friday five 5.12.17
FRIDAY, MAY 12TH
I didn't know "brain drain" was a serious issue until my friend Myra mentioned it in the context of the educational community. But I guess it's another one of those things where you're forced to choose: personal success or the greater good? This isn't to say you can't have a lucrative career either way; it's a question of selflessness.
Did you know female genital mutilation was a problem in the United States? I didn't. Nor did I have any idea how relatively common and yet underreported it was. This is a bit of a tangent, but I've read a lot of articles recently about the problematic nature of "voluntourism" and how the White Savior Complex inhibits our ability to address domestic issues. Building houses in Peru may sound like a good idea, but are you really qualified to build a house? Not to mention that other solutions, while successfully implemented, are not sustainable over the long term. Economic and social problems are much too complex and much too easily exoticized.
An editorial from The Atlantic nails it: perhaps the most damaging part of the White Savior Complex is the narrative created around underdeveloped countries that paints a false picture of victims in need of heroism, which simultaneously distracts from our own country's problems, like the wars we ourselves started. The author tweeted:
The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.
This is exactly the kind of blindness that has allowed female genital mutilation to go practically undetected in America, but spark a humanitarian outcry across the globe.
Okay, this story just made me really happy and I wanted to share the joy.
I've read that complaining is our biggest addiction, but this article argues that complaining may have its benefits, as long as you complain the right way. And I think that has its merits. Complaining with a purpose is constructive. Ranting just for ranting's sake is not.
First of all, I love that these guys are called "Weeping Boys" (like "whipping boys"? It's almost a pun, but they both refer to someone designated for a specific purpose...IDK...), but it's interesting that some parts of Japanese culture are so compartmentalized, like this, and some parts are very blended, like work/social life.
It also poses the sugar daddy/sugar baby question: Who in this situation holds the power? The person paying for the service, or the person receiving the money?
We've all seen those HuffPost articles about the carefully-curated lives of Instagram models, but this one is backed by big data and includes a new life mantra for the digital age.