Veronika AKA Nika

35 Years Old • Educator • Chicago

Shalom! (Peace!)

Since learning through genetic testing that I am a person of West Asian and North African (WANA) heritage, I have been writing a lot about my experiences as an adoptee who has started practicing Judaism.

Besides Jews and adoption the primary focuses of my blog are women; lesbian, gay, and bi folks; working class folks; and education. I write from the perspective of someone who is trans, who is disabled, who is a victim of abuse, and who is a radical leftist. On the very rare occasion that I blog about anything fandom-related it is usually about Once upon a Time, Elementary, or Nikita (Jaden and Alex are my one true pairing).

I am unabashedly opposed to both antisemitism and the State of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. If you think that this is somehow contradictory, you are probably not going to enjoy following my blog.

Although it is not necessary, I would love it if you introduced yourself if you decide to follow my blog. And if there is anything I can do to make Faithful Image more accessible to you, please let me know.

 

oneshortdamnfuse:

princess-siddnttety:

hazeldash:

birdhead:

pyrositshere:

internetgoose:

I’m gonna depress the hell out of all of you. ready? ok go

so, that “stop devaluing feminized work post”

nice idea and all

but the thing is, as soon as a decent number of women enter any field, it becomes “feminized,” and it becomes devalued.

as women enter a field in greater number, people become less willing to pay for it, the respect for it drops, and it’s seen as less of a big deal. it’s not about the job- it’s about the number of women in the job.

observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field. so has happened with scores of other areas; nursing comes to mind

so the thing is, it’s not the work or the job that has to be uplifted and seen as more respectable. it will never work out, until people start seeing women as respectable

but there’s a doozy and who the fuck knows if it’s ever happening in my life time

"observe what happened with biology. it’s STEM, sure, but anyone in a male-dominated science will sneer at the idea of it being ‘for real,’ nevermind that everyone sure took it more seriously when it was a male dominated field."

Personal anecdote time!  I’m in a biology graduate program.  An acquaintance wanted to introduce some guy to me because his son was thinking about becoming an undergrad science major.  When he found out I was in the biology department, he grinned and said, “Well, I guess that’s kind of related to science.”

I gave him what I hope was an icy look and said, “Isn’t it strange how men outside the field started saying that right around the time biology majors shifted from mostly male to mostly female?”

The guy got this look on his face like he was about to play the “just a joke” card, and then an older woman who had been standing nearby, talking to someone else, turned to me and said, “The same thing happened with real estate.”  She went on to explain that, over the course of the career, the male-to-female ratio among real estate agents had dropped, and the pay and “prestige factor” of that job dropped along with it.

This is also famous for happening to teaching. Keep an eye on medicine over the next fifteen years and watch as it becomes less prestigious and less well-paid.

It also happened to secretarial/administrative work - in the 19th century, clerical work was utterly respectable and seen as requiring quite a lot of talent and skill (which it still does!) but then along came the typewriter and women entering the field and HEY PRESTO “she’s just some secretary”

at my university, chemical engineering, or chem eng, was often referred to as “fem eng” why? because it’s an exact 50/50 ratio of women to men, which clearly makes it too feminine. in the 70s/80s chemical engineering was one of the most important and hardest engineering fields (plastics! pulp and paper! OIL) but now that there are more women in the field it’s considered an easier field, in comparison to other fields.

for example, i once heard a girl in mech eng list some of the engineering fields in the order she thought was hardest to easiest. you know what it was? electrical, mechanical, chemical. it’s absolutely no surprise that this list is also a handy ordering of fewest women in the field to most women in the field.

AND, another point! this happens the other way around too. computer science related fields used to be dominated by women, which made it not very important (switchboard operators? yup). once men started taking over the field, well that’s when the big money and prestige came in.

The field of anthropology, which is becoming female dominated from what I can see, has been determined to be useless by some. (I’ve even had girls in STEM fields tell me I don’t study a “real science” so how’s about that internalized misogyny for ya) When I was majoring in anthropology, Gov. Rick Scott determined that Florida didn’t need any more anthropologists and wanted to reduce funding to programs and increase funding to STEM programs. While not considered a STEM field, anthropologists have contributed to the research behind STEM programs and provide a wide variety of services to Florida alone. A team of anthropologists created a powerpoint “This is Anthropology" to talk about dozens of programs and services they contribute to in Florida which include healthcare programs, education programs, disaster relief, forensic investigation, environmental programs and conservation efforts, research for fortune 500 businesses, agricultural programs, immigration programs, programs and services for the elderly, etc. I’m also in the field of education, and we’re constantly made out to be overpaid (we’re not) and made out to be incapable of doing our jobs without very strict guidance. 

It’s all very insulting, really. No matter what we study. No matter what we do to earn a living. It will never be good enough.

Some Thoughts After Becoming More Fully Aware of My WANA Heritage

Since becoming more fully aware of my West Asian and North African (WANA) heritage, I have been wanting to post a number of thoughts that have been running through my mind. Rather than spam your dashboards with several short messages, I thought I would just share them in one catch-all post.

  • It helps to say, “I am white, I have white privilege, and I am a person of significant WANA heritage.” In saying this I am not revealing anything I did not know from the start, but there is something about saying it in one breath without any “but”s that helps me see that none of the conjuncts is a denial of either of the other two.
  • After some of the posts I have made here I should probably clarify that though I have experienced work discrimination, I do not believe any of it has been on the basis of my WANA heritage.
  • In saying that I prefer to identify as WANA I do not mean to suggest that other people should not identify as Middle Eastern. And even if I did, I do not know why anyone should care what my privileged ass thinks.
  • middleeasternsarecool is a blog that is very helpful to me and presumably other people of WANA heritage who are undergoing identity crises.
  • Using Google Images to browse photographs of West Asian and North African women has been therapeutic for me. Many of the physical attributes that I hate seeing in myself are attributes that are common among West Asian and North African women who are absolutely gorgeous.
  • On a related note, many of the attributes I have been trying to alter or divert attention from in order to blend with other women are common among West Asian and North African women. Even if I could fully embrace them, there would still be a strong incentive to change them for my safety. Fuck society’s racist, cissexist, and sexist standards.

Misty Upham's Father Says She Plunged to Her Death While Fleeing from Police

ghostofcommunism:

floricanto-canela:

covenesque:

note-a-bear:

Fuck the police. Especially fuck the Auburn PD

"Misty was afraid of the Auburn PD officers with good reason," he said. "In an incident prior to her disappearance, the Auburn PD came to pick up Misty on an involuntary transport to the ER. She was cuffed and placed in a police car. Some of the officers began to taunt and tease her while she was in the car. Because it was dark they couldn’t see that we, her family, were outside our apartment just across the street witnessing this behavior. 

"They were tapping on the window making faces at her. Misty was crying and she told them, ‘You can’t treat me like this. I’m a movie actress and I will use my connections to expose you.’ Then another officer walked up to her asked, ‘Are you a movie star? Then why don’t [you] complain to George Clooney!’" 

Racist, ableist, violent pigs

ACAB

memorial fund has been set up in Upham’s honor.

from the above source

Please donate!

(Source: pumpkinthot)

Anonymous asked
I have always felt, as long as I can remember, that I should have been female, though I was assigned male at birth. I've never been brave enough to come out, so I'm completely closeted. I never know how to define myself when people in online transgender forums ask. I don't want to say, "male", but if I say, "female" or "trans woman" it seems to make people assume I'm out / transitioning or whatever. Any suggestions on how I should identify myself?

The short answer is that you should identify yourself as you feel you should identify yourself. Every trans person has to find a way to strike a balance between the need to be authentic with oneself and the need to navigate in a cissexist society, and no one is in a better position to do that than you are.

If you want my thoughts on your specific situation in transgender forums, I feel I should assure you that you are fully within your rights to identify as “female”, as a “trans woman”, or simply as a “woman”. If you believe there is a need to disclose where you stand in relation to the closet or transition, some people would say something along the lines of, “I am a pre-transition trans woman,” or, “I am a closeted woman.” If you want to avoid saying you are a woman altogether (this is definitely not something I think you have to do, but I know some people in similar situations might feel the need to do so), you could say that you are transgender and not a man without specifying a gender. (That is what I did during the five years immediately prior to coming out to myself as a woman.)

For what it’s worth when I started opening closet doors, I decided I was going to be out as a woman to a circle of people that from the start included my friends and people in queer and trans spaces. Some people, like friends and members of LiveJournal’s transgender community immediately got it and were fine with it. When I started attending a welcoming congregation (this was years before I started practicing Judaism), I had done no transitioning besides voice work, and I found myself having to do a lot of educating. I had yet to rename myself Veronika and was using a name that is common among both women and men, and most of the people in the congregation were cis, straight, and 40+. In the form I filled out when I started attending I expressed an interest in joining a women’s committee; no one ever got back to me. (Based on my later experiences there, I feel confident that this was done out of confusion or ignorance and not a desire to exclude trans women.) But I found I had a vocal advocate there, and eventually the other members of the congregation started to get it. All this is to say that based on my experience, I would say that if you find the right people to run with, you can identify as a woman before you begin transition.

You will be in my thoughts, hon. I hope you write back sometime to let me know how you are doing.

[Image: A color photograph of storm trooper figurines standing next to a cup of coffee in which the milk has formed a leaf pattern. Superimposed text reads, “I’m a barista and when skinny bitches order a ‘skinny latte’ I make it with whole milk :)”]
oxymoronicromantic:

gingerhaole:

crowsephone:

raggedymanwinchester:

poppypicklesticks:

logicsomething:

youarefatbecauseyouarestupid:

Anybody in the food-services industry who does this to their customers is a cunt who deserves to lose their jobs. Not only is it just down right wrong, but it could be dangerous to somebody who has particular dietary requirements.
Having had the unfortunate experience of living with somebody who works at Starbucks, I have no doubt that this shit happens.

i’m lucky enough to have encountered a barista malicious enough to do this to me - i ordered a decaf latte with soy milk and they gave me fully caffeinated with cow’s milk. cue hours of panic attacks and feeling sick. ugh

Why do some baristas think its adorable and clever to dick around with people’s specifications?  They can kill someone with allergies with this shit. 

I get the dirtiest looks when I order anything with soy there. I’m Lactose Intolerant, and this bitch decided to give me whole milk in my macchiato. I took one taste and handed it back to her. She looked at me like I was crazy and said “What? Something wrong?” I looked her dead in the eye and said “Well yes actually, I ordered and was charged for soy milk. This has whole milk, I want you to re make it and get me a manager so I can discuss how your company thinks it’s funny to hand out purposefully wrong drinks when the person they’re handing them to gets sick when those requirements aren’t met.” She stood there for a second looking at me confused and I sighed and said “I’m lactose intolerant bitch, fix my fucking drink before I get you fired on health code violation.”

Do people not realize that most of the world’s population has some sort of lactose intolerance?

Here in Hawaii, lactose intolerance is super common. The idea that someone would purposely give someone dairy when they’d ordered nondairy is seriously distressing. We carry soy and almond milk, and coconut milk when we can.
I’ve worked in six different coffee shops for over ten years (including Starbucks), in different parts of the country, and I can honestly say I have never, ever screwed with someone’s drink no matter what kind of customer they were. I’ve never made a drink badly to be mean, never held it against a customer who wanted it a certain way. If you are a barista and you do this, you deserve to be fired and tossed out on your ass.
I think the only time I changed something was when a mother ordered a blended drink with four shots of espresso for her five-year-old because she “liked the taste”. I just said “okeedokee” and made it with decaf. Ain’t no five-year-old getting heart palpitations on my shift.

Bless you for caring for that child. Why would you DO that to a five-year-old?!

[Image: A color photograph of storm trooper figurines standing next to a cup of coffee in which the milk has formed a leaf pattern. Superimposed text reads, “I’m a barista and when skinny bitches order a ‘skinny latte’ I make it with whole milk :)”]

oxymoronicromantic:

gingerhaole:

crowsephone:

raggedymanwinchester:

poppypicklesticks:

logicsomething:

youarefatbecauseyouarestupid:

Anybody in the food-services industry who does this to their customers is a cunt who deserves to lose their jobs. Not only is it just down right wrong, but it could be dangerous to somebody who has particular dietary requirements.

Having had the unfortunate experience of living with somebody who works at Starbucks, I have no doubt that this shit happens.

i’m lucky enough to have encountered a barista malicious enough to do this to me - i ordered a decaf latte with soy milk and they gave me fully caffeinated with cow’s milk. cue hours of panic attacks and feeling sick. ugh

Why do some baristas think its adorable and clever to dick around with people’s specifications?  They can kill someone with allergies with this shit. 

I get the dirtiest looks when I order anything with soy there. I’m Lactose Intolerant, and this bitch decided to give me whole milk in my macchiato. I took one taste and handed it back to her. She looked at me like I was crazy and said “What? Something wrong?” I looked her dead in the eye and said “Well yes actually, I ordered and was charged for soy milk. This has whole milk, I want you to re make it and get me a manager so I can discuss how your company thinks it’s funny to hand out purposefully wrong drinks when the person they’re handing them to gets sick when those requirements aren’t met.” She stood there for a second looking at me confused and I sighed and said “I’m lactose intolerant bitch, fix my fucking drink before I get you fired on health code violation.”

Do people not realize that most of the world’s population has some sort of lactose intolerance?

Here in Hawaii, lactose intolerance is super common. The idea that someone would purposely give someone dairy when they’d ordered nondairy is seriously distressing. We carry soy and almond milk, and coconut milk when we can.

I’ve worked in six different coffee shops for over ten years (including Starbucks), in different parts of the country, and I can honestly say I have never, ever screwed with someone’s drink no matter what kind of customer they were. I’ve never made a drink badly to be mean, never held it against a customer who wanted it a certain way. If you are a barista and you do this, you deserve to be fired and tossed out on your ass.

I think the only time I changed something was when a mother ordered a blended drink with four shots of espresso for her five-year-old because she “liked the taste”. I just said “okeedokee” and made it with decaf. Ain’t no five-year-old getting heart palpitations on my shift.

Bless you for caring for that child.
Why would you DO that to a five-year-old?!

reyairia:

thepageofhopes:

antisjwyellowfang:

Just your daily reminders:

  • Racists are a problem
  • White people are not
  • Homophobes are a problem
  • Straight people are not
  • Transphobes are a problem
  • Cis people are not
  • Sexists are a problem
  • Men are not

And most importantly,

  • Hating an innocent person solely because of their race, sexuality, or gender makes you a fucking asshole

Just some actual daily reminders:

  • All white people do racist things without being aware they are
  • All straight people do homophobic things without being aware that they are.
  • All Cis people do transphobic things without being aware that they are.
  • All men do sexist things without being aware that they are.
  • Saying things like ‘some men’, ‘some cis people’ absolves the blame of individuals and only seeks to comfort those with privilege and power.
  • When a post says ‘some X’, the X will always assume that they are not because THEY ARE NOT AWARE.

And most importantly,

  • It’s called metonymy, when anyone who is oppressed makes an exasperated statement like ‘i hate straight people’, they are substituting straight people for the concept of a system and a culture that teaches, incentives, and legitimizes homophobic acts and normalizes homophobic acts so that straight people constantly do honophobic things without realizing it and that’s really fucking annoying.

And just as important,

  • The concept of sjws dehumanizes marginalized people and categorizes them as an ‘angry and emotional’ stereotype and only adds to the oppression of marginalized people under the guise of being ‘fair’, while the only thing you are doing is cushioning privileged people from their own ignorance and privilege.

And to finalize:

  • Everyone is guilty of internalized -isms, and the longer you spend denying this instead of accepting and unlearning your thought patterns and behavior, the longer you will actually be part of the problem.

(Source: egalitarianyellowfang)

Henna was also used to mark happy and celebratory occasions, including holidays.
Jews in the Middle Atlas would henna their hands just before Passover, and the stain would last all through the holiday; Erich Brauer recorded the same of Kurdish Jews.
In Amadiyya, on the night before Purim, women would take all the young girls of the village to the baths, where they would be hennaed as if they were brides; this was known as khiyāpit benātha (Neo-Aram. the bath of the maidens). They were given sweets, and their mothers told them that their henna made them as beautiful as Queen Esther.
Women and girls in Yemen and Aden used henna to beautify themselves for holidays, including Purim and Sukkot; unmarried girls were allowed only to henna their hands, because hennaed feet were seen as the prerogative of married women.
As a symbol of celebration, henna was not used during periods of mourning. Some Persian communities practiced a ceremony called sāl dar overi (to leave the year) at the end of the first year of mourning: mourners would be given new clothing and jewelry and then be taken to the ḥammām and hennaed, symbolizing their return to the normal cycle of life and sociality.
Henna also appeared in other rites of passage. In some parts of Morocco, a newborn child was rubbed with henna; this was common among Muslims as well.
Some Moroccan Jewish communities also held a ceremony on the eighth night after a boy’s birth, the evening before his circumcision. Women would gather in the mother’s house to sing, eat, and apply henna, while the men read selections from the Zohar.

Noam Sienna, “Henna,” The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Brill Reference (via kosherqueer)

Hey I searched for myself on tumblr and look what I found! From my henna article for the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World. More people have probably read it on tumblr than anywhere else, lol!

(via jewishhenna)

Lovely Anon Who Sent Me the Ask Yesterday,

I hope to be able to answer your ask tomorrow (Central Time). In the meantime please do not think I have forgotten you or your important question.

Veronika

I am not in bed yet, and both Shabbat candles have gone out already.

Where did summer go?

Have you heard? diosanegra is stellar, she has great politics, and she is a total sweetheart. If you are not following her, you are missing out.