"Not a single word."
Dr Rebecca Erikson, my professor, in her introduction of epistemology and challenging the main narrative
I tried to ignore Miley’s antics for as long as I could. After all, her catchphrase said it all – she’s just bein Miley! But when she dropped her video for We Can’t Stop, a catchy, summer-fueled jam made popular by famous hip hop producer Mike WiLL (who’s worked with the likes of Kanye West and Lil Wayne), it became impossible to look the other way.
That’s because We Can’t Stop – not to mention Miley’s Twitter, persona, and overall attitude – is riddled with cultural appropriation. (If you haven’t seen it already, go get ready to vom on your keyboard by watching it here.)
The video features Miley writhing around in an (aptly enough) all-white getup, surrounding herself with black people, who are supposedly her friends and party guests. She’s wearing a gold grill. Black women twerk around her in the background as she grabs their asses and sticks her tongue out cheekily at the camera. Basically, as VICE says, it shows her accessorizing with black people, using them as props to boost her authenticity as she tries a different sound in her music. AKA she literally said to her songwriters, “I want urban, I just want something that just feels Black.”
The message of the song is pretty simple, and matches the tone of most of Miley’s public image recently. She’s all grown now. She’s independent. Whatever, Disney Channel! She’ll do whatever she likes, because she DGAF.
Here’s why you should give a fuck, Miley. Because you grew up steeped in white privilege; with your father’s name, you’ve been wealthy your entire life. Because your simultaneous appropriation and stereotypying of black culture is harmful and oppressive. You can twerk and pretend to be “ratchet” but it only lasts for the three minutes and 34 seconds that you’re on screen, and then you can take it all off and live life as the privileged white girl that you are. Other people of color can’t do that. They have to deal with the awful stereotypes, the racism, the discrimination that comes attached to their non-whiteness.
A comment on the youtube page for “We Can’t Stop” really sums up why everything about this sucks: “I love how miley twerks. its not the casual black girl, big ass, twerk, but a white girl showing off her moves. loved it!” Great – so not only are we into the appropriation and exploitation of black culture for profit, but now we’re mocking and degrading that very culture when it’s authentically performed by black people, only to praise it when it’s performed by white people? Ugh."
Oh my fucking god this is actually a thing that Dick Dorkins said (more dumbassery in the link). You pompous, ignorant douchecanoe. Goddammit I can’t believe I used to like him last year.
TUMBLR USER WILLS4545 (via lordbape)
let’s all point our fingers and laugh
Anti-feminists are basically sociology’s creationists
In health class we were given sheets of paper and told to write a message we would want someone of the opposite sex to know
She read some examples
The girls were like: “Hey can you please not treat me like shit”
The boys were like: “Spray tans look ugly I hate when girls wear too much makeup and don’t lead me on.”
It’s like this…
You’re fourteen and you’re reading Larry Niven’s “The Protector” because it’s your father’s favorite book and you like your father and you think he has good taste and the creature on the cover of the book looks interesting and you want to know what it’s about. And in it the female character does something better than the male character - because she’s been doing it her whole life and he’s only just learned - and he gets mad that she’s better at it than him. And you don’t understand why he would be mad about that, because, logically, she’d be better at it than him. She’s done it more. And he’s got a picture of a woman painted on the inside of his spacesuit, like a pinup girl, and it bothers you.
But you’re fourteen and you don’t know how to put this into words.
And then you’re fifteen and you’re reading “Orphans of the Sky” because it’s by a famous sci-fi author and it’s about a lost generation ship and how cool is that?!? but the women on the ship aren’t given a name until they’re married and you spend more time wondering what people call those women up until their marriage than you do focusing on the rest of the story. Even though this tidbit of information has nothing to do with the plot line of the story and is only brought up once in passing.
But it’s a random thing to get worked up about in an otherwise all right book.
Then you’re sixteen and you read “Dune” because your brother gave it to you for Christmas and it’s one of those books you have to read to earn your geek card. You spend an entire afternoon arguing over who is the main character - Paul or Jessica. And the more you contend Jessica, the more he says Paul, and you can’t make him see how the real hero is her. And you love Chani cause she’s tough and good with a knife, but at the end of the day, her killing Paul’s challengers is just a way to degrade them because those weenies lost to a girl.
Then you’re seventeen and you don’t want to read “Stranger in a Strange Land” after the first seventy pages because something about it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. All of this talk of water-brothers. You can’t even pin it down.
And then you’re eighteen and you’ve given up on classic sci-fi, but that doesn’t stop your brother or your father from trying to get you to read more.
Even when you bring them the books and bring them the passages and show them how the authors didn’t treat women like people.
Your brother says, “Well, that was because of the time it was written in.”
You get all worked up because these men couldn’t imagine a world in which women were equal, in which women were empowered and intelligent and literate and capable.
You tell him - this, this is science fiction. This is all about imagining the world that could be and they couldn’t stand back long enough and dare to imagine how, not only technology would grow in time, but society would grow.
But he blows you off because he can’t understand how it feels to be fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and desperately wanting to like the books your father likes, because your father has good taste, and being unable to, because most of those books tell you that you’re not a full person in ways that are too subtle to put into words. It’s all cognitive dissonance: a little like a song played a bit out of tempo - enough that you recognize it’s off, but not enough to pin down what exactly is wrong.
And then one day you’re twenty-two and studying sociology and some kind teacher finally gives you the words to explain all those little feelings that built and penned around inside of you for years.
It’s like the world clicking into place.
And that’s something your brother never had to struggle with.
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party. As women begin to make inroads into formerly ‘male’ domains such as business and professional contexts, we should not be surprised to find that their contributions are not always perceived positively or even accurately."
I went to an all-girls school, but once we had an all-boys school come over for the day because some politicians came in to talk to us. They then let us ask questions, and even though the audience was 50/50 boys and girls, they only picked one girl to ask a question, and the rest (at least 8 other questions) were from the boys (even though both genders had plenty of people with their hands up).
Mary Pipher, Clinical Psychologist and Author, Reviving Ophelia (via sunshine-machine)
Sociology student seeking participants for a study on sexuality identity formation in the face of colonialism and white supremacy. This is an intersectional study operating from the position that race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. are not separate identities.
Interested participants must be 18 years of age or older.
They must be culturally indigenous and/or a person of color.
Participants must also self identify as Transgender, non-binary or as a gender/sexuality often erased or obscured under the white western umbrella term Transgender. Such identifications may include but are not limited to one, or a combination of the following: Bakla, Bissu, Calalai, Calabai, Fa’afafine, Genderescent/Genderessence, Gender Liminal, Hijra, Kathoey, Muxe/Muxhe, Third Gender, Two Spirit/Two-Spirit, and/or Queer. Those culturally indigenous and/or people of color who’s gender and/or sexuality identity do not neatly fit under White Western LGBT categories, are also welcome to participate.
Participants will be interviewed via video, audio, and chat software such as Skyppe and Tiny Chat, (software and method (audio, video, chat) up for discussion). Interviews will range from a period of forty-five minutes to one hour, with possible follow up interviews occurring as needed.
The researcher conducting these interviews is also a person of color who self-identifies with a gender/sexuality tradition obscured under the term Transgender. Those interested in participating should contact the researcher at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Sharing for interested followers :)
From the Facebook page The Sociological Cinema. This photo also contained a link to a clip about decentering and recentering conversations that confront power.
I hate you. All of you. I’ve never met one who didn’t disgust me. Now you can reblog this and bitch at me, but the odds of me reading it are slim to none.
Why? I’m not doggin’ you, I’m just extremely curious to hear your thoughts.
Let me clarify. I don’t hate feminists. That’s anger coming out. I hate arguing with them because it seems that they get extremely offended by the notion that men and women are different. I’ve never suggested that one sex is better than the other, just that men and women excel at different things.
Ever heard of nature vs. nurture? Social constructs? That more than two genders exist? “men and women excel at different things” - but not necessarily biologically bound. Nurturing tendencies are socialized as a feminine trait, so no matter what sex, any feminine-leaning gender will be more nurturing. Look, I agree that evolution has a part to play in this discussion, but it’s not black and white. Social conditioning is hugely relevant. And the reason people are getting angry at your post is because the “biological destiny” argument has been used against women for hundreds of years, and is used an excuse to oppress us (“women are just naturally more nurturing, so let’s make them stay at home whether they actually want to or not" etc). I will say that I personally didn’t find your OP to be dramatically offensive, but you have to understand why your argument will bring anger. Your argument is seeped in a history of oppression against women and femininity.
I am reminded of this (although I am not saying this is your argument in any way, it just popped into my mind): “Dr. Edward Clarke, a respected professor at Harvard University, stated in his widely read tract of 1873 called Sex in Education, or a Fair Chance for the Girls, the female system is not able to do two things well at once. When a woman studied, he explained, blood would be diverted to her brain, robbing essential organs of a precious life force. The organ that was in direct competition with the brain, was of course, the uterus. Clarke’s book, which was so popular in the 1870s that it had to be reprinted 17 times, warned that higher education would cause a woman’s uterus to atrophy and she would be rendered sterile.”
See how biology can be used against us?
If I look up “carrot” in the dictionary, most people will acknowledge I do not know all there is to know about carrots and if I truly want to understand carrots, I should probably pick up a horticultural text book. We know that legal and medical terms are going to be, at best, simplistically represented and know we need to find a lawyer or a doctor if we want to know more. Anyone deciding to base their argument on, say, a philosophical concept or term using the dictionary is going to be laughed at at best, or automatically lose whatever argument they’re trying to make at least.
Yet the minute we move into a social justice framework, the ultimate authority changes. We don’t need lived experience, we don’t need experts who have examined centuries of social disparities and discrimination, we don’t need societal context. We don’t need sociology or history – no, we have THE DICTIONARY! That ultimate tome of oracular insight, the last word on any debate!
It’s patently ridiculous and you can see that by applying it to any other field of knowledge. But the privileged will continually trot out simplistic, twitter-style dictionary definitions as if they are the last word and the ultimate authority. No-one would drag out the dictionary to debate science with a scientist. But they’re more than willing to trot out a dictionary definition of racism over any sociological analysis. A dictionary is not the ultimate authority - they’re a rough guide for you to discover the simple meaning of words you’ve never heard before – not an ultimate definition of what the word means and all its contexts."
- Sparky at Womanist Musings. YES! (via flowerskss)
More about why the dictionary wont win you an argument
Sexist humor affects social perception
It’s no secret that the internet is rampant with men making “get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich” jokes, and many women are fed up with it. One blogger, The Apple Cider Mage, regaled her readers with her experience of joining an all-male guild in “World of Warcraft” and being greeted with repetitive, sexist jokes. “If you tell me to get back in the kitchen again,” she ranted, “next time I’m bringing back a meat tenderizer.”
Another woman, who contributes to New Wave Feminism wrote about some of her male friend’s responses after she posted a political status on Facebook. One of them wrote, “I really dont like opinionated women and feel they should go back to there rightful place (back in the kitchen) and make me a sandwich.” One of his male friends chimed in “get me a beer.” She tolerated these jokes, but linked them to a video discussing retro-sexism after they made jokes involving domestic violence. They told her it would have been better if the speaker had been topless.
“I’m going to clarify this for anyone who thinks that these jokes are funny, and not insulting, and that women who don’t appreciate them are humorless bitches,” she wrote. “I have a wicked sense of humor. I like edgy jokes, I like controversial topics…Un-f***ing-fortunately, when you make these jokes, you are STILL just spewing out stupid, sexist, outdated, patronizing 1950’s gender roles.”
A study conducted by Thomas E. Ford, from the psychology department at Western Carolina University, said that such jokes actually allow some men to feel more comfortable engaging in sexist behavior without fear of disapproval from peers. “Our research demonstrates that exposure to sexist humor can create conditions that allow men – especially those who have antagonistic attitudes toward women – to express those attitudes in their behavior,” said Ford.
Ford and his colleagues asked the men who participated in the study to imagine they were in a work group. They were they asked to read either sexist jokes, comparable non-humorous sexist statements, or non-sexist jokes. Then each man was asked how much money he would donate to a women’s group. They found men reading the sexist jokes were less likely to donate than men reading the other material.
Participants were then shown sets of sexist or non-sexist comedy skits before being asked to distribute funds for student organizations. Once again, the men exposed to the sexist humor were more likely to allocate large funding cuts for a women’s organization.
“We also found that, in the presence of sexist humor, participants believed the other participants would approve of the funding cuts to women’s organizations,” said Ford. “We believe this shows that humorous disparagement creates the perception of a shared standard of tolerance of discrimination that may guide behavior when people believe others feel the same way.”