Google is an imperfect oracle of popular will, but here’s one trend that seems pretty clear: Searches for the phrase “registrarse para votar” — “register to vote,” in Spanish — hit an all-time high during Monday’s presidential debate, spiking to more than 100,000 searches. [link]
One of the markers of Lin Manuel’s genius is that he can write this, one of my favorite songs in the musical, in a voice so different from his own
Next up on the list: Reconstruction, a time deeply infused with the legacy of racial prejudice, civil- and voting-rights violations, and power politics. The effort is timely. On its sesquicentennial, for example, Memphis, Tennessee, recently memorialized an 1866 massacre in which, following the rumor of a freedman’s insurrection, 48 people were murdered and hundreds more badly beaten or raped by rampaging white mobs over a 36-hour period. Horrors like that are why the National Park Service has called the aftermath of the Civil War “one of the most complicated, poorly understood, and significant periods in American history.” Millions of former slaves found liberation, but they had to create a new community for themselves inside a very fragile nation—one in which many residents of the former Confederacy found the new realities of abolition and military defeat repugnant. Citing Reconstruction scholarship as “slow to enter public consciousness,” this year the National Park Service published a handbook for rangers and historians to ensure that “discredited legends” (like neo-Confederate claims that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery) don’t “stand in place of historical fact.” [link]
Let’s just hold up for one second– what if I told you, and meant in sincerity, that beauty is worthless?
No apology, no justification that everyone is beautiful in their way and everyone just needs to show their inner beauty to the world like blah blah blah. Just a simple premise from which to operate for the sake of argument: beauty is worthless. Say it’s like whistling, maybe. Nice, but also who cares.
If you spent even one day operating under this principle, what would change? What about yourself would you value and be valued by others? When you looked at those other women, assuming beauty = null, what would you value about them?
There are valuable things about you that have absolutely nothing to do with how you look, and with every single one of them as well. Honesty, decency, tenacity. Maybe a gift for poetry. Maybe the ability to identify what mushrooms are poisonous. Who knows! But if we focus all our energies on what every woman looks like, we may never get the chance to appreciate their limericks or benefit from knowing which mushroom is a death cap. (aaaa, it’s that one!!!)
As I’m sure you’re aware through your readings here and elsewhere, through forced femininity, women are conditioned to believe that they must be beautiful or else they have no value; that the value of other women must be a function of their attractiveness; that love is only for attractive people. That’s why there is so much emphasis, even among progressive circles, in emphasizing that “every girl is beautiful”– when it’s used as a synonym for “having value,” it gets pushed as mandatory.
None of these things are true. You can literally be the ugliest person alive and still be a whole and good and valuable person. Even if you had a tooth growing out of your forehead you would still be a whole and worthwhile person. [link]
Converts, he reported, accounted for 67 percent of American Muslims involved in committing or planning an ISIS-related attack—“a significantly disproportionate percentage, considering that they comprise only 20% of Muslims throughout the entire United States.” Converts are similarly overrepresented among convicted British jihadists. According to Scott Kleinman and Scott Flower, converts constitute an estimated 2 to 3 percent of Britain’s 2.8 million Muslims, yet “converts have been involved in 31% of jihadist terrorism convictions in the UK from 2001 to 2010.” [link]