So, what’s wrong with the generalization that more sex = liberation? It locates sexual liberation in an experience of white heterosexual femininity. It does not take into the account the different experiences of racialization and sexualization of women, queer and trans people of color. For example, while, straight, middle-class women have been stereotyped as pure, asexual virgins, while women of color have been hypersexualized as exotic, erotic beings (see: Hottentot, harem girl, lotus blossom, fiery Latina, squaw, etc.) For racialized people, adopting a sex-positive attitude does not “liberate” them of such stereotypes, in fact, it fuels them further. In addition, the framework of sex-positivity does not offer a critique of capitalism and the way our sexualities are commodified and exploited, preventing the “free expression” of sex, in the favorite words of sex-positive feminists. Sex-positivity is also ahistorical; it does not take into account the ways attitudes about sex are related to histories of colonialism, especially the colonial imposition of gender and sexual norms. None of this is a particularly new way of thinking by the way, many feminists of color have critiqued sex-positivity for similar reasons. — Shout-outs to counterstorytelling (aka Mushroom Rage) for this thoughtful, wonderful op-ed that spoke so many truths on so many levels. This article is probably the one where topics of feminism, gender, construct, colonialism, culture, and sexuality all intertwine— not just systemically, but personally as well. (via thephantomcatalyst)
Make it a Legal Option For Males to Adopt Spouse's Last Name Upon Marriage | We the People: Your Voice in Our Government -
This got left in my box by a fanmail (which does not give me an email notification, guys) and its something I support but I don’t think the President can do it. It has to be done state by state somehow.
This is what racism looks like.
Racism is the utter lack of compassion it takes to see a mother grieving for a boy and afraid for her own sons, and think, “Wow, that would be really easy to tweak in Photoshop to make her look stupid. Wouldn’t that be funny?”
Racism is dehumanizing. Racism robs this woman of her individuality, her humanity, and her gender. “And ain’t I a woman?” This mother ain’t a woman to “The Patriot Nation.” She’s an object to be ridiculed for mistakes she never made; mistakes, in fact, that someone intentionally added to a photo of her for the purpose of mocking her grief and fear.
Racism is someone in front of his computer whose face twists into the same mask of disgust we see in grainy old black and white films of the KKK burning schoolhouses and churches, and instead of a racial slur spilling from his curled-back lips, he sneers, “Sheeple,” or “Socialists,” or “Obamanation,” and he clicks “like” and “share” on this photo because there’s no little switch in his brain to say: “Is this right to do to a human being?” No. The filter turns off when his hate is triggered by this image. And the really scary thing is, that missing filter means he’s also missing the ability to honestly ask himself, “Am I responding this way because of this woman’s race?”
This is also what courage looks like, over there on the left.
Courage is a woman who knows damn good and well that there are people in the world who will use and abuse anything she does in the public eye to slander her, her community, and the sons on whose behalf she’s protesting.
Courage is a woman with her head held high holding a protest sign of her own making in front of a news camera. She is old enough to have three sons. Surely, she has experienced racism before. Surely, she was raised to “never ever forget [she] was born on parole,” and surely she knows that speaking for her sons means taking risks with her own image, her own safety, and her own reputation.
The cost of courage in nonviolent protest has changed. Those who march peacefully may no longer risk firehoses and police dogs’ bites (though they do risk being attacked with chemical weapons), but they now risk digital slander as impossible to remove from the Internet as unflattering photos of Beyonce.
One acute injury, one arrest, or a lifetime of being “the stupid woman with the misspelled sign” online when you KNOW damn well you can spell “sons” (and so can all of your sons, for that matter)? Dog bite, or teenage niece who gets on Facebook for the first time calling to ask why auntie doesn’t know how to spell?
I think I’d take the dog bite, personally.
Showing my work: The racist photoshopped image was found on Facebook. Use of FotoForensics validated my assumption (based on jpeg artifacts) it had been resaved repeatedly. A Google reverse image search using the photoshopped image revealed the original. I used SnagIt to create the side by side comparison here. To his credit, the friend who first shared the fake version retracted it and declared it “despicable” after being shown the original photo.
I obviously do not own the original, but I grant any and all permission to use the above comparison image for purposes related to rescuing this anonymous woman’s reputation from racist attempts to depict her in unflattering and false ways via sharing of a “meme” anywhere, in perpetuity. As an additional sidenote, if anyone knows the woman depicted, please give her a hug from me.
…for the contingent out there who sneer at heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman and Captain America, those icons who still, at their core, represent selfless sacrifice for the greater good, and who justify their contempt by saying, oh, it’s so unrealistic, no one would ever be so noble… grow up. Seriously. Cynicism is not maturity, do not mistake the one for the other. If you truly cannot accept a story where someone does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, that says far more about who you are than these characters. —
Greg Rucka (via murmurandshout)
more cookie time: Here’s Your Mary Sue
Looks like this essay was needed, so I went ahead and did it. Not sure I said everything I wanted to say, but I tried.
So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in between torrid romances she rejects them all because she dedicated to what is Pure and Good. She has genius level intellect, Olympic-athelete level athletic ability and incredible good looks. She is consumed by terrible angst, but this only makes guys want her more. She has no superhuman abilities, yet she is more competent than her superhuman friends and defeats superhumans with ease. She has unshakably loyal friends and allies, despite the fact she treats them pretty badly. They fear and respect her, and defer to her orders. Everyone is obsessed with her, even her enemies are attracted to her. She can plan ahead for anything and she’s generally right with any conclusion she makes. People who defy her are inevitably wrong.
God, what a Mary Sue.
I just described Batman.
Wish fulfillment characters have been around since the beginning of time. The good guys tend to win, get the girl and have everything fall into place for them. It’s only when women started doing it that it became a problem.
READ THIS I BEG OF YOU.
Demographics of Note
Males – 43% Females – 57%.
Despite the stereotype that science fiction is for men, women have been deeply involved in the genre for decades, and their presence in many aspects of science fiction has been on the rise for just as long, particularly once Star Trek came on the scene. Star Trek, despite some of the obvious sexism of the original series, has done quite a bit to inspire female fans. During the 1960’s and the feminist movement at that time, Trek empowered women. Today, many women credit their professional careers in the sciences, entertainment, medicine, the military, and more with having been influenced in some way by Star Trek. Women were also part of the original driving force behind saving the original series and continue to join the fandom at an increasing rate. — Star Trek Fandom Survey, “The Culture of Trek Frandom: Wouldn’t you like to be a Trekkie too?”, Daryl G. Frazetti, Anthropologist/Pop Culture Researcher (via ami-angelwings)