If the mean people in our lives were crappy 100% of the time, it would be easy to leave them. We would shrink from becoming friends with them or jump aboard the nope rocket in the early stages of trouble, and we would feel only relief when they are gone from our lives.
The problem is that very few people are evil all the time. They don’t wear villain costumes purchased at ForeverEvil. They don’t laugh maniacally and stroke their evil goatees while monologuing about their evil plans. They appear in our lives as People-Who-Would-Be-Awesome-Except-For-That-One-Glaring-Problem. They have potential to be awesome, and sometimes they are awesome, and they make us feel awesome, so we relax and let out that breath we’ve been holding in, and then BAM! They show their mean side, and we do a ton of mental work trying to reconcile the mean stuff with the awesome stuff.
Breaking up brings relief, as you lose the constant mental labor of managing the relationship AND the stress of being constantly disappointed and hurt, but it also brings grief. Shitty people who forget your birthday and give little backhanded compliments and gossip about your secrets sometimes give really good hugs, or presents, or are your favorite people to get drunk and watch figure-skating with, or were the sole witness to an important time in your life. The good times were real.
In 1784, five years before he became president of the United States, George Washington, 52, was nearly toothless. So he hired a dentist to transplant nine teeth into his jaw—having extracted them from the mouths of his slaves.
But despite Hollywood’s near-complete refusal to acknowledge it, ancient Rome was the original melting pot. See, back then, color and prejudice weren’t linked — unlike racism and stupidity today. Rome even had at least two African emperors, Severus and Macrinus. Rome was unique in the ancient world for its inclusive citizenship. In the past, a city-state like Sparta might have conquered a people and enslaved or slaughtered them all. Rome, on the other hand, blew ancient people’s minds by assimilating or even naturalizing the conquered. The ancient Romans didn’t even force conquered peoples to give up their own languages or customs.
The important thing for the Romans was that people followed the law, paid taxes, and, oh yeah, fought in the Roman army. The Romans were no dummies: Little old Rome was never going to be able to populate the world it conquered, let alone defend it, so absorbing other peoples like a giant legionary sponge was the only way to keep enough bodies in the military and on its farms. Rome enrolled northwest Africans, Moors, Gauls, Celts, Jews — pretty much anyone who could swing a sword or throw a spear — which is how an Ethiopian soldier could find himself fighting in Britain (maybe that’s why every film Roman speaks with a British accent).
There are no exact numbers on ancient Roman diversity, but given Rome’s constant contact with Africa and the Near East, the coliseum we asked you to imagine earlier should look more like Ellis Island and less like a Dave Matthews Band concert.
The female body has many uses. It’s been used as a door-knocker, a bottle-opener, as a clock with a ticking belly, as something to hold up lampshades, as a nutcracker, just squeeze the brass legs together and out comes your nut. It bears torches, lifts victorious wreaths, grows copper wings and raises aloft a ring of neon stars; whole buildings rest on its marble heads.
It sells cars, beer, shaving lotion, cigarettes, hard liquor; it sells diet plans and diamonds, and desire in tiny crystal bottles. Is this the face that launched a thousand products? You bet it is, but don’t get any funny big ideas, honey, that smile is a dime a dozen.
It does not merely sell, it is sold. Money flows into this country or that country, flies in, practically crawls in, suitful after suitful, lured by all those hairless pre-teen legs. Listen, you want to reduce the national debt, don’t you? Aren’t you patriotic? That’s the spirit. That’s my girl.
She’s a natural resource, a renewable one luckily, because those things wear out so quickly. They don’t make ‘em like they used to. Shoddy goods.
Survivors have described prostitution as ‘paid rape,’ and as ‘the choice that is not a choice,’ while liberal sex industry apologists insist that prostitution is ‘sex work,’ unpleasant labor much like factory work. The fetishized and objectified woman in prostitution is seen by postmodern liberals as benefiting from her own exploitation and commodification. The disappearance of the harm of prostitution is not an abstraction. At a Left/Labor conference in Australia, speakers who offered an analysis of prostitution as a violation of women’s human rights were denied the right to speak. A pseudofeminist speaker who was employed by the sex industry’s Eros Foundation spoke instead about prostitution as sexual freedom. We can’t let these logical absurdities disappear the truth of women’s experiences in prostitution. Each act of violence that has been made visible as a result of the women’s movement—incest, sexual harassment, misogynist and racist verbal abuse, stalking, rape, battering, and sexual torture—is one point on prostitution’s continuum of violence. This violence is denied by liberals who support prostitution as a choice made by consenting adults. Liberal sex business apologists declare that opposition to trafficking is “sex-slave panic,” and that since many trafficking victims knew they would be prostituting, they therefore consented to trafficking. “I’ve never met a Thai woman smuggled in for sex work who didn’t know that’s what she’d be coming here to do,” wrote Debbie Nathan. Nathan implies that if a woman knows she will be prostituted, she deserves whatever she gets.