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Esoterica

medievalpoc

Do you feel that there is racism in the ASOIAF books' representation of its PoC other than the general lack of them? (It seems like very many live in its WORLD but don't proportionally participate in the story). Which brings up another question I have: Have you ever written a post concerning the extent to which individual authors have a responsibility to represent PoC? If you have, I would very much be interested in reading it.

medievalpoc:

Absolutely.

If you want to talk about “responsibility” on the part of individual authors, you can go ahead and read it from the horse’s mouth.

He really believes he is basing this story on history, and that is his response to lack of and poor representation of people of color in his stories:

So let’s talk about the internet controversy about Oberyn Martell. Do you have any thoughts on that?

I commented on my blog. You can find a more studied response there. I made a couple of comments as to what people said about that. I always pictured Oberyn Martell in my head as a — what I call a Mediterranean type. I know people attacked me for that by saying “He’s ignorant, he doesn’t know that Africa is on the Mediterranean.” No, I know Africa is on the Mediterranean. But in common parlance, when you say Mediterranean you are thinking Greek, Italian, Spanish. When you are thinking Moroccan or Tunisian that’s North African. That’s the way people talk about that.

I always pictured the Martells and the salty Dornishman as Mediterraneans, so the casting I think is perfectly appropriate with what I wrote in the books. I do sympathize. I mean, I understand.

Some people have written me some very heartfelt letters, and I’ve tried to respond to them about how they wanted to see someone who looked like them in the books, and how they were [disappointed]. They had pictures of the Martells looking like them, and they were disappointed.

I understand that, but it still wasn’t my intent to make… Even the terminology here is such a land mine. I don’t even know what words to use here “black” or “African.” I used African at one point, sort of like African American. [But] if you use “African” you are guilty for saying all Africans are the same.

I don’t know. I am drawing from history, even though its fantasy. I’ve read a lot of history, The War of the Roses, The Hundred Years War. The World back then was very diverse. Culturally it was perhaps more diverse then our world, but travel was very difficult back then. So even though there might have been many different races and ethnicities and peoples, they didn’t necessarily mix a great deal. I’m drawing largely on medieval England, medieval Scotland, to some extent medieval France. There was an occasional person of color, but certainly not in any great numbers.

^ I consider this to be a cop out. Added on to the fact that he seems more concerned about getting criticized for using the wrong word than massive disappointment on the part of his own fan base. It more or less reeks of “everyone’s so P.C. these days! Ugh!”

I mean, there is plenty of historical precedent for even large numbers of various people of color in all of those nations. You can read articles about forensic archeology and recent discoveries that have challenged these notions to the breaking point. Like, as in 20% people of color. Take 4th Century York, England. According to Dr. Hella Eckhardt:

It helps paint a picture of a Roman York that was hugely diverse and which included among its population, men, women and children of high status from Romanised North Africa and elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

Eboracum (York) was both a legionary fortress and civilian settlement, and ultimately became the capital of Britannia Inferior. York was also visited by two Emperors, the North-African-born Emperor Septimius Severus, and later Constantius I (both of whom died in York). All these factors provide potential circumstances for immigration to York, and for the foundation of a multicultural and diverse community.

I can tell you the same things about Scotland, France, Central Europe…all these regions had seen large influxes of immigrants in the late Roman and early Medieval Eras. After all, these people didn’t just disappear hundreds of years later when historians decided a new “period” of history had begun! There’s plenty of primary sources and documentation that many specifically Black people lived and worked in various Medieval European cities and towns.

Also, speaking of Empires, there was also a rather important Mongolian Empire that happened firmly within an time frame that is pretty universally recognized as “Medieval”. Which, very unfortunately, brings us to the Dothraki.

Here’s GRRM, from the same interview, on the Dothraki:

People complain that the Dothraki are this one-dimensional barbarian society.

I haven’t had a Dothraki viewpoint character though.

I guess it’s too late to introduce one now.

I could introduce a Dothraki viewpoint character, but I already have like sixteen viewpoint characters. I could kill some of my viewpoint characters, to get down to the seven or eight I started with, or some numerical equivalent. The Dothraki are partially based on the Huns and the Mongols, some extent the steppe tribes like the Alvars and Magyars. I put in a few elements of the Amerindian plains tribes and those peoples, and then I threw in some purely fantasy elements. It’s fantasy.

Are they barbaric? Yeah, but the Mongols were, too. Genghis Khan — I just saw an interesting movie about Ghengis Khan, recently. I’ve read books about Genghis Khan, and he’s one of history’s more fascinating, charismatic characters. The Mongols became very sophisticated at certain points, but they were certainly not sophisticated when they started out, and even at the height of their sophistication they were fond of doing things like giant piles of heads. “Surrender your city to me, or we will come in and kill all the men, rape all the women and make a giant pile of heads." They did that a few times, and other cities said, "Surrender is good. We’ll surrender. We’ll pay the taxes. No pile of heads, please.”

*puts hands over face*

*groans*

Okay, let’s talk about how and why a guy who “reads a lot of history” gets this kind of idea about Mongol people, and apparently friggin Plains NDNs people as well (TW for murder gore, rape at link and f*ck you very much Mr. Martin, jeeeeebus.)

There is no equivalent for the Dothraki in history. What people point to most often is the Mongol invasions in Asia and Europe, but these generalizations are originally extrapolated mostly from the accounts from invaded nations written by someone who had heard this or that about what had happened. I’m not saying like, “such and such never happened” I’m saying it didn’t always happen, and also that there’s a lot more to the story, and also that this narrative dominates for a reason.

We’ll do an example. Here you have something like this from UWGB, which heads up their “Mongol Values” section with a supposed quote from Genghis Khan. Here’s what the claim is, right? We have this translation of something he supposedly said here:

The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enemies and drive them before him. To ride their horses and take away their possessions. To see the faces of those who were dear to them bedewed with tears, and to clasp their wives and daughters in his arms.

Okay, so basically, Conan the Barbarian. The article, which, might I remind you, is on a college site, goes on from this to say:

Or to paraphrase it in the bluntest possible modern terms: “To kill people, take their property, see and enjoy the pain you have caused their families, and rape their women as a final gesture of power.”

Okay, well that’s is a pretty big “I decided this means exactly what I already expected someone I think Genghis Khan was like would say.”Even if you did decide to take this at face value…that’s still not the casual attitude toward sexual violence the Dothraki demonstrate, it’s the opposite.

I could go into how women in Mongol culture had a great deal of power (which doesn’t necessarily translate into conquered women being perceived as equivalent, but might I remind you that Dothraki women in ASOIAF appear to be chattel with zero bodily autonomy evidence of sentience, for the most part), or how women having sociopolitical power does not equal a lessening of sexual violence by necessity….but.

I could mention that the way in which Genghis Khan was able to stabilize and actually rule such a vast empire was by giving conquered MEN to his DAUGHTERS in marriage, but then took these husbands out on campaign with him, and replaced them as needed when they died. Or that his empire was actually inherited by his daughters.

And then this article goes on to make statements about we know from Genghis Khan’s attitudes and sadistic enjoyments (more or less) that hope for humanity’s goodness will always be futile, because there will always be Hitlers and Stalins.

^^^That is their section on “Mongol Values”. D:

Soooooo……yeah.

People who claim that GRRM’s Dothraki are realistically based on Mongolian or Plains NDN culture are pretty much in “Einstein and Hammurabi Disco Dance in a Hot-Air Balloon" territory.

Thanks to Historians like the above and GRRM, people think “Mongolian=pile of heads, nonstop rape” . There’s no Khutulun, Wrestler Princess, among the Dothraki. There is no Queen Manduhui, no Lady Hö’elün, no Empress Chabi, no Sorghatani Beki, no mention of The Great Khanum and eight princesses Ruy González de Clavijo saw and marveled at in 1403.

GRRM took a society of women who could own property, divorce at will, hold political office and positions of military command, and replaced them with visibly dirty, grunting animals being raped publicly in the dirt [tw link for an image of what i just described].

Because “historical accuracy”.

Because oh, well it’s already done and it’s too late to change it now.

Actually, all of it sounds incredibly familiar:

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"We cannot simply change it"

"I could introduce a Dothraki viewpoint character, but I already have like sixteen viewpoint characters"

"I guess it’s too late to introduce one now."

It’s always too little, too late, try again, make your own, better luck next time.

So, when do we get to stop being force-fed vile stereotypes with our fantasy? When do we get wish-fulfillment and escapism?

The bottom line is, I don’t know because the this is the industry right now:

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How are supposed to break the vicious cycle of whiteness in publishing, whiteness of SF/F authors, whiteness of characters, othering, misogyny, degradation, stereotypes, and a history of a Black-White Good-Evil dichotomy?

Why does it matter? Because people think this is real, people think this is accurate, people think this is acceptable, people think this is historical, including, apparently, the people who are writing these stories.

We must change the narrative to change our stories, because lies about the past are in danger of dictating our futures.

witchesarereal
shiralipkin:

karnythia:

masteradept:

shuttersmiley:

witchesarereal:




ONE WEEK UNTIL THE WITCH HUNT BEGINS: Salem premieres next Sunday, April 20 at 10/9c on WGN America. 




Is that a black woman? How is her hair relaxed back in the 1600s?

I remember looking at stuff for the show and not seeing a Black Person…also, considering the time, I didn’t think I wanted to.

I think they’ll say that she’s mulatto or a quadroon. Totally possible for the time period though not as likely at that point in the colonies.

She’s playing Tituba.

That upsets the historian in me because her attire is all wrong for an enslaved woman in the colonies. *grumbles*

shiralipkin:

karnythia:

masteradept:

shuttersmiley:

witchesarereal:

ONE WEEK UNTIL THE WITCH HUNT BEGINS:
Salem premieres next Sunday, April 20 at 10/9c on WGN America. 

Is that a black woman? How is her hair relaxed back in the 1600s?

I remember looking at stuff for the show and not seeing a Black Person…also, considering the time, I didn’t think I wanted to.

I think they’ll say that she’s mulatto or a quadroon. Totally possible for the time period though not as likely at that point in the colonies.

She’s playing Tituba.

That upsets the historian in me because her attire is all wrong for an enslaved woman in the colonies. *grumbles*

neverending-fairytale

tamikaflynned:

thecarvingwitch:

neverending-fairytale:

Saw my all time favourite dress. Great opportunity to shoot some close-ups!

THIS IS A FUCKING DRAGON DRESS YOU CANNOT CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE

darkersolstice

(via shiralipkin)

treadmill-to-oblivion

treadmill-to-oblivion:

Anon submitted via email: Pearl Bailey photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1945. Thank you! (Another here.)

(via so-treu)

witchesarereal
masteradept:

shuttersmiley:

witchesarereal:




ONE WEEK UNTIL THE WITCH HUNT BEGINS: Salem premieres next Sunday, April 20 at 10/9c on WGN America. 




Is that a black woman? How is her hair relaxed back in the 1600s?

I remember looking at stuff for the show and not seeing a Black Person…also, considering the time, I didn’t think I wanted to.

I think they’ll say that she’s mulatto or a quadroon. Totally possible for the time period though not as likely at that point in the colonies.

masteradept:

shuttersmiley:

witchesarereal:

ONE WEEK UNTIL THE WITCH HUNT BEGINS:
Salem premieres next Sunday, April 20 at 10/9c on WGN America. 

Is that a black woman? How is her hair relaxed back in the 1600s?

I remember looking at stuff for the show and not seeing a Black Person…also, considering the time, I didn’t think I wanted to.

I think they’ll say that she’s mulatto or a quadroon. Totally possible for the time period though not as likely at that point in the colonies.

(via angelsscream)

If God Is Watching

I wrote a short story. Fictionalized history. Check it out maybe?

ediebrit

nentindo:

kidshade:

ediebrit:

IM FUCKING SCREAMING

IM IN FUCKING STITCHES 

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the only thing funnier than this video are the comments on it

(via doublehamburgerjack)

theodd1sout

theodd1sout:

This will help you write good.

(via doublehamburgerjack)

ratchethime

Is no one talking about Columbus Short?

masteradept:

ratchethime:

masteradept:

ratchethime:

I could give a shit about Pharrell coon ass but Columbus is making murder threats to his partners and saying cray shit on the radio.

Has it gotten worse? I know he was due in court, his wife filed restraining order, and divorce papers. He needs some serious help, he threatened to kill her and himself.

http://newpittsburghcourieronline.com/2014/04/18/columbus-short-thinks-all-women-are-insecure-were-like-boy-sit-down/

Apparently women are insecure and have no confidence. He also called Tom Joyner the “n word”. 

…OK he has gone way over the deep end. Not really caring about him calling Joyner anything, but damn..

I have this sneaking suspicion he needs to see a doctor. This doesn’t sound like drugs or booze IMO

aegontargaryen

how is Lucy racist? I wanted to watch it and now im sad :(

Anonymous

snarkbender:

jean-luc-gohard:

aegontargaryen:

anonymous asked: What is Lucy and why is it racist?

lucy is a movie, coming out this summer in 2014. here’s the trailer for it.

anonymous asked: can you please explain how lucy is racist - i’m not saying it isn’t, i just havent seen the film yet or heard anything about it being racist. I was really excited to see it because it’s an action film with a female lead without an unnecessary love interest motivation…

lovely anon, i was so excited about the movie too. i love scarlet and it looked really amazing (apart from that stupid 10% brain thing, i don’t really like that trope) but then i started to realize how racist this movie is. we’ve only seen a trailer, couple of minutes and there are so many racist undertones.

this really says it.

people really see this movie “Lucy”  as a step in the right direction to more representation because somehow it’s revolutionary to have a white person as the (anti)hero killing people of color? People really think that one has to see the whole movie in it’s entirety to say that it’s shit? Other than swapping a white man for a white woman, it’s the same shit of invoking negative tropes and cliches against Asian men in modern movies that we’ve been seeing in the past couple of years since the Red Dawn remake. (source)

because, lets be honest, it’s true. i am all in for female lead in super heroes, and i am not the one who is angry because she’s not a POC. the way everyone else is portrayed, the way how it still hold onto those stupid tropes of asian/POCs as villains just disgusts me. maybe its even worse for me because i’m asian i dont even know.

the upcoming movie lucy will feature the age-old racist narrative of pure white woman (scarlet johansson) being violated by scary, brown men. and the new white feminist trope of women gaining their power by violently eliminating brown men. who needs the white male savior when we now have white female saviors, taking it into their own hands to save their whiteness from all that non-whiteness. so radical. (source)

feminism, hell yes. only white feminism? no. i am not here to see white female saviors kicking POCs ass, who look like they’re really poorly written. did someone who was involved with this movie even made effort? 

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let’s have a look in this picture. we see the white female lead and the asian antagonist. we see chinese writing in the background. 

I just asked a family member to translate this. They came back with “Keep Clean. Apple, scallop & ginger, orange, tomato, grape” (source)

can this be even more ridiculous? just make your fucking research guys. do they think it looks fancy to have chinese writing on the wall? because its not??? its stupid and it makes me angry and/or wants to laugh. 

Okay but why the fuck is this movie set in Asia, filled with Asian villains, with a white female protag? Yes, wow, the lead’s a woman, fantastic, but apart from that it’s not really any different from the other movies made in a long history of having white people kicking the shit out of exclusively Asian villains.

Really, seriously. I just want to know why they had to set it in Asia with a white woman lead. Why not set the damn movie in the US if they want a big name yt actress that badly? Or, why not just cast a Taiwanese actress if they want it to be set in Asia that bad? 

Or maybe not do those things to avoid another Orientalist shitshow because those are exactly the thematic cues they’re going for with a vulnerable white woman being abused by morally corrupt Asian men. OH BUT FEMINIST SUBVERSION! THE VULNERABLE WHITE WOMAN KILLS THEM ALL INSTEAD, YEAHHHH GO FEMINISM! 

Meanwhile Asian cultures continue to be portrayed as backwards, Asian men continue to be portrayed as vile predators, but hey go feminism right? Nevermind that Asian women get thrown under the bus with this too. (source) 

i agree on this so much. just dont motherfucking make that movie in taiwan? and then we have all those white “feminist” who are like: “okay, this movie is amazing, has a female lead in a action/superhero movie and u all still find something to complain about, just shut up”

no. i dont care that she’s a woman if it’s racist. just because you have a female lead doesn’t make the movie amazing. and it sure doesn’t excuse the fact how racist it is. if you really are a feminist, you should know, that feminism not only includes white women. it includes POC women. feminism includes so many more than just that. don’t call yourself a feminist if you can ignore all these things and still watch this movie because *yay female lead*. 

what is even worse is this scene: 

image (source)

white woman literally kills an asian guy because he can’t speak english. LITERALLY. how should i feel as an asian woman? this guy could be so many other people i know in real life who can’t speak english. i could imagine it be my father or other people i know. but no, it’s okay, because she’s a woman. because it looks badass.

she isn’t even in the USA or any other english- speaking state. bUt nO OF COURSE YOU ALL HAVE TO SPEAK ENGLISH. not everything revolves about you. SHE’S the one who is in a foreign country, she should be the one adapting to it and not the other way round. i dont go to USA and shoot people because they can’t speak vietnamese. 

that’s just fucking stupid why even.

for once i’d like to be able to post a trailer for a movie i’m interested in because of the female lead without feeling like a sack of shit afterward because someone needed to take a minute and really dissect every scene in the trailer just to outline how offensive it is. (…) we’re taking baby steps here, people. (…) so can’t we just take a minute to sit back and support an actress we like while enjoying an action film? /not sourcing this one because i am not an ass/

how can i enjoy a movie when i am offended.

how do you suppose to want me enjoy a movie when my people are thrown back down so you all can have your female lead

people say that this might take a step. that having this movie will open the doors for WOC. are you serious? do you want us to always be on the second array? do we have to sit quietly back and be all happy that you finally have a movie so we “might have one later too”?

also watch this video, because i dont really think i’m a great explainer.

That last part sums up white feminists (and many white gay dudes, etc.) so well. “Okay, yeah, your basic humanity is being denied, but can’t you just be happy for us right now?!”

ALL OF THIS! because my appreciation for the trailer completely collapsed as soon as I realised it was “white woman is prey to men of color” and then “white person killing a bunch of people of color”