feminism is not a bad word.

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  1. "

    I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. None was delighted by the question, because it required judging the past by the standards of today—a fallacy disparaged as “presentism” by social scientists. But every one chose to be an Indian. Some early colonists gave the same answer. Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians. My ancestor shared their desire, which is what led to the trumped-up murder charges against him—or that’s what my grandfather told me, anyway.

    As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the “Savages” were disgusted by handkerchiefs: “They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground.” The Micmac scoffed at the notion of French superiority. If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants leaving?

    Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did (about 1.5 million acres of terraces still exist in the Peruvian Andes), but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes. A principal tool was fire, used to keep down underbrush and create the open, grassy conditions favorable for game. Rather than domesticating animals for meat, Indians retooled whole ecosystems to grow bumper crops of elk, deer, and bison. The first white settlers in Ohio found forests as open as English parks—they could drive carriages through the woods. Along the Hudson River the annual fall burning lit up the banks for miles on end; so flashy was the show that the Dutch in New Amsterdam boated upriver to goggle at the blaze like children at fireworks. In North America, Indian torches had their biggest impact on the Midwestern prairie, much or most of which was created and maintained by fire. Millennia of exuberant burning shaped the plains into vast buffalo farms. When Indian societies disintegrated, forest invaded savannah in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Texas Hill Country. Is it possible that the Indians changed the Americas more than the invading Europeans did? “The answer is probably yes for most regions for the next 250 years or so” after Columbus, William Denevan wrote, “and for some regions right up to the present time.”

    "
    — 

    Quoted from the essay "1941" written by Charles C. Mann, about the major impact that Native Americans had on the Americas (ecologically and culturally) before white people invaded, bringing their diseases and shoving Christianity down the Indians’ throats and murdering them and banning their cultures.

    Check out the whole piece (which is rather long). (P.S thanks to @cazalis for sending me this great link)

    another excerpt:

    Human history, in Crosby’s interpretation, is marked by two world-altering centers of invention: the Middle East and central Mexico, where Indian groups independently created nearly all of the Neolithic innovations, writing included. The Neolithic Revolution began in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. In the next few millennia humankind invented the wheel, the metal tool, and agriculture. The Sumerians eventually put these inventions together, added writing, and became the world’s first civilization. Afterward Sumeria’s heirs in Europe and Asia frantically copied one another’s happiest discoveries; innovations ricocheted from one corner of Eurasia to another, stimulating technological progress. Native Americans, who had crossed to Alaska before Sumeria, missed out on the bounty. “They had to do everything on their own,” Crosby says. Remarkably, they succeeded.

    When Columbus appeared in the Caribbean, the descendants of the world’s two Neolithic civilizations collided, with overwhelming consequences for both. American Neolithic development occurred later than that of the Middle East, possibly because the Indians needed more time to build up the requisite population density. Without beasts of burden they could not capitalize on the wheel (for individual workers on uneven terrain skids are nearly as effective as carts for hauling), and they never developed steel. But in agriculture they handily outstripped the children of Sumeria. Every tomato in Italy, every potato in Ireland, and every hot pepper in Thailand came from this hemisphere. Worldwide, more than half the crops grown today were initially developed in the Americas.

    Maize, as corn is called in the rest of the world, was a triumph with global implications. Indians developed an extraordinary number of maize varieties for different growing conditions, which meant that the crop could and did spread throughout the planet. Central and Southern Europeans became particularly dependent on it; maize was the staple of Serbia, Romania, and Moldavia by the nineteenth century. Indian crops dramatically reduced hunger, Crosby says, which led to an Old World population boom.

    Along with peanuts and manioc, maize came to Africa and transformed agriculture there, too. “The probability is that the population of Africa was greatly increased because of maize and other American Indian crops,” Crosby says. “Those extra people helped make the slave trade possible.” Maize conquered Africa at the time when introduced diseases were leveling Indian societies. The Spanish, the Portuguese, and the British were alarmed by the death rate among Indians, because they wanted to exploit them as workers. Faced with a labor shortage, the Europeans turned their eyes to Africa. The continent’s quarrelsome societies helped slave traders to siphon off millions of people. The maize-fed population boom, Crosby believes, let the awful trade continue without pumping the well dry.

    Back home in the Americas, Indian agriculture long sustained some of the world’s largest cities. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán dazzled Hernán Cortés in 1519; it was bigger than Paris, Europe’s greatest metropolis. The Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away. They had never before seen a city with botanical gardens, for the excellent reason that none existed in Europe. The same novelty attended the force of a thousand men that kept the crowded streets immaculate. (Streets that weren’t ankle-deep in sewage! The conquistadors had never heard of such a thing.) Central America was not the only locus of prosperity. Thousands of miles north, John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, visited Massachusetts in 1614, before it was emptied by disease, and declared that the land was “so planted with Gardens and Corne fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong and well proportioned people … [that] I would rather live here than any where.”

    and another excerpt:

    In as yet unpublished research the archaeologists Eduardo Neves, of the University of São Paulo; Michael Heckenberger, of the University of Florida; and their colleagues examined terra preta in the upper Xingu, a huge southern tributary of the Amazon. Not all Xingu cultures left behind this living earth, they discovered. But the ones that did generated it rapidly—suggesting to Woods that terra preta was created deliberately. In a process reminiscent of dropping microorganism-rich starter into plain dough to create sourdough bread, Amazonian peoples, he believes, inoculated bad soil with a transforming bacterial charge. Not every group of Indians there did this, but quite a few did, and over an extended period of time.

    When Woods told me this, I was so amazed that I almost dropped the phone. I ceased to be articulate for a moment and said things like “wow” and “gosh.” Woods chuckled at my reaction, probably because he understood what was passing through my mind. Faced with an ecological problem, I was thinking, the Indians fixed it. They were in the process of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything.

    (via badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

     
     
  2. rosalarian:

    greenonthursdays:

    huffingtonpost:

    WHY THIS WOMAN WOULD RATHER READ HARRY POTTER EROTICA THAN WATCH PORN

    When spoken word artist Brenna Twohy tells you that she is an unabashed devotee of all things “Potterotica” — erotic fiction based in the magical universe of Harry Potter — your response probably shouldn’t be that her taste is “unrealistic.” 

    Watch her full monologue here. 

    (Source: National Poetry Slam uploaded by Button Poetry)

    I’m happy to be getting to the point where I don’t have to feel weird about enjoying fanfiction, or having written a bunch of it. Partly it’s that the fandom experience has become more broadly shared. Partly it’s that I stopped giving a shit.

    And as for why I like the porny sort of fanfiction, see above. She says it better.

    I like sex with context. I like sex when it involves fully fleshed out characters. I like the backstories. I like feeling like these people do other things when they aren’t having sex.

     
     
  3. merkkultra:

    do men have resting bitch faces as well or do they not have negative characteristics ascribed to them for putting on a neutral rather than a deliriously happy facial expression

    (Source: theanunnakiconnection)

     
     
  4. ohnoproblems:

besturlonhere:

arineat:

tryingtodisappearcompletely:

God I hope this is true.
Oh my god it is.

OMFG

i dropped my monster space condom for my magnum astro dong

men are too irrational for the rigors and stresses of living in space

    ohnoproblems:

    besturlonhere:

    arineat:

    tryingtodisappearcompletely:

    God I hope this is true.

    Oh my god it is.

    OMFG

    i dropped my monster space condom for my magnum astro dong

    men are too irrational for the rigors and stresses of living in space

    (Source: thehighpriestessofcuddles)

     
     
  5. allthebeautifulthings9828:

    Okay, you little peaches. Sit down so we can talk history.

    Y’all know about Paul Revere’s midnight ride during the Revolutionary War, right? He rode twelve miles to warn people that the British were coming, along with a couple of other guys that history has largely forgotten.

    Meet Sybil Ludington. This 16-year-old girl rode forty miles during the night in 1777 to warn Colonial forces that the British were coming. Virtually the same thing as Paul Revere, yet Sybil was not taught in history classes when I was in school. Did any of you learn about this girl in school?

     
     
  6. rosefire:

gaywitch-practisingabortion:

situationalstudent:

purplespacecats:

professorbutterscotch:

kiskolee:

THIS.

I have never thought about it in this context
that’s actually really, really creepy.

I… fuck.

Yeah, basically.

I once pointed this out to my mother and she just stared at me, in stunned silence for ages. 

There will always be a girl who is less sober, less secure, with less friends walking in a darker part of town. I want her safe just as much as I want me safe.

    rosefire:

    gaywitch-practisingabortion:

    situationalstudent:

    purplespacecats:

    professorbutterscotch:

    kiskolee:

    THIS.

    I have never thought about it in this context

    that’s actually really, really creepy.

    I… fuck.

    Yeah, basically.

    I once pointed this out to my mother and she just stared at me, in stunned silence for ages. 

    There will always be a girl who is less sober, less secure, with less friends walking in a darker part of town. I want her safe just as much as I want me safe.

    (Source: bigfatphallusy)

     
     
  7. "A few months back, I was asked to participate in a debate on the topic of whether men should have to pay on dates. (I was “the feminist.”) It turned out that the male debater and I didn’t really disagree much on that topic. I said that, generally, whoever asks the other person out pays for that date, and then at some point couples generally transition into sharing costs in whatever way works for them. He was actually pretty happy to pay for first dates; he just wanted women to say thank you and to not use him. I had no problem with that.

    I think he said that women should offer to pay half, knowing they’ll probably be turned down. I said, well, sometimes — but what if the other person invited you someplace really expensive? What if you agreed to a date with the guy and he spent an hour saying crazy racist shit to you and you felt like you couldn’t escape? This is what led to our real disagreement.

    The male debater felt strongly that if a woman wasn’t interested in a second date, she should say so on the spot. If the man says, “Let’s do this again sometime,” the woman shouldn’t say, “Sure, great,” and then back out later. I said that that was a nice ideal, but that he should keep in mind that most women spent most of their lives living in low-level fear of physical aggression from men. I think about avoiding rape (or other violence) every time I walk home from the subway, every time there’s an unexpected knock at the door, and certainly every time I piss off an unhinged man. So, if I were on a date with a man who I felt was unbalanced, creepy, overly aggressive, or possibly violent, and he asked if I wanted to “do this again sometime,” I would say whatever I felt would avoid conflict. And then I would leave, wait awhile, and hope that letting him down politely a few days later would avoid his finding me and turning my skin into an overcoat.

    The male debater was furious that I had even brought this up. He felt that the threat of violence against women was irrelevant, and that I was playing some kind of “rape card” as a debate trick. He got angrier and angrier as we argued. I also got angrier and angrier, although I worked hard to keep speaking in a calm and considered way. He was shouting and cutting me off when I tried to speak. I pointed out that the debater himself was displaying exactly the sort of behavior that would make me very uncomfortable on a date. THAT made him livid.

    He then called me “passive-aggressive.”

    I was genuinely taken aback. “Actually,” I said, “I call this ‘behaving myself.’” It’s a lot of work to stay calm when you’re just as furious as the other person, and that other person is shouting at you. I felt that I was acting like a grownup — at some emotional cost to myself — and I wanted credit, not insults, for being able to speak in a normal tone of voice when I was having to explain things like, “We can’t tell who the rapists are before they turn violent, so sometimes we have to be cautious with men who do not intend to harm us.”"
     
     
  8. almightybob:

    heichaoba:

    Ubisoft animators

    talk about owned

    (Source: oopsinsurance)

     
     
  9. The biggest three Young Adult literature franchises in the past decade have been Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Twilight. All of them were written by women.

    fandomsandfeminism:

    And yet we still get articles like this:

    image

    And it annoys the hell out of me. 

    Because John Green has said and done some great, wonderful things. He’s also done and said some super shitty things. He’s written some decent books, and done some good charity work.

    But he did not save Young Adult Literature. He did not usher in a grand new era of Young Adult Literature. If anything, he is riding on the coattails of women more successful than him in the literary world. 

     
     
  10. laura-thesedays:

    SIGNAL BOOST THIS NEWS! Seriously, how come this isn’t all over tumblr? Angelina Jolie presided over the largest ever global anti-rape summit. She is using her celebrity for good. She is addressing rape in wartime and in conflict zones, which is where it is perpetuated on the most massive scale and in which context always has been used as a weapon.

    Feminists of tumblr should get behind this woman. Let’s stop the perpetual erasure and trivialization of women in the media through their sexualization and start looking at the work that they do. Her acts here are easily in danger of being eclipsed by her image in the tabloids which is more concerned with her relationship to Brad Pitt and the fact that she is a sex symbol than the important feminist work that she is performing RIGHT NOW. 

    I am such a fan of this lady… and she does not deserve to be trivialized for being a woman, a sex symbol, and a celebrity. Here, she is working for social justice for women all over the world. She’s doing what’s right.

    (Source: queen-angelina)