A personal blog.
Meet the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police, serving the capital of Iceland. By the looks of their incredible Instagram account, a normal day includes holding kittens, eating candy and wearing false mustaches.
For the record the Icelandic police are probably the best police force in the world, There has only been one instance where an officer shot and killed a civilian in the entire history of the country (which is nearly a hundred years) and everyone was completely devastated by it, the police especially — because, as made clear in their statements after the incident, they understand their function is to protect the people. Not to mention that their general police go unarmed except for special squads.
Let’s run through some more facts while we’re on the subject: Compared to 31,000+ shooting deaths in the US in 2009, Iceland had… 4, because they have very rigorous screening processes for gun permits. There is very little economic disparity between upper, middle and lower classes, and social welfare programs take care of their people. Drug use affects less than 1% of the population between 15 and 65 years old, and 90% of drug-related court cases are settled with a fine rather than jail time. Violent crime is virtually non-existent. [x]
Iceland is like if you took the entire idea of chill and personified it as an country, and this exemplifies that.
Can I just move there and be friends with Sigur Rós and just chill?
Emma Watson Delivers Game-Changing Speech on Feminism for the U.N.
By: Joanna Robinson || Published: September 21, 2014
Earlier this summer, fresh from college graduation, Emma Watson, was named a U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador. Though the ripples of her involvement over the past six months can be seen online (crashing the U.N. website, using Twitter to denounce a sexist politician in Turkey or respond to the gender politics of the recent celebrity nude photo hack), Watson’s power in person is an entirely different matter.
The actress gave an impassioned speech on feminism and gender at the U.N. Headquarters in New York this weekend to launch the “HeForShe” campaign which aims to galvanize one billion men and boys as advocates for ending the inequalities that women and girls face globally.I decided that I was a feminist. This seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, [women’s expression is] seen as too strong, too aggressive, anti-men, unattractive.Why has the word become such an unpopular one? I think it is right I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decisions that affect my life. I think it is right that socially, I am afforded the same respect as men.
Watson is pushing back against recent campaigns like Women Against Feminism. As Watson puts it elsewhere in her speech, these campaigns portray the feminist cause as “man-hating.” By involving both genders in the “HeForShe” campaign, Watson hopes to abolish the “us vs. them” mentality.
Watson is potentially in an even better position than many of her peers to do so. Her role as Hermione Granger, the universally-adored heroine of the Harry Potter series, gives her an automatic in with male and female Millenials. This is a rare case where an actor being conflated with their role might be a good thing. In this way, her wide-spread influence on young minds (still forming their opinions on gender roles and advocacy) is even stronger than other high-profile defenders of the f-word like Beyoncé.
Watson’s Harry Potter association also carries with it a disadvantage –– the fear she might not be taken seriously. She addresses this concern in her speech:You might think: who is this Harry Potter girl? What is she doing at the UN? I’ve been asking myself at the same thing. All I know is that I care about this problem and I want to make this better. And having seen what I’ve seen and given the chance, I feel my responsibility to say something. Edmund Burke said all that is need for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing
That Harry Potter association will always follow Watson. Even U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon joked, “She’s been waving a magic wand. I hope you use your magic wand to end violence against women!” But with her serious approach to advocacy, it’s impossible to laugh off Watson’s message.
okay, story time: i’m a resident actor a children’s theatre company, and we just did peter pan. i was cast as peter because i’m the only one who looks young enough to play the part; but aside from looking young, i look nothing like peter pan. he’s this little white boy with reddish brown hair and i’m an arab/hispanic queer with black hair and freckles.
our company has a really devoted following, and these kids are reeeally young. after every show, we do autographs as the characters and have to keep up the act, because to a lot of these really young kids, we are who we pretend to be on stage. that terrified me. i’ve done autograph sessions in-character before, but never as such a well-loved character. who, again, is white. i was worried about what children might say.
over the course of the production, we must have performed for close to 500 kids, between the shows we did for families and the shows we did for school field trips.
and i distinctly remember one little white girl who came up to me with a DVD copy of disney’s peter pan, and she had this adorable tinkerbell dress on, and she just stared at me wide-eyed and after a while she said “i have all your movies!!”
first of all, if you don’t think that’s the cutest thing ever, please leave.
and when i asked her what she wanted me to sign, she handed me her DVD and said “by your face.” and she points right at this little white redheaded peter pan with pointy ears who is clearly not me, as if she can’t tell the difference… or she can, and she doesn’t care. similar things happened with different children, but it never lost its charm for me. on the contrary, it really warmed my heart.
by that same token there were many children of color who were affected by seeing a brown peter pan. a lot of them (usually older children) and/or their parents ask me how i got into acting, and if i had any advice for how to get into it. it meant a lot to me that there’s this whole generation of children of color who are going to pursue the arts, because even though i live in a very diverse area, our theatre landscape is still very whitewashed.
anyway, what i’m trying to say isn’t just that representation matters, which it does. what i’m also trying to say is that one less white face in the crowd isn’t going to hurt anyone. i feel like i’ve heard time and again that white people can only identify with white characters, and the whole point of my story is that that’s obviously not true. that kind of behavior, where people only empathize with characters who look like them, has to be taught. and that kind of behavior is racism.
bolding is mine, because that last bit really knocked it out of the park for me