institutionalized oppression

arvan's picture

on gaga: how being in the news is not news

[Warning: I will actually be criticising white people, lady gaga and several sacred cows of white culture]

Lady Gaga is all the rage.  She loves her some gay people and she even sings a song that takes up the banner of gay rights - "Born This Way". 

Before anyone derails this into a conversation about music (it's not), my taste (I have none), why I don't like gaga (I think she's talented enough), any theory of me being anti-LGBTQI (wrong again, camel-breath) or my dislike for white people (I am white and harbor no such thoughts) - be clear: this is about the institutionalized cultural appropriation has been served up to and consumed by cis-gendered, heteronormative white audiences.

These are the lies we are told in order to maintain division and inequality by those who profit from our ignorance and cruelty toward each other.

I have had my reservations with a reliance on some short saying such as "born this way" to justify the identity of LGBTQI persons and I am not the only one.  I am not saying that people are not "born this way".  Some are and it is for each of us to decide for our own selves, whether this is true or not. 

-  I do not recognize the authority of others to demand from me or anyone - some accounting of how I got to be the way I am.  I don't owe anyone such an explanation and I don't need to convince them that I am a valid person.  I think that there are no shortcuts.  For me to accept that LGBTQI persons owe some sort of explanation for whom we are is victim blaming.  No different to me than slut shaming.  It is placing the power in the hands of the bullies while releasing them from accountability.  I may have been born this way or I may have chosen to be this way - either way, I cede no power to anyone challenging my rights to be.

arvan's picture

From Discrimination to Discrimination

An Examination of Policies Related to Women During the First Four Years of Ahmadinejad’s Presidency

By: Mahboube Hosseinzadeh [Sign for Change]

Change for Equality- “Women…women are the crown on our heads” was the first sentence that Mahmoud Ahmadinnejad uttered sarcastically on the afternoon of June 24th, 2005, as one of the two candidates who were admitted to the second stage of the presidential elections, in response to the question of a female, foreign journalist about his future policies for Iranian women. In a small and hot car exhibition in eastern Tehran, where the atmosphere was made even more unbearable because of the smell of smoke and wild rue [to ward off the evil eye], Ahmadinejad uttered some more clichés about women, which made it clear that he did not have a specific plan in this respect.


But after becoming president, in his first action with respect to women’s issues, on September 24th, 2005, he changed the name of “the Center for Women’s Participation”, which was the only governmental center under the control of the president solely dedicated to addressing women’s issues, to “the Center for Women’s and Family Affairs”. The name change was a prelude to the policies of the ninth presidency in women’s affairs and reinforced the impression that in line with the president’s ideology policies related to women were to be devised within the framework of family and motherhood. After that, the “Compulsory Reduction of Women’s Work Hours Plan” was introduced under the pretext of supporting women. However, it was pretty obvious that in a country where the employment rate of women even according to the most optimistic analysis is only 14% while 64% of university admissions are women, this plan will lead to the exclusion of even more women from the workplace.

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