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PSA: Your Default Narrative Settings Are Not Apolitical

fozmeadows:

Victorian Women SmokingImage taken from tumblr.

Recently, SFF author Tansy Rayner Roberts wrote an excellent post debunking the idea that women did nothing interesting or useful throughout history, and that trying to write fictional stories based on this premise of feminine insignificance is therefore both inaccurate and offensive. To quote:

“History is not a long series of centuries in which men did all the interesting/important things and women stayed home and twiddled their thumbs in between pushing out babies, making soup and dying in childbirth.

History is actually a long series of centuries of men writing down what they thought was important and interesting, and FORGETTING TO WRITE ABOUT WOMEN. It’s also a long series of centuries of women’s work and women’s writing being actively denigrated by men. Writings were destroyed, contributions were downplayed, and women were actively oppressed against, absolutely.

But the forgetting part is vitally important. Most historians and other writers of what we now consider “primary sources” simply didn’t think about women and their contribution to society. They took it for granted, except when that contribution or its lack directly affected men.

This does not in any way mean that the female contribution to society was in fact less interesting or important, or complicated, simply that history—the process of writing down and preserving of the facts, not the facts/events themselves—was looking the other way.”

The relevance of this statement to the creation of SFF stories cannot be understated. Time and again, we see fans and creators alike defending the primacy of homogeneous – which is to say, overwhelmingly white, straight and male – stories on the grounds that anything else would be intrinsically unrealistic. Contrary to how it might seem at first blush, this is not a wholly ironic complaint: as I’ve recently had cause to explain elsewhere, the plausibility of SFF stories is derived in large part from their ability to make the impossible feel realistic. A fictional city might be powered by magic and the dreams of dead gods, but it still has to read like a viable human space and be populated by viable human characters. In that sense, it’s arguable that SFF stories actually place a greater primacy on realism than straight fiction, because they have to work harder to compensate for the inclusion of obvious falsehoods. Which is why there’s such an integral relationship between history and fantasy: our knowledge of the former frequently underpins our acceptance of the latter. Once upon a time, we know, there really were knights and castles and quests, and maps whose blank spaces warned of dragons and magic. That being so, a medieval fantasy novel only needs to convince us that the old myths were true; that wizards and witches existed, and that monsters really did populate the wilds. Everything else that’s dissonant with modern reality – the clothes, the customs, the social structure – must therefore constitute a species of historical accuracy, albeit one that’s liberally seasoned with poetic license, because that vague, historical blueprint is what we already have in our heads.

But what happens when our perception of historical accuracy is entirely at odds with real historical accuracy? What happens when we mistake our own limited understanding of culture – or even our personal biases – for universal truths? What happens, in other words, when we’re jerked out of a story, not because the fantastic elements don’t make sense, but because the social/political elements strike us as being implausible on the grounds of unfamiliarity?

The answer tends to be as ugly as it is revealing: that it’s impossible for black, female pirates to exist anywhere, thatpixies and shapeshifters are inherently more plausible as a concept than female action heroes who don’t get raped, and that fairy tale characters as diverse as Mulan, Snow White and Captain Hook can all live together in the modern world regardless of history and canon, but a black Lancelot in the same setting is grossly unrealistic. On such occasions, the recent observation of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz that “Motherfuckers will read a book that’s 1/3rd elvish, but put two sentences in Spanish and they (white people) think we’re taking over” is bitingly, lamentably accurate. And it’s all thanks to a potent blend of prejudice and ignorance: prejudice here meaning the conviction that deliberately including POC, female and/or LGBTQ characters can only ever be a political action (and therefore an inherently suspicious one), and ignorance here meaning the conviction that the historical pervasiveness of sexism, racism and homophobia must necessarily mean that any character shown to surpass these limitations is inherently unrealistic.

Let’s start with the latter claim, shall we?

Because as Roberts rightly points out, there’s a significant difference between history as written and history as happened, with a further dissonance between both those states and history as it’s popularly perceived. For instance: female pirates – and, indeed, female pirates of colour – are very much an historical reality. The formidable Ching Shih, a former prostitute, commanded more than 1800 ships and 80,000 pirates, took on the British empire and was successful enough to eventually retire. There were female Muslim pirates and female Irish pirates – female pirates, in fact, from any number of places, times and backgrounds. But because their existence isn’t routinely taught or acknowledged, we assume them to be impossible. The history of women in the sciences is plagued by similar misconceptions, their vital contributions belittled, forgotten and otherwise elided for so many years that even now, the majority of them continue to be overlooked. Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie are far from being exceptions to the rule: Cecilia Payne-GaposchkinLeise Meitner and Emmy Noether all contributed greatly to our understanding of science, as did countless others. And in the modern day, young female scientists abound despite the ongoing belief in their rarity: nineteen-year-old Aisha Mustafa has patented a new propulsion system for spacecraft, while a young group of Nigerian schoolgirls recently invented a urine-powered generator. Even the world’s first chemist was a woman.

And nor is female achievement restricted to the sciences. Heloise d’Argenteuil was accounted one of the brightest intellectuals of her day; Bessie Coleman was both the first black female flyer and the first African American to hold an international pilot’s licence; Nellie Bly was a famed investigative journalist, not only travelling around the world solo in record time (in which adventure she raced against and beat another female reporter, Elizabeth Bisland), but uncovering the deplorable treatment of inmates at Blackwell Asylum by going undercover as a patient. Sarah Josephine Baker was a famous physician known for tracking down Typhoid Mary, tirelessly fighting poverty and, as a consequence, drastically improving newborn care. And in the modern day, there’s no shortage of female icons out fighting racism, sexism, homophobia and injustice despite the limitations society wants to impose on them: journalistMarie Colvin, who died this year reporting on the Syrian uprising; Burmese politician and activist Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent some 15 years as a political prisoner; fifteen-year-old Malala Yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban for her advocacy of female education; and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman, who jointly won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their work in support of women’s rights.

But what about historical women in positions of leadership – warriors, politicians, powerbrokers? Where do they fit in?  The ancient world provides any number of well-known examples – Agrippina the YoungerCleopatraBoudica,Queen Bilquis of ShebaNefertiti – but they, too, are far from being unusual: alongside the myriad female soldiersthroughout history who disguised themselves as men stand the Dahomey Amazons, the Soviet Night Witches, thefemale cowboys of the American west and the modern Asgarda of Ukraine; the Empress Dowager CixiQueen Elizabeth I and Ka’iulani all ruled despite opposition, while a wealth of African queens, female rulers and rebels have had their histories virtually expunged from common knowledge. At just twenty years old, Juana Galan successfully lead the women of her village against Napoleon’s troops, an action which ultimately caused the French to abandon her home province of La Mancha. Women played a major part in the Mexican revolution, too, much like modern women across Africa and the Middle East, while the Irish revolutionary, suffragette and politician Constance Markievicz, when asked to provide other women with fashion advice, famously replied that they should “Dress suitably in short skirts and strong boots, leave your jewels in the bank, and buy a revolver.” More recently still, in WWII, New Zealander Nancy Wake served as a leading French resistance fighter: known to the Gestapo as the White Mouse, she once killed an SS sentry with her bare hands and took command of a maquis unit when their male commander died in battle. Elsewhere during the same conflict, Irena Sendler survived both torture and a Nazi death sentence to smuggle some 2,500 Jewish children safely out of the Warsaw ghetto, for which she was nominated for a Nobel peace prize in 2007.

And what of gender roles and sexual orientation – the various social, romantic and matrimonial mores we so frequently assume to be static, innate and immutable despite the wealth of information across biology and history telling us the opposite? Consider the modern matriarchy of Meghalaya, where power and property descend through matrilineal lines and men are the suffragettes. Consider the longstanding Afghan practice of Bacha Posh, where girl children are raised as boys, or the sworn virgins of Albania – women who live as and are legally considered to be men, provided they remain chaste. Consider the honoured status of Winkte and two-spirit persons in various First Nations cultures, and the historical acceptance of both the Fa’afafine of Samoa and the Hijra of India and South-East Asia. Consider the Biblical relationship described in the Book of Samuel between David and Jonathan of Israel, the inferred romance between Alexander the Great and Hephaestion, and the openly gay emperors of the Han Dynasty - including Emperor Ai of Han, whose relationship with Dong Xian gave rise to the phrase ‘the passion of the cut sleeve’. Consider the poetry of Sappho, the relationship between Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein, the tradition of normative, female-female relationships in Basotho, and the role of the Magnonmaka in Mali – nuptial advisers whose teach women how to embrace and enjoy their sexuality in marriage.

And then there’s the twin, misguided beliefs that Europe was both wholly white and just as racially prejudiced as modern society from antiquity through to the Middle Ages – practically right up until the present day. Never mind that no less than three Arthurian Knights of the Round Table – Sir Palamedes, Sir Safir and Sir Segwarides – are canonically stated to be Middle Eastern, or the fact that people of African descent have been present in Europe since classical times; and not just as slaves or soldiers, but as aristocrats. The network of trade routes known collectively asthe Silk Road that linked Europe with parts Africa, the Middle East, India and Asia were established as early as 100 BC; later, black Africans had a visible, significant, complex presence in Europe during the Renaissance, while much classic Greek and Roman literature was only preserved thanks to the dedication of Arabic scholars during the Abbasid Caliphate, also known as the Islamic Golden Age, whose intellectuals were also responsible for many advances in medicine, science and mathematics subsequently appropriated and claimed as Western innovations. Even in the eighteen and nineteen hundreds, it’s possible to find examples of prominent POC in Europe: Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, was of Creole descent, as was Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the famous British composer, while Jamaican nurse Mary Seacole was honoured alongside Florence Nightingale for her work during the Crimean War.

I could go on. As exhaustive as this information might seem, it barely scratches the surface. But as limited an overview as these paragraphs present, they should still be sufficient to make one very simple point: that even in highly prejudicial settings supposedly based on real human societies, trying to to argue that women, POC and/or LGBTQ persons can’t so much as wield even small amounts of power in the narrative, let alone exist as autonomous individuals without straining credulity to the breaking point, is the exact polar opposite of historically accurate writing.

Which leads me back to the issue of prejudice: specifically, to the claim that including such characters in SFF stories, by dint of contradicting the model of straight, white, male homogeneity laid down by Tolkien and taken as gospel ever since, is an inherently political – and therefore suspect – act. To which I say: what on Earth makes you think that the classic SWM default is apolitical? If it can reasonably argued that a character’s gender, race and sexual orientation have political implications, then why should that verdict only apply to characters who differ from both yourself and your expectations? Isn’t the assertion that straight white men are narratively neutral itself a political statement, one which seeks to marginalise as exceptional or abnormal the experiences of every other possible type of person on the planet despite the fact that straight white men are themselves a global minority? And even if a particular character was deliberately written to make a political point, why should that threaten you? Why should it matter that people with different beliefs and backgrounds are using fiction to write inspirational wish-fulfillment characters for themselves, but from whose struggle and empowerment you feel personally estranged? That’s not bad writing, and as we’ve established by now, it’s certainly not bad history – and particularly not when you remember (as so many people seem to forget) that fictional cultures are under no obligation whatsoever to conform to historical mores. It just means that someone has managed to write a successful story that doesn’t consider you to be its primary audience – and if the prospect of not being wholly, overwhelmingly catered to is something you find disturbing, threatening, wrong? Then yeah: I’m going to call you a bigot, and I probably won’t be wrong.

Point being, I’m sick to death of historical accuracy being trotted out as the excuse du jour whenever someone freaks out about the inclusion of a particular type of character in SFF, because the ultimate insincerity behind the claim is so palpable it’s practically a food group. I’m yet to see someone who objects to the supposed historic inaccuracy of, for instance, female cavalry regiments (which – surprise! - is totally a thing) raise similarly vehement objections to any other aspect of historically suspicious worldbuilding, like longbows in the wrong period or medical knowledge being too far advanced for the setting. The reason for this is, I suspect, simple: that most people with sufficient historical knowledge to pick up on issues like nonsensical farming techniques, the anachronistic presence of magnets in ancient settings and corsetry in the wrong era also know about historical diversity, and therefore don’t find its inclusion confronting. Almost uniformly, in fact, it seems as though such complaints of racial and sexual inaccuracy have nothing whatsoever to do with history and everything to do with a foggy, bastardised and ultimately inaccurate species of faux-knowledge gleaned primarily – if not exclusively – from homogeneous SFF, RPG settings, TV shows and Hollywood. And if that’s so, then no historic sensibilities are actually being affronted, because none genuinely exist: instead, it’s just a reflexive way of expressing either conscious or subconscious outrage that someone who isn’t white, straight and/or male is being given the spotlight.

Because ultimately, these are SFF stories: narratives set in realms that don’t and can’t exist. And if you still want to police the prospects of their inhabitants in line with a single, misguided view of both human history and human possibility, then congratulations: you have officially missed the point of inventing new worlds to begin with.

(via tithenai)

gradientlair
Beyonce will always be a polarizing figure in terms of race, gender, and sex. Is she in? Is she out? Does she critique? Does she reaffirm? It is really hard to pin Beyonce down as she straddles so many social positions. Her songs ARE feminist, but also patriarchal. She does represent Black beauty, but she also benefits heavily from light skin privilege. She definitely gives you a lot to think about and consider though. Destiny’s Child “Independent Women” is as feminist as The Feminine Mystique. Neither are perfect, but they do bring attention to sexism. When I was a sixth grader with a feminist consciousness but no word for it, no knowledge of ‘academic’ feminism, that song resonated. I think some people forget that feminism is a journey not a destination.

@Anti_Intellect

This is from a few of his tweets this afternoon, and he’s a great person to follow on Twitter. Brilliant. Daily.

Anyway, I answered the first part of his tweet by saying “She’s like Obama. They challenge and reaffirm patriarchy. Most Black people do. And then, some ONLY reaffirm, which sucks.”

He then went on to mention that she “fence straddles” which is a term I’ve used myself at home when discussing this with one of my sisters. I think many Black celebrities are somewhere in the middle, moving away and challenging certain damaging things and affirming others…figuring themselves out. (Of course some Black celebrities refuse to challenge anything, and some of their fans are the same way, so there’s that…)

I think there are many Black people, in general, who are aware of the damage caused by internalized White supremacist thinking, patriarchy, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, colourism and more, and challenge it in many ways, but affirm it in others. Feminism is a continuum. No one wakes up as bell hooks, including bell hooks. She was Gloria Watkins before too, figuring this feminism thing out. She herself writes in each subsequent book how she evolves.

(via gradientlair)

(via witchsistah)

gradientlair

7 Things To STOP Saying To Black Women About Beauty

gradientlair:

1) Stop calling our natural hair ugly.

2) Stop approaching our natural hair with a hierarchy than reinforces colourism.

3) Stop using placement in the natural hair community to bully Black women who may still have relaxed hair or weaves.

4) Stop saying “she’s pretty…for a dark-skinned woman.”

5) Stop saying “she’s pretty…for a big/fat woman.”

6) Stop implying that any biracial women who identify as Black or any light skinned Black women are the only ones that are attractive, and stop acting like any Black woman who deviates from this appearance should be “lucky” to have a man, regardless of how utterly lousy that man might be. Love is not something to be rationed out like a commodity only for those who are closest to appearing White.

7) Stop saying “you’re too pretty to be single.” Attraction to someone has NOTHING to do with THEIR choice to pursue a relationship or not. This is inherently patriarchal and in fact not even a logical thing to say.

Who should stop this? ANYONE who does it (that’s you White and people of colour), INCLUDING other Black men and Black women. Reject White supremacist, Eurocentric and patriarchal thoughts about beauty.

(via witchsistah)

critink
critink:


I recently got this done by my friend Crystal at Matrix in Barrie, ON.. Sorry for the quality (it’s not faded like it appears). Looove love love what your doing and think it would be awesome to get your opinion! Thanks!

I’m glad I finally got one of these to critique. The quality of the tattoo is nice—clean lines, fits the space, and over all just nice looking. (I’m sure the fadedness is just due to low contrast in the photo.)
But holy shit these “pinup-Indian” tattoos are racist.
Here are some great reasons why, if you’re any kind of non-Native American, you should never get Native imagery tattooed on you, much of which is taken from a great blog on cultural appropriation.
Headdresses promote stereotyping of Native cultures.
The image of a warbonnet and warpaint wearing Indian is one that has been created and perpetuated by Hollywood  and only bears minimal resemblance to traditional regalia of Plains tribes. It furthers the stereotype that Native peoples are one monolithic culture, when in fact there are 500+ distinct tribes with their own cultures. It’s like saying “European culture,” when really the Slavs have only little in common with the British! It also places Native people in the historic past, as something that cannot exist in modern society. They don’t walk around in ceremonial attire everyday, but they still exist and are still Native.
Headdresses, feathers, and warbonnets have deep spiritual significance.The wearing of feathers and warbonnets in Native communities is not a fashion choice. Warbonnets  in particular are reserved for respected figures of power. The other issue is that warbonnets are reserved for men in Native communities, and nearly all of these pictures show women sporting the headdresses. I’s not feminism or progress—it’s an act of utter disrespect for the origins of the practice. This tattoo in general is hyper-sexualized! Which brings me to my next point:
Sexual abuse as part of colonizationThe history of American colonization is entirely one of sexual abuse. Rape is used as a tool of war—it’s even publicly taught as part of our history of slavery! Many tribes (although not all) were either matriarchal or matrilineal. They were either run by women or daily tribal life was ran by them! These pin-up, big-boobed Native women are instead part of a history where we took their children to raise as second-class citizens in European-styled schools, then abandoned them. Where rape was used for war, and their family structure was broken up in favor of European-type families which subjugated. Even now, sexual assault and abuse runs rampant on the poverty-stricken existing reservations—more than anywhere else on the continent! If you look at Darfur, the Congo, or any other place in the world that has tons of resources we want, you’ll also see how rape can be used on a mass scale. But you can’t imagine seeing an African blood diamonds pinup, can you?
It’s no different than black faceCan you imagine getting this tattooed on you? By mimicking an entire race in a single image, you are drawing upon stereotypes to do so. Like my first point said, you’re collapsing distinct cultures, and in doing so, you’re asserting your power over them. Which leads me to the next issue.
There is a history of genocide and colonialism involved that continues today.By the sheer fact that you live in the United States you are benefiting from the history of genocide and continued colonialism of Native peoples. That land you’re standing on? Indian land. Taken illegally by Europeans who came to the US could buy it and live off it, gaining valuable capital (both monetary and cultural) that passed down through the generations to non-Natives today. Have I benefited as well, given I was raised in a white, suburban community? Yes. Absolutely. But by dismissing and minimizing the continued subordination and oppression of Natives in the US by donning your headdress, you are contributing to the culture of power that continues the cycle today.
Lastly, I want to post this cartoon:

All of these Native-themed sports teams are the other side of the coin. Like the Red Skins—because, you know, Native Americans are animals just like the bengals, lions, bears, or any other mascot they play against. Can you imagine calling a team the “Hartford Jewish Noses,” “Austin Black Faces”, or “Baltimore Yellow Skins”!? Of course not! Because it’s racist!

If you want to honor or support a culture, do so by educating yourself. Since we essentially brought on a cultural apocalypse here there’s not much evidence left outside of what we can cobble together, but I’d recommend reading 1491 which is a great book. You can also read about matrilineal and matriarchal family tips in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. Or, if you’re less committed than reading a book, read about Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier who was part of the American Indian Movement in the 1970’s.

Lastly, if you really want Native art, support authentic Native craftspeople and artists. Just like you wouldn’t go to some guy “tattooing” out of his kitchen for a real tattoo, don’t go to the mall for factory-made Native knock-offs!

critink:

I recently got this done by my friend Crystal at Matrix in Barrie, ON.. Sorry for the quality (it’s not faded like it appears). Looove love love what your doing and think it would be awesome to get your opinion! Thanks!

I’m glad I finally got one of these to critique. The quality of the tattoo is nice—clean lines, fits the space, and over all just nice looking. (I’m sure the fadedness is just due to low contrast in the photo.)

But holy shit these “pinup-Indian” tattoos are racist.

Here are some great reasons why, if you’re any kind of non-Native American, you should never get Native imagery tattooed on you, much of which is taken from a great blog on cultural appropriation.

  • Headdresses promote stereotyping of Native cultures.
  • The image of a warbonnet and warpaint wearing Indian is one that has been created and perpetuated by Hollywood  and only bears minimal resemblance to traditional regalia of Plains tribes. It furthers the stereotype that Native peoples are one monolithic culture, when in fact there are 500+ distinct tribes with their own cultures. It’s like saying “European culture,” when really the Slavs have only little in common with the British! It also places Native people in the historic past, as something that cannot exist in modern society. They don’t walk around in ceremonial attire everyday, but they still exist and are still Native.
  • Headdresses, feathers, and warbonnets have deep spiritual significance.
    The wearing of feathers and warbonnets in Native communities is not a fashion choice. Warbonnets  in particular are reserved for respected figures of power. The other issue is that warbonnets are reserved for men in Native communities, and nearly all of these pictures show women sporting the headdresses. I’s not feminism or progress—it’s an act of utter disrespect for the origins of the practice. This tattoo in general is hyper-sexualized! Which brings me to my next point:
  • Sexual abuse as part of colonization
    The history of American colonization is entirely one of sexual abuse. Rape is used as a tool of war—it’s even publicly taught as part of our history of slavery! Many tribes (although not all) were either matriarchal or matrilineal. They were either run by women or daily tribal life was ran by them! These pin-up, big-boobed Native women are instead part of a history where we took their children to raise as second-class citizens in European-styled schools, then abandoned them. Where rape was used for war, and their family structure was broken up in favor of European-type families which subjugated. Even now, sexual assault and abuse runs rampant on the poverty-stricken existing reservations—more than anywhere else on the continent! If you look at Darfur, the Congo, or any other place in the world that has tons of resources we want, you’ll also see how rape can be used on a mass scale. But you can’t imagine seeing an African blood diamonds pinup, can you?
  • It’s no different than black face
    Can you imagine getting this tattooed on you? By mimicking an entire race in a single image, you are drawing upon stereotypes to do so. Like my first point said, you’re collapsing distinct cultures, and in doing so, you’re asserting your power over them. Which leads me to the next issue.
  • There is a history of genocide and colonialism involved that continues today.
    By the sheer fact that you live in the United States you are benefiting from the history of genocide and continued colonialism of Native peoples. That land you’re standing on? Indian land. Taken illegally by Europeans who came to the US could buy it and live off it, gaining valuable capital (both monetary and cultural) that passed down through the generations to non-Natives today. Have I benefited as well, given I was raised in a white, suburban community? Yes. Absolutely. But by dismissing and minimizing the continued subordination and oppression of Natives in the US by donning your headdress, you are contributing to the culture of power that continues the cycle today.
Lastly, I want to post this cartoon:
All of these Native-themed sports teams are the other side of the coin. Like the Red Skins—because, you know, Native Americans are animals just like the bengals, lions, bears, or any other mascot they play against. Can you imagine calling a team the “Hartford Jewish Noses,” “Austin Black Faces”, or “Baltimore Yellow Skins”!? Of course not! Because it’s racist!

If you want to honor or support a culture, do so by educating yourself. Since we essentially brought on a cultural apocalypse here there’s not much evidence left outside of what we can cobble together, but I’d recommend reading 1491 which is a great book. You can also read about matrilineal and matriarchal family tips in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State. Or, if you’re less committed than reading a book, read about Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier who was part of the American Indian Movement in the 1970’s.
Lastly, if you really want Native art, support authentic Native craftspeople and artists. Just like you wouldn’t go to some guy “tattooing” out of his kitchen for a real tattoo, don’t go to the mall for factory-made Native knock-offs!

(via thestoutorialist)

gradientlair

Black Woman? Want A Job? Register On Monster.com As A White Woman

notesonascandal:

strugglingtobeheard:

witchsistah:

gradientlair:

I just read an article about a Black woman named Yolanda Spivey who simply changed her race to “White” (and changed her name to “Bianca White”) on Monster.com and had an interesting (albeit predictable, at least to other Black women and Black men) result: 

At the end of my little experiment, (which lasted a week), Bianca White had received nine phone calls—I received none. Bianca had received a total of seven emails, while I’d only received two, which again happen to have been the same emails Bianca received. Let me also point out that one of the emails that contacted Bianca for a job wanted her to relocate to a different state, all expenses paid, should she be willing to make that commitment. In the end, a total of twenty-four employers looked at Bianca’s resume while only ten looked at mines.

Keep in mind that all of the important information (except name and race) on both resumes were the same. I know her experience is truth. How? Because I did a similar experiment before. More than once, actually. It’s rather comical in how grotesque the result is. Apparently, being White and extroverted makes me damn near orgasmic to employers. Being Black and introverted makes me a social albatross for their company.

Human resources (and honestly, “casting director” in Hollywood…think of the correlations and implications therein) is predominantly staffed by White women. This is statistical fact. They are the gatekeepers. They choose who they want and who they like. As Spivey mentioned:

Other than being chronically out of work, I embarked on this little experiment because of a young woman I met while I was in school. She was a twenty-two-year-old Caucasian woman who, like myself, was about to graduate. She was so excited about a job she had just gotten with a well-known sporting franchise. She had no prior work experience and had applied for a clerical position, but was offered a higher post as an executive manager making close to six figures. I was curious to know how she’d been able to land such a position. She was candid in telling me that the human resource person who’d hired her just “liked” her and told her that she deserved to be in a higher position. The HR person was also Caucasian.

Been there. I have over a decade of watching and experiencing this. I’ve mentioned similar tales before about how I was perceived in a corporate office because I am a Black introvert, how my wages faired when compared to White men and similar experiences.

I don’t know why this is a shock to any Black person in America.

White folks?  Well, they’re shocked that we can speak clearly, so…

it isn’t surprising but it is disgusting and disheartening. i’ve actually done the same before on myspace lol. when myspace was a thing. it’s a lot different in its implications (love life vs. financial life, one having more physical consequences when lacking then the other, tho not always) but i choose a white girl i knew was considered attractive to all races and i received so many friend requests and messages. whereas i made my own profile with all the similar things as this girl and just had different race and pic and got next to nothing. which is just fucked as all hell. but when it comes to jobs niggas need to realize how this keeps us without resources and the opportunities we worked for and then WE get blamed for it.

Somebody tell Beauty Salon Becky that THIS is racism, not a Black woman not wanting her unqualified ass doing her hair. 

(via guerrillamamamedicine)

People often ask why so many Indians choose to continue living on reservations. The answer is complex, but much of it has to do with the determination of Indians to preserve their ancestral lands and their communities, religion, and traditions, many of which are tied to those lands. While millions of people migrated to this country in order to assimilate into it, Indian tribes have resisted assimilation, have a strong desire to maintain their unique culture, and have fought for autonomy and independence.

Stephen L. Pevar, The Rights of Indians and Tribes, Fourth Edition (via adailyriot)

(via rematiration-deactivated2013111)

austro-nesian

So looks like I have to write a post on what decolonization means.

superhusbandslove:

akoaykayumanggi:

lakawaiikoala:

akoaykayumanggi:

Because there are people that think it it has to do with discarding every one of our cultural influences when we were colonized completely, in favor of our indigenous and pre-colonial roots. Yaaaa ok, that is not what our decolonization process means at all like what we are doing is erasing that part of our history like it never existed. We were colonized. It happened. We got some cultural influences from said colonizer. Those cultural influences are a part of our cultures now no doubt about it.

What our decolonization means simply is that we are getting rid of colonial mentality, such as the mentality of foreign western and white features = beauty than our indigenous selves. White skin, blue eyes, and pointer noses = beauty and what everyone should strive to be than ones natural features of being a person of color, having dark brown to black eyes, dark hair, and more flatter noses.

It means embracing our indigenous and pre-colonial cultures that were oppressed and reclaiming them while also acknowleding our cultural influences we got from our colonizers and learning how to embrace both, not simply embracing one over the other.

It’s about learning your languages that you didn’t get to learn because you were forced to forgrt or not learn because of parents not teaching it to you so you can fit in with Western soceity. It’s about learning your history to those who don’t know, both pre-colonial and colonial. It’s about the acceptance that yes you were colonized but you are reclaiming your heritage and getting rid of all those negative and harmful colonial mentalities that make the colonizer the hero, the standard of beauty, and that makes it like you should be ashamed of yourself and people, your cultures, your physical features, that you and your people are “ugly”, or “barbaric” compared to ones colonizers.

That is what our decolonization is, as well as a few other points that I most likely missed.

BEAUTIFUL

THANK YOU LIGAYA

THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

NOW SOMEONE LINK THIS TO THE ANNOYING PEOPLE WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS.

*bows* Why thank you, thank you. Now where did that comment on saying the Philippirates were taking things to far on our comments and thoughts on looking more into our pre-colonial history and cultures? I want to post what I wrote here on there.

Y E S

(via b-binaohan-deactivated20140530)

lotlizardscales
deluxvivens:

starspeckledsky:

1. Nobody would dress up as a race they dislike. Again, it’s not racist, seeing how racism is the dislike or hatred of a race, or feeling that one race is inferior to your own. Dressing up as a Native American for Halloween is not ANY of those things.

Dressing up as a stereotypical caricature of native people doesnt actually count as liking them. 

2. By saying that someone can’t dress like a native american because they are not native american is like saying you can’t wear a bindi on your head because you’re not indian (by the way, it is NOT specifically indian, the bindi is to mark the placement of the third eye and draw significance and attention to it, which other cultures, such as Wiccans, also use). That’s like saying you’re not allowed to partake in any style that is anything other than your own cultures. 

I’m gonna just leave this bindi stuff right here. 

3. Ever think that someone might wear another cultures trademark style and dress because they admire it? Because they admire the culture?

People keep saying this is about “admiring” native culture but can you even explain the significance of headdresses, and who within traditional culture actually gets to wear them? 

Do not sit there and tell me what i can and can not wear. If i want to wear a bindi, i will. Because i have appreciation and admiration, and my own reasons for marking my third eye. And  the same will go for when i wear a headress. So fuck your “cultural appropriation”, and fuck you. 

Appreciation? You might be doing it wrong. 

PS ITS STILL NOT RACIST 

deluxvivens:

starspeckledsky:

1. Nobody would dress up as a race they dislike. Again, it’s not racist, seeing how racism is the dislike or hatred of a race, or feeling that one race is inferior to your own. Dressing up as a Native American for Halloween is not ANY of those things.

Dressing up as a stereotypical caricature of native people doesnt actually count as liking them.

2. By saying that someone can’t dress like a native american because they are not native american is like saying you can’t wear a bindi on your head because you’re not indian (by the way, it is NOT specifically indian, the bindi is to mark the placement of the third eye and draw significance and attention to it, which other cultures, such as Wiccans, also use). That’s like saying you’re not allowed to partake in any style that is anything other than your own cultures. 

I’m gonna just leave this bindi stuff right here.

3. Ever think that someone might wear another cultures trademark style and dress because they admire it? Because they admire the culture?

People keep saying this is about “admiring” native culture but can you even explain the significance of headdresses, and who within traditional culture actually gets to wear them?

Do not sit there and tell me what i can and can not wear. If i want to wear a bindi, i will. Because i have appreciation and admiration, and my own reasons for marking my third eye. And  the same will go for when i wear a headress. So fuck your “cultural appropriation”, and fuck you. 

Appreciation? You might be doing it wrong.

PS ITS STILL NOT RACIST 

(via deluxvivens-deactivated20130417)

fyeahcracker

Can someone like this post if you’ve seen white people deny that cultural appropriation is racist.

(via deliciouskaek)

husssel

notesonascandal:

Where’s that lil’ white boy who got all butt-hurt when we dragged his dumb-ass for doing his “tribute” to Azealia by remaking the Liquorice video?

I have something to show him.