Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Reading

Policing Our Girls
by Sikivu Hutchinson
“Let them haul the little monster out of school and into jail”.  These were the words of a commenter on CNN.com’s site responding to an article on the handcuffing of a six year-old black girl named Salecia Johnson at a Georgia elementary school in 2012.  Disproportionately targeted by zero tolerance discipline policies, black preschool and elementary school children have the highest rates of suspension and expulsion in the U.S.  While demonizing black children has always been a treasured American tradition, little black girls have never been included in white heterosexual gender norms of sugar and spice and everything nice.  From Topsy to Sambo to Buckwheat, the specter of the wild borderline criminal black pickaninny, destined to come to a violent end, helped frame narratives of white childhood innocence and American national identity from the 19th century to the present.  The hapless motherless Topsy, a black girl caricature featured in the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was one of the first and most enduring minstrel images of black children under slavery.  In the book, Topsy is contrasted with the virginal angelic character of Little Eva, the white daughter of a “benevolent” slaveowner.  The fount of moral goodness, Eva forgives Topsy her thievery and “heathen” ways, making her promise that she will become a good Christian.
Read More at Black Fem Lens

Blurred Lines: The Cinematic Appeal of Rape Fantasy
by Brigit McCone
The Myth Of Male Power by Warren Farrell (PhD, of course) is arguably the intellectual foundation of Men’s Rights Activism (MRA). It is also notorious for its rape apologism, using female fondness for fictional rape fantasy to argue that men should not be prosecuted for date rape, as long as they are “trying to become her fantasy.” For the record, I don’t believe rape fantasies cause rape. In the real world, desire is not so easily misunderstood. What rape fantasy does feed, as Farrell illustrates, is rape apologism. Our cultural models of “romanticized rape” shape the excuses of rapists and encourage their general acceptance. We might respond by pointing out that women consent to rape fantasy automatically, just by imagining it, by turning the pages as they read or by opening their eyes to watch on-screen. Since rape fantasy is consensual, it has nothing in common with the violation of actual rape. But with the often coercive “romance” of Fifty Shades of Grey set to rule the box office, now is a good time to ask: what actually is the cinematic appeal of rape fantasy?
Read More at Bitch Flicks

Yes, It Matters That #AAPI Bloggers were Left Off The #FreshOffTheBoat Bus
Now, the folks behind Fresh Off The Boat are in hot water again for another marketing misstep related to the sitcom. Last month, Disney-ABC (the parent television group that oversees both Disney and ABC Television products) invited a bunch of people to an all-expenses paid trip to Los Angeles (#ABCTVEvent) to preview and meet the cast and crew of five shows and movies — including a number that intersect with the identities of communities of colours such as Fresh Off The Boat, Big Hero 6, and McFarland USA. 24 bloggers — many of them mommy bloggers — were flown out to participate in this invitation-only junket; not a single one was Asian American.
Read More at Reappropriate

A Terrorizing Mythology : On the 100th Anniversary of Birth of a Nation
by Phenderson Djèlí Clark
On Feb. 8 1915, D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation premiered in American theaters. The film depicted the Civil War, its aftermath and Reconstruction. Though billed as “history” by its director, Birth of a Nation instead offered up an alternate past. In this retelling of historical events, Reconstruction was discriminatory towards whites, African-Americans were oppressive tyrants; and the film’s heroes were the Ku Klux Klan, chivalrous protectors of civilization and white womanhood. This was a purely speculative tale, but one that was supported by popular racial ideologies, Southern nostalgia, academic schools of thought, and even the writings of a U.S. president. Hailed as a “masterpiece,” Birth of a Nation revolutionized film making as we know it. For white America, it offered a chance at reconciliation between a white North and a white South. For African-Americans everywhere, however, it was a terrorizing mythology, that posed existential dangers if not confronted directly.
Read More at PDjeliClark

I Do Trans History, With Penguins
by Cheryl Morgan
The point of the talk was to prove [Sheila] Jeffreys not just wrong, but spectacularly and hilariously wrong. In pursuit of this objective I took a lightning tour through 2000 years of history and all five continents, producing evidence of the existence of, and social acceptance of, trans people in many different cultures and at many different times in history. The only thing different about the 20th century was a step change in the medical technology available, and a start on reversing the drastic curtailment of trans rights that took place in Western Europe in the past few hundred years. Hopefully my audience went away understanding that the negative view we have of trans people in the UK, and throughout Western “civilization”, is the exception rather than the rule.
Read More at Cheryl's Mewsings

Iliza Shlesinger - Lying Brian - This Is Not Happening - Uncensored

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