It was open season on black women on Twitter Sunday night. The tweets in the ugly trending topic compared black women’s bodies w/ animals, furniture & food. Black women’s existence was a joke. The topic trended for hours & reached the #2 trending topic spot. Post-racial Amercia? Um, OK.
this is a thing that happened. I actually cried, then I cried more. Someone wrote about it much more eloquently than I could. YT feminists had nothing to say ofc. Here is another article, its got some great comments.
This one is my fave and perhaps the most astute.
I probably would not have even pulled myself together to make this post if hadn’t gone looking for something to read to make myself feel better and found this quote from Baha’u’llah:
“O SON OF MAN! Write all that We have revealed unto thee with the ink of light upon the tablet of thy spirit. Should this not be in thy power, then make thine ink of the essence of thy heart. If this thou canst not do, then write with that crimson ink that hath been shed in My path. Sweeter indeed is this to Me than all else, that its light may endure for ever.”
So write the truth that I know. This is a terrible sad thing that happened, it is both racist and misogynist, and anyone who knows of this and tries to deny the existence of racism, or tries to say that black women don’t need “black girls rock” or The Abbie Mills Defense Brigade, or any of the other spaces that we create for ourselves is a racist fool whom for whom I have neither mercy nor kindness.
so few notes. if the trending topic had been #stopthelesbians tumblr would be all over this shit. stop talking a good game about intersectionality in your feminism if you can’t even be bothered to reblog.
Sometimes shit is so fucked up that you need a whole new category of trigger warnings for this shit.
All above bold mine.
“I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.”
No but there’s this one interview where he says basically “People won’t listen to you or take you seriously unless you’re an old white man, and since I’m an old white man I’m going to use that to help the people who need it”
This guy is amazing.
Patrick Stewart: using his old white man powers for good<3
When the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo died in 1954, her husband muralist Diego Rivera locked her clothes and jewelry- all personal possessions- into a bathroom. Diego instructed that the room to be unlocked fifteen years after his own death. Forgotten, they stayed there for fifty years.
No one knew what was behind that locked door. Staring back from a life more notorious than most, were 300 items of Frida’s. Her jewelry, clothing, hair accessories, a prosthetic leg, leather corsets, painted plaster casts and body molds.
All the physical and emotional pain, joy and vitality is told through stories carried in Frida’s clothing and accessories. This treasure trove is organized into an exhibition titled Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo,featuring eleven of Kahlo’s ensembles rotating every three months, showing forty outfits over the course of a year.
Conservators and curators said while excavating the hidden room, it was as if Frida was alongside them in the room. Her colorful clothing emitted a sense of happiness, while her hospital items, the casts and even medicine, were powerful to witness and held onto her sadness.
Vogue Mexico is producing a room for the exhibition that will feature commissioned work from contemporary designers who have been influenced by Kahlo. A rep for the magazine declined to reveal the specific designers working on the project, but said that “they are international designers and one Mexican designer — all of them are very recognized in the fashion industry.”
The fashion curator Circe Henestrosa dug through the time capsule and organized the exhibition. Henestrosa says,"Garments are very powerful tools for social and cultural interpretation. These objects and garments tell you so much about the wearer and yes, the items do have a smell….how to describe the smell….it’s her. It’s a unique, beautiful smell, of her skin."
Focusing on the issues of “disability” and “ethnicity,” the exhibition will be displayed in Frida Kahlo’s former home in Coyoacan, a suburb of Mexico City, the Frida Kahlo Museum (Casa Azul) through November 2013.
Seriously, it surprises me that people still don’t get that “whitewashing” doesn’t just mean “taking a character of color and turning them white,” but also applies to “focusing disproportionately on the stories of white people,” “glossing over or altering parts of a story to make it more palatable or make white people look better,” and “treating ‘white’ as the default race”
The fact that Disney churns out film after film after film after film about white people with a maximum of one film per ethnicity that showcases a group other than white people is whitewashing.
The fact that the story of “Pocahontas” (not her real name) has been substantially altered so that some of the white people in that story don’t look like such villains, with John Smith younger and Pocahontas significantly older, as well as recounting a popular myth of her saving John Smith from near-execution (a story John Smith made up to make himself look brave, the real Pocahontas told him to stop telling and hated him for using her to make himself look good, and he started to spread like wildfire after she died because she could no longer object) is whitewashing.
The fact that the characters on “How I Met Your Mother” are all white, and they supposedly live in New York City, but apparently associate exclusively with other white people (with the exception of Wayne Brady, who occasionally visits from out of town, and a recurring taxi driver) is whitewashing.
The fact that the Doctor has now been a white man a full twelve times in a row is whitewashing even though the character’s always been white, because the idea that there’s a character whose entire appearance can change in a matter of seconds, yet ends up white twelve times in a row by pure random chance, implies that white is a neutral default and other races are a deviation from that norm.
The fact that people get really angry at the suggestion that characters like Newt Scamander or Hermione Granger could be black because the books never explicitly say “they are black” is whitewashing.
Because that’s the thing. People often assume that when someone’s race isn’t explicitly specified, they’re white. People insist that Katniss Everdeen must be white because it is possible for them to rationalize that idea in their head. People think of white as “raceless” and every other color or ethnicity as “raced,” and that’s what we call “eurocentrism.”
And that’s the thing about whitewashing. It’s this idea that a “person” is white, and a “person of color” is black or asian or arab or latin@ or whatever they might be.
It’s why people call John Stewart the “Black Green Lantern” but just call Hal Jordan the “Green Lantern.” It’s why Miles Morales is called “Black Spider-man” but Peter Parker is just “Spider-man.” If you want to throw gender into the mix, it’s why Jennifer Walters is the “She-Hulk” but Bruce Banner isn’t the “He-Hulk.”
People think “character” is white and “character + black” is black. There is no default race. Community did a whole episode about how a truly raceless character would look something like this monstrosity:
But there’s the tricky part: Once you stop thinking of white characters as “character” and start thinking of them as “character + white,” it becomes really overwhelming how many characters are white.
I mean, I know there’s a kerfuffle over Disney Princesses right now, so let’s look at the list of official Disney Princesses, shall we? That is, let’s look at the list and include everyone’s race, not just the princesses of color:
- Snow White + White
- Cinderella + White
- Aurora + White
- Ariel + White
- Belle + White
- Jasmine + Arab
- Pocahontas + Native American
- Mulan + Asian
- Tiana + Black
- Rapunzel + White
- Merida + White
Soon to be added:
- Anna + White
- Elsa + White
4 of those 13 women are women of color. All four of those women of color are different races than one another. At the moment, the number of white princesses is seven, but it’s about to go up to nine. All nine of those princesses are the same race as one another, despite a few of them being different nationalities, although most of them hail from Western Europe.
And a lot of people are saying “but they’re just accurately portraying the parts of the world those stories are set in!” First of all, the presence of a person of color has never been implausible in any part of the world, in any period of human history. Hell, a bunch of these movies were set after Shakespeare had born, lived, and died, but he still managed to write a play set centuries earlier featuring a black male lead in Italy.
Second, and most importantly, it’s not like they are being assigned a setting at random and have to accommodate it in their character designs. The people at Disney choose to set film after film after film in France and Germany and Denmark.
It’s not that those areas produce more or better fairy tales and folk tales than any of the other continents, it’s that the stories that come from those areas are the ones Disney considers universal.
In the eyes of Disney, there’s a Princess for Black little girls to look up to, a Princess for Native little girls to look up to, a Princess for Arab little girls to look up to, a Princess for Asian little girls to look up to, and nine princesses for all little girls to look up to. It’s no coincidence that in almost all promotional art featuring the “Princess Lineup,” Jasmine, Tiana, Mulan, and Pocahontas are all standing in the back, usually obscured by other
whitePrincesses’ dresses, while the blonde lady brigade stands in the front.
And that is whitewashing.
To all the women who quietly made history.
This reminds me of this:
Finally, and this is important: even those women who weren’t inventors and intellectuals, even those women who really did spend all their lives doing stereotypical “women’s work”—they also built this world. The mundane labor of life is what makes everything else possible. Before you can have scientists and engineers and artists, you have to have a whole bunch of people (and it’s usually women) to hold down the basics: to grow and harvest and cook the food, to provide clothes and shelter, to fetch the firewood and the water, to nurture and nurse, to tend and teach. Every single scrap of civilized inventing and dreaming and thinking rides on top of that foundation. Never forget that.
Bisabuela Juanita, Abuelita María Lucha Quintana.
History is women following behind, with a bucket.
~ Mrs Lintott, The History Boys.