anthropomorphic talking animals or inanimate objects: okay
mythological beasts/deities: cool
modern ideas of “historical” clothing: sure
poc: WHOA THERE NOW THAT’S NOT HISTORICALLY ACCURATE THEY DIDN’T EXIST ANYWHERE BEFORE THE 1800s AND IF THEY DID THEY WERE SLAVES
The Hypersexuality of Race: Reading and Discussion Panel
Professor Celine Parrenas-Shimizu, Asian American Studies, UC Santa Barbara is the author of the recently published book, The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian/American Women on Screen and Scene. This book analyzes the production of sexuality for Asian women in western modern moving image visual cultures such as early cinema, stag films, contemporary pornography, Hollywood blockbusters, musicals and independent sexually explicit media by Asian American women.
"Asian American women didn’t have access to being the lead in a Hollywood romantic Hollywood movie…So these women were somehow fighting for access to representations that better reflected their realities? And somehow wanted to contribute to those representations, and those representations were somehow engaging sexuality?
So they were somehow saying that ‘yes indeed, sexuality(/stereotypes) that somehow imposed upon me, or a sexuality being demanded of me. But I’m going to engage it somehow and converse with it and try to author it in my own various ways’ “.
Start at 5:00!
OH MY GODDDDDDD MY HEAD IS EXPLODING I CAN’T
So basically this badass lecture by FILIPINA-AMERICAN (<333) professor hits ALL THE POINTS of issues having to do w/:
-feminism, sexuality, sexualization, representation, power of images/media/imagery/the consumption of such images, racism, and agency.
Give it a listen if you have time. SO GOOD.
BIGGEST PLOT TWIST! MUST WATCH.
LMFAO THIS WAS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER FUCKING SEEN
Junot Díaz & Peter Sagal: Immigrants, Masculinity, Nerds, & Art
In the imagined terrain of Mirch Masala, in some ways, the women metaphorically blind “the male gaze” which looked upon them as a hot spice. In the ﬁnal succession of shots, the Subedar is brought to his knees, reminiscent of Sonbai’s ﬁrst encounter with him, when full of his power as a man and a representative of the colonial power, he had ﬂirted with Sonbai; at the level of metaphor, the women destroy the power of his lustful gaze, at least temporarily.
[And] amid slow dissolves of showers of red chili powder and the Subedar screaming in pain, Sonbai with her sickle stands still in the foreground. In the rather abrupt concluding freeze-frame shot, she is seen in a medium close-up shot with the sickle in her hand. Perhaps Ketan Mehta wants us to see Sonbai as the leader of a successful rebellion. But the last image demands of the viewer further questions about the issues of power relations that govern women’s lives. The successful act of resistance of the women does not end here. The use of the chili powder has helped them recognize themselves as powerful agents who have only just begun their work. The sickle in Sonbai’s hand reinscribes the past history of similar peasant struggles onto the concluding freeze frame.
—BEHEROZE F. SHROFF Chili Peppers as Tools of Resistance: Ketan Mehta’s Mirch Masala
No, I think that the number is actually just really small. It bothers me so much. I’ve looked and looked but I’ve only found a handful of African American women cartoonists. I haven’t even been able to wager a solid guess as to why we see so few black women doing comics.
It is obviously a cultural problem of some kind. In our kind of comics, there isn’t anybody to overtly prevent anyone from participating. There are no cultural gatekeepers to exclude or dissuade black women from participating in indie comics. So the question of why black women are not nearly as represented in indie comics seems to be a question of access or exposure.
This ties into my yelling about public comics such as newspaper strips, poster-comics and the like. If comics as an art form are contained to a cyclical ecosystem, we need to intentionally break comics out of that ecosystem. Explore new venues to put this work into the grasp of all people, everywhere. If some groups of people don’t frequent places where comics are found, then find those people and bring comics TO them.
That’s how I feel about what should be done to cultivate a more widespread interest. But I’m still terribly hazy on the initial question of how it came to be this way in the first place.
Black people go where we are wanted—or at the very least, tolerated. This is not due to laziness, or the lack of a desire to push beyond the boundaries of what is “suitably black.” This is done to protect our lives, our livelihoods, and our income.
The reason why black people do not have a larger presence in comics now is because we were actively pushed out then. White newsprint makers refused to sell newsprint to black comic publishers such as Orrin C. Evans. White creators used anti-black caricatures such as Ebony White (derived from antiquated slave imagery depicting black people as hideous beats) in their works. Finally, the demise of the black newspaper meant that the one place openly hospitable to black cartoonists had been lost. Of course, there were white organizations such as Esquire who would hire African American artists, but the race of the gentlemen (not women) hired remained an industry secret. To the mainstream public, the comics industry was simply not an option for black people—and was a place where they could be ridiculed for entertainment purposes. And for the rare black individuals who forged ahead anyway? It was undoubtedly rough.
But you’ve asked about black female indie cartoonists and you’ve asked about the present, not the past. But the answer is the same, we go where we believe we are wanted or tolerated. And we know it’s safe when we see positive reflections of ourselves. Those reflections are found mainly in mainstream superhero books. Of course, there are no black women working at the “big seven” in a creative or editorial capacity, but we are there within the panels. And those panels get a great deal of publicity. Storm and Vixen are brought to the mainstream via Marvel’s and DC’s PR behemoths. Black women see these characters and assume that there is a place for them (leading to disappointment upon the discovery of the true mainstream industry behind the four-color curtain). These women add to mainstream comic culture through fan art and fanfiction—and some move onto original superhero characters.
The indie/DIY scene is actually more hospitable to black women than the mainstream industry. Anyone is welcome to grab a pen, hang a shingle, and do their own thing. You can actually find a small number of black women creating and editing comics. But these women aren’t broadcast to the public. The image of the indie scene that is pushed to the public—the media focus—is one of the navel-gazing white guy. The black women hustling on the web? The ones trying to make things happen via Kickstarter? They are invisible.
I founded the Ormes Society in the hopes of making these amazing women visible to the mainstream. It is my hope that the followers the Ormes Society has attracted will sample the works of these women after perusing the latest scans of Storm or Vixen—that not only will they absorb positive images of fictional black women, but they will read the words of real ones as well. The more these women are seen, the more other women will follow.
(I plan to drag as many in as I possibly can.)
Darryl’s tumblr essays are always thoughtful. Also, do head to that Ormes Society link.
When Young Black Girls Actually Had
Something to Look At…
And every show gave a positive outlook for black girls.
And they weren’t just blankly “positive” in that they were one-dimensional and just “reactive” to stereotypes. These shows included nuanced stories where there were repercussions for mistakes, lessons learned, identities formed. They were…human. And all of these were amazing. <3
A new hero comes to the Marvel Universe next year with her own all-new solo title. Following the epic events of INFINITY, a 16-year-old Muslim girl from New Jersey discovers extraordinary body-morphing powers and follows in the footsteps of her idol, Captain Marvel, to become the new Ms. Marvel.
From the creative team of G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, MS. MARVEL launches in February 2014. We spoke to Wilson and series editor Sana Amanat about what readers can expect
Marvel.com: Who is the new Ms. Marvel, and what makes her different?
G. Willow Wilson: The Ms. Marvel mantle has passed to Kamala Khan, a high school student from Jersey City who struggles to reconcile being an American teenager with the conservative customs of her Pakistani Muslim family. So in a sense, she has a “dual identity” before she even puts on a super hero costume. Like a lot of children of immigrants, she feels torn between two worlds: the family she loves, but which drives her crazy, and her peers, who don’t really understand what her home life is like.
This makes her tough and vulnerable at the same time. When you try to straddle two worlds, one of the first things you learn is that instead of defending good people from bad people, you have to spend a lot of time defending good people from each other. It’s both illuminating and emotionally brutal. That’s what makes this book different.
Marvel.com: Where does this new Ms. Marvel fit in to the Marvel Universe? Will we see her interact with Captain Marvel?
G. Willow Wilson: We will see her interact with the wider Marvel Universe, and since Captain Marvel is a personal hero of hers, that’s definitely in the mix.
Sana Amanat: Also, as you’ll discover in the story, Kamala is a part of a much larger event in the Marvel U—which she won’t really understand the ramifications of until later down the road. We will definitely get there; we just want you to get to know Kamala first.
Marvel.com: What’s Kamala up against in the first storyline?
G. Willow Wilson: In the first arc, Kamala is her own primary obstacle. She has to grapple with overwhelming new powers, decide whether it’s safe to tell anybody, and juggle becoming a teen super hero with the expectations of her conservative, Pakistani family.
It’s an origin story in every sense of the word. She’s so young—only 16—that the normal trials and tribulations of being in high school are still very much a part of her life, even as she’s becoming something different and amazing. Crises. Kebabs. Coming-of-age. It’s all there.
Marvel.com: You’re working with the extraordinarily talented Adrian Alphona. What does he bring to the title that makes it special?
G. Willow Wilson: Adrian totally “gets” what this series is about. Kamala is, as he himself put it, “an off-kilter girl with off-kilter powers,” and his distinctive style is so suited to Kamala’s story—it really works. I love seeing his character sketches pop up in my inbox because they’re such a visual treat. He has a real sense of the unexpected. I’m very excited to be working with him.
Sana Amanat: It’s absolutely amazing to have Adrian onboard. He’s already proved himself to be a master at imagining new settings and distinctive characters. With MS. MARVEL, he does the same and pushes the boundaries even more. Adrian will introduce you to a world so authentic and visually stunning; you’ll be constantly entertained and enchanted.
Marvel.com: This is the first time a Muslim character has headlined a book at Marvel. How important is the character’s faith to the title?
G. Willow Wilson: Islam is both an essential part of her identity and something she struggles mightily with. She’s not a poster girl for the religion, or some kind of token minority. She does not cover her hair –most American Muslim women don’t—and she’s going through a rebellious phase. She wants to go to parties and stay out past 9 PM and feel “normal.” Yet at the same time, she feels the need to defend her family and their beliefs.
Sana Amanat: As much as Islam is a part of Kamala’s identity, this book isn’t preaching about religion or the Islamic faith in particular. It’s about what happens when you struggle with the labels imposed on you, and how that forms your sense of self. It’s a struggle we’ve all faced in one form or another, and isn’t just particular to Kamala because she’s Muslim. Her religion is just one aspect of the many ways she defines herself.
Marvel.com: Do you think this book faces any unusual challenges?
G. Willow Wilson: I think it faces some unusual challenges, but they come on top of a whole bunch of usual ones, i.e., getting people to pick up a book with a fresh face on it. Convincing readers that new and different can be new and good.
So, readers! Let me put your minds at ease: this is new and good. We have put a ton of energy and hilarity and pathos into this project. The last thing I wanted to do was write some grim manifesto about a Muslim girl in America. To me, the first rule of Write Club is, “make it fun to read.”
Cool stuff, but is Kamala a commonly used Muslim name? I’ve only ever heard of Hindus using it. Regardless, it’s about damn time!
today I’m feeling particularly down (actually this whole week) and I think talking about one of my worst memories, which cycles over and over again in my head always in moments like these, might make me feel better.
so I’m Han Chinese, and I speak Mandarin. I immigrated to the states when I was young.
of course I was always made fun of for not pronouncing words correctly; it’s still irksome to me (might be triggering even, since sometimes this destroys my mood/turns me off completely) when people correct my English to this day. I can’t help it.
so in 3rd grade I had a white teacher I really loved. thinking back on all my teachers I had she was one of the best. reflecting back on this thus makes me especially upset.
we had to call our parents to ask for permission for something, might have been for a field trip. that detail is fuzzy. but what isn’t fuzzy but rather crystal clear and sharp is that when I was calling my mom and speaking in Mandarin, the whole class had turned quiet to stare at me.
then everyone (a class w/majority white kids), and I mean everyone, including my teacher, burst out into laughter.
and out of nervousness and humilitation I peed my pants. ran to the bathroom and stayed there pretty much all day.
and this was back when I was living in poverty and I didn’t want to tell my mom that I had wet my pants because I felt like such a big baby but that meant I couldn’t wash my pants because laundry day wasn’t coming up and I didn’t have many pants to wear so I had to rewear those pants.
next day I come back and kids said “sorry for making you upset, it’s just you sounded funny.”
my natural home tongue language sounds funny but my english also sounds funny. and the implications of what this means will stay with me.
no matter what, this is what I always remember when people, especially white people because most POC I know are trying to regain their own languages or studying a romance language (and quite frankly POC don’t act like this towards me), are so excited and demand me to perform my language for them or when they want me to practice speaking Mandarin with them or when they detail all their hard work in learning Mandarin for business or whatever.
this is so common: my culture is both despised or demonized yet exoticized for consumption while the people who are part of it are treated like circus freaks.
so white folks:
we POC spend a lot of time either consciously or unconsciously rejecting our languages to be more like you, because of this racist systemic bullying, while you’re here making a lot more money than a lot of us and spending it to decorate your resume with “new” languages and going to “foreign” countries as a backdrop to *your* learning experience. i know white people who go to china yearly and/or speak better Mandarin than me when I can’t even afford to go back to visit my own family more than once every 7-8 or so years and it really kills me a little bit when I hear these things.
not to mention how “cool” it is that white people can speak Mandarin but it’s *expected* of me otherwise I’m not really “chinese enough”/”lol you are a banana yellow outside white inside.” Yet I’m “too chinese” when I do practice parts of my culture and my language. whatever the situation demands, whiteness twists.
and recently, i’ve tried to consider this deeply when I’m learning Spanish because I live in Arizona and I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a visibly Latin@ teacher here, teaching a bunch of privileged kids your own language when they are barely making an effort/using it without any consideration of its worth and when you yourself are penalized and suffering from white supremacy for existing as Latin@ and speaking Spanish. I just can’t and I’m just so deeply angry/sorry.
so just…when you’re learning a “new” language white folks (remember, new to who?), you need to understand that this is what POC who already speak these languages face and how intimately language and culture and race tie together.
I have so many complicated feelings about my racial and cultural identities because of stories just like this one. A few examples I can remember off the top of my head:
- Random strangers have asked to touch my hair before. Other strangers have done so without even asking or waiting for a reply.
- My mom has been stopped in public multiple times by white people who wanted her to write out their name in Chinese, or speak a few words for them to gawk at.
- When I was younger I dealt with bullying at school because the food I brought from home was different.
- I have an endless number of stories about weeaboos/Japanophiles saying ridiculous shit or fetishizing me.
Things like this have made me ashamed of my culture at the same time that I am supposed to be proud of it. It’s really messed up how whiteness and white supremacy are the designated gatekeepers of all of this. It’s like everyone wants to be me at the same time that they don’t want to be me.
immediately reblogging because i have instant and forever feels about what’s discussed in both these posts and asl;kfdjsfgl;hjal;fdkhsgfj;lkasjgfkhakjgfh;sdjkgn;dkfhg;lakfjd;khadf
i wish i could write something coherent but all i can do is silently rage and cry in my head
lots of good conversation happening but at separate reblogs (ugh tumblr i hate you sometimes) so i’m consolidating a few posts and tagging people in them.
Re: what is reblogged above
yes, to those bullet points. happens all the time. and i haven’t even gotten into what my dad experiences at the work place or my mom whenever she’s trying to buy anything more complicated than groceries without me…
The bolded is everything I’ve been trying to say forever. I wrote THIS blog post two years ago about the new trend in white people speaking Spanish and becoming Spanish teachers and how this constitutes a form of cultural appropriation and I got called every name in the book because how dare I stop white people from learning Spanish when it’s a white language to begin with etc etc etc and I was juts STUNNED at the level of ignorance and privilege they displayed. One of my earliest memories is my dad scolding me for speaking Sinhala and telling me to speak English, so when I see white folks adding ‘exotic’ languages to their resume like beads and then getting praise for ‘being well rounded’ I’m like HELLO POC have been well rounded forever, we’re STILL better rounded than most white people but I guess the things we do like codeswitching and synthesizing cultures doesn’t count because of our brown skin.
I could go on and on about this.
So much this, also the blog post is so good about Spanish language cultural appropriation. One thing I definitely notice is how divorced the realities of violence from inhabiting a language are from the classroom; not once do the Latin@ teachers i’ve had talk about SB1070 or arizona’s prison industrial complex/white supremacy but it’s so clear to me that the stifling of Latin@ and Indigenous history/culture is affecting university policies if not de jure then certainly de facto. silencing in an “freedom of speech” academic place…surprise surprise.
perfectly articulated. i can’t even imagine how many times white folks have teased me about my “esl” tendencies. english has been my first language since i was 3. tagalog has unfortunately been wiped from my tongue since i started school because, like most parents, my nanay and tatay thought it’d be easier for me and my brother to speak english. now, i’m without a mother tongue; at family gatherings my family scolds me for not keeping the language (how could a 5 year old have known?) and amongst my white friends, even the slightest nuances in pronunciation in english words are taunted.
philippines, a small country with one of the largest english speaking populations in the world, is slowly losing its language within its nation borders. tagalog and other dialects slowly “evolve” into taglish (a combination of tagalog and english). more and more english loan words are entering the language, but the way that i see it, this linguistic colonization is just another way to invade into our land, bodies, and minds as our traditional words are scraped out and replaced with words based on economy and standardized on whiteness. i look to english and see that the only tagalog word that’s entered into its lexicon is “boondocks” meaning a remote or isolated country. it’s quite telling to see the forces of whiteness infiltrating and appropriating even the most remote and sacred landscapes.
thank you for sharing about your exp with tagalog and Filipin@ history (i don’t even know if this is an appropriate title, there are lots of posts about rejecting colonialist given names).
i bolded some parts for emphasis, “linguistic colonization” is something i think about a lot. because for me even if i can regain my abilities in Mandarin I feel like i cannot escape white thinking because i’ll be translating from english to Mandarin without actually capturing the essence of meaning, that relearning the history of China will always be from a western perspective.
lots of love to fellow POC and their struggles w/their languages and dialects.