Fighting with the Sky

Posts Tagged ‘race

Bitch Blogs: Reproductive Writes: The Rebranding of Birth Control

Billboards proclaiming Black Children Are An Endangered Species have appeared across the city of Atlanta in the last couple of weeks. The poster was created by activist groups Georgia Right To Life and the Radiance Foundation. They claim that black women have three times the number of abortions in comparison to white women in the state and that this is indicative of a eugenics-based conspiracy to deplete the African American population. A conspiracy, they argue, that goes right back to the agitator for birth control, Margaret Sanger, who, they say, would have been happy to hear that 40% of African American women’s pregnancies are aborted.

Sociological Images: Guest Post: An Indigenous Olympics?

Some people who encounter this Olympics branding are bound to come away with the impression that natives (that is, individuals with a significant enough amount of native ancestry or culture) are respected, empowered, and well-integrated here in Canada. In other words, some viewers will view this marketing as a sign of harmonious bonds between natives and mainstream Canadian society.

Feministe: Dear USians on the Internet,

The United States is not the world. It’s not even the centre of the universe.

I have to admit that I am guilty of some of the stuff that Chally talks about in this post because the US culture is the culture that I know the best.  But I am trying to work on this, and I think that’s all that Chally is asking us to examine in this post, even though she’s getting majorly attacked in the comments.

Salon: Broadsheet: Kevin Smith: The face of flying while fat

Which is why part of me is glad the Kevin Smith debacle happened — though I’m terribly sorry he had to go through it — because it put a recognizable face on the experience of flying while fat. See, those of us who are and/or love people to whom airlines’ “person of size policies” apply don’t automatically envision the discomfort of getting stuck next to a fatty; we envision the physical and emotional pain of being the fatty crammed between two potentially hostile strangers, at the mercy of flight attendants who might decide we’re fine on one flight and a “safety risk” on the next.

As some of you may have noticed, I had a little problem this weekend.  My blog was hacked and I couldn’t even get into my dashboard.  But thanks to the amazing meloukhia, my blog is back and almost entirely squared away.  I still have to work on the sidebars a little bit and address some minor things here and there.  But all in all, I’m back.

And I know I didn’t get to do a Wednesday link love this week as I was busy on Wednesday in addition to not feeling too well.  So here’s an extra long link love for the entire week!

Zero at the Bone: The Thirteenth Carnival of Feminists

Equality 101: Thoughts on the “Politics of Correction”

“How can I help kids gain fluency in Standard English – the language of power – without obliterating the home language which is a source of pride and personal voice?” – Linda Christensen

Gender Across Borders: Welcome to the Hip Hop, Resistance, and Feminism Series

This series focuses on hip hop and its interactions with patriarchy, racism, and other forms of oppression — both within and outside the mainstream pop world. From Nicki Minaj and gender-bending to resistance movements in Mali, this series reveals the varying faces and voices of hip hop.

I’ve really enjoyed this series from Gender Across Borders and this “welcome” post has links to all of the posts in the series, so make sure to check them all out!

Girl W/Pen: POP GOES FEMINISM: Deciphering Island Patriarchy: Finding Feminism in Lost

Lost has often presented ‘gender outside the box’ characters, suggesting being human is more important than being a masculine man or a feminine woman. After all, when you are fighting for your life, ‘doing gender right’ is hardly at the top of you priority list.

Small Strokes: On Body Image: Men and Advertising

Men suffer from body image issues just as women do, often as a direct result of the bombardment of images from the media. You’ve got your total binary here: men in commercials, movies, and TV shows are either super awesome ladies’ men with washboard abs and sweet sports cars or doofy husbands incapable of doing much of anything.

This was a very big weekend for me.  We sold our house and bought a new one.  And then I found out that I got into the University of Michigan School of Social Work.  So all in all, a good weekend.

I have been noticing in myself that Thursdays are really not a good day for posting for my schedule.  So I think I am going to change link love posts to ones on just Sunday and Wednesday.

Equality 101: Gender Equality on College Campuses

Leaders of such institutions, the editorial notes, are responding to students’ interests in having relatively equal numbers of men and women on campus. However, as the dean of admissions at Kenyon College puts so well, “What messages are we sending young women that they must . . . be even more accomplished than men to gain admission to the nation’s top colleges?” Why are good women students being turned away so that more mediocre men students can attend college?

FWD/Forward: The Opposite of “Disabled” is Not “Employable”

According to the United State government, disability is “the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” Or, in non-regulatory terms, disability is when a physical or mental impairment will last at least a year and will make someone unable to work. The ability to work is right there in the definition. A person who cannot work is disabled. If that person can work, they are not disabled. Disability and employability are mutually exclusive states of being.

Gender Across Borders: Equality in Marriage. Is It Possible?

In college I swore I’d never get married (The Sexual Contract by Carol Pateman is to blame/thank). These days I find myself fighting for equal access to the very institution I once denounced.

Bitch Blogs: Race Card: From Adopting Haitian Kids to Giving Them Your Breast Milk

Moreover, in recent days, the adoption community has expressed its concerns about Americans clamoring to adopt Haitian children following the quake. Racialicious.com reports that a group called Adoptees of Colour released a statement asserting that desire by those from privileged nations to adopt Haitian children “contributes to the destruction of existing family and community structures in Haiti.” In addition, group members, many of whom were adopted under questionable circumstances themselves, are alarmed to hear that “Haitian adoptions may be ‘fast-tracked’ due to the massive destruction of buildings in Haiti that hold important records and documents…”

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 Sunday!

The Sexist: The Year in Consent

This was the year of the armchair rape analyst (ARA). If you’ve never run into such a person, here’s a job description: While men across the globe generate allegations of rape, ARAs are charged with casually dismissing the problem from the comfort of their living rooms. They sit back, stroke the chin, and plant gray where black and white work just fine.

Feministing: Avatar: Count the “isms”

Cameron’s movie does appear to be a white guilt fantasy, and as self-proclaimed “King of the World,” (referring to Pandora, the Na’vi homeland), he is responsible for at least some of the problematic undertones. And precisely because it was a lifetime dream of his to write and produce Avatar, the superiority of humans to the indigenous characters, exotic indigenous bodies, and “salvation” from disability within the movie are unsurprising given that he first dreamed of Pandora five decades ago.

this ain’t livin’: Whedon’s Brunettes

Can we discuss, for a moment, Joss Whedon’s obsession with disturbed brunettes who wander around barefoot? It really does bear examining, because various permutations of the exact same character show up again and again in his work. And I think that tells us something about Joss, that he can’t seem to produce a creative work without this character. He inserts her again and again, setting up situations in which she can be saved, but in the end, she’s often doomed despite the best efforts of the other (usually male) characters.

Bitch Blogs: The Decade in Feminist Pop Culture

No matter what those time/date sticklers who don’t think it’s over ‘til 2011 believe, according to us, tomorrow marks the end of the ‘00s. And though we’d hate to say “Good riddance” to the decade that brought us a bunch of kickass feminist blogs, a bevy of thought-provoking books, and a multitude of female-focused movies, coming up with a list of positive feminist moments in ’00s pop culture was no easy task. As it turns out, there were a lot more not-so-feminist moments this decade than feminist ones. (Too bad we’d already decided we wanted to keep the list positive – We’re starting our New Year’s resolutions early this year.)

Professor What If?: What if Disney’s princess-of-color weren’t so green? (A review of The Princess and the Frog)

After 96 minutes of enjoyable animation and some good music, I would say I was pleased with parts of the film, dismayed by others. What irked me the most was that Tiana, the first ever Disney WOC protagonist, was a FROG for the majority of the film. Her turn to GREEN was especially disappointing as I was enjoying viewing a smart, sassy, capable black woman helming a Disney script.

magicalHappy Sunday!  I hope everyone had a good Halloween here in the U.S. and Canada.  I enjoyed handing out candy and seeing all of the costumes that people come up with.  At work yesterday we were allowed to dress up and little kids could dress up and we would give them a “treat” (i.e. a bookmark).  As much as I don’t want kids (right now or possibly ever), I do want to be able to dress one up in a cute little costume for Halloween…but then have no further responsibility for those children.  I just want to dress them up.  I know, that sounds weird.

The picture on the left came from this week’s Post Secret.

Anyways, here are some of my favorite posts of the past couple days.  Don’t forget to leave links that what you have been writing and reading!

Whip It: Ripley’s Pick [Bitch Flicks] – a guest post review of the movie Whip It focusing on the body image message that the movie sends.

Princess and Privilege by Elena Perez [Women & Hollywood] – a guest post about the new Disney movie The Princess and the Frog and the representation of the first black Disney princess.

Another Disappointment from Barbara Ehrenreich: A Review of “Bright-Sided” Part 1 and Part 2 [Clarissa’s Blog]

Ableist Word Profile: I Can Feel Your Pain! [FWD/Forward] – I love this series because it is so informative and some of the words they profile (like this phrase) are some that I never even thought of before.

ThrowdownSue is now the co-director of glee club and makes it her mission (as always) to divide and conquer the glee club and force it into submission.  She does this by separating the members.  Since Sue and Will are each choreographing their own numbers, Sue decides that they should have different people in each of theirs.  She takes all the minority members of glee and eventually leaves Will with only three people for his number.  The division and fighting eventually get to the members of the glee club and they walk out and Sue resigns.  Will gives an “inspiring” speech about how they are all minorities because they are in glee and all is right in the world of the glee club.

In the meantime, Terry blackmails her obstetrician into faking a sonogram so Will can “see his baby.”  And news about Quinn’s pregnancy is now all over school thanks to the blogosphere.  Quinn’s crushed but sees in the end that she has the glee club to support her.

So it was great to see the minority characters in a main storyline, but this is not the way that I would have wanted it done.  By separating out the minority characters, it is showing that they are different…not the same and not as talented as the white members.  Of course, I think this is what the storyline was trying to show.  I think it was trying to show that when people are grouped, separated, or identified solely based on their race, they are discriminated against.  I really liked Mercedes line when the glee members got fed up with Sue and Will fighting and left: “I may be a strong, proud balck woman, but I am more than that.”  She showed that she is proud of who she is but there is more to her than just her race.  And I think that was supposed to be the moral of that storyline.  But, as we see in most of the Glee storylines, what is intended by them and what they actually show are two different things.

I, of course, hated the storyline with Terry.  I just cringe everytime she comes on screen because I know it is going to be something about how she is manipulating Will and faking her pregnancy, and generally being crazy.  But I was glad that there wasn’t a storyling about the relationship between Will and Emma.  Terry’s actions with her pregnancy are basically leading to it being ok for Will to cheat on her with Emma.  But it’s still not ok, and I hate seeing all that flirting when I know what it’s leading to.

And I have to say, I liked the storyline with Quinn’s pregnancy this week.  It showed what she really has invested in this pregnancy as well as the support network that she actually has (though she doesn’t think she has it or doesn’t realize that she does).  And it showed that despite Rachel having feelings for Finn and those being her true motivations behind helping Quinn, that Rachel does actually care about what happens to Quinn because she feels connected to everyone in glee.

I feel like all that I talk about when I do these write-ups about Glee are race and pregnancy.  But those are the things that really bother me about the show.  And the blatant ableism.  But I do have to say, I really do like Jane Lynch’s character Sue.  She just says the most ridiculous, racist, ableist, sexist, etc. things.  But we are supposed to realize that what she says and what she does are not appropriate and not right.  She is the extreme that we are supposed to recognize as inappropriate.

I really liked the musical numbers this week.  I keep watching Glee because a) I keep hoping it will get better and b) for the musical numbers.  I felt like there were more than usual this week, and I was ok with that.  It took away from the actual storyline.  And I like how they incorporate the songs that the glee club is performing into the storyline between the characters.  For example, Finn and Rachel singing “No Air” mirroring their actual feelings for each other.  At the end, they performed “Keep Holding On” and it felt as if they were singing it to Quinn, telling her that they will support her in whatever she needs.  I really do like that aspect of the show.

Also make sure to check out meloukhia’s analysis of “Throwdown” up at this ain’t livin’.


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