Mutilation is not a word commonly associated with love. But given that the choice in many African communities is to be cut or choose a future where your child is ostracised, unlovable and ‘unmarriable’—the question must be about how love manifests for children, when it comes to ensuring their survival.
Depressingly, a portion of those ‘success stories’ who did not return to Facebook had simply replaced Facebook with other social media. Far from extracting themselves from an algorithmic life, they had only jumped out of the proverbial frying pan into the fire.
A few choose to queue, indicating their impatience by folded arms and tapping feet. Others return chastened to their tables littered with remnants from the first round, but their bodies stay tense, mouths quivering with injustice.
Sex shops themselves serve as a kind of a sex-toy curation service and could theoretically buy healthier selections for their clientele. That’s a responsibility few sex shops choose to shoulder in a capitalist system where sex sells.
But there is no victorious ‘democratic’ ending to this story. In Syria the civil uprising has gradually been transformed into a full scale civil war. Sayid and his colleagues have all lost loved ones to this war and their political is personal. Sayid’s own crime–and why he is here–was to film government violence and put it up on YouTube, after which he was put on the list of wanted terrorists.
What we find funny is indicative of our beliefs, attitudes, judgements and opinions. It is a useful barometer. When we mock those who by birth or circumstance are less fortunate, we become persecutors and make others our victims. We have no less duty of care for verbal abuse even through humour, than we do for physical abuse.
Britain has never taken responsibility for the bloodshed and exploitation which built the empire. This is evidenced by Theresa May’s hardline on Brexit. We want to take without giving anything in return. We make no apologies for our xenophobic attitudes; our comedy ridicules ‘those bloody foreigners’, our narrow-minded and disrespectful behaviour often shames us in the countries we visit.
Thus a racist, classist and hierarchical society which favours the few over the masses cannot be truly democratic because power is unequally distributed among and through many channels. And where there is a power differential, this compromises the ability of the marginalized groups to consent.
For me one of the real differences between narcissism and privilege is not therefore in the actions of the individual, but in the extent of their internal distortion of reality.
Facebook is not a news feed. It is an opinion feed where subjective ignorance is lauded and verified journalism denigrated simply by creating a false equivalence. It is a he said-she said feed. And I cannot stay in a relationship with anyone or anything which undermines my ability to trust in myself. I am thrown back into gaslit trauma where there is no security, no clarity. It is the screeching of chaos and now I must make my own order.
In-groups are formed by what we consider to be ‘relevant’ familiarity. Children, and even adults, process most of our information visually which means that varying skin tones might be not only the first but also the only indicators for who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’.
One reason why this immigration was considered successful had nothing to do with Sweden’s ability to integrate immigrants; only that the type of immigrants arriving were more easily ‘integrate-able’ as is still the case today for me. At first sight therefore, when immigrants are able to fit into Swedish culture at a level which allows them to peaceably live and work within the system, we do not see backlashes against immigration.