State of Israel Devises Ethnic Cleansing of Ethiopian Jews and Palestinians

Ayelet Shaked is a parliament member and lawmaker in Israel, the settler state built on Palestinian land, who remarked that all Palestinian mothers “have to die and their houses should be demolished so that they cannot bear any more terrorists,” appearing unaware that her agenda and occupation of Palestinian land breeds the “terrorists” intent on re-securing their homes and human rights. Although Shaked supposedly represents only the politically far-right of Israel, the rest of the occupying state actualizes her vision, as more than 425 Palestinian citizens have been killed and over 3,000 are injured. At least 100 of these are “terrorist” children.

At Shifa Hospital, a girl who looked about 9 was brought into the emergency room and laid on a gurney, blood soaking the shoulder of her shirt. Motionless and barely alive, she stared at the ceiling, her mouth open. There was no relative with her to give her name. The medical staff stood quietly around her. Every now and then, they checked her vital signs, until it was time. They covered her with a white sheet, and she was gone. A few moments later, a new patient lay on the gurney.

On the side of the occupiers, 18 soldiers are killed, and 2 citizens.

Basically sums up your author's position.
Basically sums up your author’s position.

The tactics of the occupiers to target women to prevent the birth of children are unsurprising, given both the widespread implementation of ethnic cleansing throughout the history of any illegal occupation as well as Israel’s obsession of producing a nation of non-black Jewish citizens in order to maintain the majority. Not only have Bedouin women been aware for decades of the shifty atmosphere,

But the hospital also inspires troubling rumors, the most alarming of which involves a general distrust of Caesarean sections owing to fears of un-consented sterilization. Other rumors suggest that hospitals “use Bedouin women’s placentas for all kinds of experiments and even sell them.”

but these “rumors” are supported as Israeli officials admit that Ethiopian Jewish immigrants are forcibly sterilized. The immigrants themselves have verified this claim.

“They told me if you don’t take the shot, we won’t give you a ticket, so I took the shot, but I didn’t know that it would prevent pregnancies. I didn’t know,” one woman told RT correspondent Paula Slier.

The vaccination, Depo-Provera, forcibly sterilized 13,000 impoverished women, half of whom were black, in the U.S. state of Georgia as a cruel human experiment during which several of the women were unaware that their bodies were being used for immoral scientific advancement. A great many of them died. Consequently, white women were provided with safe methods of birth control.

The same injection has been forcibly used for several years on Ethiopian women in the settler state, a strategic method to curb a population it views as inferior. Forced sterilization, under the guise of “birth control” campaigns, has been paraded by several United States organizations (as well as employed in US-backed Israel) throughout non-white countries, carried out by even reputably benevolent organizations, such as the Peace Corps. As Frances M. Beal writes in “Double Jeopardy: To Be Black and Female,” “[…]what the authorities in charge of these programs refer to as “birth control” is in fact nothing but a method of outright surgical genocide.[…] Under these circumstances, it is understandable why certain countries view the Peace Corps not as a benevolent project, not as evidence of America’s concern for underdeveloped areas, but rather as a threat to their very existence. This program could more aptly be named the Death Corps.” In the United States, Beal notes, “Threatened with the cut-off of relief funds, some Black welfare women have been forced to accept this sterilization procedure in exchange for a continuation of welfare benefits.”

Following suite after its unrelenting sponsor the United States, the Israeli settlers of Palestine have denied Ethiopian Jewish women relief (apparently you’re not promised the Promised Land by God if you’re black?) unless they accept a vaccine that will sterilize them. In traditional Judaism, sterilization is illegal.

It’s May. [Update #1]

Is it already? I meant to write something. (I actually meant to write quite a lot.) But–well, it didn’t happen. So here are a number of updates.

About halfway through the semester, a woman in one of my English classes had expressed dissatisfaction that she wasn’t able to read a lot of the “classics” she thought she would be reading as an English major, because so much of “ethnic studies” had made a literary presence in the department.

Let’s examine the unspoken premises here: (1) “Ethnic” people can not write classics, and/or (2) Anything incorporating analysis with “ethnic awareness,” or race studies, is not as extravagant a question as the “classic” musings on the human condition. Because racism is not a human experience. Well I mean, it’s not an important one. It’s not as grand as other literary subjects, like death or the sublime.

You see, once upon a time, English and Comparative Literature were actually two different departments. The whites were separated from the coloreds and everyone was happy. Then, one dreadful day, some people who were clearly suffering from too much political correctness actually decided to combine them together, on the basis that treating comparative literature as though it isn’t mainstream just because it’s written in languages not English is completely arbitrary to the study of literature. Or at least arbitrary according to them. I mean, it’s called English literature for a reason right? Being white has nothing to do with it, just Englishness. It’s not like we ever translate Greek lit–

Oh wait.

I have something to ask those who feel that “race” or “sex” don’t belong among the universal human experiences that are explored in literature and literature classrooms.

On what grounds?

Why are your questions about life larger than mine? Why do we have to explore the complexities of good and evil exposed by literature only on your terms, according to your human experiences? Why should I be expected to relate to your experiences as universal when you aren’t expected to relate to mine?

Why do you get to call yours universal, significant, penetrating the depths of human truths–apolitical–and accuse me of a political agenda on the assumption that–what? You are the exemplar of all humankind? That your experience of race–and trust me, you do have one despite your ardent denial–is the ultimate, that your awareness of race, under the pretense of not concerning yourself with it, as told from the perspective of the status quo is to remain unquestioned or else I am making the classroom political?

The problem isn’t that I am making you discuss race or sex when you don’t want to discuss it in literature. The problem is that I am changing the terms in which you discuss it. The truth is you were already discussing it, by default–except from your perspective, under the guise of “normality.” The truth is that before women’s studies you only had Male Studies in every class–history, biology, English, medicine was taught based on what was proven to work on male patients. The truth is that before comparative literature you already had White Literature. The truth is you were always discussing race, you were always discussing sex, and you were always discussing them as questions worthy of exploration alongside death and nature and the sublime and identity.

Why the sudden change of approach?

Do you believe English literature was truly English literature before I came along with my intellectual honesty political correctness? That you weren’t already obsessed with race? That it was English literature, not White literature?

Why have you translated the Greeks?

Finish

The male orgasm is like a tremor, halting eventually if not quickly, and in a single inhalation delivers into ecstasy then restfulness, exhausted.

But the female orgasm, initiated with an aching, is the beginning of a chasm of conflicted turns, that when it passes, her desires have only just been awakened. And instead of engendering fulfillment they consume her entirely with indescribable yearning, a passion for fierce imbuement, a screaming devotion that tosses and turns inflamed—take me completely com!plete!ly! please please please!—until the drive, subdued, evaporates in clarity of flight.

A satisfaction only in shattering, being consumed into existence.

On sexual aggressiveness

Male sexuality has been socially conditioned to comprise of the same components as sports: it is aggressive and domineering, and it views women as “opponents” to defeat in order achieve high status within a male social order. Boys are taught to drive forward to see how far their partners will allow them to reach sexually, preoccupying themselves with wondering what comes next rather than enjoying the moment, essentially displacing the excitement of intimacy with the excitement of competition, until finally, in order for a man to be aroused, a woman must be objectified. He has essentially lost the ability to become aroused without thinking of her in a dehumanized context. And living in a patriarchy, women undergo a similar transformation, in which they cannot achieve arousal unless they are in turn objectified. I strongly suspect this is why both men and women, during discussions about consent, express the sentiment that asking permission is a turn-off: it forces them to switch gears, because they have separated sex from love. An increasingly poignant thought is that this is correspondingly responsible for couples who have been together for a long time losing sexual interest in one another: they have known each other too intimately and too well (humanly) to achieve arousal in the objectifying fashion by which they have been conditioned.

As a Muslim woman (not to mention a self-respecting feminist), I don’t fucking play this game. While I deeply sympathize with men and the frustrations produced by this perilous conditioning on an abstract level, they are ultimately weaponizing my own sexuality (not theirs to weaponize) against me, and this generates far too much anger to subvert for sympathy. Yesterday I overheard a man stating that he uses men for stimulating intellectual conversation and women for sex, and all I could feel was sorry for him. Imagine not being able to relate to your partner on an intellectual level! Granted I don’t consider intelligence a fundamental criterion for love, but I still wet my panties over it.

Nonetheless I would rather never encounter these types than conceptually extend my sympathies for the fact that they’ve been robbed of honest emotional connection and intimacy by the culture they’ve constructed themselves.

Hilariously I’ve discovered that men who employ these tactics are less capable of overcoming the same sexual aggressiveness they exude. In exasperated reply to the uninvited advances of a particularly assertive man who, after attempting in vain to pick me up, jokingly advised, “Well don’t get your panties in a knot,” I shot back, “I can’t get my panties in a knot. Because I’m not wearing any,” in the most crude and viciously aggressive manner I could muster. He looked simultaneously shocked and disconcerted.

The same line could have been affectionate (I had to be extra vigilant not to sound receptive.) This deliberate practice of converting affection and playfulness into weaponry and… hunting is one of the most amoral aspects of patriarchy. And it cheats everyone.

On sexual knowledge

Very briefly, I’d like to address the annoying and incessant reemergence of a peculiar social/unfortunately feminist phenomenon: the defining of sexual pleasure in rigid constraints and the application of these constraints to the criteria of a feminist accordingly.

You may be familiar with it.

Not long after Role/Reboot republished a post I had written months earlier, I was accused. (“J’accuse!”) I had offended a feminist! Because I was not having enough sex, or something:

I’m trying not to let my anger and amazement get the best of me here, but how can any female call herself ‘feminist’ if she does not masturbate, has never really done so and admits to knowing “nothing of the workings of my own body or where anything is”? Every adult female should understand the workings of her body, know where EVERYthing is and know how to give herself an orgasm. Instead of thanking religion, we should be working to free women from the mental and physical enslavement of its prejuduce, ignorance, sexism and cruelty.

*massive eye roll* (Also, did she just refer to me as a “female”?!)

The article in question made it clear that Islam and feminism had rectified my sexual ignorance—the sexual ignorance that patriarchy promotes—not contributed to it. This was made so clear in the piece, in fact, that I can not believe anyone could be this deficient in reading comprehension. What’s more likely is that this woman believes what she wants to believe: that she is the white knight of all ignorant Muslim women everywhere! Her very assessment is structured in colonialism.

I don’t mind Islam being held accountable for my virginity—it’s a reason after all—but I sure as hell mind when it’s held accountable for my sexual ignorance. This infuriates me. My lack of sexual knowledge is a consequence of patriarchy, not of Islam—and in fact, my religion is responsible for my comfort, security, and safety. And yet I’m never released from the exertion of these indictments against Islam, the very religion that had assured me that sexual desires were natural and acceptable, and—even more strongly relevant to me—that so was my mild disinterest.

Additionally, I am highly uncomfortable with the fetishizing way that a Muslim woman’s sexuality is tied to her religion. While there is an additional harmful element of perceived exoticism when we’re talking about Muslim women in particular, I understand that this comes with the disturbing territory of eroticizing women who are allegedly unwilling or unknowing—the “Catholic schoolgirl” fetish. And when the context is Islam and Muslim women, it’s a context of marginalized and politicized experiences distorted and misshapen to sexually satisfy those in a privileged position and to define a woman’s identity based on harmful presumptions and forceful expectations. Fetish is confused with identity, and a woman’s right to her identity and to her expression of that identity is consequently destructively confiscated. This is partly why my initial reaction to Love, Inshallah was extremely cautious and less than thrilled; I was incredibly wary of the potentially detrimental conclusions drawn from this framework of exposure.

In a discussion with a classmate in which I disclosed that I don’t find vibrators the least bit appealing (they are cold and pastic and resemble dismembered body parts), the classmate attempted to convince me that there are all kinds! Well, I’m sure there are, and I would have had no problem with her informing me of this (though I firmly maintain my opinion), if she had not just previously realized I was a virgin and had declared that it was “adorable.” She was presenting this concept of all kinds! of vibrators as if it were new information explained to a child.

Feminism recognizes that women are responsible and powerful, and that a decision to not have sex isn’t “adorable” but an application of freely giving and withholding consent.

In other words, if I hadn’t then known the anatomy of my vagina, I didn’t have to do or know anything this intimate until I was ready and it unraveled naturally. I understand I’m a certain type of woman; I realize that for some women—maybe even for most women—these things don’t simply “unravel naturally.” But I knew myself well enough to recognize that it would for me, and it did. A couple of months ago it simply occurred to me that I recognized where the clitoral hood is located, and relative to that was everything else (including, as I realized in astonishment, the crescent-shaped hymen obstructing part of the vaginal opening.)

As a friend of mine worded recently, I get off more on fantasy than sensation. I’m sure sensation would help, but it’s not something I require. And for now I’m content with this, and anyone with an urge to revoke my feminist card can go fuck herself. I mean that literally–you go do it, I don’t want to, and that is fine.

What’s alarming is our tendency to trivialize female pleasure by neglecting to recognize the range of full-body sensuality, and reducing pleasure to penetration or physical masturbation by dismissing fantasy and/or the whole of sensuality as “foreplay” or merely a preamble to sex.

The Nonconsensual Sexualization of Unintending Young Women

At the age of 10 I had a way of walking I’m certain had been with me since I first learned to walk. There is nowhere I could have learned it, and I hadn’t given it any thought to have learned it in the first place. But it was called to my attention at 10, because it was “provocative.” And it wasn’t brought to my attention by men, but by women. Girls, in fact.

It was one foot in front of the other, a hip-swinging walk. And it was not okay. And the girls let me know this immediately. “Stop acting so stuck-up!” “She thinks she’s a model.” “Why do you walk like you’re all that?”

Of course, I didn’t think I was “all that.” And at the age of ten, being rather sheltered from all things overtly sexual, I was thoroughly bewildered and confused. This was how I naturally walked, and it wasn’t something I could change because I had no idea what I was doing wrong. It weren’t as though I could see myself walking and compare it to others. Eventually, though, I did learn to “fix” it. What’s interesting is not only the accusation of sexuality that I never implied, but the fact that I was not allowed to be sexual. These were girls who wore lipgloss, tight jeans, and midriff tops. They weren’t stereotypes–they were whole complete people, who cried when I wrote them sad stories and were fiercely loyal to each other–but they played into stereotypes. They gossiped, worried about their weight, talked about boys, copied each other’s homework, and had serious mean streaks. And consequently, they categorized and forced me into a stereotype. I studied and read and wrote and dressed conservatively (thanks mom) and contributed greatly to class discussions and was overall smart (though they were too!) and therefore was not allowed to demonstrate any kind of “grown-up” confidence.

Ten year old girls don’t walk the way they do to be sexual. They walk that way because that’s how they walk. When the girls cornered me for long legs and swinging hips, it was the confidence they attacked. I’m sure they had some idea that it was interpreted in the world as symbolic of some sort of sexual power, but it only just forming in our understanding. As far as they were concerned, this was power play. I was not a part of their clique.

“You can’t walk like that.”

I was a sweet kid. It’s hard to believe now, and it frustrates me when I remember it, but it’s frightening how soft I was. Watching the girls, I forced myself to change the way I walked because I genuinely believed there was something wrong with me. I walked like them instead. I remember the process, asking a friend of mine, “Do I walk weird?”

“You walk so gracefully, like a swan.” she said. “Don’t listen to them; they’re jealous.”

“Swans are clumsy on land.”

Looking back, there is so much about this that disturbs me. It was my first introduction, I can see, to the sexual interpretations of others forced onto me in a dangerously she-was-asking-for-it-like manner, while I have no involvement and no desire of involvement. I didn’t intend for anything–I was just living my life. I couldn’t intend anything; for crying out loud, I was ten. And yet this is so deeply ingrained into the mentality of society that it was pushed onto me by none other than ten-year-old girls, who themselves had no idea what they were doing, but had somehow come to understand the significance and had learned to police “sexuality.” And I “fixed” something that didn’t need to be fixed to appease to the fabrications of patriarchy, unwillingly, tearily, and self-destructively.

Growing up, the prevalence and instillment of the incident became clear. Everyone thought like this. At 12 I had a red dress I loved wearing. Still conservative, mind you, my mother picked out my clothes. But one day I put it on, and she told me to change it.

“Why?”

“It makes you look pretty. I don’t want… you getting the wrong kind of attention.”

Even then, I wanted to scream.

Did I mention this dress covered everything? Everything? Full-length sleeves and full-length skirt? It doesn’t even matter what it covered. I wasn’t wearing it to be sexual: I liked it because it reminded me of the dress one of the characters of an adventure book I was reading wore on the cover. I felt like riding dragons and finding ghosts in my dreary castle. It also doesn’t even matter if I were wearing it to be sexual, had I not been 12: it doesn’t give anyone the right to involve themselves without my permission.

My mother doesn’t tell me I’ll be raped, but she sure as hell implies it. “You could be kidnapped,” she says. “And… used. For business.”

I would say my mother is paranoid about sex trafficking, but she isn’t paranoid. She’s right. What she isn’t right about, however, is suggesting that being “unpretty” would somehow save me. And while she didn’t make me accountable for the possibility of rape (though it disturbed me greatly that she consistently hinted my life would be utterly and entirely over) she did make me liable for others’ interpretations of what “message” I was sending by the way I dressed.

My mother meant well. She was terrified to death of losing me, a defenseless child, to predators. When I hit my late teens and was not so defenseless, she promptly allowed me to “dress pretty” again. Before class, now a young woman of 17, I walked past the mirror in my bedroom and slid into a well-fitted black dress that zipped on one side. I tugged up the zipper and it stopped, leading me to believe I’d zipped it all the way. In actuality, the zipper had stuck at the curve of my breast, exposing the black lace of my bra.

“Nahida, you look gorgeous!” my instructor exclaimed in third period psychology. “Come here.”

“What is it?” I asked, walking up to her desk.

Without warning, she reached out and yanked the zipper upward, closing the dress completely. I stood for a minute in shock.

“You’ve been walking around flashing everyone all morning,” she guessed grimly. And then, I won’t forget the look she gave me–more than just disapproval, it was blatantly, almost hatefully, accusatory.

Whore!

“I–I didn’t know,” I stammered truthfully. “I thought I zipped it.” Please, please, please believe me, please.

She had dismissively returned to grading papers. “Thanks,” I murmured and walked back to my textbooks. My psychology teacher liked me–not only as a good student but as me, personally–and I liked her, which made her reproach all the more scathing.

Of course, that wasn’t the end of it. The forging of a false reality by those who have no business interpreting my behavior and policing me occur even here. Whenever I write a sex-related post, men–men this time, Muslim and non-Muslim alike–submit comments that clearly assume I am attempting to ensnare them with the subject of sex, even if the entry itself has nothing to do with seduction and everything to do with my perspective, experience, and feminism. Just because you don’t see a point, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. There are other commenters who very much see the point–so I take it the problem is you, not my writing. And if there weren’t a point? Well GTFO–that’s what I wanted to do, and that’s for me to decide. You need to see your way out. I’m pretty tired of receiving comments along the lines of, “Modesty, sister!” and “STOP TRYING TO SEDUCE ME!”

I am not, in fact, trying to seduce you.

The Internet is a big place. If you don’t like the discussion, don’t participate. Don’t read. Find something else. Don’t lecture me about modesty when you’ve clearly lost yours, arrogantly believing you have any right to tell me these things or command me to stop or interpret my behavior and involve me in your incorrect interpretation by submitting such comments or that you have any say on how I should live my life or what I should write about.

The whole delusion of she must be attempting to be seductive or she wouldn’t be wearing that / talking about this is at its core egotistical. And, fine, let’s say a woman is trying to be seductive. What the hell makes you think you’re the one she’s trying to seduce? And if you aren’t, what the hell makes you think you have any right to shove yourself into her business? Your thoughts are your own: you are free to notice her, think about her, fantasize, etc.–you are not free to involve her, through actions or words that disclose what’s going on in your pants, unless she specifically consents and makes it clear. And this consent is not infinite. Or “a light switch” as they say. And this goes both ways. Were I to fantasize about a man I knew, I wouldn’t tell him this, thereby involving him, unless I was certain he wouldn’t mind hearing it. Otherwise, yes, it is harassment–I would be involving him against his will and making him feel extraordinarily uncomfortable.

It astonishes me to no end that men have a problem with this. A lot of guys wouldn’t appreciate being hit on by someone they’re not interested in–but they expect women to accept it. Would a straight man put up with being hit on by other men? If it ever happens, tell him to quit bitching. Don’t listen to pathetic excuses like “I don’t want to be hit on by someone I’m not into” or “That’s just really creepy, and I don’t find him attractive.” He’s clearly a vagina.

Like the ten-year-olds previously mentioned who categorized me–and themselves–into stereotypes, the actions and very real personalities of women are often fetishized as though they aren’t whole or they belong in compartments of sexuality, a mentality that enables men to “sample” women of each respective fantasy and ultimately objectify and limit them to these. And there are several. The “innocent girlfriend”–popular among religious men and Nice Guys–whom men protect not out of selfless care and love but for the sake of being the first ones to “corrupt” her, or to fulfill their own fetish through the limitation of her personality. The “experienced whore”–her supposed “opposite”–and then of course the deadly dichotomy, whom few women are–and when they are, they are viewed as deceitful, mind you–and destroy themselves attempting to become. Smart girls are fetishized for their intelligence, not for being whole people from whom we learn and with whom we expand our perspective, but for “Hey I slept with this really smart chick.” And don’t get me started about “beautiful exotic girls.”

We don’t revolve around you. And my personality is not a fetish.

What people don’t realize is that there is a point at which slut-shaming and prude-shaming are pretty much the same damn thing. Literally. When you shame a woman for “dressing like a slut” and therefore supposedly bringing inappropriate advances upon herself, you are also prude-shaming her for not tolerating such behavior.

Seriously, just stfu.

Sex Toys

There is something about vibrators and dildos that always disturbed me. I can’t come across a photo of one without recoiling. For a time I chalked up my discomfort to perhaps being uncomfortable with sex and not realizing it, a possibility I was distraught about as a feminist, and often considered conditioning myself to view vibrators as tools just like anything else.

But then one of my friends reviewed a massager xie was using as a vibrator, and it didn’t disturb me. My immediate, automatic explanation was that it’s because it doesn’t look like a vibrator–but if it was the function I had issue with, it shouldn’t matter. I decided it must have been the discretion, that I’m okay with vibrators after all but that I don’t want it to be obvious that something is a vibrator. This, though seemingly less negative, I was still not happy about either; while I don’t use or own sex toys (or masturbate at all, really) I don’t think people who use sex toys, men or women, should be at any degree ashamed.

And then I realized it was not the apparency of an unmistakable vibrator that disturbs me, but the phallic shape itself. It looks like someone else’s body part. This would also explain why I associate them with some level of sexual violence. And that disturbs me, the same way that very realistic detached arms or fingers or legs would. And of course, being that it’s meant to resemble a penis, something is probably triggered in my brain that makes the shape appear closer to what it resembles in viewing than it is in actuality–and then the discomfort, because I am not okay with dismembered body parts. I have especially been not okay with dismembered body parts recently, since certain women seem to find the unwarranted castration of someone’s defenseless husband hilarious.

It’s a little funny, I think, that I assumed some type of unrealized sex negativity on my part, possibly because I’m so used to it blatantly from other people on a societal level. I’m relieved and happy however, to have uncovered the true cause of my discomfort, and for it to have been something understandable and not weirdly hypocritical.