|—||Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Peace Prize winner, in I, Rigoberta Menchu. (via danikasapphistry)|
saw something on facebook that really pissed me off because I worked at McDonalds for three years.
I wonder what percentage of people arguing against a minimum wage hike have never worked a fucking minimum-wage job in their life is.
These are my extremely quick “fan” made designs for the upcoming Disney movie “Moana”.
Stop. There is a reason why “fan” is in quotations.
I am not a fan. I am full of dread. Disney is about to tackle a Polynesian princess and that terrifies me.
For one, I am so angry at all of the fanmade designs I have seen. The sexy stereotyped Polynesian designs that somehow condenses hundreds of different cultures into a tube top and a a ti-leaf skirt.
Do you have any idea how offensive that is. That would be like making Mulan and saying “Hey she’s Asian, let’s throw her in a yukata”. Do you know how offensive it is that people think that Polynesian is a singular race? Hint: Massively.
I picked four cultures out of the vastness of Polynesia and each design is clearly different from the next. Each design is 100% endemic to the culture it is from, and it’s not even the tip of the iceberg.
We are not a homogenized area of the world. We have different languages, traditions, and ways of life. We are not all the same. We are not coconut bras and grass skirts. We never needed compasses. We are celestial navigators - it hasn’t died out. We journeyed across the Pacific using the stars and waves to guide us. We perfected aquaculture and sustainable living. Our heritages are rich and varied and beautiful.
We are not a tube top and a ti-leaf skirt. We are not an indistinguishable fabric swathed on brown bodies with random flowers in our hair. Stop fetishizing us! You have the internet at your discretion, and this is the best you can come up with?
Secondly, the fact that Moana will be dealing with mythology in Polynesia makes me want to crumple up and cry. It angers me to no end that people keep playing fast and loose with things they think are obsolete. Most of us still believe in our Gods (myself included). My family has a heiau, as recent as one generation ago my family has stories of conversing with Gods. Yet, people act like it’s fair game. Last I checked if anyone made retcons to the undead carpenter millions threw a shitfit, but because we are a marginalized people our beliefs are not allowed some respect?
It makes me angry and I won’t apologize for it. It makes me angry that when I call out other minorities for falsely portraying or marginalizing my culture (and the cultures of my fellow Polynesians) I get the “well I’m a minority too so I’m excused”. That is the worst offense, when people who should know better still treat you like an obsolete toy to be bandied about as characters.
We are indigenous people and we deserve respect. We deserve for people to care about our culture. For people to be afraid that the nightmare which created whitewashed Pocahontas might happen to us. If you call yourself an ally, or self-aware, I demand that you fear for us. I beg that you question what may happen in the wake of what Disney has been spewing out. Don’t be part of the base that turns Moana into nothing more than a token.
We were too young to stop Pocahontas from being made. We are not too young to afflict a change and prevent it from happening again. Signal boost my words, or write your own. Do something. Don’t let a movie go out across the world that could damage those that have already taken heavy hits. Don’t be compliant, don’t be silent. Don’t DO that I beg you. I am begging you on my knees, I grovel to you.
Don’t condense our cultures to an easy stereotype. Don’t let our stories become distorted for entertainment. Fight for good writing, fight for good designs. Fight for a movie you would be proud to watch. Give us something more than a rebellious teen who is Polynesian simply because they say she is.
Please. Please. With all my heart, a’ohe hana nui ka alu’ia. No task is too big when done together.
good to know.
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-The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation (link here)
The hashtag #WhiteFeministRants was started by @RaniaKhalek in response to The Nation piece on “toxic feminism”, a piece that purposely obscured structural power differences and racism within feminism as to why the responses (to various stunts by White feminists) from women of colour do not always have a “nice tone” and are thereby deemed “toxic.” I previously posted about that article and shared an important quote from another response piece to that article. The tweets I sent above were specific to Black women and experiences with mainstream feminism because that’s my experience as a Black woman, but of course Black women aren’t the only ones repeatedly marginalized in these daily hit pieces, within feminism and within society itself. But the role of anti-Blackness within such friction cannot be denied either.
If we’re going to have an honest conversation about problems in feminism (which simply reflects White supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy itself, “feminist” label or not) but cannot discuss why some womanists/Black feminists, women of colour who are feminists, trans women, sex workers, poor women, disabled women etc. respond to these hit pieces and structural exclusion and oppression because of White Feminism/mainstream feminism's proximity to the State and distance from the oppressed, then things like what I mentioned in the tweets above (which is not really hyperbole…at all) need to be included in claims of “toxicity.”
I do not randomly tweet White women. Other than a handful who are kind to me, I don’t talk to too many online about topics of any significance. I don’t have any White women friends offline because of the abuse I experienced at their hands in high school, college, grad school, a decade of corporate America and social groups/gatherings/in public. So I am not running around planning to be “toxic” to White women or White feminists specifically. I don’t troll them or anyone online. Sometimes I discuss their harmful work and I don’t always tweet them directly. I focus on my life and my work, but that work includes deconstructing racism and how this (among many other identity facets) differentiates how we experience gender. And racism amidst feminism does not get a pass nor am I doing so because I want some kinda “White approval” that they deny me. So this idea that I could ever talk about it “too much” or should ignore it and grin, smile and tap dance for White feminists is an idea that will not ever be valid to me.
Oh and by the way, when they’re saying things like what I mentioned in my tweets above—reinforcing White supremacist narratives and norms about Black women as feminists, mothers, writers etc.—that stuff hurts. I understand that Whites think that Black people—especially Black women—do not experience pain in the way Whites do or at all (as actual research has confirmed their thoughts), that is actually a White supremacist lie with centuries of history used to justify the dehumanization of Black people. These things hurt. And while their “feelings” get “hurt” by critiques that I make of their racist, White supremacist, anti-intersectional, purposely obscuring structural power type of pieces, planning and action, their lies about who I am as a Black woman threatens my life. There is no “both sides” that “goes both ways” when one “side” has White supremacy—which they do not use their feminism to deconstruct—supporting them.
Related Essay List: 2013: A Year Of White Supremacy and Racism In Mainstream Feminism
Please sign these petitions! Here are the links to two different petitions created to ask that public colleges be free for all students.
The first petition has 48,208 of 50,000 signatures! So let’s continue on! Clicking the link you can read all the information on how making tuition free would cost less than continuously spending money on financial aid programs.
The second petition was made at the whitehouse.gov petition website asking the government to consider this. It has until February 27 to get 100,00 signatures. Having two petitions might force them to really consider what the people want.
So please take a moment and sign. Thanks.
VOM FOREVER. NO SERIOUSLY.
And when Brooke Shields turned 17 she sued the photographer(Garry Gross) to prevent him from circulating the pics again and FUCKING LOST. If you feel like burning shit down you are not alone.
Don’t you EVER come near me with your shit about how Hugh Hefner is a feminist or believes in gay rights. The next person who drags that bullshit post across my dash is getting screamed at until their ears bleed.
Hugh Hefner encourages and profits from pedophilia and rape culture (evidence at the link) and anyone who claims anything otherwise is just as bad as he is.
what. the. fuck.
Yesterday, Juicy J announced the winner of the $50,000 twerking scholarship that he began advertising in October in a partnership with World Star Hip Hop.
The winner, 19 year old biology major Zaire Holmes distinguished herself from many other applicants by deciding not to twerk.
It turns out twerking was not required.
Congratulations are in order for Ms. Holmes. She is not only a student, but also a full time single mom, with a clear cut set of goals for becoming a doctor and achieving her dreams. That’s awesome and I am peacock proud of the sister for doing the damn thing!
But I’m absolutely incensed at Juicy J for even daring to invoke respectability politics when announcing his choice of winner.
In the opening scene of the video, Juicy J says, “Fifty thousand dollars is a lot of money and I don’t want to waste it on just some girl twerking her ass. You don’t deserve it.”
Um what?! No sir. No fucking sir. You invited women to twerk, all while drumming up free publicity for your otherwise unremarkable song “Scholarship,” which is about a woman who pays her way through school by dancing.
Zaire says at the end of the video, “a lot of people thought you had to twerk but you just had to read the rules.” And Juicy J chimes right in, “See that’s what you get for shaking your ass and thinking you were gone get some money. It’s not always about shaking your ass.”
Now look, I know this shit seems clever, but color me unimpressed. Zaire was clearly a deserving candidate, but that does not mean that the scores of women who showed off their twerking skills deserved to be shamed or to have Juicy J’s whack ass insinuate that they were stupid.
I mean look, perhaps it was wrong of us not to recognize the master mind behind “Bands A Make Her Dance,” was incapable of noble intentions toward sisters hustling trying to make it. Who knew that he would use this scholarship as a sick experiment to add credibility to his premise, (i.e. girls will dance for money.)?
But that is the thing we should be clear about. Juicy J wanted girls to twerk, framed it as a twerking competition, and then had the nerve to try to make a ratchet project respectable not by simply taking responsibility for his choice but rather by shaming the sisters who participated.
My good friend Dr. Treva Lindsey noted that in many ways his refusal to choose a woman who twerked and his choice to just reduce their videos down to a mindless shaking of ass constituted “blatant usurping of any of the power the women in videos exercised in creating their own narratives about financing their education. We all knew the scholarship was a problematic from its inception, but damn if some of these hip hop generation women didn’t enter into that problematic space and find a way to resist and explore. Now we shaming??? GTFOH.”
Yes, many of these women twerked, but they twerked on their own terms, they twerked while reading Dorothy Roberts, they twerked with friends, they twerked for enjoyment.
So while Juicy J might have capitulated to calls to make his process more “respectable” by not requiring a girl to shake her ass for money, he also undercut that by shaming the women who did exactly what he asked them to do.
He seems to have some sick, twisted Captain Save a Ho complex, wherein he wants to be a Sugar Daddy for some girl from the hood, a la E-40. But since he doesn’t fundamentally respect the girls who dance in the club for money, he deems them all unworthy of being saved through his $50 thousand dollar gift.
Like the Project Pat remix to E-40, Juicy J’s snub screams “don’t save her! She don’t wanna be saved.”
Sexism warps the mind and the dulls the thinking. Clearly.
Some part of me thinks that we feminists got what we deserved: our willingness to keep on trying to resist and subvert patriarchy often only ends up showing us how much we don’t control the terms of the conversation. And maybe our goal should not just be resistance any longer, but fullscale revolt, because in this instance, Black women got played. But we’re still figuring out what revolution looks like, and unfortunately we still believe these sexist assholes are redeemable and mean us some good.
Sexism doesn’t work that way though. Or rather it works exactly this way. He gives out a few crumbs to Zaire, and transforms her life. She is exceptional and he gets to be the Patron Saint of Hustlin Hood Chicks. All the while, his contempt for women in general and sex workers in particular remains in check and thinly veiled.
Oh and I’m not here for anybody talking about “they shoulda read the fine print.” Juicy J knew what he was doing, and if your goal is to give a scholarship, then don’t act like you are asking trick questions in a Mensa contest. You’re not that dude, J. Stay in your lane.
In the end, Juicy J switched things up, invoked respectability, invited a kind of derisiveness towards twerkers, and thought he would come out looking like a stand up guy.
Not so I say.
This is deeply fucked up and we should not fall for it.
Women who twerk for money are not stupid. Rather than blaming twerkers, I think our eyes should be squarely on Juicy J. He came up with this brainchild, got to watch countless women shake their ass for free mind you, and then did what dudes do best: blame women for being stupid enough to disrespect themselves.
But let’s remember he had money and power and he used it target women without money and power. Getting mad at them for making the “wrong choice” to participate absolves Juicy J of using male privilege and money and to set up a rigged game.
So don’t fall for the okey doke. Juicy J is a sexist. We already knew that. And he participated in the worst of kind of exploitation by getting working class sisters who really needed the help to participate in his contest.
I’m glad Zaire has the funds she needs to become a doctor, but Juicy J gets NO RESPECT. He might win some, but he just lost one.