Author Archives: uneducator

Why Property isn’t the Problem

I would agree that every human being has a right to their life and liberty. Property, I disagree with. I think that the problem is not that the government doesn’t respect life, liberty or property- its that people don’t. Human beings don’t respect each other. We dehumanize and objectify. The government is only an extension of these same human beings.

I would argue that there is no such thing as private property. Ultimately, we are all stewards of the things we have. We have borrowed them from the earth. Even our lives are extensions of others, and, I would argue, that the solution is not our autonomy, but our mutual respect and dependence. Interdependence.

I would argue that the solution isn’t as simple as abolishing the government- as long as people still believe that they need the government, they will rebuild it. We must first prove to people that they can be valued as equals vital to our own lives. We have to first recognize and reject the power constructs that our society places on us (racism, sexism, heterosexism ect).

The first step in creating a society that is equitable and just is not abolishing the government, it is learning to live without it. The government, while flawed, forceful and ultimately irrelevant to anyone who refuses to give it legitimacy,  acts as a power enforcing the morals that we can define for ourselves. Yes, I would agree that this is wrong, to have a government force that imposes moral beliefs.

However, in order to have a free society in which all people are respected, we must first respect all people. Capitalism is not the only problem here. The legal system is not the only monster. In order to have a society in which all people can voluntarily do anything, we must also deconstruct the oppressive systems by which we have been socialized.

It’s not enough to dismantle the government- we must first get rid of systems of oppression like racism, heterosexism, sexism, abilism, classism- in short- we must get people to see each other as equals in order for them to treat each other as equals without the force of the government.

But first we must recognize the inequity. It SHOULDN’T matter what color your skin is, your ability, age, expression or sexual history- but in our society, right now, it DOES.

We have to first change this- by recognizing what we share, how we differ, and by respecting each others stories and lives.

The first step towards an anarchist world isn’t getting rid of the government- its recognizing our interdependence without the government telling us to.

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Some Pictures of “Funk the War”

What a beautiful Experience. People making music together to promote solidarity and an end to our interventions overseas. 

-LH

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Are you a Manarchist?

ARE YOU A MANARCHIST QUESTIONNAIRE

General Questions:

I. Do you ascribe to either:

A) Passive-Aggressive Patriarchy: You often come across as: a victim/helpless/in need/dependent

and you get women in your life to: be your physical and emotional caretakers? buy you things? take care of your responsibilities?
pick up your slack? use guilt or manipulation to get out of your responsibilities and equal share of the work?

Do you treat your female partner like a “mom” or your secretary?

B) Aggressive Patriarchy: Do you often take charge? Assume that a
woman can’t do something right so you do it for her? Believe that only
you can take care of things? Think that you always have the right
answer?
Do you treat your female partner like she’s helpless, fragile, a baby or weak?
Do you put down your partner or minimize her feelings? Do you belittle
her opinions?

2. How do you react when women in your life name something or someone
as patriarchal or sexist? Do you think of her or call her a “PC Thug,”
“Feminazi,” “Thin-skinned,” “Overly-Sensitive, “COINTELPRO-esque”
or “Un-fun?”

3. Do you see talking about patriarchy as non-heroic, a waste of time,
trouble making, or divisive?

4. If a woman asks your opinion, do you assume she must not know
anything about the subject?

5. Do you believe that women have “natural characteristics” which are
Inherent in our sex such as “passive,” “sweet,” “caring,” “nurturing,”
“considerate,” “generous,” “weak,” or “emotional?”

6. Do you make fun of “typical” men or “frat boys” but not ever check
yourself to see if you behave in the same ways?

7. Do you take on sexism and patriarchy as a personal struggle working
to fight against it in yourself, in your relationships, in society,
work, culture, subcultures, and institutions?

8. Do you say anything when other men make sexist or patriarchal
comments?
Do you help your patriarchal and sexist friends to make change and help
educate them? Or do you continue friendships with patriarchal and
sexist men and act like there is no problem.

Activism Questions :

9. As a man, is being a feminist a priority to you? Do you see being
a feminist as revolutionary or radical?

10. Do you think that you define what is radical? Do you suffer from
or contribute to macho bravado” or ‘subpoena envy? (I.e. defining a
true or “cool” and respectable activist as someone who has: been arrested,
done lockdowns, scaled walls, hung banners, done time for their actions
argued or fought with police, done property alterations, beat up nazi
boneheads, etc.)?

11. Do you take something a woman said, reword it and claim it as your
own idea/opinion?

12. Are you taking on the “shit” or “grunt” work in your organizing?
(I.e.: Cooking. cleaning. set up, clean up phone calls, email lists,
taking notes, doing support work, sending mailings, providing
childcare?)
Are you aware of the fact that women often are taking on this work
with no regard or for their efforts?

13. Do you take active step to make your activist groups safe and
comfortable places for women?

14. If you are trying to get more women involved in your activist
projects, do you try to engage them by telling them what’ to do or why they
should join your group?

15. Do you ever find yourself monitoring and limiting your behavior and
speech in meetings and activist settings because you don’t want’ to
take up too much space or dominate the group? Are you aware of the fact that
women do this all the time?

16. Do you pay attention to group process and consensus building in
groups or do you tend to dominate and take charge (maybe without even
realizing it)?

Sexual/Romantic Relationships and Issues :

17. Do you make jokes or negative comments about the sex lives of women
or sex work?

18. Can you only show affection and be loving to your partner in front
of friends and family or only in private?

19. Do you discuss the responsibility for preventing contraception and
getting STD screening prior to sexual contact?

20. Do you repeatedly ask or plead with women for what you want in
sexual situations? Are you aware that unless this is a mutually consented upon
scenario/game that this is considered a form of coercion?

21. During sex, do you pay attention to your partner’s face and body
language to see if she is turned on? Engaged, or just lying there? Do
you ask a woman who she wants during sex? What turns her on?

22. Do you ask for consent?

23. Do you know if your partner has a sexual abuse, rape, or physical
abuse history?

24. Do you stay with your partner in a relationship for comfort and
security? Sex? Financial or emotional caretaking? If you’re not completely happy
or “in love” with your partner anymore? Even though you don’t think it
will ultimately work out? Because you’re afraid or unable to be alone?
Do you suddenly end relationships when a “new” or “better” woman comes
along?

25. Do you jump from relationship to relationship? Overlap them? Or do
you take space and time for yourself in between each relationship to
reflect on the relationship and your role in it? Do you know how to be
alone? How to be single?

26. Do you cheat on your partners?

27. If your girlfriend gets on your case for patriarchal behavior or
wants to try to work on the issues of patriarchy in your relationship,
do you creak up with her or cheat on her and find another woman who
will put up with your shit?

28. Do you agree to romantic commitment and responsibility and then
back out of these situations?

29. Do you understand menstruation?

30. Do you make fun of women or write them off as “PMS-ING?”

Friendship Questions :

31. Do you tend to set the standard and plans for fun or do you work
with the others in the group, including women to see what they want to
do?

32. Do you talk to your female friends about things you don’t talk to
your male friends about especially emotional issues?

33. Do you constantly fall in love with your female friends Are you
friends with women until you find out that they are not in love with you too
and then end the friendships? Are you only friends with women who are
in monogamous or committed relationships with other people?

34. Do you come on to your female friends even jokingly?

35. Do you only talk to your female friends (and not your male friends)
about your romantic relationships or problems in those relationships?

36. Do you find yourself only attracted to “Anarcho-Crusty Punk
Barbie”, Alterna-Grrrl Barbie,” or Hardcore-Grrrl Barbie?” (The idea here being
that the only women you arc attracted to fit mainstream beauty
standards but just dress and do their hair alternatively and maybe have piercings
and tattoos) Do you question and challenge your internalized ideals of
mainstream beauty ideals for women?

37. Have you ever heard of or discussed “sizeism” and do you think it
is low on the oppression scale?

38. Are you aware of the fact that ALL WOMEN, even women in radical
communities, live under the CONSTANT PRESSURE and OPPRESSION of mainstream
patriarchal beauty standards?

39. Are you aware of the fact that many women in radical communities
have had and are currently dealing with eating disorders?

40. Do you make fun of “model-types” or “mainstream” women for their
appearance?

Domestic/Household Questions :

41. When was the last time you walked into your house, noticed that
something was misplaced/dirty/etc. AND did something about it (didn’t just walk
by it, over it, away from it or leave a nasty note about it) even if
it wasn’t your chore or responsibility?

42. Are you constantly amazed by the magical “food fairy” who
mysteriously acquires food, brings it home, puts it away, prepares it in meal form
and then cleans up afterwards?

43. Do you contribute equally to domestic life and work?

44. How many of the following activities do you contribute to in your
home (this is a partal list of what it takes to run a household):
A: Sweep and mop floors and clean carpets
B: Wash and put away dishes
C: Clean stove, countertops, sinks and appliances if they are messy and
each time after you have prepared food
D: Collect money, do food shopping, put away food and make meals for
people you live with
E: Do house laundry (kitchen towels, bathroom hand towels, washable
rugs, etc.)
F: Clean up common room spaces, even if it’s not your chore
G: Pick up other’s slack
H: Deal with garbage, recycling, and compost
I: Take care of bills, rent, utilities
J: Deal with the landscaping and gardening
K: Clean bathrooms and make sure bathroom is clean after you use it
L: Feed, clean up after, and take care of housepets

Children & Childcare :

45. Do you spend time with kids? If you do, do you spend time with
children (yours or anyone’s) in a way that is gendered? (do certain things with
boys and other things with girls?

46. If you are a father, do you CO-parent your children? (Spend equal
time AND energy AND effort AND money to raise them)?

47. Do you make childcare a priority? (at both activist events and in
daily life)

48. Do you help make the lives of single mothers in your life and
community easier by finding out if and how you can assist?

49. Have you politicized your ideas about child rearing and parenthood
radical communities? Do you believe that individuals who are in the
movement have children or that the movement has children?

Multi-Category Questions:

50. When was the last time you showed a woman how to do a task rather
than doing it for her and assuming she couldn’t do it?

51. When was the last time you asked a woman to show you how to do a
task?

52. Do you get emotional needs met by other women, whether or not you
are in a romantic relationship with them? Or do you cultivate caring,
nurturing relationships with other men in which you can discuss your
feelings and get your needs met by them?

53. If a woman discusses with you or calls you out on your patriarchy,
do you make an effort to be emotionally present? Listen? Not
emotionally shut down? Not get defensive? Think about what she said? Admit you
fucked up? Take responsibility/make reparations for the mistakes you made?
Discuss your feelings and ideas with her? Apologize? Work harder on your own
shit to make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes again with her
or other women?

54. Do you look inside yourself to find out why you fucked up in these
relationships and work to both change your behavior and be a better
anti-patriarchy ally in the future?

55. Do you organize regular house meetings or activist meetings to
resolve conflict in the house/group?

56. Do you use intimidation, yelling, getting in someone’s physical space, threatsor violence to get your point across?
Do you create and atmosphere or violence around women or others to threaten them (i.e.: throw
things, break things, yell and scream, threaten, attack, tease or terrorize the
animals or pets of women in your life)?

57. Do you physically, psychologically, or emotionally abuse women?

58. Do the women in your life (mothers, sisters, partners, housemates,
friends, etc.) have to “remind” you or “nag” you or “yell” at you in
order for you to get off your ass and take care of your
responsibilities?

59. Do you talk to other men about patriarchy and your part in it?

60. When was the last time you thought about or talked about any of
these issues other than after reading this questionnaire?

Scoring: ALL MEN need to work on issues of patriarchy, sexism and
misogyny. However, this questionnaire may point out to you areas of particular
focus or concentration for your own anti-patriarchal/sexist/misogynist
process and development.

Copied from: http://www.anarcha.org/sallydarity/AreyouaManarchist.htm

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Alternative Healers/Redefining Medicine

  Many know the feeling of sitting in a doctors office waiting for what seems like hours to speak with a man or women in a white lab coat for only a few minutes. Most times these long waits result in receiving a piece of paper with a prescription on it or the name of a specialist who could help them instead. For many, the frustration that ensues seems to almost outweigh the knowledge of their diagnosis and the piece of paper with its scribbled answer.
        Below are the practices of five alternative medical practitioners who stray outside this stereotype and their advice to living a healthier lifestyle. In the Seacoast Area, including the campus of University of New Hampshire, there ranges a wide variety of these practitioners and their ideas on medicine and health that one may never here of from their usual doctor. These practitioners and their work are placed into the category of Alternative Medicine, which is broadly defined as anything that does not fall into the realm of conventional western medicine. For many that means spending hours with their patients to try to help them achieve optimum health.

The Acupuncturist 
    Beth Ann Shmit’s practice is located in the back of an old yellow house on Portsmouth Ave in Greenland. Her office smells of incense and flowers and three comfy chairs are set facing each other to the right of the reception desk. These chairs are where patients spend their first visit—up to two hours—going over past mental and physical health, diet, work and home life, and eventually the health problems or disharmonies they are experiencing. 
Acupuncture has been traced back to the year 1023 in China. Using this ancient philosophy, Beth inserts needles into different places in the body to help remove stagnation or blocked energy, which in acupuncture is known as the “Chi”. This blockage of energy, or chi, results in disease, stress, or pain in the body. She also uses a technique called cupping, which is done by placing cups on different parts of the body and using heat, pulling the skin up underneath. This process also results in a more free flowing movement of the Chi and relaxation. As patient’s problems start to resolve they don’t need to come back as much, yet many continue because they find it to be so worthwhile.    Beth explained that just taking better care of one self could prevent many medical issues in the future.  
    “Breathe! A lot of people don’t get good deep breaths. In our society we tend to overdue it, if we are tired we don’t rest, we drink coffee. The body is intelligent; learn to pay more attention to it,” said Shmit. 

The Shaman 
According to Ann Sousa, her goal and specialty is in, “bringing harmonic balance to all levels of ones being, utilizing the spirits of Fire, Water, Mineral, and Earth.” Her back-round in mental health work in undeniably solid—she has a degree in mental health and science, worked as a grieving counselor for 25 years, traveled with Peruvian shaman, is a Reiki and Shamballa (a Tibetan spiritual teaching) master, currently practices with Malidoma Some—a west African Shaman, and is a midwife.     
Ann spends up to three hours in the first meeting with a patient and will do long distance healing if necessary. People from all around the United States have contacted Ann, who works out of Dover, to ask for help with stress, anxiety, disease, sickness, and depression.  She uses Shamanic healing and “root cause analysis” (working on the cause of the problem, not the effects) to help bring people into a place of peace and continuous health. Using Divinations, she contacts her subject’s bloodline ancestors to heal pain and suffering that took place in past generations.
“People ask, well why do I want to go back into my blood line ancestry? Well, because what’s happening in this westerner way of living is that we carry out a lot of patterns and behaviors that we cant quite shed, its like gum on our shoes, we cant figure out why we cant quite shed them and it’s because they go back and back and back,” said Sousa.
Recently she met with the CEO of the Portsmouth Regional Hospital for Planning and Development to bring integrative health medicine into the hospital. In the past she has been the Shaman in the O.R. for a sigmoid colon removal and a partial mastectomy. 
    For Ann, everyday we can work on making ourselves healthy and whole.
    “Get yourself out in nature and around the flow of water. I have treated people with dehydrated brains; people that are constantly working their brains on overdrive and you need to slow that down. Embrace the process you are in now. That’s where the gold is. It’s the journey,” said Sousa.
    
The Hypnotist
In Dr. Phil Collin’s last year of school at Boston University he was able to do an independent study and by chance, he chose to do his on Hypnosis and it’s effects on helping people to quit smoking. From there, Dr. Collins has kept with his interest and currently offers hypnosis for people out of health services. 
    “Hypnosis is not sleep. I think of it as enhanced relaxation,” said Collins.
    While people are in the trance Dr. Collins speaks calmly and clearly to the patient about breaking the habit that controls their life. This can be quitting smoking, over eating, having panic attacks, or other various detrimental habits people have problems with. 
    Although Collins believes that hypnosis can work for people he stressed that it is just one way of trying. 
    “Whatever works, great. Everyone is different and hypnosis is just one part of the treatment,” said Collins.
     Yet, it many circumstances doctors don’t have enough time to spend with each individual patient to really go over what will work best for them. 
    “Alternative healers spend a lot of time with [their patients], It’s almost like seeing a therapist. With Western Medicine you’re lucky if you get 15 minutes,” said Collins. 
    When it comes to preemptive care, Collins explained the most basic step is practicing simple breathing techniques. 
“A lot of people allow anxiety to snowball, and it gets bad,” said Collins. “Were looking for ways to go, go, go and we need to just step back and slow down.”

The Wellness Counselor and Mediation Teacher
    Peter Welch’s office is located on the upper floor of health services in the health and wellness education center. Appointments are easily made and he will speak with a person as many times as necessary to relieve whatever problem they are facing.  When asked what exactly he does he explained, 
“I offer a loving spirit, someone who treats people with respect and who appreciates the inherent wisdom in each person.” 
On top of that, Peter teaches meditation which helps to quiet chatter, teaches compassion for oneself and others, helps a person to be present in the moment, and empowers ones self. Meditation revolves around quieting the mind through breathing techniques and this process has some really interesting physiological effects on the body. 
“It induces a relaxation response in the body that releases positive hormones called endorphins that make us feel happy and content,” said Welch. “Instead of a pill doing all that work for you, you’re having your brain do the work.” 
    Yet, Welch pointed out that not everyone has the opportunity to seek out alternative care. 
    “Pills are more accessible. Insurance will pay for a visit to a doctor to get medicine, but not for a massage. It becomes a financial decision,” said Welch. 
    For Welch, one step in taking better care of our health and ourselves is using less technology. “We have become slaves to it now and that overexposure is not good for us. It also cuts us from human interaction,” said Welch. “We need to be touched. We are touched deprived culture.” 

The Didgeridoo Sound Therapist

    Joseph Carringer life revolves around a long wooden hollowed out piece of wood—his Didgeridoo.  He calls himself a sound therapist and his work helps to resolve muscle aches, strain, and tension and also to help alleviate stress and anxiety. His patients range from those struggling with PTSD, to cancer, to adult acne.  
    The Didgeridoo’s vibrations work in the same way that a traditional ultrasound does by warming the muscles from the inside out. At the same time the vibrations help to stop stagnation of the same universal energy, or life force, that acupuncturists work with. Carringer also helps people to connect their mind and body through meditation. The vibrations of the Didgeridoo resonate with our natural Delta and Theta brain waves to calm and settle the mind. 
    Joseph does many sessions with patients out of his office in Portsmouth and spends time talking with each about the therapy and the problems they are facing. His actual vibration therapy can run up to an hour.   
    Like many of the other healers mention, Joseph also thought it was important for people to slow down, breath, and give sometime to your body and mind. He tries to instill that message in his patients. 
    “My job is to teach people that it’s ok to say no to the media, no to feeling like they have to work 24/7, no to going to the mall, and yes to doing something for themselves—that something being nothing,” said Carringer. “When you look at all the wonderful things western advancements have brought to people, the question still arises of what does the average person do for themselves?”

         According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) the number of adults in the U.S. that use Alternative Medicine is growing. From 2002 to 2007 the percentage grew from 36.0% to 38.3% with the highest amount in use by people of American Indian ethnicity at 50.3%. 
With such a high variety of different medical practices to choose from in the local area, it seems the number of participants will only continue to grow in the coming years.

-LH

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