The Pro-Choice Fight in Brazil

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This is an edited and cut down version of this piece. It is part of my Beyond the Sex and Sunshine series, where I write about Brazilian women and try to change the sexualized narrative around them. To read the full text please click here and support my work.

Jandira Magdalena dos Santos Cruz, 27, was last seen alive on her way to an illegal abortion clinic in Campo Grande, Rio de Janeiro. Weeks later, her body was found carbonized in a burnt car, without limbs or a dental arch. A divorced mother of two daughters, Jandira resorted to abortion when her boyfriend refused to take responsibility for the pregnancy.

Abortion is illegal in Brazil except in cases of rape or if the mother’s life is in danger. This illegality what led Jandira to pay USD$1,200 for a procedure in an illegal clinic. Her case is not a rare one: according to the World Health Organization (WHO) one woman dies every two days because of unsafe abortions in Brazil. Brazilian public health care estimates indicate that 1.5 million women get abortions yearly while the Ministry of Health’s calculations reveal that 3.7 million Brazilian women between the ages of 15 and 49 have had at least one abortion in their lifetime. In Latin America, 95% of abortions are considered unsafe by WHO.

In Brazil, having an abortion is punishable by law and could result in one to four years in prison. In 2005, a proposed bill of law threatened to take away the already existing provisions for abortions and to make abortion a heinous crime. The law would also forbid stem cell research.

In an election year, the subject of abortion is curiously absent from electoral campaigns and debates. Despite Jandira’s death and that of thousands of women which has caught the attention of mainstream media, advocating for the legalization of abortion is considered political suicide in a country where 79% of people are against any change in legislation.

“Abortion is a taboo, religion and the media display dead babies of eight or nine months and say this is abortion, which causes discomfort in any person,” says activist Isabella Medeiros, organizer of a pro-choice march in Rio de Janeiro on September 28. “This image of taboo that the media shows the population is very fictitious; the rate of women who get abortions is immense. In truth, it is a great manipulation because of religion, more so than politics, where conservative values are predominant.”

Mariana* says this predominant attitude in society makes it harder for women who have abortions to speak out or even heal mentally from the procedure. She got an abortion after paying R$12,000 ($5,000) to a doctor who instructed her to go to a high-class hospital and pretend she was having a miscarriage so she could be operated safely.

“He told me to come to a hospital – a good hospital in Rio – and pretend I was having a miscarriage. I would have to arrive in the early hours of the day. I was lucky – we paid a lot of money. My father got a loan from the bank, my mother didn’t go on a planned trip. I was lucky to have a family that was looking out for me, that supported me. They understood it wasn’t the time for me to have a kid.”

While Mariana was fortunate to have the procedure done in a proper hospital, this is not the reality of most Brazilian women.

“Jandira’s case is an example of what we call unsafe abortion,” explains Dr Ligia Bahia in an interview to newspaper O Globo. “It’s an abortion performed outside of a medical unit with proper credentials. In Brazil, because abortion is illegal, interventions in illegal clinics are more common. Women put themselves in a situation of extreme risk when they seek this kind of operation. Ideally, society would debate this theme without an ideology, focusing only on the grave issue of public health.”

Since the legalization of abortion in Uruguay, the number of abortions has decreased and there have been no deaths as a result of the procedures. Despite this positive result, political leaders in Brazil seldom mention a direct change in legislation, with presidential candidate Marina Silva only going as far as proposing a referendum on the issue. According to Uruguay’s Public Health sub-secretary Leonel Briozzo, “that’s not the best way to solve the problem.”

“For the life of women,” they chanted

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On September 28, Latin American and Caribbean Day for the Legalization of Abortion, women took to the streets in several cities across Latin America to protest for their bodily autonomy. In Brazil in particular, organizers of the movement hoped to bring attention to the issue in times of election.

At the end of Copacabana beach, a small group of feminist activists painted pro-choice signs for the march later in the day. They were of all colors and backgrounds, but all of them recognize that the criminalization of abortion is a bigger danger to low-income women of color. One of the signs read: “The rich women pay, the poor women die.”

Besides remembering the death of thousands of women across Latin America who died from unsafe abortion, the march in Copacabana had as an objective to start a political conversation about the legalization and decriminalization of the procedure.

Protester Desirée Carvalho, 23, said: “We think this is something to be debated since we are in an election year and this is a subject that isn’t debated, even though we have more than one woman running for president so our objective is this, to talk about the need of the legalization of abortion by the public health system.”

The march was peaceful, but also met with a bit of hostility. Many people shook their heads in disapproval when the protesters chanted pro-choice songs to call attention to the march. A few others observers pumped their fists and joined in, but the march was mostly met with silence.

In a Lugar de Mulher (A Woman’s Place) blog post that went viral last month, Brazilian feminist writer Clara Averbuck summarizes an approach to the legalization of abortion that might work for Brazil.

She wrote: “Your personal opinion about abortion doesn’t matter. Women will continue to have abortions and to risk their lives while it’s not a legal and safe procedure (…) You hate the idea of abortion? OK, so don’t have one. Your opinion won’t change that women have abortions (…) All kinds of women have abortions and there is not one personal opinion that will change that.”

*Not her real name.

This is an edited and cut down version of this piece. To read the full text please click here and support my work in changing the narrative around Brazilian women.

Let them cry

david luiz

I am sick of football right now and not because Brazil lost 7×1. I am sick of its exclusionary attitude towards minorities and the aspects that reinforce the heteropatriachy standards of society. I am sick of seeing the international media making fun of players crying, of homophobic slurs being thrown around because supporters can’t come up with anything better, of women being shown on TV purely because of their looks.

A couple of years ago I wrote about how the concept of masculinity represses the emotions of men for the sake of enforcing power over women. Men are supposed to be the strongest, the bread-winners, better and more capable than women. They’re supposed to hold it together in situations where, if a woman breaks down, it is acceptable. This hurts men.

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It’s not ‘embarrassing’ to cry. If you think that, you have warped ideas of humanity and compassion. Crying is human, especially when losing at home with a score of 7×1 in an incredibly controversial tournament in a country full of poverty. In a country where thousands of people were removed for the sake of football stadiums that will barely be used in the future.

It is incredible pressure to win a World Cup at home and the emotional states of the Brazilians were understandable. It makes me rage when things like this become banter because it makes football exclusionary.

It is why the stigma of ‘softness’ often descends into homophobia and sexism. In these aspects football is perhaps the most delayed sport in the world. In the US a few gay men have recently come out of the closet – Michael Sam and Derrick Gordon for example. This is progress, despite the onslaught of harassment they got after their courageous actions.

In football there aren’t any openly gay men.

Why is that? Because any kind of softness and femininity is considered ‘embarrassing’ or ‘gay’. And guess what? The slurs you shout in the stadium make LGBT persons uncomfortable, excluding them from the matches for fear of violence or anger to hear words like ‘f*g’ be thrown around like it’s the worst thing ever.

This is also closely linked to why women often feel excluded from football. They are women so they have to prove they know what the offside rule is or know more football trivia than men to prove they are ‘real fans’.

It doesn’t help that Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, thinks the key to making female sport more appealing is women showing more skin.

“They could, for example, have tighter shorts,” he said. “Female players are pretty, if you excuse me for saying so, and they already have some different rules to men – such as playing with a lighter ball. That decision was taken to create a more female aesthetic, so why not do it in fashion?”

Carrie Dunn, football fan, academic and author of the book Female Football Fans, thinks this is the kind of thing that makes football an unwelcome environment for women.

She told Jezebel: “Basically because men’s football is so very male-dominated in the stands (and in its administration (…) and its media (…) but that’s another story) female  fans tend to be very wary of doing anything that makes them stand out as “female” or “feminine”. So that means they’ll wear trousers to games, not skirts; flat shoes, not heels; they won’t wear too much make-up; they don’t want to be accused of what you’re saying – that they’re there to look at the boys, not to watch the football. It’s almost as if this gendered/sexualised element of watching football would detract from how much you enjoy the sport.”

Football is incredibly exclusionary, sexist, homophobic and racist. You can prize the players on the pitch for having sportsmanship but the problems go way beyond the pitch. I am incredibly tired of seeing these ‘isms’ so intricately woven into football. It ruins the game for anyone who is not a white, cisgender, straight dude – but sure keep enforcing the heteropatriarchy because that’s what makes you comfortable.

“I wanted to give happiness to my people, who suffer for so many things so I ask for forgiveness.” – David Luiz

PS: Not all football fans.
PS2: Click here to support my project to change the face of Brazilian women around the world.

Beyond Sex and Sunshine

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It’s not news that Brazilian women are used to sell plane tickets, hotel stays, tours, and whatever else there is to do in Brazil. In the last year covering Brazil, I’ve come to realize that the mainstream press is reluctant to cover anything other than Brazilian women’s sexuality – which enforces stereotypes and dehumanizes women in a way that puts them in danger.

So far I have reported on the fact that here in Brazil there are more rapes than murders, that 80% of Brazilian women have been sexually harassed in the street, how one woman dies every hour and a half in this country, how the former Human Rights Committee president was sexist and how sexual exploitation of minors is considered normal in Brazil.

While Brazilian women are depicted as hypersexual, they live in an extremely sexist and conservative society. It’s not really surprising since most women around the world live in that kind of environment, but I believe this fallacy is especially harmful in Brazil. While we, women, are viewed as sexual objects, beckoning Brazilian and foreign men alike to a ‘sexual paradise, we are also human and we support the country in so many more important ways.

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For example, did you know 25% of Brazilian households are financially supported by women? Yet, men receive, on average, salaries that are 42% higher than women’s? Did you even imagine that native indian women and black women have the hardest time getting health care in Brazil? Or that in eleven years, rape rates have risen by 88% in Rio de Janeiro – a supposedly sexually free city?

These statistics are terrifying to me. I know women here in Brazil from all walks of life, and they are so much more than sexual objects. I want to tell their stories and explore how their particular lives are affected by their nationality and its stereotypes.

This is why I have launched the project Beyond Sex and Sunshine at Beacon Reader. Although I have pitched similar projects / reports to mainstream publications they have been widely rejected – there is really no interest in selling such a humanizing project, I guess.

The cool thing about Beacon Reader is that you can back my work financially, so you will be helping me directly in making this project happen. I know a lot of people don’t have money to contribute, but I also believe writers should be paid for their work.

Here are the subjects I am planning to cover:

  • The life and stories of Brazilian women in the favelas
  • Afro Brazilian culture
  • Racism and gender
  • Transgender women and their struggles
  • Queer women and their struggles
  • Brazilian carnival, sexual harassment and the non-sexual aspects of carnival
  • Brazilian women and football
  • Native indian women’s lives in a colonized Brazil
  • Rape, rape culture and the failings of the Brazilian system
  • Women, politics and religion
  • Sex workers
  • Sexual exploitation of girls and its normalization
  • Women entrepreneurs

As I move forward with the project I am sure new subjects will come up. I also ask that if there is anything you think I should be covering you please get in touch with me through email at nicolefroio@gmail.com. I am so, so excited about it and I really hope I get the funding I need to get this project off the ground. It would be really amazing if you could fund me but I know that’s not always possible. For those who cannot fund me I will sporadically release shorter, edited versions of my work.

Things to note:
1) Any NGOs/communities I mention in my reporting will receive a donation from the funding raised on Beacon;
2) I will try my best to let these stories speak for themselves, distancing myself from privilege and biases. I want to be responsible.

If you can’t fund me, I only ask that you spread the project’s link around. Tweet and share, please please please. Thank you!

 

Politics and Sports: Why the 2014 World Cup can make or break Brazil

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Brazil: Love it or Leave it

Humanity’s competitive nature has always been an advantage to political leaders. The Roman gladiators were not only an example of human cruelty and violence, but also an instrument of political control. Centuries later, this method hasn’t changed and as the biggest sporting event in the world approaches, the Brazilian people are subject to the too well known intersection of sports and politics.

This intersection is well known in Brazil, albeit forgotten since the military dictatorship ended in 1985 because of the establishment of democracy. But while a democracy implies freedom and a people chosen government, political manipulation is present in all kinds of political systems. The clever political PR that can be drawn from the World Cup comes at the optimum time for Brazilian politicians: 2014 is presidential election year.

In 1970 Brazil was prosperous but violent. While the economy was growing by 10% every year, the military dictatorship leaders unceremoniously silenced the press, tortured, murdered and exiled members of the opposition. President Emílio Garrastazu Médici was one of the cruellest politicians in Brazil – hundreds of people were killed during his term.

Go, Brazil!
Go, Brazil!

The middle class was growing, but Brazilians lacked basic human rights such as freedom of speech and press freedom. The people were becoming richer, but many didn’t like this lack of rights. Médici created an image of a populist, soccer crazed president who resonated with Brazilians. He claimed to be ‘a man of the people’ and often said he was passionate about football.

This might not seem like an efficient tactic of political control to outsiders, but in a country that has been used and abused by European colonizers and then further explored by the USA, the people often need some help with their self-esteem. Back then, Brazilian football was still golden: we were the best in the world and that’s really all we had. Médici’s image combined with a growing middle class placated the naysayers.

Brazil’s 1970 World Cup win provided Médici with the best kind of political propaganda. Nationalism was the norm, and slogans like ‘Brazil, love it or leave it’ and ‘Nobody can hold this country down’ increased the people’s self-esteem and distracted them from the dictatorial reality. Brazil became the first country to win the World Cup three times.

President Médici holding up a Brazilian flag
President Médici holding up a Brazilian flag

Maybe this is why Brazilians rely so heavily on winning the cup. When we lost in 2010 the value of our country went down in the streets. After watching the match in Copacabana’s FIFA Fan Fest, walking home was incredibly sad, people were throwing Brazilian flags on the ground and street sellers were letting their Brazil-themed products go for much less than a dollar.

The current climate in Brazil is mixed. I’ve met people who are excited for the soccer matches and people who have nowhere to live and complain about the government’s negligence towards the poor. Some people are in the street yelling ‘There won’t be a World Cup’ and burning FIFA’s official sticker albums, while others quite happily buy the stickers until they complete it.

In 1970 the intersection of politics and sport was very significant, but in 2014 it might be even more so. Social media and a globalized coverage of the World Cup and the issues surrounding it have given unhappy Brazilians an opportunity to be heard by the rest of the world. The huge difference is that in 2014 the championship is interfering directly with internal policies on housing, health and education. It is emphasizing the negligence the Brazilian people suffer. The clever plan to control the people in this way might have backfired.

Yet the danger of it working out for the current government is still present. If Brazil wins, public approval will sway towards the party that is currently in power, despite its negligence. In history, we can refer back to instances where this type of political propaganda has worked: the 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany was used to ‘prove’ the superiority of the Arian race and it succeeded. It played a significant part in the holocaust.

Of course, this intersection can be used for good. In the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised a black gloved fist in a Black Panther salute, a gesture in opposition of white supremacy and for civil rights. And just last year during the Winter Olympics in Russia LGBT rights activists and supporters made a point of boycotting and speaking out against Putin’s anti-gay policies – and journalists made sure the Russian Olympic Committee got laughed at around the world by tweeting photos of their unfinished rooms and disgusting running water.

The real consequences of the 2014 World Cup will only be seen by the end of the year. It’s innocuous to think the result of the championship will have no political bearing in the choosing of future leaders. But I sincerely hope that the global focus in Brazil will be used for good and that the big political dogs will not win. Maybe a win for Brazil will mean Brazilians recognize they deserve better.

On happiness after depression

[Trigger Warning: mental illness, suicide]

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If you read my blog regularly you will know I have struggled with depression and anxiety for about two years now.  This blog only has a few really personal posts and this is one of them. I don’t like posting personal blogs because I am supposed to be a ‘serious journalist’ who works on reports and opinion articles and ‘grown up’ things. But I guess I can be that and a blogger with feelings.

In the last eight months of my life I have seen a steady improvement in my mental health. I always hesitate when saying ‘now I am happy’ though because it implies I wasn’t happy for most of these two years which just isn’t true. It is hard to talk about happiness after depression because the default antonym of ‘happiness’ is ‘sadness’ and that’s not exactly what depression is.

Depression is pain and walking through a hazy life. It’s trying to see through a fog that seems impossible to dissolve.  What I’ve come to learn is that in the hardest parts of life, happiness is certain moments where you feel better. Looking back to the last two years I can remember many lovely moments that I would define as ‘happy’. I treasure them dearly because they contrasted so vividly with my daily numbness.

But in the last eight months the numbness has been fading, and I’ve been happy (or at least not numb) most of the time. I am looking forward to the next few months, as good things are coming up in my professional and personal lives. But it’s not just that the future looks bright.

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Although I give credit and thanks to all my family, friends and boyfriend who were my incredible support system during this illness, I am proud of myself.

I picked myself up from the ground when all I really wanted to do was dig deeper and bury myself alive.

Dusting off the dirt after you get up can be hard in itself: I had to learn how to walk again. Professionally, I had to start from nothing and build myself up as a freelance journalist because of the lack of jobs in my city. Personally, I had to relearn how to be a whole person because my personality and psyche were broken into little pieces. I stumbled through and I cried a lot. Sometimes I walked straight, others I just sat down and waited to feel better.

This week I lowered the dosage of my antidepressants. In two months I will lower it again, as it’s a slow process to go off really powerful medication like the one I am taking.

I feel happy. I feel fulfilled. I feel proud.

And after a year and a half of not feeling, of crying, of feeling intense pain in my chest I value a smile, a laugh so much more than I used to. Happiness is often taken for granted – when we are sad, we are conscious of it while happiness seems to be just a given.

Happiness after depression feels stronger because I no longer take it for granted. I am submersed in it and I often remind myself of harder times.

I hate saying ‘it gets better’ because to many people it doesn’t. Many people suffer depression for years and even decades, I don’t want to be dismissive of that. I’ve been really lucky in my recovery and although I know that’s not the case for a lot of people I hope this blog gives you a bit of hope. Even if your depression doesn’t get better, maybe you can notice the little moments of happiness I used to feel and grab onto them.

Who wore it better?

Who wore it better?

 

MEET THE ELITE COPS CHARGED WITH CLEANING UP RIO’S FAVELAS

A group of men dressed head to toe in black scoff down their daily serving of rice and beans, talking over one another like they’re at a family gathering. Rio de Janeiro’s Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) spend every lunch like this, the hour or so providing a brief respite from the dangers of their job.

The Caveiras (or Skulls in Portuguese, a nickname based on the battalion’s sinister logo) are the elite police force called into Rio’s favelas when conflicts become too heavy for the regular cops to handle. “We’re the last resort,” one of the commanders says.

Continue reading on Vice UK.

On foreigner’s privilege during the World Cup

Last week Danish journalist Mikkel Keldorf Jensen left Brazil after deciding he could not participate in the coverage of the World Cup because he felt complicit to how the Brazilian people are being ignored by the authorities. He could not, in good conscience, perpetuate what is happening in Brazil.

This attitude is interesting because, while his intentions were good, his position reeks of privilege. Mikkel is a freelance journalist who spent five months in Brazil, reporting and selling stories internationally. He doesn’t have anyone to pay for his travels as he was not tied to any particular publication.

Brazilians suffer with poverty, lack of education, racism, sexism, exploration and a thousand other issues every single day and the needy are daily ignored by authorities. Seeing this suffering is hard and sometimes even maddening. Mikkel has a pretty huge privilege over low income Brazilian families though: he had the means to come, see and leave. Maybe he feels that by leaving he is not helping FIFA – but the truth is that his ability to flee is the biggest show of privilege of all.

During the World Cup, tourists will come to Brazil and will do the exact same thing: they will come, see, shake their heads in disapproval and leave. Brazilians will be left behind with the same lives they have always had and the same corruption that has stalled social mobility for generations.

I write this not to make tourists feel unwelcome, but to point out the incredible privilege they have in coming to Brazil and not having to stay if they don’t want to.

As a privileged woman in Brazil, I know how fortunate I am when having the ability to leave. In reporting human rights violations in Rio de Janeiro I have been able to walk away from misery and poverty after I finished writing. That’s privilege. And that’s something I have to recognize to properly understand the world around me.

So what does it mean to be extremely privileged in a third world country? It means you can leave when things get ugly.

It might be that the Brazilian government thought tourists would bring more prosperity, and perhaps that’s true. But since the World Cup and Olympics were announced, the cost of living in Brazil has soared – without any increase in the minimum wage. Unemployment in Rio de Janeiro has declined, but with the rise of living costs people’s social status remain the same – and it’s a given that once the event is done with, there will be a rise in unemployment.

Thousands of people have been removed from their homes in the last four years to get the country ready for tourists and for football. Poverty is rampant, violence is commonplace. And Brazilians are forced to live with it.

And of course, as foreigners, there’s virtually nothing you can do about it – it’s not your job to do anything, but it is your job to leave with a better understanding of what Brazilians go through and the toll that the World Cup has taken on them. As writer Eliezer Yudkowsk has put it; ‘You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in.’

It’s important not to live within the illusion that we are all equal. The human race is very distant from equality, and denying it by claiming to be ‘colour blind’ or any such excuse is counterproductive. It is better to think that we all should  be equal. Whether we like it or not some of us benefit more from the status quo than others and that’s not about to change in a second.

Why ‘exposing’ food banks is not okay

I know how being a journalist works. You have to dig around and find stories, otherwise you’re simply no good. There’s a lot of pressure for you to find something worthwhile, something people will actually care about enough to click on a link. If you can’t find stories, chances are you will be fired. That’s the job, take it or leave it.

I’m a freelance journalist and I know what it’s like to sit in front of your computer and realize you’ve got nothing to write about. It sucks because if you don’t write, you don’t earn. If you don’t find stories, you don’t get paid. I understand this kind of desperation.
But as difficult as being a journalist is, there is no excuse for a journalist to pose as a low-income father and use it to generalize the poor in the UK. This is exactly what Mail on Sunday reporter Ross Slater did. He pretended to be a person in need of food to feed his family and got some food from a food bank.

Despite the incredible work food banks do every year (which has been increasing because of the Tory government’s cuts in benefits), the MoS used this fraudulent ‘investigation’ to write a sensationalized report about how easy it is to fool the food banks. There are countless reasons why this is completely unethical and I am being nice enough, Ross Slater, to list them below.

The ‘investigation’

This report is essentially a non-story. Man pretends to be in need for food, food bank questions him about his unemployment, food bank gives him £40 worth of food to feed his family. So food banks are basically doing their job – what Slater is ‘proving’ is that there is a minority of people who might take advantage of this system. Which we already know.

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In an attempt to destroy Trussell Trust’s reputation, presumably because of the MoS’s historical opposition and sensationalization of benefits or any aid to poor people, all that Slater managed to do is prove food banks are essentially doing their jobs. You’re the scum here, mate.

The language

The language in this report is absolutely appalling. It is a far cry from impartial – subtly, every line implies that food banks are lying when they say people genuinely need emergency food. Hey, Simon Murphy and Sanchez Manning, I am looking at you.

“The charity, which runs more than 400 of Britain’s 1,000 food banks, acknowledged that a third of the food was given to repeat visitors, but insisted the rise was based on genuine need for emergency food.”

They insisted because they want to convince us of something that’s not true. I get is, MoS! Thank you for revealing what awful gargoyles food banks are! Let’s make this 100% clear: there is no way the MoS can know the reasons for the repeat visitors to come back to food banks with more pleas. Although they seem completely okay with implying they’re all fraudulent criminals, just like their own reporter Ross Slater.

The headline is perhaps the most telling bit of all:

“No ID, no checks… and vouchers for sob stories: The truth behind those shock food bank claims”

MoS is directly preying on the poor who need food by calling their situation ‘sob stories’ and generalizing people who are in need as criminals who fraud their way through the system. Vilifying a system that helps needy people is disgusting and immoral, especially in the way this was done. Low income people, unemployed people, people on the dole – they do not need any more stigma and prejudice.

“HOW MOS REPORTER GOT 3 DAYS OF GROCERIES… NO QUESTIONS ASKED

(…) The woman, called Katherine, who was in her 60s, asked our reporter a series of questions about why the food bank vouchers were needed.”

Nothing beats a controversial sub headline, I guess. Honestly, no comment.

Also, why does it matter that Katherine was in her 60s? Are they implying she’s gullible because of her age? Oh.

And then, of course, Ross Slater told his ‘sob story’.

“He explained he had been unemployed for a few months and had been caught out by higher than expected winter fuel bills and was strapped for cash and food. He added that his wife had left her job and was not earning and that they had two children to care for. After asking for details of how much Jobseekers’ Allowance was received, the assessor’s questions turned to the dietary requirements of the reporter and his family.”

Posing as a needy person to get free food is disgusting in itself – doing so to get a story out of it is a disgrace. Although many Slater defenders might say he is just doing his job and that he later returned the food, he still took advantage of his privilege to stereotype and stigmatise those who need food, simultaneously trying to destroy the Trussell Trust’s reputation… to push the MoS’s political agenda against the poor. In telling these lies, Slater was minimizing the needs of hungry people who cannot afford to feed their own families. I don’t really see how committing this crime in the name of ‘journalism’ is any better than the crime Slater claims to be ‘investigating’.

What the MoS and Slater seem to ‘forget’ is that there are people who are unemployed and can’t afford heating. There are people who have ‘sob stories’, as patronizing as that is, and they are straight up living them, with difficulty. Slater is fortunate enough to have a job, be white (can’t wait for people to cry racism on this one – having white privilege is a fact. Educate yourself) and write for a newspaper with incredible reach.

But obviously, it seems Slater and his counterparts (who actually wrote the article) are incapable of using privilege for good.

The image

Here is a photo of Slater posing as a needy person. The imagery is impossibly offensive: he’s sitting on the ground, looking miserable, with hand out spread on the floor around him.

MoS
If the language and ‘investigation’ failed to enforce low income people stereotypes, this photo certainly does it. Posing as a needy person obviously means sitting on the ground with your food, with an unshaved face and an unhappy look. Needy people do not need this kind of image representing them.

So congratulations to the Mail on Sunday, Simon Murphy, Sanchez Manning and Ross Slater for preying on the poor. That’s what the world really needs right now, to discredit those who can barely survive.

ETA: The MoS report on Trussell Trust has resulted in a surge of donations to food banks

‘How I Met Your Mother’ and the Hollywood Love Fantasy

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It’s safe to say most How I Met Your Mother viewers were disappointed by the final episode. For me, this show had been going downhill for a long, long time and the convoluted writing of the last episode just confirmed that the writers lost control of the plot several seasons ago. Although I am pretty irritated that Ted and Robin ended up together, the fact is that this show had been failing in my eyes because of its ridiculous portrayals of relationships that weren’t Lily and Marshall’s.

While Lilypad and Marshmallow were a model couple, Ted was a complete mess in regards to dating. That’s completely fine – and a hundred percent realistic. It’s hard to get a grip on dating and choosing a partner while building a career and figuring out who you are. The problem with Ted though – and the women he dated – is that he very much perpetuates the idea of the knight in shining armour and the damsel in distress. Ted also suffers from Nice GuyTM Syndrome, often complaining that he will never find the one because no one is good enough to fit his mail order wife box.

Read more on BlogHer.

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Laboratório Integrado em Diversidade Sexual e de Gênero, Políticas e Direitos - Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro

Transfeminismo

Feminismo Intersecional

{FAVEL issues}

urban informality + urban development

days like crazy paving

the life, times and ramblings of jaythenerdkid. probably not safe for children.

Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

The Travelling Chopsticks

A story of love, life and most importantly food!

TIME

Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews

she thinks. she says. she writes.

The daily adventures of a Texan girl married to a Japanese salaryman

Road to Brazil 2014

World Cup News, Opinion and Guide

Movimento Passe Livre - Rio de Janeiro

Por uma vida sem catracas!

Laurie Leaf

Pop Culture, Politics and Procrastination

hoodfeminism

Life at the Intersection.

The Taboo Tab

Express yourself before you wreck yourself.

Benefit tales

stories from the frontline of benefit changes in the UK in 2013.

Lidis UERJ

Laboratório Integrado em Diversidade Sexual e de Gênero, Políticas e Direitos - Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro

Transfeminismo

Feminismo Intersecional

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