Q:Pot meet Kettle. Or why someone who is also an ignorant social activist should not try to act like they are one of the educated ones.
WHY THANK YOU, misguided angry anon. While you are 100% wrong and also ridiculous, this is a really interesting topic I have some thoughts on and I will take this opportunity to write about them.
The first thing that struck me about this message is one very simple fact: I am not an activist.
I am not an activist, I don’t pretend to be an activist, and I think my Tumblr bears out this fact. You can go back a week, two weeks, a month, two months, and more and more and you would be hard-pressed to find even a single post, accurate or inaccurate, that aligns with the sorts of posts this quote was talking about.
That quote is about the HERE IS A THING HAPPENING SOMEWHERE IN THE WORLD BUT NO ONE (I KNOW ABOUT) IS TALKING ABOUT IT OMG posts. The ones that are usually the poorly researched POV of an outsider and that take a little while before someone actually affected or knowledgeable steps in and corrects them.
Those posts don’t commonly show up on my blog and that’s because I’m selfish. Not, in general, but on this blog, which I use for fun and to communicate with friends, I am selfish.
I post things that amuse or excite me. I post things that are fun to me. These things are almost exclusively regarding fiction and entertainment media. This is not a statement of disinterest in the goings-on of the world, but recognition that that is just not what I use this blog for.
So, at first, when I got this ask, for a few hot seconds, I couldn’t fathom the idea that someone would honestly think that quote, the quote about reblogging or regurgitating inaccurate alarmist posts about world events, applied to me in any way. Not because I’m inherently better or smarter or more savvy than the people that do, but because I just don’t post about that sort of thing at all.
Now, I say that this confusion lasted for a few seconds. Because, well, obvious answer is obvious.
I post about fiction and entertainment media, things that amuse and excite and fascinate and sometimes infuriate me. I post and reblog about how these things make me feel. I don’t think it would be inaccurate to say that a million other people do the exact same thing on this very site.
But… I am black and a woman and mentally ill and queer and upfront about it.
So when I post about fiction and entertainment media, when I post and reblog about how they make me feel, those posts and reblogs directly address the facts that I am black and a woman and mentally ill and queer because I am discussing my POV and those are, obviously, the lenses through which I view the world.
And to some, like you, Anon, and others I have gotten in the past, this renders me a ~social activist~ and renders this a ~social justice blog~.
My talking about tv shows and movies and books while acknowledging the facts that I am black and female and mentally ill and queer somehow automatically means that I am not just another person with a blog where I discuss fandom shit.
Acknowledging my lived experiences, even in the context of teen murder soaps and urban fantasy novels and superhero comics, automatically renders me an activist.
Because to the privileged, to those higher up in the ole kyriarchy, the very existence of marginalized voices is read as activism.
HMMM WHY DO YOU SUPPOSE THAT IS
If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Domingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”
And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.
And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.
It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.
The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not passed down in political practice, they’re passed down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.
As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that.
this is a follow up to this post i made last night.
i was being sarcastic! but even when people pointed it out, some of you are so goddamn dense and derailed shit.
the point i was making is the fact that people will tear down woc when they dare to show any romantic/sexual interest in white men. they will attack members of fandom because oh no how dare people be interested in romance and sex between interracial canon couples or uncanon couples!
these people are usually the ones who say woc will somehow be less independent and strong if they show any romantic/sexual interest in white men which is bullshit. and often times these same people will ship white cis men together without a problem and scream about how those of us who ship het ships are homophobic because intersectionality doesn’t exist in their worlds.
i’m here to say i’m sick of seeing this bullshit. i’m sick of seeing myself and other woc being told we shouldn’t ship white men with woc because that goes against proper representation. it doesn’t.
woc are usually not afforded to be shown to be complex, flawed people in western media. the woc in my original post each have their own stories that don’t revolve around their white male co-leads. they have flaws. just because some of them are in or express romantic/sexual interest in white men doesn’t make them weak or any less interesting.
Imma be real wit y’all. If in the course of discussing race you unironically start naming random colors, I check the fuck out.
You’ve proven yourself to be someone whose opinion I don’t need to hear.
g o o d b y e
Q:you make me feel guilty for being a white, swedish woman
Yo, I don’t control how you react to the world.
I’m not sure how you expected me to respond to this besides:
Flappers shaming Miley Cyrus.
Oddly enough we could say that Miley Cyrus is following solidly in the appropriative footsteps of white flappers, who in the 1920s grabbed national attention and stirred alarmism concerning the end of civilization because they partied to Black music, wore their hair short like Josephine Baker (who fled US racism to become a superstar in Europe), and imitated dance moves from Baker and other Black dancers. The famously flapperesque Charleston was lifted from the African American dance called the Juba, which had West African roots and was danced in secret in the South and the Caribbean. The dance sped up when it reached Harlem, giving birth to both tap dancing and the Broadway hit called The Charleston, which spread like wildfire from there. White people didn’t sway their hips this scandalously prior to that era, making flappers roughly equivalent to white twerkers of the Jazz Age.is there anything that they have not pillaged and just watered down?
Because Miley’s performance last night, and the subsequent ignoring of the racial implications of what she did is just the latest incident in the long line of things that shows me as a black woman, that white feminism does not want me, or care to have me. Jezebel’s piece on the performance chose to focus on the slut shaming that has been thrown Miley’s way in the wake of the performance. All fine and good. Slut shaming is bad, don’t do it. On that we can all agree. What it didn’t acknowledge was the incredibly racist nature of that performance. So I brought it up. See the problem isn’t that they talked about slut shaming. That deserves attention. The problem is that they completely sidestepped the other glaring teddy bear in the room, and that is the commodification of black female sexuality in Miley’s performance. But it’s not a thing that white women deal with, so it didn’t warrant inclusion or discussion by the white-led mainstream feminist media.
can we please stop pretending that the young adult scene is not actual garbage right now??? can we stop kidding ourselves?? no i’m not fed up with young adult lit because the majority of the authors in the scene are women. i’m fed up with it because the scene is fucking catty, repetitive, exclusive, and, to reiterate, GARBAGE.
- yeah, okay, first off: cattiness. i recently saw a blurb for some release or other boasting that is “better than the hunger games” like what the fuck?? what kind of dirty tactics? “pitched as x classic thing meets x series” seriously?? competition is one thing but climbing all over another series just to get your shit promoted is catty, dirty, and immature. damn straight i’m side-eying a book with cross-clique blurbs because that shit is ridiculous.
- which brings me to the repetitiveness. your young adult book is the hunger games with x twist? why the fuck should i care? couldn’t you have uploaded that to ff.net and called it a day? i’m legit so tired of white authors spinning each other’s work and calling it a day, meanwhile a woc author has to turn the world inside out in order to get published, and it’s like, are you serious?
- WHICH BRINGS ME TO: exclusivity!! haha like please go to your local barnes and noble and look down the teen fiction aisle. note how many of those authors are white. note how many of the covers feature white teenagers. note how many of those white teenagers are straight, cis, able bodied, etc. and then tell me that that’s not something to be fucking fed up with. like i dare you, straight white author, to tell me, queer black mentally ill woman, to stop bagging on a genre that refuses to represent me or even acknowledge my existence as a human being. go ahead.
- so yeah, finally, the combined aspects make it all garbage to me. like, absolute trash.
i’m fucking fed up and no, it’s not on account of my ~internalized misogyny~. i’m not gonna be quiet about it because i spend my money on these books. i spend money and time going through the teen fiction section and am disappointed time after time. the whitewashing, the queerbaiting, the exoticism and racism adds up after a time and its fucking infuriating. this isn’t to say that i think every YA book on the shelf is fucking trash because that’s ridiculous. i have read some seriously amazing debuts—amazing, original, inclusive works by authors who seriously need more attention. as a whole, though? YA is trash and it’s gonna be at least a decade before i even consider redacting that statement
anonymous said:Can you please explain to me how wearing a hijab is liberating? I am trying to understand how something that is forced upon only women, can be feminist? Why does Islam only promote women covering up their hair, and why are they seen as impure without it? Why can’t men be responsible for their urges, they’re capable of controlling themselves and we should hold them responsible for their actions.
so i think i would have been nice about this (maybe) if you had not come in with a slew of assumptions:
- that muslim women are forced to wear hijab
- that muslim women are seen as impure without hijab
- that islam thinks men can’t control their urges
- that the hijab has anything to do with men
- that i am obligated to explain jack shit to you (this of course, being the most egregious of them all)
if you had done any research in places that are actually informed about islam you would know that
- the hijab is an act of worship. the same way that prayer is an act of worship. the same way that hajj and fasting and charity are acts of worship.
- the hijab is not a protection against the male gaze. men are, in fact, according to the quran and hadith, required to lower their gazes away from women. whether these women are covering or not is not relevant. and if you in fact knew anything ever you would know that there are men that fetishize and objectify women in hijab. my wearing the hijab does not protect me from jack shit. it’s me choosing to submit to Allah the same way a nun who wears a habit submits to Christ.
- men are responsible for their urges. there are codified punishments for rapists. there are religious rulings on who men are allowed to look at. the expectation in the religion is that men control their own dicks.anyone who tells you different is a fucking liar.
the hijab is feminist because its my fucking choice. i get to choose how i want to dress my body, and this god damned western progressive ideology that in order to be liberated my skin has to show for you is so fucking problematic and enraging that i just??? my hijab is a feminist act because its an act of resistance and rebellion. im fucking up your gender expectations, shielding myself from your male gaze, refusing to be commodified by you
and that shit makes you uncomfortable
the fact that you came here and worded your ask the way you did means that you dont actually want to learn — you think that every muslim woman that makes a choice not to be dressed in a way that makes you comfortable is unfeminist. you think i have to be western to be feminist. well let me fucking tell you i am not going to strut myself for you so you can feel comfortable. im not going to take off my hijab so you can pat me on the back and say ‘wow you’re one of us now!!!’
my hijab is a huge fuck you to establishment
brilliant, never before seen fantasy ideas!!!!
- allegories for racism using white people and some race of mythical creatures who are all also white people
- allegories for lgbt*qia identities using someone being cursed or a werewolf and they are still a cishet the whole time
- allegories for issues people deal with using no one except cishet white people
all i want is for the majority of cecils to not be blond white sweatervest fandom aziraphale 2.0 and for ppl to not say it’s ~basically canon (like That Article did, ugh) please please please
also like you can make whatever cecils you want rock on but it’s pretty important to examine the reasons why so many people default to White Dude and why it’s the most common one and etc when he is so verrry vaguely described (not tall, not short, maybe wears ties sometimes??)
(and it isn’t because his voice actor is white or because he “sounds white” (like what does that even mean how often does he talk about making salad from mayo and jello??) because kevin’s voice actor is definitely not white and Yet AND YET look at all the skinny white dude portrayals of him ok)
like people are pretty creative with the eldritch abomination design stuff!! it’s very prevalent and it’s a shame that the tentacled three-eyed cecils are usually still white and that blue or purple cecils sometimes outnumber brown cecils of any kind
white headcanons don’t need defending honestly they’re the most common and popular and accepted ones and raising a couple of very legitimate criticisms about why fandom usually goes for white dude designs isn’t ~stifling creativity~ or the “PC police” censoring you (ugh please are you for real when you say that)?? no one is forcing you to change it or ~shaming~ you for your white cecils sit down ffs
creativity is one thing but everyone’s got problematic baggage and that includes artists and we all need to step back and think about it ok (i drew a white cecil at first too pretty much without thinking and i had to stop and think why?? it had to be like that??? and there wasn’t any reason!! so hey)
basically white headcanons are the most common bc we live in a society built on white imperialism and racism and white-centric imagery/values and that shit is still embedded into your thinking and yeah sure no headcanons are wrong but you should at least think about why most of them are white dude designs that’s all
Hey just a heads up. You do know there a fairly widespread headcanon that Cecil is native american right?
Oh and another thing. If it bothers you, fix it. Draw us some black, or asian, (I have yet to see one of those) Or maybe some more native american Cecils then.
(Or actually, how about blue, green, or purple ones? We have a wonderful chance at an Actually raceless character here, which would be a neat thing.)
i’ve seen a couple of native american cecils, and that is my favorite version. HOWEVER, tell me the ratio of native american cecils or PoC cecils of any kind vs how many white (blond, skinny) cecils you see, especially on a casual scroll through any of the night vale tags. you will see almost ALL white cecils and more eldritch monstrosity purple-skinned-but-still-white-coded cecils than PoC cecils of any sort. how widespread is the headcanon for NA!Cecil if the majority of his depictions are still white?
and haha, nice try, “fix it”. i’ve ALREADY drawn some PoC!cecil, as a matter of fact, but telling someone to go on and “fix” an entire system of white-centric thinking without examining any of fandom’s larger issues of racism is a bunch of patronizing derailment.
when PoC start talking about how they’d like to be more represented, someone is always ready to tell us to shut up and do it ourselves, as if we could easily, quickly “fix” how a white-centric and racist society constantly dehumanizes and erases our presence and history. you tell us to “fix” it instead of examining your own possibly problematic and harmful mindsets, so that you can go blissfully ignoring how racism and white imperialism permeates every single aspect of society, INCLUDING (ESPECIALLY) places like fandom.
how about instead of telling us to get over it and shut up and “fix” things as if we had that much control or even the MEANS (if we could, wouldn’t we have done so a long time ago? are you so dismissive of us that you think we’re not trying as hard as we can already?), why don’t you make an attempt to analyze why fandom is problematic, how the insidiousness of racism has affected that, and how it could have affected your thinking as well rather than ignoring it and pulling some “white, black, green, polka-dotted, it doesn’t matter! we’re all human!” bullshit?
and, really? a “raceless” blue/green/purple character? does a blue cecil REALLY get priority over the already rare PoC!cecil? all the concept of a “raceless” character does is make it easier for white people to pretend racism doesn’t exist and feel better about themselves. a “raceless” character is an empty fucking gesture that does NOTHING for PoC but erase us further. you want your purple cecils? FINE. you have them. tons of them. there’s already more white-coded purple-skinned tentacled three-eyed cecils than PoC cecils of any kind anyway. congratulations. you’ve solved racism by not talking about it, ever! feel better?
I hear some of you complaining “women always say they want a nice guy.” I know lots of women — I’m even related to a few — and I can’t say I’ve ever heard any of them say that. I can’t prove it, but this sounds like one of those things stand-up comedians say about women and everyone else just repeats. I’ve also never known a woman who cries when she breaks a nail — although I’ve known a few who swear like a 15-year-old sailor in jail — and I’ve never had a woman ask me if her outfit made her look fat unless she actually wanted and subsequently appreciated my opinion. So either I’ve stumbled upon a secret trove of women who aren’t passive-aggressive sob machines, or you need to stop mistaking Dane Cook routines for peer-reviewed sociological studies.
My fave thing about when assholes go U DON’T DESERVE GOOD STORIES BCS U JUST CARE ABT BEING PC/A SJ WARRIOR/ETC AND NOT ABOUT NARRATIIIIVE is that it is difficult as FUCK to find an ism-filled story that is actually a good narrative on a technical level due to the fact that by being filled with isms it, by definition, has a super fucking myopic viewpoint, hackneyed themes and plotlines due to being the same goddamned story about the same goddamned people for the nth time, and/or shitty characterization since everyone who’s not a cishet white dude is a stereotype or a prop.
Protip: white dude(s) save everyone whilst women and pocs look on and die to fuel his pain AND/OR white dude has existential crisis abt the unbearable white dudeness of being while the world is flattened out to contain only the problems and concerns of white dudes are not actually good stories.
So, you can keep that shit, bruh. I don’t need it.