I’ve told the kids in the ghettos that violence won’t solve their problems, but then they ask me, and rightly so; “Why does the government use massive doses of violence to bring about the change it wants in the world?” After this I knew that I could no longer speak against the violence in the ghettos without also speaking against the violence of my government
White audiences are not the only ones that turn away from progressive images. Often unenlightened black and other nonwhite groups, who, like many whites, have been socially conditioned to accept denigrating portraits of black people are dissatisfied when they do no see these familiar stereotypes on screen.
Ahem. Black folks, bell did just come for our wigs. When Black people DEMAND stereotypical depictions of Blackness and reject anything that deviates from the stereotypes (or the one-dimensional reaction to the stereotypes as “positive” characters) as “unrealistic,” there is a problem Houston. Internalized White supremacist thought is a helluva drug.
If we actually started calling bullying what it is and address it as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, fat phobia and classism it would actually give children a better way to deal with the very same power dynamics they will face as adults, while also giving adults more responsibility to challenge the intolerance that is rooted within our society overall.
- Amanda Levitt at Fat Body Politics (October 5th, 2012)
I saw the tag on this and me made me snort. Thanks for whoever decided I’m the shit. lol
Youth is like an open, half-written diary. The pages to the left filled with memories, the blank page before us the anxious confidant to which we entrust our present. And to the right are tomorrows waiting to be written. Every page turned is a new world conquered, a new future explored, a new page waiting. […] So now, we prepare to turn to another blank page. A future standing before us like a freshly-fallen snow, awaiting that first mark, that first forward footstep. A new journey to be started. A new promise to be fulfilled. A new page to be written. Go forth unto this waiting world with pen in hand, all you young scribes. The open book awaits. Be creative. Be adventurous. Be original. And above all else, be young. For youth is your greatest weapon. Your greatest tool. Use it wisely.
I loathe when people think that I’m shy rather than introverted. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being shy, I’m just not, and they are two separate things. People cajoling me into social situations try to assure me that I “don’t have to talk to everyone” or that “everyone will love me.” Bitch, of course they will like me. I am delightful. I just find prolonged social interactions to be extremely exhausting.
You may not agree with a woman, but to criticize her appearance — as opposed to her ideas or actions — isn’t doing anyone any favors, least of all you. Insulting a woman’s looks when they have nothing to do with the issue at hand implies a lack of comprehension on your part, an inability to engage in high-level thinking. You may think she’s ugly, but everyone else thinks you’re an idiot.
Let’s start by pointing out that intersectionality isn’t such a scary word, and gasp, plenty of people who haven’t been university-educated are capable of looking it up and understanding it. Here’s a good definition. It’s not that hard to understand. It’s essentially a useful way of saying that things like sexuality, race, class, religion and ability overlap. For example, a white woman’s experience of sexism may be vastly different from a black woman’s. Has your brain died from exhaustion yet? It’s so condescending to suggest that non-academics just aren’t smart enough to get this.
You don’t have to be pretty. You don’t owe prettiness to anyone. Not to your boyfriend/spouse/partner, not to your co-workers, especially not to random men on the street. You don’t owe it to your mother, you don’t owe it to your children, you don’t owe it to civilization in general. Prettiness is not a rent you pay for occupying a space marked “female”.
Despite increasing acceptance and public awareness, there is still a stigma associated with seeking help from mental health professionals. While mental health screening and treatment can dramatically improve someone’s quality of life, there is often still a very strong resistance to the idea. People may be afraid that they are “crazy” or that others will look down on them for it. They may have an irrational fear that they will be locked up. The truth of the matter is that seeking professional help is a suitable course of action in many situations. If you are resisting seeking mental health help, there are a few things that can help you move forward.
My experience of being a fat black woman has not been a fat acceptance wonderland. I don’t feel like I have been shamed for my body, but I have felt pressure to have a more socially acceptable body size. I do worry about presenting myself well. Because of the history and attitudes in my community, I feel a responsibility to act in a manner that adheres to a strict code of conduct. Part of the code is hiding its existence from mainstream white culture. I struggle with those pressures when I don’t feel like pulling myself together, when I want to toss a scarf over my messy hair and grab some milk at the store, when I want to snarl at someone rather than do racism 101 for the umpteenth time. Being told by white women that I have it easy when it comes body image dismisses all of the complexities and difficulties of my identity and reduces them to “Cosmo says you’re fat. Well I ain’t down with that!” Making assumptions about someone’s identity and culture based on fragments of pop culture is dehumanizing. An important part of understanding the world beyond yourself, not just asking questions but also listening closely to people who have criticisms of your beliefs. Sometimes what you think is fact is based upon false premises. Black women do not live in a fat acceptance utopia and you’re making racist assumptions if you assume they do.
However, that still doesn’t excuse Moran or her defenders. Mainstream feminism (and we include Bitch in this category, by the way) has been fucking up for too long for this kind of willful ignorance to keep happening. Why is it that Moran’s defenders are all white cisgendered women? In fact, to paraphrase Stephanie Phillips, if someone who is not white says something is racist, they are not doing it for shits and giggles.
The assumption is that people with mental illnesses are voiceless, can’t speak for themselves in a way that is reliable, in a way that other people want to hear or be led by. People want to hear stories of mental illness, but they don’t want to hear it from the people on the frontlines, the ones being devastated. Those, apparently, are too depressing. […] Don’t get me wrong. There is wisdom and beauty that emerges from the stories of people who are exposed to mental illness, but do not suffer it. But those aren’t the only stories, the only truths.
Ableism must be included in our analysis of oppression and in our conversations about violence, responses to violence and ending violence. Ableism cuts across all of our movements because ableism dictates how bodies should function against a mythical norm—an able-bodied standard of white supremacy, heterosexism, sexism, economic exploitation, moral/religious beliefs, age and ability. Ableism set the stage for queer and trans people to be institutionalized as mentally disabled; for communities of color to be understood as less capable, smart and intelligent, therefore “naturally” fit for slave labor; for women’s bodies to be used to produce children, when, where and how men needed them; for people with disabilities to be seen as “disposable” in a capitalist and exploitative culture because we are not seen as “productive;” for immigrants to be thought of as a “disease” that we must “cure” because it is “weakening” our country; for violence, cycles of poverty, lack of resources and war to be used as systematic tools to construct disability in communities and entire countries.
The film’s White woman director (bursting with good intentions as white women always are) unwittingly demonstrates why White women and Black women have not been able to forge a true sisterhood-the white sister can’t see the Black sister’s reality even when staring straight at her. And because of that inability to see us, the image chosen to represent Nina becomes a mocking dehumanization, an erasure of Nina’s swarthy and robust Black victory. Everything Nina stood for while surviving in that Black body becomes whitened and desensitized by the cloying signature of dishonesty. But of course, White people are making this film for White people anyway. None of these films from ‘Django Unchained’ to ‘Nina’ give a care about the Black people they’re depicting.
Exquisite. This is a part of her open letter to Cynthia Mort, the director of the Nina Simone film. This is EXACTLY the sentiment I feel when I wrote my post White Women and White Privilege: Telling Them NO. Until things like this change (which cannot even occur since so many White women are actively engaged in these attacks [yet ironically see them as flattery or kindness] on Black women, from their smallest fashion blogs, fashion editorials, and artwork to major motion pictures) the concept of inclusive, intersectional feminism or sisterhood are academic and theoretical exercises at best, not reality.