Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘Privilege

Everyone make sure to check out the new group blog, Equality 101:

Equality 101 is a group blog for teachers. Here, we will post lessons, articles, and thoughts about diversity in K-12 and post-secondary education. Diversity can mean anything from tackling issues like racism, sexism, and classism in the classroom to inspiring diverse learners in any sense of the word.

this ain’t living’: Your Privilege: Check It

There’s an idea which some people have that if they name themselves “good allies” they are allowed to assess their own behaviour, and that they can even do so accurately because, you know, they are good allies. This is a fallacy. It’s a fallacy in part because even the very best allies mess up. Sometimes royally. Allies are like banks, then: You cannot rely upon them to regulate themselves. In part, it’s in their nature, in part, it’s because it’s really hard to self-regulate because you have no distance and perspective.

Bitch Blogs: Race Card: Chris Brown, Charlie Sheen, Race and Domestic Violence

So, is TMZ vilifying Brown in ways that it has failed to vilify Sheen? I’m inclined to agree with commenters who said that TMZ not only hasn’t vilified Sheen but has also tried to garner sympathy for him. After reporting that Sheen’s wife, Brooke Mueller, had accused Sheen of domestic violence on Christmas Day, the Web site first moved to discredit Mueller, reporting that she was legally intoxicated when police showed up to intervene. And the commenters above are correct when they say that there’s been underlying sympathy throughout reports about Sheen needing permission to visit Mueller in the hospital when she developed a high fever related to oral surgery.

Spare Candy: “Living Dolls” could generate big conversation

Author and writer Natasha Walter has a new book coming out (Feb. 4, I believe), called “Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism.” If you pay attention to UK newspapers, you know it’s already generating a number of columns and stories in the press.

Happy Thursday everyone!  You wouldn’t know it by looking at this blog, but I have actually had a pretty productive last three days, so that makes me pretty happy, even if I’m not where I would like to be with these grad school applications.  Here are some of my favorite posts from the past couple days.  Don’t forget to leave links that what you have been writing and reading in the comments!

Disney characters: not great role models [Equal Writes] – is this a surprise to anyone?  What I like about this post is that it also looks at the examples that the male characters are setting as well as the female characters.

Privilege conceals itself from those who possess it: of feminist epistemology, marriage, and “standpoint theory.” [Hugo Schwyzer] – this is just a great post, you should read it.

Disability and Loss [Womanist Musings] – Renee looks at how her disability has created some senses of loss in her life.

Violence Against Women and Girls Surges on TV [Women & Hollywood] – there is an alarming rate of the depicition of violence against women on television lately…what does this mean for our society?

I hope everyone has had a good and productive week!  If anyone is interested in guest or cross posting, check this out!  In lieu of link love on Tuesday, I did a site recommendation.  But also check out the link love from Thursday.  Here are some of my favorite posts from the week, both new and already highlighted.  Don’t forget to leave links to what you have been reading and writing this week!

New link love:

Feminism and Joss Whedon: Death and Character Abuse [this ain’t livin’] – Joss Whedon has a tendancy to kill off female characters right when the audience gets emotionally involved and the character is resolving relationship troubles.  Why?

How to Be An Ally [Recursive Paradox] – The do’s and don’t’s of being an ally for a marginalized group.

Some thoughts on race, ethnicity, and what I am: The Epilogue [Criss Writes] – too often when we talk about “race” or “minoritites,” we really mean “class,” which is why we need class-based affirmative action.

Why Tim Gunn is the Man [The Guy’s Guide to Feminism] – should men be following Tim Gunn’s example of masculinity?

The Jill Question: What is the Role of White Women in the Reproductive Justice Movement? [Feministe] – “Confronting privilege, in all forms, is a critical exercise in achieving reproductive justice. How do we support each other through that process, while we also hold each other accountable for the privilege we benefit from?”

Weekly Link Love:

What Would We Do Without White Privilege? [Womanist Musings]

W: Death Does Not Become Her [Glossed Over]

Site recommendation: The Love Letters Project

I have been having a lot of guest posts recently, which I really appreciate.  I hope to get back to feminist analysis away from pop culture (but there will still be pop culture analysis) next week as I get used to my work schedule.  Here are some of my favorite posts of the past couple days.  Don’t forget to leave links to what you’ve been writing or reading in the comments!!

What would we do without white privilege? [Womanist Musings]

W: Death Does Not Become Her [Glossed Over]

“But I Was Just Joking!” Humor as a Shield [Recursive Paradox]

Guest Post by Sophia: Why feminism is necessary in today’s schools [Small Strokes]

I Know You Are, But What Am I? Living Outside the Gender Binary [this ain’t livin’]

Chally was kind enough to let me cross-post this amazing post. Chally is a scary feminist.  Among other things, she’s a non-white, heterosexual, cis, disabled, middle class woman.  She lives in Australia and enjoys knitting, Doctor Who, and cake.  You can find her at Zero at the Bone.

To recap: I identify as non-white (the language I use to refer to myself changes though; I’ve yet to find anything I’m really comfortable with). I have blue eyes and pale skin. (I have a bittersweet joke that I’m whiter than most white people.) I often take advantage of this and keep quiet about my ethnicity around people I don’t know. Because it’s just another thing to talk about, another thing through which a dominant group constructs me as less than, because it’s just too much.

This leads to some interesting patterns.

Not knowing my background, white people tend to claim me as one of their own. I have sat through so many racist “jokes” cracked by people who thought I was in on them. I think this is a reflection of what I like to call the default human mentality. If you’re a member of a dominant group, and representations of how normal you are are just everywhere, you’re likely to think that everyone else is of that group unless they’re obviously not. I know that’s something I’ve been struggling with as a heterosexual person.

Not knowing my background, non-white people are far less likely to make assumptions. This can be reassuring and comforting, but it can be disconcerting when I’ve decided I’m going to let people think I’m white in a particular situation, especially when I’m outed among white people.

Being able to pass – or, more, being passed – as white is a privilege, it really is. This is never more apparent then when I start to talk about my ethnicity. I watch the faces of the white people I am in conversation with. All too often, there’s a quick series of emotions that run over their faces.

It goes like this. First, there’s surprise. Then, there’s a sheepish look (did I say anything that could have offended her? I should have realised…). Then a bit of internal searching, going through the back catalogue of experiences with me to see if there were any clues. After that comes indignance: hey, wait a minute, it’s not my fault and how could I have known and anyway race is a sensitive thing so I’d best keep myself out of it. It’s then that most of them realise that I can see what’s going on in their heads. I take a moment to chuckle inside. Finally, it goes one of four ways. They continue to treat me as a person, with little deferences to my particular circumstances where required (which is, you know, very nice and exactly the sort of thing you ought to do, white people). They act exactly as they did before (which is also nice, but kind of missing the point). They totally change the way they interact with me, from the way they angle their bodies to their tone of voice. Or, they shut down. With regard to this last, sometimes I wonder, is it because they feel betrayed? Are they embarrassed? Do they just not like non-white people?

So, I am no longer coded as a white person, or there is no longer any ambiguity. And there are mixed emotions there. On the one hand, it’s another piece of oppression I’ve got to wade my way through with this particular person. On the other, it’s so sweet to be identified as what I really am, to no longer modify my speech and mannerisms and what have you to conform to whiteness.

But how do non-white people react, you ask? Sometimes a ‘really?’ but more often a look of non-surprise or a ‘yeah, I thought so’ and, more often than that, happily, thankfully, we just continue with our business.

Being invisible, playing white, has only the illusion of freedom. I’m still racism’s perpetual puppet, waiting until I don’t have to be scared.

Happy Thursday!  Here are some of my favorite posts of the past couple days.  Don’t forget to leave links to what you have been writing and reading in the comments (self-promotion is awesome).

Marriage [Clarissa’s Blog] – a look at the differing benefits of and drawbacks to marriage between women and men.

Language: why “retarded” and “lame” are not okay [Deeply Problematic] – this is a cross post from Phira featured on Deeply Problematic about the problematic nature of language.

How liberating was the sexual revolution, after all? [Equal Writes] – “American women have come a long way in the quest for equality, but progress for women in America should not and cannot stop at sexual liberation.”

Carnival of Feminists #3 [Female Impersonator] – some great posts are featured here…including one of mine!

Feminism and Joss Whedon: Time to Talk About the Boys [this ain’t livin’] – I’m pretty much obsessed with meloukhia’s “Feminism and Joss Whedon” series.  This installment looks at the portrayal of male Actives in Dollhouse.

Welcome!  I have just started this self-hosted site, moving away from Blogger.  I have been blogging for a little over two months now and I am pretty proud of what I have accomplished and I have “met” some great people in the feminist blogging (see some of their sites to the right under Feminist Blogs).  For those of you who are new to the site, this blog is about feminism and pop culture and about everything in between.  See my “About/Contact” section for more information about the blog and how you can become involved!  I’m still working out some of the kinks with the side and moving from Blogger to WordPress, so please be patient withe me!

In honor of my new site, I thought I would do some link love…for myself!  There are some of my favorite or most popular posts that I have written over the past two months.  Take a look through them and let me know what you think!

Sandra Bullock is a guy…? – This is pretty much the first post that I wrote.  It’s about the movie The Proposal, the representation of career women, how women aren’t complete without a man, and the sexism surrounding the whole thing.

Megan Fox is Setting a Bad Example…Anyone Surprised? – A review of Transformers 2 in which I look at the role that Megan Fox’s character played in the story line.

High Heels and Lipstick: The Big Question – A look at how femininity can be reconciled with feminism.

If Women Make Movies, Is It Automatically Feminist? – Jennifer’s Body is made by women, but is it feminist?

Harry’s All About the Sexual Tension – Why did reviewers think it was so bad that the new Harry Potter movie was full of romantic relationships and sexual tension?  Afriad of teen sexuality much?

Washed Over by a Wave – Do we really need a wave metaphor or a “third wave” of feminism?  What is feminism all about in these times?

Am I Overreacting? – I love when people tell me I’m overreacting.

A Feminist Reflection on Pedicures – Pedicures make me feel uncomfortable even though I love getting them.  Why?

Are Clothes More Important than Intellect? – A look at how the media’s preoccupation with Michelle Obama’s clothes is silencing her from meaningful political involvement.

Owning My Thin Privilege – According the the definition, I have thin privilege, but I have problems accepting that identity and privilege.

Retraction: Men Can Not Be Feminists – Men can be pro-feminist, feminist-minded,and feminist allies, but not feminists (keep in mind this how I approach the topic, not all how all feminisms approach the issue of the male feminist).

Also check out my ongoing series’ that are listed (and linkd to) on the right: Breast Implications, Feminist Flashback Fridays, Link Love, Movie Mondays, Sing-A-Long Saturdays, and Women’s Studies Wednesdays.