Tag Archives: race

Ignoring The Shy Nerdy Girls

From Male Nerds Think They’re Victims Because They Have No Clue What Female Nerds Go Through:

“Science is a way that shy, nerdy men pull themselves out of the horror of their teenage years. That is true. That is so. But shy, nerdy women have to try to pull themselves out of that same horror into a world that hates, fears and resents them because they are women, and to a certain otherwise very intelligent sub-set of nerdy men, the category “woman” is defined primarily as “person who might or might not deny me sex, love and affection.”

“(And you ask me, where were those girls when you were growing up? And I answer: we were terrified, just like you, and ashamed, just like you, and waiting for someone to take pity on our lonely abject pubescence, hungry to be touched. But you did not see us there. We were told repeatedly, we ugly, shy nerdy girls, that we were not even worthy of the category “woman.” It wasn’t just that we were too shy to approach anyone, although we were; it was that we knew if we did we’d be called crazy. And if we actually got the sex we craved? (because some boys who were too proud to be seen with us in public were happy to fuck us in private and brag about it later) … then we would be sluts, even more pitiable and abject. Aaronson was taught to fear being a creep and an objectifier if he asked; I was taught to fear being a whore or a loser if I answered, never mind asked myself. Sex isn’t an achievement for a young girl. It’s something we’re supposed to embody so other people can consume us, and if we fail at that, what are we even for?)

Full article http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120653/nerd-entitlement-lets-men-ignore-racism-and-sexism

Quote referenced here.

 

Shonda Rhimes on the Glass Ceiling

Influential executive producer Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder) receives the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award and gives an incredibly moving speech. Full transcript on Medium.

“Woman after woman. Each one running and each one crashing. And everyone falling. How many women had to hit that glass before the first crack appeared? How many cuts did they get, how many bruises? How hard did they have to hit the ceiling? How many women had to hit that glass to ripple it, to send out a thousand hairline fractures? How many women had to hit that glass before the pressure of their effort caused it to evolve from a thick pane of glass into just a thin sheet of splintered ice?”

Full article (and where I got the image from) Shonda Rhimes at THR’s Power Women Event: “I Haven’t Broken Through Any Glass Ceilings”

The History of Whiteness Is The History of Exclusion

From Salon:

“For whiteness to maintain its superiority, membership had to be strictly controlled. The “gift” of whiteness was bestowed on those who could afford it, or when it was politically expedient. In his book “How the Irish Became White,” Noel Ignatiev argues that Irish immigrants were incorporated into whiteness in order to suppress the economic competitiveness of free black workers and undermine efforts to unite low-wage black and Irish Americans into an economic bloc bent on unionizing labor. The aspiration to whiteness was exploited to politically and socially divide groups that had more similarities than differences. It was an apple dangled in front of working-class immigrant groups, often as a reward for subjugating other groups.

A lack of awareness of these facts has lent credence to the erroneous belief that whiteness is inherent and has always existed, either as an actual biological difference or as a cohesive social grouping. Some still claim it is natural for whites to gravitate to their own and that humans are tribal and predisposed to congregate with their kind. It’s easy, simple and natural: White people have always been white people. Thinking about racial identity is for those other people.

This comprehension of whiteness could also dissuade many white people of such detrimental and pervasive racial notions, such as, “Why is black pride OK but white pride is racist?” If students are taught that whiteness is based on a history of exclusion, they might easily see that there is nothing in the designation as “white” to be proud of.  Being proud of being white doesn’t mean finding your pale skin pretty or your Swedish history fascinating. It means being proud of the violent disenfranchisement of those barred from this category. Being proud of being black means being proud of surviving this ostracism. Be proud to be Scottish, Norwegian or French, but not white.”

Full article http://www.salon.com/2014/02/07/the_history_white_people_need_to_learn/

5 Reasons Gay Asian Men Should Stop Dating White Guys

A friend pointed me to a blog called Angry Homosexual where a (presumably) asian gay man lists why gay asian men shouldn’t date white guys. I don’t agree with most of it and it seems awfully bitter but there’s a bit:

2. You’ll eventually get dumped for a younger, cuter Asian. White people invented the concept of leasing a car and trading it in when it’s old, and they’ve carried that concept over to their dating lives too. 97% of the time when you see an East-West (Asian-White) couple, it’s an older white guy with a substantially younger Asian. Because there are many more Asians seeking white guys than vice versa, white guys have plenty of choice, while potato-seeking Asians have to settle for whatever they can get. Usually, it’s an older, often chubbier white guy who, for all his shortcomings, is, well, white. Years down the road when you’re getting a bit long in the tooth, you can expect to be traded in for a younger, hotter Asian model, and there will be plenty of those to choose from.”

A lot of this point of view is treating the white guy like a prize to be won which inherently devalues the asian man in the equation. There’s a lot of bullshit in gay dating dynamics and when you add in race or ethnicity you get a whole new level of bullshit.

Read all five reasons http://angryhomosexual.com/5-reasons-gay-asians-should-give-up-potatoes/

How Denying Black Soldiers FHA Loans Denied Black Families Post-War Prosperity

I’ve always thought this is such a big piece of the puzzle. From Reddit:

“In reality, the great depression pretty much evened the playing field as far as wealth. The problem we have today evolved as a result of GI’s returning from WWII. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers came home, bought a house, and started a family. But black soldiers were denied the opportunity. The Federal Hosing Administration would not insure loans to black families, and even if they did, often times developers wouldn’t sell to black families. So, whites got suburbia, blacks were limited to inner city developments. So while white families were building equity in their homes, black families were renters and getting nothing out of it. Eventually, black families that were responsible had saved up enough to by a nice new home in suburbia, but there was a great fear from the white community (a fear pushed by the slimiest realtors) that the influx of black families would depress real estate values. White people flooded out to newer developments, which of course made the real estate values plummet. Black families, having finally bought a house, got to immediately see their life savings go down the drain with their now worthless property.

After World War Two, America had a chance to fully bring the black community into the fold with every other ethnic group (all of whom were able to join the middle class after the war) but instead we dropped the ball big time, leaving a lasting schism in our society.”

Full comment http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1witn6/what_actually_controversial_opinion_do_you_have/cf2j3h7

Image from http://thetruthnews.info/

“He Went to Stanford”

Rembert Browne writes in Grantland:

“His status as a Cardinal has been juxtaposed with repugnant comments about his character. In this narrative, he can’t be a ‘thug’ because he went to Stanford. But his Stanford-ness isn’t what magically makes him not a thug. …

“And then what? Had he gone to the University of Miami, would he be just another link in the chain of thug athletes from the U? Probably. What if he went to a Historically Black College, like Morehouse or Howard? Or what about a junior college? Or what about Harvard?

“All of these things would unfairly impact the thug narrative of Richard Sherman. And that’s unfortunate, because the ‘He went to Stanford’ card was long used as a way to get people off his back. And while the intentions were good, and helped shift some of the conversation about him back in his favor, it shouldn’t be a primary argument when given the all-too-common task of proving someone isn’t a thug. If anything, it’s harmful logic. Because the next Richard Sherman may not have attended Stanford. So what then?”

Full post http://grantland.com/the-triangle/stanford-man-richard-sherman-and-the-thug-athlete-narrative/

Marginalizing Women and Minorities as Attention Whores

“Sadly, it’s bigger than just streaming, and it’s bigger than just gender. You also see similar accusations about people who are told their bisexuality/pansexuality/transness is ‘just for the attention’, for example. People of color often experience it when talking about racism, with earnest conversations about experiences and perceptions being seen as ‘race baiting’. You see it applied to body modifications as well. It often gets posed as a question: ‘why does a person who does/identifies as [x] have to be so vocal about it?’ It’s a coded way of saying someone is just looking for attention, and it’s a form of marginalization, because it assumes by default an illegitimacy for that person’s identity and experiences. Under this thinking, the identity characteristics of people who fall outside the accepted norms aren’t that way in earnest — they’re that way as a sort of contrarian act. For those who do largely fit the norms, I can understand why it’s easy to think that, as much of their identity development has been in rejecting pieces of the norm that they interface with. Maybe they reject mainstream music, or AAA games. Maybe they embrace fringe technology. Perhaps it’s rejecting what they see as the dominant religion or political beliefs. These rejections happen organically for them, relative to whatever their ‘normal’ is, and they view them as fundamental parts of their beliefs. As such, when faced with someone who’s counter to dominant culture in a particularly striking or individual way (particularly those who violate norms that the observers have made a conscious choice to accept rather than reject), it’s often easier to explain their existence within a framework of norm-rejection, which gives them the internally-consistent belief that people are, say, ‘bisexual just for the attention’. Instead of assuming that most people who identify as bisexual are doing it in a way that’s consistent with their own personal experiences, they assume that the identity came about as a rejection of a cultural norm, and that the rejection is so strong that, of course, it’ll definitely get attention. What’s interesting about that, is the idea that attention is fueled largely by the very value imbalance that these kind of accusations imply. The outcries that people make when someone defines themselves as say, ‘bisexual’ or a ‘girl gamer’ create the very attention that people are, paradoxically, decrying. I can’t speak about Kaceytron specifically, as I’m not familiar with her, but the post someone else made about her has been seen by and commented on by thousands of people. In decrying her attention-seeking behaviors, the person who posted it not only signal-boosted that, but also revealed their own desire to call attention to their perspective — an attention-seeking behavior that is probably invisible to the poster and many of the people agreeing with the image’s message. /u/imuya brought it up relative to streaming, but the fact of the matter is that much of what we do are attention-seeking behaviors. Why do you keep in touch with your friends? Why do you comment on reddit? Why do you tweet? Whenever there’s a social component to something there’s an element of attention embedded in it, because the task becomes relatively meaningless if there isn’t an audience. Reddit itself is like a veritable pressure-cooker for attention, with everything you do on the site being a vector for it. I’m writing this comment in the hopes that other people will see it; I’m writing it with the understanding that anyone on the site can respond to it; and, even more, I’m able to have a direct proxy for the audience’s opinion of it in the form of reddit’s voting system! I can’t imagine a system more designed to reward attention-seeking behavior, especially because an upvote is structurally analogous to saying this needs more attention by nature of reddit’s sorting methods (displaying highly upvoted articles and comments first).
The point of all of this is that a behavior being attention-seeking isn’t wrong in and of itself — in fact, that’s a reality we are all complicit in if we’re on this very site. Instead, it’s often the intent of the behavior and the manner and space in which it’s executed that are far more important in terms of gauging authenticity.”

From Reddit

Image is a collage of screencaps of ‘girlgamer’ streamer Kaceytron posted with the original Reddit thread.

Peforming Ethnicity

“…I spent a day agonizing over whether to wear glasses or not to a meeting I was attending for a gay organization where I was making a substantial accessibility proposal. I have pretty poor vision, but since my day job is in academia, I never wear glasses – because then I get weird whispering and comments about how smart Asians are, with the nasty implication that I only got my job and only get my grades due to my racial background. But in this circumstance, knowing my audience of gay, middle-aged white men – I was acutely aware of my appearance could easily be pigeonholed into that of a young Asian “twink” – and how easily that could potentially defeat my proposal.

“So I wore the glasses. It went well. Only one of the men made a pass at me by saying out loud to the board during the meeting, right in my face, how much he liked his Asian men to be aggressive. But otherwise my proposal was accepted.

“But this event made me realize how much tailoring my outfit and tailoring my appearance to even the smallest tweaks and ornaments has become just one of those every-day things that I do. I never really consciously picked up this skillset – I probably learned it from watching my parents, seamlessly blend from situation to situation by shedding clothes and picking up ornaments and signifiers like a chameleon changes colors to match its environment. Certain things signify humility. Certain things impart an aura of confidence. Of modernness, of tradition; of being western, of being eastern. Who is your audience? What rapport do you want to build? What messages are you sending?

“Sometimes I catch myself changing outfits multiple times a day as I move from place to place, environment to environment and audience to audience. I’ve never really considered this to be a fixation on fashion or anything – it’s just one of those things that you, as a person of color, have to do to survive in a culture that tends to be a little hostile to your existence. More so if you don’t blend properly.

“I don’t really mind the rules. In fact, I rather enjoy this skillset, if I may admit guiltily: I like being able to suddenly fit in anywhere I go with a sudden unbuttoning of the collar, loosening of a tie, switch of a belt. I know it’s not really fair, but it doesn’t matter because inequality and inequity is pretty much the polluted air that I breathe anyway – it’s always there as a nagging reminder of how much of an outsider I am, but in some respects, you learn not to notice the adaptations you’ve made to compensate after a while.

“Sometimes I try to explain this to my white friends, and they always tell me: fuck the rules! Why do you care what people think of you? You should just do whatever you want!

“I don’t know; maybe I should be angrier about it. But they don’t seem to get it. The $4.99 that I pay for a button-up shirt at the thrift store buys me more than just the shirt. It buys me job security; it buys me insurance from violence on the streets; it buys me some relief from the vicious gossip that goes around about me if I don’t show up with an appropriate appearance – one that straddles the line between following the rules and breaking them, a good minority, neither threatening nor a stereotype.”

A few extra dollars a month, a few hours spent shopping, a few extra loads of laundry. Even if it’s unfair, it’s not a big deal. Is this really the hill I want to die on?”

Commenter on Metafilter

Race, Always Race

“Race, always race. Feed a person, educate them and refrain from hitting them, and my guess is you end up with a smart person, regardless of the color of their skin. Immigrants come here because they feel like they’ve got a shot at that, not because they already have it, you morons.”

Commenter on a via Metafilter thread about Jason Richwine’s resignation from the Heritage foundation and his Harvard PhD dissertation on race and IQ

The White Correspondent’s Burden

“But this doesn’t explain why journalism from Africa looks and sounds as it does. For this, we blame our editors, who (we like to say) oversimplify our copy and cut out context. … For these tendencies, our editors in turn often blame readers, whom they assume can’t or won’t follow us through villages with difficult-to-pronounce names or narratives with nuanced conclusions or moral ambiguities.
Ultimately, the problem with journalism from Africa isn’t about professional conventions. It’s about all of us—writers and readers, producers and viewers. We continue a storytelling tradition that hasn’t fundamentally changed since Joseph Conrad slapped Congo with “the heart of darkness” label. Even stories that gesture toward something “positive” can’t escape the dominant narrative: “Africa isn’t a lost cause,” pleads one recent headline. The argument about journalism from Africa is often whittled into two camps, Afro-pessimists vs. Afro-optimists. But these binary camps, too, miss that Africa is many complex things, simultaneously. In our news broadcasts and our headlines, though, it’s usually framed by just one static thing: suffering.”

Boston Review