Color of Cement

The BIPOC talk is titled “breaking the cement ceiling.” As I look into the mirror, I’m wondering if I’m being invited in the capacity of the cement ceiling.

I haven’t been getting enough sleep, so color-wise it works.

Seriously, though. I assumed I was invited as a victim. But was i invited as a victimizer? “It’s because of pasty people like you that we have no opportunities!”

23 thoughts on “Color of Cement

  1. Off or on topic. I am behind on many things due to the COVID. One of them is the 5 hour sexual harassment training. My colleague: it is not that I will not be polite to the students, I will. They can be whatever, I don’t care, I will be polite. And I am a Marxist. But secretly I believe that if you missed class to give birth, you are a woman. If you want to me to recognize you as a man who has given birth, I will, but at another level … well, I think it is fine that the university expects politeness, but must it also regulate belief?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My sister returned to college for graduate school, and the amount of trainings, compliance seminars, sexual harassment workshops is over the top. She’s a 38-year-old professional woman and mother of two. And she has to sit there, answering inane questions about good touches and bad touches. It’s ridiculous.


  2. “It’s because of pasty people like you”

    Just remind them that former Soviet citizens are no longer white or ‘white adjacent’ and demand that the name be extended to BIPOCS (black, indigenous, people of color/sovietocity) I was going to write ‘Sovietness’ but “Sovietocity” sounds more…. Soviet?
    Or you could just say that Soviet, in Russian, begins with C so you’re already covered… check and mate!


    1. Whenever someone says, “you are white” I always say, “but you have to remember, I’m a low end white”.

      Jack Posobiec had once on his Tweeter feed something about Slavs having been recognized as people of color by some association specializing in victimhood. We could easily hop on that train. I personally would demand for example that white Americans recognize cabbage and beets as equal to broccoli and green beans. From where I stand, the traditional Slavic staples seem to be very discriminated against in restaurants and supermarkets.


      1. “Whenever someone says, “you are white” I always say, “but you have to remember, I’m a low end white”.”

        Why on Earth would you say such a thing?


        1. This probably is a PTSD from my travels in Western Europe in the early 90s. It happened many times to me that I would meet someone, they were nice but once they found out I’m from Poland they would start treating me completely different. I feel like this was sort of the racist treatment without being a different race, therefore the “low end white”.


          1. I see. I have a habit of always reminding people not to diminish themselves with words even in jest because it works like a negative affirmation (an affirmation that entrains the mind to think something bad) which in turn can cause all sorts of problems like depressions, anxieties, low self esteem etc.

            An interesting thought, perhaps, is whether Poles are “low end whites”, or if the Western Europeans holding unwarranted, unjust prejudices are 🙂


            1. I always mean “the low end white” as a joke. Anybody who treats anyone differently due to some quality they can’t change is the a-hole. I really can’t stop being from Poland.


  3. Found another interesting book (published February 9, 2021) :

    Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights
    by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

    Why are so few people talking about the eruption of sexual violence and harassment in Europe’s cities? No one in a position of power wants to admit that the problem is linked to the arrival of several million migrants—most of them young men—from Muslim-majority countries.

    In Prey, the best-selling author of Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, presents startling statistics, criminal cases and personal testimony. …
    This violence isn’t a figment of alt-right propaganda, Hirsi Ali insists, even if neo-Nazis exaggerate it. …
    A refugee herself, Hirsi Ali is not against immigration. As a child in Somalia, she suffered female genital mutilation; as a young girl in Saudi Arabia, she was made to feel acutely aware of her own vulnerability. Immigration, she argues, requires integration and assimilation. She wants Europeans to reform their broken system—and for Americans to learn from European mistakes. If this doesn’t happen, the calls to exclude new Muslim migrants from Western countries will only grow louder.

    Deeply researched and featuring fresh and often shocking revelations, Prey uncovers a sexual assault and harassment crisis in Europe that is turning the clock on women’s rights much further back than the #MeToo movement is advancing it.


  4. “Seriously, though. I assumed I was invited as a victim. But was i invited as a victimizer?”

    Since you’re white, you can’t be a victim, and since the white people of your nation were victimised by other white people who were not you, you can’t be a victimiser either.

    Therefore, judging by your blog, you have been invited for the food.


    1. // Therefore, judging by your blog, you have been invited for the food.

      Oi… Hope not. Wouldn’t want my favorite blogger to be eaten.

      // since the white people of your nation were victimised by other white people who were not you

      Don’t think they know that, or are aware of Clarissa’s Ukrainian (rather than Russian) roots.

      Thought for a moment it could’ve been because of Jewish roots, but then decided they wouldn’t know that and would consider Jews ‘white’ anyway.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I know the answer to this puzzle. They need a “Latinx” person for the talk. That means Mexican. They find my department. See that I teach Spanish. So I must be Mexican.

        These are not people who are deeply into nuance.


        1. “So I must be Mexican.”

          If that’s so, then you have to talk like Paulina in La Casa de las Flores… I just started that one and already cannot get enough of her…

          “ol vi dééé can ce lar el ma riaaaa chi”

          “es te no es mi pa paaa”


  5. Have finished Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s ‘Prey’. Have known most of it, but there have been a few revelations:


    Their feelings of disappointment and humiliation are projected onto the host society. Some become so resentful that they lash out, attacking women, police, or even librarians as symbols of Western society.

    (Cannot find the quote, but later she writes that because of attacks on librarians, libraries in a certain area stopped working in the afternoons. Since a library is one of my favorite places in our city, this bit made the impression.)


    Seligson is a middle-aged, liberal Jewish scholar with curly gray hair and an unassuming attitude. He is a physicist and computer nerd who is applying the tools of science and technology to a complex cultural issue. Speaking to me in California, he explained his approach:

    “The commodification and objectification of women begins with polygamy. When one man takes two wives, he leaves another manwithout one. This creates scarcity, and we humans hoard resources when they are scarce. Men do not trust each other with theirwives, so they sequester this rare commodity behind walls and veils and restrict their movement. Those without the scarceresource, typically young men, then have to maraud for it, leading to civil unrest and belligerence. And efforts to controlthose behaviors lead to authoritarianism and the corruption and poverty it begets.”

    In typical Silicon Valley style, Dan spoke quickly, taking me through pages of complex calculations on his laptop.

    “I have run tens of thousands of models combining parameters to identify the sources of violence against women in societies over time. What I am tracking is the accumulation of cultural effects that indicate attitudes toward women on average. These attitudes go back well before monotheism; they predate even tribal culture. Islam is simply not there. Neither is colonialism. It’s polygamy, the marriage law, that produces distrust and patriarchal violence toward women. And the historical legacy of polygamy can be tracked down [through] the generations. It raises the social temperature, creating a hostile, angry culture.”


    Telltale signs of the speed of social deterioration are the small changes being made by many women. A 2017 Stanford study of “activity inequality” that analyzed smartphone data from more than 700,000 people found that women walk less than men in all 111 countries studied. Though there are multiple reasons why people choose not to walk, the gender imbalance here is striking. Unsurprisingly, Arabcountries had the largest disparities between the average distances that men and women walked, but the gender gap has recently become more pronounced in Europe. A 2014 report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found that almost halfthe 42,000 women surveyed had restricted their movement out of fear of gender-based violence. The OECD’s Better Life Index for 2017 reported that around a quarter of German and Swedish women do not feel safe walkinghome alone at night.


    My researcher was surprised to find pepper spray for sale in Berlin pharmacies in 2018, sitting on shelves between ponytail holders and women’s magazines, even though carrying pepper spray for self-defense requires a license in Germany.

    Perhaps the most bizarre manifestation of this new security consciousness is the appearance of anti-rape underwear and joggingshorts. The start-up AR Wear is crowdfunding the development of women’s underpants that can be locked at the waist and legs. Following the mass sexual assaults in Cologne in 2015—and after she herself narrowly escaped a gang rape while jogging—theGerman entrepreneur Sandra Seilz created “Safe Shorts,” which can be bought for upward of €89.41 Safe Shorts are padlocked onto the body with cut-resistant cords and feature a siren that activates if the pants are tamperedwith. Alternatively, for around the same price, women can adorn themselves with a Dutch-developed bracelet that emits an odorlike that of a skunk when activated.

    But that is not the only thing that stinks about this story.


      1. Today is holiday in Israel – Purim 🙂
        So I decided to read something easy because of not reading anything for a long time.
        There are more informative books to read, like Lind’s “The New Class War”, but they are more difficult, so I chose the lazy option.


          1. // Is the book worth reading?

            I do not recommend it since it contains basic facts you already know. The parts that stood out, I quoted.

            Her suggested solutions include what you have suggested – ‘Repeal the Existing Asylum Framework’. Other parts of the solution are to ‘address the Push (stabilize failing states including by spending more on military) as well as the Pull Factors’ , ceasing to ‘permit unconscionable exceptions to the rule of law for migrants’ AND ‘Listen to the Successful Immigrants’ instead of ‘ propping up ineffective integration programs and pandering to unrepresentative Islamist “spokesmen” ‘. Ah, and also ‘Provide Sex Education to All Children.’


  6. Btw, the part about polygamy stood out to me partly since we Israeli Jews could’ve been in the same predicament. Have you heard of the story below? Had Gershom decided differently, I could imagine Jewish polygamy in today’s Israel.

    // The takkanah against polygamy. In about 1000 c.e., Rabbenu Gershom (c. 960–1028), who lived in Germany, formulated a takkanah decreeing herem (excommunication) upon any man who married more than one wife. This takkanah, like all other takkanot of Rabbenu Gershom, was approved and accepted as a binding rule for the community in conferences of the sages of Ashkenaz in later generations.

    Monogamy was accepted in Germany even before Rabbenu Gershom’s takkanah, but there was now a vital need for it, primarily due to the contemporary economic activity of German Jews, many of whom worked in international trade. Some merchants who stayed in various countries including Provence, Spain, North Africa and other places under Muslim rule, sometimes for many years, occasionally took a second wife. It was not only their personal situation which had an impact; authoritative early sources in the Babylonian Talmud tell of great sages who married a second wife when they stayed far from their homes. The custom among Muslims and some Jews in Muslim countries to take more than one wife also encouraged such marriages. Indeed, the halakhic literature of the sages active in Muslim countries at the time contains reports of people who came from far away and married women for a time without revealing that they already had another wife elsewhere.

    This article is from 2016 but nothing changed:

    // Polygamy has been illegal in Israel since 1977, when a law made the practice punishable by up to five years in prison and a monetary fine. Jews who arrived from North Africa in the 1950s and 60s, especially from Yemen, practiced polygamy, but stringent enforcement quickly ended the practice.

    The authorities do largely turn a blind eye to polygamy within the Bedouin sector, even though it often leads to domestic violence, sexual assault, and inescapable poverty. According to a 2013 Knesset report on polygamy in the Bedouin communities, approximately 30 percent of Negev Bedouins are involved in a polygamous relationship.

    In 2013, 361 Arab men were registered with the Population Authority as having more than one wife. In 2012, the National Insurance Institute gave benefits to 968 women who had the position of “additional wife” in an “enlarged family.” These figures only include those who officially registered their marriages.


  7. … I’m being invited in the capacity of the cement ceiling.

    I haven’t been getting enough sleep, so color-wise it works.

    Ha ha. Funny. But all jokes aside, I hope that’s an exaggeration.


  8. No engineers on the committee, I see. For the ceiling to exist, it must be concrete. Cement is the mix, once hardened, it’s concrete.


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