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Sound about right…
Indonesia celebrates the life of its favourite feminist every April 21st. I live in fear of not doing enough to make the badasses in this photograph proud.
Foreign Policy: The Things They Carried: The Congolese Rebel
Least inane “What’s in my bag” feature on the internet! Highlights: Obama flashlight (“lightweight for combat”), King James Bible (“Every Sunday when I’m not at war, I’m in church”), pool table (???)
Some people live by a National Geographic-type credo where they challenge themselves to do one thing every day that scares them; I’m lazy, and Indonesian to boot, so I make things easy on myself by fulfilling a credo of learning one mind-blowing thing every day about my magical “government.” Here’s one I found yesterday, about an elite naval unit:
The unit is made up entirely of men, after a change in policy in 1988, which excluded women from serving in Kesatuan Gurita. Prior to the policy change women and men served side by side. The change in policy, which was controversial at the time and continues to spark controversy in Indonesia from time to time, stemmed from a pregnancy that occurred in 1986 in one of the women serving in the unit. While there was no formal policy forbidding frateranization between soldiers, leadership in the Indonesian Navy felt that the temptation was too great to have men and women serving together, bunking side by side, and in total seclusion. The leadership also felt that the risk of fetal harm was too great and indicated in an official statement that “the value of a non-terrorist human life, especially one that has yet to sin, is too great to compromise in the world of explosives, bio-chemical terror agents, and elements that we may not even know yet.” There was a significant outcry from the 132 women who were in the unit and not pregnant, as they had to be reassigned to different areas within the military. One female soldier, who appeared on television without releasing her identity, said, “We are trained couter-terrorism agents. We take precautions everywhere we go, in every activity. I wear three weapons when I go to the grocery store. The fact that this (expletive deleted) couldn’t take the simple and obvious precation to prevent pregnancy when she was just scratching an itch is disappointing. That I have to give up a position I have trained my entire life for because two people were thinking with parts other than their brains is infuriating.”
Broken social scene
Stop and take a minute to think about the epithet applied to you when a friend introduces you to someone new at parties (“This is x, and she __________.”). Do the epithets vary from party to party, or are they fairly consistent? Do the epithets describe the observable circumstances surrounding your existence as an individual human being, or are they wholly provisory to your relationship with your mutual friend (“This is x, and I’ve known her since we were kids.”)? Do your friend’s perceived attributes of you accurately represent you, or the image you set out to manifest when placed in a social situation?
The most charitable trope that anyone has given me is this: “This is D, she likes Star Wars and football.” Admittedly not a great thing to put on your social calling card, but far less incendiary than my high school-era attribute: “This is D, she really likes Karl Marx.”
Looks - personality - intelligence
You know how someone with good looks becomes even more beautiful once you learn they have a great personality?
Does this happen because you will dismiss (even excuse) someone that beautiful for having the intellectual prowess and interpersonal appeal of a damp sponge?