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The Nature of Being

rethinking the facts of life

Month

May 2016

Societal Wrap Up

Society, according to the definition from Google, is the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. What I find interesting about this definition is the fact that they used the term “more or less”. Essentially this term allows leaving room for failure as well as the trial and error that is needed in order to figure out what works and what does not. Unfortunately I feel as if what works and what does and what does not was based predominantly on a male point of view. From tv advertisements for food, clothing, perfumes and the like, woman have been brushed under the rug and deemed as creatures only made to fit societies form only to please the male. And even though it has probably been known by woman of older generations , it seems as if it has only begun to be more forcefully rebelled against. This is simply one of the many ways that society has shaped and formed our minds.

It as if we have been so manipulated by what is crammed into our head from the point of elementary school to the beginning of university that it is at times we are somehow unsure of how a situation would be a problem. For example, I was online the other day and saw someone post about how in American schooling during how we learn, a few pages about Mexicans in America, 3 or so weeks learning about African Americans and Slavery, and 9 months on white colonization. Now I had not even thought about how messed up this system is. This is the same education we pay 50,000 dollars for and we only get at times, what we pay for and what our school districts allow for us to learn. Systematic Selective learning at its best.

My article about LGBT in Media being killed off was an eye opener to me. I was aware of the problem but did not think of an act to rebel against it in order to initiate change. Or how women have the biological urge and how “one day it will hit them and they will want to have kids because that’s what women do. What society has conformed us to think and how behave. The worst being we are programmed to learned and do what we are told and to not ask questions less it reap penalty from authorities.

Now this generation has been blooming and really fighting back against what we feel is right and wrong and speaking up for ourselves but how much are we really going against the grain? We seek change and others are acknowledging this, however it is like a one step forward in two steps back aspect. In regards to the new Barbie Ad, we are shown how it is amazing that young boys are being advertised in playing with what is seen as a predominately female toy but still in a sense, advertised negatively and instead of him being of a more respectable boy he’s portrayed as being very cheeky and what message does that send? It is almost as if they do it for the possible negative reaction so that there is an excuse not to advertise like that again in the near future.

If I were to end this off by saying anything, it would be that from my experience in this world, this society we have been bred in, it would be to never take someone’s word as final. Question the subjects you learn about, research them and do not let anyone force you to believe something when first hearing about it. Because what makes this generation ,as well as other generations, special is the way we think. Our mind is our own so we must continue to question things to make, create and live in a society that is more than less an ordered community.

Sparkling wine vs. strong beer

After my last post I asked myself the question, if separating people in different boxes ends up in separation in everyday life. And I think that’s the case in many situations. Men and women get in relationships and build a family together, but when it comes to leisure time, they are supposed to do totally different things. In Germany there is this “tradition” to make Männerabende (boys night out) and Frauenabende (girls night out). On this evening, only people with the same gender can do gendered stuff. Step two is, that not only your personal leisure time is gendered, society places are too.

One of those gendered activities were computer games. Digital games were the place only for men, like football, beer and strip bars naturally. Places were men could be “real men”, rude, drunk and out of control (In German here are some suggestions for men nights: http://www.wanted.de/maennerabend-frauen-muessen-draussen-bleiben/id_54639186/index). Or what does “real men” mean? Don’t get me wrong, that’s not the way I would categorize male preferences, but that’s the way society labels it. It’s totally clear that not every man is doing exactly that kind of things on an all man’s evening, also not every woman does the same thing on a girl’s night out, but there seems to be a necessity to put your leisure time in a box. And this box here says: no women allowed. On the other hand, women make girls night out for women only, where you can drink sparkling wine, eat chocolate, watch love story films and do beauty stuff. Emotional breakouts, chatting and giggling all night long. Amazing!

The thing is, when I read about how men fight against transsexual persons in digital games (Computer games – the world of gender boxes?), I remembered how women (especially feminists) are/were fought by men in this domain, too (For example the case of Amber Scott: http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/30/11335360/nintendo-fires-treehouse-employee-who-was-target-of-harassment). Men insisted on the classic role model in games, were women were mainly sexualized. They fought for a digital place where only “real” men could live their dream, alone or in groups. Sounds to me like beautiful naked women running around all the time and the male (of course) main character is standing there with a manly, strong, giant weapon in one hand and a bloody steak in the other. Awesome!

Some heterosexual men want to control this domain, but here is my question; is there a comparable place for women? On girl’s night out, there are no men allowed (except gay men maybe, hello cliché), too. But are there women places, which are defended by women to stay `only women places`? So the only place that comes to my mind, which is taken by women on their own, is a beauty salon. Maybe something like pony clubs in their childhood, but there were always boys allowed too. Can anybody tell me a place, an organization where women freaked out because men wanted to be a part of it too (no sorry, sauna doesn’t count)? Do you have any ideas?

 

-Selina

Links:

http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/30/11335360/nintendo-fires-treehouse-employee-who-was-target-of-harassment

http://www.wanted.de/maennerabend-frauen-muessen-draussen-bleiben/id_54639186/index

The moral Obligation towards other Species

So what is the solution to this dilemma? To this paradoxical, yet seemingly inevitable, nature of the relationship between humans and non-human animals, between nature and culture?

I do not have an easy answer. I am not sure if I have an answer, at all – let alone a generalisable one. I´d rather say that this is very much a question of individual ethical reasoning.

However, there is one aspect that is crucial for this kind of reasoning to be allowed and that is empathy. Empathy, i.e. the ability of putting ourselfes in the positions of others and seeing that their suffering is like our own, enables us not only to understand them better and feel compassionate toward them [1], but to take their interests into consideration when making decisions for our own ends, whether they be our kin, kind, a stranger or an entirely different species.

Some might ask, why we should take members of other species into consideration at all. To me the answer is quite simply, for the same reasons we take into consideration the wellbeing of every single member of the human society. We apply basic consideration to all humans, no matter of their mental or physical capacities, their character or looks. So given that we view all humans as equals in regard to those basic commonalities, I can see no reason why we should not apply the same rights to nonhuman creatures who share the same characteristics.

Orphaned kangaroo joeys give each other closeness and comfort
Orphaned kangaroo joeys give each other closeness and comfort
DSC09801
Kangaroo mothers love their young unconditionally, the females staying together in family groups for many years
Kangaroo Orphans often suckle their fingers or toes or bits of material for comfort, just like human babies do
Kangaroo Orphans often suckle their fingers or toes or bits of material for comfort, just like human babies do

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many suggestions which characteristics are necessary to imply a moral obligation on us towards someone else. But there are none I can think of that would apply to humans only and all humans, but not to any nonhuman creatures. In fact, I am rather prone to think of the one that all sentient beings have in common: The ability to suffer and a desire to live.

“In most ways, human beings are not equal; and if we seek some characteristic that all of them possess, then this characteristic must be a kind of lowest common denominator, pitched so low, that no human being lacks it. The catch is that any such characteristic that is possessed by all human beings will not be possessed only by human beings. For example, all human beings, but not only human beings are capable of feeling pain; and while only human beings are capable of solving complex mathematical problems, not all humans can do this. So it turns out that in the only sense in which we can truly say, as an assertion of fact, that all humans are equal, at least some members of other species are also “equal” – equal, that is, to some humans.” (Peter Singer) [2]

And if there is no objective reason to assume that human interests are in any way more important than nonhuman ones, then the only justification that remains for our treatment of nonhuman creatures is their membership of a different species – and the argument, thus, a speciesist one.

So, if we acknowledge the right to live a life free of suffering to all humans, there can be no objective reason to refuse the same to nonhuman animals.

Wallaby Lilly and I - we are really not so different, you know!
Wallaby Lilly and I – we are really not so different, you know!

Personally, I hope that, like with other forms of discrimination, we will cease to mistreat other sentient beings on the grounds of their species and acknowledge their place as equals. Equal, in the ability to suffer, to feel pain and pleasure, to love; and the desire to live.

 

Footnotes:

[1] about the connection between empathy and compassion, cf. Nussbaum 2001: 327f.
[2] Singer (2009): 237.

References:

Nussbaum, Martha C. (2001): Upheavals of Thought. The Intelligence of Emotions. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, Oakleigh, Madrid, Cape Town.

Singer, Peter (2009): Animal Liberation. HarperCollins Publishers: New York. First published 1975.

Altruism and the Problem of Anthropomorphism

In my last post I have concluded that conservation in Australia is overall anthropocentric in the sense that it serves to legitimise human life activity rather than preserve nature for nature´s sake.

However, I believe that there are altruistic motives to conservation, as well.

I have been involved in wildlife rehabilitation efforts in Australia for four years now, and have met some wonderful individuals who care for wildlife simply because they love them. Scientifically speaking, this phenomenon could be explained by the concept of compassion-induced altruism. E.g., according to Matha Nussbaum´s moral philosophy, concern for another being´s wellbeing may be “motivated or supported by the imaginative exercise of putting oneself in that person´s place”[1]. Those compassionate individuals thus devote a great deal of their time and money to the rescue, care and rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife. Volunteers restlessly attend emergency phone lines and provide first aid on reported cases before they are being distributed to nearby shelters for treatment and care. Carers set up their entire daily routine around the wellbeing of their fosterlings. Especially raising young requires frequent feeds and constant care; animals in care require different husbandry conditions according to species, development stage and kind of injury/treatment; hygiene is of utmost importance. Many individuals who take on this task are pensioners who are ready to adapt their daily life entirely to the care of the animals, but rely on a small income to fund this.

While many carers do a wonderful job at rearing and rehabilitating these animals, it is quite a difficult undertaking, as we cannot ask them how they feel, what they need and what they want. We always face the possibility of captivitiy-induced stress, in the worst case leading to fatal myopathy. In order to ensure the wellbeing of the animals we care for, we need to try and evaluate what is best for them. Intuitively, we do this by interpreting their behaviour according to our own standards – we anthropomorphise [2] them. Often, that can be helpful and in many cases the things we observe seem very obvious, e.g. a kangaroo standing in a hunched position may imply it is feeling unwell. Other notions are much more difficult to observe and misinterpretation can lead to long-term disadvantages for the animal.

For instance, how much love does an animal need in order to thrive? Experience has shown that orphaned kangaroos, like most marsupials, require a quality of care sufficient to substitute the close bond between the in-pouch baby, called joey, and its mother. That covers a great deal of both physical and emotional closeness between carer and joey. However, that closeness has to be slowly withdrawn later on, in order for the joey to be able to survive on its own once released back into the wild and not suffer from further shock from losing its substitute mother, as well. Also, being familial animals kangaroos thrive better being raised and released in groups. Therefore, it is established practice to buddy up joeys of similar age and developmental stages and rear them alongside each other.

Kangaroo Joeys in their surrogate pouches at a local Wildlife Shelter.
Kangaroo Joeys in their surrogate pouches at a local Wildlife Shelter. They are raised in a group to ensure their wellbeing both during rehabilitation and after release back in the wild.

Observation and interpretation can help us determine what´s best for the animals we care for, but being limited to our human experiences, misperceptions are frequent and even the best intentions can prove quite harmful.

For instance, people try to rear joeys unauthorised in their home. They feed them cow´s milk and humanize them, ignorant of the negative effects this can have on the joey. For one, kangaroos cannot tolerate lactose and are likely to suffer severe disabilities from exposure to the wrong diet, the most frequent being cataracts, blindness or even brain damage. A high degree of humanisation will make any wildlife unfit to survive in the wild, not recognising domestic pets and humans as dangerous.

Thus, when making decisions on behalf of the voiceless, we always have to ask ourselves whether our decisions are truly in the interest of the creature in question. The practice of anthropomorphising can help us uncover the needs of those we care for, but it is to be used with caution and self-reflection, if it is to serve those who cannot speak for themselves.

 

Footnotes:

[1] Nussbaum 2001: 342.
[2] About Anthropomorphism, cf. Sezgin 2014: 23-29.

 

References:

Nussbaum, Martha C. (2001): Upheavals of Thought. The Intelligence of Emotions. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, Oakleigh, Madrid, Cape Town.

Sezgin, Hilal (2014): Artgerecht ist nur die Freiheit. Eine Ethik für Tiere oder Warum wir umdenken müssen. Verlag C.H.Beck: München.

Modern Speciesism – Anthropocentrism in Conservation

“Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.” – Stewart Udall

In my first few posts I have looked at human-nonhuman animal relations by introducing theoretical concepts such as anthropocentrism and speciesism. In the following sections, I want to apply these theories to the realms of experience in fields of human/non-human animal interactions in our contemporary world.

Over the past few months, I have experienced various human-nonhuman animal encounters whilst working in a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Victoria, Australia.

While the primary objective of such conservationist activities appears to be an altruistic one – preserving eco-systems and diversity of species – I had to note a lot of inconsistencies within this field. Often, it seems that even the best intentions leave a negative impact on the handled creatures in question or that any possible successes are made void by other, equally claimed as conservationist, actions.

Thus, I cannot help but wonder whether there is indeed a genuine interest to protect wildlife and our natural resources, or whether all such efforts are condemned to be anthropocentrictic and, therefore, serve solely man´s ends, after all?

There are many institutions concerned with animal welfare in Victoria. For instance, some review husbandry conditions for both stock animals and pets. Other authorities are specifically commissioned to ensure the welfare of wildlife, enforcing legislation regarding environmental conservation, such as the Wildlife Act 1975 [1]. Sadly, to my personal experiences, these practices often fall short in dealing with the complex situations that arise in human-nonhuman animal encounters in the expanding metropolitan region of Melbourne and surrounding country.

For example, it is the same department that organises wildlife rehabilitation authorising and overseeing wildlife shelter operators and carers, that also issues any permits to kill members of the same species concerned, sometimes even in the same areas, making the rehabilitation of such wildlife in these areas ironically vain.

Gang Gang Cockatoo
Male Gang Gang Cockatoo
Yellow-tailed black cockatoos
Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos
Eclectus Parrot
Female Eclectus Parrot

Also, while the government offers grants to wildlife shelters for the care and husbandry of wildlife in rehabilitation, they themselves hold permits to cull any number of the same wildlife. These culls are often aimed at Eastern grey kangaroos and other macropod species, but not exclusive to them, involving even the killing of vulnerable and endangered species.

Typically, these events occur where urban development has confined habitats to the extent that they can no longer support the life of a population or the co-existence of several species. Although these creatures are in trouble due to human activity, i.e. urbanisation, road traffic and intensive farming, they are often demonised in the course of these activities, calling for their removal out of the areas concerned.

Kangaroos on farmland. Fences and roads keep them from migrating through their natural habitats.
Kangaroos on farmland. Fences and roads keep them from migrating through their natural habitats.

There is a striking ambivalence inherent in the relationship of the Australian public with their native wildlife. On one hand, the unique and ancient species are cherished and treasured, decorating the Australian coat of arms and featuring in tourism brochures and nature documentaries across the world, but at the same time their presence close to human living spheres is sometimes perceived as nuisance. They an integral part of the Australian identity, as well as a constant cause for dismay, for instance when involved in road accidents or due to competition on living space.

The Australian Coat of Arms featuring kangaroo and emu.
Frequent accidents involving kangaroos occur on contry roads due to draught and confined habitat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To me, it seems that the nonhuman dwellers of Australia, that have inhabited the land for millions of years before James Cook ever set foot on the East coast, provide a source of identity construction of the human self. Without them the Australian people could not be what they are, but at the same time, they are increasingly neglected for the sake of consolidation of the Australian way of (human) life, often under the pretence of conservationism. That is, if we were to truly preserve the Australian wildlife, human activity ought to cease from their lands. This not being a likely prospect, I am afraid, conservation as a whole is doomed to remain contradictory. One could say conservation is overall an effort to preserve human life and, therefore, anthropocentric.

 

Footnotes:

[1] See a fulltext of the act here.

 

References:

Chief Parliamentary Counsel of Victoria (2014):  Wildlife Act 1975. Authorised Version No. 100. available under:
http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/LTObject_Store/ltobjst8.nsf/DDE300B846EED9C7CA257616000A3571/84C427066CB742E2CA257D09000E89E7/$FILE/75-8699aa100%20authorised.pdf, last checked: 26/o5/2016.

Image source:

https://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/coat-arms/

How did homophobia find its way into hip hop?

Before we discuss where homophobia in hip hop developed I would like to introduce you to some tracks to give you an understanding of the issue. Most of them are German but I also included some tracks in English. Take a few minutes to listen to some of these lyrics – But do not judge the artists too quickly. Some of them will be discussed in the following posts and they might surprise you. This selection does not exactly reflect my taste in rap music.

 

Huss & Hodn – Radiowecker:

Lyrics

 

Edgar Wasser – 44 Bars:

Lyrics

 

NAS – Ether:

Lyrics

 

Royal TS – Westberlin:

Lyrics

 

Bushido – John Wayne:

Lyrics

 

Eminem – Criminal:

Lyrics

 

Masculinity, violence, misogyny and homophobia – These four aspects seem to be tied together in hip hop. Take a look at any given rap music video and you will find many barely clothed girls, presentation of wealth in numerous forms and weapons – All to underline hypermasculinity (for a definition of hypermasculinity have a look at the end of this post). Homophobia can be seen as a non compellent but often established concomitant of hypermasculinity. Many rappers make use of homophobia but examples of hypermasculinity without homophobia can be found.

Due to this, all four aspects need to be included into the discussion of homophobia to get the full picture.

 

„When you think about American society the notion of violent masculinity is at the heart of American identity.“ – Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

 

This quote, taken from the movie “Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes” by Byron Hurt sums up the root of masculinity, violence, misogyny and homophobia in hip hop culture. The picture of the pioneer extending the frontier with armed force, many international wars, the right to bear arms, even football – The USA can be considered a violent nation without any doubt.

This thesis might not be conclusive at first glance. But imagine growing up as an African American male in a ghetto in the US, always surrounded by potential threats and equipped with really poor life chances. It is no surprise that violence and the display of your masculinity become key elements in your life to survive.

This construct of masculinity and violence, in combination with governmental and religious homophobia favors homophobia in hip hop in many ways. If you are not strong, tough, dominant, independent – what else than “gay”, a “faggot” or a “sissy” can you be in this background? So I think it is no surprise that rap artists often choose homophobic terms to “battle” their adversaries in their lyrics. But for these reasons I think that homophobia should be seen as something that develops in a society and finds its way into hip hop rather than an isolated issue of hip hop. And in the end it is us, the people who buy this music, who help to reproduce homophobia in hip hop.

 

It is hard to answer where homophobia made its transition into German rap. It could have been simply adopted like many other things of American rap or maybe it has always been here and there was no need for a transition – it just found its way into German rap!? I think it is a combination of both points. Germany always has been a quite homophobic society and if you grow up in certain precarious social environments homophobia is an everyday thing that finds its way into your vocabulary.

 

In the next post I am going to show you how rapper reflect their homophobia and what other people write about homophobia in hip hop.

 

 

 

 

 

Computer games – the world of gender boxes?

In my introduction post, I wrote about the strict boxes in which our society is separated. One of the strictest categories is gender. This category is written in every aspect of life. Last week I saw an article about a computer game which got a new Add-on. “Siege of Dragonspear” for the game Baldur’s Gate was released with the new character Mizhena. She provides healing to the players and you can ask her questions about her life. Then she will tell you: “When I was born, my parents thought me boy and raise me as such. In time, we all came to understand I was truly a woman. I created my new name from syllables of different languages. All have spiritual meaning to me; it is the truest reflection of who I am.” (You can see the scene with Mizhena here from minute 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPadwN4r-dU). Because of this character some people (especially men) freaked out with rude comments and bad ratings.

“Fans of #BaldursGate are pissed and rightly so #SJW have poisoned the well of the Baldurs Gate legacy this is why you #DontHireSJW

“Again #SJW s don’t get it. Ppl liked Mass Effect; it had plenty of #gender themes. Ram it down ppl’s throats=poor writing. #BaldursGate.“

ScreenshotIf the game has some deficits, it’s absolutely legitimate to criticize them, but some people experienced a disaster in their favourite game series, because of the existence of a transsexual character. In many comments you see that in their opinion only heteronormativity is the right and normal world. It’s like they would assume there are normal people and then there is the rest, which doesn’t fit in the heterosexual norm and this people aren’t allowed to exist in “their normal” classic games. There are only two gender boxes, men and women, and if a person changes them, he or she isn’t a part of the normal society anymore. In classic games there were only heterosexual men and women, so the next hundred years there is no continuing opportunity? Interesting. The fascinating thing about transsexuality is how it shows the strict categories of gender. I thought games would be a place of imagination of possibilities, but when some categories are opened, their inhabitants have to roar. As loud and hard as possible. They fight for their little box- world.

Another critique was how the person tells you her history in three sentences, because people in the real world wouldn’t tell something like that a complete stranger. But why not? We are in a fantasy world. Shouldn’t it be possible to treat their transsexuality as an absolutely normal story? Something you can tell people, because there is no problem behind it? I like, that this character is going forward with this information as it would be the most normal thing on earth. If we want to come outside of our box, why shouldn’t we start in fantasy, in games?

References:

 

http://www.pcgames.de/Baldurs-Gate-Enhanced-Edition-Spiel-18532/News/Kritik-an-Transgender-Charakter-1191441/

http://derstandard.at/2000034525659/Transsexuelle-Spielfigur-Wuetende-Gamer-fordern-Entlassung-von-Baldurs-Gate-Autorin

Barbie Girl, Barbie Boy

When one thinks of a newspaper what does one think of? Politics? Political Cartons or the usual Calvin and Hobbes or Garfield comic strip that everyone knows and loves? Sometimes newspapers can form to be whatever they want to be whether it be good or bad. There’s a German newspaper called Bild. It’s been around since 1952 and went from being a newspaper that showed mostly pictures and sold around a million or so copies a day, to a newspaper that is not very well loved anymore around Germany because of the tenacious yet audacious way the paper has began to write. Now, I had the pleasure of reading an article the other day about an advertisement with a little boy playing with this new version of Barbie called Moschino Barbie. It was an article advertising these new Barbie dolls called Moschino Barbie dolls. The irony also hasn’t escaped me because Barbie was a doll created from the German Newspaper Bild. The doll was called Bild Lilli but the copyright materials, design and such were bought by an American woman in the mid 1950’s. The article wasn’t very long it simply stated how boys are now being advertised with Barbie dolls. I found this article very interesting because it’s starting to show the cracks in the social norms of what is shown in gender media. It showed how we are trying to take a step past the line that has been created by society that only girls can be advertised with Barbie dolls, and only boys can be advertised with race cars and/ or video games. Even though race cars in video games can be something that girls play with as well, as now as advertised in this Barbie commercial, now boys can  play with Barbie dolls ,or dolls in general, as well. What I found a bit unpleasant was the way the Barbie was dressed. One of the aforementioned dolls had a leather skirt on and a see through net top with a bra on covered slightly by a leather jacket. The little boy mentioned “wie scharf” translated to how spicy, how hot this Barbie is. Now to imagine what message this would send to younger kids is what bothers me. The Barbie is dressed a bit scantily and the boy is already shown making remarks a child his age should not make. The idea of the Barbie is a great one and I am more than enthused that it is attempting to pass the gender norms of media and society but it makes one wonder to what expense and if they were made purposefully this way in order to point a blame on what happened to the youth of future generations. It is my hope that with this step further past the gender roles that have been created, that we step into more of a gender equality and neutralism in the future but maybe without the loopholes and I partially mean the ones in Moschino Barbies top as well.

 

Sources:

http://www.bild.de/unterhaltung/kultur/barbie/barbie-jetzt-auch-fuer-jungen-43433174.bild.html

http://kids.barbie.com/en-gb

http://www.women-inventors.com/Ruth-Handler.asp

#WeDeserveBetter

Everyone wants a happily ever after that they can relate to right? Most young girls watch old Disney movies and think that waiting for their Prince Charming is their only option. Some young boys even think it is their duty to try and save every girl whom they believe are damsels in distress and need someone to save them. Unfortunately for the young boys and girls who are apart of the LGBT community ,or as I like to call them family, like myself, we do  not want that for our future. However, due to society’s standards created by predominantly privileged cis white males, we have been led to believe that any love that is not between a man and a woman is somehow an abomination and or fantasized and sexualized. That the love we share with our same sex is not natural despite there being scientific evidence that same sex attraction is as natural as heterosexual attraction. There are even homosexual relationships in animals. In some cases, female lionesses who identify as both gender or look similar to a male of their species can lead their pride because despite contrary belief, it is possible to survive with only one gender in a group.

Recently there has been a lot of controversy over ,the 100, a tv show which used to be one of the highest rated series of the year. The Director, Jason Rothenberg, used the promise of a non mistreated/mishandled LGBT couple romance, in this situation the main character Clarke being LGBT and falling in love with another woman Commander Lexa, in order to win the LGBT audiences ratings and views but then brutally removing one or both of the characters after ratings are high. This act has been named queerbaiting. So, after the show was ranked #1 on the most watched and popular tv series, the aforementioned couple ,both strong and respected leaders amongst their people, accepted their feelings for one another. Directly after spending their first night together as a couple, the partner was shot by a poisoned arrow meant for the other. Not only was the arrow a misfire but it was shot by the right hand advisor of the one that was shot. Now after this happened and the controversy began the Director claimed that this was done to add to the “shock factor” of the show.

The question that is being asked is would anyone call another lesbian character on a tv show being killed off a shock? Would the young lesbian and bi community think that was a good shock for a story they looked to for their promised happily ever after? One they could finally have that did not end in horrible and or tragic heartbreak? I certainly did not. After this fated day our epic Commander Lexa was taken from us, the LGBT community was outraged, flooded twitter with #Lexadesrvedbetter, #Wedeservebetter, #LGBTcharactersdeservebetter etc, and began to expose this director for the monster he is. A misogynist who mistreats his minority cast and ,even though his main character is a female, constantly creates male roles to dominate the strong roles of the females. Now I have only mentioned J. Rothenberg once or twice, I have made this whole blog post apart of the minority. Why is that one may ask? Because ,at least in America, society has taught cis white males that they are at the top and anyone beneath them are disposable.

Well the community took a stand and said we are not disposable. So what have we done? We have started a campaign for the Trevor project which is non-profit organization founded in 1998 and the leading national organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and other queer youth. Within mere weeks of the fated episode the Lexas death we have raised over $30,000. The message is clear, we will not back down, we will support our youth and ourselves and we are a force to be reckoned with #LGBTcharactersdeservebetter.

Sources:

http://nypost.com/2015/12/28/gender-fluid-lioness-is-the-queen-of-her-pride/

http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/death-100-prompts-30000-donation-furious-fans-trevor-project/#gs.X37aZKQ

http://www.autostraddle.com/all-65-dead-lesbian-and-bisexual-characters-on-tv-and-how-they-died-312315/

 

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