LightKeyblade

Sean Rosenthal


Leola N. King, America’s first female traffic cop, Washington D.C. [1918]

Leola N. King, America’s first female traffic cop, Washington D.C. [1918]



I finished up Season 2 of Orange is the New Black, and it’s super good. It hit me a few episodes ago, the song at the beginning of the show is soooo insightful and brilliant.

It starts by saying “The animals, the animals. Trapped, trapped, trapped till the cage is full.” Though it includes a reference to “waiting on you” that refers to the inmates, the song doesn’t include any direct reference to the inmates as people - only to them as animals. In fact, the one humanizing concept in the whole song is “Remember all their faces. Remember all their voices.” Thus, the only entities that have faces and voices, that have human aspects, are the people *outside* of the cages. Inside the cages, the prisoners don’t have voices or faces worth remembering, they don’t have lives, they don’t have human characteristics.

But that’s not to say they have nothing. They do, in fact, have something: they have time. They have so much time, and time is so significant to their prison sentences, that the title of the song is “You’ve Got Time.”

This reminds me of a fascinating insight that Rose Wilder Lane makes in her book the Discovery of Freedom. When walking around Europe, she notices that:

"You recognized an American as far as you could see him, by the way he walked. Chin up, head high, briskly going somewhere, with an unconscious mastery of the earth he trod. No European moved like that. Europeans walked prudently, slowly. Their every gesture consumed time in merely letting time pass. That made their lives and their countries seem so restful, to Americans. And you can see precisely that same way of walking, that same sense of useless time, in the prisoners in any American prison-yard."

In light of this idea, the song accurately captures the essence of prisons: prisons remove people’s agency and dehumanize them to the point that all they have left is useless time. For real people, time is the one scarce resource that essentially nobody seems to have enough of. By removing everything else and leaving inmates only with time, prisons deprive inmates of a really essential aspect of their humanity. They make them realize, as the song says, that “Taking steps is easy. Standing still is hard.”

The really cool part of the song is how it incorporates this idea into the very presentation. If you’re like me watching the show, then you watched the song once, maybe twice, maybe a third time, but you realized it’s just soooo long and repetitive at the beginning of every episode with each face blurring together into something worth overlooking. Thus, if you’re like me, then you’ve been fast forwarding past it rather than watching it every time. You’ve been exercising agency and allocating your time effectively rather than feeling like a prisoner struck moving forward in real time in the painful, long-winded way that others require of you In contrast, if you actually sit through it over and over and over again, it gives you the painful, repetitive feeling of what it’s like to be a prisoner grinding through prison, making the song’s structure much being in a cage and having your time pointlessly tick by.



Cosplay of Samus from Metroid. 

Cosplay of Samus from Metroid. 



A child of the Erbore tribe, Ethiopia

A child of the Erbore tribe, Ethiopia



Sarla Thakral, 21 years old, the first Indian woman to earn a pilot license. [1936]

Sarla Thakral, 21 years old, the first Indian woman to earn a pilot license. [1936]



Jeanne Manford marches with her gay son during a Pride Parade [1972]. Jeanne went on to found the rights group “Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.”

Jeanne Manford marches with her gay son during a Pride Parade [1972]. Jeanne went on to found the rights group “Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.”



ouramericanfreedom:


lightkeyblade:

Egyptian feminist Aliia Magda Elmahdy and her friend defecate and menstruate on ISIS flag in the nude as a protest against the Islamic terror group’s recent advances in northern Iraq and Syria.

I mean, I want to laugh a little because it’s a really pointless classic rad-fem kind of an act, and I kind of want to make a little joke about how no one is going to want to date them now… Then again, ISIS is a horribly disgusting organization and they deserve to catch as much crap as is possible from every direction… Plus, if anyone in the world actually needs “feminism” right now, it’d be women in the Middle East. I do truly feel bad for all the people over there, and I guess I could see wanting to shit on that flag, too.
I just don’t see the point of lowering yourself to that level to try to get a reaction out of a group of people that are more than likely not going to care because, as near as I can tell, no type of malevolent act is beyond the scope of what ISIS is willing to do. What do those women think bleeding on a flag is going to do? Piss off ISIS? They’ve been beheading children for Christ’s sake. I think they’re good and angry.
'It's an act of defiance to show that women won't stand for what ISIS is doing!' Really? If that's the case, why don't you just light the flag on fire? Tell people you won't stand for it. There are other ways to show defiance without trying to portray your vagina as a weapon. It's not.
If there is one specific thing that feminism seems to lack, it’s dignity. I feel sorry for these ladies and what they have to go through, but doing this type of thing isn’t really going to help anything. If you want to be respected, you have to act respectable.


This is a lot more effective than you suggest at representing defiance and causing outrage, particular since the flag has written on it “there is no God but Allah.” Consequently, it’s been widely censored in the Middle East, neither because of nudity nor support for Isis, but because of a refusal to print any degradation of Islam. Virtually anything that’s worth censoring for its political content is an effective communication method. If anything, the problem is that it’s *too* effective since it also insults a lot of Muslims unrelated to ISIS or militant violence. 

As to why they don’t just burn the flag, flag burning doesn’t signal any opposition to the mistreatment and unequal status of women under fundamentalist Islamic laws and practices. By openly using female imagery in a potentially objectionable way, the protesters effectively communicate an opposition to Islamic laws and practices that subjugate women.

ouramericanfreedom:

lightkeyblade:

Egyptian feminist Aliia Magda Elmahdy and her friend defecate and menstruate on ISIS flag in the nude as a protest against the Islamic terror group’s recent advances in northern Iraq and Syria.

I mean, I want to laugh a little because it’s a really pointless classic rad-fem kind of an act, and I kind of want to make a little joke about how no one is going to want to date them now… Then again, ISIS is a horribly disgusting organization and they deserve to catch as much crap as is possible from every direction… Plus, if anyone in the world actually needs “feminism” right now, it’d be women in the Middle East. I do truly feel bad for all the people over there, and I guess I could see wanting to shit on that flag, too.

I just don’t see the point of lowering yourself to that level to try to get a reaction out of a group of people that are more than likely not going to care because, as near as I can tell, no type of malevolent act is beyond the scope of what ISIS is willing to do. What do those women think bleeding on a flag is going to do? Piss off ISIS? They’ve been beheading children for Christ’s sake. I think they’re good and angry.

'It's an act of defiance to show that women won't stand for what ISIS is doing!' Really? If that's the case, why don't you just light the flag on fire? Tell people you won't stand for it. There are other ways to show defiance without trying to portray your vagina as a weapon. It's not.

If there is one specific thing that feminism seems to lack, it’s dignity. I feel sorry for these ladies and what they have to go through, but doing this type of thing isn’t really going to help anything. If you want to be respected, you have to act respectable.

This is a lot more effective than you suggest at representing defiance and causing outrage, particular since the flag has written on it “there is no God but Allah.” Consequently, it’s been widely censored in the Middle East, neither because of nudity nor support for Isis, but because of a refusal to print any degradation of Islam. Virtually anything that’s worth censoring for its political content is an effective communication method. If anything, the problem is that it’s *too* effective since it also insults a lot of Muslims unrelated to ISIS or militant violence. 

As to why they don’t just burn the flag, flag burning doesn’t signal any opposition to the mistreatment and unequal status of women under fundamentalist Islamic laws and practices. By openly using female imagery in a potentially objectionable way, the protesters effectively communicate an opposition to Islamic laws and practices that subjugate women.



Egyptian feminist Aliia Magda Elmahdy and her friend defecate and menstruate on ISIS flag in the nude as a protest against the Islamic terror group’s recent advances in northern Iraq and Syria.

Egyptian feminist Aliia Magda Elmahdy and her friend defecate and menstruate on ISIS flag in the nude as a protest against the Islamic terror group’s recent advances in northern Iraq and Syria.



Egyptian feminist Aliia Magda Elmahdy and her friend defecate and menstruate on ISIS flag in the nude as a protest against the Islamic terror group’s recent advances in northern Iraq and Syria.

Egyptian feminist Aliia Magda Elmahdy and her friend defecate and menstruate on ISIS flag in the nude as a protest against the Islamic terror group’s recent advances in northern Iraq and Syria.



"I had wings once, and they were strong. But they were stolen from me."