The Daria Perspective

August 30, 2015

August Playlist

For the past two months, I have been working like crazy; 10 - 13 hour days, 7 days a week. As such, most of the music listening that I've been doing has happened in the car on my way to and from work, and almost all of the music from this playlist, I've had for quite a long time. I've been very nostalgic for my older music lately, and have been going through and checking out a lot of the bands that I've been neglecting for the past while.

Aside from the songs I've had for ages, I've been super into Beatrice Eli lately. Her music, beats, style, and perspective come together as something really divine. The music video that I've included here is so real, and walks this beautifully intricate line between happy and sad, somehow being both at once. It seems to be perfectly descriptive of how a lot of us feel sometimes, and the song combined with the music video are ultimately very uplifting.

+ of course I had to put on Lana's newest song, as it is simply divine. There are no other words.


August 01, 2015

Ban the Burqa Ignorance

For the past 12 months, there has been a growing amount of islamophobia in Australia, from 'ban the burqa,' to the 'reclaim Australia' movement. The other day I saw the following post in my Facebook feed:

The following video addresses just some of the prejudice that is directed at muslim women who wear clothing such as niqabs, hijabs or burqas.

Traditional Islamic clothing is worn because of either cultural or religious reasons. As stated in the video, the way that religious texts, such as the Qu'ran, are interpreted change as societal values and expectations change. This may be a contributing factor as to why there is a greater pressure on muslim women to dress modestly in a traditional sense, than there is for muslim men.

The prejudice against burqas, niqabs, etc is a manifestation of xenophobia in Australia. It is not due to any real threat that women who wear burqas pose, or any acts of violence that have been committed by women wearing them. What a person is wearing does not make them any more likely to commit a crime. The clothing worn by the criminal is chosen in accordance with the crime they hope to commit- not the other way around.

The burqa is a long-standing symbol of women's oppression, because of the horrors that women who haven't worn them have been forced to endure, and because of the deep misogynistic oppression that led to women being forced to wear them in certain parts of the world. It is important to remember however, that the burqa is not the cause of disempowerment, although it can be a method. Women being forced to wear the burqa is a deeply obvious side-effect of misogyny and religious absolutism, just as prejudice against the burqa is a side-effect of misplaced fear, ignorance and xenophobia.

The burqa is not oppressive in itself, and arguments for 'banning the burqa' based upon this premise are in fact disempowering to women as they take rights away from those who would wear them of their own volition. Whenever someone is forced to wear a certain type of clothing against their will, it is not the clothing, but the oppressive forces behind the clothing, that are the problem; and this is what needs to be addressed. Banning the clothing does nothing to solve the oppression driving it, it only takes away the rights of those who would choose to wear it of their own accord.

I am not a religious person and there are many good reasons for that. This video is not about religion. It is about stopping persecution. It is about eliminating the ignorance that leads to muslim women being targets of violence because of their clothing. It is about how important it is to stop the the fear-mongering that leads to this persecution. It is about ensuring that people can go about their lives without having to live in fear.

Below I've attached just a few comments I found interesting that were left in the Facebook comments thread on the original image that was posted.

Many were unsupportive of the post:

However others were of a different opinion:

July 21, 2015

Trans Courage

This video is a response a picture that was posted all over Facebook the other day. I know that it's not the most eloquent of videos, but it's something I feel very strongly about, hence why it is like it is.

To say that coming out as a transgender person is not courageous is to deny the discrimination that they face, whilst simultaneously contributing the culture of hate and violence that makes life for transgender people so incredibly hard. 

When you look at the statistics of discrimination and violence against trans people (which is in fact incredibly underreported, and largely unaddressed), it's impossible not to realise how difficult it is for transgender people to come out, knowing the incredible prejudice, violence and abuse that awaits. Being aware of this, it is then impossible not to see that it is a true act of phenomenal bravery for transgender people to accept themselves, be true to themselves, and refuse to be ignored or silenced in a society that seemingly wants to do just that. 

In accordance with my parting words- 'people who contribute to this culture of violence and hate need to grow a brain, and have some empathy'- I remain at a loss as to how so many people can be seemingly incapable of either thinking logically about this, or having at least a modicum of empathy with which to view this issue.

I find it to be a despicable state of affairs, that people have to either hide their true selves, and hate themselves or feel ashamed for it, or instead be true to themselves, and be hated by others for it.

Safety is not a privilege. It is a right. And it is a right being denied of far too many people.

Because of the imprecise nature of statistics on transgender violence, I did not include statistics in the video. However, I have looked into this a lot, and despite the relatively small discrepancies between studies, they all show utterly unacceptable rates of violence against transgender people. Below are a range of resources if you would like to further explore this topic, and see these rates for yourself.

Forge Forward (US)
Office For Victims Of Crime (US)
Transgender Law (US)
Huffington Post (US)
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (US) - this is quite comprehensive
Gender Centre (AU) - transgender experiences of going to the police
National Centre for Transgender Equality
Gay or transgender youth feel alienated by faith-based homeless services (AU)
Beyond Blue - LGBTI People; Mental Health & Suicide (AU)
Violence, Harassment & Bullying (AU)
Violence, Harassment & Bullying - Equality (AU)