One recurring situation that really demonstrates the concept of privilege and how it pertains to race in the western world (and simultaneously shows that having privilege does not inherently make you a bad person) is the reaction to hearing about racism
Whenever I talk about my experiences with bigotry, a very common response from white people is stuff like “oh my god this still happens?” or “that’s so awful I’m sorry you had to deal with that” or “I’ve lost faith in humanity”
When I hear about racism I get tired and just think “yyyyyyyup”
People don’t really like to think about white supremacy outside the context of white robes and burning crosses because it’s scary to think that there’s an entire school of reasoning that normalizes that behaviour and affects the everyday life and experiences of a massive group of people, many of whom they’re friends with and interact with on a regular basis
To you it’s shocking and to everyone who deals with it, it’s as typical as asking for the time from someone. It’s half past racist o’clock
I am Japanese and I find the usage of the word “kawaii” by non-Japanese people to be extremely appropriative and damaging. I’ll tell you why:
- It is not just a word for cute. When non-Japanese people say something is “kawaii,” they are not simply saying something is cute. There are hella connotations and implications that come with the word. Which brings me to…
- The subtleties of Japanese pop culture, style, street fashion, etc. get completely lost on non-Japanese people. “Kawaii,” the way non-Japanese people use it, is like a 2-d projection of a very complex and multi-faceted subculture. The subversiveness and subtleties of things like Lolita and Harajuku culture are completely erased when taken out of context and away from actual Japanese people.
- “Kawaii” as an aesthetic contributes to the commodification and exotification of Japanese people. Japanese pop culture and style is not for your consumption. It is not for you to steal and make money off of. It is not for you to exploit. There is a very thin line between “appreciating” things from other cultures and appropriation. You are allowed to engage in Japanese pop culture, but chances are that your desire to consume it is rooted in some really deep exotification, which also ties into…
- Japanese people are not your prop or your costume, we are not here to be cute for you. “Kawaii” and its implications contribute to stereotypes about Asian people. We are not cute, quiet, submissive playthings for your enjoyment. The stereotype that all asian people are just docile is really damaging. I am not your asian bitch. I may be cute, but it’s not for you. We are radicals, we are angry, we fight. That shit isn’t “kawaii.”
- We are so much more than what you take from us.We aren’t just peace-sign loving girls in pigtails and school-girl outfits. We have an entire fucking culture and language that is incredibly rich and beautiful. “Kawaii” as a style just serves to make a caricature out of an entire culture and people.
So basically, if you’re not Japanese, don’t say “kawaii.” Just call it fucking cute. That way your words won’t carry racist implications and I won’t think you’re an asshole.
**This is just what I feel about the matter. My voice should not and does not represent all Japanese people. However, my voice calling this out should be enough for people to stop doing this. It is offensive. It is disrespectful. It is hurtful.
the fact that tumblr celebrates cersei empowering herself by abusing people and most especially women less enfranchised and powerful than her, women of the lower class and women of color, is disgusting.
no one’s trying to tell you that you can’t stan cersei or relate with her or love her, but if you’re denying her privilege and how it factors into her personality and enables the cruelty with which she treats oppressed people, people more socially oppressed than her, and painting her as a feminist icon, then you need to sit the fuck down and understand why some people might be uncomfortable with your behavior.
not all feminism revolves around white upper class women; no, scratch that. all feminism does revolve around those kind of women. its an oppressive more often pervasive in the movement and you’re only perpetuating and exacerbating it by your problematic cersei stanning, veiling your bullshit which is bereft of intersectionality as self-righteous social justice “feminism”, as if other views and opinions on feminism are invalid. and when you’re doing it in the defense of a woman who isn’t merely white, or merely upper class, but who is responsible or partly responsible for the murder, mutilation, physical and psychological abuse, and rape of women less empowered than her, acts that her privilege allows her to commit, you need to think about what the fuck you’re saying and question for once in your lifetime who’s being problematic here.
#cersei lannister is a great character but she is not the woman in this series to be most hailed #because she is not a feminist icon #she empowers herself but that doesn’t mean she empowers herself in a way that is healthy #cersei is a victim but she’s also an abuser
It is understandable why Dany is a fan favorite - she has a lot of potential to be a great, powerful, and interesting character. But there are aspects of her, and the choices that she makes, that should not be ignored or pushed to the wayside in order to contribute to this popular “badass” conception of her. Glorifying her is damaging and, in effect, misses the point, as she often serves in the books as a representation of white savior imperialism - a fact that must be acknowledged in order to adequately discuss her character.
Right. Okay. Let’s talk about this and how incredibly misguided it is to paint everything with two brushes, in black and white. I’m breaking this down one problematic statement at a time.
So, I have some thoughts:
If you are GRRM and make a “race” of people who have white skin and white/blonde hair, or as tumblr user danysbitchface describes them:
“They are, in fact, entirely other with their white hair and purple eyes. They’re the Real World equivalent of Albinos. Just because they made her white in the show doesn’t mean that she’s actually part of some dominant race.”
and then have one of their princesses become the queen of a “race” that is brown-skinned and described as “brutal” and “savage” and etc
that does not excuse you from being a colonist, racist shit. Even though danysbitchface says,
“Dany has no White Guilt over this people because she has no reason to. The Targaryens didn’t build an empire on the backs of Astapori slaves. There is no white savior complex here because there is no guilt. You’re looking for issues where there are none.”
this is a bunch of hooey, because here in the REAL WORLD white people did all of the above bad things to brown and black people as well as try to paternalistically control these people’s lives through economic, political, and social controls, and these Real World white people are reading GRRM’s books and getting these ideas reinforced in their heads as An Okay, A Very Good Thing especially because of a White-skinned, pigmentless princess is selflessly doing this Very Good Thing like freeing Brown people and giving them their lands and getting lauded and followed and basically worshiped.
Here in the Real World, POC read that kind of shit and roll their eyes.
GRRM OBVIOUSLY had NO CHOICE NOT TO MAKE HIS MADE-UP RACE of Targaryens with such lack of pigment and melanin. And NO CHOICE to have such a pale princess become the focus of adoration of all other peoples.
That has nothing to do with colorism and racism at all. Nothing to do with the practiced and unconscious preferment of white people.
People don’t magically lose their Real World context when they read and write books.
BTW there are albino people from every ethnicity. Not all albinos have blindlingly white skin.
“Here in the Real World, POC read that kind of shit and roll their eyes.”
“Here in the Real World, POC read that kind of shit and roll their eyes.”
The other thing about this “i don’t believe in consent lol” is how these bland, university of phoenix MA degree bitches are coming up with halfbaked ideas about tumblr based on their random observations and outright stalking, when there are so many amazing and thoughtful posts going around - particularly by WOC - explaining what tumblr is. There’s a wealth of brilliant thinking and conceptionalization happening around here about what this space is and how it’s being used in different ways, and what it all means in people’s lives. This shit is real and we’re living it. Every day I read posts that are lightyears ahead of any academic work discussing internet culture and communities.
And yet it’s going to be these basic white bitches’ ideas that will be published, circulated, and institutionalized as the standard way of thinking about the internet rather than the real voices and experiences here.
I’m an English major. It is a language of conquest.
What does it say that I’m mastering the same language that was used to make my mother feel inferior? Growing up, I had a white friend who used to laugh whenever my mother spoke English, amused by the way she rolled her r’s. My sister and I tease Mami about her accent too, but it’s different when we do it, or is it? The echoes of colonization linger in my voice. The weapons of the death squads that pushed my mother out of El Salvador were U.S.-funded. When Nixon promised, “We’re going to smash him!” it was said in his native tongue, and when the Chilean president he smashed used his last words to promise, “Long live Chile!” it was said in his. And when my family told me the story of my grandfather’s arrest by the dictatorship that followed, my grandfather stayed silent, and meeting his eyes, I cried, understanding that there were no words big enough for loss.
English is a language of conquest. I benefit from its richness, but I’m not exempt from its limitations. I am ‘that girl’ in your English classes, the one who is tired of talking about dead white dudes. But I’m still complicit with the system, reading nineteenth-century British literature to graduate.
Diversity in my high school and college English literature courses is too often reduced to a month, week, or day where the author of the book is seen as the narrator of the novel. The multiplicity of U.S. minority voices is palatably packaged into a singular representation for our consumption. I read Junot Díaz and now I understand not only the Dominican-American experience, but what it means to be Latina/o in America. Jhumpa Lahiri inspired me to study abroad in India. Sherman Alexie calls himself an Indian, so now it’s ok for me to call all Indians that, too. We will read Toni Morrison’s Beloved to understand the horrors of slavery, but we won’t watch her takedowns on white supremacy.
Even the English courses that analyze race and diasporas in meaningful ways are still limited by the time constraints of the semester. Reading Shakespeare is required, but reading Paolo Javier and Mónica de la Torre is extra credit. My Experimental Minority Writing class is cross-listed at the most difficult level, as a 400-level course in the Africana Studies, Latina/o Studies, and American Studies departments, but in my English department, it is listed as a 300-level. I am reminded of Orwellian democracy: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
I gave up two things
when I travelled back home,
white boys and alcohol,
‘cause they’re one and the same -
spitting demons down my tongue.
I’ve had enough of immigration
grantin’ visas with a side of
I turned my back to years of skinheads
trying to rub their paste off on me,
or letting boys chase the mango
nestled inside my two cinnamon sticks.
I’m tired of being the exotic jewel,
enough to the years of bein’ Spanish, Filipino, mixed?
I mean, what else could I be,
when eyes will only take what they wanna take.
My bed is no longer a communion for
the United Nations tryna civilize my brownness;
I burn them with my chilli lips
and choke them with my
If you want me, come get me.
reach through my cervix and rip
open my insides,
polish my blood stained
bones until they glow
like your skin,
puncture my third eye with
your victory flag,
and rejoice in conquering these
treacherous dead valleys;
wear my spine around your neck,
and let the world know!