in the US. You know when I’m looking at paying all of that back? Maybe by the time I retire. Maybe. In fact, students in Sweden can actually receive a stipend from the government to help cover things like living expenses, so they are not forced to have a side job in addition to going to school full-time. It’s a nice feeling, knowing that the government actually wants you to graduate from university without having to worry about things like what you can afford to eat. I’m not saying it’s the most generous stipend, but it’s enough to rent an apartment (maybe with a flatmate) and have a moderately healthy diet.
Not being burdened with that amount of debt is a huge relief when you’re fresh out of university and getting a job. Then again, the wage gap isn’t NEARLY so severe over there. Those who make the most in the company don’t make terribly much more than those who make the least. So the company VP isn’t making hundreds of thousands more than the guy on the factory floor.
Of course, remember that your numbers here don’t take into account the cost of living in these countries. What’s the cost of housing, food, transportation? Many people in these countries make use of excellent public transportation, made possible because of the higher taxes and the money invested into this stuff.
So when you say that 50% of your money is “given” to people who don’t make as much, that’s not actually accurate. It’s invested in the infrastructure that supports ALL the people of the country, no matter their income. If taxing the rich is discrimination, then isn’t taxing anyone discrimination? You should pay taxes proportional to your income, so that you can support your society. Otherwise you might as well go take your money and hide in a cave for all the good it would being you and the rest of the country.
Reblogging for the commentary above and also because the taxes and the average salary stated above are a lie as far as Sweden goes, so the entire argument is flawed to begin with. The national annual average salary in Sweden is 36, 167 USD and taxes in Sweden work as follows:
- For a person who earns less than 2906 USD in a year, no tax is applicable.
- For a person who earns between 2907 USD and 65, 566 USD in a year, the income tax payable is between 29% and 32%, depending on the council area one is living in.
- For a person who earns between 65, 567 USD and 93,005 USD in a year, the income tax payable is between 49% and 52%, depending on the council area one is living in.
- For a person earning more than 93,006 USD in a year, the income tax payable is no more than a maximum of 56%.
In other words, most people pay a maximum of 32% in taxes on a yearly basis and this pays for free healthcare, free education (including university), free school lunches, roads, 18 months paid parental leave, income insurances if you find yourself unemployed, and a shit-load of other things I don’t have the time to list.
Another thing worth mentioning; the mimimum wage in the States is 7,25 USD an hour; Sweden hasn’t got a national minimum wage and instead uses collective agreements to set minimum wages based on profession, and the average minimum wage set by collective agreements in Sweden is 12,75 USD. Not only do our taxes pay for an awful lot most Americans can’t dream of affording, we earn more than you do as well.
Taxes do not equal the end of the world. Quit swallowing right-wing lies. Having relatively high taxes is not the same as living in Soviet under Stalin.
By now, fans and industry watchers will all have heard about cartoonist Tess Fowler’s accusations of sexual harassment against acclaimed author Brian Wood—accusations that are part of a much broader (and very fraught) conversation about gender in comics. This is something I care deeply about, so I feel compelled to weigh in. Bear with me.
I have never had a negative or skeevy encounter with a male comics professional. Not one. Not at cons, not at parties, not at meetings, not in green rooms or on panels. In fact, the vast majority of men I’ve met in the industry—including Brian Wood—have been both friendly and generous with their time and influence.
Then again, I dress like a nun. A nun with possible terrorist connections. Who has strabismus. So perhaps I’m not the best example. Nearly every other woman I’ve met in the industry seems to have horror stories about creepy run-ins with male colleagues and creators. In theory, a woman shouldn’t have to look like a strabismic nun with possible terrorist connections in order to be taken seriously in the comics industry, but apparently, that is what it takes.
What can one say? I almost don’t know where to start. When I began to take a serious interest in comics, back in the late 90s-early 00s (when I was literally still a baby…I first manned a booth at SDCC as a 19-year-old intern), misogyny was considered cool. By everybody. Including, it should be mentioned, women. Some of the most popular creators had semi-ironic harems, which when you think about it is not really ironic at all, but nevertheless, irony was used as the justification. I brought up the lack of irony in this ironic arrangement exactly once in an online fan forum and was immediately eviscerated by other women. How stupid was I for failing to differentiate between for-real misogyny, which is bad, bad, and ironic misogyny, which is really just a fun (fun!) way to shine a spotlight on future female creators? Everybody’s gotta start somewhere, right?
Where are these future female creators today?
You have never heard of them.
They were tricked. The casting couch doesn’t work. It was never intended to work. It was a hoax all along. But the great tragedy is that so many women were led to believe that they had to use sex and/or sexuality to make any professional headway. (Pun unin…okay whatever.) They were led to believe that the traditional routes to success (hard work, networking, talent) were literally closed to them.
This is what makes misogyny so pernicious: the tropes are so ingrained that they get buy-in from women themselves. If it was just a matter of naming and isolating the perpetrators of bad behavior, this would be a simple thing. But it’s not enough to remove skeevy guys and lecherous professional favor-traders from the con floors. We also have to remove them from our own inner monologues, from our own sense of self-worth. We have to stop telling ourselves that this is just the way the world works, because it isn’t.
There is nothing a man has to offer a woman professionally that can’t be discussed in a public place. Nothing. If he leads you to believe that you must sleep with him, flirt with him, or be with him behind a locked hotel room door in order to climb the professional ladder, he is lying. If I, the strabismic nun, can sit here waving my 2 Eisner nominations and World Fantasy Award, and be as weird looking and overclothed as I am, then lady, there is nothing you can’t do. On your own terms, by your own merits. Wearing what you like, when you like. End of speech.
Can I just say, the women Marvel hires to write their superheroes are damn good superheroes themselves. Make mine Captain and Ms. Marvel.
All good food for thought, but that last comment <3 SO TRUE. I love these ladies so much.
vivalaspoliticas asked: Thought i'd give my random two cents and respond to you saying lily allen's vid is racist: It's blatant SATIRE. the lyrics are supposed to alert you more to the objectification in the video. during the surgery scene she’s watching a video to see whats going on in modern music-- and is being taught to replicate it. The video is supposed to be a replica of whats going on in the music industry-- if not black women being objectified, who the hell would be twerking in the background?
Sure. It’s just bad, racist satire
Did you read the quote I posted from my friend? Satire only works if you are “punching down” - i.e., if you are mocking something “below” your status in culture. This is why political satire (like Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert) works so well - they are “punching up” at people with power in the world. If they were “punching down” at, say, the poor, and mocking their poverty, they’d get no viewers and yanked off the air. Because making fun of people who are objectively below your status in life isn’t okay - it’s just rubbing it in.
The great example from my friend was a janitor impersonating and mocking a CEO. That’s funny. It’s not funny, and really in poor taste, for the CEO to do the same thing. It doesn’t work because the power dynamics are reversed. This isn’t just a rule about comedy though. The whole power conversation is why, say, employers make policies against supervisors sleeping with employees, or why universities make polices against professors sleeping with students. The powerful abusing that power over others, whether for sex or comedy, is the issue at hand.
In Lily Allen’s video, she’s punching down at black culture, despite trying to only punch up at wealth. It’s because she didn’t consider race that her “feminist” response to the abundance of sexualization in the popular music industry is racist. When the things being sent up are exclusively/traditionally black expressions of wealth, and you’re mocking those things WITH BLACK WOMEN IN YOUR VIDEO, your video is going to be racist. End of story.
As I said, this would be different if Lily Allen had used men in her videos. Or if she herself were black. But, as it stands, she’s a white woman mocking black expressions of wealth, using black women who are “degrading” themselves in her video (while she’s dressed rather conservatively herself) for laughs. It’s just racist, plain and simple.
As is, by the way, your comment.
"If not black women being objectified, who the hell would be twerking in the background?"
You mean you do understand that twerking is not a white thing and that it’s a black thing? And then you understand that black women are being objectified in the video? But somehow that’s still an appropriate “satire” for you because it’s okay if black women are being objectified, as long as it’s a white woman saying that that’s a bad thing while she’s slapping a twerking ass on screen and laughing while champagne is being poured all over that same ass?
If you don’t think this is racist (it is), please ask Yo, Is This Racist?
I’m so torn about this. Because I want to believe this was intentional satire — that even though 1/3 - 1/2 the dancers (looks like there are more white dancers in the car scene) were not black the choice to slap the black dancer’s asses and have them be the ones with the champagnegasm was a comment on the difference of how the industry treats black dancers. I thought it was kind of great, a real jab at Miley types by having a mix of dancers but still showcasing the sexualization of the black ones. I was hoping it was a Comment on Race (though Lily’s comments today make me worried that wasn’t intentionally the case, sigh).
In the video, they are being coached throughout by the white guy music producer. He’s up there demonstrating the kind of ass shaking he wants, clearly dictating the gaze of the video. In the beginning, he’s pressured Lily into lipo, and plays the half naked dancers for her while she’s being operated on, telling her that’s what she needs to do. This guy is in charge the whole time, except maybe for the part where Lily is Vanna White-ing in front of the LILY ALLEN HAS A BAGGY PUSSY balloons. That seems like the only visual “fuck you” the video actually lets her give to the producer, who is nowhere to be seen on that set. I mean, she fellates a banana under his tutelage at one point. So as much as people are saying Lily isn’t sexualizing herself in the video, I think she is. At the end she even sucks her fingers into her mouth, the “shoot” ends, and she flicks them out at the camera and walks away in annoyance.
She also extends that sexual gaze to the asian dancer, who sits on the sink and poses coyly with her phallic object (lollipop) in her mouth for Lily’s instax camera (which is a whole scene on gross conspicuous consumerism… gold bars, champagne to clean hubcaps, kitschy overpriced camera as obvious product placement). Dancers with both light and dark skin rub money over themselves. I don’t think these things (money, gold bars, cars, alcohol) are “traditionally black expressions of wealth”. I see those things as just “expressions of wealth” in general. Ashton Kutcher pimps pricey cameras on TV, whitebread female celebs do a Carls Jr ad half naked on a car with sauce dripping onto her breasts.
I also disagree about the “don’t need to shake my ass for you ‘cause I have a brain” bit. It’s a bit poorly timed within the video realm, but the “for you” lyric is what stands out to me. Shake your ass. Shake your ass for any reason you please. But I don’t need to shake it FOR YOU, Mr. Misogynist, as though that’s all I’m good for. That’s what I took from it. In this point, I see a lot of people saying she’s insulting her dancers. I guess if that’s what they think they do, just shake their asses, then maybe. But I bet they’re trained and talented in more forms of dance than the “shake your ass so it jiggles real good” variety. I think the lyric applies to them, too. I thought she was speaking to the general bullshit notion that a musician or dancer or whoever needs to shake her ass for the sexual gratification of the male gaze (“you”) instead of clever lyrics, music or choreography or other thoughtful professional approach to [insert field]. But he’s making/coercing her. In the music video, he’s brought this pre-packaged concept in to her — she sees it in the operating room before the filming even starts so it’s clearly a recycled video — and she has to conform or not get the Lenno gig or the Kimmel gig/watch her career end.
In the scene where she and the dancers are around the car, she’s wearing huge furs like she’s actually become The Man in this situation. She’s clothed, she’s imposing, she has vulnerable women around her… she is complicit. The producer has sort of made her into him.
Except she’s still not. She throws off the coat, and backs her ass up against the car, she joins the dancers in bending over and showing her (admittedly: more covered) legs, ass and vag to the camera. A pink-haired white girl gets her ass slapped with money by a black girl. I’ll admit I wish there was some of the producer character coaching Lily to slap the dancer’s ass… not everyone might get the Cyrus VMAs reference here. I might laugh too in that situation — how awkward to hit another woman’s jiggling butt, even with her permission… hell, I laughed nervously at first when I was getting sexually assaulted because that is how I’ve learned to passively diffuse awkward or strange situations for everyone involved. She throws off the coat and brings in the balloons and dances like a dork.
I don’t want to say it’s not racist, because that’s not my place and I can see that reading of it (ie “the satire was not good”). But I saw more nuance in it than that, personally. Lily said today, “If I could dance like the ladies can, it would have been my arse on your screens; I actually rehearsed for two weeks trying to perfect my twerk, but failed miserably. If I was a little braver, I would have been wearing a bikini too, but I do not and I have chronic cellulite, which nobody wants to see. What I’m trying to say is that me being covered up has nothing to do with me wanting to disassociate myself from the girls, it has more to do with my own insecurities and I just wanted to feel as comfortable as possible on the shoot day.” I’m not sure that’s an excuse? But that came through prettttyyy loud and clear to me. Girl clearly is not a good/confident dancer (her dancing in the balloon shots.. and even her choreography isn’t “working it”) and her “…I just had two kids…” comment made me feel like this was a personal choice. She is not a professional dancer. She is a singer/musician. Are we saying that she should have to bare her ass or no one can? The women around her are professional dancers who have said they felt they were playing the role of male-gazey dancer, and even the white dancers are in bikinis and humping the scenery unnecessarily.
Why would she use male dancers? Wouldn’t that just give the appearance of an “objectify everyone and it’s fine, we’re even” tone? I’d like to think the sarcasm of her “Don’t you want someone who objectifies you?” lyric applies to both men and women. Wouldn’t she be a bad ally by allowing those jobs to go to men instead? And… should any non-black women be twerking in this setting? Because last I heard Miley got flack for that kind of appropriation. Wouldn’t that be seen as not just appropriation but bad feminism by taking away a paying dancing job (potentially of her own culture) from a black woman?
Also, Stephen Colbert DOES make fun of poor people. Him enacting the asshole conservative is what brings to light the asshole conservatism. His character does, as you say, “punch down”. But the context of the punching down is what usually transforms his gross portrayal into “punching up”. Satire is about taking something to its logical extremes (“A Modest Proposal”). Do you really think Lily Allen is showing you all this so you go “Mmm, yes, those dancers should dance up on me”? Everything that’s phallic in this video gets near a woman’s mouth or is fellated, all the dancing is hyper sexualized, everything is a gratuitous product placement or staple of popular portrayals of consumerism. Like Colbert, she may be acting out a “punch down” but the context transforms the meaning. The janitor in your example is parodying the CEO. If the CEO tried to parody the janitor, it’d be terrible. But what if the CEO took a CEO character to the extreme (“you’re worthless! We couldn’t function without you and we’d wallow in our filth if you left us, but you totally deserve to be paid less! *maniacal mustache twirl* PROFITS! PROFITS, NYAH! LET’S HIRE A DOG TO CLEAN INSTEAD, IT’S CHEAPER.”) to illustrate how fucked up that line of thinking is… yeah. That’s funny and self-deprecating. It’s like rape jokes. Don’t make fun of the rapee, make fun of the rapist or rape culture. Those are acceptable rape jokes. Take the rapists’ fucked up mentality to an extreme to show how messed up it is. You’re taking on the logical extreme viewpoint of the rapist but still clearly making fun of them and not the victim, because of context. I don’t see this as Lily Allen making fun of twerking/black culture/black women, but of exaggerating the role they (and other women!) are being asked to play in the music scene.
I don’t want to silence anyone’s voices on this, because I think this conversation is really interesting/healthy and I do see the argument that ~taking something to an extreme is still giving exposure to that negative idea~. But I respectfully disagree in my interpretation. I’ll have to keep reading people’s analysis to see if that changes.
OK SOME REALLY SERIOUS SHIT IS HAPPENING IN NORTH KOREA
According to South Korean newspapers, last week the North Korean government PUBLICLY EXECUTED 80 people in 7 cities for watching South Korean/Western shows, movies, and videos, “pornography,” or possessing a Bible.
Apparently people’s attitudes and conformance are changing SO THIS IS HOW THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO SUPPRESS DISOBEDIENCE
They allegedly herded 10,000 innocent civilians into a stadium where they were FORCED TO WATCH THE EXECUTIONS BY MACHINE GUN FIRE
THIS IS HONESTLY SOME HUNGER GAMES SHIT HAPPENING IN REAL LIFE RIGHT NOW
some of the more reputable sources: x, x
Other sources: The Sydney Morning Herald The Los Angeles Times
"There’s never been a more frustrating time to be a socially progressive fan of Marvel Comics. Not because its many titles are conservative or hateful — just the opposite, in fact. Marvel’s printed superhero books are more ethnically diverse, feminist, and queer-positive than they’ve ever been. The frustration comes because, even as Marvel’s printed offerings are looking forward, its popular live-action movies and TV shows feel like relics from a lily-white, male-dominated, straights-only past. It’s time for Marvel to push its onscreen output into the 21st century by learning from its own source material."
Marvel’s Diversity Problem — Vulture
Reblogging because a few of my followers have been pointing this out recently.
And DC fans are off in a corner crying :(
I never cease to be impressed by you, Carol Corps.
Donated today in honor of Carol Corps. Also: Good news everyone! The WASP rose parade float is being built :3
*TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE*
"Go ahead and call the cops- they can’t unrape you”
Imagine being a 13 year old girl who has been raped. By multiple boys. And your rape was filmed and then shared on Facebook, where an audience of thousands of anonymous users watched your personal strife. The next step would be to go to the police – and so you do. And their response? To ask what you were wearing. And then dismiss your rape, saying there’s not enough evidence to proceed.
That’s what happened to a 13 year old young woman who was raped two years ago.
She was the victim of Roast Busters, a group of boys who secretly filmed themselves gang raping intoxicated underage girls. They then humiliated these women by bragging on Facebook – posting videos and sharing the personal anguish of these women with an audience of thousands.
The police are saying there’s not enough evidence to convict these Roast Busters, so they won’t charge them. But, it’s now come to light that one of the rapists is, in fact, a local police officer’s son. And that in the past few years 4 victims have gone to the police – and their voices were consistently ignored.
It’s clear that the police force isn’t doing its part to find justice for these young women. These young women are being dismissed by the official body that is supposed to support those in need – and they have nowhere to turn to because of a lack of proper support services for victims of assault.
That’s why we need Prime Minister John Key to step up and do the right thing.
READ MORE AND SIGN THE PETITION HERE
signal boost this shit
piece of shit scum think they’re hot shit just because of nepotism. i want to see them locked away for the rest of their fucking lives
I hope they kill themselves in front of that very audience
this honestly made me sick to my stomach
com’on guys,take a break from reblogging whatever the hell you usually blog and help bring these dickholes behind bars
slamming this hard. this is more or less a clear representation of how piss poor the nz justice system is here for rape victims in particular.
there’s also a high chance that every single one of these filth will walk away from this unscathed.
the rape culture here is fucking vile.
The Wingtip-to-Wingtip Association is a non-profit that’s looking for a new way to bring attention to a group of pioneering women whose accomplishments were hidden from the public for thirty years after they were released from service. But their attempt to bring a parade float honoring World War II’s WASPs to a nationally televised event is turning up short of funds a mere days before their deadline.
Highlight (emphasis mine): “The families of the 38 women who died were not allowed to display gold stars in their windows, because their daughters were not recognized as veterans.
The WASPs received a letter informing them that their service was over. Two days after that letter came, ‘several of us received letters from aircraft companies inviting us to come and be stewardesses,’ remembers [Alyce Stevens Rohrer]. ‘I was so angry, I tore that letter up.’”
You can donate, like I did, here.
If there’s an award for “High School Coach of the Year,” a Utah football coach deserves to be on the list of nominees — not for what he did on the field, but off!
When he discovered that members of the Union High football team were apparently cyberbullying another student, Coach Matt Labrum suspended the entire team. He told the players that the bullying, along with building academic and attitude problems, would not be tolerated and ordered them to hand in their gear.
Coach Labrum also met with the student who was targeted to apologize on behalf of the team.
“It just felt like everything was going in a direction that we didn’t want our young men going,” Labrum told a local news reporter, “We felt like we needed to make a stand.”
The coach has allowed the team to reform, but only so that they could meet to discuss the situation and sign contracts that require them to attend counseling on character building as well as perform community service. Only then will they get their jerseys back.
All we can say here is “Coaching…he’s doing it right!”
I really hope more coaches take note. This is how to make sure your kids grow into good people rather than -just- talented athletes.
NOT A JOKE: Photos from Personhood for Women
Also, check out National Advocates for Pregnant Women, org that stands up for the rights of women (often the ones with the least means) who have no way of debunks bad science and challenges religious lunatics in courts.
I was just reading an article the other day about a woman who miscarried and got put in jail for it. I don’t remember which country it was, but the descriptions of the poverty level and lack of sex ed (this woman didn’t know she was pregnant for waaaay too long) and the age of pregnancy (14! Cries) made me even sadder.
This shit always reminds me of that line in Everafter where Drew Barrymore says to the prince that he first creates thieves (his policies not helping the lower classes, people are starving) and then punishes them. No sex ed, no easy access to contraception… but if you miscarry a pregnancy you didn’t even know you had, jail for you.
"welcome, ladies…we’d like to talk about healthcare."
"We’re not going to be disrespected, We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is."
— Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), quoted by the Washington Examiner, on the government shutdown. (via wilwheaton)
Oh, I see. This is from a politician. I thought Wil was quoting one of my children.
For the record, I have met Mr Hodgman’s children, and I believe they are both too mature and sensible to say anything like that.
America was not shut down properly. Would you like to start America in safe mode, with free healthcare and without guns? (Recommended)