With Love and Squalor

Drunk and Confused

155,326 notes

deznaomi:

In which Snoop Dogg doesn’t give a fuck about your gender policing, and 50 Cent continues to be way too concerned about the sexuality of other male rappers. 

One thing I always liked about Snoop is that he wears his hair in roller sets and pigtails, and does not give a crap about what anyone has to say.  This is gold

(Source: 2brwngrls, via fuckyeahlgbtqblackpeople)

468 notes

thewomanfromitaly:

my biggest zombie apocalypse fear has nothing to do with zombies, its what the all-powerful elite who will inevitably survive it all with mansions-turned-fortresses and extensive supplies coming back and re-instating an even more vicious kyriarchal government, now with a lack of organized moral resistance. because most everyone is fucking dead.

(via peggingwithmalik)

81 notes

A methodological strategy that consults transsexuals and allows them to validate (or modify) the research findings is particularly significant given that transgendered people are seldom consulted in the studies, articles, monographs, and books written about them. It is extremely rare that they are given the opportunity to approve how the data of their lives is interpreted.
Viviane Namaste, Invisible Lives: The Erasure of Transsexual and Transgendered People

(Source: transfeminism)

100 notes

Any person who makes everyone happy is not real, and the Mandela that does so is not the real Mandela but the one the world has constructed, removing the parts of the man some people did not like.

Many use this Mandela to project themselves as real defenders of his legacy while not living according to his values and disregarding what he stood for.

Like hypocrites in religion, they only extract what makes them happy from Mandela and disregard the rest.

It is an image of a very liberal Nelson Mandela who expected South Africa to be perfect within a very short space of time.

It’s an image of a man who is a messiah, who delivered freedom and democracy to South Africa single handedly.

This cropped out image of Mandela from the real one is ingrained in the minds of those who resist transformation and economic freedom of black people Mandela fought for.

These anti-transformation, anti-justice and very ignorant people use this image to protect what they have.

They easily tell people to “get over apartheid” which Mandela spent his life fighting against.

Extract from South African student activist and writer 's piece “There is a Mandela we should all reject and hate”.

Any op-ed piece about Nelson Mandela that doesn’t take on the usual peace-loving, always smiling, ‘Rainbow Nation’ messiah format will undoubtedly be met with great criticism and anger from those who were sold and bought into this image of the late anti-apartheid leader and human rights activist (seriously, just read the comments under the article).

But the fact of the matter remains that Mandela did not become a pivotal anti-apartheid figure by establishing himself as everyone’s favourite docile father-figure. From with his early days as a lawyer and later with the African National Congress (ANC), Mandela was a radical who was deemed a terrorist by the West and co-founded the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Zulu for ‘spear of the nation/people’). During and after his time spent incarcerated on Robben Island, Mandela made many statements that would not sit well with many who in turn seem to calculatedly omit when reflecting on the importance of Madiba’s legacy.

This is not to say that we cannot or should not refer to Mandela’s social and political views and policies when analyzing the current state of the ANC. It’s clear that in many ways, the current ruling party has failed to deliver on promises made as far back s the 1990s. The danger lies when people use Mandela’s words against each other, for their own gain, or as a means of erasure. Citing the term ‘rainbow nation’ as a case for why affirmative action is irrelevant (because apartheid is over and we’re all equal now) is not only ignorant but spits in the face of justice and true reform.

Too often, leaders not from the West are often cast in one-dimensional roles that make them out to either be heroes or villains with no in-betweens when we know that history and politics are always exceptionally complex.

As Hasane so aptly puts it, there’s a difference between ‘getting over apartheid’, and forgiving as a necessary part of the healing process but in no way forgetting the atrocities and injustices of the past. We’d also do well to remember that Mandela was no saint, nor was he perfect in any way. There is no single Mandela story.

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(via dynamicafrica)

(via criticalforest)

1,216 notes

Angry Girl Review: Eleanor and Park

angrygirlcomics:

One time in college I turned in an essay and my professor underlined a sentence I’d written and told me it wasn’t the appropriate register for a university essay and I have crazy respect for her so I tailored my papers for the rest of the semester but this isn’t a university essay so I’ll start off with

WHAT

THE FUCK

WAS THAT

Let’s start with the most glaringly obvious: the racism! 

The sad thing is that half these descriptions are obviously supposed to be flattering except they’re… not… 

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Wow ninjas and East Asia what a novel concept wow 

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Wow because East Asian men aren’t emasculated in American media at all

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THIS KIND OF SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.

by the way this is so very Memoirs of a Geisha-y because Park happens to be a half-Korean kid who LOOKS more Asian than his brother

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But Park has green eyes!!!!! so magical!!!! So EXOTIC!!! Also “almond-flavored” please that’s not the most cliched description for Asian eyes in the book

Here have some more grossness around those oh-so-exotic “Asian” eyes

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Please let that sink in for a moment. Like Ming the Merciless. Who, as you might know from the Flash Gordon comic, was originally introduced in 1934 and is a pretty clear stand-in for, uh… yellow peril. upon googling, looks like this:

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Sooo…. yeah.

But then Park has a couple of self-hating moments where he of course implies that Asian women have it easier:

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"White guys think they’re exotic". And that is flattering why, Park? "Exotic", really? And Eleanor isn’t exactly doing a great job of not contributing to this harmful mentality when she explicitly thinks that he’s "prettier than any girl". Again:

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But then!!! Eleanor makes it all better!!! By saying this!! In the middle of a STEAMY LOVE SCENE!!!! (which by the way neither steamy nor lovely just creeped me out a lot because of the following passage):

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This Othering, this fetishization, does not stop through the entire book. Finally, we get towards the end: 

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So no, Eleanor never gets over Othering her boyfriend.

Wait hold on Asian women don’t get a pass either, as Park’s mom is painted as the oppressive parent who doesn’t like “weird white girls”, but according to Eleanor…

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"his" Dainty China person because of course Park’s mom isn’t a person, but a literal object to be moved and shifted according to the whim’s of Park’s dad, a Korean war vet. 

Here have some more bad stereotyping of Asian women as “thin pretty and petite” and Eleanor’s own self-hatred and fat-shaming:

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Black women aren’t exempt from being props to uphold Eleanor either. Her two “friends” at school (I say “friends” in quotes because they don’t really comment on anything except how cute Park is and they all make fun of those OTHER nasty white girls in gym class together), oh, and Rainbow Rowell writes them like this:

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"It was an honor that they’d let her into their club"…the "you’re not like THOSE white people club???" 

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"I got a man", REALLY??? 

Park’s “Asian”-ness As Other and He Could Have Been Edward Cullen, What is the Goddamn Difference

I would have felt better if Rainbow Rowell had written Park as a vampire or a werewolf or some other inhuman creature, the stuff of teen girl YA fantasy because a) vampires and werewolves don’t actually exist and therefore you can write them any way you want, albiet cliched, whatever—at least you’re not contributing to some very harmful societal stereotypes. 

Park, as you can see from the previous citations, is written out to be this “edgy” indie boy who wears eyeliner and listens to the Smiths (which wow I rolled my eyes at) and is also a loner at school in and his edginess and “magic” make him stand out in much the same way a vampire or a werewolf or otherwise nonhuman creature would. These descriptions of Park really made me think of Twilight and no, not because they are things that “normal” teen girls say or think but because we’ve seen this archetype of, for lack of better word, “magical boy” that comes barging into sad-manic-pixie-dream-girl’s-but-not-like-the-other-girls’-life and sweeps her off her feet:

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How artsy, edgy, and NOT PREPPY, he wears all black.

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Who else had a face “like a chiseled marble statue in its perfection”? (psst, it was Edward Cullen)

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who else was described as “godlike” “angelic” and all that crap? Vampire boy Edward Cullen. Louis and Lestat and Claudia, all of our favorite too-gorgeous-to-be-real fairytale creatures.

But when you use those kinds of descriptors for a character who is very visibly POC and then give them an uncommon feature like ~green eyes~, do they not become a kind of mythical creature in, the stuff of exotic fantasy? Do they then become dehumanized and not real, only the kind of boyfriend a girl can aspire to get?

The answer, of course, is yes. But dreaming about dating a vampire or a werewolf is so very different and again does not carry the same weight as being hellbent on dating a ~perfect Asian boy~. Because at this point it is not about Park. This is not Park’s story, even though he shares half the title. This is Eleanor’s story, the manic pixie “not like the other girls” girl, with her crazy red hair and her weird clothes and her desire to get away from it all. 

Eleanor’s entire story is painted on a canvas of abuse and neglect and sadness, so of course she needs some magical boy to literally swoop in and save her— at the end, Park takes her to Minnesota where her uncle lives, away from the safety of her stepfather who is out for her blood. Eleanor is the most precious person in the world to Park, so much that he doesn’t care about his family anymore and the only person he cares about is her. How the hell is that any kind of healthy way to have a relationship?

Park’s Asian-ness is only brought up in the context that it is different to what Eleanor is used to, that it is EXOTIC and MAGICAL and because of that she likes him. No, but it’s in the text, where Eleanor openly admits to fetishizing:

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I didn’t end up CARING about Eleanor’s family situation at all. Her relationship with her mother was completely one-dimensional, as was the relationship with her siblings and her stepfather. It was almost as though the backstory was there to make Eleanor more sympathetic to the reader, which as a reader I didn’t end up buying because there was literally no depth to any of it.

Similarly, Park’s relationship with his parents is weird and disturbing and also one-sided. His mom speaks broken English and is demure but madly in love with his dad, who, need I remind you, “liberated” her from her oppressive country. Miss Saigon, anyone? Park’s dad is typical American machismo, a simple kinda guy, but at heart a good one. I feel like the PARENTS’ relationship was something I was more interested in than Eleanor or Park, had it not been written like a weird yellow-fever wet dream, where the white dude comes home and just makes out with the Asian woman all the time and she stays home and tends to their perfect house and their perfect family. 

Rainbow Rowell has explicitly stated in an interview that one of her inspirations for writing Eleanor and Park and for making Park Korean was that her father had been in the Korean War:

1. My father served in Korea, in the Army.

This is probably the most obvious explanation.

My parents separated when I was in the second grade, and I never knew my dad that well. I didn’t grow up with him around. But I remember being fascinated by the fact that he was in the military – and stationed in a place where there had been an actual war, even though he was there decades after the worst of it.

There was this photo of him, in uniform, hanging over my grandmother’s coffee table – an unrecognizable teenager with short hair and tiny wire-rimmed glasses.

Every once in a while, if he’d had a few drinks, my dad would talk about the Army. How he signed up at 17 to avoid getting drafted and sent to Vietnam. The Army wouldn’t send a 17-year-old to Vietnam, he said. (I have no idea if this, or much else my dad told me, is true.)

He was especially proud of having protested the Vietnam War while he was in Korea. There was a clipping from a military newspaper with photos of the protest. I was 12 or 13 when he showed me this, and I definitely didn’t get it.

Over the years, I’ve had people tell me I must be confused about my dad, that there weren’t Americans soldiers left in Korea in the ‘70s. But there are still American soldiers in South Korea. We never left.

Anyway, the other thing my dad would talk about, every once in a while, was a girl he’d known in Korea. My mom says he carried this Korean girl’s photo in his wallet for years after he came home. He’d been in love with her; my mom thought he still was.

I used to wonder about that girl. About how he met her. Whether she spoke English. Whether she was his age. Whether it was some secret love affair, or something her friends and family knew about … What if she was his soulmate?

What if fate and circumstance and the U.S. government had come together to deliver my father across the continents to his soulmate – and he just left her there.

He could have stayed, I thought. He could have brought her back. Omaha is a military town; people bring wives and husbands back from all over.

I remember being so angry with him. First for leaving the person he was meant to be with; then for leaving my mom, the person he wasn’t meant to be with; and then for leaving all my brothers and sisters and me in his wake.

So … in Eleanor & Park, Park’s dad gets sent to Korea because his brother has died in combat in Vietnam. He meets his soulmate there. And he brings her home. 

He “liberates” her. And puts her in his pocket like a China Doll, right?

These were only a few selections out of the many, many in the novel. Over and over again we’re slammed in the face with the fact that Park is Asian, he’s half-Korean, but only in the way he looks and almost always in the context of his relationship with Eleanor, never by himself. Half the book is supposedly written from Park’s perspective but he never really introspects on his identity except during that scene when he’s with Eleanor, bitter that there aren’t any “hot Asian guys.” Not even Asian AMERICAN, just “Asian”. As though the author were not aware of the hybrid culture that exists in the country—maybe because Park’s “the only Korean in Omaha?”

What first love story is there to tell? They start off hating each other and he makes her a mixtape and asks if she listens to the Smiths, and given that this book came out after Five Hundred Days of Summer… 

I’m not sure what the point of the book was. To make people want hot Asian boyfriends?

This read like bad Tamora Pierce Circle of Magic Trisana Chandler/Briar Moss AU fic.

(via feministcharacters)

Filed under eleanor and park fetishization tw

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