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Archive for the ‘activism’ Category

Why We Should All Be Making a Fuss about Miley’s VMA Moves

In activism, gender, race on August 27, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Phoebe B.

Since the infamous Miley twerking incident at the VMAs, I’ve spent the last couple days following Facebook conversations—mostly by white liberals, of which I am one myself—on Miley’s performance. For the most part, white liberals have spent these threads arguing over whether or not to pay attention to this particular media event and if it really even matters. A few comments have suggested that “well-intentioned white liberals” are overreacting to Miley’s appropriation of black ratchet culture. This brand of dismissal is not only wrong on many counts, but also, I think, a big part of the problem.

Many of the conversations I have been following miss several truly important points about the history of white appropriation of black culture—and erase the participation of black voices from the discussion to boot.

UGH.

UGH.

As Dodai Stewart writes on Jezebel,

“basically, she, as a rich white woman, is “playing” at being a minority specifically from a lower socio-economic level. Along with the gold grill and some hand gestures, Miley straight-up appropriates the accoutrements associated with certain black people on the fringes of society.”

Miley is just one in a long line of stars who have appropriated parts of black culture for their own financial and image-remaking advantage. Indeed, Miley adopts this persona for power and profit, both of which are her reward for said appropriation. In her re-making of herself from Hannah Montana to … well, something else, she unapologetically uses black culture—and a specific vision and part of black culture—as a way to make her appear cool, hard-core, and badass. This brand of appropriation reinforces problematic and harmful stereotypes about black culture and reiterates that it is a-okay for a rich white girl to steal, use, and abuse any part of black culture that she sees fit (as she also de-historicizes and de-politicizes ratchet culture).

Read the rest of this entry »

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GLG Weekly Round-Up

In activism, gender, race, Weekly Round-Up on June 15, 2012 at 9:38 am

Here are some fun and interesting things the GLG folks read this week. What did you read this week? Let us know in the comments!

From the Racialicious Tumblr, debunking the Kumbaya myth.

Check out the awesome trailer for the upcoming Dear White People movie here and their Tumblr here.

What pop culture items do academics study most? Buffy? The Matrix? Find out the answer this week at Slate.

A recap of the misogynistic backlash to Anita Sarkeesian’s Kickstarted project about video games and misogyny, on Feminist Philosophers. And another post from Slate on this same topic.

Lastly: Going on a date this weekend? And looking for a perfume? Smell like Labyrinth! Check out Labyrinth-inspired perfumes over at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.

GLG Weekly Round-up: Race & the Media

In activism, race, violence, Weekly Round-Up on May 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

It has been a rather quiet week on GLG (mostly because we are having an in-person GLG reunion over here in Oregon) and we shall be back in full force next week. But, in the meantime here are some links on race & the media. Have a great weekend!

From Adrienne K. of Native Appropriations:
http://nativeappropriations.blogspot.com/2012/04/johnny-depp-as-tonto-im-still-not.html

Not from this week, but a great post from Herman Gray on Flow TV on race, space, and the media:
http://flowtv.org/2012/03/gloved-hands-pressed-uniforms/

From Thea Lim at Racialicious:
http://www.racialicious.com/2012/05/02/a-historical-guide-to-hipster-racism/

Also from Racialicious, Arturo Garcia on Ashton Kutcher in brownface (WTF!):
http://www.racialicious.com/2012/05/03/half-baked-popchips-and-ashton-kutchers-brownface-fiasco/#more-22466

From the Nation, a great post on Race, Racism, and Millenials:
http://www.thenation.com/blog/167590/race-millennials-and-reverse-discrimination

Lastly and importantly: race, violence, transphobia, and activism for Cece McDonald.
http://supportcece.wordpress.com/about-2/background/

An Interview with Dodie Bellamy

In activism, gender on April 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

Sarah T.

Dodie Bellamy is a force to be reckoned with: an experimental feminist writer and poet whose work pushes against boundaries of genre, form, and literary and social conventions. The author of the acclaimed The Letters of Mina Harker and numerous other works, Bellamy recently gained a passel of new admirers (including me) with the publication of her confessional memoir the buddhist.

the buddhist draws from Bellamy’s blog Belladodie to explore the emotional aftermath of her relationship with an unnamed, and perhaps unknowable, man. Writing about the memoir for Emily Books, Sady Doyle describes it as an effort “to reconcile the person you thought you knew with the damage you know you’ve suffered — to ‘integrate the trauma into acknowledged memory,’ as they say.” This effort, Doyle says, “can, under some circumstances, be a struggle to live.”

The vitality of the buddhist comes from the struggle that unfolds as Bellamy questions, fights, assures, and arm-wrestles herself and her memories. Not wanting the story that refuses to end to end for me as a reader — at least not just yet — I reached out to Bellamy to see if she would answer a few questions for Girls Like Giants. Happily, she obliged. Read on for Bellamy’s thoughts on blogging, boldness, and Charlotte Brontë.

One of the things I love about the buddhist is how you document your resistance to telling your story as you tell it. What was the value, for you, in pushing back against that resistance?

Beyond technical prowess, what makes writing compelling is the energy behind it, the tension, the charge.  I often write about material I feel resistance to, material that makes me uncomfortable, because that creates a charge for me, a sort of erotics of disclosure.

You’re one of the originators of the New Narrative movement [Ed: this is inaccurate! See below]. What relationship you see between the New Narrative and personal blogging—particularly in terms of writing about other people?

I’m not one of the originators of New Narrative, though I was a student of those originators when I was a young writer.  New Narrative was very much about using the personal in writing, and about forefronting the position of the writer, rather than he/she hiding like the Wizard of Oz behind a screen, pulling all the switches and levers.  New Narrative was also very interested in writing communities, how we’re not writing alone but among a community of peers, as well as historical communities of previous texts.  So, this emphasis on the personal and community make New Narrative highly compatible with personal blogging.  But there also was a focus on various experimental strategies in the work that’s more akin to poetry than what you see in most personal blogs.  It’s been a long hard road for me to feel okay about the sort of straightforwardness I perform in the buddhist.

Do you know if the buddhist himself has read your blog or book, or if he knew that you were writing about him? Does that matter to you?

Approximately four months before I finished the book, I told him in an email that I’d been blogging about him and was writing the book.  He said he hadn’t read the blog and that our worlds were so different, he was fine with my writing about him.  This was a brief exchange that surprised me, his permission, but it was very helpful for me, psychologically, in finishing the project.  To my knowledge, he hasn’t read the blog or the book, but I don’t really know.  When I was writing the blog, at first there was the fantasy of him reading it, that I was somehow communicating to him.  Now, no, it does not matter to me if he’s read any of this.  In an odd way, the project no longer feels about him, there have been so many layers of mediation in the writing of it. Read the rest of this entry »

Weekly Round-up: Arizona & the Ban on Ethnic Studies

In activism, Education, Ethnic Studies, race, Weekly Round-Up on April 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

The Arizona Unified School District is axing its Mexican-American studies program, thanks to the support of (and made possible by) AZ Governor Jan Brewer. The AUSD is blaming financial shortfall, but that seems to be quite the lie. The entire debacle is bad news bears, to put it mildly. So, here are a few links on the situation in the Southwest.

From Racialicious:
http://www.racialicious.com/2012/04/11/tucson-school-update-board-fires-award-winning-mexican-american-studies-director/#more-21764

From Huffignton Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/anger-reignited-over-ariz_0_n_1418876.html

From the Crunk Feminist Collective:
http://crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/white-womens-rage-5-thoughts-on-why-jan-brewer-should-keep-her-fingers-to-herself/

From The Daily Show:
The Daily Show

To stay up-to-date on what’s going on in Arizona:
http://saveethnicstudies.org/

GLG Weekly Round-up

In activism, race, Weekly Round-Up on April 6, 2012 at 11:28 am

This week, some important reads from around the web on Trayvon Martin and then a profile on Camila Vallejo, leader of Chile’s student protest movement, and a response to said profile.

From Ms. Magazine:
http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2012/04/03/from-emmett-till-to-trayvon-martin-how-black-women-turn-grief-into-action/

And, this is terrifying:
http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2012/04/heavily_armed_neo-nazis_patrol.php

“I am not Trayvon Martin” youtube video:
http://IamnotTrayvonMartinyoutubevideo

The New York Times profiles Camila Vallejo, the leader of Chile’s student protest movement:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/magazine/camila-vallejo-the-worlds-most-glamorous-revolutionary.html

And Bitch observes the sexism embedded in said profile:
http://bitchmagazine.org/post/wtf-files-new-york-times-camila-vallejo-the-world%E2%80%99s-most-glamorous-revolutionary-sexism-feminism-media

GLG Weekly Round-up: Trayvon Martin

In activism, race, violence, Weekly Round-Up on March 23, 2012 at 9:10 am

This week I want to dedicate the round-up to Trayvon Martin, race, and racism in the US. If you don’t yet know who he is, then now seems a pretty good time to get acquainted. And, if you have more links to share please please do so in the comments section.

Tim Wise on white denial & the unacceptable burden of blackness in America:
http://www.timwise.org/2012/03/trayvon-martin-white-denial-and-the-unacceptable-burden-of-blackness-in-america/

Images of the million hoodie march, from Racialicious:
http://www.racialicious.com/2012/03/22/images-the-million-hoodie-march/

From The Crunk Feminist Collective:
http://crunkfeministcollective.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/3459/

From the Atlantic, on the white savior industrial complex:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/#.T2n4oXMnvhc.facebook

And, take action for Trayvon Martin at Color of Change:
http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/Trayvon?referring_akid=2383.748504.Rua4Og&source=facebook

GLG Weekly Round-up: Women’s Health & Activism

In activism, reproductive health, Women's health on March 16, 2012 at 7:44 am

The assault on women’s health continues. Thus, here are some links on what’s going on this week — but also some links at the bottom for ways to get involved and stand up for women’s rights. And if you have links to share, please post away in the comments!

Some awesome female democrats in 6 different states put men’s health on the legislative table in Virginia:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/03/15/148695307/in-protest-democrats-zero-in-on-mens-reproductive-health?ps=cprs

From the Huffington Post, Cecile Richards responds to Mitt Romney’s statement that he would get rid of Planned Parenthood if elected President:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/cecile-richards-mitt-romney-planned-parenthood_n_1345479.html

Maureen Dowd on Hillary Clinton’s work to stop the attack on women’s rights:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/opinion/dowd-dont-tread-on-us.html?_r=1&src=tp&smid=fb-share

Women saying no to the GOP’s attempt to legislate control of their bodies, regardless of political affiliation:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/us/politics/centrist-women-tell-of-disenchantment-with-gop.html

An anti-abortion bill in Kansas includes a provision that would permit doctors to lie to pregnant women about the results of blood tests, amnios, and ultrasounds:
https://www.aclu.org/blog/reproductive-freedom/kansas-pregnant-women-little-lie-your-doctor-wont-hurt-you

Texas’s new law disqualifying Planned Parenthood from Medicaid coverage has now resulted in a loss of the state’s entire women’s health program:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/15/texas-loses-entire-womens_n_1349431.html

To take action with Planned Parenthood, click here. Or, want to support Planned Parenthood? Here is the link.

Take action with “Take Back the Night.” To learn more, click here.