TRUTH TO POWER
Published by the Temple Undergraduate History & Social Sciences Association
PERCEPTIONS VOLUME 3, NUMBER 2 FALL 2017
TRUTH TO POWER
© 2017 Temple University Undergraduate History & Social Sciences Association All Rights Reserved
Cover image: “Viva la gente de color,” inspired by the iconic 2016 David Lagerlof photograph of AfroSwedish activist Tess Asplund facing over three-hundred neo-Nazis in protest. Watercolor, 42 x 30 cm, 2016 Copyright Luiso García Image courtesy of Luiso García Luiso García was born in Madrid, Spain, 1980. He is an artist, illustrator, 3D sculptor and art teacher. His artistic work is characterized by his commitment to social justice.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from the Editor .....................................................................................................4
Section I: CRISIS .............................................................................................................6 Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor: Foundations of Immigrant Acceptance Policy Attitudes....................................................7 Jason Fontana, Senior Sociology & Spanish Major Rhetoric of Imagination: The Prison Abolition Movement..............................................13 Hazim Hardeman, Senior Strategic Communication Major Turkey & the Kurds: A History of Repression That Only Benefits ISIS..........................16 Natalie Gearin, Junior Art History & Global Studies Major, Italian Minor The Rohingya Crisis..................................................................................................................18 Cecilia D'Arville, Freshman Undeclared - College of Liberal Arts Resegregation in American Schools: Standardized Testing & Socioeconomics............................................................................21 Amanda Morrison, Freshman Global Studies & Strategic Communication Major, Spanish Minor
Section II: CHRONICLE ................................................................................................24 Virgin-Mother-Whore: Gender & the Rule of Queen Mary I (1516-1558)..................25 GVGK Tang, Senior History & Sociology Major, LGBT Studies Minor
Blame the Big Banks.............................................................................................................29 Anna Jean Breece, Junior Political Science Major, Global Studies - Economy Track Minor Transcendentalism: A Rebellion Against Society & Injustice......................................33 Christopher Chau, Junior History & Political Science Major, French Minor â€œOnly Victimsâ€?: The Negative Social Impact of the Vietnam War..............................37 Armon Fouladi, Junior Actuarial Science Major, History & International Business Administration Minor Politics, Sex & Power: Women During the Fall of the Roman Republic (1st Century BCE)............................................................................41 Paige Hill, Junior Political Science Major, History Minor
Section III: CULTURE .................................................................................................46 Defining the American Aesthetic: From the Greek Revival to the Industrial..........................................................................................47 William Kowalik, Senior American Studies Major, Art History Minor The Latino Punk Rock Scene (1990-Present): An Exploration of Identity Politics Through History & Theory...................................52 Sabine Lipten, Senior Sociology Major, Asian American Studies Minor Black/Disabled Solidarity in Theory & Practice..............................................................56 Chris Rumbough, Senior Political Science & Africana Studies Major, History Minor The "Swipe Right" Marketplace: The Intersection of Love & Neoliberalism on Hookup Apps..........................................................................61 Madison Gray, Junior Political Science & Global Studies Major, French Minor To Eat or Not to Eat: Americanized Ethnic Food............................................................68 Suet Yuk Au Yeung, Freshman Political Science Major, History Minor
Instructions for Submission & Contact ......................................................................72
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dear Reader,
“Truth to power” is commonly believed to have been popularized by a 1955 Quaker treatise decrying Cold War violence and corruption. Would it surprise you to learn that this call to action was actually originated by Bayard Rustin – a gay Black man who was not credited as an author of said treatise until 2010? The truth of Rustin’s work – his extensive civil rights activism, bequeathment of pacifist consciousness to Martin Luther King, Jr. and organization of the March on Washington – was concealed by the pragmatism of political figureheads and revealed by students and scholars like us.
Between the obfuscations of respectability politics and “alternative facts,” how do we uncover our own truths so that we might be empowered? This semester, Perceptions undergraduate research journal received thirty wonderful submissions. The fifteen papers featured here each present the significance of testimony in times of change, fraught with both uncertainty and expectancy. Enjoy.
GVGK Tang Editor-in-Chief, Perceptions
CREDITS Editor-in-Chief GVGK Tang Senior History & Sociology Major, LGBT Studies Minor
Senior Associate Editor Courtney DeFelice Senior History & Political Science Major
Associate Editors William Kowalik Senior American Studies Major, Art History Minor Christopher Chau Junior History & Political Science Major, French Minor Armon Fouladi Junior Actuarial Science Major, History & International Business Administration Minor
Assistant Editors Eli Siegal Junior History Major, Geography & Urban Studies Minor Evron Clay Hadly Sophomore History & German Studies Major, Anthropology Minor Sabrina Wallace Sophomore History Major, Political Science Minor
SECTION I CRISIS
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor: Foundations of Immigrant Acceptance Policy Attitudes Jason Fontana, Senior Sociology & Spanish Major Rhetoric of Imagination: The Prison Abolition Movement Hazim Hardeman, Senior Strategic Communication Major Turkey & the Kurds: A History of Repression That Only Benefits ISIS Natalie Gearin, Junior Art History & Global Studies Major, Italian Minor
The Rohingya Crisis Cecilia D'Arville, Freshman Undeclared - College of Liberal Arts Resegregation in American Schools: Standardized Testing & Socioeconomics Amanda Morrison, Freshman Global Studies & Strategic Communication Major, Spanish Minor
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor: Foundations of Immigrant Acceptance Policy Attitudes Jason Fontana
served as essential to understanding the success of immigrants and their children (Kasinitz et al. 2008). I am arguing that these attitudes of the domestic population in reference to immigrants can be included in the context of reception. Therefore, understanding what influences these attitudes is integral in expanding the knowledge about the role of immigration and the experiences of immigrants in the United States.
Introduction The migration of persons between countries to seek opportunity and escape violence and oppression is an increasingly relevant topic in global media and discussions of policy formation. As a developed nation, the United States has had a long-standing relationship with immigration and has been historically open toward immigrant populations (Mazza and Van Winden 1996). Contemporary immigration can be linked to a rebound in the influx of immigrants that started in the 1970’s and led to a total of 40 million foreign born persons in the United States (Portes and Rumbaut 2014). This number has since risen to over 41 million (Renwick and Lee 2015) and accounts for about 12.6% of the contemporary US population. This modern level of migration of low-wage laborers, professionals, entrepreneurs, refugees and asylees into the United States is associated with the contemporary era of economic restructuring and the widening of economic inequality (Portes and Rumbaut 2014).
Economic Competition & Acceptance of Immigrants The high labor force participation of immigrant populations has implications that the attitudes of domestic groups toward immigrants may be influenced by their own occupational or economic status. A study conducted on reactions to immigration-related diversity in rural areas of America revealed that teenaged domestic individuals of lower economic status are more accepting of immigrants (Gimpel and Lay 2008). However, this finding is an example of equal-status contact and that the relationship presented may be a result of residential context that is specific to these areas. That is, this cohort may have reported accepting attitudes of immigrants due to their close contact with immigrant labor that has had an extended relationship with the agricultural industry in such rural environments. The age of these respondents is also important as teenagers are less likely to be active in the work force and therefore may not yet perceive economic competition for jobs. It has also been observed through the selfish-citizen explanation that attitudes of domestic persons are impacted by the perception of immigrant’s labor market competitiveness regardless of reported feelings of solidarity with these foreign groups (Mangi-Berton 2013).
The segmented assimilation model of Portes and Rumbaut indicates the importance of the mode of reception in analyzing and understanding the success of first and second-generation immigrants. It is important to understand how the context of reception impacts these groups as they are an integral part of American society and are largely active in the domestic labor force. Even the undocumented immigrant population is associated with high levels of labor force involvement. “Unauthorized immigrants in the US occupy 4% of the population and 5.4% of the work force” (Cosby et al 2012). The context of reception can be highly correlated with the response to immigrants at the government level. The government can create policies and legislation that either act in exclusion, passive acceptance or active encouragement (Portes and Rumbaut 2014) of foreign persons’ migration to the domestic territory. In the context of the United States, despite the passage of the migration stimulating Immigration Act in 1965, there have still been restrictions on selected refugee inflows (Portes and Rumbaut 2014). This is an indication of the attitudinal effect of the context of reception on the success of a group that occupies a large portion of the American population and workforce.
The concept of economic security and perceived competition seem to have greater support in relation to the impact of attitudes toward immigration on behalf of the domestic population. On average, immigrant populations arrive with low levels of social capital but they can still produce fear of labor market instability because they compete for jobs with the domestic groups that benefit from redistribution (Magni-Berton 2013). Preliminary analysis shows that attitudes and beliefs about acceptance of immigrant populations tend to vary along with the strength of the domestic economy (Cosby et al.). The study done by Cosby et al. that utilized the SCSHI with index items derived from Pew Research Center found that with each additional agreement with the statements indicating perceived economic competition resulted in the respondent having approximately 35% lower odds of supporting temporary status for unauthorized immigrants in place of the deportation option (Cosby et al. 2012). Each additional increase in perceived economic
There are modifications made to the model of assimilation by Kasinitz through a longitudinal study of first and second-generation immigrant experiences in New York. The concepts of prejudice and discrimination are ob-
competition scale was also associated with 43% lower odds of a respondent supporting the policy option of amnesty in reference to the option of mandated deportation (Cosby et al. 2012)
have become a mainstream policy optionâ€? (Cosby et al. 2012). Deportation is perhaps the most contentious aspect of immigration reform (Cosby et al 2012) and party specific policy preferences toward this topic may provide much insight about the innate levels of acceptance associated with Democrats, Republicans and Independents. The study done by Cosby et al. revealed that by 2009, most Independents and Republicans were advocating for deportation with Independents reporting 55% lower odds of supporting the temporary status policy, while Democrats reported 74% higher odds of supporting the permanent status option (Cosby et al. 2012). Both figures are about the policy option of deportation and provide insight to the party specific differences in attitudes toward immigration. The more liberal nature of the Democratic party with more support for racial and ethnic diversity (Bonica et al. 2013) may explain the more accepting attitudes toward immigrants of Democrats. Conservatives and those who have long-standing roots in relation to nativity express less inviting attitudes (Gimpel and Lay 2008). This may explain why more conservative groups like Republicans may be less accepting of immigrants as expressed through policy preferences toward deportation. The political socialization of people through the mode of party affiliation may therefore have an impact on expressed levels of immigrant acceptance.
There appears to be a separation in the views on immigration between the domestic unskilled population and the wealthier population, such as owners of capital; the wealthy are less concerned about immigrant competition for jobs and more concerned with the need for immigrant labor to fuel the national economy (Cosby et al. 2012). This may be because the general perception of immigrants as unskilled workers, which would lead unskilled domestic workers to perceive higher economic competition as they are unable to rely on their skill set to ensure their employment status in response to an increase in the size of the labor force. Evidence has been found to support this perception on behalf of unskilled domestic workers as increased immigration has been observed to decrease the income level of unskilled domestic workers and increase the equilibrium unemployment rates of these groups (Watcher 1980). There have also been observed relationships between an increase in the number of immigrants and positive outcomes for skilled workers of higher economic status. Skilled older workers and the owners of capital would have observed an increase in income levels and occupational attainment in response to an increase in the levels of immigrant influx (Watcher 1980).
The presence of many differing and competing viewpoints toward immigration indicates that an understanding of public policy preferences and the underlying influences shaping them becomes important for policy formation. Also, improved knowledge about the relationships between perceptions of economic competition on public support of anti-immigrant policies engenders an understanding of the public opinion psychology integral to immigration policy formation (Cosby et al. 2012). It is also important to note that the effect of anti-immigrant parties on policy formation has been found to be significant when the party holds the balance of power (Bolin et al. 2014). This may have important implications about the power of political parties to impact the formation of attitudes toward immigration through legislation. The focus of this study is to view if the relationship between immigrant acceptance and financial stability varies between Democrats, Independents and Republicans.
Preferred Policy Formation Political parties retain certain views that are characteristic to each party and those who are affiliated with each party. The prevailing attitudes of political parties toward immigrants can be observed through the acceptance or rejection of certain immigration policies on behalf of each party. This is exemplified through the statement that attitudes toward immigration in the United States have been found to be associated with relevant policy formation as there is evidence of a lack of solidarity with immigrants having an influence on domestic populationsâ€™ support for welfare spending (Gilens 1999; Alesina et al. 2001; Luttmer 2001). Therefore, the party with which a person is affiliated may impact their views toward the acceptance of immigrants and foreign labor forces.
The specific research questions this study attempts to answer include: (1) Does economic status of domestic groups impact their attitudes toward immigrants? (2) How does political socialization through political affiliation affect levels of acceptance toward immigrants? (3) And does political party identification enhance the effect of financial security on immigrant acceptance or will previously observed bivariate relationships be explained
The policy option of deportation has become a mainstream idea more recently, especially following the economic recession of 2008 in the United States, â€œDuring the recent economic recession, perceived economic competition and ethnic prejudice were dominant influences on deportation preferences, and deportation appears to
away? The following hypotheses, based in the previously stated findings of the literature review, will be used to investigate these questions:
ous index variable of immigrant acceptance (ZIMMACCPT) with a Cronbachâ€™s alpha = .811. This variable was used as the dependent variable in this study. The eight items included: (1) Immigrants good for America, (2) Immigrants increase crime rates, (3) Immigrants improve American society, (4) Immigrants take jobs away, (5) Legal immigrants should have same rights as Americans, (6) Government spends too much money for immigrants, (7) Number of immigrants to American nowadays should be, and (8) Child born abroad of America should become citizen. Each question had an ordinal five score response set that indicated a level of agreement with the statement or a level of change in the number of immigrants for item number 7. Items 1,3,5,7 and 8 were reverse coded so that the higher numerical score correlated with a higher level of acceptance in reference to immigrants. The index variable included values from 8 to 40 but was rescaled into 1 to 33 in order to have a more meaningful lowest value. The index was then standardized so that the values would have more meaningful indications about respondentâ€™s levels of acceptance in relation to the average attitude.
Data and Samples
Data for this study comes from the General Social Survey organized by NORC in association with the University of Chicago. The GSS is a national survey that utilizes full probability sampling to view social trends through attitudinal modules and topics of special interest. The data set used for this study is the GSS from the year 2004 (n=2,812) and there was a response rate of 70.4% for this year. There were only 862 valid cases at the trivariate level of my analysis, which is only about 30% of the total number of respondents for the data set. This low number of valid cases is a limitation due to the rotational item design and must be kept in mind when considering the generalizability of the findings. A second important limitation is the age of the data set. This study is being conducted nearly 12 years after the collection of this data and changes in economic conditions of the country, as in the recession of 2008, may result in differences in more contemporary views of immigration. Later versions of the survey could not be used due to several attitudinal questions about immigration being asked only in the 2004 edition of the survey. A final limitation is the possibility of reporting errors that are commonly associated with self-reported data.
Family income in constant dollars (REALINC) was taken from the data set to be used as the independent variable for this study. This variable was a continuous measure but was collapsed into three categories: (1) Under the poverty threshold, (2) 100-300% of the poverty threshold, and (3) Over 300% of the poverty threshold. The census definition of the poverty threshold for the same year as the data set was considered in the recoding of this variable.
H1: Those with lower levels of family income will be more likely to be threatened by foreign labor forces and therefore will express lower levels of relative acceptance towards immigrants.â€¨ H2: While individuals with lower family income will be less likely to be accepting of immigrants, this will be less so for Democrats and more so for Republicans, with Independents somewhere in between. This first hypothesis is supported by the concepts of perceived economic competition and financial security and the theory of the selfish-citizen. Observed policy preferences by each party in relation to immigrants and the option deportation gives support to the second hypothesis to be used.
Political Affiliation Self-reported political party identity (PARTYID) was utilized from the data set to act as the control variable. This variable was recoded into three categories: (1) Democrat, (2) Independent, and (3) Republican. Results Table 1 displays the frequency and valid percent for each reported level of immigrant acceptance. The variable is continuous with scores that range from -2.97077 to 2.80805, a mean of -0.1435887 a 1st quartile value of -0.6231264 and a third quartile value of 0.4604025. The original mean score used to standardize the index was 17.45 (with a range of values from 1 to 33) and therefore levels of acceptance are relative as the average acceptance level was defined within the sample used. Table 2 displays the frequency and valid percent or
Measures Immigrant Acceptance Eight attitudinal items were taken from an immigration topical module in the data set to create the continu-
each income level: under the poverty threshold (11.7%), 100-300% of the poverty threshold (39.6%) and over 300% of the poverty threshold (48.7%). Table 2 also presents the frequency and valid percent for the three political parties used: Democrat (44.7%), Independent (17.0%) and Republican (38.3%).
H2 as Democrats reported the highest levels of acceptance for every income level. However, Independents reported the lowest levels of acceptance at the lowest and second lowest income levels but Republicans were the least accepting group at the over 300% of the poverty threshold level of income. This indicates that Democrats are the most accepting at all levels of family income, independents are the least accepting at the two lowest levels of family income and republicans were the least accepting of all political identities at the highest level of family income. The cumulative relationship is significant at the .05 level (F (8, 953) = 2.96, p < .05) which indicates that the findings can be generalized to the larger population with 95% confidence. The eta-squared result is .035, which indicates that family income and political affiliation account for 3.5% of peopleâ€™s attitudes toward immigrants. This is reasonable as many variables like educational ambition, educational attainment, race, and immigrant status have had observed impacts on attitudes toward immigrants and immigration but were not controlled for in this study.
Do individuals with different family income levels in relation to the poverty level have different levels of immigrant acceptance? Chart 1 displays the average z-scores of reported acceptance of immigrants for the three different income groups, showing that family income is, in fact, differentially related to attitudes toward immigrants. The mean acceptance z-score for those under the poverty threshold was - 0.1503507, -0.0313529 for those at 100300% of the poverty threshold and 0.1337562 for those over 300% of the poverty threshold. This indicates that those at the lowest family income level are the least accepting of immigrants and those with the highest family income levels are the most accepting of immigrants with the middle family income group remaining somewhere in-between. The relationship is significant at the .05 level (F (2, 853) = 6.297, p < .05) and can be generalized to the greater population with 95% confidence. Post hoc Scheffe tests reveal, as seen in table 3, that significant differences exist between the lowest and highest income levels but differences between the middle-income category and the other two are not significant. This finding therefore confirms H1 and suggests that those with lower levels of income will be less accepting of immigrants than those with higher economic status.
It is important to note that the f-test and significance test revealed that political party affiliation had a significant impact at the .05 level (F (2, 853) = 10.643, p < .05) which indicates that the variable not only contributes to the overall effect on immigrant attitudes but is also a significant independent variable. â€¨ Discussion The analysis I conducted, without controlling for political party affiliation, showed that family income was significantly associated with the formation of attitudes toward immigrants. Controlling for party affiliation enhanced this effect by increasing the magnitude of reported levels of acceptance in reference to immigrants. Caution needs to be exercised in generalizing these results due to the large percentage of missing cases at the trivariate level of analysis. It is noteworthy that there were no negative reported z-scores for Democrats at any income level. This reveals that attitudes toward immigrants of Democrats, as visible through immigration policy preference, are more positive than the average level of immigrant acceptance. The partial confirmation of H2 can be explained through a bivariate analysis of immigrant acceptance by political party affiliation, see chart 3, in which post hoc Scheffe tests, see table 4, revealed that there were significant differences between Democrats and the other two parties but there were no significant differences between Republicans and Independents. This suggests that the two more characteristically conservative parties may act in a similar fashion in terms of immigration policy formation. The findings of this study pair
Does affiliation with different political parties modify the relationship between income and acceptance of immigrants? Chart 2 presents the average z-scores of reported acceptance of immigrants for the three income groups controlling for the three political parties used. The direction of the original relationship remained but controlling for political party affiliation augmented the magnitude of the mean z-scores indicating that party affiliation has a confounding effect on the original bivariate relationship. The mean acceptance z-score of Democrats was 0.0614287 for those under the poverty threshold, 0.1670983 for those at 100-300% of the poverty threshold and 0.3716217for those over 300% of the poverty threshold. The mean acceptance of Independents was -0.3565439 for those under the poverty threshold, -0.2397726 for those at 100-300% of the poverty threshold and 0.0865534 for those over 300% of the poverty threshold. Finally, the mean acceptance score of Republicans was -0.3414089 for those under the poverty threshold, -0.1950079 for those at 100-300% of the poverty threshold and was -0.0536438 for those over 300% of the poverty threshold. These findings partially confirm
well with the importance of receiving context in the success of immigrant populations. Understanding the factors that can alter the context of reception can lead augment our understanding of international relationships.
Portes, A., & Rumbaut, R. G. 2014. Immigrant America: A Portrait (4th Edition). University of California Press. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt7zw0nw
The results of the study can add to the argument of the selfish-citizen theory in contrast to the equal status contact theory with support given to the former due to the findings that display that an increase in economic competition will result in a decreased level of reported acceptance. The call for continued research is clear, as the study did not differentiate between the attitudes toward legal versus undocumented immigrants, as both were included in the concept of immigrant populations.
Magni-Berton, R. 2014. “Immigration, redistribution, and universal suffrage.” Public Choice160(3): 391-409. Renwick, D., & Lee, B. 2015. The U.S. Immigration Debate. CFR.org. Council on Foreign Relations. Wachter, M. L. 1980. “The labor market and illegal immigration: The outlook for the 1980s.” Industrial and Labor Relations Review 33(3): 342-354.
References Alesina, A., & Glaeser, E. L. 2004. Fighting poverty in the U.S. and in Europe: a world of difference. New York: Oxford University Press. Bolin N, Lidén G, Nyhlén J. 2014. “Do Anti-immigration Parties Matter? The Case of the Sweden Democrats and Local Refugee Policy.” Scandinavian Political Studies 37: 323-343. Bonica, A., McCarty, N., Poole, K. T., & Rosenthal, H. 2013. “Why hasn't democracy slowed rising inequality?” The Journal of Economic Perspectives 27(3): 103-123. Cosby, A., Aanstoos, K., Matta, M., Porter, J., & James, W. 2013. “Public support for hispanic deportation in the united states: The effects of ethnic prejudice and perceptions of economic competition in a period of economic distress.” Journal of Population Research 30(1): 87-96. Gilens, T.E. 2004. Why Americans hate welfare: race, media, and the politics of anti-poverty policy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Gimpel, J. G., & Lay, J. C. 2008. “Political socialization and reactions to Immigration-Related diversity in rural america.” Rural Sociology 73(2): 180-204. Kasinitz, P. 2008. Inheriting the city: The children of immigrants come of age. New York; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Russell Sage Foundation. Luttmer, E.F. 2001. “Group loyalty and the taste for redistribution: are the assumptions of the new growth theory valid?” Socio-Economic Review 5: 117-148
Minimum 25th!Percentile Mean 75th!Percentile Maximum N 72.97077 70.6231264 70.1435887 0.4604025 2.80805 (415)
Table&2.&Univariate)Analysis)of)Family)Income)and)Political)Affiliation Percent (n) Family)Income ))))Under)the)PT 11.7 (264) ))))100A300%)of)the)PT 39.6 (894) ))))Over)300%)of)the)PT 48.7 (1098) 100 (2256) Political)Affiliation ))))Democrat 44.7 (1240) ))))Independent 17 (471) ))))Republican 38.3 (1060) 100 (2771) Source:(GSS(2004 Table&3.!Scheffe!Immigrant!Acceptance!by!Income Mean!Difference Std.!Error
Table&4. %Scheffe%Immigrant%Acceptance%by%Party%Affiliation Mean%Difference
Rhetoric of Imagination: The Prison Abolition Movement Hazim Hardeman
Foundations of Abolition The paucity of historiographical texts on the prison abolition movement is no coincidence. Instead, this should be understood as part and parcel of the opposition the movement encounters from dominant institutions, such as the academy, which considers the movement unworthy of scholarly attention. Even still, the origins of the movement can be traced through an examination of its theoretical and ideological foundations. Prison abolition largely has its roots in knowledge productions informed by critical theories that impugn the raison d'être of prisons. Critical theory, at its theoretical basis, seeks to reveal that we as social beings have not exhausted the range of social possibilities—thus proffering the possibility that, through critique, a different world can be envisioned (Calhoun, 1995). In other words, critical theory calls for a broadening of our social imaginations. Ideologically, prison abolition proceeds from the premise that the system--the prison system in this case--is not broken when it disproportionately incarcerates black, brown, trans, native, and disabled bodies, nor is this the work of a few bad actors; rather, the system is carrying out its intended function.
Provocative anti-capitalist philosopher Slavoj Žižek, echoing Fredric Jameson, has argued that, for the plurality of the demos, it is easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism (Žižek, 2010). Transpose “capitalism” with “prisons” and the veracity of Žižek’s claim remains unchanged. Indeed, this is hardly an overstatement in a society that has positioned prisons as a panacea for all societal ills. Yet, despite the perception of prisons as an immutable fixture of American life, the prison abolition movement has been working to move abolition from the realm of social chimera to a viable political struggle. In large part, this struggle has been waged on the rhetorical front, as the prison abolition movement has centered the idea of imagination in its rhetorical strategies to encourage the eventual expungement of prisons from the American social landscape. Imagination The notion of “imagination” is central to prison abolition as it is the motivating force and legitimating feature of the movement. As Maxine Greene (1995) points out, it is through imagination that a new, disparate, and fundamentally more just world can be birthed. Imagination is the antidote to the notion that our contemporary social world is final, the solution to the foreclosure on alternative social possibilities. Quoting the doyen of psychoanalysis Jean-Paul Sartre, Greene recalls his coruscating assertion that “it is on the day that we can conceive of a different state of affairs that a new light falls on our troubles and our suffering and that we decide that these are unbearable” (Greene, 1995, p. 5). Freud’s words accent the exigency that a commitment to imagination provokes. It is this commitment that has been the impetus of the prison abolition movement.
Rhetorical Strategies The stated theoretical and ideological underpinnings of the movement set the stage for the rhetorical strategy of petitioning, in which the prison abolition movement invites us to imagine a world free of prisons. A key feature of this stage is the “selection of targeted audiences” (Bowers, Ochs, Jensen, & Schulz, 2012, p. 22). For many social movements establishments and their members are targeted as the “flag individuals,” in other words, those who are capable of materializing the desired changed. However, rather than targeting politicians or members of the establishment as flag individuals, the prison abolition movement takes its message to the people. This is partly a rejection of the platitudinous notion of speaking truth to power, as members of the movement recognize that power already knows truth, it’s just recalcitrant in the face of it. But even more, definitional to abolition is a constructive iconoclasm that impugns the very establishments that are traditionally appealed to for changed.
Further, imagination does not take on its commonly understood denotation. Rather, imagination, in this sense, expresses an iconoclastic posture, a courage to call into question the existing social world and the political rationality that organizes it. Also, imagination should be understood not solely as an abstract, metaphysical conception, but as an epistemic and ontological principle that guides thought and action (Lissovoy, 2010). As will be illustrated, it is this way of thinking about a collective social imagination that animates the rhetorical strategies of the prison abolition movement.
Hence, for the movement, appeals to establishments that are tethered to the prevailing social and political logic become politically problematic, as acceptance of the change presupposes the end of the establishment. In this sense, establishments, save a suicidal one, cannot do the necessary imagining needed to abolish prisons.
The strategic selection of a targeted audience is most clearly on display in abolitionist literature. Take, for instance, political activist Angela Davis’s seminal text Are Prisons Obsolete? The title, through its provocative query, not only calls for a pondering of the obsolescence of prisons, thus encouraging readers to imagine a world in which prisons do not exist, but beyond this Davis rhetorically positions the citizen as catalyst of change. Indeed, in Davis’s thinking, appealing to an establishment that is sinewed to prisons as bastions and generators of capital is futile (Davis, 2003). Instead, Davis implores us to take part in our own liberation, arguing that it is squarely on us to develop modes of justice that valorize “reparation and reconciliation rather than retribution and vengeance (Davis, 2003, p. 114).” In doing so, Davis identifies the people as the flag individuals capable of engendering change—change that begins with, as the call to rethink modalities of justice indicates, an expansion of our social imaginations.
natives to prisons (Hill, 2013). This rhetorical construction of abolition as a bugbear leads many who are in opposition to mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex to adopt a more palatable (read: reformist) position when grappling with the issue of prisons. However, abolitionists have stayed true to imagination as an ontological and epistemological principle, i.e., they have resisted foreclosing on what could be. In this sense, prison abolitionists have rhetorically constructed an identity as lateral deviants: those who shun the retooling of a system, seeking instead to replace it entirely (Bowers, Ochs, Jensen, & Schulz, 2012). The lateral deviant position is unequivocally articulated by abolitionist Marc Lamont Hill when he asserts “I don’t try to reform prison or the police…I want to abolish prison and police (Shaw, 2016).” Hill posits that a reformist approach implies that the system can work. Hill ascribes to no such delusions, arguing that “We need a new system because [the current system of prisons] is not in our best interest” (Shaw, 2016). On this note, Hill’s sentiments are in lockstep with the ideological fundament of the prison abolition movement. However, as noted by Bowers, Ochs, Jensen, and Schulz (2012), part of the difficulty of lateral deviancy is demonstrating the ability to work outside the system to achieve the movement’s goals. Abolition’s predication on imagination obviates this concern, as imagination presupposes not only a language of critique but also a language of possibility. That is, the discourse of imagination is not only descriptive, but prescriptive too, as it describes the injustice of the status quo while prescribing more just solutions for the future.
Moreover, the discursively centered target audience of the prison abolition movement is in accordance with its theoretical and ideological foundations. In the purview of the movement, a reliance on the establishment to induce change is the mark of a truncated, rather than distended imagination. This is particularly anathema to the movement because reliance on the system to create change only further strengthens a system that has been obdurate in its perpetuation of an unjust, normative order. This point is accented by the work of abolitionist Eric Stanley. Stanley, reflecting on the enactment of the Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act by President Obama, argues that support of the legislation by the mainstream LGBTQIA movement only further bolstered a juridical system that persecutes rather than protects trans and queer bodies (Stanley, 2011). Contra to supporting criminal justice policy, Stanley implores trans and queer folk (and indeed the rest of us) to demonstrate a commitment to doing the work that redefines what justice looks like. In both the discourse of Davis and Stanley, the people are centered as the subjects of the movement’s petition to rethink bequeathed notions of justice and the necessity of prisons in American society.
Having this sort of affirmative vision is sine qua non to the rhetorical strategy of lateral deviancy. Numerous abolitionists, particularly scholars, have demonstrated what this vision (and the concomitant action) may look like. Legal scholar Allegra McLeod proffers the notion of a “prison abolition ethic” as a normative framework to guide abolitionist ideals and actions (McLeod, 2015). In this formulation, abolition is not only rhetorically constructed as an end, but as an ethos too. That is to say, movement members, in thinking of abolition, must abandon teleological conceptions for quotidian manifestations. In practice, according to McLeod, this would include, in part, a “departure from continued reliance on primarily retributive, individual, punitive, criminal legal responses to interpersonal violence and other forms of socially harmful conduct” (McLeod, 2015). In all, the lateral deviancy of the prison abolition movement entails a commitment to eradicating prisons and a complete rethinking of modes of justice.
One of the largest challenges facing the prison abolition movement is the way that abolition is commonly conceived. The issue, in many circles, has remained a nonstarter because many think of prison abolishment as merely releasing those incarcerated onto the streets without any mechanisms in place to deal with their reentry. Dominant institutions rely on this “caricature” of prison abolition to delegitimize the movement and to further entrench the notion that there are no alter-
embodiment and the prison industrial complex (pp. 111). Oakland, CA: AK Press.
The prison abolition movement has refused the notion of prisons as an inexorable aspect of American life by employing rhetorical strategies centered on the idea of imagination. Through a commitment to imagination, abolitionists, recognizing themselves as change agents, have advocated for a society in which prisons are not elixir and our notions of justice are more just. This begins with the belief that our world is not fixed; and that through a courage to call into question the existing social world – a courage to imagine – we can begin the arduous process of social transformation.
References Bowers, J. W., Ochs, D. J., Jensen, R. J., & Schulz, D. P. (2012). The rhetoric of agitation and control. Longe Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc. Calhoun, C. (1995). Critical social theory: Culture, history, and the challenge of difference. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers Inc. Davis, A. (2003). Are prisons obsolete? New York, NY: Seven Stories Press. Žižek, S. (2010). Living in the end times. New York, NY: Verso. Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the imagination: Essays on education, the arts, and social Change. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Hill, M. L. (2013). “A world without prisons.” English Journal, High School Edition 4(102): 19-23. Lissovoy, N. D. (2010). “Staging the crisis: Teaching, capital, and the politics of the subject.” The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto Curriculum Inquiry 3(40): 418. McLeod, A. (2015). “Prison abolition and grounded justice.” UCLA Law Review 5(62): 1199-1207. Shaw, A. (2016, November). “Race, politics and black power according to Marc Lamont Hill.” Rolling Out. Stanley, E. A. (2011). “Fugitive flesh: Gender selfdetermination, queer abolition, and trans resistance.” In E. A. Stanley, & N. Smith (Eds.), Captive genders: Trans
Turkey & the Kurds: A History of Repression That Only Benefits ISIS Natalie Gearin
lions starting in 1919 (Romano 5). Though Iraq, Iran, and Syria experienced Kurdish rebellions as well, their governments did not repress the Kurds nearly to the same degree that the Turkish government did.
The struggle to defeat the terrorist organization of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been underway since the onset of the group’s major military offensives in 2012 (Glenn). A coalition of allied forces made up of the United States, Turkey, Jordan, and the United Kingdom, among other countries, has been using airstrikes in Syria and Iraq as the primary means of combatting ISIS (Fantz). The fighting on the ground, however, is conducted in part by the Kurds, an ethnic group made up of twenty-five to thirty-five million people, spread throughout Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, and Syria (BBC, “Who are the Kurds?). The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) is widely regarded as one of most effective military units in combatting ISIS, and, therefore, is a recipient of aid from the United States (Tharoor).
Turkey’s response to Kurdish calls for independence was to “deny the Kurds space to be Kurds” (Romano 5), which failed completely in ending Kurdish rebellion. The Turkish government enacted policies beginning in the 1920s that many Kurds found to be unacceptable. Turkish was the only language allowed in courts, therefore disenfranchising Kurds on trial who could not speak or understand Turkish. Kurdish elementary schools were forbidden, further preventing Kurdish people from speaking their own language. Additionally, the Kurds were actively “exterminated” through deportation, omission of any mention of “Kurdistan” from books, and forcing Kurdish officials in the Turkish government to declare Turkish nationality. All of these factors resulted in the formation of the Kurdish Independence Party (S.S.O. Baghdad 124), which was an early example of Kurdish organization against Turkish oppression. For the next sixty years, the Turkish government crushed all of the Kurds’ attempts at organization and rebellion (BBC, “Who are the Kurds?”).
However, in August of 2016, Turkish armed forces began deliberately conducting airstrikes against both ISIS and the Syrian branch of the YPG in a seemingly counterintuitive strategy that has been questioned by the European Union, the United Nations, and the United States (BBC, “Turkey v Syria's Kurds v Islamic State”). Historical tensions between the Turkish government and the Kurdish ethnic group date back to the first half of the twentieth century and stem mainly from the Kurds’ refusal to assimilate into the states in which they lived (Romano 5) and their desire for an independent state. The Turkish government’s willingness to bomb both ISIS and the YPG is directly related to the hostilities that developed between Turkey and the Kurds early in the twentieth century. The worsening of these tensions in the second half of the last century enable Turkish violations of Kurdish rights, hindering the current war efforts against ISIS.
Turkish Kurds’ frustration with the denial of their independence spurred the formation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in 1984, which sought to conduct a “war of attrition” to force the Turkish government to grant them concessions. The Turkish government and the PKK have been engaged in a civil war since then, making it one of the longest civil conflicts to date since World War II (Tezcür 171). As a result, the Turkish government, the European Union, and the United States recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization (BBC, “Turkey v Syria's Kurds v Islamic State”). This has allowed Turkey to use the PKK as a pretext for human rights violations against many Kurds (Meiselas 296). Such violations include the torture of prominent Kurdish prisoners (Medhi Zana and Leyla Zana 296-97) and the imprisonment of politicians who publicly spoke on behalf of the Kurds in the 1990s (Elçi 299). As recently as November of 2016, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan used July’s failed military coup as an excuse to eliminate all opposition to his rule, detaining Kurdish politicians, suspending Kurdish teachers, and silencing Kurdish media outlets, even though there is “no known link” between the ethnic group and the coup attempt (Yeginsu).
Repression of the Kurds in Turkey began soon after World War I, after a modern Turkish state had emerged and was trying to create a unified national identity. At the time, “Kurdistan”—not a nation that exists on any map, but rather an informal region that spans borders — was fragmented further with the formation of Turkey, Iraq and Syria following the war. This left millions of Kurds without a singular state, making them the largest ethnic group in the world without sovereignty in the form of their own state (Meiselas xv). The Kurds have a language and culture that is distinct from each of the countries they reside in (BBC, “Who are the Kurds?”); therefore, attempts made by these countries to assimilate the Kurds into their respective national identities generally failed. In Turkey, this manifested in multiple armed rebel-
A crucial misstep in Turkey’s history of injustice towards the Kurds was to condemn the YPG as a terrorist sister organization to the PKK, despite the United States’ refusal to do so. Although both the YPG and the PKK
hope for Kurdish independence, only the PKK engages in terrorism; yet the Turkish government sees both organizations as equally threatening. Turkey’s refusal to consider Kurdish independence for close to 100 years enabled the formation of the PKK, and the Turkish government’s fear of the PKK currently justifies, in their eyes, bombing anti-terrorist Kurdish forces despite their proven ability to combat ISIS.
The war against ISIS has dragged on for more than four years, and the havoc that ISIS has wreaked during this time has been nothing short of horrific. Certainly, all armed forces that have proven effective against ISIS are needed now more than ever, as the allied offensive to retake Mosul in Iraq is currently underway. Kurdish forces are expected to play an instrumental part in retaking the city (Di Giovanni), and if the Turkish government wishes to continue contributing genuinely and fully to the war effort, it must reconsider its longstanding position towards the YPG and Kurds across the Middle East. Turkey’s repression of the Kurds, both historically and today, cannot be justified because of a Kurdish terrorist group created, in part, by Turkey’s own actions. It is unreasonable for Turkish military and government officials to allow historical tensions to distract them from being an effective partner in the current war against ISIS.
Meiselas, Susan, ed. Kurdistan. New York: Random House, 1997.
Glenn, Cameron. “Timeline: Rise and Spread of the Islamic State.” Wilson Center, July 5, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2016. https://www.wilsoncenter.org/article/timeline-rise-and-sp read-the-islamic-state.
Romano, David and Mehmet Gurses, ed. Conflict, Democratization, and the Kurds in the Middle East. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014. Special Service Officer, Baghdad. “Report Sent to Air Staff Intelligence, Baghdad, November 8, 1924.” In Kurdistan, edited by Susan Meiselas, 124. New York: Random House, 1997. Tezcür, Günes Murat, “The Ebb and Flow of Armed Conflict in Turkey: An Elusive Peace.” In Conflict, Democratization, and the Kurds in the Middle East, edited by David Romano and Mehmet Gurses, 171-187. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014. Tharoor, Ishaan. “Turkey’s Syria Offensive is as much about the Kurds as ISIS.” The Washington Post, August 24, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2016. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/ 2016/08/24/turkeys-syria-offensive-is-as-much-about-the -kurds-as-isis/?utm_term=.642c83a27435.
References BBC. “Who are the Kurds?” BBC News, March 14, 2016. Accessed November 17, 2016. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29702440 . BBC Monitoring. “Turkey v Syria's Kurds v Islamic State.” BBC News, August 23, 2016. Accessed November 17, 2016. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33690060.
Yeginssu, Ceylan and Safak Timur. “Turkey’s Post-Coup Crackdown Targets Kurdish Politicians.” The New York Times, November 4, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/05/world/europe/turk ey-coup-crackdown-kurdish-politicians.html?_r=0.
Di Giovanni, Janine. “The Battle Against ISIS in Mosul Could Lean to an Independent Iraqi Kurdistan.” Newsweek, October 18, 2016. Accessed December 13, 2016. http://www.newsweek.com/2016/10/28/battle-against-isi s-mosul-kurdistan-independence-511041.html.
Zana, Medhi and Layla Zana. “Interview with Susan Meiselas, October 1993.” In Kurdistan, edited by Susan Meiselas, 296-297. New York: Random House, 1997.
Elçi, Serafettin. “Interview with Susan Meiselas, October 1993.” In Kurdistan, edited by Susan Meiselas, 298. New York: Random House, 1997. Fantz, Ashley. “War on ISIS: Who's Doing What?” CNN, November 27, 2015. Accessed December 13, 2016.
The Rohingya Crisis Cecilia D'Arville
(Zarni, 2016). This directly relates to the discrimination the Rohingya people face. As mentioned earlier, the Citizenship Act of 1982 took away a Rohingya person’s right to citizenship in Myanmar, making them legally unable to pursue higher education, work in the government, own land, and have more than two children (Mikati, 2015). These stages created a foundation for the next stages of genocide to manifest in Myanmar’s society.
For decades now, the Rohingya Muslim population of Myanmar, also referred to as Burma, has faced intense hostility and persecution within their own state. Beginning in the later twentieth century, the Myanmar government began widespread oppression of the Rohingya people, starting with the 1982 Citizenship Act (Zarni, 2016). In recent years, this oppression has grown into a violent offensive. Currently in Myanmar, the initial stages of a genocide are occurring, posing a huge threat to human security in the Rakhine region.
While classification, symbolization, and discrimination continue to exist in the twenty-first century, dehumanization only recently became prevalent in Myanmar. One of the key characteristics of dehumanization is that it “overcomes the normal human revulsion against murder” (Stanton, 2013). The increasing number of Rohingya women being raped contributes to this step. Women reported being raped, sexually assaulted, and beaten in front of children and family members (Al Jazeera, 2017). Mohsena Begum, a twenty-year-old woman, recalled being lined up and watching soldiers pull four men from the line to slit their throats on the spot, like cattle in a slaughterhouse (Dearden, 2016). The treatment of children is also a key part of dehumanization. Children under the age of six have reportedly been “slaughtered with knives,” trampled, and killed while their mothers are raped (Al Jazeera, 2017). This intense violence shows a blatant disregard for human life and spirit. Dehumanization is what shifted the conflict in Myanmar from a threat to a crisis. Prior to dehumanization, the anticipation of impending danger existed, but violent actions were intermittent and concentrated against people the government deemed insurgents (Mikati, 2015). Now, violence is widespread and directed against all Rohingya people, including children and women. This dehumanization is a genocidal act that endangers the human security of Rohingyas living in Myanmar.
To understand the recent conflict, it is necessary to reflect on the tensions that have existed within Myanmar for decades. The most prominent religion in Myanmar is Buddhism (Pew Research Center, 2016). As of 2010, over 80% of the population identifies as Buddhist, whereas only about 4% of the population is Muslim, with an even smaller percentage of Rohingya Muslims (Pew Research Center, 2016). According to the Pulitzer Center, the Rohingyas lived in Myanmar peacefully until the mid1900s (Mikati, 2015). However, in 1978 the Myanmar military launched Operation Naga Min, which targeted alleged Rohingya insurgents (Mikati, 2015). Soon after, in 1982, the government passed a Citizenship Act that denied citizenship to those who had not “permanently settled within the boundaries of modern-day Myanmar prior to 1823,” which is the first year that the government acknowledged Rohingyas migrating to Myanmar (Mikati, 2015). Since being denied citizenship, the Rohingya people have faced government oppression, as well as violence from individual actors. Aside from historical context, it is important to understand what constitutes genocide. This paper will use Gregory H. Stanton’s The Ten Stages of Genocide to analyze the Rohingya crisis. The ten stages include classification, symbolization, discrimination, dehumanization, organization, polarization, preparation, persecution, extermination, and denial (Stanton, 2013). Stanton states “the process is not linear,” meaning these stages can occur concurrently and do not have to occur in an exact order (2013).
Most of the remainder of the Ten Stages have been exhibited in Myanmar, but to a lesser extent than the initial four. Organization most prominently manifests in the military. Reports from multiple new sources, such as CNN, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, and BBC refer to the military’s involvement and “crackdown” against the Rohingya people (Al Jazeera, 2017; Griffiths, 2016; Nang and Mullany, 2017; BBC News, 2016). Villages and homes have been destroyed by local militant groups throughout the Rakhine State of Myanmar (Griffiths, 2016). Additionally, the Myanmar government has made statements and laws targeting the Rohingya people. However, it is unclear as to who exactly is leading and pushing the army to commit such acts as the First State Counsellor and de facto leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, does not completely control the military (Nang and Mullany, 2017). This lack of direct oversight causes ambiguity
The initial stages of classification and symbolization can be seen through the differentiation of Rohingya people as “others” in Myanmar’s society. Their main differentiating factor is religion, as Muslims only make up a small portion of the total population compared to Buddhists. The government has referred to Rohingya as a “threat to national security,” emphasizing the effort to separate them from governmentally recognized citizens
in organization, preparation, and persecution. Obviously, a force is pushing an agenda of hate and violence against the Rohingyas, but, at this point, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly who is a part of that force.
Some groups, such as a group of eleven Nobel peace prize winners, are referring to the conflict as “ethnic cleansing” instead of a pre-genocidal crisis (BBC, 2016). However, ethnic cleansings often serve as precursors to genocides. This pattern can be seen in the initial stages of the Holocaust, where Jewish individuals were heavily discriminated against and forced to leave their homes and countries. The recognition of the Rohingya crisis as an ethnic cleansing does not take away from its genocidal nature. Instead, it strengthens the claim.
Polarization is exhibited not only in social differentiation but also in physical separation. The Rohingya people already lived in isolation, and recent government and military actions have further blocked off these areas from humanitarian and civilian aid (Smith, 2016). The only step which is not prevalent in Myanmar is extermination. The lack of central organization seen in the killings does not support the attempt to completely wipe out the Rohingya population.
Although the Rohingya crisis is a national human security issue in the state of Myanmar, it is becoming an interstate security issue as Rohingya refugees enter nearby countries such as Thailand and Bangladesh. Refugee camps in Bangladesh provide Rohingya individuals looking to escape the hostility and violence with basic provisions and protection (Zarni, 2016). Yet, after speaking to a news source about being raped by soldiers, one woman was forced to flee to such a camp or face execution (Rahman, 2017). Bangladesh is struggling to support the number of refugees entering its borders (The Nation, 2012). There is no simple solution to resolving this crisis. However, steps must be taken soon if a full-blown genocide is to be prevented.
Despite being the final stage in the Ten Stages, denial is already occurring in Myanmar. A blanket denial of human rights violations has been issued from both the government and the military (Griffiths, 2016). State-run news sources have been denouncing international media that focuses on the persecution of the Rohingya people (Fisher, 2017). The presidential spokesman, exmilitary ruler Zaw Htay, denies that military troops are burning down villages and raping women (Griffiths, 2016). Additionally, Suu Kyi claims human rights violations are not being committed; she refers to the military action as counter-terrorism (Fisher, 2017). This denial is incredibly dangerous and poses a large risk to the human security of all individuals living in Myanmar, both Rohingya and others, because the government will not allow human rights monitors and journalists into the regions where the most violence is occurring (Griffiths, 2016). Without these monitors and journalists, it is difficult to collect accurate information regarding the daily situation of Rohingya currently living in the Rakhine State. Most reports gather testimony and stories from refugees living in countries such as Bangladesh.
One immediate way to address the Rohingya crisis is through increased humanitarian aid. Currently, the Myanmar government is refusing humanitarian aid in the Rakhine State, which is pushing the Rohingya people to migrate to Bangladesh. If the government allowed for the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (the UN Refugee Agency) to send some form of aid into the region, it could begin a stabilization process and help lower the number of refugees. Another way to partially solve the issue is to strike down the 1982 Citizenship Act in order to restore rights to Rohingya individuals living in Myanmar.
Despite the ongoing violence, some claim genocidal actions are not occurring within Myanmar. One of the key groups championing this notion is a commission set up by the government of Myanmar (BBC, 2017). This commission found “insufficient evidence” regarding people being raped and cites the fact that Islamic religious buildings have not been destroyed as evidence against a genocide occurring (BBC, 2017). Their argument is inherently weakened due to the clear bias a government commission would have against claiming their government is at fault for such a major human rights violation. Reports, photos, and videos have shown deadly attacks, rape, and destruction of Rohingya villages (Iaccino, 2016). These actions clearly represent dehumanization and targeting of the Rohingya people and provide the evidence the government claims does not exist.
Long-term solutions must fulfill the needs of human security. Widespread poverty, unemployment, and social dislocation are the foundation of many human security problems. Within the Rakhine State, there is limited education, healthcare, and public service access (The Nation, 2012). Intense competition arises over such resources and adds to pre-existing ethnic tensions. An article in Thailand’s The Nation put forward the notion of creating human development programs in Rakhine as a sustainable solution to this problem. At this time, no actions have been taken to begin such programs. Despite the horrific violence occurring in Myanmar and the government’s denial of genocide, one recent event shows hope for the implementation of neces-
sary reform. Last month, a prominent Muslim human rights lawyer was murdered (Nang and Saw, 2017). He publicly supported creating stability and peace between the Buddhist and Muslim people in Myanmar. Immediately after his death, the Myanmar police arrested four individuals in relationship to the killing, with officials claiming the shooting “undermined the country’s stability” (Nang and Saw 2017). This push towards bringing justice to the murder of a Muslim individual shows that the government will not always turn a blind eye to unjust, religious-based violence. However, more pressure must be put on the Myanmar government by the international community in order to stop this genocide before it reaches a point of no return.
24, 2017. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/new-wave-destruction-sees-12 50-houses-destroyed-myanmars-rohingya-villages-15925 82. Mikati, Sarah. "Rohingyas: A Look into One of the World's Most Persecuted Minorities." Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City), May 24, 2015. Nang, Saw, and Gerry Mullany. "Myanmar Arrests 4 in Fatal Shooting of Prominent Rights Lawyer." New York Times, Feb. 1, 2017, Asia Pacific. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/01/world/asia/myan mar-u-ko-ni-shooting-arrests.html. The Nation (Thailand). "Rohingyas: A Quest for a Sustainable Solution." June 25, 2012.
Pew Research Center. "Burma (Myanmar) Country Profile." Global Religious Futures. Last modified 2016. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017. http://www.globalreligiousfutures.org/countries/ burma-myanmar/religious_demography. Rahman, Shaikh Azizur. "Rohingya Women Who Spoke out on Rape, Murder 'Pursued by Myanmar Officials.'" The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney), Feb. 20, 2017. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017. http://www.smh.com.au/world/rohingya-women-who-sp oke-out-on-rape-murder-pursued-by-myanmar-officials-2 0170217-guf9ij.html. Smith, Matthew. "Is Genocide Unfolding in Myanmar?" CNN, Dec. 6, 2016. Accessed Feb. 25, 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/05/opinions/rakhine-staterohingya-genocide-opinion/. Stanton, Gregory H., Dr. "The Ten Stages of Genocide." International Alliance to End Genocide. Last modified 2013. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017. http://www.genocidewatch.org/genocide/tenstagesofge nocide.html. Zarni, Maung, Dr. "Myanmar's Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis." The New Nation (Bangladesh), Mar. 21, 2016.
Al Jazeera. "'Hundreds of Rohingyas' Killed in Myanmar Crackdown." Feb. 3, 2017. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/rohingyas-kille d-myanmar-crackdown-170203101817841.html. BBC News. "Myanmar Says 'No Evidence' of Rohingya Genocide." Jan. 4, 2017, Asia. Accessed February 24, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38505228. BBC News. "Rohingya Myanmar: Nobel Winners Urge Action over 'Ethnic Cleansing.'" Dec. 30, 2016, Asia. Accessed Feb. 25, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38470232. Dearden, Lizzie. "Burma's Rohingya Muslims Speak of Massacres and Rape as Government Denies Genocide." Independent Online, Dec. 2016. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/rohingy a-muslims-burma-government-rapes-massacres-govern ment-genocide-ethnic-cleansing-rakhine-a7471636.html. Fisher, Jonah. "Myanmar's Rohingya: Truth, Lies and Aung San Suu Kyi." BBC News, Jan. 27, 2017, Asia. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-38756601. Griffiths, James. "Is The Lady Listening? Aung San Suu Kyi Accused of Ignoring Myanmar's Muslims." CNN, Nov. 25, 2016. Accessed Feb. 24, 2017. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/17/asia/myanmar-rohin gya-aung-san-suu-kyi/. Iaccino, Ludovica. "New Wave of Destruction Sees 1,250 Houses Destroyed in Myanmar's Rohingya Villages." International Business Times, Nov. 21, 2016. Accessed Feb.
Resegregation in American Schools: Standardized Testing and Socioeconomics Amanda Morrison
programs or technology” (Strauss). Furthermore, the aforementioned Currie and Duncan study also concluded that students from low socioeconomic backgrounds have more to gain from higher test scores, but that unfortunately assumes that they are able to get a higher score in the first place. Many low socioeconomic status students have numerous demographic factors working against them that cause a clear disadvantage in regards to ability and preparedness for standardized tests (Currie). This problem with accessibility was only exacerbated through the expansion of high-stakes testing with the Common Core standards in 2009. This initiative encouraged all states to adopt the exact same expectations for students in each grade, even though all students are different (Myths vs. Facts). This expansion of and emphasis on standardized testing furthers resegregation in American schools.
Nelson Mandela once stated, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Although education is indeed powerful, recent federally mandated requirements in education make it more like a harmful weapon than a useful tool. National programs such as No Child Left Behind and Common Core certainly have admirable aims—to promote accountability in schools and make sure students are moving forward in their academic paths—but these programs are more successful ideologically than they are in practice (No Child Left Behind Act). Once implemented, these federal and state laws undermined the success of students with low socioeconomic statuses. Thus, the U.S. Department of Education’s focus on high-stakes standardized tests perpetuates resegregation by furthering socioeconomic divides within and between schools. These divides are widened specifically through an unbalanced standardized test focus, distinct language use on tests, and the access or lack of access to adequate standardized test preparation.
The first problem with the United States’ emphasis on standardized testing in education is the absurd amount of time spent preparing for and taking these tests. Students spend 60-110 hours per school year preparing for high-stakes standardized tests, and this figure does not even account for the time actually spent taking the exams. “If testing were abandoned, one school district… could add from 20 to 40 minutes of instruction to each school day for most grades” (Strauss). Some estimates even note that school districts could add almost an entire class period to the day if standardized testing was abandoned. So much time is spent on these tests that students have become increasingly anxious, and testing agencies now provide instructions for what to do if a student vomits on their test booklet. Comedian and social critic John Oliver commented on this issue: “Something is wrong with our system when we just assume a certain number of kids will vomit” (Oliver). While numerous American constituents—namely half of American parents—agree with Oliver’s sentiments, many citizens are unaware that this testing focus is disproportionate based on where schools are located. “Urban high school students spend as much as 266 percent more time taking standardized tests than their suburban counterparts do,” writes the Center for American Progress in 2014 (Lazarin). This is a sad statistic because children from urban, inner-city schools usually suffer from economic disparities more than their suburban counterparts. The emphasized focus on standardized tests in impoverished schools aims to promote accountability and encourage progress. Legislators and education officials believe that more testing in these schools will produce more data to use for needed reform. Unfortunately, this urban versus suburban imbalance simply perpetuates the socioeconomic divide between students and schools. This harms poorer students because lower test scores are already
Standardized tests are widely used in public schools thanks to federal laws such as No Child Left Behind as well as the state-implemented Common Core standards. The No Child Left Behind legislation of 2002 aimed to promote accountability, flexibility, researchbased teaching, and parental options in education. This legislation also planned to achieve these goals through the principle of accountability and the administration of high-stakes standardized tests (No Child Left Behind Act). Although the desire to keep schools accountable for students’ progress is laudable, the Center for American Progress noted that approximately half of U.S. parents believe there is now an overload of standardized testing in schools (Lazarin). It is unfortunate that the aim for accountability was put into practice through standardized tests. These tests begin at an early age for students, which has adverse effects on low socioeconomic communities. According to a study published in the Research in Labor Economics journal, men and women in the lowest quartile of standardized test scores in primary and secondary school have wages that are 20% lower at age 33 than those who scored in the highest quartile (Currie). These test score differences reflect an inequality that begins at a young age and continues through K-12 education because standardized testing takes away from other classroom experiences. According to education writer Valerie Strauss, these tests are costly and timeconsuming, and “in most grades, more than $100 per test-taker could be reallocated to purchase instructional
negatively impacting low socioeconomic communities’ funding and support. Another way the emphasis on standardized tests perpetuates socioeconomic inequalities within and between schools is through the use of specific language on the tests. Often the vernacular used on federal and state mandated exams stems from a more advanced vocabulary, which benefits affluent students. The monolingual use of English in the home is strongly correlated to higher test scores, so many immigrant students from bilingual families are disadvantaged on these tests simply because they lack a native proficiency in English (Garon). Many immigrant families are also already on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum, which means that ESL students are often disadvantaged in two areas—language and economics—rather than one. To make matters worse, many U.S. schools lack sufficient support programs for non-native English speakers. These support programs should be encouraged; bilingualism is a benefit to the brains of students (Kamenetz). This testing divide provides an advantage to native English-speaking students who are typically white and more affluent than non-native speakers and immigrants, which makes the system of standardized testing even more unfair (Spence). Finally, low socioeconomic status students typically lack the access and resources to adequately prepare for standardized tests. This lack of access puts them at a disadvantage to students with higher socioeconomic statuses and reaffirms economic segregation. Students from low socioeconomic families lack support and enrichment for district, state, and federally mandated exams. Furthermore, students who are slow to progress to their expected reading grade level or those who always seem to fall below it are often from low socioeconomic status families (Spence). The aforementioned problem of the specific verbiage used on standardized tests also encourages the need for an affluent vernacular in order to succeed. Families that are simply trying to make ends meet are not able to afford paying for a private tutor or supplemental test materials, as many middle class or wealthy families are able to do. All of these factors compile to disadvantage students from low socioeconomic families. This contributes to further segregation in schools between poor and wealthy students (Garon).
economic status often defines success in education. Students from low socioeconomic families already face stark disadvantages in the classroom, but the high-stakes testing culture in the United States unfortunately furthers these divides. Since the Department of Education’s focus on standardized tests furthers resegregation by exacerbating socioeconomic divides within and between schools, the testing culture should be re-examined. After all, education is the most powerful tool for change. With this information and research in mind, hopefully constituents and lawmakers can work together to reform education to serve all students, regardless of socioeconomic status.
References Currie, Janet, and Duncan Thomas. "Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status and Future Outcomes." Research in Labor Economics (1999): Web. 6 Feb. 2017. <http://www.nber.org/papers/w6943>. Garon, Ilana. “Minding the Gap: SAT and the SocioEconomic Divide.” Education Week, 14 Aug. 2013. Web. 06 Feb. 2017. <http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/urban_teacher/2013 /08/minding_the_gap_sat_and_the_so.html>. Kamenetz, Anya. “6 Potential Brain Benefits Of Bilingual Education.” NPR. N.p., 29 Nov. 2016. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. <http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/29/49794374 9/6-potential-brain- benefits-of-bilingual-education>. Lazarin, Melissa. "Testing Overload in America's Schools." (n.d.): n. pag. Center for American Progress. 16 Oct. 2014. Web. 20 Feb. 2017. "Myths vs. Facts." Common Core State Standards Initiative. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. <http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards/my ths-vs-facts/>. "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001." State of Washington Office of the Superintendent. N.p., 27 Jan. 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2017. Oliver, John. “Standardized Testing.” Last Week Tonight. HBO. 3 May 2015. Web. 5 Feb. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6lyURyVz7k>.
Although school resegregation manifests itself in many ways, socioeconomic segregation is one of the most prominent inequalities in American schools today. As a result of an unbalanced standardized test focus, specific language use on tests, and the access or lack of access to adequate standardized test preparation, socio-
Spence, Allyn G., Shitala P. Mishra, and Susan Ghozeil. "Home Language and Performance on Standardized
Tests." The Elementary School Journal 71.6 (1971): 309-13. Web. 6 Feb. 2017. Strauss, Valerie. “How Much Time Do School Districts Spend on Standardized Testing? This Much.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 25 July 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2017. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/ wp/2013/07/25/how-much-time-do-school-districts-spen d-on-standardized-testing-this-much/?utm_term=.be816 fab684a>.
SECTION II CHRONICLE
Virgin-Mother-Whore: Gender & the Rule of Queen Mary I (1516-1558) GVGK Tang, Senior History & Sociology Major, LGBT Studies Minor Blame the Big Banks Anna Jean Breece, Junior Political Science Major, Global Studies - Economy Track Minor Transcendentalism: A Rebellion Against Society & Injustice Christopher Chau, Junior History & Political Science Major, French Minor
“Only Victims”: The Negative Social Impact of the Vietnam War Armon Fouladi, Junior Actuarial Science Major, History & International Business Administration Minor Politics, Sex & Power: Women During the Fall of the Roman Republic (1st Century BCE) Paige Hill, Junior Political Science Major, History Minor
Virgin-Mother-Whore: Gender & the Rule of Queen Mary I (1516-1558) GVGK Tang
to wield such power (and to negotiate it within her future marriage) without upending both the political and sexual hierarchies of sixteenth century England.
Preceding Mary and Philip’s “co-monarchy” – without a male counterpart to either “balance” or usurp her feminine authority – Mary was a free agent who could emphasize her virginal status in tandem with a mixedgender presentation. Her coronation employed both masculine and feminine elements to reinforce the legitimacy of her rule. Integral to the ritual was belief in the king’s “two bodies” – one earthly, one divine – which, in Mary’s case, deftly promoted a rapprochement between her gender and her sovereignty.4 While Mary’s “body natural” was frail and womanly, her “body politic” was mystical – overriding physical imperfection and emphasizing the God-ordained sacredness of the monarchy. As such, her sovereignty was justifiable in spite of her female “limitations.”
“She was a King’s daughter, she was a King’s sister, she was a King’s wife. She was a Queen, and by the same title a King also…” – John White, Bishop of Winchester, in his sermon at Mary’s funeral1 Queen Mary I’s status as the first English queen regnant was mired in gendered performativity and power dynamics. By assuming a role traditionally held by men, Mary transformed sixteenth century conceptions of sex – as well as sexuality.2 In this way, Mary’s status as a female ruler forced a reconciliation of conventional notions of strength and femininity. Moreover, Mary’s gender affected how she was perceived as a female monarch – in terms necessarily palatable within a patriarchal context and society.
But what of the Queen’s “body natural?” Following this philosophy came a preoccupation with Mary’s sexuality. Cardinal Pole proclaimed the new queen regnant virginal – “helpless, naked and unarmed” – evoking tangible notions of purity and piety. To be untouched was to be untouchable, or so the argument would follow, as Pole credited this aspect of Mary’s femininity – her weakness – with the strength to defeat droves of usurpers and sinners. This virtue, Mary’s supporters believed, would restore the Old Religion – Catholicism.
Mary – like most, if not all, women of her time – was defined in relation to the men in her life – as a daughter, a sister, and a wife. This androcentrism shaped her brief reign from 1553 to 1558. “A woman in a man’s job,” Mary was subject to traditional, circumscribed notions of womanhood that were, in part, based in biblical representations of femininity. This paper examines how such portrayals – embodied by the Virgin-Mother-Whore complex – were evidenced in the language used to describe Mary and were, thus, both integrated and read into Mary I’s role as a monarch. This archetypal trinity acts as a lens through which one may evaluate the ways in which Mary’s gender ultimately affected perceptions of her rule, both past and present. The Virgin “… Numbers conspired against her, and policies were devised to disinherit her, and armed power prepared to destroy her, yet she being Virgin, helpless, naked and unarmed, prevailed, and had the victory over tyrants …” – Cardinal Pole, in his speech before Parliament (explaining the Reconciliation)3 Upon her rise to power, Mary I was hailed by her supporters as a Godsend – a virtuous figure sent to destroy wickedness and restore righteousness to the land. However, her accession brought with it questions about the capacity of a woman – an unmarried woman, no less –
Indeed, striking contemporary parallels were drawn between Mary’s “providential” accession and the stories of numerous biblical heroines. John Gwynneth, a Roman Catholic priest, sermonized that divine intervention – “the [mighty] operation of God” — had brought Mary to power; he likened her to both the Virgin Mary and Judith – the widow who decapitated her enemy, Holofernes, and remained unmarried for the rest of her life.5 Gwynneth was not alone in his comparisons; priest William Forrest, writer John Bale, and cleric James Brooks went on to compare Mary to various female biblical figures and praise God’s intervention in the months following the suppression of the Duke of Northumberland’s coup. Most notable among the Mary “allegories” was her recurrent likening to Judith. Judith has been unexpectedly conceived of as a “prototypical virgin,” a “heroine” or “dreaded castrating female – the chaste widow who might almost be assumed to have ‘lost the memory’ of
sexual intercourse.”6 Unique, then, in this form of Marian imagery is an integration of a kind of virginal piousness with a matronly maturity and fierce (almost hypermasculine) capacity for brutality (e.g., beheading, castration). Mary arrived to the throne at the late age of thirtyseven, unmarried, yet staid. By featuring such a historical (or mythological) precedent of strong womanhood, Mary’s supporters willfully complicated the long-revered boundaries dividing the Virgin, Mother, and Whore figures. Mary’s pristine reputation was known even to her enemies. There was “no scandalous gossip about Mary – even the Marian exiles, in all their excoriation of her seem not to have impugned her sexual virtue.”7 Indeed, Mary clearly defined her queenship as above and beyond any English laws restrictive to the women of her time. Her “middle age” and long-known chastity enabled her (male) courtiers to accept her position and unite under her leadership.8
choose where I lust … I have hitherto lived a Virgin, and doubt nothing, but with God’s grace am able so to live still. But if as my progenitors have done before, it might please God that I might leave some fruit of my body behind me, to be your Governor…”10 Mary started showing signs of a pregnancy two months after the union; however, it soon became clear that there was no child. Uncertainty hung in the air as suspicions and rumors flew about; the false pregnancy was confirmed after the expected due date had passed and, eventually, Mary’s stomach receded. A “Non-Mother,” she endured not only the shame of being a woman who had “failed” to birth a son for her husband; she bore the burden of a monarch who had “failed” to produce an heir for her kingdom. This “dishonor” profoundly limited subsequent perceptions of her rule.
The Mother Historians’ criticism of Mary’s “Non-Mother” status has been twofold; she was problematic both as a ruler without an heir and as a mother without a child. However, focus has most often fallen on the latter issue, thus coloring the historiography with contextual gendered biases. Descriptions of her domestic life proliferate: “the domestic felicity Mary hoped her marriage would create,”11 domestic disappointment without “a settled and reciprocally affectionate marital relationship or the comfort of children,”12 “domestic instincts” that would have made her “an excellent housewife,”13 etc.
“… His Divine Majesty has granted the Queen the grace of conceiving fruit, in her corporeal womb, rendering her the mother of an heir to the temporal kingdom…" – Cardinal Pole in a letter Mary, October 15549 In order to ensure the dynastic security of England, Mary married King Philip II of Spain in July 1554. The union was a useful (if not controversial) political and religious alliance, as well as a means of producing an heir. Indeed, this expectation – for her both as a woman and as a monarch – extended back to the disputed nature of Mary’s ascension. Mary rose to power in July 1553 with the help of her supporters in swiftly ousting Lady Jane Grey, King Edward VI’s pick for successor. This conflict demonstrated not only the significance of religion and legitimacy in determining succession, but uniquely highlighted the role of gender in such conflicts. On his deathbed, Mary’s half-brother Edward had countered her claim to the throne partly because she was Catholic, but also because she was an unmarried woman whose ability to continue the Tudor line was less certain than that of their cousin Jane – who was already married.
Contemporary criticism of Mary’s marriage and “Non-Mother” status also abounded – mostly as a vehicle for Anti-Spanish propaganda and xenophobia. Such depictions enabled the idea of Mary as a “disappointed and barren wife;” in turn, Mary’s “body politic” and “body natural” were balanced – her failed monarchy matched her “unsatisfactory domestic life.”14 As a queen regnant and mother-to-be, the hybrid imagery of the Virgin Mother had been useful in allowing Mary’s subjects to imagine that Philip was not ultimately responsible for her supposed maternity, thus dispelling the notion that both Mary’s “body natural” and “body politic” had been invaded and occupied by something foreign and treacherous.15 But without a child to give the union a more legitimate purpose, the aspersions of Mary’s critics gained traction.
The contemporary English historian John Foxe documented a speech Mary gave at Guildhall in February 1554 in which she highlighted her primary reason for marrying: “… I assure you, I am not so bent to my will … [that] for mine own pleasure, I would
Kings.”20 Mary straddled many of these divisions; her reign was positioned upon a unique cross-section of religion (the Catholic ruler of a Protestant nation), nationality (an English queen, born to a Spanish mother and married to a Spanish king), and gender (“a woman in a man’s role,” a female king). Through this “border-crossing,” Mary became an object of suspicion.
The Whore "Queen Mary imitating Jezebel, Advanced did the Ministers of Hell" – Benjamin Harris, The Protestant Tutor 167916 As Mary’s reign neared its untimely end, harsher denunciations arose. A treatise against female monarchs (and Mary, implicitly), “The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women,” written by the sixteenth century Scottish theologian John Knox, ominously states:
In looking continually outward – towards reconciliation with Rome and marriage to a foreign prince – Mary’s “openness” to ignoble influence was accentuated. In truth, the Whore of Babylon in the eponymous play is not Mary (represented by the dead queen), but the whorish specter of Spain and Rome.21 One may note, again, how the Whore symbolism is conferred to Mary’s choices and their consequences (e.g., her “imitation” of Jezebel, her marital bed) but never to Mary herself.
“Jezebel may for a time sleep quietly in the bed of her fornication and whoredom … but neither shall she preserve herself from great affliction, and from the sword of God’s vengeance, which shall shortly apprehend such works of iniquity.”17
Conclusion Decrying a female monarch for being aggressive, for violating the bounds of feminine passivity while occupying a leadership role, places Mary in the role of a fanatic and/or scapegoat, with no seeming will of her own. Was she “a victim” of her Catholic upbringing? Was she ill-advised? Very rarely has the historical record shown her to have much agency. Posthumously, Mary came to signify relentless cruelty, intolerant faith, blind fanaticism, and mindless determination – an exemplar of forsaken morality and domestic discontent.22
The so-called “bed of fornication and whoredom” to which Knox referred acted as a metaphor for the common criticism of Mary’s choice of husband – the man meant to share her bed. As English scholar Carolyn Colbert observes, “Mary ascended the throne as a virgin, but in opening her body to Philip in marriage, she was giving Spain access to the nation itself.”18 In a sense, Mary was “whoring” herself and, in the process, England. After Mary’s reign, the rise of Protestantism exacerbated the use of sexual slander against any female sovereign, whether Catholic or Protestant; the moral deficiency of women was seen as an obstacle to the search for spiritual truth – a quality rarely ascribed in similar fashion to men.19 One may note, however, that the likening of Mary to anything “whorish” was kept strictly metaphorical. Her “impeccable sexual reputation” remained unscathed, if not contorted for political lambasting. To be a “Whore,” in Mary’s case, was to be transgressive, to push boundaries and venture just outside pre-established norms – to be a sellout, treacherous and unpatriotic – or to be “bloody,” overzealous and aggressive in her expulsion of Protestantism from England.
Queen Mary I’s gender shaped, has shaped, and continues to shape perceptions of her rule and subsequent historical interpretations. As historian Joan Scott famously declared – "Gender is one of the recurrent references by which political power has been conceived, legitimated, and criticized.”23 In turn, she asked, “why (and since when) have women been invisible as historical subjects, when we know they participated in the great and small events of' human history?”24 Scholar Judith Richards argues that “historians have conventionally paid more attention to defining Mary's rule by reference to her allegedly serious moral faults, less to her significant achievements as England's first effective queen regnant in a profoundly patriarchal society.”25 Mary and her supporters attempted to mitigate her “disadvantages” as a woman by presenting her as a figure of virtue and piety – fragile symbolism that was ultimately an easy target for condemnation and contortion.
This Marian “Whore” imagery can be found in The Whore of Babylon, penned by English Elizabethan dramatist Thomas Dekker. The allegory centers its narrative around the dichotomies conjured by Mary’s rule: “Catholic/Protestant; Babylon (Spain, France, Modern Italy)/Fairyland (England); Women/Men; Queens/
16. Ceri Law, “Bloody Mary? The reign and reputation of Mary I.” HIST_Ma2. University of Cambridge, Cambridge. 22 July 2016. Lecture.
1. Anna Whitelock, Mary Tudor: England’s First Queen, (London: Bloomsbury, 2009), xi. 2. Sarah Duncan, Mary I: Gender, Power, and Ceremony in the Reign of England's First Queen (New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2012), 12.
17. John Knox, “The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women” (1558), Selected Writings of John Knox: Public Epistles, Treatises and Expositions to the Year 1559 (Dallas: Presbyterian Heritage Publications, 1995), 21.
3. Ceri Law, “Bloody Mary? The reign and reputation of Mary I.” HIST_Ma2. University of Cambridge, Cambridge. 20 July 2016. Lecture.
18. Colbert, “The Daughter of Time,” 26. 19. Richards, “Gender Difference,” 28.
4. Duncan, Mary I, 12. 20. Frances E. Dolan, “General Introduction” to The Whore of Babylon, accessed 29 July 2016, http://digitalrenaissance.uvic.ca/Annex/Texts/WoB/intro/ GenIntro/default/.
5. Paulina Kewes, “Two Queens, One Inventory: The Lives of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor” in Writing Lives: Biography and Textuality, Identity and Representation in Early Modern England ed. by Kevin Sharpe and Steven N. Zwicker (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008), 192.
21. Colbert, “The Daughter of Time,” 25-6.
6. Mieke Bal, “Head Hunting: 'Judith on the Cutting Edge of Knowledge'“ in Feminist Companion to Esther, Judith and Susanna ed. by Athalya Brenner (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995), 265.
22. Colbert, “The Daughter of Time,” 242. 23. Joan Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis,” The American Historical Review 91 (1986), 1073.
7. Judith Richards, “Gender Difference and Tudor Monarchy: The Significance or Queen Mary I,” Parergon 21 (2004): 36.
24. Scott, “Gender,” 1074. 25. Judith Richards, Mary Tudor (London: Routledge, 2008), 238.
8. Richards, “Gender Difference,” 39. 9. Duncan, Mary I, 140. 10. Carolyn M. Colbert, “The Daughter of Time: The Afterlife of Mary Tudor, 1558-1625” (PhD diss., Memorial University of Newfoundland, 2009), 13-4. 11. Colbert, “Daughter of Time,” 13. 12. David Loades, Mary Tudor: The Tragical History of the First Queen of England (Kew: National Archives, 2006), 26. 13. David Loades, Two Tudor Conspiracies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965), 9-10. 14. Colbert, “Daughter of Time,” 26. 15. Duncan, Mary I, 140.
Blame the Big Banks Anna Jean Breece
and (4) in turn, financial firms used their profits to lobby for policies that increased their risk. After blaming the banks, this paper will explore how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as, low interest rates, and the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) at least contributed to the crisis, but do not warrant the bulk of responsibility.
In few words, the 2008 meltdown was a typical recession compounded by a liquidity crisis. All recessions expectedly involve mistakes, such as overinvestment. The 1980s experienced overinvestment in automobiles. In 2008, it was over-investment in residential housing. However, when borrowers defaulted on their loans and mortgage lending slowed, the housing bubble burst around 2006. Defaults on risky loans undermined financial institutions, making them insolvent. A liquidity crisis ensued.
Leading up to the crisis, bankers were increasingly awarded cash bonuses for increasing volumes and profits over the short-term , rather than the long-term profitability of their bets (Acharya and Richardson 206, Stiglitz 338). Acharya and Richardson recall the examples of US Bancorp – which started with $5 billion collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) in the summer of 2006 and had $50 billion by September 2007 – and Citigroup – which accumulated $55 billion of them by 2007 (207). With money flowing in, they had little incentive to discount for the “maturity mismatch,” which is the tendency of a business to mismatch its balance sheet by possessing more short-term liabilities than short-term assets and having more assets than liabilities for medium- and long-term obligations. There was also pressure on CEOs to keep profits high and investors interested (Mizruchi 26-28). Thus, financiers pursued higher short-term returns at the expense of higher risk (Stiglitz 331).
To demonstrate its severity, consider the following: From 2002 to 2007, the ratio of debt to national income income increased from 3.75:1 to 4.75:1. During this same period, house prices grew at an unprecedented rate of 11 percent per year (Acharya and Richardson 195-196). Subsequently, the rate of unemployment in the U.S. rose from 4.4 percent in May 2007 to 10.1 percent in October 2009. Real GDP also sharply declined by 4 percent from the end of 2007 to the second quarter of 2009. By August 2007, the interbank market froze and issues spread beyond the U.S. For instance, Northern Rock, a British bank, needed emergency funds from the Bank of England for a liquidity problem (Mankiw 337343).
To further explain, Mizruchi offers “the decline of the American corporate elite,” in which the corporate leaders that emerged after World War II cared for broad economic stability. Mizruchi asserts that, in their hands, such a crisis could not have happened four decades ago. However, this corporate elite had dissipated by the 1990s, and its replacement is now fragmented, ineffectual, and focused on their short-term interests (32, 3435).
Economists have identified an exhaustive list of responsible perpetrators, including the investment banks and investors; the credit-ratings agencies; the regulatory institutions such as the Federal Reserve and the S.E.C.; the mortgage brokers; and numerous administrations that pushed for financial deregulation that enabled highrisk loaning (Stiglitz 330). Conservatives blame the government policies that gave subprime borrowers easier access to loans, including the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (Stiglitz 336-337, Thompson 17, 22). In part, it was the big institutions, which were too big to manage, that risked failing.
The proliferation of bad bank loans was a consequence of a cycle of escalating high-risk behavior (Mizruchi 8). Instead of holding a mortgage loan to be repaid, banks started to “originate and distribute” them, in which loans are pooled, tranched, and resold to investors as securities to offload risk. Therefore, the banks cared less about the creditworthiness of the borrower. Subprime borrowers also garnered steep interest rates and thus yielded high returns. As profits increased, irresponsible mortgage lending and speculation ensued. Innovative mortgage products were marketed heavily to reach more subprime borrowers, such as adjustable-rate mortgages, interest-only loans, and negative amortization loans (Acharya and Richardson 196, Mizruchi 3, Stiglitz 329-332).
Although there are many parties to blame, we should not deflect blame from the most responsible parties of all: the big banks. They are responsible chiefly because (1) they adopted incentive structures that induced short-term profits and decision planning, which incentivized risky activities; (2) the proliferation of bad bank loans, often cited as the epicenter of the meltdown, originated from banks’ risky behavior; (3) this behavior included excessive leverage, off-balance-sheet accounting, regulatory arbitrage, and evading capital requirements;
glitz 338, Thompson 20-21). For instance, the Securities and Exchange Commission relaxed leverage limits for five Wall Street banks in 2004, replacing the 1997 net capitalization rule’s 12-to-1 leverage limit. In consequence, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America), Lehman Brothers, and Bear Stearns (now part of JPMorgan Chase) had unlimited leverage. These investment banks ramped leverage from 12-to-1 to 20-, 30-, or even 40-to-1. By 2008, only two of these banks survived with the help of a bailout (Inside Job). In addition, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) quickly passed after commercial, securities, and insurance firms came together to lobby legislators (Lecture #4, Suárez and Kolodny 12, 19-22).
In addition, banks engaged in excessive leverage, off-balance-sheet accounting, and regulatory arbitrage by evading capital requirements (Acharya and Richardson 195-196, Stiglitz 331). Banks circumvented capital requirements in two ways. First, financial firms assumed increasingly more risk because much of their risky assets were excluded from their balance sheets. For instance, banks removed loans from their balance sheet by securitizing them. Second, banks could hold less capital requirements if their assets were AAA-rated tranches of securities (Acharya and Richardson 199-201, Suárez “OffBalance Sheet Entities”). Buyers of these tranches could protect themselves with credit default swaps (CDS), which are contracts insuring against the default of a bond or tranche, as the seller agrees to compensate the buyer if a third party defaults on a loan. Anyone who purchased a AAA-rated tranche combined with a CDS trusted that the investment was low-risk because the probability of the CDS counterparty defaulting was considered small. However, credit rating agencies such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Moody’s were paid by the very banks that conducted the CDOs and thus had no incentive to closely scrutinize what were in fact risky securities. Moreover, fund managers blindly relied on these triple-A ratings and bought risky securities. When the housing market turned in 2006, supposedly safe investments proved worthless, despite rating agencies’ seal of approval (Acharya and Richardson 196, 199-205; Stiglitz 332).
GLBA, also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999 (FMA), amended the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 and repealed Glass-Steagall Act of 1933. It transmitted the risk-taking culture of investment banks to commercial banks (Stiglitz 333, Suárez and Kolodny 5). However, Mizruchi notes that commercial banks increasingly became like investment banks during the 1980s anyway (24). FMA also allowed commercial banks to engage in proprietary trading. It also allowed commercial banks to derive unlimited amounts of their income from underwriting, trading, and purchasing mortgaged-backed CDOs, which are now commonly referred to as toxic assets because of their role in the crisis. (Suárez “Paving the Road to Too Big to Fail”). Banks continued to fund lobbyists for the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000, provisioning unregulated derivatives trading (Suárez and Kolodny 34). Therefore, AIG, a large international insurance company, could write $3 trillion in derivatives while reserving zero dollars against future claims. These policies signaled that “too big to fail” no longer scared deregulators from deregulating. The most important factor that led to their passage was the political interests of the financial firms (Suárez and Kolodny 33-34).
Regulatory arbitrage, the simultaneous buying and selling of securities, became popular in the financial sector around 2002 because of the short-term profits it was generating. Banks were offloading subprime loans, but still exposed to the risk of a default on those loans through derivatives, a type of security in which the price is derived from one or more underlying assets. Derivative securities were purportedly intended to remove or diversify away the inherent risk in the underlying assets. The logic was that individual loan risks across American cities did not correlate, so a small number of risky loans in a large pool would not endanger the entire pool. Still, banks were vulnerable to systemic risk, which eventually rendered them insolvent when the bubble burst (Acharya and Richardson 195, Stiglitz 331, Suárez “Off-Balance Sheet Entities”).
In the past four decades, financial activities have revamped as a source of profit—from 15% of total U.S. profits in the 1960s, to 30% in the 1980s, and over 40% by 2001. “MBA students flocked to Wall Street to make fortunes in the suddenly exciting world of investment banking” (Mizruchi 6). This financialization of the economy corresponded with the philosophy of deregulation, which began with the Carter administration, lasted until the Bush administration (Mizruchi 6-7, Suárez “Paving the Road to Too Big to Fail”).
Lastly, the big banks used their funds to lobby for legislation that enabled them to take on more risk (Sti-
banking system, in which banks sold mortgage-backed securities, led to the proliferation of bad bank loans and predatory lending; (3) this short-term structure incentivized banks’ efforts to circumvent capital-adequacy requirements, overleverage, and engage in regulatory arbitrage; and (4) financial firms used their profits to lobby for policies, such as GLBA and FMA, that further increased risk-taking. Simply put, despite being supposed experts in risk management, banks misjudged risk, were allowed to grow too big to fail, and perpetuated systemic risk (Stiglitz 329, 333). Meanwhile, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as, low interest rates, and the CRA augmented the housing bubble by incentivizing increased borrowing, including aggressive lending to subprime borrowers and overleveraging of mortgage originators.
Besides the big banks’ perpetuating risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as, the CRA also contributed to financial crisis in 2008. Republicans have often blamed government initiatives to expand home ownership, particularly the CRA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. The CRA required banks to lend more to underserved communities, while the 1992 Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act set targets for Fannie and Freddie to minority and low-income housing areas (Stiglitz 336-337, Thompson 17). This increased capital into the housing market, partially fueling the bubble. However, a Federal Reserve study shows that the default rate for CRA mortgagors was below average. The mortgage market did have problems with subprime loans, but Fannie and Freddie chiefly financed “prime” mortgages. Otherwise, Fannie and Freddie also joined the high-leverage culture of the private banks, but they did so rather late (Stiglitz 332-337).
The government responded with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, encompassing a slew of policies to curb excessive risk-taking from large financial institutions. These include banking stress tests, clawback requirements, salary caps, say-on-pay requirements, and public disclosure of executive pay ratios, among numerous other initiatives. However, many of these policy objectives are ambiguous, merely symbolic, or weakly implemented, indicating that Dodd Frank did not fulfill its initial purpose (Suárez, “Symbolic Politics” 80-81, 93-94). Moreover, the Brookings Institute find that banks are not substantially safer now than they were prior to the crisis, largely due to a decline in their franchise value to assets. Still, leverage ratios have been reduced, regulatory capital requirements have significantly increased, and stress testing has sought to assure safety by raising levels of capital and reducing risk-taking (Sarin and Summers 34).
Stiglitz and Mizruchi offer that low interest rates contributed to the bubble, but larger forces were at work. The Fed lowered interest rates to spur a flood of liquidity. Moreover, the transformation in the banking system, in which banks sold mortgage-backed securities, also lowered interest rates by attracting large capital inflows from abroad (Thompson 18). Low rates incentivized overleveraging from investors and predatory mortgage lending, as consumers took out large mortgages (they later could not afford) (Stiglitz 333). Alan Greenspan even encouraged people to take out variable-rate mortgages, assuming interest rates would remain at historically low levels. This was an unreasonable expectation (Stiglitz 336, Thompson 21-22). To be clear, “regulatory authorities” (the Fed) and “financial markets”(the financial firms) did not use their tools to stop low interest rates from feeding a housing bubble (Stiglitz 334-335).
References Acharya, Viral V. and Matthew Richardson. “Causes of the Financial Crisis.” Critical Review, Vol. 21 no. 2-3 (2009): 195-210.
To say that the structure in which big banks operate could have been regulated and thus prevented the financial crisis is oversimplified. As Stiglitz points out, regulating one culprit does not mean that someone else won’t take their place (330). Nonetheless, I have offered four reasons why the big financiers contributed most to the financial crisis: (1) Concerned with short-term profits and decisions, they pursued higher short-term returns at the expense of higher risk; (2) the transformation of the
Inside Job. Dir. Charles Ferguson, Chad Beck, and Adam Bolt. Sony Pictures, 2010. Film. Mankiw, Gregory N. Principles of Macroeconomics, 6th edition. South-Western Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Mizruchi, Mark S. “The American Corporate Elite and the Historical Roots of the Financial Crisis of 2008.” Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 30, part B: (2010) 103-139. Sarin, Natasha, and Lawrence Summers. “Have Big Banks Gotten Safer?” BPEA Conference Draft. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, the Brookings Institute. 15-16 Sep. 2016. Print. Stiglitz, Joseph E. “The Anatomy of a Murder: Who Killed America’s Economy.” Critical Review, Vol. 21 no. 2-3; 329339. Suárez, Sandra and Robin Kolodny. “Paving the Way to Too Big to Fail: Business Interests and the Politics of Financial Deregulation in the U.S.” Politics & Society (2011). Suárez, Sandra. “Symbolic Politics and the Regulation of Executive Compensation.” Politics & Society. Vol 42, Issue 1, pp. 73 - 105. 24 Jan. 2014. Print. Suárez, Sandra. “Off-Balance Sheet Entities.” PS 3520. Temple University, Philadelphia. 21 Feb. 2017. Lecture. Suárez, Sandra. “Paving the Road to Too Big to Fail.” PS 3520. Temple University, Philadelphia. 16 Feb. 2017. Lecture. Thompson, Helen. “The Political Origins of the Financial Crisis: The Domestic and International Politics of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” The Political Quarterly, Vol. 80, no. 1 (2009): 17-24.
Transcendentalism: A Rebellion Against Society and Injustice Christopher Chau At the dawn of the 19th century, the young United States of America saw itself rapidly expanding in terms of territory, resources, and influence. Most importantly, the country was in the midst of a vast military expansion, as it waged wars on the western frontier to fulfill its “Manifest Destiny”. In addition, slavery was expanding to meet the demand for raw materials for the ongoing Industrial Revolution. It was also the time of the Second Great Awakening, a religious revival which sought to revive and unite Americans in terms of faith and closeness to God. In a reaction to all of this change, a social movement called transcendentalism soon emerged. Its principles included rejecting the Enlightenment’s values of rationalism and secularism and putting a more consistent focus upon the individual’s soul and how to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Soon, it would become one of the most notable dissent movements of the 19th century, with authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau leading the charge against societal norms and culture. It laid the foundations for dissent for many social and political movements around the world, to fight a society which they saw as corrupt and unjust. Likewise, transcendentalism gave power to the individual to do whatever he believes to be right, as well as to be a guide to do good when everyone else is doing wrong. In their philosophy, all souls connect to the same root, so transcendentalists saw no reason to discriminate between races or genders. This would become the foundation of numerous subsequent social movements to achieve equality for all American citizens. Transcendentalism has its roots in the eastern United States from Puritanism and Romanticism during the 1820s. The Puritans’ original goal was to purify the Anglican church and to mold it in an image to which they see fit. When that attempt failed, they created their own church to reflect their values. “Sincerity, purity, moral courage, unselfish adherence to an ideal–these are the qualities that reflected the better side of Puritanism. And surely men like Emerson, Alcott, Thoreau, and Parker possessed them in full measure.”1 However, many historians, such as Ralph Young, believe that transcendentalism was another branch out of the much wider romantic movement that was sweeping through Europe and the United States. This was a countermovement to the Enlightenment’s ideas of reason and understanding. Instead of gaining knowledge through book learning and various
established principles, individuals must explore the world and the environment around them to discover the truths of the universe. William Wordsworth, a romantic writer, attracted many transcendentalists by his principle that learning is best achieved through self-evaluation, much like a child discovering his own place in the world. “[Childhood] is a visionary state to which man should attempt to return. The child in his uneducated state is endowed with a feeling of the organic whole of the universe, with a natural capacity for wonder and delight that is enfeebled by the intellectual activity of logical analysis that comes with education in the social state.”2 The transcendentalists saw society as being pernicious and detrimental to the development of the individual, and in particular, of the individual’s soul. In order for the soul to be set free, one must deviate from what is already established to see what is beyond the set boundaries. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a former minister turned transcendentalist, believed that there were only two forms of knowledge: reason and understanding. By his own definition, every person has reason, which is their own innate ability to process truth and beauty. Understanding, however, is the knowledge that the individual gets from formal schooling, it is internally imposed knowledge that is limited and that it can only get so far. Emerson argues that truth is distorted from formal education as it consists of interpretations of what certain people believe. In order to see the truth in its entirety, one must seek it out himself. Reason is essential in order to live a fulfilled and enlightened life and to be finally connected with a creative force he called the “oversoul”. In his philosophy, all individual souls are a part of the larger oversoul, meaning that everyone on Earth is created equal. No matter what race or gender you are, every individual should be treated equally. This belief set some justification for women’s rights as well as for the abolition of slavery, movements which were shunned at the time. Margaret Fuller, one of Emerson’s fellow transcendentalists, was a strong advocate for women’s rights and education. Although she was not as prolific as Emerson of the transcendentalist movement, she no doubt played an indispensable role in publishing its official newspaper, The Dial. Although she was the editor for only two years, she had a lasting impact on exposing the plight of women in American society, as author Donald Koster describes: For, in association with Emerson, she set the standards for a critical literature the like of which America had not yet seen as well as providing a vehicle for the expression of a
wide range of original Transcendental thought, both prose and poetry. It was, for example, in The Dial for July of 1843, under Emerson’s editorship, that her article “The Great Lawsuit,” the initial version of her book on woman, appeared. In it she gave clear voice to essentially Transcendentalist doctrine that souls know no sex and that therefore ‘every path must be laid open to women as freely as to man.’ The immediate practical result of Margaret Fuller’s pioneer work in the cause of women’s liberation was the important Seneca Falls Conference of 1848 on women’s rights.3
mined to make a day of it. Why should we knock under and go with the stream? Let us not be upset and overwhelmed in that terrible rapid and whirlpool called a dinner, situated in the meridian shallows. Weather this danger and you are safe, for the rest of the way is down hill.5
To Emerson, one of the most powerful weapons in the world is the power of the individual. No matter what the time period, society will always encourage its citizens to conform to a certain set of values. Fuller represented the ideal strong and resolute transcendentalist, taking on society through ambition and determination fighting for what she and many of her contemporaries believed in: equal rights for all. Another one of Emerson’s contemporaries is perhaps one of the most radical individuals of the transcendental movement. Henry David Thoreau was originally one of Emerson’s students and he greatly looked up to Emerson as a mentor and as an inspiration to his own pursuit of knowledge and enlightenment. However, Thoreau would take Emerson’s beliefs to the extreme. Rather than lecturing like Emerson, Thoreau would live his whole entire life in accordance to transcendentalism. Historian Walter Harding believed that “he held more closely to its fundamentalist principles than did any of the others. He was a true Transcendentalist to the end of his life.”4 Thoreau believed that society and conformity to be his ultimate enemies. Unlike Emerson, he never married and remained a recluse for much of his life until his untimely death from tuberculosis at the age of 44. In his most prolific novel, Walden, Thoreau outlines his own two-year experiment away from the poisons of society. At Walden Pond, he states: Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito’s wing that falls on the rails. Let us rise early and fast, or break fast, gently and without perturbation; let company come and let company go, let the bells ring and the children cry — deter-
Thoreau was entirely satisfied with his protective bubble away from society, where he no longer faced pressure to conform like everyone else. He rejected material possessions such as money and books, arguing that, “It is life near the bone where it is sweetest. You are defended from being a trifler. No man loses ever on a lower level by magnanimity on a higher. Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.”6 He looked upon the world that he formerly lived in with contempt, as he hated the fact that a nation would call itself a free society when it enslaved human beings. “But the only true America is that country where you are at liberty to pursue such a mode of life as may enable you to do without these, and where the state does not endeavor to compel you to sustain the slavery and war and other superfluous expenses which directly or indirectly result from the use of such things.”7 Through his hermit-like lifestyle, Thoreau proved his point that one can achieve spiritual enlightenment and happiness by turning away from worldly concerns and more towards giving oneself back to nature. However, one notable fact about Thoreau is that he did not define nonconformity as merely following his own example. “True nonconformist that he was, Thoreau cautioned his readers not to follow in his footsteps. The experiment at Walden Pond was Thoreau’s path to self-realization. Each man and woman must find his or her own path, must find his or her own direction and not simply copy or imitate him.”8 According to him, all must follow their own way toward happiness, and whatever that path may be is completely up to the individual. Perhaps one of Thoreau’s most enduring tenets of transcendentalism would be his steadfast stance on civil disobedience towards unjust laws. He greatly distrusted the authority of the American government, even saying that “I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it.”9 In particular, Thoreau was a very ardent abolitionist and saw the Mexican-American War as a means for southern states to gain more territory to spread the practice of slavery. In
July 1846, because he had refused to pay a poll tax, Thoreau was arrested and put in jail for one night until an aunt paid the tax for him. While imprisoned, he wrote his most famous essay, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, detailing how one must oppose injustice by breaking unjust laws and forcing the government to amend them. He stated that:
Brown was to think of him as a Transcendentalist, one who followed the dictates of the voice within even though it conflicted with the policies of the government.”12 Thoreau’s support for non-violent protest would become his trademark principle of transcendentalism. Over time, this would have far-reaching effects on other American dissent movements in the future, such as with the suffragette movement in the 1920s as well as Dr. Martin Luther King’s demonstrations for civil rights in the 1950s and 60s. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail echoed Thoreau’s ideas of civil disobedience to fight against Jim Crow laws in the south rather than remaining complacent to southern society. As Thoreau predicted, King’s arrest sparked massive outrage from the civil rights movement and eventually it called for federal intervention to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, prohibiting racial discrimination in employment, education, and public accommodations and protecting African-Americans' right to vote.13
Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?10
Overall, transcendentalism marked a pivotal point in American history in which the individual started thinking for oneself instead of letting society dictate one’s destiny and place in society. It rapidly promoted the idea of individualism, something that is considered an integral part of American values today. In addition, transcendentalism reinforced the Enlightenment ideal that all human beings should be treated equally. Regardless of their race, gender, social class, or religion, every American citizen should be given equal opportunities to succeed and to find happiness. Perhaps the most important factor was the impact that transcendentalism had on future dissent movements and protests. Thoreau’s ideas of civil disobedience set the precedent for the means of nonviolent protest to achieve a political or social goal. It accurately reflected the First Amendment right for citizens to assemble and to petition for their grievances and any form of injustice. If it were not for transcendentalism’s principle of individualism and nonconformity, it would have been difficult, if not impossible to institute any kind of reform that would better the country. Rather, any protest or subtle change would likely erupt in violence and chaos, putting the United States at risk of falling apart. Transcendentalism is essential to the American identity, to which all its citizens can have the freedom to better their lives and the lives of those around them.
It is not enough to merely just protest and to complain about injustice, Thoreau argued. In order to make their strongest argument towards authority, all dissenters must be willing to endure the consequences to have their voices heard. Eventually, if enough people take action against the law through civil disobedience, then the government would have no choice but to modify their laws or to change them entirely. “Here was the nonviolent radicalism of Transcendentalism, restated for a new generation. Now the state, not society, was the principal obstruction to freedom. For Thoreau clearly saw that if men chose to resolve social issues by political means, then the state became a separate power, and radical reform could no longer afford to be simply personal, domestic, or communitarian but had to become political resistance.”11 Like Emerson, Thoreau also praised John Brown’s actions against slavery, in accordance with Emerson’s oversoul philosophy. Although he did not condone the bloodshed that came as a result, he lauded Brown’s ambitiousness to fight against a higher power under immense odds. “So great was his enthusiasm for Brown that he likened him to Jesus, that other great revolutionary spirit in the cause of human freedom. And as [Walter] Harding has pointed out, the highest praise he gave
References 1. Donald N. Koster, Transcendentalism in America (Boston, MA: Twayne Publishers, 1975), 8. 2. Koster, Transcendentalism in America, 10. 3. Koster, Transcendentalism in America, 76. 4. Koster, Transcendentalism in America, 48. 5. Henry David Thoreau, Walden (Adelaide, South Australia: University of Adelaide, 2014), Online. 6. Walden. 7. Walden. 8. Ralph F. Young, Dissent: The History of an American Idea (New York, NY: New York University Press, 2015), Kindle Locations 2523-2524. 9. Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience (Adelaide, South Australia: University of Adelaide, 2014), Online. 10. Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. 11. Anne C. Rose, Transcendentalism as a Social Movement, 1830-1850 (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981), 223. 12. Koster, Transcendentalism in America, 55. 13. Young, Dissent, Kindle Locations 2976-2977.
“Only Victims”: The Negative Social Impact of the Vietnam War Armon Fouladi
other example of this hatred was the idea that the whole country should be completely bombed flat; Michael Herr said that there were those who “wanted a Vietnam that they could fit into their car ashtray.”12 All these factors resulted in morale so extremely low, that, by the end of the war, soldiers would be constantly ducking patrols and duties in an effort to avoid being “the last American killed in Vietnam.”13 The military overall also suffered due to its negative relationship with the press during the war. Many viewed military press releases as full of lies; daily press briefings were called “the Follies.”14 The military’s lack of transparency aggravated the problem, such a when an Air Force General was quoted in press releases that an increase in bombings was due to improved weather, when it was revealed that the increase was due to an series of unauthorized attacks.15 Such lies decreased the faith of the public in their institutions. Another negative effect was the dismal reception of veterans returning home. One woman was quoted as saying that this “this is the first time in our history when Americans, who had fought on foreign soil…returned without flag-waving, ticker-tape parades and public acclaim.16 Many veterans also found out that they could not even receive basic services. The Veterans Administration had issues getting money to pay for veterans tuition, medical bills, or food.17 Many veterans were also ashamed of their role in the war. As one vet said upon returning to the States, “I’m not proud of what did there…I don’t even want anybody to know I was there.”18
“There are no good guys or bad guys in Vietnam. There are only victims.”1 These words sum up how many people felt about the Vietnam War. While the date marking the beginning of the war is disputed (anywhere from 1954 to 1965),2 what is clear is that, by 1975, nearly 3.9 million people had died from the fighting.3 Violence on such a grand scale was not without effects on broader society. The Vietnam War had serious negative societal consequences for both the United States and Vietnam. This paper will explore the effects of the war on American soldiers, the American public, and both North and South Vietnam. Following the American-backed coup to overthrow Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963, the United States began escalating the number of troops that it was sending to Vietnam.4 Almost immediately, troops began to write home about problems that were affecting them. One of the most telling accounts comes from Captain Shanks of the Air Force, who wrote that they were “…using equipment and bombs from [World War II], and it’s not too reliable…Got all kinds of problem… some days it’s like beating your head against a brick wall.” Shanks’ account also demonstrates how low troop morale was, and he himself questions the war.5 It is worth noting his accounts were written in 1964, prior to any significant opposition to the war had emerged. The morale of the troops only went downhill from there. Michael Herr describes the atmosphere in Saigon as feeling as if the Americans there had all had a “huge, collective nervous breakdown.”6 Compounding the problem was the presence of racial tensions amongst the troops, exacerbated by the Civil Rights movement. Wallace Terry noted that “Many of today’s young black soldiers are yesterday’s rioters,”7 many of whom had participated in Civil Rights protests. Many would later form their own Black Panther branches,8 and some would claim that they were smuggling weapons back to the states in order to aid them in their struggles.9 Further evidence of the decreasing morale was the widespread drug use; Donald Kirk estimates that 20% of the support troops were on hard drugs, including heroin.10 Also contributing to the bad morale were the negative, racist views that many G.I.s held against the native Vietnamese, feeling hatred for both the North and South Vietnamese. Hatred was so widespread that the slur “dinks” was used to describe the South Vietnamese forces as well as the Viet Cong.11 An-
If the war was hated by many of the American soldiers fighting it, it was hotly contested by American public watching it. A poll conducted in 1968 showed that equal portions of the American public were for and against the war.19 Opposition to the war had existed since 1965, with the first “teach-in” against it being held at the University of Michigan.20 However tensions reached fever pitch between 1968 and 1970, with multiple protests turning violent and leading to violent responses from police. The first of these incidents was the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. Protesters gathered around the Hilton Hotel where the convention was taking place, chanting anti-war slogans till 4 o’clock in the morning.21 The following day, the demonstrations turning violent when police attempted to break up the protest. Protesters pelted the officers with rocks and tear gas canisters that they themselves had originally used to gas the crowd. The police then started attacking anyone who they encountered, from elderly bystanders to doctors who attempted to help the injured.22 Eventually, they decided to clear the protesters by allowing traffic to
drive through the protest, which resulted in protesters running for the sidewalks. According to one reporter there, “People piled into each other, humped over each other’s bodies like coupling bodies.”23 The next big incident of protests turning violent would be the Kent State demonstrations on May 4, 1970 in Ohio. This time, National Guard troops, after telling protesters to disperse or face arrest, and gassing the crowd and were assaulted rocks, wood, concrete, and their own tear gas canisters. Troops then fired into the crowd of about 600 and shot 13 people, killing four. Within short time, the story became national news, with many conflicting accounts being spread.24 However, not every protest that turned violent was instigated by official law enforcement official. Within a matter of days after the Kent State shootings, on May 8th, a group of five hundred construction workers in New York City assaulted a group of student protesters, then proceeded to force City Hall, which had raised the flag to half-mast in protest over the war, to raise the flag to full mast.25 However, the pro-war movement wasn’t always attacking the anti-war side physically; they also attacked the “doves” verbally. The best example of this comes from the aftermath of the Kent State shootings. Most of the letters to the editor of the Kent newspaper were fully supportive of the National Guard, condemned the actions of radical liberal students, and valued taxes and property over the four dead students.26 But the country wasn’t simply split between those who supported the war and those who didn’t. Even within the anti-war movement itself, there were tensions and disagreements. These divisions peaked in 1969, when two of the larger anti-war groups, the New Mobe and the Moratorium, tried to combine their movements. They succeeded, but not without much disapproval and consternation from members in each group.27 Toward the end of the war, however, these anti-war movements began to collapse under the long amount of protesting, violence, and drugs. The protests that took place during the 1972 Republican Convention in Miami exemplified these problems. Hunter S. Thompson, who was present at the demonstrations, described the scene as such:
sure whether they were raising hell in Miami or San Diego.28 Still, despite the collapse of the anti-war movement and the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, there were still disagreements about the war; debates about whether or not the war, and the actions taken during it, are just have persisted into the 21st century.29 Whatever effect the Vietnam War had on the United States, the American casualties represent only a tiny minority (58,220) of the war dead.30 The war had a much larger effect on the Vietnamese, who suffered four million people killed or wounded; roughly 10% of the population.31 Unfortunately, not all of the effects of the war are known to an English-speaking audience, as most of the literature on the Vietnam War concerns the effects it had on Americans. Both North and South Vietnamese people also suffered acute disappointment and disillusionment with their respective governments and militaries, similar to the mistrust of institutions that overtook the American public. On the South Vietnamese side, the army (which had been largely backed by the U.S troops) was mostly “political” and partly “professional.” President Thieu assigned commanders to maintain political security rather than to achieve any sort of tactical advantage. This attitude and atmosphere eventually spread down to rest of the army, from unqualified platoon leaders (who, until 1971, were mostly officer school graduates who passed a university entrance exam) to the armored and infantry units who, rather than being under a single commander, were told to “cooperate.”32 Following the Laos campaign, many of the soldiers lost their resolve quickly, causing some of the South Vietnamese veterans to declare that they had no chance.33 As for the North Vietnamese, they were more competent (one American soldier recalls their army marching “in perfect discipline”)34 but still had issues. Moreover, as early as 1965, there were many who were becoming disillusioned and deserted the Viet Cong (the communist Vietnamese guerrilla army).35 Despite this, they were able to able to keep discipline much better than their Southern counterparts, which is part of the reason why they were able to win the war. The societies of both sides suffered much more than either military did, mostly due to the widespread bombing campaign that the U.S embarked on. America dropped three times the bombs it had during World War II, making Vietnam the most heavily bombed nation in history. The devastation to the environment was so extensive that it created of a new word in the English language, ecocide.36 These bombs had catastrophic effects
The demonstrators in Miami were a useless mob of ignorant, chicken-shit ego-junkies whose only accomplishment was to embarrass the whole tradition of public protest. They were hopelessly disorganized, they had no real purpose in being there, and about half of them were so wasted on grass, wine, and downers that they couldn’t say for
on the general public. Victims of American bombings (as well as shrapnel, bullets, and other war injuries) were so numerous that the Red Cross Amputee Center was crowded to capacity. Numerous children were orphaned; in 1966, there were between 80,000 and 110,000 registered orphans, with an estimated increase of 2,000 orphans per month.37 Further problems arose with the United States withdrawal and the collapse of the Saigon government. Many of the South Vietnamese were so worried about North Vietnamese reprisals that they desperately tried to climb their ways onto buses and scale the walls of the Americans embassy; others went home and committed suicide.38 In the end, nearly 2 million Vietnamese were displaced and became refugees, half of them going to the United States.39 Those who stayed behind, as well as the victorious North Vietnamese, found that they still had many problems left over from the war. One of the problems remained with veterans of the war. Many of them found it impossible to return to a normal life and were labeled as social misfits. Many of them found themselves disillusioned with peace and victory; as one Vietnamese writer said “the future lied to us.”40 The war also divided many families, wrecked marriages, and left many widows trying to find a husband in a population short on men.41 Another serious issue that plagued the Vietnamese long after the war was the presence of unexploded mines, which threatened the safety many of the people living there.42 All of these problems persisted Vietnam for many years to come.
References 1. Sydney H. Schanberg, “The Saigon Follie, or, Trying to Head Them Off at Credibility Gap” in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 407 2. Michael Herr, Dispatches (Vintage International, 1991), pg. 49 3. Rummel, R. J. "Statistics of Vietnamese Democide,” Lines 777–785, http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/SOD.TAB6.1B.GIF. 4. Stephen Kinzer, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (Times Books, 2007) Kindle Edition, pg. 207-9/loc 3737-3770 5. U.S News & World Report, ”We Are Losing, Morale is Bad…If They’d Give Us Good Planes…” in Reporting Vietnam Part One: 1959-1969 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 124-34 6. Herr, Dispatches, pg. 71 7. Wallace Terry, “Black Power in Viet Nam” in Reporting Vietnam Part One: 1959-1969 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 705 8. Donald Kirk, “Who Wants To Be the Last American Killed in Vietnam?” in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 19691975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 229
It should be noted that what is discussed in this paper is by no means an exhaustive list of all the effects that the Vietnam War had on either Vietnam or the United States. The effects of the war are not even limited to those two countries; the neighboring Southeast Asian nations, like Laos and Cambodia, were affected by the war to varying extents. Some of the aftereffects of the war have yet to be determined; one writer in 1990s said that the war had “left a deep impression…an impression that will take decades more to diminish.”43 But what is undeniable is that the war left a wake of devastation in its path. It caused deep divides in both Vietnamese and American societies, led to disillusionment within their militaries, and left many maimed, broken, or dead. As one reporter said: “There were only victims in the Vietnam War.”44
9. Terry, “Black Power”, pg. 707 10. Kirk, “Last American”, pg. 226 11. Kirk, “Last American”, pg. 222 12. Herr, Dispatches, pg. 58 13. Kirk, “Last American”, pg.218 14. Schanberg, “Saigon Follies”, pg. 402 15. Schanberg, “Saigon Follies”, pg. 395 16. William Greider, “Viet Vets: A Sad Reminder”, in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 482
17. William Greider, “Viet Vets”, pg. 480-1
32. Peter Braestrup, “The South Vietnamese Army”, in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 357-66
18. Karl Fleming, “The Homecoming of Chris Mead”, in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 216.
33. Gloria Emerson, “Spirit of Saigon’s Army Shaken in Laos” in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 207
19. Robert B. Smith, “The Vietnam War and Student Militancy”, Social Science Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp.135
34. Fox Butterfield, “Who Was This Enemy?” in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 408
20. Roger Rapport, “Protests, Learning, Heckling Spark Viet Rally”, in Reporting Vietnam Part One: 1959-1969 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 142-4
35. Susan Sheehan, “A Viet Cong”, in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1959-1969 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 223-235
21. Norman Mailer, “from The Siege of Chicago”, in Reporting Vietnam Part One: 1959-1969 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 629
36. Craig A. Lockard, “Yesterday Head-on,” pp.239 22. Steve Lerner, “A Visit to Chicago: Blood, Sweat, & Tears”, in Reporting Vietnam Part One: 1959-1969 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 645-48
37. Martha Gellhorn, “Suffer the Little Children…”, in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 289-291
23. Steve Lerner, “A Visit To Chicago”, pg. 648 38. Keyes Beech, “We Clawed for Our Lives!”, in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 533-35
24. James A. Michener, “Kent State: What Happened and Why” in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 57-73
39. Craig A. Lockard, “Yesterday Head-on,” pp. 257 25. Fred J. Cook, “Hard-Hats: The Rampaging Patriots”, in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 103-5
40. Dana Healy, “From Triumph to Tragedy: Visualizing War in Vietnamese Film and Fiction,” SouthEast Asia Research Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 332
26. James A. Michener, “Kent State”, pg. 74 -81 41. Dana Healy, “Triumph to Tragedy,” pp. 335 27. Francine du Plessix Gray, “The Moratorium and the New Mobe”, in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 1969-1975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 41-9
42. Dana Healy, “Triumph to Tragedy,” pp. 338 43. Craig A. Lockard, “Yesterday Head-on,” pp. 230
28. Hunter S. Thompson, “from Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ‘72”, in Reporting Vietnam Part Two: 19691975 (The Library of America, 1998), pg. 385
44. Schanberg, “The Saigon Follie, or, Trying to Head Them Off at Credibility Gap,” pg. 407
29. MSS, “Vietnam War and US: Haunting Legacy”, Economic and Political Weekly, May 26 2001 30. Craig A Lockard, “Yesterday Head-on: The Vietnam War in Vietnamese, American, and World History,” Journal of World History, Vol 5. No. 2 (Fall, 1994), pp. 257 31. Craig A. Lockard, “Yesterday Head-on,” pp. 239
Women During the Fall of the Roman Republic (1st Century BCE) Paige Hill
between patricians and plebeians, outlawed females crying at public funerals, but included a loophole on usucapio (a Roman legal concept) that gave women the right to own property. For example, “Any woman who does not wish to be subjected in this manner to the hand of her husband should be absent three nights in succession every year, and so interrupt the usucapio of each year.”3 This legally protected right and public acknowledgment of female agency is indicative of a society that recognized women as somewhat capable beings.
Introduction The perceptions and plights of women in antiquity, especially in the ancient Mediterranean world offer unique insights into our conception of women in the Western world today. In looking at Rome in particular, from its foundations to its role as the capital of the Italian nation-state today, participation and rights of women have morphed, progressed and regressed with every political climate. Although women in antiquity were not considered equal beings in a modern sense, some elite women were able to have political voices during the Roman Republic. Through observing several female political characters during the decline of the Roman Republic (throughout the first century BC, roughly) we may begin to explore the methods by which women achieved political power through (and in spite of) the men around them.
That recognition however, did not extend far, and women were explicitly banned from politics, public meeting spaces, and other aspects of civic life. Although a woman could hold property, she did not necessary have means to acquire it under her own name, unless approved by a male in her life, such as a father or tutor.4 The protocol on property allowed for just enough legal room for women to wield some power with political interests. According to Barbara Levick, “the effective or absolute possession of sometimes enormous properties gave Roman women enormous de facto power.”5 Legal possession of property, and, therefore wealth, gave women de facto access to political discussions and decision making, as will be seen later with the likes of Clodia and Fulvia.
Background To begin, consider in general the Roman understanding of femininity in society: there was a very specific narrative on the gendered roles and duties a woman had to her family and civilization as a whole. In Rome’s foundational legend, the actions of the female protagonists are confined to their roles as child-bearers, i.e., Venus, as the mother of Aeneus, and Rhea Silva, as the mother of Romulus and Remus. These women are seen more as intermediaries than as agents in the founding of the city, and their victories are tied to their male partners and offspring. Whether mythological or imperative as practice, “Women were foundational to Rome’s origins and early survival—there is literally no Rome otherwise.”1 As a young civilization, the Romans needed women to survive, such as in the legend of The Rape of the Sabine Women. The gender role was intrinsically tied to this societal and biological function, and thus, “…woman officially entered Rome very specifically as wife and mother, not merely as a human female.”2
The span of the Republic saw many women rise to have their voices heard in one way or another, but it was not until the end of the Republic that women were first able to leave a collective mark. This time period, coined “The Age of the Political Matron” by Richard Bauman, was described as “the emergence of the influential woman almost as an institution.”6 This description is appropriate for this discussion for two main reasons. First, the label “political matron” encompasses the previous discourse on the association of women with their gendered role as child-bearer. “Matron” introduces the connection to be made with the political power of that role. Secondly, the author calls the new title an “institution” at a politically fragile time in Roman history. This new political female appeared at the same time that centuries-old institutions, such as the consulship and peoples’ assemblies, began to falter. The “influential woman” emerged amid the controversy, discreet pacts and individual military expeditions that characterized the Late Republic. The role of the political matron in the fall of the Republic will be expanded upon in discussing the actions of several of these noteworthy women.
As society developed over the centuries, laws began to shape. Early legislation tried to define the rights of certain classes or groups of people in regards to property, violence and familial relationships. One example is the ancient Law of the Twelve Tables (c. 450 BCE). In terms of women, this code of laws prohibited marriage
The Emancipated Woman and Public Trial
who would, “rather thrust herself into his public affairs, than communicate her domestic matters,”11 Terentia used her role as wife of a powerful man to influence political allegiances and action. She is well known for her involvement in squashing the conspiracy of Catiline in 63 BCE, and later, in 61 BCE, when she “gratuitously inserted herself into the most high-profile legal process of the day.”12 This episode is part of the scandal of the Bona Dea rites, in which Clodius allegedly dressed up as a woman to enter the ceremony. According to Plutarch, Terentia, as a “woman of harsh nature,” forced her husband Cicero to testify against him in the trial of sacrilege, possibly because a grudge against the aforementioned Clodia.13 Her actions, on her own, and through her influence over her husband, inspired public scandal for both families, with Cicero being exiled in 58 BC. Whether or not her grudge against Clodia was enough to drive a wedge between the two male leaders, the consequences of the trial are evidence of women having an authentic say in political affairs.
Before expanding on the political matron, the first type of woman that shall be explored is that of the “emancipated woman” who was “literate, sophisticated and at home in the world of politics, power and poetry.”7 This new woman figure was educated and not afraid to publically orate and participate in civic life. Perhaps the best example of this can be seen in Clodia, widow of exconsul Metellus Celer and possibly the muse behind the poet Catallus’ “Lesbia.” She was well-educated, wellversed in poetry, and well-connected. She enjoyed considerable sexual freedom (seen in her numerous lovers and affairs) as well as financial freedom over her wealth. As Henry puts it, “…The notorious Clodia conducted both financial business and adulterous sexual affairs according to her own preferences and judgment…”8 Her most well-known public episode is her involvement in the prosecution of Caelius, who was tried for several charges, including murder and corruption. Clodia was accused of having lent him gold to execute the murder of Dio of Alexandria. She also accused him of attempting to poison her.9 In the trial, Cicero, instead of Crassus, examined her; this was probably because of the latter’s possible political obstacles in the allegiances of the First Triumvirate.
The primary sources for Terentia and Clodia’s lives, namely Plutarch and the speeches in the mentioned trials, must be considered for potential biases against these women and their roles in affairs. Consider, for example, Pro Caelio, Cicero’s speech in defense of Caeluis against Clodia. Men’s perception of women who held too much wealth and power is embodied in his description of her manipulations and character. In quite explicit terms, Cicero writes:
Clodia was described by some as a “bargainbasement Clytemnestra”10 for her promiscuous tactics and influence over powerful men. The title is an allusion to the well-known Greek episode in the Mycenaean Saga where Clytemnestra, Queen of Agamemnon in the Mycenaean Saga, commits adulatory in her husband’s absence. When he returns home from the Trojan War ten years later, she conspires to murder him with her new husband. Cicero associates Clodia with this wife archetype of dishonest, conniving and politically manipulative behavior. Cicero, in defense of Caeluis, had to carefully balance between discrediting her as a witness, without outright defaming her for her sexual freedom. Thus we see a woman who achieved political significance beyond her role as sister of Clodius, in her own right through her own careful, witty and charming maneuvers. Her involvement in the trial, among other public events, carried significant political weight and she was concurrently able to manipulate her image and male companions.
“You have a garden on the Tiber and you were very careful to put it right where the young people go to bathe; there every day you can take all the opportunities you want… let us suppose that this woman is a widow and lives freely; that she is a hussy and lives brazenly; that she is a wealthy woman and lives extravagantly; that she is a slave to her appetites and lives like a whore.” 14 Cicero’s ad hominem attack contains many of the misogynistic double standards held against women in antiquity, especially concerning chastity and sexuality. Here it is evident that Clodia was independently wealthy and owned her own prestigious property; it is also assumed that the she used this position of wealth (physically and metaphorically) to involve herself in public affairs. Her cunning skills were compounded by her many sexual pursuits, a power unique to women and disruptive to the
Another woman who became politically involved through public trial and scandal is Terentia, wife of Cicero and political agent in the complications of the fall of the Republic. Described by Cicero himself as a woman
male status quo. Thus was the effort of the emancipated republican woman, and her exceptional entrance into civil life.
ing on her own, in her husband’s absence, and in her own interest. Even if her gender spared her in the end from the due process of trial, the male acknowledgment of her independence was progress in itself.
The Outspoken Woman and Controversy Another strong female voice to consider is Hortensia. Her story provides a supplementary perspective on the role of property rights in the lives of wealthy woman. In 42 BCE, the second triumvirate needed money to carry out the prosecution of Caesar’s assassins and their own proscriptions. They decided to raise a tax on the wealthiest one thousand four hundred women and demanded that they supply their jewels and money for the cause.19 In response, the wealthiest women formed a coalition, of sorts, to appeal the edict. They selected Hortensia, the daughter of a famous orator (and contemporary of Cicero), to be spokeswoman. One version of her address, and the events surrounding the tax, can be found in Appian’s The Civil Wars. Her speech contains many themes, including gender roles, property rights, and the relationship between taxation and representation. Consider the argument: “Why should we pay taxes when we have no part in the honors, the commands, the statecraft, for which you contend against each other with such harmful results?”20 Further consider her rhetoric as documented by Appian:
With women’s gradual social emancipation came more opportunities for women to speak directly for themselves, instead of through a male companion. Women (the educated and wealthy, at least) were able to address men publically without fearing for their lives or other severe consequences. Two such women were Sempronia, conspirator of Catiline in the late 60s BC, and Hortensia, a feminist orator. Sempronia was another woman who made a name for herself through a combination of her own wit and political-sexual undertakings. The primary source on her involvement in the conspiracy of Catiline is Sallust, who charges her and comments on her behaviors. According to his account, in which Sempronia is the only woman mentioned, Catiline approached wealthy women who had aged out of financing their lifestyles with “prostitution” in hope of gaining their slaves’ and husbands’ support.15 Sallust’s critical accusation of her is simultaneously laudatory and reproachful, as he describes her as a woman who “committed many crimes of masculine daring,”16 including accomplice to murder. For example, he wrote:
“You have already deprived us of our fathers, our sons, our husbands, and our brothers, whom you accused of having wronged you; if you take away our property also, you reduce us to a condition unbecoming our birth, our manners, our sex. If we have done you wrong, as you say our husbands have, proscribe us as you do them.”21
“Even before the time of the conspiracy she had often broken her word, repudiated her debts, been privy to murder; poverty and extravagance combined had driven her headlong. Nevertheless, she was a woman of no mean endowments; she could write verses, bandy jests, and use language which was modest, or tender, or wanton; in fine, she possessed a high degree of wit and of charm.” 17
Hortensia's rhetorically sound arguments rested on the fact that women did not have any legal participation in the government, and should therefore not be expected to give up their own property for the sake of political affairs. In a time when women were pushing the boundaries of their political influence, the argument was both a demand for greater recognition and a refusal to give up the little rights they did have.
His critique recognized her as an independent political participant who broke through her assigned gender roles. Whether or not he approved of her “masculine” behavior, he found her worth noting. Sallust, however critical, gives her agency and a voice despite her seemingly immoral track record. Ultimately, she was never found guilty of conspiracy in support of Catiline because, in theory, a woman could not be guilty of aspiring to high office.18 Even so, Sempronia’s involvement in the conspiracy is significant because she is portrayed as act-
Property and sex were to two of the most effective instruments of women in the late Republican age, and here a woman was able to elevate her voice beyond these confines to the literal stage of the forum. Hortensia’s speech represents one of the first major, legitimate political moves on behalf of women; it was effective. The
men in the forum were angered at her audacity, but nevertheless the triumvirs listened to the unrest. The following day, the number of women to be taxed was decreased to 400, and the deficit was to be filled by any man with more than 100,000 drachmas.22
her husband, in her own wealth and his position, to ensure the fate of her legacy. In the end, she fell ill and died in Greece in the year 40 BCE. Her husband Antony did not join her at her deathbed, instead opting to scheme with Cleopatra, ruler of Egypt and his paramour. He returned to Rome to amend his relationship with Octavian, blaming all of the tension and disorder on his deceased wife, and went on to marry Octavia (Octavian’s sister) in another yet example of political matrimony.27 Although often on opposing sides with the female figures previously discussed, Fulvia represents the character of the political matron of the Roman Republic for her careful usage of the power of marriage and property.
These two women, both revolutionaries in their own way, aspired to be heard. Although they took different paths to fame, history remembers them for their outspokenness and courage. The political opportunities available to them were slim, but Sempronia and Hortensia, like Clodia and Terentia, were successful in making their names in the eyes of the male historians. The Ultimate Political Matron: Fulvia
Conclusion Fulvia is perhaps the most famous female political figure of the late Roman Republic. Known for her military command and involvement in the conscription lists, she was notoriously imposing. She was the niece of Sempronia, wife to Marc Antony, of the second triumvirate, mother of Claudia and mother-in-law to Octavian who would go on to become Augustus. Called the “first empress of Rome” by some, her Caesarian views on Roman government and preference for monarchy made her a true authoritarian force in the fall of the Republic.23 She was an informant in the Conspiracy of Catiline, and one of the only women to side against Hortensia’s cause in defense of the wealthy women.
The political climate of the late Roman Republic gave way to a new generation of politically active women. It was an age of political change, expansion and acquisition of new peoples, cultures and identities. As seen in Sempronia, Clodia, Hortensia, Terentia, and Fulvia, the emancipated woman enjoyed significant agency over her property and interests. Her political influence transcended the roles of mother, sister, wife or daughter. The contributions of these women did not go unnoticed by the ancient sources, and, undoubtedly, shaped the legacy of Imperial Rome.
Her widespread political involvement came to a peak between 44 BCE, with Julius Caesar’s death, until her own in 40 BCE. Fulvia is known for her overindulgence in the use of proscription lists, seen especially in her gruesome celebration of the deaths of Cicero and Rufus, and for her constant maneuvering of politics to ensure the position of her husband Antony.24 In his absence, she campaigned for him politically and militarily. Fulvia’s leadership climaxed in the year 41 BCE; with Antony campaigning in Bithynia, Octavian in Macedonia and disregarding Lepidus, she managed to wield such power that “neither senate nor people transacted any business without her approval.”25 Fulvia was described by Plutarch as “a woman not born for spinning or housewifery…but to rule a ruler and command a commander.”26 Here, in the eyes and words of a male historian, she is revered and respected for the precedent she set and barriers she broke through. The description here is that of the ultimate political matron; her power evolved from head of the house to acting head of state. She extended her influence through and beyond that of
References 1. Henry, Madeleine M., and Sharon L. James. "Woman, City, State: Theories, Ideologies, and Concepts in the Archaic and Classical Periods." A Companion to Women in the Ancient World. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 85. 2. Henry, "Woman, City, State,” 85. 3. Table VI. "The Twelve Tables, C. 450 BCE." Ancient History Sourcebook. Fordham University, June 1998. Levick, Barbara. "Women and Law." A Companion to Women in the Ancient World. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 100. 5. Levick, "Women and Law,” 98. 6. Bauman, Richard A. “The Political Strategists of the Late Republic” Women and Politics in Ancient Rome. London, US: Routledge, 2002. 60.
7. Best, Edward E. “Cicero, Livy and Educated Roman Women”. The Classical Journal 65.5 (1970): 203.
24. Bauman, “The Triumviral Period,” 87.
8. Henry, "Woman, City, State,” 93.
25. Bauman, “The Triumviral Period,” 86.
9. Bauman, “The Political Strategists of the Late Republic,” 69-73.
26. Plutarch, "Antony, 75 AD." The Internet Classics Archive. Trans. John Dryden. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Classics, 1994.
10. Bauman, “The Political Strategists of the Late Republic,” 69.
27. MacLachlan, Bonnie. “The Late Republic: Women and Powerful Men.” Women in Ancient Rome. Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. 102.
11. Plutarch. "Cicero, 75 AD." The Internet Classics Archive. Trans. John Dryden. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Classics, 1994. 12. Brennan, T. Corey. "Perceptions of Women's Power in the Late Republic: Terentia, Fulvia, and the Generation of 63 BCE." A Companion to Women in the Ancient World. Wiley-Blackwell, 2012. 355. 13. Plutarch. "Cicero, 75 AD." 14. Cicero. “Pro Caelio. 56 BC” Women's Life in Greece and Rome: A Source Book in Translation. Fant, Maureen B. and Mary R. Lefkowitz. John Hopkins University Press, 1992. 15. Bauman, “The Political Strategists of the Late Republic,” 67-68. 16. Sallust. “The War with Catiline.” Loeb Classical Library. Ed. William Thayer. University of Chicago. 2014. 25. 17. Sallust, “The War with Catiline.” 5. 18. Bauman, “The Political Strategists of the Late Republic,” 68. 19. Bauman, Richard A. “The Triumviral Period: Diplomacy, Oratory and Leadership.” Women and Politics in Ancient Rome. London, US: Routledge, 2002. 81-83. 20. Appian. “The Civil Wars, Book IV.” Loeb Classical Library. Ed. William Thayer. University of Chicago. Ch. 3233. 21. Appian, “The Civil Wars, Book IV.” Ch. 33. 22. Appian, “The Civil Wars, Book IV.” Ch. 34. 23. Bauman, “The Triumviral Period,” 89.
SECTION III CULTURE
Defining the American Aesthetic: From the Greek Revival to the Industrial William Kowalik, Senior American Studies Major, Art History Minor
The "Swipe Right" Marketplace: The Intersection of Love & Neoliberalism on Hookup Apps Madison Gray, Junior Political Science & Global Studies Major, French Minor
The Latino Punk Rock Scene (1990-Present): An Exploration of Identity Politics Through History & Theory Sabine Lipten, Senior Sociology Major, Asian American Studies Minor
To Eat or Not to Eat: Americanized Ethnic Food Suet Yuk Au Yeung, Freshman Political Science Major, History Minor
Black/Disabled Solidarity in Theory & Practice Chris Rumbough, Senior Political Science & Africana Studies Major, History Minor
Defining the American Aesthetic: From the Greek Revival to the Industrial William Kowalik
reflected this vision for the United States as a new democracy in a new world, carrying on the legacy of the first democracy.3
The early United States, newly freed from tyranny under British rule as colonies, exiting the eighteenth century not as colonies in the new world controlled by a European power, but an independent democratic nation. This new democracy was in search of an artistic style that would represent the values and ideals of the young nation. Looking back to the earliest democracy, inspiration was drawn from ancient Greece. This Greek inspired style would be appropriated and widely embraced in the United States in a modern (nineteenth century) application that would meet the needs of the time, while adhering to the Greek aesthetic. The Greek Revival style became the dominant force in American design and artistic circles from the late eighteenth through the early nineteenth century. As the century progressed, and the Civil War took its toll, design inspiration shifted from looking fondly to the past, to looking to the future. Representations in art and architecture were no longer exclusively nostalgic or historicist in nature; but also inspired by contemporary innovation and industrialization. It also speaks to the larger cultural shifts and societal changes as modern America took shape. This transformational shift is the subject of a hypothetical exhibition for an American museum.
Proposing a single room exhibition of nine works of painting, furniture, and sculpture from 1787-1897 is an ambitious undertaking but necessary to fully examine this shift in artistic practice and taste. These two seemingly polar artistic styles may stylistically negate one another, but both do share an interest in representing the desire for Americans to adopt a uniquely American style that is representative of that moment in time. Over this hundred and ten year period, the modern United States grew. From a young agrarian nation seeking its own identity to an industrial power at the forefront of the world stage, this shift from Greek Revival to Industrial offers not only insight into the changing tastes of the American people, but the changing identity of the American people, and the changing role of the United States. As the end of the nineteenth century drew nearer, instead of looking to the past to inform the present, as had been done in the early part of the century with Greek Revival, artists now looked to their present day, seeking inspiration from modern life for modern life.
The interest in the Greek inspired design aesthetic in eighteenth century flourished largely from the publication and distribution of James Stewart and Nicholas Revett’s fundamental volume on the architecture and design motifs of ancient Greece, Antiquities of Athens and Other Monuments of Greece (1762-1816).1 As it was so heavily adopted and appreciated in the United States in the early nineteenth century, Greek Revival was not as a strict adherence to the structures and designs seen in Stuart and Revett’s work, but an interpretation informed for nineteenth century use. As interpreted by Benjamin Latrobe, whose work is also featured in this exhibition,
Including works from four respected institutions, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the chosen paintings and furnishings: Fourth of July in Centre Square; The Third Avenue Railroad Depot; Portrait of Chief Justice Thomas McKean, and his son, Thomas McKean, Jr.; In the Laboratory; Portrait of Mrs.Nathaniel Waples and Her Daughter, Sarah Ann; Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes; Side Chair (Benjamin Latrobe), and Desk (Frank Furness). These particular works have been chosen because they are exemplary examples of artworks, which characterize the qualities that defined either end of this one hundred year period. The works as discussed are presented in the order they would be displayed in the exhibition to promote a dialogue between the works.
To his mind the Greeks, in tune with democratic freedom, had encouraged and permitted individual invention and originality, whereas the Romans and their later admirers, notably the Palladians, had limited and demeaned architecture.”2 The Grecian style offered for Americans, an opportunity to express the goals and vision of their new nation in a all-encompassing design motif that
John Lewis Krimmel’s circa 1812 painting, Fourth of July in Centre Square, depicts as the title suggests, the pump house at Centre Square in Philadelphia during a celebration of the Fourth of July around the same time, at the present day Penn Square and site of City Hall. Gathered in Centre Square, at the very center of William Penn’s planned city for Independence Day in the foreground of the painting is a group of Philadelphians of social classes, races, and genders. The vast majority of
those depicted are both Caucasian and given their manner of dress, largely upper class. Krimmel, as a genre painter was interested in capturing the art of everyday life. While this painting as it has been rendered may not be an accurate account of July Fourth on that year, it is a valuable tool for deciphering the artistic identity at the time. In this small painting, the particularly small figures only make up part of the scene. The central focus of the painting is Benjamin Latrobe’s pump house, which can be seen with smoke or steam billowing from the roof.4
speaks to the coming technological advances that drove this interest and shift in the preferred American artistic identity to a reflection and response to industry. The Portrait of Chief Justice Thomas McKean, and his son, Thomas McKean, Jr.7 by Charles Wilson Peale depicts Thomas McKean, then Chief Justice of Pennsylvania beside his young son. At the table beside him, are books and papers, and quills and an inkstand, indicating his status, education, and profession. It is in this, a highsociety occupational portrait. In his right hand is a folded piece of paper. The figures are seated in the foreground in front of a two massive columns mostly masked by dark draperies. Just to the left of the draperies is the edge of a grand structure in the neoclassical style, with a massive entablature. McKean is situated in this fanciful and elegant space that is almost certainly entirely inauthentic, but the work of Peale to situate McKean, a statesman against the backdrop of the Greek ideal, democracy rendered through an architectural setting to convey this message.
The pump house, symmetrical and restrained is Greek in design, but thoroughly modern in its interior and use. The Greek aesthetic serves only as a mask and façade on the technological and industrial components housed within, which pumped water for the city. This deception of use is key to the understanding of Greek Revival style in America. It is not concerned generally in copying ancient Greek structures to their exact specifications and use but using that architectural language as a means for creating a new style, which in itself sets the course for the continued innovation to come. “With its symmetry and simple orientation, the neoclassical design of the Center Square Pump House embodied Philadelphia’s classical inheritance as well as its industrial future.”5
Similarly, an occupational portrait, Henry Alexander’s In the Laboratory depicts a very different space and profession. Instead of a grand space with texts representing knowledge and occupation, the Alexander painting outright depicts it. It is not representative, but practical in its application. The Metropolitan Museum of Art describes the painting as a “portrait d’apparat”, which depicts everyday life and ordinary objects in the life of the individual. In this case, the individual depicted is chemist Thomas Price at his laboratory in San Francisco.8 This 1887 painting is not grand and ostentatious but realistic and ordinary. It shows not a man displaying his wealth and power, but a man hard at work, displaying instead his intellect and reliance on contemporary innovations; he is after all a scientist. It emphasizes practicality over anything else, unlike the ornamental space, which McKean and his son occupy. The small space where Price has been depicted, in his laboratory, cluttered with various beakers, test tubes, vials, and chemicals, a new reflection of noble work in a modern era.
In another work depicting architecture, shifting from the classical to the industrial, the Third Avenue Railroad Depot, painted by William Schenck may not resemble what comes to mind when most viewers think of New York City, but this painting does reflect on its canvas, the bustle and modernity of New York City even then. Completed in 1860, just before the start of the Civil War, this painting is at the forefront of representing the innovations that would come to define the north following the war, indicating the prominent role that transportation played in a modern city, and a modern country. Schenck himself was not a professional artist, unlike the others that are featured, but instead the Superintendent of the Third Avenue Railroad Company.6 Schenck has painted the likeness of his business, a modern brick structure that housed horse-drawn streetcar lines, or omnibuses. Shortly before the introduction of steam-powered streetcars and years before electric streetcars, The Third Avenue Railroad Depot brings an interest not only in transportation, but multiple forms of transportation, showing a hot air balloon in flight on the upper right side of the image. Although horse-drawn streetcars were not inherently modern as we might define modernity today, this is a painting about modern industry, and this painting
Benjamin Latrobe’s Side Chair in the Greek style in 1808, modeled after the Klismos Chair. Is an early and excellent example of the Greek Revival aesthetic in the decorative arts largely popularized in Philadelphia by Latrobe. The Klismos chair design is that which is largely based off of a similar ancient Greek chair with a curved back and splayed, curving rear legs. Dissimilar to the original are the straighter front legs.9 Painted chairs like
this one from a parlor suite, commissioned for the Waln family,10 with highly ornamental embellishment, exuded a strong resemblance to original Greek designs. “The American custom of hiring builders for design and construction frustrated Latrobe, and made his every step difficult…”11 Furnishings like this were soon seen in the homes of the wealthy and influential of Philadelphia, and designed to match other interior treatments such as wall coverings.12 “The timeless splendor of the classical world was modern then, and remains so today.”13 Latrobe’s work was seen earlier, depicted in Krimmel’s Fourth of July in Centre Square, both pieces are reflective of his tremendous influence in shaping not only the interest in the Greek Revival style but how it impacted and relates to the American democratic identity.
ter, Sarah Ann.16 The long flowing, straight red dress worn by Mrs. Waples is in the late neoclassical Empire style, referring more broadly to the Greco-Roman tradition. This style of dress had been popular amongst the elite and nobility of Europe.17 Her young daughter appears to be wearing some sort of robes, also recalling the Greek aesthetic. Much like the Portrait of Chief Justice Thomas McKean by his brother, Peale places a dark drapery in the background of the image, mostly covering what appears to be a window. The piece of furniture Mrs. Waples is seated on is a settee, with gracefully curving sides reminiscent of a similar piece by Benjamin Latrobe in the same exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House. This painting differs tremendously from the next work, a painting by John Singer Sargent from just before the end of the nineteenth century; these two works examine women’s roles at both the beginning and end of the century.
The monumental desk and ornate, designed by noted Philadelphia architect Frank Furness, in its manner of design, construction, and materials speak to the influence of industry. Produced for his brother, this massive desk reads in many ways more like an architectural element than it does furniture. It does indeed include. “Furness designed this desk to look like one of his buildings, with a pediment…towers, and an arched entrance.”14 Viewing this piece as more architectural than furniture only further differentiates itself from the tradition of American furniture and cabinetmaking, and in particular the bold use of things like sculptural built in lighting and a clock. Unlike Benjamin Latrobe, the Furness desk does not represent an interest on the part of the designer to have a hand in every aspect of the production of the work. While Frank Furness designed this piece, he did not manufacture it himself, it being produced by another gentleman, Daniel Pabst. While this is the only known version of this desk, this brings up the role of the artist/ designer versus the craftsperson, and is representative of the mode of thinking surrounding industrial production with interchangeable parts, mass production, and within half a century, the assembly line; the desk differentiates two different roles for the individual who designs the object, and another individual or individuals who using those designs, produces it to those specifications. Perhaps more than many of the other pieces included this piece represent the shift to the industrial aesthetic as strongly. “Furness turned away from the contemporary European historical forms to design buildings out of the materials and formal vocabulary of the Industrial Revolution.”15
If the Portrait of Mrs. Nathaniel Waples and Her Daughter, Sarah Ann spoke to an interest in evoking the traditions of the Greek style as applied in a more contemporary interpretation in the early United States, than the portrait of Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes speaks to a rejection of this tradition and instead provides not an backwards view, looking to the past but one that is very forward and modern, as reflected in the time, as has been the theme and intent of the latter part of the exhibition and works included. In this example, particularly in response to the changing role for women in society, Sargent clearly and carefully portrays Mrs. Phelps Stokes in a precise approach. Mrs. Phelps Stokes, Edith—is unusually depicted wearing informal, active attire for a formal wedding portrait.18 This painting was completed just three years before the beginning of the twentieth century, and only twenty-three years before women would have the right to vote in the United States. She is portrayed as a modern woman; her husband intriguingly stands behind her, with his face partially obscured by her shadow; perhaps setting the course for the changing roles of American women. Throughout the course of the nineteenth century, the United States a comparatively new nation sought out to find a representative artistic style and aesthetic that would come to define the nation. During this time, America looked back upon Europe to ancient Greece where the idea of democracy was born. Appealing to the democratic nation—a new experiment in modern government; the Greek Revival style, a return to the artistic elements
James Peale, brother of Charles Wilson Peale painted Portrait of Mrs. Nathaniel Waples and Her Daugh-
and ideals of Ancient Greece would be widely embraced by the American people and applied with early eighteenth century technology for a more contemporary application, borrowing elements from this Greek design, including architecture, furnishings, and clothing. For over fifty years this style remained popular and provided a singularly unifying national artistic identity. Despite this, at the middle of the nineteenth century the Civil War divided the nation, and brought an end to the Greek influence. Particularly in the industrial north, in the years leading up to and following the Civil War, where railroads and manufacturing set the course for the future, the search for an American artistic identity continued as artists and architects now looked to industry itself, with the craftsmanship of goods and materials, innovation, and progress now defining artistic practice. At the same time, this is not shocking or new. Even in the application of the Greek Revival there was in an interest in adapting it to make it out own. At the core of this is the search for an American style, which in this century-long self-reflective search had been achieved.
http://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/artifact-cent re-square-pump-house-model/. 6. Museum Label for William Schenck, “Third Avenue Railroad Depot” New York, NY, Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 29, 2016 7. Museum Label for Charles Wilson Peale, “Portrait of Chief Justice Thomas McKean and His Son, Thomas McKean Jr.,” Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, November 12, 2016. 8. Museum Label for Henry Alexander, “In the Laboratory,” New York, NY, Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 29, 2016. 9. Deurengerg, Rian. "Examination and Treatment of a Set of Klismos Chairs, attar. to John and Hugh Finlay." Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 47, no. 2 (Summer 2008): [Page 99]. 10. Museum Label for Benjamin Latrobe, “Side Chair”, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, November 12, 2016.
References 11. Finkel, Ken. "Benjamin Henry Latrobe's 'First Great Structure.'" PhillyHistory.org. Last modified September 18, 2013. Accessed December 6, 2016. http://www.phillyhistory.org/blog/index.php/2013/09/be njamin-henry-latrobes-first-great-structure/.
1. Princeton Architectural Press. "The Antiquities of Athens." Princeton Architectural Press. Last modified 2007. Accessed December 5, 2016. https://www.papress.com/html/book.details.page.tpl?isb n=9781568987231. 2. Marks, Arthur S. "Latrobe and a Capital for the Capitol." Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 103, no. 5 (2013): [Page 51].
12.Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House." Philadelphia Museum of Art. Last modified 2016. Accessed December 5, 2016. http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/842.html.
3. Fricker, Johnathan, and Donna Fricker. The Greek Revival Style. Baton Rouge, LA: State of Louisiana: Division of Historic Preservation, 2010. Accessed December 6, 2016. http://www.crt.state.la.us/Assets/OCD/hp/nationalregiste r/historic_contexts/greekrevivalrevised.pdf.
13. Wall Label “A Watershed Moment in American Furniture Design”, Classical Splendor: Painted Furniture for a Grand Philadelphia House, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, November 12, 2016 14. Museum Label for Frank Furness, “Desk”, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, November 12, 2016.
4. Museum Label for John Lewis Krimmel, Fourth of July Celebration in Centre Square. Philadelphia, PA, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. September 14, 2016.
15. Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Learning from Frank Furness: Louis Sullivan in 1873." Philadelphia Museum of Art. Last modified 2012. Accessed December 5, 2016. http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/773.html.
5. Rasnick, Kelsey. "Artifact: Centre Square Pump House Model." The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. Last modified 2016. Accessed December 5, 2016.
16. Museum Label for James Peale, “Portrait of Mrs. Nathaniel Waples and Her Daughter, Sarah Ann”, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, November 12, 2016. 17. Gontar, Cybele. "Empire Style, 1800–1815." Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Last modified October 2004. Accessed December 5, 2016. 18. Museum Label for John Singer Sargent, “Mr. and Mrs. I.N. Phelps Stokes”, New York, NY, Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 29, 2016.
The Latino Punk Rock Scene (1990-Present): An Exploration of Identity Politics Through History and Theory Sabine Lipten
occurs within the scene and the subsequent dominating refraction of a homogenized version of punk that presents as 'white culture' (Stinton 2012, 271). However, since the late 1970s, Chicano and Latino punks have been playing music and getting their own bands together, putting out punk art (lithographs on T-shirts, murals and banners on public walls which are inherently part of a Latino artistic renaissance) (Zavella 2012, 36), setting up festivals for groups in their communities, releasing records, and challenging the face of hegemonic punk. From the perspective of seminal Latino punk rocker Alice Bag, the Latino involvement in the overall scene has been an assertion of a melting pot experience: Latinos go to see bands not solely because they are a Latino band (Sorrondeguy 1999, 3:47), but the fact the band is Latino is of significance. Within the Latino punk scene there is a big stress on maintaining the importance of space specifically for Latinos. However, this cultivation of community around Latino identity politics, is not exclusionary: it is not only cultural identities, but also other identity assemblages that provide a space and sense of relatability (Hassan 2016). While punk homogeneity pushed for the need for enclaves of punks of color to develop – the Latino punk scene being one of them – this punk scene strives to balance asserting cultural roots and celebrating heterogeneity (Ibid.), reflecting the true spirit of punk.
Introduction When people think of punk music, they tend not to think of it having origins within communities of color. Mainstream portrayal of punk culture has spun a narrative of unvaried white-boy-only anger (Habell-Pallán 2005, 173), as exemplified in the assumptions that Do-ItYourself (D.I.Y.) practices (central to punk culture) were invented by white punks. In fact, brown folks have been using these D.I.Y. techniques for years (Stinton 2012, 267) and the pragmatics of D.I.Y. are completely reflective of brown-bodied realities of marginalized economics and limited access to production and distribution (Zavella 2012, 29, Habell-Pallán 2005, 150). Throughout the United States, various Latinos have engaged in punk music to pave a way for brown youth and express politics of autonomy and self-determination within the punk scene (Avant-Mier 2010, 147): bands like Los Crudos, Rumores and Limp Wrist have had tremendous influences on young people, especially Latino youth in America, allowing for a new narrative to be spun within the scene that includes a collective Latino identity (Threadgould 2016). To understand the ways in which punk music has become an outlet for identity related tensions to be worked through and to study the complexities of constantly shifting identity constructions and performances, it is first imperative that a brief history is laid out. Identity and the self are related, but not synonymous. Furthermore, in order to explore assemblages and articulations of identities amongst Latino punks, one must start with an understanding of the explosion of the Latino punk scene in the 1990s. From there, the Latino-punk relationship can be examined through the theory of identity articulation (Avery-Natale and Vila 2015) to see the ways assemblages of identity are constantly in movement and ever-shifting, reacting with the social climates of the given epoch. This effect is particularly exemplified by the increasing visibility surrounding the intertwinement of Latino punk and queer identifications.
The Latino punk scene grew dramatically in the early 1990s. This was in part due to the racist politics of the decade, such as the infamous beating of immigrants by Riverside California police in 1996, two years after the passing of Proposition 187. Events like these,inspired Latino communities, including punks, to rise up and take a stand through organizing and song. Lead vocalist of Los Crudos Martin Sorrondeguy states in his documentary Beyond the Screams/Más allá de los gritos, "What started happening politically in the United States pissed us off so much, and we were feeling so targeted and cornered as a community, that we began to write songs about it" (Sorrondeguy 1999, 0:13-0:42). These struggles helped to shape a distinct Chicano and Latino punk scene. Sorrondeguy explains further that, in many neighborhoods, Latino youth were welcomed with open arms by gangbangers. However, those who did not feel in alignment with that space and scene still had similar feelings of escapism from poor neighborhoods, discrimination, and general anger. Outside of gangs, many Latino youth found survival and expressive outlet in a different community: the punk scene (Sorrondeguy 1999, 2:45). Attracted by the central themes of punk – individualism, anti-
Latino Punk in the 1990s For years, punk rock has been perceived as fast, in-your-face music (Griffin 2012, 67) played by "weird" looking white youth, due both to the subtle racism that
authoritarianism, and a D.I.Y. philosophy coupled with the aesthetic of physical look and the sound (HabellPallán 2005, 156) – this new generation of Latino punks massively contributed to carving out a niche within the scene. Diverging from the white music of the time, Latino bands tended to focus on politics of ethnic pride, run-ins with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, social realities dominated by gangs and street culture, sometimes singing all in Spanish (Avant-Mier 2010, 154), as a means of paying homage and upholding cultural ties to their familial roots.
to as identitarian articulation theory. In placing Latino punks within this framework of performative identities, clear patterns of assemblages seem to appear and be prioritized. According to Villa and Avery-Natale, this is because certain identifications will always have more weight than other articulations and so, by principle, have more power to exercise their scope over other articulations (Ibid). For example, because of the contrived importance the U.S. places on racial categories, a Latino punk band may not explicitly write an entire album on their racial makeup, but their race – and its inherent significance as a marker of divergence in the scene – will constantly have the potential of having more weight in broader social encounters. This kind of interaction will occur regardless if the racial/cultural identity of “Latino” is asserted by the band or if imposed onto the band by the audience. Navigating the hierarchical nature of these articulations becomes directly intertwined with the politics of Latino punk and the subject matter of their performances. While a Latino punk band may not initially plan on centering a song about race there are instances in which push comes to shove. Take for example the Los Crudo's song "We're that Spic Band", which was written in direct response to a white audience member calling the band this epithet (Sorrondeguy 1999, 21:00-21:44). This song is an example of the desire to articulate an assemblage of ethnic and punk identity expressed through lyrical reclamation; a performance of identity that may not have happened otherwise.
The history of Latino Punk music honoring ethnic pride and addressing identity politics is directly intertwined with institutional racism. Bands like Los Crudos connected and addressed institutionalized racism, such as California's wave of anti-immigrant hysteria, to the subtler racism that was imbedded in the punk movement itself. This constant dismantling of racism has continued into the contemporary punk scene. For example, in 2006 Benny Hernandez, the lead singer of the Latino punk band Rumores, organized the first-ever Latino punk festival after recognizing a pattern of venues rejecting and refusing to book Latino punk bands in Chicago (Threadgould 2016). While ideologically "Latino punk festivals are an extension of D.I.Y. punk culture", they are also a form of resistance in the face being left out of this same culture (Ibid). Over the last few decades, Latinos have worked to create their own narrative, asserting their identities amongst a society and a scene that often whitewashes history and excludes them. The rise of Latino punk is quintessentially punk because it is a direct rejection of expressive and exclusive aspects of mainstream society, specifically working towards decolonizing both the scene and society at large.
For white punks, because of the normalized nature of whiteness, "punk" is such a powerful identification for themselves it tends to overpower all else, such that any other identification must be absorbed under punk (Avery-Natale and Vila 2015, 34). However, in the instance of a brown-bodied punks there is not that normalization of race and, thus, more of a likelihood for multiple overt identifications to be articulated at once. Again, the song "We are a Spic Band" is one embodiment of Latino punks asserting, and in this case, reclaiming multiple identity assemblages – being punk and brown. The politicized nature of the larger punk scene, while it may boast inclusivity, is often in actuality exclusive, reflective of the larger reality of racism that permeates any space dominated by white bodies.
Theory & Queerness Applied While identity is personal, it is not exclusive to the self; it cannot be understood as isolated, parceled out and existing separate from the context of reality, as identity is constantly moving through and thus interacting with our socially constructed spaces. To examine identity politics of Latino punks is to first take a step back and shift focal strain from what identifications "are" to what they can do: "how an identitarian social encounter is a provisionally and contingently determined set of relations locally determined in both its content and expression, matter and meaning; and how identifications coinform one another in all directions simultaneously" (Avery-Natale and Vila 2015, 2). This approach is referred
The articulation of punk identity is primarily performed through music and, more specifically, public shows: literal performances are key because "terms of cultural engagement, whether antagonistic or affiliative, are produced performatively" (quoted in Bhabha, 1994).
Because performances are always situated within social systems, "they elucidate power relations and illustrate the messy entanglements that constitute hemispheric relations" (Zavella 2012, 28). So whether a Latino is engaged in the actual act of performance when on stage or whether engaged in the metaphysical performance of self as punk, the understanding of 'punk' as something marginalized and trivialized by larger society is an apt metaphor for the ways in which Latino bodies have used punk culture to communicate their own particular notions of identity and community in the context of national narratives (Avant-Mier 2010, 147).
‘the mainstream’ and an instinctive urge for acceptance into the collective identity (Griffin 2012, 70). Artistic movements often mirror the culture they come from (Threadgould 2016), so while follies in the overall punk scene include the adoption of certain negative dominant ideological traits such as the tendency to overlook people of color (Ibid), as LGBTQ communities have gained more safety and visibility "in both the underground and the mainstream" (Hassan 2016), there has also been an increase in the proliferation of discourse and assertion of queer identities. In an interview, Sorrondeguy remarks on how he has seen changes develop in the Latino punk scene over the last twenty to fifteen years, saying there has been an increase of a queer punk presence and a shift from latent queerness to visible and "out" bodies in the scene (Ibid). While there is still an influence of hyper-masculinity (and thus inherent compulsory heterosexuality) apparent within the punk scene (Griffin 2012, 75), overall social attitudes have shifted, now allowing for more overt performative articulations of queerness. As social realities continue to move through time and space, so will identifications, constantly "coinforming" each other and perpetually existing in a state of transition.
Depending on the relational climate of a given epoch, the prioritization of identitarian politics communicated differs. While in the 90s there seemed to be a thematic prioritization of the politics of public policy, racism, familial and community centered issues amongst Latino punk expression, there now seems to be an added articulation between punk, [Latino] cultural, and queer identities. This is due to the malleable nature of identity articulation reacting with times; parts of the identity may now acquire new contents and active capacities as the emergent articulation is now "allowed" to take effect (AveryNatale and Vila 2015, 35). At the same time, identitarian articulation theory also argues it is important to remember that even when an identification is not "allowed" to be articulated it cannot be isolated and dismissed from the other identifications that are actively participating in the social encounter at hand because said identification is still participating in latent ways, as traces, "through echoes of their absences" (Ibid, 10). In other words, identifications are always co-informing each other; there is no way to package sexuality separate from race because they are always omnipresent in the self (Ibid, 36). For example, while Los Crudos focused more on issues of race relations and cultural identities, Sorrondeguy was still a queer man, it was just that his queerness was not discursively represented by the band’s lyrical content. However, because queerness is an “invisible” identity and heterosexuality is constantly assumed – especially when it is performatively presented through normative gender expectations such as hegemonically masculine and machismo aggressive "hard" punk music – it makes sense that certain articulations such as race overpowered Sorrondeguy’s sexual identity. Furthermore, the social climate towards queerness in the 90s and early 00s was still much more homophobic than it is now, even within the context of the punk scene, where there is a complex [and paradoxical] relationship between the aim of rejecting
Conclusion Tensions and barriers can often arise in the process of combating and breaking down the mores and ideologies so ingrained in social institutions and spaces, even in spaces that self-proclaimed as counter culture. However, a manifestation of decolonization of self and identity can clearly be reflected in the rebellious history of the Latino punk movement from the 90s to the contemporary which as a cultural movement has constantly embodied all the central tenets of punk: the D.I.Y. methodology, the divergence from formula, prioritization of authenticity and rejection of exclusionary aspects of society while forging a rich and multifaceted collective identity through distinct musical and aesthetic styling. Through contextualizing the multiplicity of Latino punk identity within the framework of identitarian articulation theory, one is able to grapple with how Latino punk is very much intertwined with autonomy and selective articulation. Though impossible to overtly perform all aspects of identity at once, in having an inclusive and quintessentially punk space, the Latino Punk scene allows for a plethora of voices to create a cannon of diverse performative identity politics that are simultaneously relatable while authentically individual in artistry.
Zavella, Patricia. "Beyond the Screams: Latino Punkeros Contest Nativist Discourses" Latin American Perspectives 39, no. 2, 27-44 (March 2012), http://www.jstor.org.libproxy.temple.edu/stable/pdf/232 38993.pdf (accessed December 8, 2016).
Avant-Mier, Roberto. Rock The Nation. London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2010. Avery-Natale, Edward, and Pablo Vila. Intersectional Identities, Affective Assemblages or Identitarian Articulations? N.p, 2015. Bhabha, Homi K. The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge, 1994. Griffin, Naomi. "Gendered Performance Performing Gender in the DIY Punk and Hardcore Music Scene.” Journal of International Women's Studies 13, no. 2, (2012), http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol13/iss2/6 (accessed Dec 8, 2016). Habell-Pallán, Michelle. Soy Punkera, Y Qué?: Sexuality, Translocality, And Punk In Los Angeles And Beyond. 1st ed. 2005. Web. 8 Dec. 2016. Hassan, Marcos, "’I Like Punk and I Like to Suck Dick’: Martin Sorrondeguy on the Queer Rebellion of Latinx Punk" Remezcla.com October 2016. http://remezcla.com/features/music/los-crudos-martin-s orrondeguy-desafinados-interview (accessed December 8, 2016). Sorrondeguy, Martin. Beyond the Screams/Más allá de los gritos (1999). YouTube. Video File. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYph2q44MQU (accessed Dec 8, 2016). Stinson, Elizabeth. "Writing Zines, Playing Music, and Being a Black Punk Feminist: An Interview with Osa Atoe,” Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory 22, no. 2-3, 261-274 (December 12, 2012) http://www.tandfonline.com.libproxy.temple.edu/doi/pd f/10.1080/0740770X.2012.721084?needAccess=true (accessed December 8, 2016). Threadgould, Michelle, "We're Not Going Anywhere: Growing Up Latino and Punk in America" Observer.com January 28, 2016. http://observer.com/2016/01/were-not-going-anywheregrowing-up-latino-and-punk-in-america/ (accessed December 8, 2016)
Black/Disabled Solidarity in Theory and Practice Chris Rumbough
of disability than do the imperial metropoles (World Health Organization, 2011). How many of these disabled people are chronically ill or maimed as the result of poverty or brutality created by imperialism? How many people are over-diagnosed, labeled with mental illnesses and disabilities simply because they practice indigenous spirituality or because they express aggression against colonial figures? How many people are underdiagnosed, with needs and disabilities that go unrecognized because of racism in the medical system? These are issues central to disability, ableism, and racism that we do not have statistics on; as such, we are usually forced to work with a deficit of information whenever we wish to combat structural ableism.
I. Introduction Disabled and Mad (or mentally ill, though not all people accept that terminology) people’s political movements and ideologies tend to exist in a vacuum, isolated from other social movements. This goes both ways; it is rare for anti-capitalist or anti-racist or anti-sexist movements to incorporate anti-ableism into their work, but there is also an extreme deficit in anti-ableist organizing that is not dominated by Whiteness. This lack of intersectionality and solidarity undermines all radical movements. An understanding of the shared history of ableism and racism can help provide direction to organizers hoping to overcome this divide. By looking at the history of ableism as a component in Western imperial oppression, a component which is intertwined with and supports racism, anti-ableist and anti-racist activists can learn that their struggles are not separate. This has important implications for the real-world praxis of liberation, as can be demonstrated by historical and contemporary case studies of the intersections of these two axes of oppression.
II. Shared History of Ableism and Racism The prevailing tendency of academics throughout history to not acknowledge that oppression of disabled people exists at all further diminishes the body of information available; there are only a few theoretical models for defining ableism. One of the main historical perspectives on ableism that has been put forward is a Marxist one, which Slorach articulates in “Marxism and Disability” (2010). Slorach locates the root of ableism within disabled people’s reduced ability to contribute materially to a capitalist, industrialized economy compared to abled people. Slorach’s argument is that, prior to the advent of capitalism, disabled people lived acceptable lives under feudalism, facing some persecution but generally being able to contribute to rural production processes and being able to survive as dependents on their abled extended families. This Marxist model was the basis for what is now commonly known as the “social model” of disability, which argues that the social conditions under capitalism created not only ableism but also disablement itself by artificially excluding people with physical impairments. In this model, impairment (the state of the body or brain itself) is objective and universal, whereas disability – defined as disadvantage, restriction, or oppression – is the result of a hostile, ableist society. The social model is premised on the idea that disabled people can assimilate fully into society and function like abled people do if given the proper accommodations to allow for full inclusion; according to this model, the prevention of disabled people’s assimilation, prompted by capitalist ideas of profitability and cultural ideas of disabled people’s inferiority, is the root of their oppression (Shakespeare, 2010).
Ableism, for the purpose of this paper, is defined as the systematic oppression – both through exploitation and outright elimination – of disabled people, a category which has shifted in definition over time but which generally refers to people considered to have inherently, biologically inferior bodies and minds. A comprehensive history of ableism is difficult to create for many reasons, including changing definitions of disability over time and the difficulty of measuring true historical rates of ableist and eugenicist practices such as infanticide of disabled children. Systemic and legally-mandated discrimination and execution of disabled people existed in societies as old as ancient Greece, and methodical infanticide of visibly-disabled newborns remained widespread throughout European societies until the Victorian era, when the burgeoning system of workhouses and psychiatric institutions became the primary means of control of the disabled population (Barnes, 2010). Per modern medical standards, approximately 15% of the world’s population today – one billion or so people – is disabled (World Health Organization, 2011). But this is not merely a medical statistic; there are political dimensions to this that are often obscured or overlooked. For example, the so-called “developing countries” – the countries that have been plundered by imperialism – have higher rates
These models are the most prevalent in describing disability. Even setting aside concerns that these mod-
els are essentially buying into ableist thought by positing disabled people’s “biological impairment” as an objective defect and by situating assimilation into abled norms as the highest possible liberation of disabled people, these models are fundamentally inaccurate – not least because they minimize the role of intersectionality in the evolution of systemic ableism. The belief that, prior to capitalism, eugenicist and ableist ideology created only social stigma and individual prejudice rather than systemic oppression is unfounded. While the word “eugenics” was invented after the advent of capitalism and empire, the eugenicist movement of this period was simply an expansion and repurposing of a preexisting system of oppression to suit the changing needs of empire. Existing ideas about the necessity of eliminating the unfit became expanded to include poor people and people of color – which resulted in the movement we commonly refer to as eugenics (Davis, 2006). This allowed the translation of widespread cultural approval for eugenicist practices such as infanticide into increased support for the capitalist and imperial projects.
ability Rights movements stands out as being highly instructional. On April 5, 1977, disabled activists from the American Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities (ACCD) staged sit-ins nationwide to protest the federal government’s attempt to water-down promised regulations restricting discrimination against disabled people. The federal government had stalled for four years in passing the promised Rehabilitation Act, which, in its Section 504, included a clause that “prohibited recipients of federal aid from discriminating against any ‘otherwise qualified handicapped individual.’” (Schweik, 2011). These sit-ins were rapidly isolated and starved-out by law enforcement – a tactic that capitalized on the fact that most of the protesters were physically disabled and/or chronically ill – except for the sit-in in San Francisco, which was supported by an unrivaled network of other activist organizations, including the LGBT group the Butterfly Brigade, the Chicano group Mission Rebels, and the Black Panther Party. These were not simply alliances between different groups, but reflections of the fact that these groups were not so separate in the first place – disabled people were in all of these other organizations, and Black and Brown and queer people were in the ACCD (Schweik, 2011).
This new, broad eugenicist movement could no longer sustain itself through infanticide – systematic infanticide is only possible when the oppressed are born into families made up of their oppressors, as in the case of many disabled people. As a result, it was not applicable to the new agenda of subjugating and destroying families and communities of poor people and people of color wholesale. This modern eugenicist movement adopted new methods centered around restricting the reproduction and livelihoods of disabled, poor, and Black/Brown people (Davis, 2006). Its new efforts quickly grew to fit seamlessly into the larger context of imperial White supremacist capitalism. The institutionalization of mentally ill people evolved from the workhouses that extracted labor from poor people (Borsay, 2005), and a wide variety of psychiatric diagnoses involving “antisocial behavior” worked alongside stereotypes promoted by scientific racism to ensure that Black and Brown people were disproportionately targeted for detainment (Mollow, 2006). Sterilization campaigns targeted disabled people and people of color – with especial vigor where the two categories overlapped (Davis, 2006).
The Black Panthers specifically were driven to strongly support the 504 sit-ins because of the advocacy of Bradley Lomax, a Panther who had multiple sclerosis, used a wheelchair, and was already committed to radical disabled and Black politics. Critically, the BPP provided the food that allowed the sit-in to continue when other sit-ins had been starved out (Schweik, 2011). The Black Panther Party and the Berkeley Center for Independent Living attempted to build a lasting alliance after the sitins, but it failed for multiple reasons. Their objectives and the reasons they failed to meet them are informative to modern activists. The White-dominated CIL in Berkeley failed to support the new offshoot branch that was established in a joint effort with the Panthers in Oakland. The Black Panther Party also viewed this effort, led by Lomax, as relatively unimportant – it was never considered important enough to be listed in their newspaper among their list of active programs, and the Party’s publications referred to disabled activism as merely being “poignant” – a description that, somewhat condescendingly, emphasizes its emotional impact on observers rather than its political content (Schweik, 2011). Michael Fultz, who edited the Black Panther newspaper at the time, said that disability issues "were addressed on an individual basis through our health clinics in addition to the Sickle Cell Anemia campaigns," but "[a]ctivism on behalf or in sup-
III. Case Study: The Black Panthers and the Disability Rights Movement Solidarity between Black/African movements and disabled movements has been sporadic, but one moment of cooperation between the Black Power and Dis-
port of the disabled was seldom high on our agenda" (Schweik, 2011).
have any success in keeping disabled people as active parts of their organizations.
Modern activists of anti-racism and anti-ableism can learn a great deal from this example, both in its successes and failures. We still have not achieved consistent solidarity between our movements. The history of the 504 demonstrations and the brief life of the Oakland CIL offers practical advice for organizers wishing to correct this situation. The starved-out 504 sit-ins provide one extremely important practical lesson: the state often attempts to undermine disabled people’s resistance by capitalizing on physical illnesses and disabilities, as demonstrated by their tactic of starving out protesters who were mostly physically disabled or chronically ill – and thus, more quickly and violently endangered by lack of food than many abled people would be. As such, common organizing tactics like food drives take on an increased significance when organizing with disabled people. Political education efforts, which are generally crucial to sustaining movements, are similarly important; structural ableism often makes information inaccessible to people with intellectual and sensory disabilities. Any movement which unthinkingly replicates such inaccessibility – for example, by using jargon that is difficult for intellectually disabled people, or by circulating information in formats inaccessible to Deaf or Blind people – is cutting itself off from an entire population of potential supporters. This is especially harmful to movements because disabled people, due to the constant poverty and oppression we are subjected to, would likely be one of the easiest conceivable populations to mobilize around activist causes if political education was accessible to us. Movements based around spontaneous protesting, with little in the way of community support programs, are rarely going to be accessible or sustainable for disabled people who are often kept in conditions of perpetual poverty and precarious health by ableist capitalism.
On the flip side, disabled activist movements have major work to do with both their ideology and practice with regards to racial and class solidarity. The Oakland CIL’s failure only scratches the surface of these problems. Speaking from experience as a disabled organizer, many disability activist initiatives take a highly assimilationist perspective on liberation. It seems relatively common in our circles for disabled activists to describe our struggle as the last civil rights struggle that needs to be fought, as though all other forms of oppression have been defeated. This ideology naturally presents a barrier to solidarity and intersectionality. Additionally, charity-focused “activist” groups such as Autism Speaks are dominated by abled interests and actively embrace the eugenicist goal of eliminating disabled and ill people. Such groups lend their support to structures that detain, sterilize, and destroy disabled people, especially disabled people of color, and often branch out into more direct forms of racism and capitalist exploitation – one dramatic example was when the co-founder of Autism Speaks, Bob Wright, endorsed Trump for president on his personal Twitter account (Wright, 2016). Such people are using their massive platforms, gained through corrupt and counterproductive “activism” on the behalf of disabled people, to promote the continued deepening of American society’s commitment to White supremacy. To support other causes, one of the first objectives of disabled activists should be to hold ourselves accountable and continue to undermine such toxic figures who claim to represent us.
Activism that intends to include disabled people must go a step beyond simply considering accessibility, however. Ramps are not effective when the police are tipping people out of their wheelchairs, and sign language interpreters cannot do their jobs when Deaf people are being handcuffed – essentially gagged, if they use sign language to communicate. Activists must consider preparations for such situations – whether in the form of organized self-defense contingents, providing legal aid, or simply by training ordinary people to intervene in emergencies on the behalf of disabled people who are being targeted – an essential part of accessibility if they hope to
But eliminating active collaboration with the empire is obviously only a bare minimum for disabled organizations to truly be in solidarity with Black activists. There are many practical steps that disabled organizations should be taking beyond that. First, we must start taking seriously the specific concerns of Black disabled people, such as police brutality – and, more to the point, we must start approaching these issues with some actual militancy. The Ruderman Family Foundation, whose mission is “to change the public’s awareness of people with disabilities”, made a brief splash in the media when it published its March 2016 paper estimating that one-third to one-half of people killed by police are disabled – an important estimation because the lack of official recordkeeping on police murders makes such statistics normally impossible to come by (Perry, 2016). The paper’s goal was to inform journalists in how they could understand police brutality as an intersectional issue targeting
primarily disabled Black people, but the only recommendations it could come up with were for journalists to “use appropriate language”, “don’t blame the victim”, “use the word ‘disability”, and so on (Perry, 2016, p. 39-42). In other words, it advised reporters to be polite in referring to the disabled Black people killed by police, and to be aware of the intersectionality, but stopped short before telling journalists to question, criticize, or distrust the police responsible for the killings. This lukewarm approach is typical of how disabled organizations have treated intersectionality and solidarity with Black people. There is a lot of raising awareness and little call to action. As people who have been fighting institutionalization for nearly a century, disabled people have a legacy of real organizing experience that is highly applicable to fighting the carceral state and the militarized police. We should revive that militancy and strength and put it to use on behalf of our fellow oppressed peoples.
day the police attacked Kinsey and Soto, Soto hadn’t wandered away from his group home accidentally – it was his second attempt in three weeks to leave the home. The first time he attempted to leave, the staff beat him severely, breaking his nose and finger and necessitating emergency care (Miller, 2016, July 23). While detained at the group home, Soto “screamed constantly”, frequently banged on windows, and tried to damage the group home’s property (Miller, 2016, August 22). These are all behaviors which, if they were practiced by an abled person detained somewhere with no choice in the matter, we would probably all understand to be consistent with desperation to escape. Instead, Rios Soto was given an additional diagnosis of “oppositional defiant disorder” – one of the diagnoses most commonly used by psychiatrists to pathologize Black and Brown resistance (Mollow, 2006) – and his behavior was dismissed by media and doctors alike as deranged, random, and in need of treatment and suppression. At the insistence of his mother, he will soon be transferred to the Carlton Springs facility, one of the most infamously abusive “group homes” in Florida, where multiple disabled people have been directly killed by the staff’s physical abuse and restraints and even more have died of neglect (Miller, 2016, August 22; Vogell, 2015).
IV. Conclusion: The Present Day Current events make it clear that both movements would benefit from a better practical understanding of how ableism functions structurally and what liberation from it would truly look like. The widespread lack of familiarity with the history of ableism causes movements to miss out on nuances that are critical to their work. One modern example of this is what happened to Rios Soto and Charles Kinsey in Miami in the summer of 2016. Charles Kinsey became a new emblem of the national issue of police brutality when he was shot by the police while lying down in the street with his hands up in an attempt to show an autistic man, Rios Soto, how he should be behaving as the police threatened them both (Miller, 2016, July 23). Soto’s situation is a critical demonstration of the nuances of intersecting racism and ableism.
The initial story of a therapist heroically trying to rescue a disabled man from the police does not even scratch the surface of what is happening here. This is a story about a disabled Latino man trying consistently to escape a group home he had no choice in staying at, whose most recent escape attempt ended with the racist police shooting the Black man who was attempting to return him to captivity – the same man whose job was to perform a therapy that has consistently been described as torture, and the same man whom Soto’s family said was the person he felt most at ease with at the facility, though it seems that no journalist has actually directly asked Rios Soto himself about that (Miller 2016, July 23) – and as a result of this event, the disabled man’s family has decided he’d be better off in a notoriously abusive institution elsewhere.
Stories about the shooting generally begin with the fact that Charles Kinsey was trying to return Rios Soto back to the MACtown group home where Kinsey worked and Soto was kept. Kinsey worked at the group home as a behavioral therapist, an individual who performs Applied Behavior Analysis (Miller, 2016, August 22). This “therapy” for autistic people was developed by Dr. Ivar Lovaas using the same methodology he used in his earlier research, the Feminine Boy Project – which developed what we now know as conversion therapy (Dawson, 2004). The methodology of gay/trans conversion therapy and ABA therapy directed at autistic people is quite literally identical, but the cruelty of such therapy is somehow forgotten when it is applied to autistic people. On the
To be entirely frank, it seems that no organization has even begun to address the multiple layers of abuse and oppression that are taking place here. Black organizations focused on police brutality have been fighting for the abolition of the racist police, but often call for more mental health workers and mental health “facilities”, a euphemism for institutions. Disabled organizations have condemned Soto’s institutionalization and reinstitutionali-
zation, but seem to believe that more training – which, of course, means more funding – for racist police departments is all that is needed. And nobody seems willing to touch the fact that Soto’s diagnosis of “oppositional defiant disorder” is frankly scientific racism, a codification of angry Latino stereotypes that has no biological premise, because to acknowledge such would stray too close to the taboo subject of anti-psychiatry (and the Mad Pride movement that created it), which is generally considered “too radical” by those of us disabled activists who have been taken in by respectability politics.
Miller, C. M. (2016, August 22). After shocking shooting on the street, a familiar Florida failure. Miami Herald. Retrieved from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/mi ami-dade/article97271462.html
This is only one example of the complex issues that are going unaddressed because of our lack of intersectional analysis and solidarity. But solidarity between Black and disabled organizers requires both analysis and application; solidarity isn’t something that just happens in the realm of theory or rhetoric, it requires support in the streets and in the community. Solidarity requires feeding the hungry, like the Black Panthers did for the ACCD, and fighting for the imprisoned and institutionalized, as both movements traditionally have. Disabled and Black communities have valuable, overlapping legacies of activism and accomplishment that can be learned from and adapted to the modern day, to the benefit of all oppressed people.
Perry, D. (2016, March). The Ruderman white paper on media coverage of law enforcement use of force and disability: A media study (2013-2015) and overview. Retrieved from http://www.rudermanfoundation.org/wp-content/upload s/2016/03/MediaStudy-PoliceDisability_final-final1.pdf
Mollow, A. (2006). “When Black women start going on Prozac…”: The politics of race, gender, and emotional distress in Meri Nana-Ama Danquah’s Willow Weep for Me. In L. J. Davis (Ed.), The Disability Studies Reader 2nd Edition (3-16). New York: Routledge.
Schweik, S. (2011). Lomax’s matrix: Disability, solidarity, and the Black Power of 504. Disability Studies Quarterly, 31(1), 11. Slorach, R. (2011). Marxism and disability. International Socialism, 129. http://isj.org.uk/marxism-and-disability/ Vogell, H. (2015, December 10). Unrestrained. Pro Publica. Retrieved from https://www.propublica.org/article/advoserv-profit-and-a buse-at-homes-for-the-profoundly-disabled
References Barnes, C. (2010). A brief history of discrimination and disabled people. In L. J. Davis (Ed.), The Disability Studies Reader 3rd Edition (20-32). New York: Routledge.
World Health Organization. (2011). World report on disability: Summary. Retrieved from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/70670/1/WHO_ NMH_VIP_11.01_eng.pdf
Borsay, A. (2005). Disability and social policy in Britain since 1750. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wright, B. (2016, April 18). https://twitter.com/bobwrightnbc/status/722223562900 299778
Davis, L. (2006). Constructing normalcy. In L. J. Davis (Ed.), The Disability Studies Reader 2nd Edition (3-16). New York: Routledge. Dawson, M. (2004, January 18). The Misbehaviour of Behaviourists. Retrieved from http://www.sentex.net/~nexus23/naa_aba.html Miller, C. M. (2016, July 23). Mom of autistic man at center of Charles Kinsey shooting: My son is traumatized. Miami Herald. Retrieved from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/mi ami-dade/north-miami/article91472342.html
The “Swipe Right” Marketplace: The Intersection of Love & Neoliberalism on Hook Up Apps Madison Gray
The World Before Tinder It would be foolish to consider Tinder as the beginning of the market’s influence on love and sex. Mass media has long played a role in developing new ways to influence and profit off of love and sex, which occupy a considerable portion of the average human’s thoughts. The construct of love in Western society hinges on individualism, a core component of neoliberalism which has allowed the seemingly “pure” phenomenon to interact heavily with consumerism and capitalism. Tinder is a result of generations of these influences paired with centuries of cultivating technology to make love and sex easier and more convenient.
“The "dating apocalypse" has begun and it is inevitable. Tinder has turned normal, college-aged people into shallow, selfish, lazy, fake people with no motivation to try and actually go out and meet someone. It has taught our generation that all that really matters is how attractive someone is. It has also convinced us that sex and cheating is OK. Reality check: it's not.” – Ariana Claire Waggoner, blogger for The Odyssey Online The current moment in dating history is often characterized by rhetoric like Ariana’s passionate reproach above. The feeling that dating and mating behaviors of today’s youth are somehow distinct from previous generations has permeated the media, the discourse, and the minds of young and old. This kind of treatment is not unusual for the “millennial” generation, which, according to many cultural critics, has been tampered with by the evils of technology and social media. For these critics, Tinder, and other hook-up apps, are the perfect scapegoats, as they turn one of the most sanctimonious aspects of human life, romantic love, into a insincere, trendy, game-like app. On the other side, however, Tinder and hook-up app proponents (or “Tinderellas”) tell stories of true love and self-validation. Throughout and beyond this debate, there are powerful motifs of consumerism and feminism, which strengthen and widen the consequences of the app, both positive and negative.
Influences of Capitalism on the Purity of Love Before Tinder The role of capitalism and consumerism in love and romance is demonstrated by the impacts of economic development on the cultural definition of love. The family unit was first constructed as a unit of production. Labor was divided efficiently within the heterosexual couple; the men earned wages with his trade while the women performed domestic duties, like childrearing, cooking, textile weaving, and supporting her husband with love and care. As elaborated upon in the first puzzle, this division of labor is one of the roots of gender inequality, but it is also the foundation of the modern definition of love (Patico 2010). As Western states industrialized, families became distanced from direct labor, and individuals became distanced from their own families, the family unit evolved into “a space of pleasure rather than production”, and the modern perception of romantic love was born. The market also impacts the nature of romantic love by consumer preferences.
In order to assess the current status of the hookup app in today’s society, as well as the intentional and unintentional impacts of the app, I delve into a history of Tinder, its peers, and its predecessors, examine the evolving public perception, and ask how this phenomenon interacts with neo-liberalism, feminism, and other dominant forces of modernity. I integrate this extensive literature review with a participant-observation of Tinder usage in the undergraduate community to ultimately argue that Tinder and other hook-up apps encourage users to behave as both a consumer and product in the marketplace of love, while simultaneously making the relationships formed through the app points of profit for the app developers. Via Tinder and its various reiterations, neoliberalism has succeeding in making love and sex a commodity, for consumption and profit.
Comparative literature scholar Moira Weigel has traced this through centuries of dating advice books, ads, and more. She explains the link between shifts in labor conditions and romantic expectations: “In an era when most people had jobs that clocked in and out at regular times—old-fashioned 9-to-5s—it made sense to ask someone, “So, I’ll pick you up at six?” Now, in an era of flextime and freelancing we might be more likely to text a lover “u up?” (Lam 2016). The evolution of the cultural definition of love is not the only place where we see interaction between romance and the marketplace. On February 14th, for in-
stance, couples around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to consuming to demonstrate romantic love. Valentine’s Day, however, is only a heightened example of the “political economy of love”, which exists to a lesser degree in all manifestations of romance. Love and sex are frequently exchanged for goods, such as gift giving between two partners or the division of housework (“I’ll do the dishes if you mow the lawn”) (Padilla 2007). Despite this frequent and inherent commodification of romance, there remains a legal, moral, and cultural prohibition against sex-for-pay in most countries.
The Tinder Marketplace The Marketplace within the App: An Ethnographic Exploration Because of the popularity of Tinder and other hook-up apps on campus, I had little trouble finding an opportunity to observe college students engaging with the hook-up app culture. My first occasion for formal, ethnographic observation presented itself without my own prompting, sitting in a room on a Friday evening, my group of friends naturally began to swipe right and left on hook-up apps together, vocalizing their experiences for a few hours. As a member of our undergraduate campus culture, and the specific culture of my personal friend group, yet not a hook-up app user myself, I found myself in a fortunate position of being a simultaneous insider and outsider, which allowed me to use my knowledge of our culture’s verbal and nonverbal communication to comprehend my friends’ experiences with the app while simultaneously providing enough distance between myself and the app to allow for meaningful contemplation and synthesis.
The stigma against prostitution is deeply intertwined with issues of gender, class, and public health, but the majority of the ethical concerns about prostitution emerge from two groups, working as unlikely partners for the anti-prostitution cause: the religious right and radical feminists. Religious opposition to the trade is based in the notion that sex is sacred and should be reserved for true love, whereas radical feminists cite it as inherently violent to women to be sold for sex (Weitzer 2006). Both of these viewpoints cast sex work as a foreign, extreme concept, and fail to recognize the similarities between the commodification of a prostitute’s body and the casual commodification present in most Western romantic relationships. This false distinction comes from the idea that romantic love is a pure, natural phenomenon, not one tainted by the trappings of neoliberalism.
My interview with a close friend, Maggie Gold, also balanced nicely between familiarity and formality; we were friendly enough for her to be candid when describing her experience, but she was also respectful and mindful of my purpose to gather research, not gossip. Because of these immersive experiences as well as further academic, anthropological reading on the subject, I have witnessed how the hook-up app experience among college students encourages users to simultaneously behave as consumers and consumable products. While a meaningful romantic connection is a possible outcome for users of the app, I posit that the more likely outcome is a consumerism-tinged perspective on dating and romance, with lifelong implications for both the individual users’ love lives and general cultural conceptions of romance. This emerging shift in the perception of love is unprecedented, even in more traditional online dating websites.
The idea that love is a pure, natural phenomenon is incorrect, but it retains relevance and power in Western society. Hook up apps will further commodify relationships since users are trained to see other users as products, while simultaneously marketing themselves as products on their profiles. This is compounded by the efforts of specific apps, like Tinder, who market their brand actively on the app and outside of the app. This obvious commodification may cause a stigma against hook up apps, similar to the stigma against sex work, despite the manner in which consumerism, capitalism, and neoliberalism have already infringed upon the “pure”, “natural” construct of romantic love. This may allow other forms of love to “free” themselves and escape the mythologies constructed in Western society, or further emphasize the differences between “sanctimonious” traditional love and the offensive commodification of love via hook up apps.
The Hook-Up App User As a Consumer The seemingly endless flow of potential sexual and romantic partners on a hook-up app empowers the user to feel like a consumer in a large shopping mall, free to peruse through stores and try on a variety of different garments before selecting some to take home with them. Individuals who the user does not find attractive at first
glance are automatically disqualified with a swift left swipe. These are the garments left on the rack that the shopper does not even consider. Being attractive is not enough, however, after surviving the initial swipe left, the profile is then scrutinized by the hook-up app user as they take the time to read and consider the bio and the rest of the individual’s pictures. During this stage, the potential match can face a left swipe for several reasons: not having an “interesting” enough bio, appearing “rude”, “conceited”, “weird”, or a variety of other negative traits that hook-up app users assume to understand about a person through a limited set of pictures, or, at times, even being “too attractive” and, thus, considered unattainable. These are the garments that the shopper takes into the fitting room, tries on, but is unhappy with. After all this, the hook-up app user does decide that some of the users pass the test, and swipes them right. These are the garments the shopper purchases. This speedy process of initial attraction, “trying on”, and then the eventual decision, observed in speedy flicks of digital profiles to the left or the right, demonstrated that the users I observed thought of the profiles on the app as consumable items, like clothing articles, instead of human beings to seriously consider.
When I’m bored, I will swipe right on a lot more guys than usual because I just want someone to talk to.” By doing so, Maggie casts her potential matches as forms of entertainment rather than human beings Even after matching, hook-up app users continue to approach the process with a consumer-like mindset. Matches are often referred to as “Tinder Chris” or “Emma from Bumble” for weeks after the initial match, maintaining segregation between “real life” connections and hook-up app connections. In the weeks leading up to the first date, users maintain the consumption-mindset, a mindset that starkly contrasts the expectation setting and planning common to more serious online dating platforms. In their ethnography on online dating websites, Churchill and Goodwin recorded “cycles of excitement, anxiety, disappointment, and cynicism” throughout interactions online and offline with other online dating users (Churchill 2008). This is a departure from the apparent experiences of the hook-up app users, who repeated their insistence that the apps were “first and foremost for fun”. Instead of feeling disappointment or cynicism when an attractive or promising connection with a match did not translate into a “real” relationship, users continued to feel empowered by their consumer-like position and simply kept swiping.
In her ethnography on Tinder usage among college students, Braziel calls this disconnect between the user and the human being on the other end of the exchange the “tourist gaze”. Because of the protective barrier online communication provides from the user and their potential partner, Tinder users feel a sense of security in their interactions with their matches (Braziel 2015). The casual ease with which hook-up app users approach their potential matches, granted by the digital distance of the “tourist gaze”, allows the users to pass judgment freely and behave in a noncommittal manner with many potential partners at once. This attitude was reflected in the group hook-up app usage, where the group of friends swiped through potential matches together, in a highly impersonal manner, offering offhanded comments about the digital profiles as they quickly indicated interest and disinterest with flicks of their fingers. (“Doesn’t he look like a dog skeleton?” “Why is he wearing a clown costume!?” “Look how cute this dog is! Automatic swipe right!” “Look! We matched and he goes to U Penn AND he’s over 6 foot!” “She’s an INFJ like me”) The conversations between friends often treated the potential love interests as pieces of entertainment or commodities, rather than human beings. Maggie, a frequent and successful hook-up app user, confirmed this when she explained, “My pickiness is totally dependent on how bored I am.
The Hook-Up App User As a Consumable Hook-up app users do not only function as consumers, they simultaneously function as consumable items for other users to consume. When creating their digital profile, users are limited to a handful of pictures and a short bio to convey their entire essence as a human being. Because of this, the user must make strategic decisions about what to include and exclude on their profile. Maggie discussed her profile-creation process with me in detail: “My first picture is a very attractive picture of myself. My body looks really good here, especially my butt, which is my best feature. After that I have a picture of me with my friends to demonstrate that I have a fun personality. Then I have a selfie, which lets them see my face closer. After that, I have a silly picture to show my sense of humor…” It’s clear how intentional Maggie’s portrayal of herself is. In her own words, “It’s not really me. It’s an idealized version of me.” She has targeted specific attributes
of herself, which she believes are marketable to her desired audience and capitalized on them in her profile. This kind of behavior was reflected within the group observation, where users advised their friends to not use group pictures, since others would assume they were the “ugly one”. This commodification of self, while in a new format, is not a new concept. The term “selfcommodification” entered the academic discourse nearly fifteen years ago in connection with the rising popularity of “personal branding”, a movement that has been bolstered by the rise of social media. Self-commodification is distinguished by the “reorganization of personal lives and relationships on the model of market relations”. This process involves finding one’s “authentic” self and then dissecting the most “selling parts” of their identity from the undesirables ones to create an enticing, prepackaged essence of oneself (Davis 2003). On hook-up apps, the portrayal of self is mostly physical, but that does not mean the commodification of self on these platforms is limited to looks. Through pictures on the profile, users can demonstrate their fun nature, as Maggie did with her silly pictures with friends, their interests, by including pictures at concerts or playing sports, and more.
the platform. She met a serious, long-term boyfriend through Bumble, and several more casual hook-up partners through both Bumble and Tinder. Maggie was unsurprised at her success through the apps. I asked her how it could be that someone could transform from a cold profile to human connection so quickly. She shrugged, picking up the app to swipe through more potential matches, “I don’t really see what there is to get. Tinder isn’t that different from other relationships. It just has a stigma.” Not everyone is as lucky as Maggie, however, within the friend group that I observed swiping together, there was much conversation about the reluctance of some to actually meet anyone on the app in “real life”. Even Maggie and some of the other members of the group who had gone on successful dates and formed “real” relationships emphasized that the main purpose of the app was entertainment, not partner-searching. This perception of romantic relationship creation is markedly different than the traditional role love, sex, and romance has played in world society. In her ethnography, Jennifer Patico traces the history of the modern cultural conception of love and emphasizes how the cultural perception of romance can be reshaped in key moments of history. The rise of individualism, for instance, prompted by economic modernization, political developments, and shifts in cultural values, made the family “a unit of affect and pleasure”, which led to the development of companionate love in Western cultures (Patico 2010). The hook-up app phenomenon that emphasizes romantic relationships as a consumer-product model has the potential to reshape the societal conception of romance, just as the rise of individualism did. If this marketplace model of love spreads throughout society, our shared cultural expectations for what love looks and feels like will change.
The idealization and self-commodification again contradicts previous research on online dating platforms, where users were insistent on creating profiles to show the “real me”. On these platforms, where the hopes of creating a long-term, sustainable relationship are perhaps higher, users are more determined to show authenticity and truth on their profile, not wanting to “disappoint” or “deceive” potential dates (Churchill 2008). This divergence between authenticity and idealization demonstrates the function of hook-app users as consumable products rather than human beings; these users would rather be swiped right and consumed than swiped left and ignored. Since the goal is not necessarily the creation of a “real life” relationship, hook-up app users are unconcerned with small lies and exaggerations. This divergence between online dating and hook-up app usage demonstrates the unique nature in which hook-up app users conceive their future partners and their own selves.
This potential for a new cultural perception of romance, love, and sex is compounded with the role college plays in the acquisition of romantic knowledge. As explored in Maureen Eisenhart’s ethnography on acquiring cultural conceptions of romance in college, undergraduate universities are pivotal moments within young adults’ lives where they learn the norms and expectations of dating and romance. During this time, college students derive self-worth and sexual confidence from others demonstrating sexual attraction. The experiences formed within these years have lasting effects on the students’ perceptions of love and self (Eisenhart 1990). Hook-up apps are helpful in developing college students’ romantic and sexual confidence by validating their
The Hook-Up App User in Society Despite the market-like nature of hook-up apps, the possibility for users to overcome their status as a consumer and consumable and form a meaningful human connection is entirely possible. Maggie, for instance, has had tremendous success creating relationships through
attractiveness with every match without the user having to take a major risk to reach success. As Maggie said in our interview, “When a hot guy swipes me back on Tinder or Bumble, it makes me feel hot…It’s empowering.” This encouragement to a student’s sense of self during a critical juncture of cultural acquisition will most likely have significant reverberations in the student’s romantic and sexual experiences to come. This empowerment, however, is not derived from validation of the user’s actual self, but rather of their idealized, pre-packaged version of their self. When validation comes through this format, and the user forms a habit of indicating sexual and romantic interest on others’ consumable product selves, this consumerism-tinged romantic exchange becomes the dominant romantic experience for hook-up app using college students. This experience encourages a conception of love, romance, and sex that diverges from their parents’ conceptions of love, or even their collegeaged peers who have not used these apps.
these social apps. The matches made on Tinder can change lives. The Snapchat photo from two hours ago— who gives a fuck?” Rad envisions expanding Tinder into a subscription service with a powerful advertising platform. During Carr’s time with Rad at the Tinder office, he participates in a couple creative sessions where Rad shoots down every proposal with a focus of making everything “10x better”. This drive for perfection led to the unveiling of “TinderPlus”, a subscription service that allows users unlimited swipes a day, fives SuperLikes a day, the ability to undo an accidental swipe for the monthly fee of $9.99 (or $19.99 a month for those over 30) (Carr 2016). OkCupid, which dubs itself the “best free dating website” has its “A List”, which ranges from $9.99-$14.99/month for a considerable range of helpful features, like anonymous browsing (otherwise it notifies the user every time a user looks at the profile), the ability to see users who “like” you, and other desirable features (Packard 2016). Match.com’s premium service is nearly essential to using the site, with the free service allowing users to do little more than send winks and ranges from $20.00 to $42.99 per month according to laurarudderman.org, a blog dedicated to helping people save money throughout the online dating process. This information cannot be found on any of the respective websites, which all insist that their services are free with ambiguous opportunities for premium subscriptions. These are not the only similarities between the apps and websites, however; Match, OkCupid, and Tinder are all owned by the same parent company, Match Group, which went public in November 2015, raking in 400 million dollars from its IPO (“Online Dating Company Match Group Raises $400 Million in IPO” 2015).
While most college students using hook-up apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr see it primarily as casual entertainment, the ramifications are much larger. When users engage in the app, they are participating in an unprecedented romantic marketplace, where they are at once consuming and being consumed. Though these apps may be used to create meaningful human relationships, the vast majority of hook-up app users’ experiences are within this “romantic marketplace” on the app, which shapes their perceptions of both themselves and romance. Their newly acquired perspective on romance, which is likely to shape their lifelong perspective on romance, diverges from the historic cultural perspective of romance, and even from the distinctly different culture of online dating, to create a new, consumerism-tinged culture that places romance, love, and sex within its own marketplace.
Adding shareholders to the equation ensures a future commitment to profit, which will manifest in further monetization of the apps’ users, as Rad hoped. As these apps shift from platforms of romantic and sexual connection to money-making machines, they have an added stake in keeping users within the system. By hooking college students on the most affordable, casual, and accessible version of online dating, Tinder, they can ensure that users become familiar with forming romantic relationships via the online platform. As Tinder users age out of the platform, which is restricted to under-30s, they can graduate into more “serious” apps, like OkCupid which has more polished algorithms and less of a casual sex stigma, but is also less useful in the free setting. As people age out of Tinder, however, they may shift from a
Profiting Off of Love: Tinder’s Creation of a Love Marketplace Throughout this enduring success, the Tinder team has lost no time monetizing and updating the app to make Tinder remain relevant and lucrative. Sean Rad, co-founder and current CEO of Tinder, sees the connection between Tinder and casual sex as “total bullshit” and also sees the app as much more than a platform for romantic connections. He speaks candidly to Fast Company reporter Austin Carr, “We have the potential to grab a massive audience as big as Instagram’s or Snapchat’s, but the value we’re giving is so much greater than any of
college/young adult lifestyle to a young professional lifestyle, with the growing disposable income to match. As users reach the age deemed culturally appropriate to “settle down”, users may shift to the most serious of the three, Match.com, which is also the most expensive, where they can hope to find an “everlasting love” or “soul mate”. Throughout the process, the users stay within the system and allow love and loneliness to turn into profits and wealth, all while turning themselves into commodities.
Jankowiak, William R., and Fischer Edward F. 1991."A Cross-Cultural Perspective on Romantic Love." Ethnology 31, no. 2.149-55. Jónasdóttir, Anna G., and Temple University Press. 1994. Why women are oppressed. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. Kaufmann, Jean-Claude, and David Macey. 2012. Love online. English ed. Malden, MA;Cambridge, UK;: Polity Press. Lam, Bourree. May 2016. “Dating Has Always Been Like Work”. The Atlantic. Retrieved from: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/05/m oira-weigel-qa/483533/.
References Bader, Anne. 2007. “Love Will Steer the Stars” and Other Improbably Feats: Media Myths in Popular Love Songs. 141-157 ed. Galician, Mary-Lou, and Debra L. Merskin. Critical thinking about sex, love, and romance in the mass media: Media literacy applications. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
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Carr, Austin. 2016. “What’s Really Going On Inside Tinder?” Fast Company, January 11. http://www.fastcompany.com/3054904/is-controversial-ti nder-ceo-sean-rad-ready-to-grow-up
MacGregor, Abbrianna. 2016. “Tinder: The Dating Supermarket.” The Odyssey Online (blog), June 28. https://www.theodysseyonline.com/tinder-dating-super market
Eisenhart, Margaret A. 1990. Learning to romance: Cultural acquisition in college. Anthropology & Education Quarterly 21, no. 1: 19-40.
“Online Dating Company Match Group raises $400 million in IPO.” 2015. Reuters, November 18. http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/18/tinder-okcupid-parent -match-group-raises-400-mln-in-ipo.html
Ellison, Nicole, Rebecca Heino, and Jennifer Gibbs. 2006. Managing impressions online: Self-Presentation processes in the online dating environment. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 11, no. 2: 415-41.
Packard, Sarah. 2016. “OkCupid Price Hack: Is It Worth the Price Tag?” Top Romp, April 4. http://www.topromp.com/okcupid-a-list-hack-worth-pric e-tag/
Fellizar, Kristine. 2015. “Online Dating Is The Second Most Popular Way To Meet Someone, Says New Study, And More Things To Know About Dating In The Digital Age.” Bustle, August 24. http://www.bustle.com/articles/105558-online-dating-is-t he-second-most-popular-way-to-meet-someone-says-ne w-study-and-more
Padilla, Mark. 2007. Love and globalization: Transformations of intimacy in the contemporary world. 1st ed. Nashville, Tenn: Vanderbilt University Press. Patico, Jennifer. 2010. From Modern Loves to Universal Passions: Ethnographies of Love, Marriage, and Globalization. Identities 17, no. 4: 372-386.
Gunnarsson, Lena. 2014. The Contradictions of Love: Toward a Feminist-Realist Ontology of Sexuality. Illouz, Eva. 2012. Why love hurts: A sociological explanation. Malden, M.A;Cambridge, U.K;: Polity Press.
Sales, Nancy Jo. 2015. “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse.’” Vanity Fair. September. http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-u p-culture-end-of-dating
Stern, Gary M. 1999. Match.com. Vol. 16. Medford: Information Today, Inc. Sternberg, Robert. 1998. Love is a story. Ed. Oxford University. Sternberg, Robert J. "Triangular Theory of Love." In Encyclopedia of Social Psychology, edited by Roy F. Baumeister and Kathleen D. Vohs, 998. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2007. doi: 10.4135/9781412956253.n591. Sumter, Sindy R., Laura Vandenbosch, and Loes Ligtenberg. 2017. Love me tinder: Untangling emerging adults’ motivations for using the dating application tinder. Telematics and Informatics 34 (1): 67-78. Taylor, Anthea, and MyiLibrary. 2012. Single women in popular culture: The limits of postfeminism. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Watts, Simon, and Paul Stenner. 2014. Definitions of love in a sample of British women: An empirical study using Q methodology. British Journal of Social Psychology 53, no. 3: 557-572. Weitzer, Ronald. 2006. Moral crusade against prostitution. Society 43, no. 3: 33-38. Witt, Emily. 2014. “Love Me Tinder.” GQ, February 11. http://www.gq.com/story/tinder-online-dating-sex-app
To Eat or Not to Eat: Americanized Ethnic Food Suet Yuk Au Yeung
on the authors’ collection of data from 315 diners, statistics show the taste of food is the most important factor when consumers select restaurants. In comparison, the importance of food authenticity only ranks as 14 out of 24 reasons that would affect the decisions of consumers (Liu and Jang 342). Additionally, from the scale of 1 to 7, the mean value for consumers who demand food taste is 6.64, while the mean value for food authenticity is only 5.74 (Liu and Jang 342). This data reflects the fact that authenticity is not the major concern when consumers experience ethnic food, because in reality, the taste of the food is the most significant factor that determines customer dining experience satisfaction.
In the United States, wave after wave of immigrants have brought their cultures in the form of languages, social habits, and cuisines to enrich American society. This process allows various cultures to interact and enhance the beauty of American diversity. The emergence of ethnic restaurants from Europe, Asia, and Latin America in the United States demonstrates that ethnic food is one of the most important forms of traditional culture. Although diverse ethnic restaurants offer consumers abundant options from which to choose, many ethnic restaurant owners and American consumers are divided by different views on the cultural authenticity of food served in ethnic restaurants. Particularly, Chinese restaurant owners claim that they must modify their food traditions in order to satisfy the preferences of American consumers in the market. On the other hand, some American consumers question the authenticity of ethnic food based on the alteration of cooking processes and changes in ingredients. This article asserts that restaurants should not try to preserve the original authenticity of ethnic food by showing 1) that taste, as opposed to authenticity, is the primary element that attracts consumers to eat in a restaurant, 2) that consumer demand for traditional authentic food is self-contradictory, and 3) that Americanized ethnic food still retains the fundamental characteristics of the ethnic tradition in a new style.
Not only do the statistics provide evidence that indicates the taste of ethnic food is the most important factor that appeals to consumers, the response of American tourists who experienced authentic food in China also emphasizes the significance of taste above traditional authenticity. In the article “Negotiating Cultural Boundaries: Food, Travel and Consumer Identities,” authors Fleura Bardhi, Jacob Ostberg and Anders Bengtsson highlight the discomforted reaction of twentyeight American tourists who experienced authentic Chinese food during their ten day trip to China. One tourist specifically expressed her preference of the taste of Americanized Chinese food over original authentic Chinese food. After returning from China, she claimed, “The Chinese here at home is much better I think…The food here [in the United States] also has a little more flavor to it…over there it just tastes really different…I prefer the Chinese food here” (145). The American tourists’ rejection of the taste of original authentic Chinese food highlights the importance of American-style ethnic food. Rather than rigidly offering a culturally exact version of ethnic food that may challenge consumers’ tastes, restaurants should modify ethnic food flexibly by adopting the preferences of consumers to attract American customers.
One of the major elements supporting the argument that restaurants should not worry about preserving original authentic ethnic food is that the taste of ethnic food plays a more important role in appealing to American consumers than authenticity itself. Although which factor most significantly affects the dining experience of American consumers is open to debate, consumers’ high expectations for the taste of food indicates that the demand for authentic food is not their strongest desire. In the article “Ethnic Dining Trends in the United States,” author Elliot Essman states that both immigrant and nonimmigrant consumers demand international authentic food from ethnic restaurants (par.10). However, statistical evidence shows that, in reality, the more significant factor in satisfying the expectations of consumers is taste. In the article “Perceptions of Chinese Restaurants in the U.S.: What affects Customer Satisfaction and Behavioral Intentions?” authors Yinghua Liu and SooCheong (Shawn) Jang indicate that food authenticity is not the major reason that consumers choose Chinese restaurants. Based
Another element that supports the claim that restaurants should not be concerned about preserving original authentic food is that the request of American consumers for traditional authentic food is contradictory. Although research that shows that many American customers claim their demand for original authentic food is more important than the taste of the food, their desire to enjoy traditional authenticity is not feasible in reality. Eastern and Western cultural differences create barriers that challenge Americans’ comfort level in accepting certain foods in their original form. In the article “The Presentation of Ethnic Authenticity: Chinese Food as a Social Ac-
complishment,” the authors Shun Lu and Gary Alan Fine emphasize that consumers are not aware there is contradiction in their demand for authentic food (539). Lu and Fine discover that, despite the fact that most American consumers state a preference for eating original authentic Chinese food rather than Americanized Chinese food (544), the truth is that cultural difference impacts the ability of American consumers to accept such foods (541). Lu and Fine explain that American consumer demand for ethnic food is that “ideally, it should be authentic; practically, it should be Americanized …” (539). This research shows American consumers’ demand for traditional authentic ingredient is unrealistic, because their Western cultural habit undermines their ability to accept certain original authentic Eastern ingredients.
they’re exquisite products for them to eat but just nothing that we were accustomed to” (142). Another tourist in the study also emphasizes her resistance to experiencing original authentic food in China as she claims, “In Beijing, they served us “blow” fish, I didn’t try it, but that was a surprise. Pigeon, chicken feet, I didn’t try, because they didn’t look very good” (146). The uncomfortable reaction of both interviewees towards traditional authentic food strongly indicates the challenges for people from outside of an ethnic culture to accept certain authentic dishes. The identical negative reaction from both American tourists strongly demonstrates the contradiction between the demand of American consumers for original food in ethnic restaurants in the United States and their limited ability to accept traditional ingredients.
Other examples show that when Americans are faced with the choice to have authentic food, they reject it. For instance, popular Chinese traditional dishes in China include “inner organs or extremities animals, such as ox’s tail, pig’s tongue, and duck’s feet” (Lu and Fine 541). These unique ingredients are the core principles of authentic Chinese dishes. Moreover, in the article “Umami (Xian-Wei) in Chinese Food,” authors Tokiko Nakayama and Haruko Kimura explain that one of the most important characteristics of Chinese food is that Chinese cuisine “uses all parts of the animal” (258). Not only do Chinese people believe these dishes are delicious, they also consider that animal organs and extremities contain a high value of nutrition based on a Taoist belief (Lu and Fine 541). Conversely, Americans think of “internal organs as dirty, of unpleasant texture, and unhealthy” (Lu and Fine 541). This example shows a significant contrast between Chinese and Americans’ view of using ethnic traditional ingredients, which clearly proves that cultural beliefs and habits limit American consumers from enjoying popular Eastern ingredients.
Some critics support the preservation of original authenticity by claiming that Americanized ethnic food undermines the characteristics of the ethnic tradition. For instance, in the article “8 Real Chinese Dishes You Should Order Instead of the American Knockoffs,” author Jennifer Polland points out that instead of eating unreal Chinese food such as lo mein, people should order zha jiang mian (par.9). In addition, she explains the difference between real Chinese dishes and Americanized food by stating that: “…lo mein noodles are thick wheat flour noodles that are stir-fried with vegetables or meat…zha jiang mian is a much more flavorful, authentic Chinese noodle dish topped with delicious stir-fried pork and zhajiang (fermented soybean paste)” (par.9). Moreover, Polland claims American Chinese food is not considered as Chinese food because “authentic Chinese food almost looks nothing like American Chinese food” (par.2). The author demonstrates her negative view of Americanized Chinese food and argues that Chinese food in the United States is not authentic. In fact this question is falsifiable; the real standard of determining authenticity indicates that modified American Chinese food still preserves the essential components in Chinese dishes. Rather than measure the authenticity of ethnic food based on the subtle modifications from its original cooking, the fundamental characteristics of food are the real factors that determine if the food maintains the ethnic tradition (Lu and Fine 538). The different culinary styles between lo mein and zha jiang mian are parallel to the alteration of the cooking process of chow mein, which traditionally is prepared by boiling noodles; in the United States, the dish is served as dry-fried noodles. Likewise, with Mongolian Beef, chefs change ingredients by using more sugar as the major spice and condiment. Both modifications to these traditional Chinese dishes are designed to favor
The converse attitude between Eastern and Western views in using unique ingredients in ethnic food also appears in the negative opinions American tourists who have experienced traditional Chinese food, highlighting how cultural difference creates conflict between American consumers’ demand for traditional authentic food and their inability to become accustomed to original authenticity. One American tourist from Bardhi, Ostberg, and Bengtsson’s research expresses his disappointment in experiencing local Chinese food, stating, “I’m not accustomed to eating squid or any of those kind of very strange, chicken feet soup any of that sort of stuff … chicken feet soup, duck tongues, very strange. I’m sure
American consumers who enjoy crisp, fried foods and sweet taste (Lu and Fine 541-542). Even though Chinese chefs adapt to the preference of American consumers by modifying the original culinary method, they do not undermine the Chinese ethnic traditions. In reality, Americanized Chinese food reaches the standard of authentic Chinese food, because it preserves the fundamental characteristics of Chinese food such as using rice and wheat as the staple foods (Nakayama and Kimura 258), preserving “…abundance, multiple ingredients,” “mixing of flavors,” and keeps “the meal structure of separation of the staple (rice or noodles) and dishes (meats and vegetables)” (Lu and Fine 543). In other words, Americanized Chinese dishes should not be rejected because they do not violate the standard of authenticity.
cause of the flexibility of ethnic food to create versions based on regional tastes and preferences. Culture is alive because it is able to evolve by absorbing new elements through over time. The growth of multicultural American society throughout history shows the capability of culture to expand and develop. Not only does the alteration in ethnic food create a bridge to connect American and ethnic culture, ethnic food from different cultures reconstructs American culture and vice versa. Ethnic restaurants should preserve American-style ethnic dishes in order to adapt to consumer preferences that will attract more customers, helping these restaurants succeed economically. More importantly, Americanized ethnic food flexibly resolves the conflict between consumers’ demand for original authentic food and their challenges in accepting authentic ingredients, while retaining the characteristics of ethnic tradition to provide a satisfying cultural experience.
Not only does Americanized Chinese food maintain the fundamental principles of Chinese tradition, but restaurant owners should not worry about preserving the original authenticity of the food because Chinese food modified based on local preferences is yet another new style among many diverse versions of Chinese food. The unique style of Americanized Chinese food does not contradict the authentic Chinese food because the truth is, even in China, people do not have the same preferences for food or style of cooking, as there are various styles of Chinese food based on different regions (Nakayama and Kimura 267). In the article “Opinion: Why AmericanChinese Food is Real Chinese Food,” author Clarissa Wei supports the authenticity of American-style Chinese food by highlighting the details of diverse Chinese cooking styles. The author states:
References Bardhi, Fleura, Jacob Ostberg, and Anders Bengtsson. “Negotiating Cultural Boundaries: Food, Travel and Consumer Identities.” Consumption Markets & Culture 13.2 (2010): 133-157. Web. 5 Feb. 2017. Elliot, Essman. “Ethnic Dining Trends in the United States.” Life in the USA, 2014. Web. 5 Feb. 2017. Liu, Yinghua, and Soocheong (Shawn) Jang. “Perceptions of Chinese Restaurants in the U.S.: What affects Customer Satisfaction and Behavioral Intentions?” International Journal of Hospitality Management 28.3 (2009): 338-348. Web. 5 Feb. 2017.
“Within China there are vast differences in cuisines, tastes and cooking styles. Sichuan chefs use a lot of spice; people in Western China prefer lamb over pork; northern Chinese go heavy on the dough; Shanghai cuisine uses plenty of sugar; you can barely get through a meal of any sort in Hong Kong without some seafood. AmericanChinese food just happens to be meaty, deep-fried and saucy” (sec.2).
Lu, Shun, and Gary Alan Fine. “The Presentation of ethnic Authenticity: Chinese Food as a Social Accomplishment.” The Sociological Quarterly 36.3 (1995): 535-553. Print. Nakayama, Tokiko, and Haruko Kimura. “Umami (XianWei) in Chinese Food.” Food Reviews International 14.2-3 (1998): 257-267. Web. 5 Feb. 2017.
The contrast of Chinese food preferences in different regions of China strongly demonstrates that Chinese dishes are capable of being presented in more than one style. Changes to Chinese food to adopt American consumers’ taste (via cooking process and ingredients) does not undermine its authenticity. Americanized Chinese food has developed a new style of Chinese food be-
Polland, Jennifer. “8 Real Chinese Dishes You Should Order Instead of the American Knockoffs.” Business Insider, 12 Aug. 2014. Web. 5 Feb. 2017.
Wei, Clarissa. “Opinion: Why American-Chinese Food is Real Chinese Food.” CNN, 14 Jan. 2016. Web. 5 Feb. 2017.
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Truth to Power / Fall 2017