“When minor characters who are also ethnic minorities start talking among themselves in their native tongues, they sometimes take advantage of their invisibility to say things. Sometimes they break the Fourth Wall and start ranting about the movie director. Sometimes, they spout random obscenities or natter about their lousy lunch. It’s all in not-English, so whatever they say doesn’t matter! And the actual translations of their lines can be a secret source of hilarity in films where actors are instructed to use a Gratuitous Foreign Language (GFL) in order to make a scene sound more authentic. When some Native Americans cast in Westerns were told to speak their own language to add some authenticity, these actors took the opportunity to crudely editorialize about their director, which allegedly resulted in Native American audiences (in)explicably cracking up laughing during scenes that were meant to be dramatic.”—Minorities can be marginalized in film, but not silenced. (via salon)
“The term “tear gas” is a misnomer. For one thing, “tear gas” seems to imply something innocuous— you would think it’s just a chemical that makes you tear up. In fact, tear gas is a dangerous, potentially lethal chemical agent which is outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention for use during wartime. As the Omega Research Foundation argues: “Less-lethal weapons are presented as more acceptable alternatives to guns. But these weapons augment rather than replace the more lethal weapons. Euphemistic labels are used to create the impression that these weapons represent soft and gentle forms of control. CS is never referred to by the authorities as vomit gas, in spite of its capacity to cause violent retching.” NGO Physicians for Human Rights believes that “ ‘tear gas’ is a misnomer for a group of poisonous gases which, far from being innocuous, have serious acute and longer-term adverse effects on the health of significant numbers of those exposed.””—What is tear gas? —Facing Tear Gas (via somethinglickedthiswaycums)
“As a child I never heard one woman say to me, “I love my body.” Not my mother, my elder sister, my best friend. No one woman has ever said, “I am so proud of my body.” So I make sure to say it to Mia, because a positive physical outlook has to start at an early age.”—
“Annie (a pseudonym) is a Chinese-American, straight, female university professor. While she was in graduate school, she found it difficult to receive medical treatment due to the perceived psychiatric condition of simply being Asian and female: “I went to a doctor at the university because I had recurring abdominal pain. The doctor listened to my description, but rather than doing a physical exam, he explained to me that it was normal for Asian women to be anxious and stressed out, and anxiety was probably causing my abdominal pain.” But surprisingly, the doctor didn’t treat the anxiety either. He just said there was nothing he could do.”—Shattering the Madness Monolith: On the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Psychiatric Disability (via longmoreinstituteondisability)
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”—L.R. Knost (via maxistentialist)
things life is too short for: - hating yourself - pretending to laugh at “jokes” that are actually just bigoted statements - not singing along to your favorite songs - waiting hours to text someone back just to look cool - bad coffee - bad books - mean people - body shaming - letting other people dictate your life - larry’s storyline
“So far as we feel sympathy, we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent- if not inappropriate- response. To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by war and murderous politics for a reflection on how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may- in ways we might prefer not to imagine- be linked to their suffering, as the wealth as some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only an initial spark.”—
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others
Something to think about re: photos of Mike Brown and police brutality in Ferguson, especially for white people who have never experienced police violence and who were raised to believe that police are trustworthy.
“When I found out I had lupus, I thought all would be well once I was treated. Then we realized there was also major anxiety and depression that I was battling, so my mom reached out to lupus organizations that could help. Like Hazel, I went to a support group. But instead of meeting Prince Charming, I met a room full of women (90% of people with systemic lupus erythematosus are women) ages 50 and up who, on my fourth visit, told me how they had all had strokes or this and that and warned me that it could happen to me too. I never went back.”—Montgomery Jones, As a girl with chronic illness, The Fault in Our Stars isn’t just a love story
“Storytelling is a political act. It’s making sense of the world and ourselves, and like every other kind of sense-making, it’s as political as it is personal and vice-versa. There is no distinction to be made between the political and the personal. Writing of any kind is political. It’s claimsmaking regarding reality and how to interpret it. Because whenever we’re faced with these things, we’re faced with fundamental truths regarding how creation makes and unmakes the world, regarding whose voices are amplified and whose are lost, between who gets to speak and who is literally silenced.”— sunny moraine in 'the politics have always been there' (via swanjolras)
The FIFA World Cup is the largest sporting event in the world. The 32 best national male soccer teams compete, attracting an audience of more than 26 million people worldwide and costing billions of dollars every time it is staged. This time, the host country of the cup was Brazil, and advertisers and media outlets were happy to produce a variety of world-cup themed images in order to cash in on the soccer craze. Whether it’s beer, cars, lingerie, fast food or soft drinks, companies were eagerly drawing upon nationalist sentiments as well as staging their products within a Brazilian wonderland to attract millions of soccer fans to their brand.
These two strands – nationalist symbolism and the romanticization of Brazil as an exotic and beautiful playground – tie into another popular trope used in the World Cup imagery: that of the beautiful, scantly-clothed woman present merely as something to be looked at in order to complete the straight male soccer fans’ wet dream.
“A study on masculinity and aggression from the University of South Florida found that innocuous – yet feminine – tasks could produce profound anxiety in men. As part of the study, a group of men were asked to perform a stereotypically feminine act – braiding hair in this case - while a control group braided rope. Following the act, the men were given the option to either solve a puzzle or punch a heavy bag. Not surprisingly, the men who performed the task that threatened their masculinity were far more likely to punch the bag; again, violence serving as a way to reestablish their masculine identity. A follow-up had both groups punch the bag after braiding either hair or rope; the men who braided the hair punched the bag much harder. A third experiment, all the participants braided hair, but were split into two groups: those who got to punch the bag afterwards and those who didn’t. The men who were prevented from punching the bag started to show acute signs of anxiety and distress from not being able to reconfirm their masculinity.”—Doctor Nerdlove, "When Masculinity Fails Men"
“I think a lot of people don’t understand that when we talk about these issues—blackface, rape jokes, the appropriation of marginalized cultures, and so on—we are having an ethical conversation, not a legal one. There is no thought police. No one’s coming to your house and carting you off to Insensitivity Prison. But you, as a person living on this planet, get to make a choice whether you want to hurt people or help people. Whether you want to listen or shut people out. I can’t imagine why you’d choose “defensive shithead” over “nice lady capable of empathy,” but okey dokey.”—Oklahoma Governor’s Daughter Enrages Native American Protestors (via hellasharks)
Create your own gender. Invent your own pronouns. You are not limited to the language we have. You are not limited to the lie of the gender binary. Gender is limitless and so are you. Your identity is valid, and anyone who tells you otherwise needs to be slam-dunked into a garbage can.
Laverne Cox just made history (again). Her talent, honesty, and resilience enable her to do amazing things: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/tv/la-et-st-emmys-laverne-cox-trans-orange-is-the-new-black-20140710-story.html
Discussions about racism should be all-inclusive and open to people of all skin colors. However, to put it simply, sometimes White people lack the experience or education that can provide a rudimentary foundation from which a productive conversation can be built. This is not necessarily the fault of the individual, but pervasive myths and misinformation have dominated mainstream racial discourse and often times, the important issues are never highlighted. For that reason, The Frisky has decided to publish this handy list that has some basic rules and information to better prepare anyone for a worthwhile discussion about racism.
1. It is uncomfortable to talk about racism. It is more uncomfortable to live it.
2. “Colorblindness” is a cop-out. The statements “but I don’t see color” or “I never care about color” do not help to build a case against systemic racism. Try being the only White person in an environment. You willnotice color then.
3. Oprah’s success does not mean the end of racism. The singular success of a Black man or woman (i.e. Oprah, or Tiger Woods, or President Obama) is never a valid argument against the existence of racism. By this logic, the success of Frederick Douglas or Amanda America Dickson during the 19th century would be grounds for disproving slavery.
4. Reverse racism is BS, but prejudice is not. Until people of color colonize, dominate and enslave the populations of the planet in the name of “superiority,” create standards of beauty based on their own colored definition, enact a system where only people of color benefit on a large-scale, and finally pretend like said system no longer exists, there is no such thing as reverse racism. Prejudice is in all of us, but prejudice employed as a governing structure is something different.
5. America has not “gotten over” its race-related problems. In American History class you learned about slavery and Jim Crow, but sadly you were taught that figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks eradicated an entire 200-year history of oppression, discrimination and segregation. Your history teachers and books tried close the race chapter on a high note, however the ongoing history of America’s systemic racism cannot be simply wrapped up and decorated with a “now we all are equal” bow.
6. Google is your best friend. Search: Black/White wealth gap, redlining, “White flight,” subprime mortgages and black families, discriminatory sentencing practices, occupational overcrowding, workplace discrimination, employment discrimination, mandatory minimum sentences and in-school segregation to start. Here are some highlights:
7. Then read some more. Google: Black Wall Street, Sundown towns, eugenics and forced sterilization, and Black voting prohibition.
8. Buy and read a book from a Black author. Some recommendations: W.E.B Dubois, James Baldwin, Frederick Douglass, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Ralph Ellison, Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston would be a great start.
9. Realize that segregation is still rampant. Step outside and take a look around your neighborhood. Lacking people of color much? That is called segregation. It is not by chance, though sometimes by choice. (Refer to “redlining” Google search.)
About your neighborhood again: Displacing people of color much? That is called gentrification.
Think about the schools you went to and the classes you had. Not too many minorities in either? (Refer to school segregation/in-school segregation.)
10. Programs or initiatives that target systemic racism are not “charity.” We do not refer to the 200 years of free labor provided by enslaved Blacks as charity. Or the Black property stolen by Whites during the decades of state-supported terrorism? Or, say, the unfair banking practices that have completely decimated the Black middle class through foreclosures (refer to subprime mortgages and Black families google search)?
11. Black on Black crime does not exist. There are countless White people committing crimes against White people, but “White-on-White crime” is strangely absent from the rhetoric reporting everything from elementary school shootings to world wars. Why should crimes committed by and against people of color be labelled any differently?
12. White people will not become the minority in America in the next 20 years. “Whites” were originally Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs). The definition of “White,” as a racial classification, has evolved to include “Whiter-skinned” minority groups who were historically discriminated against, barred from “Whiteness” and thus had little access to opportunity. Some examples: Italians and the Irish (who were frequently referred to as n***ers in the 1800’s), Jewish people and more recently Hispanic (George Zimmerman) and Armenian minority groups. Such evolutions, however, always exclude Blacks.
13. Hip-hop culture is no more dysfunctional than Wall Street culture. At its worst, commercial “Black culture” is a raw reflection of broader society. The caricatured imagery of drugs, money, and women are headlined most prominently by Wall Street, politicians, and media moguls but this reality never comes to reflect on White people. America spends more on weaponry than the most of the rest of the world combined but somehow it is the “violence” of hip-hop that is an exclusive pathology.
14. Black people are angry about racism, and they have every right to be. Anger is a legitimate and justified response to years of injustice and invisibility.
15. There are poor White people, but racism and discrimination still exists. The plight of the poor White midwest always makes a convenient appearance to deflect any perceived accusation of privilege or to derail conversations of racism. Racist American policy was never about securing the success of all White people, but rather about legalizing the disenfranchisement of Blacks and other people of color.
16. Silence does nothing. Blank stares and silence do not further this difficult but necessary conversation.
17. White guilt is worthless, but White action isn’t. One of the most immediate responses to racial discourse is that the effort is all about making White people feel guilty. Discourse about racism is not meant to stir up feelings of guilt, it is meant to drive people to action against injustice. During the times of slavery and the era of the Civil Rights Movement, both Black and White people played and continue to play instrumental roles in Black advancement.
18. Black people are not obligated to answer the “Well, what do we do about it?” question. Though many of us do and are not heard. The call for reparations in the form of “Baby Bonds” is a great idea. So isdesegregating our classrooms and closing the school-to-prison pipeline. These courageous voices are speaking very loudly — it is time to start listening.
“In my new hoop earrings (stolen from my mother’s jewelry box that morning), I sat in the front of the classroom with my best friends, excited to show the boys how smart we were being the only four girls in the advanced section of the integrated classes. That day, our teacher handed out a pre-test to gauge the class level. With the excitement of having the boys in our class, and the excitement from the earrings I swiped from my mother (which I decided made me look very mature), I breezed through the pre-test and finished first. When I returned to my seat after turning in my test I felt something hit my back and saw a crumpled note lying on the floor next to me.
I picked it up, sure it was a compliment of my intelligence and speed, a marriage proposal, or whatever else 8th grade girls thought 8th grade boys could provide. Not wanting to get caught with the note, I kept it in my pocket until five minutes before class was out when my teacher had her back to the board.
I goofily smiled as I unraveled the note, planning how I would tell my mother about my new boyfriend and hoping she wouldn’t be too mad about the earrings.
I felt the room spinning and my smile fade as I repeatedly read the words on the page. Show-off. Show-off. Showw-offf. Showwwofffff. My tears hit the paper, blurring the letters in my eyes and the words on the note. I sat in my seat motionless, not even realizing class had let out and all my friends had left. I heard a chair scoot up next to me and my teacher whisper “what’s wrong?”
I silently handed her the note and dug my head into my arms on the table, wondering where I had gone wrong in my life.
After a few moments she laughed softly and I raised my head, confused.
“What? Are you really going to let a stupid boy tell you who you are and how you life your life? Angela, never let a boy–or anyone for that matter–justify your existence. ””—Angela Batuure, How I lost my voice
“I have been reading books for school since seventh grade, which gives me a solid four years of experience. In that time, it’s no struggle to count the number of women’s voices included in that mix: two. That’s right, besides Harper Lee and Mary Ann Evans, women authors are nonexistent.”—Madeleine Nesbitt, #ReadWomen, in school and beyond
“I could have grown up with Bella and Edward’s relationship as my model, and then moved on to Olivia and Fitz of Scandal. That girl would have thought that love was supposed to mean losing control of all decision making. That girl would grow up thinking that when a man abandons you it’s because he loves you too much. That you could have maybe one friend outside of your relationship. Instead I know that a good partner will encourage you to pursue your dreams, respect your decisions and trust you.”—Alice Wilder, Leslie + Ben 5ever, or, how Parks & Rec saved me from Twilight
“all girls are catty to each other” myth actualy just statistical error. average girl is nice to other girls. Regina Georg, who goes to high school & insults over 10,000 girls each day, is an outlier adn should not have been counted
“You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.”—Erin McKean, You Don’t Have to be Pretty (via venomous-feminists)