Category Archives: aversive racism

Terminology – Metrosexual

I heard someone called a metrosexual on the street yesterday, in a joking laughing matter and remembered why I hate the term so much. Metrosexual is a supremely gendered term that just goes to reinforce gender roles.

A “metrosexual” is what exactly?

You might be “metrosexual” if:
1. You just can’t walk past a Banana Republic store without making a purchase.
2. You own 20 pairs of shoes, half a dozen pairs of sunglasses, just as many watches and you carry a man-purse.
3. You see a stylist instead of a barber, because barbers don’t do highlights.
4. You can make her lamb shanks and risotto for dinner and Eggs Benedict for breakfast… all from scratch.
5. You only wear Calvin Klein boxer-briefs.
6. You shave more than just your face. You also exfoliate and moisturize.
7. You would never, ever own a pickup truck.
8. You can’t imagine a day without hair styling products.
9. You’d rather drink wine than beer… but you’ll find out what estate and vintage first.
10. Despite being flattered (even proud) that gay guys hit on you, you still find the thought of actually getting intimate with another man truly repulsive.
“Some people think he’s gay, but he’s actually metrosexual.”
-via Urban Dictionary.com

Okay let’s unpack this a little bit. It’s a vile mix of enforcing gender roles, sexism and queerism. And a lot of this ties into the fact that for a lot of men the term metrosexual has taken the form of an attack on their masculinity.

Metrosexuals care about their looks, care about style, have taste and are refined in a general sense. These are trait societally expectedof women. I have many a female friend who can tell you of the horrible interactions they’ve had because they don’t practice hair removal or prefer Pabst to white wine or dress in a casual style all the time. The contempt for men who do these things not only reveals the contempt for these practices in general, practices more associated with women but also attempts to reinforce gender roles by strictly defining certain acts as “womanly” and “manly”. So there’s that. 

The contempt for metrosexuals and use of the term as an insult is a large scale version of schoolyard bullying. “These are things that men don’t do! If you do them you’re weird, not normal.”  The term itself is problematic because it exists at all, it’s main purpose seems to be to create a division between metrosexuals and “real men” who would never think of doing any of that “girly shit”. In addition to this it also acts as a form of protection for metrosexuals. It’s a defense mechanism that can be called in when they are accused of homosexuality, because any deviation from the strict male gender roles obviously must be a symptom of homosexuality but metrosexuality is still better than homosexuality. You can see this clearly in the definition above (#10). In fact almost all the definitions of Metrosexuality at Urban Dictionary contain a reference to homosexuality, usually an insult.

The discussion becomes even more complex when you bring race into it and point out that I’ve never seen anyone not white termed metrosexual, no matter how dressed up, refined or dapper they were. Because on the rare occasions we do get to see a Man of Color dressed up in any way 99.99% of times what is his role? He’s a mobster/gangster/defendant/crooked businessman/yakuza/drug dealer/pimp…you get the point.

So… in one term we have a confusing and intersecting web of misogyny, strict gender roles, queerism and racism. Is it any wonder I hate the term?

IBARW3, Debunking White Fantasy, Top 25 Black Superheroes & Shopping

A few links for the day

#1International Blog Against Racism Week 3 (IBARW3) is set to go from Aug. 4 – 10.  Here’s the call for submissions:

This year’s IBARW will take place between August 4 through August 10 (although please let me know if the dates conflict with important holidays). The theme (completely optional) is “Intersectionality,” as in, the intersections of various oppressions (ex. racism + sexism, racism + ablism). Suggestions and critique welcome here.

How Can You Help?

1. I need people to help compile links to posts. Last year, there were four of us and about 500 posts; I’m hoping this year will be bigger. Each person will basically take a day, put up a post in the ibarw comm, then tag links in the IBARW del.icio.us. If there aren’t enough people to do one day/week, we’ll rotate. We’ll also keep track of requests to retag posts in case something is tagged wrong. Also, if you can read a language that isn’t English, that would also be really useful for tagging non-English posts.

2. Volunteer to make icons! Examples from last year.

3. If you’re not American by self-definition, I would really, really, really appreciate a post or posts from you, as the “international” part of IBARW is very important. Extra love and appreciation if you aren’t from an English-speaking country/nationality. Posts in non-English languages are also very welcome!

4. Spread the word!

5. Post! If you’re white and don’t want to take attention away from POC bloggers, I respect that. But if you still want to contribute without taking attention away, you can also links to posts by POC or drive traffic or search for IBARW links for the compilers.

#2 Bankuei breaks a lot of shit down in his post – Debunking White Fantasy:

Well, why is that? All these weird species either boil down to alien non-human species or white people that look a little different and act funny. In other words, neither type threatens to dislodge the white normative. (Remember, human is synonymous with white!).

When and where we do see characters of color, they’re carefully shown with heavy stereotypical markers- asian people dress and act like this, african people dress and act like this, etc., because in that way, they’re not complex and full humans and threatening to the fantasy itself

Check the post out, you won’t be sorry.

#3 Black Voices has their list of the Top 25 Black Superheroes of All Time. Of course going through the list you see a lot of stereotypes and caricatures, non-humans and very few women. That’s not Black Voices fault at all but I would have liked a little more criticism on how these heroes were often bastions of racism and dehumanization on a really large scale but I realize that’s not what the list is about. I didn’t agree with a lot of the characters on the list or their placement but I can’t disagree with their number one, who despite his problems is one of my favorite superheroes.  

#4 Last for the Sci-Fi shopping geek in all of us, Best Buy is having a sale on DVD TV seasons from Fox including Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, Angel, X-Files, Dark Angel and more. Head over and shop until you’re overdrawn, it’s what I intend to do ;).

What’s In a Name? – A Hell of a Lot

Okay, what is wrong with people?

My name is simple. It’s only two syllables both of which are used easily in everyday conversation, so why do Americans have such an issue pronouncing my name. I even use an anglicized pronunciation of my name, I have since I was a child.

My name is Naamen. Traditionally it should be spelled NeAmen but on my birth certificate and in everyday life it’s spelled Naamen. Traditionally with either spelling it should be pronounced “Na-ah-men” (side note: my Hawaiian friends and acquaintances consistently pronounce it the correct way and spell it Na’amen, whcih I’m fine with). As it is I don’t even ask for that, only my father’s side of the family uses the correct pronunciation. For most folks it’s “Nah-men” and I think we can all agree this is not a “hard” name to pronounce or remember. But ever since I can remember people have been re-naming me and I’ve allowed it.

I’ve been called Norman, more times than I can count. I’ve also been called Naw-man, Nay-man, Day-men, De-ah-men, and the list goes on. I used to hate my name, to blame it for me not fitting in, for being different. When I played games with childhood friends I insisted on being called Alex or Adam. Even in high-school and my first few years of college whenever a teacher asked if there was a namewe preferred to be called I always instituted a nickname of Adam or Alex. When I dreamed of being a huge science-fiction writer I knew what pseudonym I would use, Saturn Walker, because I hated my name so much (although I actualy do use a pseudonym when submitting fiction it’s no longer because I hate my name).

None of these things ever stuck I was still Norman, Nay-man, Nay-men, etc. Maybe it was because I wasn’t so stringent in enforcing my nicknames or maybe it was because I didn’t do it as completely as possible, still allowing old friends to call me by my real name etc. Whatever it was I’m glad now that I didn’t allow the ignorance of people to rename me.

I’ve known so many folks who like me are first generation, their parents being immigrants, who never go by their birth name. They have an “American Name” that often has absolutely no connection to their actual birth name. Example, one of my best friends in middle-school who everyone knew as Sue, well her real name was Thuy. It was all over, a lot of my friends in high school and college were called Vincent, Phoebe, Alice, Jeanie, Linda, Chris, Pamela, Jennifer, Esther but their real names were nothing similar to those – their real names were from China and Taiwan, Japan and Nigeria, Ghana and Vietnam, Iran and Ethiopia, Guatemala and UAE. They or their parents had decided that those names were secret, hidden, only to be used among friends and family.

I know so many of these folks who are now angry and trying to reclaim their name, have people stop calling them by their “American Name”.

The history of re-naming people who are different and especially POC is dark and ominous in America. We know what happened to all those Africans who lost their names, and fought to keep some of their culture alive. So why have been so ready to give up our names for something more “All-American”?

I’ve actually had folks say “I’m just gonna call you _____” which when I was younger I agreed to, this gave me a large smattering of nicknames in high school all connected to some mangling of my name but nowadays I simply say “Actually I would prefer to keep my birth name if it’s all the same to you.” If any one of us had trouble pronouncing David or Solomon, would there be the audacity to ask to call them something else? No. Because they’re names are normative and ours are “weird” or “foreign”. So we give up our identity or names to be more like everyone else.  (I could get into the theft of “foreign” names for Fantasy novels and such and they way everything should be exotic and magical and the way that ties into this but that’s a separate post altogether)

One of the reasons we do this is because all too often Americans act like they can’t pronounce our names. Often it’s not a conscious act, they’ve been told that all those foreign names are incomprehensible so why even try, right? The saddest part of this act is that for most it’s unconscious and that those of us with names outside the norm buy into it too. And so when we tell them our names  and they lean forward with that “huh?” and small smile inviting us to share in the joke of our own name, we smile back because we’ve been taught that yes our names are funny. We’re taught that our names are so different, so foreign with both of these being understood to mean “bad”, “strange”, “not one of us”.

We often don’t stop to think about if on a simple linguistic level our names really are that hard. Most often it’s not that they can’t pronounce two, three or four simple syllables. It’s that societally they cannot bring themselves to acknowledge our lives and choices. We are a conscious reminder of change, of immigration and “the others” who are becoming more and more populous. Renaming us is a way to makes us less threatening, to change our identity and rob us of some agency by naming us as if we were a pet.

My own personal experiences bear this out if only because people who want to be friendly with me, new co-workers or friends of friends have very little trouble pronouncing my name. They may forget my name later, but that’s a completely different thing. Compare that to the security lady at my office building who has asked for my name over 5 times and still can not get it.   

Another huge reason we change our names or allow them to be changed is because of the way that “foreign” sounding names can count against us (I think with this reason it’s more often parents who create an “American Name” or change the family name to better fit in with American society) . Having a name that is so obviously not American can work against us in numerous ways in our everyday life.  A 2003 study saw that names that sounded white were 50% more likely to get a callback than names that sounded stereotypically African-American. Now in this day and age of immigration reform and a much more insular America having a name that marks you as not American affects your life every single day from people. trying to change it, to people making fun of you for it, to people assuming that you must be an illegal (which can land you in a detention center for months whether true or not).

That’s really the least of it, our name is our mark on the world, it’s a huge part of our identity to see it so easily tossed aside, mangled or chalked up as a negative is simply hurtful.

This is not to say that you may not mis-pronounce anyone’s name in your life. I do it too, except I try to never do it more than once. I repeat the name to myself or write it down or a million other methods used to remember things. So yes, there are some names that you might find are actually hard to pronounce and you might need some coaching to get through the first couple of times but re-naming someone…well this ain’t the south and my name ain’t Toby.   

Terminology – Savagification!

In my post last week about representation of Africa in the media I talked about the savagification that bleeds through in these articles. If you haven’t heard of “savagification” used in this way let me explain:

Savagification is the way in which countries/continents, not in the affluent West (This does of course have exceptions. It also happens in articles about Indigenous People located in the West, brown folks who live in the ghetto in the West, etc.) are dealt with in the press. Often the articles are written to be as inflammatory and “fear the brown invaders” as possible and very often include very little input from folks from that region except for small soundbites that bolster the reporter’s view that the people are just a bunch of savages. There are a couple of methods used to achieve this end.

Savagification means that the acts the people/country (because often the articles do not distinguish between individual acts and the country as a whole, so if Gambia has one serial killer all the people must be serial killers in the making) are accused of are described in loving gory detail. There will often be pictures that accompany the article that do their best to show the person in their “native dress” or poised with a machete or in some way that depicts them as savage and untameable. Those are often the only pictures that accompany the article unless there are to be some pictures that show the victims of these acts, often bloody mutilated and sitting on a filthy dirt floor with big tearful eyes staring up at the camera. This is a deliberate scare tactic used to bolster the West as some bastion of truth and civilization while painting the “others” as “savage uncivilized places” (and of course any people of the Diasporas of this country also carry that violent brown blood!). They won’t show the skyscraper cities with computers, cars, etc. because that would refute the “this whole country is just a backward savage place” notion they’re trying to promote. And of course they wouldn’t think to examine the colonialism that profits off of this view, the destabilization of the country and the continued subjagation of the people there.  

Another way savagification is achieved is by ignoring any history in the situation.  This is seen when the Rwandan genocide is discussed and there is no mention of the fact that colonialist policies are what instituted the original separation between the Hutu and Tutsi. When there are articles about witch-hunts in Africa that fail to point out the West’s own history with women accused of witches and the pagan-bashings that happen everyday in America. Because if they showed that horrible things happen in America too that would undermine the sensationalism of the article itself. Articles written about horrible things in the West are always carefully formed to present the atrocity as an isolated incident, actions by sick individuals but not part of the fabric of the country. (In a way you can zero this in to how POC are treated in the media versus White people, where anything that POC do is seen as representative of all POC whereas whiteness doesn’t hold that monolithic idea.)

There are other ways the people/countries in these articles are savagified having to do with word choice and the angle at which facts are presented but these were two of the big ways I wanted to touch on. So now you know what to look for in these articles and knowing is half the battle (I’m sorry, I’m a child of the 80’s I couldn’t help it).

 

Too Much Going On – Short Links

I have a lot going on today and for the next couple of weeks plus it being Monday makes me feel even more stressed and out-of control so for today’s post I have a list of short links that I thought y’all would find interesting and can read instead of my insightful commentary ;)

Whose Feminism? over at Racialicious by Guest Contributor Thea Lim where she discusses her feelings of anger and betrayal toward some of the white feminist blogosphere and grassroots movements that ignore any discussion of race. I think it puts into words what a lot of Women of Color are feeling right now toward the feminist movement.

Oregon Public Broadcasting has the first in a series on Umatilla women, their tradition of root gathering and the threats to this tradition. Anna King actually talks to women of the Nation instead of talking at them which makes this a much more rounded article than the usual ones on Native folks.

A woman in Canada shaves her head to raise money for a Cancer org and finds herself fired from her waitressing job. This is all about this man (and the patriarchy itself) trying to control women’s appearances. It such bullshit and I’m glad the community is up in arms about it but – and perhaps this is just me being cynical – but I wonder would they be half as up in arms if this was her personal choice and not about raising money for Cancer?

Worried about angry white women voting for McCain? Well you probably shouldn’t be. Jill over at Feministe breaks down the point lead that Obama holds over McCain in regards to women overall. But as most of us know the media’s never really cared for any women but white middle-class ones and among that group McCain is beating Obama (but only by the small margin of 6 points).

An experimental new Alzheimer’s drug/treatment may stop the build up of protiens that damage brain cells.

Homophobic judge in Spain forced to marry gay couple after years of putting off performing any marriages between folks of the same sex.

Guest Contributor Alex Alvarez has two recent posts over at Racialicious that are really eye-opening. First, New Study Shows that Latino Teens Are Pregnant Suicidal Junkies where Alex questions who they consider Latina/o and how they decided it which is an important factor that’s not been brought up. Secondly, Our Genes Don’t Match with “Brown Pride” Clothing discusses the conflation of the term Latina/o with the chola/o subculture in the media and with clothing marketed to the Latina/o community in particular.

Finally on an environmental note, the first beaver dam in England in over 800 years.

Visions of Africa, Blog Post vs. New York Times

When I did my daily blog reading this morning I came across to things that related to Africa. As some of you might now I directly identify with Africa because my father is an immigrant from Ethiopia. My own journey to being prideful of coming from Ethiopia and the drama that came along with it is another post in itself. Sufficed to say I’m sensitive to articles about the continent and how they are written.

All too often I feel that Africa is treated as if it’s all one big sameness, like there aren’t differing opinions and peoples throughout the continent. Africa is treated like a singular country, and the stereotypes that surround it are almost never acknowledged. Most people are just completely willing to believe that Africa is all a dry desert inhabited by brown folks who live in huts, throw spears and don’t understand what a plane is. Many don’t even know that the largest growing film industry in the world is Nollywood (Nigeria) with an output of over 200 movies a month, making it the third largest film producer in the world (behind the U.S. & India).

There’s also the idea of Africa as a continent of lawlessness and murder, but really couldn’t that be said of all continents? I think there’s a way in which the conflicts are framed where in most articles about Africa, Europe culpability and influence (when very few African countries have never known a European foot on their neck) is completely ignored or written off as irrelevant. The media chooses to portray Africa as a continent and Africans as a people as naturally full of tribal strife and murder and “superstition” (a whole post could be written on the practice of labelling indigenous religions as superstitions, but that’s not this post), always ignoring that qualities of hate and anger exist all over the world in all people. There are plenty of groups in the US who would have no problem slaughtering POC as a matter of course, some are even in elected office, but you know what? That’s not a news story, instead they want to show how behind modern times those brown people are.

You can see the difference in these two articles I read this morning.

At Racialicious, Guest Contributor Jen talks about being in Rwanda and visiting the sites of the atrocious genocide perpetrated there. She gives us a little history lesson that it was Europeans who insisted on dividing the tribes and giving them identification cards. It’s a classic strategy of oppressors creating imaginary divisions among the oppressed so they are less likely to band together and throw off the foot on their neck. It’s also very little talked about in the mainstream, I love that Jen brought that fact up because it’s something that needs to be known and puts a lot of the Rwandan genocide in context.

Contrast that with this article in the New York Times at the dangers faced by albinos in Tanzania, where they are now being hunted and killed for their “magical” properties. This is a serious issue and I don’t know enough about it to really comment (except the usual, murder is wrong!) but the fact that the NYT doesn’t talk about the colonial history of Tanzania and the issues with skin tone that happened there for over 80 years might have echoes in what’s going on now. The whole article focuses on these mysterious “witch doctors” (a term that I have such fucking issues with) saying that albinos have magical properties and the whole tone of it plays right into “oh the mysterious darkest heart of the world-witch doctors with huge angry masks-spear wielding-lion fighting-primitives” bullshit that they use to sell papers.

The whole continent becomes this “forgotten land” with its “odd rituals” because we all know ethnic cleansing, or witch hunts or murders on the basis of external judgments doesn’t/never have happen in the West at all? Right? 

I love Omarosa! Why Don’t You?

This whole post came about because my friend Jackie and I were lazing around and flipped onto some Reality Show countdown on VH1. It was showing the fight on the Surreal Lifebetween Omarosa & Janice Dickinson. I said to my friend “Y’know I kinda like Omarosa”. Her response? “Me too.”

So we started to toss ideas back and forth, not only for why we really like Omarosa but also why other people seem to have this unspoken but powerful need to hate her. It really comes down to our society’s view of women and the view of black women in particular.

Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth burst onto our TV screens on the Donald Trump reality show Apprenticeand though she didn’t end up with the big prize we all heard about her. Omarosa was the villainess, the bitch, the evil player that everyone loved to hate, but my question always was why? I enjoy some reality shows (though they are usually more frivolous that Apprentice) so I tuned in for a couple episodes way back when to watch this black woman that had all my friends talking. 

And honestly I didn’t understand the hate.

I saw a smart business woman. I saw a woman who had been immersed in the shark-filled waters of the business world and had discovered how to swim. Let’s be completely honest, the backroom dealing, the harsh attitude, the need to have everything her way and not compromise on what she thought was right, all of those things wouldn’t have gotten a blink, let alone intense media coverage had she been a white man. I mean how often are White Male Reality Villains heard about and known beyond the bounds of fans of that show? Almost never and when they do they fade quickly from public consciousness, anyone not a fan of Survivorstill remember Johnny Fairplay? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Yet Omarosa became a household name and achieved heights few others have aspired to…being known by only one name.

Look at the “character flaws” generally attached to her, the reasons for hating her given are usually something along the lines of: “bitch” “bossy” “aggressive” “angry” “defensive” “not able to get along with others” “liar” these are very similar (exactly the same in some cases) to the accusations constantly thrown at African-American women within our society, the constant stereotype of the overbearing, controlling black woman.

Let me get back to what inspired this post, the altercation on television, specifically the other combatant: Janice DIckinson. Janice is frequently described with the same kind of epithets as Omarosa, yet she is very rarely has the vitriol pointed at her that is constantly pointed at Omarosa. In fact she profits off the perception of her as a “bitch”,  gaining not one but two shows of her own after parting ways with America’s Next Top Model: The Janice Dickinson Modelling Agency and Abbey & Janice: Beauty & The Beast. So why? Why does Dickinson get show deals and lauded as a fashion/queer icon where anytime Omarosa is talked about it’s in terms of negativity, she’s called chickenhead, people “pull an Omarosa”, she’s used as a measuring line for the villainy of reality show contestants.

This “bitchyness” that’s such an iconic personality trait for a white woman and yet for a black woman it makes her hated world-wide? A lot of it has to do with perception of black women in America and Omarosa’s history of success. When a Woman of any Color is not submissive and stands up for herself (especially against a white man and especially on a reality show) she’s a villain or unreasonable or stupid or a bitch but they don’t all get as famous as Omarosa has. Part of that could simply be the wide response/audience of the first Apprentice but I think much of it has to do with her history. She worked in the Clinton/Gore administration and  has a history in business, hell the very fact the Trump picked her for his show gives her a lot of business cred. Mainstream America cannot write her off like they do many of the other Women of Color they see on their television, they know that her approach does work to some degree, that she has known success.

Let’s look at the perception of businesswomen. What is the constant image America gets of the successful business woman through our media? That she is someone who uses/used sex to get ahead or at the very least someone who is highly sexualized (if she’s traditionally beautiful). I could list multiple movies and TV shows where this is the case such as Sex & The City, Ally McBeal, Women’s Murder Club…etc. 

When we combine that view with the already highly sexualized view of African-American Women in our current society, it’s fireworks or ignorance all over the place. We as a society are conditioned to expect Omarosa to use her sexuality, to not be successful but she breaks these “rules”. She does not use her sexuality at all in fact. She comes to the show (and every appearance we see her in) hard and she comes with a highly developed sense of self and her own worth.

The automatic response to this woman breaking through our expected perceptions of her seems to be anger and hate. That anger becomes focused on things she does that when looked at objectively are actually no worse than anything contestants in the same episode or on other reality shows have done hundreds of times. Yes there might have been some lying, some backstabbing, some ambition on her part but isn’t that the point of reality shows? That’s at the base of all reality shows, trying to show that you (or your team) is the best and sorely deserves the top prize. 

There will of course always be some who’ll claim that the hatred targeted at Omarosa has nothing to do with gender or race but in that case I’m still waiting for them to explain to me the hatred that Omarosa’s name invokes. And why that same hate is directed at ‘ole whats-his-name, you know the one I mean, the one from Big Brother…

I feel that I actually could have gone on for a couple more posts about Omarosa by expanding everything in this post but I have training at work today and no time in which to do it. Plus I promised y’all a post on Omarosa this week but I might come back to this essay later, consider it an early draft.

Anime/Manga Characters =/= White

Okay so while I’ve never been a huge fan of Anime or Manga, I am a fan of both mediums I just tend to stick to what friends recommend or things done by the same individuals I’ve enjoyed before. I was part of the Anime club in my High School, in fact I was the vice-president and I enjoyed a lot of the series and OVAs that we saw. What I didn’t enjoy was the fetishization I saw coming from a lot of the white boys in the group.

Now from talking to friends I understand that my high school group was actually better than a lot because except for me all the officers were Asian and aware of the issues with fetishization. Now that I’m thinking about it this was the reason I was brought in as VP because they didn’t want the office to go to the only other guy running, a really annoying white guy who used to try out Japanese pick up lines on all the Asian girls in the group despite the fact that a large percentage of them were from China.

Yeah, that kind of guy.

Anyway I’ve gotten completely off-topic. My point is that there was/is a weird dynamic among those white boys of a huge fetishization of Asian culture and bodies while at the same time coding most of the anime characters as white. I had a huge disconnect recently when I heard someone on the street say to a friend that one of my favorite shows, Avatar: The Last Airbender, was great but why were all the characters white? My head jerked around so quick I almost got whiplash. I didn’t understand how she could see those characters as white and before I could find a way to insert myself into their conversation and question her about this they were gone. It’s something I couldn’t help but think about though.

Well my good friend bankuei has busted out some deconstruction of these issues in his post: Why Are They All White? over at Deeper In The Game: From Geekdom To Freedom. Head over and check it out, here’s a sample:

The usual point most of these folks like to bring to the table is that all the characters have big eyes. At the same time, none of these people turn and ask of American comics, “Why are they all steroid/silicone breast enlargement junkies?” Oh, that’s right, they’re able to parse and comprehend that this is a style factor of the genre, not a literal representation.

But why is that?

White Liberal Feminist Imperialism & Torture

*If you want more info on the white liberal feminist imperalism that’s splattering all over the feminist blogosphere, here are a couple more links for you. Again I encourage people to click on the links in each article.
Brownfemipower, Amanda, and Thieving WoC’s Efforts: Publicity or Plagarism???

Feminism and Appropriation

This has not been a good week for woman of color blogging – Acoording to some folks this one includes some comments from Marcotte herself which basically have consisted of her whining about how it’s all a personal attack. I don’t have the constitution to actually look right now but if y’all wanna check it out and report back to me, feel free.

*Daily Kos has a post which includes a memo signed by Dubya allowing torture. There’s been a lot of talk about how he was insulated from the decision in a effort to protect the resident from rightful censure, well that was a lod of lies and BS. WARNING! – The comments contain pictures of torture performed by America which may be triggering for some.  They’ve been altered so they read “Autorized by the President of the United States of America” w/ Dubya’s signature across the bottom. Powerful and if you can stomach it look at what our government is doing in our name.  

 

Maximum-Extreme-Linkage!

Okay so first off this is a very sad day in the blogosphere because BrownFemiPower of the La Chola/WOC Blog has left the internet. There was a lot of drama going on in the feminist blogosphere that left a lot of WOC feeling unheard and the victims of constant aversive (if not overt) racism. Of course this is not the first or last time that this has happened but it was particularly bad this time around . (If you guys want to know what went down go here: http://highonrebellion.wordpress.com/2008/04/09/intellectual-theft-is-still-theft/ and make sure to click on the links provided) I completely understand her decision to leave, you can only feel attacked so many times before you realize that maybe it’s not worth all the pain that you have to go through every single day. I wish her massive success in all her endeavors. A moment of silence for one of my favorite bloggers.

Micole (Coffeeandink on LJ) has a very interesting post Are Jews White? where she breaks down a lot of the ideas around Jewish folks and discusses the difference between Ashkenazi and Sephardic jews. This is always an interesting topic because there’s generally been a disconnect between WOC feminists and Jewish feminists around white skin privilege and solidarity. Micole breaks down a lot of the complex issues that exist around Jewish identity. My experience with Judaism (which includes intending to convert at one point in my life) was generally around Sephardic Jews who as Micole states tend to identify as People of Color so it was a very different experience meeting an Ashkenazi Jew in one of the organizations I volunteered with that very vehemently identified as white (she did so very specifically to acknowledge the white skin privilege that she possessed). Any way, go read.  

Saskaia shares a letter she wrote discussing Stephanie Meyer’s use of Quileute characters over at the LJ community DeadBroWalking. Meyer’s urban fantasy series has been gaining quite a following from what I understand, I personally have never been tempted to read them but Saskaia breaks down some of the issues she has with the NDN characters within the book and the way they are represented. Warning contains spoilers for the series.

Was Stanley Kubrick killed by the Illuminati for exposing their Masonic orgy rites? I’m just gonna say that I personally don’t really believe in hidden organizations that control the world (Shadow governments? maybe, conspiracies? definitely) but y’all just head over and read through that, decide for yourselves what you believe.  Because the blogger does make some intriguing assertions.

More fiction online, an anthology about body alteration/modification and more, Unwelcome Bodies by Jennifer Pelland has several of the stories online for your pleasure. Go check them out, I know I will when I have a spare moment.