Anonymous asked: Hi John, what makes you say that Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs identifies people who are sick/hungry/whatever as "less human"? I learned about it in uni and the professor explained it to mean that it's hard to be thinking about school work when you're starving, or be productive at your job if you're really tired, etc. I'm just trying to understand your viewpoint on it. Thanks!
Right, but what makes us human is not eating. Lots of organisms can eat. What makes us human is making art and thinking the fancy thoughts that university professors think and achieving what Maslow called “self-actualization.” So saying that hungry or sick people cannot access “higher” needs is literally dehumanizing, because it claims the sick do not have access to the full range of human consciousness.
(I mean, Maslow literally put love between friends and family above the “basic needs,” and said that people who are hungry cannot experience love in the pure/true/real/unfettered way that unhungry people can.)
This paternalistic way of imagining need is in my opinion completely wrong. Yes, people who are starving report that it is hard to think about anything other than the desire to eat, but they also continue to write and love and read and have sex and do many things that Maslow associated with higher needs. I don’t think need is a pyramid at all; it’s a complicated web in which one need (like food) can transfigure another need (like love) without either negating the other.
"On Periods: Let’s put this shit to bed right now: Women don’t lose their minds when they have period-related irritability. It doesn’t lower their ability to reason; it lowers their patience and, hence, tolerance for bullshit. If an issue comes up a lot during “that time of the month,” that doesn’t mean she only cares about it once a month; it means she’s bothered by it all the time and lacks the capacity, once a month, to shove it down and bury it beneath six gulps of willful silence."
— Shakesville: Feminism 101 (via albinwonderland)
(Source: andotherdoublemeanings, via albinwonderland)
"These days, before we talk about misogyny, women are increasingly being asked to modify our language so we don’t hurt men’s feelings. Don’t say, “Men oppress women” – that’s sexism, as bad as any sexism women ever have to handle, possibly worse. Instead, say, “Some men oppress women.” Whatever you do, don’t generalise. That’s something men do. Not all men – just some men.
This type of semantic squabbling is a very effective way of getting women to shut up. After all, most of us grew up learning that being a good girl was all about putting other people’s feelings ahead of our own. We aren’t supposed to say what we think if there’s a chance it might upset somebody else or, worse, make them angry. So we stifle our speech with apologies, caveats and soothing sounds. We reassure our friends and loved ones that “you’re not one of those men who hate women”.
What we don’t say is: of course not all men hate women. But culture hates women, so men who grow up in a sexist culture have a tendency to do and say sexist things, often without meaning to. We aren’t judging you for who you are but that doesn’t mean we’re not asking you to change your behaviour. What you feel about women in your heart is of less immediate importance than how you treat them on a daily basis.
You can be the gentlest, sweetest man in the world yet still benefit from sexism. That’s how oppression works."
Of course all men don’t hate women. But all men must know they benefit from sexism (via albinwonderland)
The bolded portions. Yes. All of this rings true. I cannot speak to a male without having this thrown in my face.