Beauty privilege is very real. None of us are imagining it, and if we aren’t born genetic lottery winners, our only option is to compensate with style, grace, and charm. Of course, none of that shit comes cheap. That’s kind of the whole point. It’s all meant to be aspirational and exclusionary. We’re supposed to feel depressed by our skin, agitated by our bodies, and anxious about our invisibility. That’s the insidious subtlety of social control.

The worst part is that we know in our rational minds that it’s all bullshit, and yet we’re still plagued with self-loathing when we can’t live up to unattainable beauty standards. No matter how much self-acceptance we achieve, we can still look in the mirror and instantly catalog all the things about ourselves that we don’t think measure up. It’s maddening. It makes us feel like hypocrites even though it’s not our hypocrisy.

In seventeenth-century Aix these [middle ages] priorities of almsgiving were still accepted. It was commonly acknowleged that one’s primary duty was still to one’s family. The sick, the orphans and the aged were, of course, still the objects of special attention. So too were those of good family who had fallen on evil times. The Misericorde, besides distributing food and medicine to the ill in their homes, also made distributions of money to those whom they termed the pauvers honteux - ‘persons of good family’ who ‘suffer impatiently humiliating want and pitiful poverty’, who fear that their sad position will become common knowledge and who would choose to ‘die of hunger, being ashamed to ask for alms’. … For one of the menu peuple [lesser people/lower class] to be reduced to living off charity was not nearly so humiliating:
‘…among the honteux one often sees men born in down, formerly covered with gold, with silk, lying today on straw, dressed in old rags… how full of anguish such people must be! …But of those le peuple are inured… to working, to suffering, no embarrassment remains to them, they do not blush for shame to proclaim their misery, they describe it without pain, and even with pleasure when they receive some aid.’
Thus for some poverty was their natural state; hard work and suffering were all they could expect of life. For them the acceptance of alms was not ‘shameful’.

p. 30, Poverty and Charity in Aix-en-Provence 1640-1789, by Cissie Fairchilds

Ah, the ways society justifies itself…


According to traditional concepts of charity, the poor man was morally no different from anyone else; indeed it was the rich and not the poor who were in moral danger. But seventeenth-century thinkers popularized the notion that poverty was apt to lead to idleness and thence to debauchery and vice.
p. 24, Poverty and Charity in Aid-en-Provence 1640-1789, by Cissie Fairchilds

FYI I’m reading some books lately and collecting quotes to post. I’ll use a que so I don’t spam you all too badly; should be one or two things a day.

Let me know if you want this type of post and/or specific content tagged so you can filter it out. And please feel free to comment or ask questions, I love discussing this stuff.


Black servants had other attractions besides their social cachet. They were also popular because they could still be viewed and trated in terms of the traditional servant stereotypes, something that was no longer possible with white servants by the end of the eighteenth century… they regarded blacks as fundamentally lazy, stupid and licentious - precisely the same characteristics traditionally attributed to servants. Blacks were frequently compared by their masters to animals, just as servants had always been. The most common was with the singe, or monkey, but they were also likened to numerous other household pets.
…Black servants were not only regarded as pets, they were also treated like them. This was especially true of the little boys dressed as blackamoors who became the indulged playthings of their female employers. Even adult black servants were treated with more generosity and indulgence than white domestics. Their masters were less likely to report them for crimes (the courts were even less apt to convict them), and they were much more likely to set them up with dowries and apprenticeships and to leave them legacies. For in their relationships with blacks masters could still assume the patriarchal postures no longer acceptable in dealing with their fellow Frenchmen.

p. 158-159, Domestic Enemies: Servants & Their Masters in Old Regime France, by Cissie Fairchilds

This passage was both intriguing and creepy. Really really creepy.

Btw, in early modern European history, ‘patriarchal’ usually means something is modeled after fatherhood, not just that a man is in power. In the 1600s and early 1700s, masters tended to have closer relationships with all their servants, and consider them sort-of family members. By the late 1700s, servants were treated like employees. Both systems had their own advantages and problems.


The early modern state exercised its [public assistance] functions through existing private bodies rather than its own beauraucracy whenever possible; the possible contradiction of interests between these bodies and the state, obvious to the modern mind, did not occur to the king’s men of the 16th and 17th centuries. Thus in reality royal policy in the field of public assistance was to leave the problem to private initiative. The epitome of this policy is the royal edicto f 1662, which ordered that hospitals-general be established in all cities, but did nothing further toward their foundation.

Cissie Fairchilds, Poverty and Charity in Aix-en-Provence 1640-1789 (via mare-of-night)

Id be curious to know what the churches were up to though?  like it might be more reasonable to rely on private or church initiative in the 17th century than it would be today  because the Catholic Church like — we poke fun at it and all  but it wasn’t absolutely devoid of public assistance  so?

(via bunniesandbeheadings)

Based on the rest of this chapter, the church offering assistance was the old way to do it, before the Protestant Reformation. Around the same time as the Reformation, the Catholic Church had a Counter-Reformation where they changed some things in response to the Protestants’ criticisms. This included people getting really suspicious of the existing church-owned charities, because the clergy who ran them sometimes stole from them (they relied at least partly on donations from lay persons), and other times just weren’t interested in them and managed them poorly.

The crown was very happy with charity not belonging only to the Church anymore, since they wanted to expand the royal government’s power to include more things in general. But the royal government wasn’t powerful or well-funded enough to take on a decent national public assistance project. The king still wanted to look like he was managing the country’s charity projects, so occasionally he’d give vague orders like that and leave them to someone else to carry out.

But people still associated charity with being a good Christian/Catholic, so relying on private assistance actually did work. People didn’t trust the clergy to run charities, so people who were feeling pious would donate to privately-run charities, or start their own. The author of the book seems to think this resulted in better-run charities.

In the town being studied, there were also a lot more charities after the church lost control of them. I’m not sure how much of that is people wanting to stand out by becoming charity founders, and how much is changes in people’s thinking about who deserves charity. Back when the church was running things, the town had four charities that all cared for sick people only. but in the 1630s eight new ones were founded, and then seven more in the 1680s. In addition to hospitals, I think I remember two orphanages (one for boys and one for girls), care for the elderly, legal help for the poor, buying freedom for Christians enslaved abroad, bringing food and clothing to people in prison, shelters for “fallen women” and beggars, and an insane asylum.

(via bunniesandbeheadings)


The early modern state exercised its [public assistance] functions through existing private bodies rather than its own beauraucracy whenever possible; the possible contradiction of interests between these bodies and the state, obvious to the modern mind, did not occur to the king’s men of the 16th and 17th centuries. Thus in reality royal policy in the field of public assistance was to leave the problem to private initiative. The epitome of this policy is the royal edicto f 1662, which ordered that hospitals-general be established in all cities, but did nothing further toward their foundation.
Cissie Fairchilds, Poverty and Charity in Aix-en-Provence 1640-1789

Bunnies are just grazing cats

I’ve been reading about how to keep pet bunnies. They don’t seem to fit in the “small mammal that can live in a cage” category very well. They’re cat-sized, they use a litter box, they need to be able to run around the house (at least some of the time, but more than most “small pets”), they lay in the sun, they jump up onto places you didn’t think they could reach, they destroy cardboard for fun. Some are sweeties that like to sit on laps, and others run away if you try. Their babies are called kittens. They’re cute and photogenic. So basically they’re cats.
Disclaimer: I’ve never owned a bunny or a cat.


If someone were to die at the age of 63 after a lifelong battle with MS or Sickle Cell, we’d all say they were a “fighter” or an “inspiration.” But when someone dies after a lifelong battle with severe mental illness and drug addiction, we say it was a tragedy and tell everyone “don’t be like him, please seek help.” That’s bullshit. Robin Williams sought help his entire life. He saw a psychiatrist. He quit drinking. He went to rehab. He did this for decades. That’s HOW he made it to 63. For some people, 63 is a fucking miracle. I know several people who didn’t make it past 23 and I’d do anything to have 40 more years with them.

anonymous reader on The Dish

One of the more helpful and insightful things I’ve seen about depression/suicide in the last couple of days.

(via mysweetetc)

(via insanefastone)




askmiddlearth:

Racism and Middle Earth: Part 1/6: People of Color in Middle Earth

If you haven’t already seen this post, I’d highly recommend you take a look - it outlines this series of racism posts and also includes my blanket disclaimer as to my own ethnicity/point of view.

Regarding feedback: I love it. But keep in mind that this is part 1 of 6, so there’s a pretty good chance I’m already planning on talking about whatever you’re thinking off. Send me a message anyway, be my guest, just keep that in mind. And, if your feedback is more of the “sharing my ideas on the subject” variety, it’s probably more valuable to the fandom as a reblog - put your words out there so everyone can benefit from them, not just me (I promise I’ll be reading all the reblogs on this post anyway, so I’ll still see it.)

(Also, please let me know if you notice any typos/factual errors. I’ll likely polish this up for a downloadable final version, so any mistakes you catch now would really help me out later.)

(via aurasama)


ruinedchildhood:

They’re here..

They’re free!

(via insanefastone)


i want a word for the almost-home.

that point where the highway’s monotony becomes familiar
that subway stop whose name will always wake you from day’s-end dozing
that first glimpse of the skyline
that you never loved until you left it behind.

what do you call the exit sign you see even in your dreams?
is there a name for the airport terminal you come back to,
comfortably exhausted?

i need a word for rounding your corner onto your street,
for seeing your city on the horizon,
for flying homewards down your highway.

give me a word for the boundary
between the world you went to see
and the small one you call your own.

i want a word for the moment you know
you’re almost home.

there and back again, n.m.h. (via anoraborealis)

(via konstantya)


ATTENTION ALL GIRLS AND LADIES: if you walk from home, school, office or anywhere and you are alone and you come across a little boy crying holding a piece of paper with an address on it, DO NOT TAKE HIM THERE! take him straight to the police station for this is the new ‘gang’ way of rape. The incident is getting worse. Warn your families. Reblog this so this message can get accross to everyone. 

I will always reblog things like this, it won’t ruin your blog or the look of it, and this could potentially save a life.

~ the more you know ~

(via tonyofthestarks)