24 3 / 2014
The criminal produces not only crime but also the criminal law; he produces the professor who delivers lectures on this criminal law; and even the inevitable text-book in which the professor presents his lectures as a commodity for sale in the market… Further, the criminal produces the whole apparatus of the police and criminal justice, detectives, judges, executioners, juries…
Crime takes off the labour market a portion of the excess population, diminishes competition among workers, and to a certain extent stops wages from falling below the minimum, while the war against crime absorbs another part of the same population. The criminal therefore appears as one of those natural ‘equilibrating forces’ which establish a just balance and open up a whole perspective of ‘useful’ occupations."
13 3 / 2014
Er, so you may have seen me lose my shit over this. This is the latest in a series of campaigns across various universities about the treatment of students of colour as “the Other”. You may be a student here, but you’re different (& no, that’s not necessarily a compliment.)
Until recently I sort of naively was looking at this as a bystander - someone who could recognise the frustration of these students, but this was all coming from the US, and the racial issues there are hugely different to what’s happening here in New Zealand, right? Then I saw Oxford’s campaign, which had statements like this. Statements which had me furious, relieved that I wasn’t the only one, and incredibly sad.
It got me thinking. Those rambly thoughts are below the cut.
^ in which Jess is articulate in all her well-founded rage about being trapped in a binary world that is forced upon us by that bastion of white New Zealand that is our law schools. I’m not going to say much because she has said it so lyrically: but there is a problem when so many of us, from such diverse backgrounds are having similar experiences on the other side of the fucking world.
No matter how well intentioned you are, you are not helping when you ask me to represent a country I’ve never set foot in because “it’s your heritage”. You’re not helping when you want us on your prospectuses — but not in focus or too close to the front, please. You’re definitely not helping when you expect us to be grateful and reward you for making fumbling, token gestures towards multiculturalism.
Well-intentioned institutionalised racism is still goddamn racism.
And because Jess says it best, here is some wisdom on POC academics at Oxford: “It’s the buildings that should be old, not the academic standards.”
20 2 / 2014
"A study on masculinity and aggression from the University of South Florida found that innocuous – yet feminine – tasks could produce profound anxiety in men. As part of the study, a group of men were asked to perform a stereotypically feminine act – braiding hair in this case - while a control group braided rope. Following the act, the men were given the option to either solve a puzzle or punch a heavy bag. Not surprisingly, the men who performed the task that threatened their masculinity were far more likely to punch the bag; again, violence serving as a way to reestablish their masculine identity. A follow-up had both groups punch the bag after braiding either hair or rope; the men who braided the hair punched the bag much harder. A third experiment, all the participants braided hair, but were split into two groups: those who got to punch the bag afterwards and those who didn’t. The men who were prevented from punching the bag started to show acute signs of anxiety and distress from not being able to reconfirm their masculinity."
20 2 / 2014
People in LOTR/The Hobbit fandom saying that it’s alright that canon is full of white men… SMDH