Can I just say how much White privilege that show is drowning in? Everytime they show something about Western body modification, first off, everyone they show is White and they never, EVER get into the whole smog cloud of White privilege that surrounds those folks in their pursuit of even more extreme mods. Hint, it has to do with the fact that their unadorned, White bodies are not stigmatized or demonized to begin with!
They even want to think of themselves as pioneers even as they steal mods from cultures of color wholesale and then begin the bleaching process. What they’re calling “suspension” is a wholesale rip off of the Native American Sun Dance. Try and get them to admit NA’s had ANYTHING to do with it. Go ‘head. I’ll wait. And they do this while constantly calling our cultures, even those within the West, “primitive,” “savage,” “barbaric” and “abusive” for doing what they’ve renamed “individual expression” and “creative.”
I remember being a teen in the 80s, when the modern, Western body mod culture really, supposedly, just started taking off. Black girls, including me, were getting their SECOND set of earlobe piercings while our White counterparts were begging and offering their parents rights to their firstborn to get their first set of earlobe piercings. Hell, many of us were even getting our cartilage pierced. Our men were starting the trend of men getting earpiercings. Were we called “avant garde?” “Fashion forward?” “Adventurous?” No, we were “low class,” “ghetto,” “niggerish,” and we were called all that by those who’d later snatch our style and deem themselves “artistic” for it while never acknowledging where they got it from. This from the same people who sneer at the practice many communities of color have of piercing their female infants’ ears. They thoughtlessly hurl the accusation of “abusive” at that practice utterly ignorant or non-caring as to the seriousness of that accusation and how precarious it is to hurt at parents of color in Western countries that are quick to snatch our babies away from us.
Meanwhile, we had to worry about how our very modest modifications would further hinder us in the job market. These folks are complaining that they can only get marginal jobs or jobs as “freak show” performers with their extreme mods, when employers wouldn’t employ a Black man with ONE earlobe piercing or a Black women with a double set! Then as the body modification trend gained momentum, any early contribution to it by communities of color, especially Western ones was deleted and simply not acknowledged. We were even sneered at for not being modified ENOUGH and for being too conservative and cowardly to get more extreme mods even though some of us did and were thrown even further into the “ghetto” territory in their minds.
I’ve written before of how the White body mod community is racist as hell. I’ve written about my experience at the one, and only, tattoo convention I attended. Well, I have another experience to share. Again, it happened in AZ when I briefly worked on the campus of ASU. Eric Sprague, also known as Lizardman, was walking around the campus handing out flyers for a performance and his troupe were going to give. He was walking towards me as I was walking. It was about 9 in the morning so there were not a lot of people around. He was handing out the flyers to the passersby. As I neared him I gave him a friendly smile expecting to be handed a flyer. He looked at me as if I’d just spat on his shoes, proceeded to quicken his step and almost trotted to the person about 25 feet behind me to give them a flyer, a middle-aged, White male professor. He purposely didn’t hand me one. Now he saw me. He looked right at me in my face. And I wasn’t in a crowd of people. I was also in my early 30s, but I looked young enough to be a student which you’d think would be his target audience. The thing is, I was BLACK and the ONLY person of color in that area of the campus at that time of day. My Black ass didn’t rate getting a flyer or seeing his performance. He didn’t need or want my nigger money. That’s one of many reasons I stay rolling my eyes when White body modders bitch about not being able to find work.
Seriously, this is a beautiful and much-deserved takedown.
I’m really disgusted to hear of Erik Sprague’s behavior; he is someone I’ve known for a while and honestly this makes me decidedly uninterested in speaking to him further.
I have/had been involved with the West Coast body modification community online and in person since about 2001, 2002-ish. And I must say that the racism that I witnessed and experienced on the West Coast from time to time was nigh unavoidable and certainly present, but couldn’t hold a candle to the racism I witnessed and experienced on the East Coast.
I never did a suspension or ritual type things because I found them to be appropriative and of somewhat questionable taste, and a lot of white d00ds talking about how “spiritual” it was and how it was like a rite of passage in general just made me roll my eyes…as a Lakota person, it made me uncomfortable.
I think a lot of my drifting away from the whole “scene” had a lot to do with getting increasingly uncomfortable with everything i was seeing from people within and the scene, especially on the East Coast. At least on the West Coast and in and around LA there were a ton of mixed people and people of color…on the East Coast it was awfully like being at some kind of creepy white supremacist party.
Wayyy too many white people into Body mod are having their cake and eating it too: privileged as hell and also feeling like they can just get together and have a BAWWWfest over how “oppressed” they are.
And honestly there’s….much more to it that is even allowable in polite conversation.
on the East Coast it was awfully like being at some kind of creepy white supremacist party.
as an east-coaster i can whole-heartedly agree. any attempt at punk is a largely white male-dominated group reaking of entitlement, appropriation, and cheap, oft illegally attained beers. just cruising for a bruisng. east coast rrrriot girls try to get me to join because “omg i didn’t know people like you like music like that" and i’m sure i’m all exotic and all compared to your middle class suburban garage meetings but no dice. i’m sure that you can get a tap on the hand for your poorly designed attempt at painting gang symbols around town, but i know my place in your attempts, and the exit is about four turns before yours.
you ain’t my cousins.
Rewording from my original post to take out spoilers:
Why I’m kinda pro-Equalist
Amon is a fucking madman sure and taking away bending ain’t right, but you can’t make a super secret movement against people in charge if nothing’s wrong.Not one bender on the show has addressed the non-bending community’s needs. And all talk of the Equalist is related to shutting them down, which as the equivalent of a terrorist group - valid. But no one in charge, or even Korra and Mako and Bolin, has once brought up the fact that non-benders are secondary citizens in the bending world.The thing about the Equalist, they are the face of a revolution. They are the form that non-benders took against a world of benders that don’t listen to their problems. Hell, Amon wasn’t even taken seriously until he presented himself as a threat. And why is he a threat? Because he takes away not only bending abilities but bending privilege.There is a flawfree post around here talking about economic opportunities for benders vs. non-benders and the inequality involved. Why isn’t chi-blocking or even sword-fighting or hand-combat also competitive sports for money? Why don’t non-benders have political representation? Is there an economic community where only non-benders can flourish?If not, there is an entire group of people put at a disadvantage for not having something they can’t obtain. And then they are made the enemy for saying something about it.It’s just not right, idek. Thoughts?
IO have kind of a theory too that kinda leads into this!
I think that Amon may be using the ‘equalist’ platform for his own personal gain and reasons that have nothing to do with the opression of non benders. I think we’ll find out later in the seeries that he’s actually EXPLOITING opressed people to do his bidding and has his own reasons for this stuff.
And I hope that later on, Korra will start to realize that non benders DO have it bad. We’re kinda seeing things through korra’s lense and she has no IDEA what life is like outside of her own little world she was raised in. I think that maybe later on, we’ll get to see her grow as a person and become mor aware of these issues
you know i have a lot of feels about bending in general.
it’s canonly not genetically inherited. it’s spiritual. like if you remember even toph learned from the badger-moles. she wasn’t born that way.
i don’t want to say that non-benders aren’t trying hard enough, or that having strong spiritual belief is bad, i just wonder why it’s never brought up…
No one HAS to think about their race.
Black people constantly think about their race because they get tons of benefits with it.
Oh is that it? I wasn’t aware. I thought the reason why I’m so conscious of my race is that no matter what I say, think or do I still get labeled as simply a “Black dude.” It’s interesting that in the year 2012 people still believe that Black Identity is simply claimed because we get some sort of “perk.” You know, outside of the violence and discrimination that normally comes along with it.
Now some may say “Maybe the original poster was just young.” But that’s worse. We still aren’t teaching White kids that they speak from a position of privilege which is based on the idea that White is the default. Yes, when Whiteness is the default you don’t need to think about race. Why would you? But when your race was used to oppress, subjugate and demean for hundreds of years—When articles are written in PRESENT DAY on the lack of desirableness of Black women, the violence of Black men, when PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES tell you that you don’t have role models, you don’t know how to work—race may come up in your thought process everyone once in a while.
I say all of this to say Dear Tumblr. This probably isn’t the place to display your amazing commentary on races which you are not a member of. Your manner offends. Shut the hell up and stick to whatever meme is currently hot in the streets.
“Hey! White girl! I love you! You are beautiful!”
Shouted to me on the street 15+ times a day during my study abroad experience in Nicaragua. I never truly understood what it meant to feel objectified until this experience.
been reading a lot about racism/white anti-racists/cultural appropriation/how to not be a super shitty privileged person today and i’m not sure this microaggression is a good/right thing at all. like…this person may have glimpsed one kind of objectification through this experience but i don’t know about the whole idea of a “white girl” being “objectified” by people in Nicaragua during their study abroad (implies college/post-secondary education, some level of financial privilege) and the whole idea of “understanding” as a way of showing that white people can be oppressed too (i feel like the leap from “objectification” to “oppression” is a pretty small one here/one that can and will be read into it by other people as an example of how POC can be racist against white folks)? because just by the sheer fact said person was white and in a place where non-white people were catcalling them does not mean they were being oppressed? i don’t know, can someone smarter than me talk more about this, if they feel like tackling the issue? sometimes debating things with myself too long gets tricky because i’m not sure how to factcheck myself (googling “is this thing i think racist/oppressive” doesn’t work well at all)
so glad I’m not the only one who had a problem with that microaggression. being praised for fitting into the western/Euro-centric beauty model is nothing compared to the struggles POC face for not fitting in this model in the US and other majority white countries. being told that you’re pretty is not oppression. yeah, it’s objectification, but it’s objectification based on the beauty ideals the west has exported around the world.
I wouldn’t call any of it oppression. if being called beautiful is the worst thing that happens to you when you’re abroad, then you’re lucky. when POC go abroad, from what I’ve heard, they face much, much worse. so this microaggression reeks of privilege and really isn’t on the same level of racial oppression compared to the other ones they post.
but if I’m wrong, feel free to correct me in terms of POC experiences abroad.
Yes, thank y’all! I read that with mytongueisforked and both of us were giving that an OH HELL NO.
Yes, you could call that objectification, i.e. a woman’s body is being assumed to be public property/a commodity/open to commentary. But, is objectification on its own oppression? Linked with something larger, sure; like I’m not going to argue that white women aren’t oppressed on the basis of being women. But specifying race and location and “It was the first time this happened to me!” is way fishy, and undermines any chance this had of getting my sympathy.
My scattered thoughts on this:
- If this woman had never before felt objectified, then great! but she’s really lucky to have never been made to feel that way, let alone to feel that way constantly like many female/trans* people do. My skepticism kicks in when someone is blurting out that they’ve never experienced something that is everyday for the people they’re speaking to.
- Specifying that this happened in Nicaragua reinforces stereotypes about hypersexual latino men, that men of color lust after white women, etc. Had she never been somewhere back home that men could have said the same thing? I mean, I can picture dudes on my block saying that to a white woman; did she only encounter men of color by traveling to another country?
- And with that, it reinforces the idea that men of color are a threat because of their lust for white women, that they are dangerous, and that, just as in this example, they will put white women in deviant and dangerous positions that white men never would, e.g. being objectified on the street. This shit is serious and lethal—generations of men of color were/are lynched for this threat.
- “White girl, you are beautiful” is said EVERY FUCKING DAY. Did she never feel her skin color being fetishized when this same catcall was made by billboards and magazines and cosmetics and lynchings? If she ever overheard a white man telling a black friend, “You’re cute for a black girl,” would she feel equally objectified and offended?
- I am a light-skinned black woman in a black & latino neighborhood. When men talk to me on the street, as happens fairly often, I feel the light tanness of my skin. I don’t appreciate the catcalls, but they are telling as to how my gender is raced and vice-versa. In this situation, I have to feel my skin color and how it is being weighed against that of other black women; white women don’t have to feel this.
Is that what is so offensive, attaching a name—WHITENESS—to white women’s genders and sexual objectification? That is all I can see that is out of the white supremacy ordinary. You don’t need a study abroad program for that; go take a walk around the block.
Readnfight is right on the money.
Click each privilege for a link.
reblog and add any other RELEVANT privilege checklists (as in, don’t add female privilege checklist, cause if you do, you’re a jerk)
calling bullshit on the black male privilege.
Do minority students get more than a fair share of college scholarships? That myth reared its head earlier this year after a Texas nonprofit, the Former Majority Association for Equality announced plans to give scholarships only to white males. The group claimed that white males are disadvantaged because they don’t “fit into certain categories or ethnic groups.” So Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Fastweb.com and FinAid.com, put that idea to the test, and found that white students actually “receive a disproportionately greater share of private scholarships and merit-based grants.”
Kantrowitz crunched data (PDF) from both the 2003-04 and 2007-08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, which showed that white students are 40 percent more likely to win private scholarships than non-white students. And Kantrowitz finds several college-specific scholarships only for white students, like UCLA’s 66-year-old Werner Scott Scholarship, worth $4,000, which is “restricted to Caucasian students from Hawaii who are not of Polynesian blood.”
Even when a scholarship doesn’t explicitly note a racial preference, white students are still at an advantage since scholarship sponsors “select for characteristics, activities and talents of interest to them.” Black students, for example, are much less likely to participate in equestrian, water, and winter sports than their white peers, which makes them ineligible for scholarships related to those areas.
White students, even those who “have no demonstrated financial need,” are also at an advantage when it comes to receiving funding directly from universities. Kantrowitz found that they get more than 76 percent “of all institutional merit-based scholarship and grant funding, even though they represent” less than 62 percent of the student population.
That last bit in bold, wow.
Where’s your fucking bake sale now?
Between this and the post yesterday about 15% of white students didnt meet the minimum requirements to get into the university they attend, but instead used contacts and connections, I just cant stop side eyeing universities.