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Social sustainability

How to make a clean joke

PK- klubben
Last week my mother turned 40, so I had bought us tickets to a stand up show called PK- Klubben (translated to Politically Correct Club).
It was hosted by two social media active power women, Clara and Cissi. And holy damn it was good! They had four guest comedians which all of them had cool and funny things to come with. The topics varied from all between periods, guys with no sense of moral, vaginas, Donald Trump and the climate change, the offended white male, discrimination of people based on their colour and farts.
The main thing about this comedy club is that they only “kick upwards” as they phrased it.
No old jokes about women in the kitchen, disabled people etc. And it was so liberating to know, that every single soul in that theatre had good opinions and knew how you should treat other people.

There was some “harsher” parts but as one of the guest comedians said, “I only joke about things that I own, like my own disabilities, my own nationality and things that are in some way attached to me”.
I am from Finland for example, this makes it okay for me to joke about it, because this is a label that is attached to me, or that I have chosen to attach to myself. It would not be okay for me to joke about somebody who is for example adopted or in a wheel chair, but it is okay to joke about being a girl, facial scarring or Finnish people and Sauna. Because these labels are mine, therefore they are also mine to joke about.


What they meant with kicking upwards was also that it is more okay to joke about those who are on top of the hierarchy. For example there are more male bosses in Sweden that are named Stefan, than there are female bosses in total. Here it would be okay to joke about all the Stefans, because they are a majority. Kicking back on minorities is never okay. If the minority has an opinion which differs from yours, just ignore them and don’t give them air time in your private talk show aka your life.
Just do like Miriam Bryant sings:
Rocket, rocket, rocket away.
I’m rocketing away, cause I need space (from your ugly ass discriminating opinions).🚀🚀🚀

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The little things

The other day I shared a post on a study of carbon emissions, showing us that the little thing don’t matter if you don’t do the big things. But that is not the complete truth. The little things matter less for global warming through global emissions of CO2, but it matters in other ways. Our environment still care. Plastic for example is still harmful for us as people, for animals as litter, for lakes as litter and microbes. Production of cotton and food is still plagued by pesticides harming both environment and people. Forests, seas, land, animal and people are still harmed by the way we live, carbon emissions or not. That’s why the little things matter. That is why I continue to care about sustainability, and know I can make an impact through my tiny eco steps.

Did you know your electronics supports conflict?

Social sustainability is important to me, and it also what has lead me to look into other aspects of sustainability as this blog shows. Usually I try to find alternatives that are ecologically, economically and socially sustainable. When I have to choose, I prioritize social sustainability. It’s not hard to see why this is the path for me: as a human rights student I care that social sustainability is a way of achieving respect for people’s rights.

During one semester of my bachelor we focused on Central Africa, and on reconciliation processes around the world. A concern of both is Congo. One of the things we spoke of was conflict metals. To be honest I had no idea that a large portion of metals in a common mobile phone comes from mines in Congo. That Congo is the producer of metals is not a problem in itself, the problem is that these are conflict metals. The mining supports several armed groups in the countries, allowing them to continue to control areas using threats, violence and sexual violence – thus the name conflict metals.

Today electronics with material from Congo are made of conflict metals since there is little control of the supply chains which could guarantee conflict-free metals. During the time we read about this in school I was feeling increasingly guilty that the phone in my hand probably supported armed violence against civilians. That’s far from something I want to do, but since it’s already in my hand it’s too late to do anything about it. I thought to myself that with my next phone I would do better.

And here I am: time for my next phone and for me to do better. Therefore I’ve chosen to buy a Fairphone which will arrive at the end of October. Until then I am borrowing my dad’s spare phone. The Fairphone guarantees transparent supply chains which conflict free metals, while reusing what can be reused. As an initiative they have chosen to continue to source their metals from Congo, despite conflict, but to it in a way that supports the common people, free from conflict and with minimal impact on health and the environment. Which in itself sound almost impossible, but as a company they’re getting incredible results. Last year they announced that all metals – tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold – now have conflict-free supply chain and are fair trade. That is just wow.

As a added bonus, and important to me as a human rights tudent, is that they strive for fair working conditions throughout the process by working with manufacturers to constantly improve conditions and relations at the workplace.

I feel so glad now that I´ve ordered it and I know that I am taking a step towards supporting a sustainable and fair process. Every bit I read about it, I feel proud that it can be done, but also optimistically glad that there’s enough people who want to go out of their way to produce a fair and socially sustainable phone instead of finding the cheapest alternative. It’s the sort of thing that restores faith in humanity, so I’m more than happy to put my faith in them.

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