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Esoterica

Pedestals are oppressive, not liberating.

deluxvivens:

cruelyouth:

So, this is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  A lot of thoughts are currently running through my head, and I’m going to attempt to put them together by trying to write it out.

I’ve been seeing things critiquing black people, particularly black women, on tumblr having an audience and not acting a certain way, and it’s just like…why aren’t black women seen as complex human beings?  I already know why, but it’s just…really?

There are people complaining about how black women are not acting like the epitome of an sj warrior, but who the fuck said we’re a part of social justice?

pretty much. random people have created   artificial inflated concepts of who we are and what we are supposed to do based solely on the stuff they see us put on the internet, and then get mad if we dont live up to these bizarre and  not at all based in reality ideas.

my feeling on the topic is that it is very much related to this:

becaus most of this seems to boil down to ways in which we are not taking care of people’s needs some how, but that’s just me.

(via deluxvivens-deactivated20130417)

Pedestals are oppressive, not liberating.

cruelyouth:

So, this is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time.  A lot of thoughts are currently running through my head, and I’m going to attempt to put them together by trying to write it out.

I’ve been seeing things critiquing black people, particularly black women, on tumblr having an audience and not acting a certain way, and it’s just like…why aren’t black women seen as complex human beings?  I already know why, but it’s just…really?

There are people complaining about how black women are not acting like the epitome of an sj warrior, but who the fuck said we’re a part of social justice?  And is the social justice community REALLY a community, or has it turned into a mob?  I know people will laugh at me calling it a “mob,” but I’m not saying that because of the ideals social justice stands for.  I’m saying that because of how a lot of social justice groups act.

Black women’s voices are needed in social justice, but they’re often silenced and dismissed if they don’t fit in a certain mold (white) sj warriors fit them in.  That’s why many black women don’t carry any sort of sj label all together.  It’s like people within social justice hold black women up on a pedestal, but holding someone up on a pedestal is NOT a compliment at all.  It’s objectifying and dehumanizing.

Black women are expected to make everybody happy, make everybody feel comfortable, and be likeable by all because being that we’re very oppressed in society, we should be able to understand everybody’s pain.  But you can still understand somebody’s pain and not hold it as top priority.   However,  seems like black women are expected to do just that, and it shows with complaints from many people about how certain black women act on Tumblr.

It’s happened to me — I’ve had some very bad falling outs with people who followed me or knew me on other sites when I started to be more conscious about race, speaking up about my own experiences, and changing myself.  I do or say something they don’t like, or I confront them about something, and they get all upset and show just how much they’ve dehumanized me for as long as they’ve known me.  That’s why, actually, I don’t fucking trust anybody. 

Talking about me personally, what people don’t seem to understand about me is that, being human and still being relatively young, I WILL change.  My standards will change.  The way I act will change.  The way I see people will change.  What I will and will not tolerate will change.  My wants and needs will change.

And people, ESPECIALLY white people, just hate that.  I’m under a major transformation in my life now and am still exploring myself and who I am, something I never had the opportunity to do.  And it will take me a while.

I really appreciate about every single black blogger I follow.  Seriously, about all of you saved my life and continue to save my life, and I don’t think I express that enough.  One way in which you saved my life is by having your individual standards and rules and debunking the ones white society established for PoC to follow.  That’s how I learned I can form my own, too. You really helped this biracial kid who grew up in a white culture and was therefore pitiful and clueless in the past.  I learned it was okay for me to change, have my own life, and transform when I needed to, and hell, from where I was, I HAD to.

Some bloggers on here are more popular than others.  I feel popular with over 400 followers (I mostly got thanks to other bloggers reblogging my things and people liked what I wrote for some reason), but there are bloggers with a lot more than that.  But I’m not sure why counts on social networking sites are seen as pedestals.  Just because somebody has a lot of followers doesn’t mean they’re not complex human beings and should be held to a standard, and just because somebody has less followers doesn’t mean their voices are meaningless.  Is this supposed to be high school or something?

Unless stated otherwise, just assume that people’s blogs are their own spaces not made for anybody else for them.  If there are a lot of people in their space, that doesn’t make it any less theirs.  I mean, my blog will always be mine, despite how many followers I have (and because of that, I usually lose followers who try to hold me up to their standards, and people usually mistake my politeness with softness).

Quit holding black people, ESPECIALLY black women, on pedestals.  That’s not a progressive thing to do at all.

(via cruelyouth-deactivated20120511)

microaggressions

the trials and travails of the white female tourist in brown countries

anedumacation:

readnfight:

lazybeautiful:

superdreaming:

microaggressions:

“Hey! White girl! I love you! You are beautiful!”

Shouted to me on the street 15+ times a day during my study abroad experience in Nicaragua. I never truly understood what it meant to feel objectified until this experience.

been reading a lot about racism/white anti-racists/cultural appropriation/how to not be a super shitty privileged person today and i’m not sure this microaggression is a good/right thing at all. like…this person may have glimpsed one kind of objectification through this experience but i don’t know about the whole idea of a “white girl” being “objectified” by people in Nicaragua during their study abroad (implies college/post-secondary education, some level of financial privilege) and the whole idea of “understanding” as a way of showing that white people can be oppressed too (i feel like the leap from “objectification” to “oppression” is a pretty small one here/one that can and will be read into it by other people as an example of how POC can be racist against white folks)? because just by the sheer fact said person was white and in a place where non-white people were catcalling them does not mean they were being oppressed? i don’t know, can someone smarter than me talk more about this, if they feel like tackling the issue? sometimes debating things with myself too long gets tricky because i’m not sure how to factcheck myself (googling “is this thing i think racist/oppressive” doesn’t work well at all) 

so glad I’m not the only one who had a problem with that microaggression. being praised for fitting into the western/Euro-centric beauty model is nothing compared to the struggles POC face for not fitting in this model in the US and other majority white countries. being told that you’re pretty is not oppression. yeah, it’s objectification, but it’s objectification based on the beauty ideals the west has exported around the world.

I wouldn’t call any of it oppression. if being called beautiful is the worst thing that happens to you when you’re abroad, then you’re lucky. when POC go abroad, from what I’ve heard, they face much, much worse. so this microaggression reeks of privilege and really isn’t on the same level of racial oppression compared to the other ones they post.

but if I’m wrong, feel free to correct me in terms of POC experiences abroad. 

Yes, thank y’all! I read that with mytongueisforked and both of us were giving that an OH HELL NO.

Yes, you could call that objectification, i.e. a woman’s body is being assumed to be public property/a commodity/open to commentary. But, is objectification on its own oppression? Linked with something larger, sure; like I’m not going to argue that white women aren’t oppressed on the basis of being women. But specifying race and location and “It was the first time this happened to me!” is way fishy, and undermines any chance this had of getting my sympathy.

My scattered thoughts on this:

  • If this woman had never before felt objectified, then great! but she’s really lucky to have never been made to feel that way, let alone to feel that way constantly like many female/trans* people do. My skepticism kicks in when someone is blurting out that they’ve never experienced something that is everyday for the people they’re speaking to.
  • Specifying that this happened in Nicaragua reinforces stereotypes about hypersexual latino men, that men of color lust after white women, etc. Had she never been somewhere back home that men could have said the same thing? I mean, I can picture dudes on my block saying that to a white woman; did she only encounter men of color by traveling to another country?
  • And with that, it reinforces the idea that men of color are a threat because of their lust for white women, that they are dangerous, and that, just as in this example, they will put white women in deviant and dangerous positions that white men never would, e.g. being objectified on the street. This shit is serious and lethal—generations of men of color were/are lynched for this threat.
  • “White girl, you are beautiful” is said EVERY FUCKING DAY. Did she never feel her skin color being fetishized when this same catcall was made by billboards and magazines and cosmetics and lynchings? If she ever overheard a white man telling a black friend, “You’re cute for a black girl,” would she feel equally objectified and offended?
  • I am a light-skinned black woman in a black & latino neighborhood. When men talk to me on the street, as happens fairly often, I feel the light tanness of my skin. I don’t appreciate the catcalls, but they are telling as to how my gender is raced and vice-versa. In this situation, I have to feel my skin color and how it is being weighed against that of other black women; white women don’t have to feel this.

Is that what is so offensive, attaching a name—WHITENESS—to white women’s genders and sexual objectification? That is all I can see that is out of the white supremacy ordinary. You don’t need a study abroad program for that; go take a walk around the block.

Thanks for this, readnfight. 

Every time a white friend tells me about the sexual harassment they receive while travelling in India, and they frame it as proof that they’re being objectified because of their white skin….

The thing is, they probably are, in many cases, because white skin is fetishized and prized above all else in Indian society, and well, in every society. And I’ve been there when men have made aggressive passes at my white friends, and I’ve actually had to help fight them off, and its nothing but terrible. 

But refusing to see the context, refusing to place this particular example of objectification in relation to the much worse treatment that Indian women receive everyday at the hands of men in their own homes and in public places… women who don’t have the protection of money and influence and a foreign passport and even a foreign embassy willing to help out if things turn really bad… that’s where I have to step off. 

Its the Oppression Olympics argument gone haywire. Some kinds of oppression are worse than others.

I don’t believe any American white woman that claims they never felt objectified until a MOC said something to them. I mean, I’m sure they tell themselves that, but I’ve seen white men in action from high school on & I have a whole lot of side eye for those claims.

(via anedumacationisnomore)

spiedr
sapphrikah:

thinksquad:

Not sure what this fact has to do with a half naked woman.

Prime example of blatant mindless sexism for no ass reason. OH GOSH there’s a whole site like this?! Look at the fucking bottom right. So what’s the mission? Get people to  memorize facts by encouraging their sexisms? Great. What education has come to.
Good news, FAAB folks and people perceived to be womyn, we’ve got YET ANOTHER use for your body that you didn’t fucking ask for, EDUCATING PEOPLE ON RANDOM SHIT. I mean, seriously, why are you upset? You should be flattered, your body is like the gadget with 1000+ functions!

sapphrikah:

thinksquad:

Not sure what this fact has to do with a half naked woman.

Prime example of blatant mindless sexism for no ass reason. OH GOSH there’s a whole site like this?! Look at the fucking bottom right. So what’s the mission? Get people to  memorize facts by encouraging their sexisms? Great. What education has come to.

Good news, FAAB folks and people perceived to be womyn, we’ve got YET ANOTHER use for your body that you didn’t fucking ask for, EDUCATING PEOPLE ON RANDOM SHIT. I mean, seriously, why are you upset? You should be flattered, your body is like the gadget with 1000+ functions!

(via howtobeterrell)

iraffiruse
moniquill:

willowphoto:

internal-acceptance-movement:

The objectification and degradation of women in society today is disgusting.
Little boys listen to these songs and grow up thinking its okay and normal to talk about women like this. 
Little girls listen to these songs and grow up thinking that they are nothing but objects and that they way they look means more than who they are. 
Our music needs to be revolutionized. 

+1

…wait, “The objectification and degradation of women in society today”? Is this post implying that ‘Pretty Woman’ is good and or preferable to ‘Sexy Bitch’? Because seriously, they’re functionally identical in terms of objectification. If Roy Oribison could have gotten away with saying ‘Sexy Bitch’, he would have. Just check out the lyrics:
Pretty woman, walking down the streetPretty woman, the kind I like to meetPretty womanI don’t believe you, you’re not the truthNo one could look as good as youMercyPretty woman, won’t you pardon mePretty woman, I couldn’t help seePretty womanThat you look lovely as can beAre you lonely just like meWowPretty woman, stop a whilePretty woman, talk a whilePretty woman, give your smile to mePretty woman, yeah yeah yeahPretty woman, look my wayPretty woman, say you’ll stay with me‘Cause I need you, I’ll treat you rightCome with me baby, be mine tonightPretty woman, don’t walk on byPretty woman, make me cryPretty woman, don’t walk away, hey…okayIf that’s the way it must be, okayI guess I’ll go on home, it’s lateThere’ll be tomorrow night, but waitWhat do I seeIs she walking back to meYeah, she’s walking back to meOh, oh, Pretty woman 

That’s pretty much ‘Speaker harasses woman on the street. She turns, and speaker assumes that this is a favorable response. I mean, come the fuck on: In the first stanza, the speaker negs her. The speaker demands her attention and time and tells her to smile.
I always kind of wanted to hear the song end with her saying “Did I fucking ask you for your opinion of how I look, jackass?” Preferably also in song format.

moniquill:

willowphoto:

internal-acceptance-movement:

The objectification and degradation of women in society today is disgusting.

Little boys listen to these songs and grow up thinking its okay and normal to talk about women like this. 

Little girls listen to these songs and grow up thinking that they are nothing but objects and that they way they look means more than who they are. 

Our music needs to be revolutionized. 

+1

…wait, “The objectification and degradation of women in society today”? Is this post implying that ‘Pretty Woman’ is good and or preferable to ‘Sexy Bitch’? Because seriously, they’re functionally identical in terms of objectification. If Roy Oribison could have gotten away with saying ‘Sexy Bitch’, he would have. Just check out the lyrics:


Pretty woman, walking down the street
Pretty woman, the kind I like to meet
Pretty woman
I don’t believe you, you’re not the truth
No one could look as good as you
Mercy

Pretty woman, won’t you pardon me
Pretty woman, I couldn’t help see
Pretty woman
That you look lovely as can be
Are you lonely just like me
Wow

Pretty woman, stop a while
Pretty woman, talk a while
Pretty woman, give your smile to me
Pretty woman, yeah yeah yeah
Pretty woman, look my way
Pretty woman, say you’ll stay with me
‘Cause I need you, I’ll treat you right
Come with me baby, be mine tonight

Pretty woman, don’t walk on by
Pretty woman, make me cry
Pretty woman, don’t walk away, hey…okay
If that’s the way it must be, okay
I guess I’ll go on home, it’s late
There’ll be tomorrow night, but wait
What do I see
Is she walking back to me
Yeah, she’s walking back to me
Oh, oh, Pretty woman

That’s pretty much ‘Speaker harasses woman on the street. She turns, and speaker assumes that this is a favorable response. I mean, come the fuck on: In the first stanza, the speaker negs her. The speaker demands her attention and time and tells her to smile.

I always kind of wanted to hear the song end with her saying “Did I fucking ask you for your opinion of how I look, jackass?” Preferably also in song format.