so you’re telling me there’s an alien who regenerates into a completely random form, that he cannot control or determine himself, and who understandably could take millions of different appearances, but who all 13 times just turned into a different skinny white guy
“The problem with racially insensitive Halloween costumes: While people who dress up as racial stereotypes might be able to take the disguise off the day after Halloween, people who are minorities can’t. And the resonance of everything from a geisha to a terrorist stereotype persists long after the end of October.”— I am Not a Costume, Autostraddle (via stuffmomnevertoldyou)
so i don’t think i posted it on here yet, but basically my lecture this week went terrible. the topic (as listed on the syllabus) was “case studies in racism: the american indian experience;” some of the lows of the class include 60-70 white kids yelling at me so loud that i had to yell at them to be quiet at the top of my voice, a white girl telling me she’s “5% Navajo” and that gives her the right to berate me in my own classroom, bizarre tone-policing, and multiple students trying to undermine me and belittle the material by saying things like “the Florida Seminole mascot is an accurate educational tool,” “you’re saying Native Americans are the only ones who experience racism and that’s racist,” “i’m not personally responsible for genocide or racism and i feel terrible about it, but i can’t change it so stop holding me accountable,” and my personal favorite, “you’re only saying this stuff because you’re Native and bitter—i don’t respect you and don’t wanna have this conversation, i don’t have to say shit.”
it was so bad that about 10-15 students (mostly students of color) came up to me after class to apologize for their classmates’ embarrassingly immature & racist behavior. one of them even said that the class was scary and he was surprised that i didn’t start crying halfway through the lecture. the one cool thing is that those select few students could point to their peers and say that they were an excellent example of how ingrained racism is—that people with passing grades in an ethnic studies class can still pull shit like that and think it’s ok shows that they’re regurgitating rhetoric and not processing this really, and that there’s still deep-rooted racism in that room.
i had expected some resistance, because this area has a history of pretty overt anti-Indian racism and this campus has not responded well. our ethnic studies department has no Native or indigenous faculty, and i’m the only Native grad student. there are 5 Native grad students total on this entire campus (we are a VERY large public land-grant institution in close proximity to quite a few large Native communities). last semester when a Native faculty member was beaten within an inch of his life just a block off campus, the university didn’t even send a press release or emergency notification for days. my department (ethnic studies) does not offer a grad-level Native or indigenous studies course, and does not require those who teach intro to ethnic studies to have a curriculum culturally sensitive to Native peoples. i asked my department head if i could be added to a faculty meeting agenda to discuss curricula changes and anti-Indian racism in our department, and i was told that was not the “appropriate forum,” and a (thus far unscheduled) private meeting would be best. in both undergrad and grad classes, each time we have had our 1 token reading or class period on “Native issues,” it’s gone terribly, i have been totally and openly disrespected, and i’ve left the class furious and hurt. in day to day interactions with colleagues, i have been told i’m “too ghetto for grad school,” that reservation Indians are lawless drug-addicted criminals, that if Native women don’t want to be raped they should leave their reservations, and that i bear the burden of on-demand proof of Native experiences of genocide.
i’m fed up, and i’m leaving. i was supposed to stay for my PhD (and was given funding to do so), but i’m graduating early with my MA and would not come back to this institution under any circumstance. my two-year stint here has been so traumatic, i’m taking a break from academia in general—i’m now working for an organization run by and for Native women, and am not planning on pursuing a PhD for a few years at least. this is not about painting myself as a victim, but to be real about how hostile a space as allegedly “radical” as an ethnic studies dept can be to Native students; for my own personal wellbeing, i have to take a breather from this shit. honestly, if i do go back into academia, i think in the long term my goal is to be teaching at a tribal college—i would rather be paid a third of what i could get teaching at a non-tribal institution and working with Native faculty & students, than deal with this shit on the regular for more money and recognition.
in the meantime, i have to teach intro to ethnic studies again next semester, as well as finish up TAing for it this semester. i’m completely rewriting my curriculum and while i wish it didn’t have to be this way, the repeated and consistent horrible experiences i’ve had have demonstrated that i have to treat that classroom like the battleground the students are making it into. it’s really unfortunate because that kind of atmosphere works to the detriment of all of us—it’s exhausting and traumatic for me, and not the ideal learning environment for them.
i have been begging and demanding support from faculty and administration essentially since day 1, and i have yet to see or hear anything from them at all except “wow that’s totally inappropriate i can’t believe it! so not ok, that needs to change!” (it should be noted these comments have not manifested any concrete changes in departmental or institutional curricula, dynamics, or accountability).
people do not want to be reminded of how ignorant they are, or how complicit in violence they are. i get it. but you’re losing dedicated scholars and educators like myself (and all the students i could have recruited or helped to retain!), and not only reinforcing colonial power structures and systems of domination, but perpetrating colonial/racist violence yourself.
“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken.”—C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (via slingthatslang)
“Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.”—
I really love this! I’m sick of seeing passion as this burning explosive rush only to fizzle out. Passion to me is like glowing coals or a simmering pot, stable and enduring with the propensity to increase or extingush depending on how it is managed or how much love is exchanged. Much slower moving and full of potential.
tw: fatshaming, fatphobia, eating disorders includes talk of weight loss
a lot of thin people bitch and moan about this blog (and to be fair, sometimes i wonder if there really is thin privilege, i’m 50-50 on it myself) but i think there’s a very key part as to why they bitch and moan: they don’t understand what it’s like to be fat.
that’s literally it. they get angry because they “don’t get fat people” or because “thin people have problems too” but they’re forgetting the entire reason for the argument in the first place—that fat phobia is rampant and can be extremely damaging. and thin people wouldn’t get it, because they aren’t experiencing the fat phobia first hand. personally, i don’t think fat phobia is anywhere near as awful as racism, ableism, homophobia, etc—but it’s still a big problem, especially considering that it makes so many people hate themselves.
we are literally taught to hate fat. we are taught that being fat is unacceptable. we are taught that if we are fat, we must change, because it is wrong. we are taught that being fat is a sickness and that we must be cured.
we are bombarded every day with advertisements telling us that being fat is bad. you can’t watch a television show, read a magazine, listen to the radio without seeing/hearing an ad for losing weight to “look better”. we are force-fed garbage telling us that being fat automatically means being unattractive. fat is used as an insult, fat is used to describe repulsiveness. some people shudder at the mere thought of “ever letting themselves get like that”. we’re told fat is a disease. fat is an epidemic. we’re told that we are riddled with illnesses are disgustingly unhealthy and that we’re eyesores.
we are taught that being fat automatically makes us unloveable. we watch dozens of movies and tv shows that teach us “fatties” are seen as jokes. we read comments from our friends on social networking sites demeaning fat people for daring to ask them out on a date. we’ve watched quietly in distress in movie theaters when main characters make faces of disgust while their buddies laugh if a fat person approaches them, flirts with them, shows any romantic interest in them at all. we hear from family and friends about how “nobody will want to date anyone like you unless you lose weight”, and god forbid a fat person date a thin person—oh, the comments you’ll hear! “it really speaks to that thin person’s character for dating them”, “that thin person must be really desperate”, “that thin person can do so much better”, “that thin person must be a chubby chaser”, as if your fat negates any positive qualities that you have. you are not seen as a person.
we are taught that you cannot be fat and beautiful. you are one or the other, there is no combining the two. it’s so embarrassing to dragged along on a shopping trip and looking at very nice clothing and wondering what it would be like to wear it, but suddenly feeling shame sink into the pits of your stomach because they “don’t make sizes any bigger than that”. it’s not really a personal blow persay, but it almost feels like one—that because you are fat, you do not deserve to wear things that make you feel beautiful. for teens and adolescents, it’s incredibly difficult to find clothes intended for your age group. often times you need to stray to sections of the store where grown men and women are shopping, as if it is only acceptable to be bigger when you are older because you’re “out of your prime”. and how guilty you feel about it—the feeling something is wrong with you, and that unless you change to fit in the very small box of “normal sized” people, you will forever be too different to enjoy the same things that they enjoy.
we also hear many things that go along with being fat—that being fat automatically means we must smell bad, that we are lazy, that we eat all the time, that we are revolting, that we are unintelligent, that we are desperate for any attention thrown our way that we will lap it up and beg for more no matter how much we dislike the person or how badly they treat us. fat people are seen as nothing more than comedy reliefs, we are jokes. people avoid conversation with us due to the fact that they merely think we are unattractive—and it breaks our hearts because we wonder how many interesting conversations we could have had, how many friends we could have made, but didn’t, merely because we scared them off with our appearance.
for some reason, over-eating as an eating disorder is laughed at. it is not taken seriously. it is just seen as disgusting, hilarious, making no sense, and that people who overeat are idiotic and deserve what they have coming to them. anorexia and bulimia, however, are seen as especially tragic because “they aren’t even fat”; as if being fat would be an acceptable excuse for their disorders. they are taken much more seriously, and people are all too quick to sympathize because, “if i thought i was that fat maybe i’d do it too.
we are shamed, bullied, ostracized, ignored, laughed at, scorned and taught that this is acceptable and normal behavior. we’re taught if we’re fat it is okay to hate ourselves, and that unless we change our bodies, we have no right to be angry at people for shaming us, because it is “our own damn fault” and that “oh well, it’s just the way life is; if you want to stop being shamed, change yourself”.
thin people obviously can have body issues. thin people can obviously have problems, be bullied, experience tragedies, etc. to deny any of that would be ridiculous. however, i’d like to see the evidence of thin people being scorned by the media, being told that being thin is an eyesore, that thin people need to change their bodies to be accepted, that thin people cannot be loved, that thin people are “unfuckable”, that if a thin person is experiencing body shaming that it’s their own fault for being thin.
it pains me horribly to watch thin people scorn us for asking for acceptance of our bodies—no, not even acceptance, for tolerance. we are seen as being whiny because we apparently “want everyone else to change instead of us” which is the biggest load of bullshit i’ve ever heard because it implies that it is okay to degrade us because we have the choice to “fix ourselves”.
because apparently it’s too much of a selfish, pathetic thing to want to stop being hated for nothing more than the amount of flesh that holds in our organs. and thin people apparently think that it’s too much of a damn chore to stop belittling us for it.
and this is what thin people against this blog seem to not grasp or understand. i wonder if this will help shed any light, but undoubtedly it’s going to get nothing but mockery and hatred.
i mean you really have to be deep into your misogyny to not recognize that it’s misogynistic and gender essentialist and just gross to expect that women shave their legs while men, who tend to be hairier anyway, can just walk around like werewolves
Like when women hate men it’s frustrating at worst, maybe it hurts someone’s feelings, but when men hate women they are shamed, abused, patronized, demeaned, objectified, raped, and murdered, ya feel me, so even if I WAS a raging misandrist like worst case scenario I’d be a bummer at parties, meanwhile a girl somewhere literally can’t leave her house because it’s dark outside.
You know how people buy drinks for girls in bars? Why can’t people do that in book stores? Like if I’m looking at a novel in Barnes and Noble and some person walks up to me and strikes up a conversation and offers to buy the book for me there is a lot better chance of that working out in their favor
I’m going to reblog this until it’s a cultural norm.
“The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair. First the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain. Willow cut her hair because her beauty, her value, her worth is not measured by the length of her hair. It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires. Even little girls should not be a slave to the preconceived ideas of what a culture believes a little girl should be.”—
“Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”—Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859 (via littlelostpoly2)
1-Spiritual or Religious affiliation. By taking something from a culture that is a symbol of spiritual or religious belief and using it as fashion or “Decoration” you are not only belittling the culture and the importance of said item, you are also shrinking something culturally viable down to mere window dressing. A fad. Something to be taken up and then thrown away at will. No one’s culture should ever be treated so callously. It’s blatantly disrespectful but also, shows a sign of your belief in your own superiority over the group. Taking a precious symbol and reducing it to fashion is anything but showing respect for a culture. A culture of human beings should never be reduced to items in your closet.
2-Reinforcing negative stereotypes. People outside of a culture love to tell people within a culture what does and doesn’t hurt them. Non-Natives seem to live to tell Natives what causes harm to them as people, as a culture and as living human beings. Images like this, this, this and this are chalked up to girls just having fun or worse, girls who “Adore” the culture and want to support it. Except, there is no adoration in sexualizing an entire population. There is no respect, care or even humanity in these images as they directly related to this. One is not separate from the other. In fact, one is very much a justification for the other. By sexualizing a group of people, those people become…wait for it….wait for it…SEXUALIZED. These items that you call “Pretty” and “Fashion” and “Adoration of a culture,” are the very items, attached to your hyper sexual image, that allows such pain. To you, it’s “Fashion.” To the group that you are contributing vile and unforgivable stereotypes to, it is a matter of life and death. That’s not how “Respect for a culture” works. Unless, by “Respect” you mean, hate them so much that you go out of your way to cause as much pain as humanly possible.
3-We Make, You Profit. Those that steal from other cultures never seem to see a problem with it. They call it “Blending” and talk about how their thievery brings “Us” closer together. Nothing says “Togetherness” like taking something that isn’t yours, amirite? Many issues that stem from anger over cultural appropriation comes from those that get recognized for their work. One group does something as part of their culture. Someone from another group, usually a majority group, likes it, takes it and then makes a profit off of it. The recognition of someone doing something that another group was first ridiculed for, is common parlance of cultural appropriation. Those that see nothing wrong with cultural appropriation also see nothing wrong with one group doing the work and then another group profiting from it. It’s to bad the “Blending of cultures” that they are talking about never “Blend” the recognition OR the pay checks. Still, pro-cultural thievery people will talk about how “Good” it is to steal. Of course, they don’t see it as stealing. It’s blending. Ya know, how you work hard and pay for your house and then I walk in and take it without giving you a dime. Then, when you get upset that I just stole your house, I say…”I didn’t steal, I blended.” Yeah, it’s like that. The difference here is, with things like Headdresses, dance moves and bindis, they have a deep and long history with their respective cultures. Your house, has likely only been in your history for 30 years or less. Yet, “Blending” someone’s house would be a crime. “Blending” someone’s culture, is free form for the majority. As it has been for hundreds of years.
“To me, the thing we describe as cheating is lack of respect for boundaries that have been discussed and agreed on, or disregard for a partner’s needs that have been perceived or expressed. I had to learn (by hurting people and getting hurt) that communicating about feelings and setting boundaries for a relationship is important, and that boundaries may change over the course of a relationship.”—Stoya on the Pitfalls of Heteronormativity and Monogamy | VICE United States (via lesilencieux)