How do I Truth and Reconciliation?

Politics, Rants, Society

Some time ago, I stumbled across a Facebook post claiming (either on the post or through a shared article, I can’t remember now) that Aboriginal cultures and languages were dying a natural death, that their inferiority/primitiveness/etc. meant that they could never survive and be useful in our modern world, and that all the efforts being undertaken to keep these cultures and languages alive and functioning were a waste of time and energy (I could say the same about social Darwinism). A young woman of Aboriginal heritage responded in a justifiably irate, hurt, and defensive way. She was basically just told that she was destined to die due to her inferiority anyway so there was no point in trying to protect or preserve her. It’s horribly dehumanizing to have such ideas hurled coldly at you by strangers over social media, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she were to tell me that she has to endure that kind of thing on a regular basis. The original poster, predictably enough, came back on the defensive, told her all the ways in which she was wrong to think she was worth keeping around, using every racial stereotype, sweeping generalization, and piece of misinformation about Aboriginal cultures available in society’s racial arsenal to belittle her pain and anger.

In my own frustration at this person’s inability to conduct a simple Google search, in my horror at his lack of empathy towards the woman he was talking to, and in my inability to refrain from compulsively correcting anyone and everyone when I think they’re wrong, I gave all his misconceptions a lengthy debunking, and after a bit of an exchange he began to relinquish some of his previous viewpoints. Although he still refused to acknowledge how terrible his original comments had been, and wouldn’t entirely let go of his careless and dehumanizing attitude towards Aboriginal peoples, at least he was listening more and being less defensive. It wasn’t ideal, but it was a start. A few days later, he private messaged me to thank me for explaining everything so thoroughly, to say that I had given him a lot to think about and that his opinion was beginning to change, and to ask how I had learned so much and where he could go to do the same.

This seemed like quite a victory. How often does one manage to change the mind of someone else over social media, over an argument in a comments section? And if I had to change anyone’s mind about anything, I was glad to encourage someone towards greater tolerance and a desire to learn more. It wasn’t until much later that I thought of something that really should have occurred to me right from the beginning of the exchange.

When I started my political science degree, I could see the terrible conditions faced by Aboriginal peoples in this country and wanted to help fix them. I had grand visions of coming up with some genius solution that would end their troubles for good. To that end, I tended towards classes and chose research projects directed at learning more about Aboriginal history, politics, and policies in Canada. If you know me personally, and you’re thinking, “I didn’t know she had goals like that”, it’s because I never talk about it, because in hindsight it feels pretty stupid and offensive and like most people, I hate having to admit that I’ve done or thought something stupid or offensive. As I learned more, and spent more time listening to Aboriginal voices on the problems they uniquely face, it became apparent that as a white person it really wasn’t my place to take centre stage and play the part of some kind of saviour, and the idea that I could do such a thing was silly and naive at best. I simply lack the cultural, societal, and political experience and context required to truly understand the full extent and causes of the problems, and therefore to determine and implement the most appropriate solutions to them. I do, however, possess the ability to learn, listen, and empathize. I discovered that in order to really make a difference, my efforts were best spent listening to and supporting Aboriginal people as they attempt to explain their problems and implement solutions. Though this may be a supporting role rather than a lead one, that doesn’t make it small or unimportant or not worth doing. However, white people are so accustomed to having a highly valued voice, the idea of taking a back seat on an issue often doesn’t even occur to them, and when they’re asked to, the request can seem strange, unappealing, or even threatening (even though it isn’t in reality). This is a serious barrier to real progress on issues of inequality. Good people who could be making a positive difference are actually contributing to the problem by digging in their heels, refusing to listen and understand their part in the whole thing, and thereby holding back any progress that could be made.

When that fellow from Facebook asked how he could learn more, my answer to him was that I did so by going out of my way to put myself in situations where I could read and hear the perspectives of Aboriginal peoples and those who study their culture, their history, and their current circumstances. And that’s what bothers me so much today about my exchange with him then. Listening to Aboriginal perspectives is exactly what neither of us did during that conversation. An Aboriginal perspective was offered almost immediately, and he shot it down just as quickly. And instead of supporting her perspective and encouraging him to be a better listener, I offered my own and was readily accepted while her participation in the conversation gradually decreased and finally ceased altogether.

It shouldn’t take a white voice to educate white people on Aboriginal issues when so many more experienced voices are so widely available. Although I would dearly love to go on a debunking spree, complete with amusing gifs, to whitesplain the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to those fellow (mostly white) Canadians who’s negative and dismissive responses have been so frustrating and disappointing to me, I’m not going to. I would be making the same mistake now as I did back then, and while my lengthy debunking wasn’t necessarily wrong, I hope you can understand how that whole situation was extremely problematic. If you want to know which opinions need debunking, Google them yourself. Or you could, just, you know, actually read the Commission and take the time to think it over before jumping on the defensive. This is a time for listening, empathizing, and supporting. Your needs and desires can take a back seat for a little while without your world coming to an end, so get over yourself and try to spend some time listening and attending to someone else’s needs for once. It’s not actually as difficult or as scary as you think it’s going to be. Take the recommendations seriously and consider ways in which you can contribute. It’s really not going to hurt you, and it can make a world of difference to someone else.

I appreciate you reading to the end and listening to my story, but my story isn’t the one you should be listening to right now. Take the time to explore some perspectives less familiar to you, and do so with an open mind, a respectful attitude, and a restrained ego.

http://www.trc.ca/websites/trcinstitution/index.php?p=893

Not All Bankers

Society

A bunch of people in the comments thread of the above video are ironically reenforcing everything Laci is saying by doing what she predicts they will do: justifying a failure to take rape accusations seriously by claiming that some of them are false. It’s a pretty huge leap to go from “some accusations are false” to “we should suspect all accusations of being false, even if it prevents the WAY higher proportion of actual victims from getting justice”. So, I thought I’d show it by writing about another crime in the same way that many people write and speak about rape.

Fraud: a serious crime with devastating effects for victims. Some fraud accusations are false ones, and when a false accusation of fraud is made, it can ruin the lives of the accused. They lose public trust, and as a result can sometimes lose their jobs and find it almost impossible to get hired anywhere. Very few fraud accusations are actually found to be false, but because false accusations of fraud are so harmful to the accused, we should assume all people who cry fraud are untrustworthy, and stand in solidarity behind the people being accused until it can be proven that they’re guilty.

Of course, investigating a fraud accusation thoroughly and without bias is a bit challenging when you start out thinking the accusation is false, as you’re much more likely to ignore evidence or make excuses in an attempt to eliminate the cognitive dissonance that results when evidence contradicts your previously held beliefs about the case, but it’s the price we have to pay for a fair legal system. Sure, the vast majority of fraud victims who have lost everything they have as a result of the crime committed against them, and who may never recover from the experience, are in a pretty tough spot. No one is saying fraud isn’t a horrible crime. But no one ever talks about the victims of false fraud accusations. It could ruin their reputation. They could lose their jobs. It’s truly devastating.

Look, it’s a “he said, she said” situation, so how can we even know that a depositor is telling the truth? Where’s the proof that their banker used their trusted position and control over the depositor’s financial assets to steal all the depositor’s money? If the depositor wanted to be believed, they should have kept all their banking paper work. And why are they just coming out with this accusation now? This fraud happened weeks ago. Why didn’t they come forward right away?

I mean, the depositor gave the banker their money. It’s not really like the banker took it from them without their consent. I think we all can agree that bankers will be bankers, and that this banker had a promising career ahead of them that has sadly been ruined. The depositor was pretty much asking for it, too, when they didn’t ensure enough security measures were put in place around their accounts. They shouldn’t have even been depositing money in that part of town in the first place. Most depositors actually want to lose all their money, but then feel embarrassed about it after so they accuse bankers of fraud to cover up their mistakes. It’s disgusting.

I might also add that not all bankers commit fraud. In fact, fraud can even be committed by people in other professions. So why are we targeting only bankers? It’s reverse-discrimination!

Does any of that sound legit? What if we treated murder accusations the same way? Theft? Arson? Physical assault? Blackmail?

The point of Laci’s video is: we don’t treat other crime accusations the same way we treat rape ones, even though false accusations of other crimes happen at a similar or higher frequency and are just as damaging, which is actually really weird if you think about it. And if you think we have to treat rape differently because it’s “hard to prove” or a “he said, she said” situation, and other crimes are not, then you really must live in a bubble. May your beautiful bubble world, in which all fraud cases can be easily traced and proven beyond a reasonable doubt and all rape cases with hard evidence are duly convicted on the strength of the proof brought forward, never be shattered by the harsh realities of life and the average legal system.

Listen, if we want to solve the problem of false rape accusations, being suspicious of accusers isn’t the way. We’ve been doing it for decades, and there are still false accusations that are still devastating to those they happen to, so it’s obviously not helping the falsely accused. There are also insanely low reporting rates, and of those that get reported, insanely high rates of withdrawals and low rates of trial and conviction, so it’s also preventing actual victims from obtaining justice. Not to mention the power it gives to criminals, who know that they can continue reoffending because their chances of being convicted are so low. Basically, this method of combatting the scourge of false accusations is hurting EVERYONE involved (except rapists) and helping NO ONE (except rapists). Why do we still do it?

We should be striving to better educate the public about legal processes, holding the media we consume to a higher standard of reporting, and putting more robust discrimination laws in place to protect people being unfairly treated following an acquittal, and we should be doing this while taking all accusations seriously* and giving them the thorough and unbiased investigation processes they deserve. But of course, those are logical steps that don’t involve slut-shaming female victims, demasculinizing male victims, and all-around dehumanizing any victims that don’t fit into that binary, so I guess they’re not as fun, right? No, they would involve actual work, and who wants to do that? I guess since it’s the kind of thing the extremist feminazis and their pathetic mob-ruling sheeple followers want, it’s not as edgy or free-thinking. I can see that your insistence on upholding the status quo is so much more radical. Please consider my mistaken belief, that taking rape victims seriously will lead to a fairer judicial process for all, to be duly corrected.

*It should be noted that a call to take accusations seriously is not synonymous with a call to believe all accusers without due process and thorough investigation, so stop acting like it is to create a false dichotomy that you can use to your own slut-shaming and rape-apologizing ends. The reason people like Laci use the word “believe” so often is because when people come forward with a rape accusation, the most common response is “I don’t believe you” or some variation thereof, and it needs to stop.

ELECTION!!!1!!11!!!!1

Elections, Politics

Our good friend Jim has called an election for the 5th of May. Since I’m a political science bachelor with a lot of non-politically-minded friends, I thought I’d actually make an effort this year to observe, dissect, interpret, and publish the goings-on of this provincial election in the hopes of making it seem a little more convenient and easy to understand, and a little less intimidating or overwhelming, for those friends.

I should state at the outset that I’m not a fan of the Progressive Conservatives, and that is definitely going to show in this series of posts. I’ll try to give them fair treatment, but I can’t guarantee anything.

So how does this whole thing work, anyway?

In order to make an informed vote, you need to understand how both the political system and the electoral system work. Not understanding them may lead you to cast a vote that doesn’t actually match what you want or need from the government. How can that be, you ask? I’m going to start with some voting 101 to get you up to speed.

For my busier friends out there, here’s a TL;DR summary:

https://nosuchnothing.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/election1111-tldr-summary/

1. Parties vs. Representatives

Most elected representatives in provincial politics (known as MLAs) belong to a party. Parties work as a team to set goals and get things passed in the Legislature. Sounds nice in theory, but it gets a bit weird in practice.

This gif is surprisingly relevant.

In Canada, party members have to vote together. If a representative wants to propose something, the rest of the party has to agree with them or it won’t happen. Decisions are often made behind closed doors between party members, and then brought to the legislature for a vote. MLAs rarely act alone on their own initiative, but pass everything through their party first. Once the party has made a decision about something, everyone has to vote in favour of it, regardless of whether or not they personally think it’s a good idea. It helps parties stay organized and consistent, which is good, however…

Imagine: everyone in your riding wants to increase corporate taxes. Literally every person.

If your MLA’s party also wants to increase corporate taxes, then your MLA can vote in the Legislature to increase corporate taxes.

 

However, if the party disagrees, then your MLA must vote against corporate tax increases, even if every single person they represent wants them to vote in favour.

If they refuse to follow the party and vote the way their constituents want them to, they run the risk of being kicked out of their party. They won’t lose their seat in the Legislative Assembly, but they may as well have. Because the MLAs in parties work as one, without a party affiliation your MLA is on their own most of the time so it’s very difficult for them to get their voice heard.

This is the face they will make.

2. Leadership

With Canada’s party system, the Premier is not chosen by a direct vote of all Albertans, but by the party with the most seats in the Legislature. Each riding has a seat, and elects a MLA to represent them. Whichever party can win the most ridings gets the most seats, and therefore gets to run the show. They decide amongst themselves who from their party will be the Premier, and they can change that person at any time without any input from Albertan voters.

Important note: Our entire system works on a first-past-the-post basis. This basically means that you don’t have to have the most, you just have to have more than anyone else. In terms of leadership, this means that you don’t have to have the most seats in the legislature to have control of the government, you just have to have more than any other party.

A majority government happens when the party in power has a majority of the seats. That party can basically do whatever it wants because it has a majority of seats and, because all party members must vote together, a majority of the votes.

The little “x” in the corner of this image is a lie.

 

A minority government happens when the party in power has more seats than any other party, but doesn’t have the most seats overall. This means that even though they control the government, the other parties can out-vote them if they work together.

A LIE, I TELL YOU!

 

3. Voting

Voting also works on a first-past-the-post basis. A candidate doesn’t have to have the most votes to win, they just have to have more votes than any other candidate. Seems to make sense, but there’s actually a huge problem whenever you have more than two candidates. I’ll show you:

If…

Candidate 1 got 30% of the vote

Candidate 2 got 70% of the vote

Candidate 2 wins.

However, if…

Candidate 1 won 25% of the vote

Candidate 2 won 20% of the vote

Candidate 3 won 22% of the vote

Candidate 4 won 23% of the vote

With 10% being spoiled ballots (meaning they were blank, illegible, etc)

Candidate 1 wins with only 25% support.

Yikes.

4. Making a decision

So how do you make a decision on how to vote? There are lots of strategies you can look at implementing, but I’ll tell you right now what NOT to do:

DO NOT vote based only on the party. Many people always vote for the same party regardless of which candidate is running in their riding, and this is a mistake.

DO NOT vote based only on the candidate. Some people want a particular person that they like to represent them, which is nice in theory and a good strategy in some places, but in Canada this is also a mistake. Voting can’t be that simple because of that party system I explained earlier, which is why it’s so important to understand how it works.

Shut up an listen, bald angry dude. This is important!

Deciding how to vote is a tricky balancing act between a candidate’s qualifications and promises, and the actions, policies, and promises of the party they belong to. A particular candidate might seem really competent and have great ideas, but if their party is going to ignore those ideas then you might have to settle for a candidate you like less that belongs to a party you like more. On the other hand, you may love a particular party, but if the candidate running for that party in your riding is an incompetent boob, a lot of important on-the-ground work might get messed up if they win, so you may have to vote for a better candidate from a party you like less.

How you balance that will depend on what you care about. If you care about local matters, like how your constituency office is run and how issues are dealt with in your riding, then you’ll want to give more consideration to the quality of the candidate than to the quality of the party. If you care about provincial matters, like the budget, or public policies and laws, you should give more consideration to the quality of the party, rather than the quality of the candidate.

I know it’s hard, but I believe in you!

You can also simply vote against the party/candidate you like the least. Lets say you despise the PCs (as I do). You don’t care who wins in your riding, as long as it’s not the PC candidate. You’d want to look at various polls and other predictions to determine which candidate seems most likely to win over the PC one, and then vote for that candidate in the hopes that others will have the same idea and your collective votes will push that candidate over the threshold they need to beat the PC one.

AND THAT CONCLUDES VOTING 101!!!!! Contact me if you have any questions, and I shall endeavour to answer them.

In following posts I will attempt to break down each party’s platform into easily digestible little bits so that you don’t have to do any reading yourself (because no one really wants to read through a party platform – booooooooring!), and also give a review of some candidates’ histories, qualifications, and promises. Can’t guarantee I’ll get around to all candidates, as there are many, but I’ll start with those in Edmonton and Calgary and work my way out from there!

ELECTION!!!1!!11!!!!1 TL;DR Summary

Elections, Politics

Voting 101 – Condensed

Most MLAs belong to parties, and must vote the same as the rest of their party as if they belonged to an all-powerful hive-mind. Failure to follow party lines often results in permanent exile from the party.

Our main Provincial leader, the Premier, is not elected by Albertans, but chosen from among the party members of whichever party has the most seats in the Legislature. And I don’t mean the most seats in general, I mean the most as in: more than anyone else has. They can have less than 50% of the seats and still control the government.

This is called first-past-the-post, and it’s also how our voting system works. When you vote, the candidate you vote for doesn’t have to get the most votes, they just have to get more than any of the other candidates. In an election with 98 candidates, if 97 candidates each got 1% of the vote, and one candidate got 3% of the vote, the candidate with 3% would win. That’s right. A candidate with only 3% voter support could represent you!

So to recap: A candidate can win with less than 50% support, their party can control the government and decide the leadership with less than 50% of the Legislative Assembly seats, and they have to agree with their party’s crappy legislation at all times no matter what.

How does one vote in this messed up system?

Compromise: balance your decision between the candidates you like and parties you like. If the candidate is great but their party sucks, settle for a less good candidate in a better party. If the party is great but the candidate sucks, settle for a less good party but a better candidate. If you care about local matters, like how your constituency office is run, give priority to the quality of the candidate. If you care about provincial matters, like the budget and public policy, give priority to the quality party.

It’s as easy as doing this!

Take down your enemies: if all you care about is stopping those motherf***ing PCs from taking office a-F!@#$ING-gain (or any other party/candidate you hate with the fiery passion of a thousand suns), figure out which candidate is most likely to beat them and vote for that candidate. Remember, they don’t have to have the most, they just have to have more than the person you hate.

Anxiety and Perception

Random

Anxiety disorders screw with your perception of the world, so a lot of ordinary things can cease to make any sense at all, and regular tasks can become impossibly intimidating. Here’s a comparison of normal tasks vs the perception a person with anxiety disorder has about those tasks.

This is meant to show the severe and non-sensical nature of an anxiety disorder, and how it can be paralyzing to the point of interfering with everyday activities. Exact details of thought/behaviour patterns and severity will vary by person, by day.

Asking for someone’s phone number

What a regular person does:

What a person with anxiety disorder thinks they’re doing:

Texting a friend

Regular:

“They haven’t gotten back to me yet. Must be busy.”

Anxiety:

“They didn’t get back to me immediately. THIS PROVES THAT THEY HATE ME. WHAT DID I DO WRONG? Should I text them again? I probably shouldn’t text them again. I’m going to text them again.”

Crossing the Street

Regular:

Anxiety:

Making a plan for the evening

Regular:

Anxiety:

Making plans for your life

Regular:

Anxiety:

Looking for keys

Regular:

Anxiety:

Having a boyfriend (or girlfriend)

Regular:

“They should have gotten back to me by now, I know they’re just playing Halo. Oh well.”

Anxiety:

http://tinyurl.com/mlsb8ee

Meeting a friend

Regular:

“They’re 30 minutes late. Traffic must be really bad!”

Anxiety:

“They’re 10 minutes late. Traffic must be bad. Unless… oh no. What if they’re dead? How would I even know if they died en route? I wouldn’t! They could have been hit by a car or attacked or something. OH NO THEY’RE DEFINITELY DEAD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO? Maybe I just got the wrong time. Did I get the right time? I’m pretty sure I got the right time. Yep, just checked. Got the right time. Maybe it’s the wrong day! Maybe I’m supposed to meet them tomorrow. Need to check again. It says today. Unless today isn’t actually Tuesday. What if it’s actually Monday and I’m supposed to meet them tomorrow? WHAT IF IT’S WEDNESDAY AND I MISSED THE MEETING ENTIRELY?! What day is it? My phone says Tuesday, but how can I be sure? Maybe we never even made plans and I just made it up in my head. Maybe we aren’t even friends, and I just think we are. What if they don’t even exist? WHAT IF I DON’T EXIST?! — Oh hey, you’re here! Traffic was bad? Thought so. That really sucks, man. Glad you made it, though!”

Starchild5 – Winning

Random

I recently discovered a website: http://www.happierabroad.com, thanks to a friend who was kind enough to post it on FB. Before you click through to it, understand that it is basically a place for shitty men to get together and talk about how sluts can’t be raped and all women are evil, so if that’s going to ruin your day, maybe just don’t.

Horrible though the people in forums section of this site may be, there is one diamond in the rough, and that diamond’s user name is Starchild5. Just so you have a more complete understanding of this user’s personality, that user name is coupled with this avatar:

I wish I could read all of his posts without having to register or sift through the rest of the bile, because they are truly golden. Rather than explain this magical individual to you, I’ll just let him speak for himself. His views may seem unreal to you, but I’m fairly convinced he really believes this stuff, and I love him for it. If I ever find more of his stuff, I’ll do a follow-up post.

The spelling and grammar is all him. The gifs are my addition.

“Feminism can’t survive in front of Prostitution. The only cure for Feminism is Hookers.”

“Not even money can save you from Feminism, Its spreading everywhere.”

“The people who created the concept of feminism as we know are not women themselves. It has to be a twisted incredible evil smart, know it all thingy…..”

“The more deeper you go into feminism the more powerful it seems to be – It has this tentacles that would consume every defensive mechanism a man has.”

“Men and women were in one body, we were androgynous and were divided by other Aliens races to lower the power we had. The male sex organ itself is Alien to men, that’s why it is damm hard for men to control their sexual desires.”

“Sexual Organ has a mind of its own. Preston Nicols has investigated this further and he says… The shape of our D**k acts as an antenna to HyperSpace… The feeling of or***m is really opening up the antenna and connecting it with Hyperspace where the Sperms are programmed by the controlling forces of this universe.”

“If one takes the sperms from the scrotum, its a proven scientific fact that… if Sperms that don’t pass through the feeling of or***m, they are not fertile and cannot make babies. Our Sperms Must pass through or***m in order for it to be active. The feeling of or***m is really out of this world.”

 

Unilever’s Low Expectations

Rants

A friend of mine recently posted the latest Dove commercial, the one about the ‘beauty patch’, saying he wasn’t sure what to think about it and soliciting feedback from his FB friends. I won’t post the video here, as I don’t want to give Dove/Unilever any additional shares or views (few as they may be, coming from this largely invisible blog). You’ve probably seen it anyways, as they’ve bought a ridiculous amount of YouTube ad time.

The fact that this friend approached the ad with some uncertainty and trepidation, and needed support from his online community, shows two things: 1. This friend of mine is essentially a person of good character and substance (something I already knew); 2. Dove’s advertising team is so good at convincing you of their self-proclaimed positive image that even those of great character and substance can be made to doubt themselves upon exposure to their media.

This friend got the support he was looking for, in such intelligent and thoughtful comments as:

Women’s self-image issues are not a medical or cosmetic condition to be fixed by a placebo. This is a “just think happy thoughts” commercial, and that’s a sick way to deal with people who face real social pressure to conform to totally unrealistic and unattainable standards of beauty. Women who suffer from traumatic self-esteem issues are not the cause of their own misery.

and:

From a sociological point of view, Dove is reinforcing problematic associations of women’s self-esteem with beauty, individualizing that relationship, and centering the responsibility for self-esteem on women... Despite saying women are beautiful no matter what, they are reinforcing the association between beauty and confidence, which may lead women to question their worth if they find that they do not meet cultural standards of beauty.

I really wanted to weigh in on this conversation, but found myself unable to for at least a day or two due to the fact that viewing that commercial actually made me temporarily a little bit stupider. I finished watching it and was like, “uhhhhhh… what?” Seriously, have you seen this piece of garbage?

The entire commercial is based on the premise that women in general are extremely freakin’ stupid and gullible. Or are they trying to make the point that women are so incredibly desperate to be more beautiful that they would believe anything? Seriously. Beauty patch? Who would ACTUALLY believe that’s a thing?

I mean, I’m sure there are some people out there gullible enough to fall for it (as evidenced by the number of commenters on YouTube saying they wish they could buy the product), but the apparent diversity of women in the commercial suggests to me that Dove thinks you could hand this BS to any woman and she’d fall for it.

Dove isn’t encouraging positive self-images for women, but rather selling a positive image for themselves. If people feel Dove is a good company with high morals, they are more likely to purchase their cosmetic products over those of some other company, like soaps, shampoos, and even more frivolous and unnecessary ones like firming creams or anti-blemish agents. Look, if they were really interested in promoting ‘natural’ beauty, would they even sell something like a firming cream to begin with? No. But they do, because they aren’t interested in promoting a healthier body image for women, but rather in making money. Because they’re a corporation. It’s what they do.

There’s a high demand for things like firming creams, because for most women, self-esteem is still linked to outward beauty, and where there’s a demand, corporations will step in to make money off of it. Dove isn’t some benevolent force trying to make the world a better place, they’re a corporation trying to make money, and they’re doing it by cleverly convincing you that they’re morally superior, and that you’re contributing to the world in a positive way by buying their products. But you’re not.

You’re rewarding Dove’s ‘natural beauty’ campaign with increased sales and broad social acceptance of their view on women’s self-worth, which reinforces the link between women’s perceived beauty and their self-esteem, which causes women to feel inferior when they don’t match up to cultural expectations of beauty, which causes them to buy Dove’s products to feel more beautiful, which encourages Dove to put out more ‘natural beauty’ ads, bringing us back to the beginning of this marketing circle that results in continued monetary success for the corporation.

You know, Dove, maybe I’d be more willing to purchase your product if you didn’t treat me like a complete idiot. Just sayin’.