When the movie still wasn’t out in theaters, there were a lot of people complaining how Natasha was just going to be “the token girl” and how “useless” she’s going to be and how she’ll just be eyecandy for the male users while the Main Dudes save the day. Now, the movie’s out and a lot of people were convinced that she was a great asset to the team. Her character was well-written, fleshed out and had depth. She was badass and confident but at the same time, she felt like a real human; she has things that affect her and is obviously troubled by them but she hides that well. She has her strengths and weaknesses. Well done, Joss! But at the same time people are still going on about how she shouldn’t have been included, how the movie would’ve been better without her and actively leave her out when talking about the movie. They only talk about her boobs or ass or how hot she was, completely stripping her of any other features except the token eye-candy. I honestly cannot explain it to myself in any other way: society has taught us that women are useless, weak, only exist so that guys can have something to look at and exploit, have no distinct characteristics and should let men save them. Take a look at Hawkeye, for example - he spent most of the movie being possessed by Loki and afterwards had some snarky lines to deliver. Yet people are creaming their pants over him; how awesome he is, etc. Men aren’t prejudiced against, people always like male characters without much thought. But when it comes to women, people always judge first. Is she too weak? Too strong? Too unfeeling? Too feeling? Society has set these impossibly high standards for us to upholds but truth is: we, as women, will never be able to reach them. In the same vein, Scarlett Johansson has been asked mainly about her tight suit, interview after interview; not about what her character is like or how it’s been developed, no no, she’s a woman who’s wearing a very tight catsuit and obviously that’s her main point. Captain America and Hawkeye also wear very tight suits but they’re rarely asked about them; Thor and Hawkeye show more skin than Natasha does, yet she’s regarded as the “sex object” because her zip is a little unbuttoned and hey guess what! She has boobs! It’s 2012, the 21st century and misogyny is still rampant; sure, there’s some progress but it’s painstakingly slow. Black Widow is the only (non-powered!) female superhero in a team full of superpowered guys and she still holds her ground. Yet people are ready to hate on her immediately. Because she’s a woman and what is a woman doing in a superhero movie? Don’t you know superheroes are for guys only? It’s disgusting.
^^^^^^^^^ It’s not always the representation of the character but the mindset of the fucking dumbass people
“We must be very careful to avoid the use of the term “tribe” to describe these ethnic groups. “Tribe,” Ukpo points out, is largely a racist term. The Ibo and Hausa-Fulani of Nigeria are each made up of five to ten million people, a figure comparable to the number of, say, Scots, Welsh, Armenians, Serbs or Croats. Yet we do not refer to the latter groups as “tribes.” The term “tribe” is almost exclusively, and very indifferently, applied to peoples of Native American or African origin. It is a label which emerged with imperialism in its application to those who were non-European and lived in a “colonial or semi-colonial dependency…in Asia, Africa and Latin America” (14). As we are attempting to discard the prejudices of imperialism it is in our best interests to discard the use of the term “tribe” when referring to the ethnic groups of Nigeria.”—
Pamela Bridgewater’s argument, expressed over the past several years in articles and forums, and at the heart of a book in final revision called Breeding a Nation: Reproductive Slavery and the Pursuit of Freedom, presents the most compelling conceptual and constitutional frame I know for considering women’s bodily integrity and defending it from the right.
In brief, her argument rolls out like this. The broad culture tells a standard story of the struggle for reproductive rights, beginning with the flapper, climaxing with the pill, Griswold v. Connecticut and an assumption of privacy rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and concluding with Roe v. Wade. The same culture tells a traditional story of black emancipation, beginning with the Middle Passage, climaxing with Dred Scott, Harpers Ferry and Civil War and concluding with the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. Both stories have a postscript—a battle royal between liberation and reaction—but, as Bridgewater asserts, “Taken together, these stories have no comprehensive meaning. They tell no collective tale. They create no expectation of sexual freedom and no protection against, or remedy for, reproductive slavery. They exist in separate spheres; that is a mistake.” What unites them but what both leave out, except incidentally, is the experience of black women. Most significantly, they leave out “the lost chapter of slave breeding.”
I need to hit the pause button on the argument for a moment, because the considerable scholarship that revisionist historians have done for the past few decades has not filtered into mass consciousness. The mass-culture story of slavery is usually told in terms of economics, labor, color, men. Women outnumbered men in the enslaved population two to one by slavery’s end, but they enter the conventional story mainly under the rubric “family,” or in the cartoon triptych Mammy-Jezebel-Sapphire, or in the figure of Sally Hemmings. Yes, we have come to acknowledge, women were sexually exploited. Yes, many of the founders of this great nation prowled the slave quarters and fathered a nation in the literal as well as figurative sense. Yes, maybe rape was even rampant. That the slave system in the US depended on human beings not just as labor but as reproducible raw material is not part of the story America typically tells itself. That women had a particular currency in this system, prized for their sex or their wombs and often both, and that this uniquely female experience of slavery resonates through history to the present is not generally acknowledged. Even the left, in uncritically reiterating Malcolm X’s distinction between “the house Negro” and “the field Negro,” erases the female experience, the harrowing reality of the “favorite” that Harriet Jacobs describes in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
We don’t commonly recognize that American slaveholders supported closing the trans-Atlantic slave trade; that they did so to protect the domestic market, boosting their own nascent breeding operation. Women were the primary focus: their bodies, their “stock,” their reproductive capacity, their issue. Planters advertised for them in the same way as they did for breeding cows or mares, in farm magazines and catalogs. They shared tips with one another on how to get maximum value out of their breeders. They sold or lent enslaved men as studs and were known to lock teenage boys and girls together to mate in a kind of bullpen. They propagated new slaves themselves, and allowed their sons to, and had their physicians exploit female anatomy while working to suppress African midwives’ practice in areas of fertility, contraception and abortion.Reproduction and its control became the planters’ prerogative and profit source. Women could try to escape, ingest toxins or jump out a window—abortion by suicide, except it was hardly a sure thing.
This business was not hidden at the time, as Pamela details expansively. And, indeed, there it was, this open secret, embedded in a line from Uncle Tom’s Cabin that my eyes fell upon while we were preparing to arrange books on her new shelves: “’If we could get a breed of gals that didn’t care, now, for their young uns…would be ’bout the greatest mod’rn improvement I knows on,” says one slave hunter to another after Eliza makes her dramatic escape, carrying her child over the ice flows.
The foregoing is the merest scaffolding of one of the building blocks of Bridgewater’s argument, which continues thus. “If we integrate the lost chapter of slave breeding into those two traditional but separate stories, if we reconcile female slave resistance to coerced breeding as, in part, a struggle for emancipation and, in part, a struggle for reproductive freedom, the two tales become one: a comprehensive narrative that fuses the pursuit of reproductive freedom into the pursuit of civil freedom.”
Please substitue the word “children” for “99 percent of the idiots using the #peace tag on tumblr.”
I always get too angry to articulate why images of malnourished African children bothers me. Why it is racist. Why it’s wrong.
This article above helps.
The way you think about Africa is wrong.
The way you think about the entire world beyond you is probably wrong.
But let’s start with Africa. Because chances are you paid the 30 dollars for that stupid fucking Invisible Children starter kit. That at one point in time you participated in a 30 Hour Famine at church. Or you “adopted” a starving child with a few friends after you saw a 5 minute infomercial. Possibly you really like Bono. Or Blood Diamond made you feel really bad. Hotel Rwanda made you cry. Maybe you have one of those shirts with the heart in the middle of the continent. Or that you really want to internationally adopt an “orphan.”
The way you think about Africa is wrong.
Did you know that the UNICEF definition of orphanhood as the loss of one or both parents. Did you know that children are adopted by white parents all the time when their biological parents are still alive. Did you know that foreign adoptions happen all the time because parents see themselves as too impoverished or incapable to raise their children on their own. Did you know that Madonna, the supposed savior of Malawi, abducted her child because international adoptions aren’t even legal in that country.
Did you know that the never-ending stream of donations you send to Africa is destroying local economies and small businesses. Did it ever occur to you that your donations are putting people out of business. Did you consider that you might be creating poverty just for participating in a capitalist system that steals from the poor and then throws them whatever is left over and calls it “charity.” Did it never occur to you, while you were donating money and feeling good about it, why it is that your dollar is needed in the first place.
Did you know that organizations like World Vision (the asshats who brought you the 30 Hour Famine) have set up camps for survivors of war and violence in Uganda, where they regularly impose Christian teachings and values through a process called “sensitization,” in order to get survivors to think more like they do. Did it ever occur to you that there are thousands of languages, cultures, and lives that are being homogenized by “charitable” organizations, and that it’s on your dime.
Did you know that money you donate comes with strings, and sometimes it doesn’t even come at all. Did it occur to you that organizations don’t spend their money unless they want to, and that frequently comes with stipulations. Did you consider that maybe there are places in Africa and elsewhere that really need your money or economic support, but don’t give a fuck about your hegemonic religious values. Did you have any clue that organizations like Invisible Children take in millions of dollars annually, but don’t even spend a third of it in Uganda.
Did you have any idea that countless charities, hospitals, adoption agencies, etc., set up in Africa are illegal, and done without credence to national or local government. Have you heard of volunteer tourism? Did you have any idea that completely untrained and uneducated people are hauling ass to Africa, and building charities that board, educate, and treat young children illegally with absolutely zero recognition of the law of the land in which they are in.
Did it ever occur to you that maybe some people in Africa are doing just fucking fine. They have a house. They own shoes. They have parents and siblings and food and an education and a favorite restaurant and hobbies and ambitions and a happy life. Did you consider that maybe your stupid generalizations and conceptualizations bother and insult them, and make it more difficult to be them.
Did you ever consider that Africa is a living, breathing continent of millions of people who are different. Economically, socially, religiously, lingually, culturally, ethnically different. And that your stupid fucking pictures of malnourished kids, your idolization of Angelina Jolie and Madonna, your ridiculous Invisible Children bracelet, your idiotic KONY 2012 posters are racist. They’re simplifying a place that is not simple. They’re portraying an enormous continent as singular, backward place. Instead of more complicated than you have ever bothered to understand.
You operate autonomously, offering your “help” where it has not been asked for. Blindly donating your dollars and your time without having any idea how it is being spent.
There are people there. Governments. Cities. There are people living their lives in a continent that you do not understand, but you claim to help.
This rant was long-winded but I’ll conclude.
Just please if you take nothing else away from this. Be critical of the shit you are fed. Africa is a continent. And at least take the time to learn about it before you even consider throwing money or used books or Toms sneakers at it.
I am now officially in love with whoever wrote this!
“Well, to learn about what the Cold War was about, the obvious place to look is what happened when it ended. So, November 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union soon collapsed. So what did the United States do? How did it react? I mean, the pretext for everything that had happened in the past was, y’know, the Russian monster — “the monolithic and ruthless conspiracy” attempting to take over the world, as John F Kennedy called it. Well, now the monolithic and ruthless conspiracy was gone, so what do we do? Well, it turns out what we do is exactly the same thing but with different pretexts. And that was made clear instantly. A couple of weeks after the Berlin Wall fell, the United States invaded Panama, killing unknown numbers of people. We don’t count our victims. According to Panamanian human rights groups, maybe a couple of thousand people, bombing the slum — the El Chorillo slum. The Panamanians take it seriously. In fact, last December they once again declared a national day of mourning referring to the invasion, but I don’t think it even made the newspapers here. I mean, when you crush ants in your path, you don’t pay much attention to what they may have to say about it. But they invaded Panama and had to veto some Security Council Resolutions. The point of the invasion was to kidnap a kind of a minor thug, Noriega, who was kidnapped, brought to the United States, tried, sentenced to a long sentence — sentenced for crimes that were real. But he had committed them when he was on the CIA payroll, almost without exception — a small footnote. But for that we had to invade Panama and kill however many people it was (a couple of thousand, probably) and install a government of bankers and narco-traffickers, and drug trafficking shot up, and so on. But it was a successful invasion and applauded here.”—
This is just a general post because I’ll always get people calling me incorrectly by what they think I’m supposed to be called but let’s get a few things straight.
Pacific Islander: anyone who was born in the Oceanic Regions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. So you can have Melanesian Pacific Islanders, Micronesian Pacific Islanders, and Polynesian Pacific Islanders. The largest of the 3 is Polynesia which is why people easily mistake every Pacific Islander as Polynesian when they could be Micronesian or Melanesian.
Melanesian Islands: New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji (Santa Cruz is also an island but it is uninhabited and privately owned) Anyone from these islands are Melanesian.
Micronesian Islands: Palau, Caroline Islands, Kiribati, Mariana Islands, and Marshall Islands. Anyone from these islands are considered Micronesian.
Polynesian Islands: Hawaii, Tuvalu, American Samoa, Easter Island (politically part of Chile) Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau, French Polynesian, Marquesas Islands, New Zealand, Rotuma, and Wallis and Futuna.
POLYNESIAN IS NOT A LANGUAGE. NOR IS MELANESIAN OR MICRONESIAN. Do not ask Pacific Islanders if they speak Polynesian. I will liken it to equally uneducated people asking those of Mexican descent if they speak ‘Mexican’. It is who they are but it is not what they speak.
Although there are different degrees of the Pacific Islands they are all intertwined and you can hear it in the dialect, see it in the people, and witness it in the cultural practices. It should also be noted that people born in New Zealand are not necessarily Polynesian as it has become an independent Nation and many people have come over from Europe. New Zealand was first inhabited by Eastern Polynesians and anyone who can trace their ancestry back to Māori roots is considered Polynesian as they are indigenous to the land. The same goes for those born in Hawaii. Being born in the state does not necessarily make you a Hawaiian or a Polynesian unless you can trace your lineage to Native Hawaiian roots and or are a descendant of other mixed in Pacific Island culture.
DO NOT say that any of the cultures listed above are ‘the same thing’ because although there are many similarities, no two are exactly the same. A Tongan is different from a Samoan. A Fijian is different from a Cook Islander. We are united in our ancestry but our customs and traditions can differ greatly.
I speak as a Pacific Islander that is fed up with people assuming we are all the same, when in fact there is more history in the Pacific Islands, than can be found in most parts of the globe. We are usually stereotyped as loud, strongly built, excessive eaters, athletic, and with large families (which, admittedly, is true) but it is not anyone else’s place to divide our people up into categories.
This was really informative! Thank you!
And that last sentence (which I italicized): I can’t stress enough how relevant that is for POC.
Y’all need to understand how DANGEROUS it is for us to allow our kids out the house even looking a LITTLE ashy/raggedy/disheveled/unkempt. It means that The People will come and take your kids from you. It means that some teacher or social worker at the school will assume that your home is a dangerous place and call DCFS on you.
Even if your kid has done nothing but played hard on the playground before class. Even if you have to leave CRAZY early for work (or not get in from your night job until the kids are gone) and don’t have time to do a Body/Wardrobe check before they leave for school.
Our kids can’t have shoes that are too small or pants that too short or skirts with a loose hem. That could mean you will lose your kids if some person of the System decides that what they thought about your Black Mothering (oh, that is ALWAYS called into question) is true.
This is why we scrub our children almost raw in the tub, comb and brush and hot comb our girls’ hair into reluctant submission and shop for clothes sometimes in lieu of paying the electric bill. This is why we slather our babies down with Vaseline because shiny= healthy and clean (slavery imprinted that on us).
Mothering While Black is living in constant fear and under constant judgment.
But…BUT: We’ve been trusted with White babies since we got here.
I remember being in the store once with kid #1 & he had chalk dust all over him (as they do when they are tiny), and some woman making a really nasty comment about “those people” that ended with her talking about someone should do something. Mind you, this was sidewalk chalk dust. What child with blue & pink stains on his otherwise clean shirt is endangered? Then again, when he was in 4th grade some woman tried to tell me I was too mean to him because I told him that if he forgot his gym shoes again he’d have to take the lost points. The minutiae of life is an excuse to police our parenting & people who think we’re overreacting should go look up some stats on which kids are taken into custody & how long they stay there vs which families are offered services & how long those services are accessible.
I don’t want to feel like a derailer, but just chime in that in my experience all of this is true for Latina mothers too. During my childhood my mother lived in fear of what would happen if we walked out of the house looking disheveled. We were poor, sure, but we were clean and neat and well behaved because otherwise someone could decide that the three of us were better off with someone else or in the system.
This fear has been carried on in my life with my parenting. My daughter is mixed, and I have a custody situation that is fraught with issues for a variety of reasons, but I am careful that she is presentable at all times, in public and when she is staying over with her father. There needs to be no reason that she should be singled out, aside from exemplary school work. There is no excuse for not packing the lunch or ironing the pants or recombing all her damn hair, not tiredness or chronic migraines or working night shift.
I know that I am safe from much of the scrutiny because of my good english and my light skin, but I see these fears play out on the faces and in the interactions of the other POC parents at my daughter’s school. Our children are the most groomed, the best dressed, while the white kids run around in highwater pants rolled up and dusted-up sneakers, with funky-ass dirty hair.
I can’t imagine how much worse it is for mothers of black children, or mothers of undocumented children. The parenting of POC is always suspect, it seems, even when the scrutiny is not overt. Must be fucking nice to be in a position not to think about this kind of thing all the time.
“When you’re president, as opposed to the head of a private equity firm, then your job is not simply to maximize profits. Your job is to figure out how everybody in the country has a fair shot… And so if your main argument for how to grow the economy is ‘I knew how to make a lot of money for investors,’ then you’re missing what this job is about.”—President Obama on why Mitt Romney’s record in the private sector matters (via barackobama)
A few people have alerted me to this video of toddlers and you can watch as a little boy hugs a little girl multiple times and each time he does, she pushes him away. A few of the times, he seems to be prompted to continue by the person with the camera. It’s a full two minutes and nothing changes – he hugs her, she pushes him away, he gets up and hugs her again and she pushes him away again.
Clearly this isn’t street harassment because they know each other and it isn’t sexual harassment because they’re toddlers and don’t have an understanding of all that, but it is a problematic situation in which adults are standing by and letting (encouraging?) this little boy to do something the girl doesn’t want him to do and then instead of helping her use her words to tell him to stop, they’re letting her push him down over and over.
The he writes, “I could be the misogynist here and make some comments about just how badly the lady little treats this fine, young man, but women are pretty great. Maybe this kid needs to get a job, buy a sweet ride (Power Wheels, perhaps?) and learn some Karate, proving himself a worthy love interest?”
And I find that very problematic. Implying that this little toddler and all women who reject men are stuck-up, bitchy, and only after good-looking or rich men is harmful. Instead of looking at the actions and saying, this girl doesn’t want to be hugged, they are focusing on the poor boy and how mean she is. She may have 10 reasons or only 1 for why she doesn’t want to be hugged by him and all of them are valid and should be respected.
No means no, even when you’re a toddler. Especially when you’re a toddler. Fifteen percent of sexual assault and abuse victims are under age 12. Teaching kids how to protect themselves at a very young age is crucial to helping them know how to prevent or get help if they are victimized and can teach them skills they can use all of their life.
This attitude that women owe men attention no matter what contributes to how, when some men are ignored or rejected by the women they harass on the street, they call them a bitch, a ho, throw trash at them, chase them, or tell them they were ugly anyway. Instead of thinking logically about all the reasons why a woman may not respond positively to a man who hollers at her on the street, men feel it is an affront on their masculinity and lash out.
Another problematic aspect of the video is the number of people who applauded how persistent the kid is. Some people in the comments of posts talked about being disappointed he never got her in the end. Guess what, you don’t always “get the girl” in the end. No means no! 1,006,970 women and 370,990 men are stalked annually in the U.S. We need to teach kids, especially boys because they are the bulk of the stalkers, not to follow or keep hugging etc women and girls who clearly don’t want that attention.
So those are my thoughts on the video, what are yours?
Unfortunately we don’t live in a “culture of consent.” Consent doesn’t mean a damn thing to most people. Instead, people feel entitled to do whatever the fuck they want simply because they’re physically able to and that is my biggest problem with the toddler video. That little boy wants to hug the little girl and is physically able to do so therefore he does DESPITE the fact that she repeatedly uses negative feedback methods to communicate her non-consent. She actively denies her consent to his invasion of her physical space and not only does he ignore it but the adults ignore it too. This is a teaching moment and both of those kids are learning valuable lessons. That little boy is learning that it’s perfectly fine for him to do whatever the fuck he wants and that not only will there be no negative consequences for violating consent but there will actually be positive consequences for it considering that the adult involved is encouraging his behavior. Meanwhile the little girl is learning the same thing - other people will violate her consent as though they have the right to do so, people who see it happening will encourage it and provide positive reinforcement for that behavior no matter how hard she fights to maintain her own agency, and in the end the only person she can count on for protection or to care about her consent is herself.
Since shit like this is what kids are being taught from day one it’s hardly surprising that when they grow up to be adults they act the same way only it becomes rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment. This is rape culture in action and the only hope for ending it is for us to actively create a culture of consent, a culture in which consent is the most important thing in any and all interactions no matter what.
This is what I be talkin’ about y’all.
yep. my little one is quick to scream “get away” and run anytime she feels anyone she doesnt trust is getting to close to her personal space. people try to act like thats bad…nope. nope. she knows her body is her own. she is affectionate when she feels like it and thats fine. and she should always know that. you shouldnt be training kids to be silent and compliant to peoples demands of their bodies. EVER.
I refuse to make my kids hug or kiss anyone & that’s caused static with relatives who only see them once a year. But, I don’t want them to ever think anyone else has a right to their body. Frankly, I side eye anyone who thinks people don’t have a right to boundaries or personal space.
“Why am I compelled to write? Because the writing saves me from this complacency I fear. Because I have no choice. Because I must keep the spirit of my revolt and myself alive. Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it.”—Gloria Anzaldua (via nuestrahermana)
“Fat acceptance doesn’t simply advocate in favor of fatness. Fat acceptance is also about rejecting a culture that encourages us to rage and lash out at our bodies, even to hate them, for looking a certain way. It’s about setting our own boundaries and knowing ourselves, and making smart decisions about how we live and treat ourselves, and ferociously defending the privacy of those choices. It’s about promoting the idea that anything you do with your body should come from a place of self-care and self-love, not from guilt and judgment and punishment. It’s about demanding that all bodies, no matter their appearance or age or ability, be treated with basic human respect and dignity. That’s the world I’d like to build. For all of us.”—Lesley Kinzel (via wewantrevolutiongirlstylenow)