There are interesting, usually unasked, questions that are unintentionally answered in the course of discussion. I’m always fascinated by the views others provide you when they engage people. Those views always prove useful in future interactions/discussions.
To paraphrase George Orwell, white people have prejudices about people of color because American culture has normalized whiteness, but the fact that people of color act “differently” further entrenches the “obvious correctness” of a white cultural norm.
Why is it normal to eat with a fork instead of chopsticks?
Why is it normal for a man to wear a suit to a business meeting instead of a loose, colorfully printed robe?
Why is it normal to sit in a chair instead of on the floor?
Why is a woman in a long gown and a bonnet accepted — archaic, perhaps, but accepted? Why is a nun wearing a black gown and habit accepted? Why is a woman in a burka and hijab somehow threatening?
Why do we teach the way we do? Write our laws the way we do? In short, why is our society the way it is?
“When a white person says ‘It’s not about race,’ they are pretty much always saying it when a Black person, or a Latino person, or a Muslim person is not acting the way a white European would act or wants them to act.”
Well, it looks like Disney is doubling down on the bullshit. They made a Maui costume, complete with a stereotypical grass skirt and blackface, for children to wear this Halloween. Retails for
$49. You can be racist for free.
If you feel the need to buy this for anyone, please hand your children over to CPS and sterilize yourself.
Today in things everyone’s been saying for fifty years:
A study was published this week which concluded that extended exposure to Disney princesses and the surrounding culture is detrimental to children’s health, confidence, and ability to function in society.
Lots of engagement with princess culture (whether through movies or toys) can lead to gender-stereotypical behavior as well as self-critical body image.
The strict gender stereotypes can become problematic, Coyne observes, if they hold girls back. “We know that girls who strongly adhere to female gender stereotypes feel like they can’t do some things,” Coyne said. “They’re not as confident that they can do well in math and science. They don’t like getting dirty, so they’re less likely to try and experiment with things.”
The researchers found that 96 percent of girls and 87 percent of boys had viewed Disney princess media. Meanwhile, more than 61 percent of girls played with princess toys at least once a week, while only 4 percent of boys did the same.
“Disney princesses represent some of the first examples of exposure to the thin ideal,” Coyne said, echoing the many princess and Barbie critics who have come before her. “As women, we get it our whole lives, and it really does start at the Disney princess level, at age 3 and 4.” (In a recent devotional address at Brigham Young, Coyne even went so far as to dub women’s low self-esteem regarding their bodies as “one of Satan’s greatest weapons.”)
Coyne’s findings join a long line of similar warnings, declarations, and theories, most notably Peggy Orenstein’s groundbreaking 2011 book, “Cinderella Ate My Daughter,” which chillingly laid out the dark side of Disney princesses, American Girl Dolls, and other commercialized girl cultures. Follow-ups included Jennifer Hartstein’s Princess Recovery and Rebecca Hains’s The Princess Problem. Recent actions, including a 2013petition drive objecting to Disney’s sexy redesign of Princess Merida of Brave, in preparation for her official induction in the Disney Princess Collection, informed Coyne’s research.
It’s interesting to see the complaints people have about these customers suing Starbucks for underfilled cups of coffee. Is this a symptom of people not knowing what an advertisement means? If you ask and pay for an eighteen ounce cup of coffee, and the server hands you fourteen ounces in a twenty ounce cup, you should, in a reasonable society, be entitled to those four ounces (either in the form of the purchased liquid or money back). That’s not a “first world problem”, that’s how monetary exchange functions. Do these people even understand that an eighteen ounce drink doesn’t go into an eighteen ounce cup, so there’s no way it’d spill on you? Keep in mind, by the way, that these people calling for Starbucks customers to get a reality check or “give money to the homeless” are the same ones who spend two to four hundred dollars on a cell phone, then cry like babies about how three of their sixty-four gigabytes are being taken up by a shitty U2 album. My math may very well be off, but I’m pretty sure you could feed way more people with two hundred dollars than you could with seven dollars and fifty cents. And, to my knowledge, not only can you not eat a cell phone, but that (most of your unnecessary electronics, actually) handheld device was brought to you by illegal child labor. So, yeah, people… Cool it with the hissy fit. And learn to multitask. Most adults can sue a company for not giving them what they paid for and contribute to several non-profits at the same time.
The reasons why these teenagers cut their hair isn’t connected to aesthetic at all. It IS connected to respectability politics, shame, and white supremacy, though.
Perry’s remark that not only these kids’, but his own, natural hair is an “unkempt frosh” reeks of self-hatred that that is only compounded with Steve’s kowtow in the form of a forcibly squared hairline (a method employed by paler men to appear more racially ambiguous (as larger heads, sharper hairlines, and higher foreheads are traits of white people)). There is nothing powerful about feeling as if you need to assimilate into a society that makes no effort to disguise its mistrust and fear of your body, hair, and presence.
It’s no secret that corporate UK and America sees natural hair as dirty and unprofessional. This is an eight-ten decade old belief, and the stigma surrounding our hair is one of the many pushes behind the natural hair movement, which gained ground with women of color several years ago. Perry takes these beliefs much further, however, as a quick scroll through his Twitter feed or a Google search reveals that the doctor is of the opinion that institutionalized racism is predominately upheld by the inability of black people to meet white expectations. Relaxers, weaves, and wigs for women, and clippers for men are just par for the course. Every black child is in need of reform in Perry’s eyes. Without his guidance, most of the children in his school would be without confidence, without morals, and without the wherewithal necessary to graduate high school and start on the road to doing something productive with their lives. According to Perry’s philosophy, if we work harder and hold the correct values, white employers will cease overlooking those of us without records in favor of white felons. Landlords will stop discriminating against us if we wear suits every day and everywhere. The community will flourish, food deserts will fade like mirages, and infrastructure will magically appear if we only abandon our cultures, abide by gender roles, hetereonormativity, and white ideology/racist structures. Strangely enough, none of Dr. Perry’s solutions can nor ever will speak to the overwhelming educational disparities I wrote about last month. Steve doesn’t offer a solution for white teachers who fear black kindergarteners and suspend said children for yelling in class, nor those who call the police for the same reason. But why would he approach those issues? If he ever did, the doctor would have to admit that he is the L4 vertebrae of white supremacy and not an exemplary black.
Am I? Do a quick write up if you want the hat.
I would love to believe and perpetuate the falsehood that my generation is doing everything to confront the inherent sexism of of our societies, and the piles of baggage that accompany hetereonormativity, image, and gender roles. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Yes, we’re doing better than previous generations, but that isn’t exactly a difficult thing to do. Who hasn’t moved past telling men to “just deal” with PTSD, and saying that women can’t hold political office?
One issue that seems pretty insurmountable in the fight against sexism is that of body acceptance. The approaches of the “body positivity” movement have been assbackwards on the whole. They involve accepting negative stereotypes, and utilize classism, and racism as crutches to function – to thrive. Common assumptions about work life, financial stability, and accessibility to both food and exercise equipment (with an ignorance of the societal weight of each of those facets – including how gentrification and food deserts play into this) are pretty standard. This is not even touching upon the issue of vanity sizing, or the use of white, cishet men and women as the ideal body types to which to strive for.
All of these factors being used in conjunction with impulse to critique the expression of emotion is leading us in circles. The psychological aspect of this oppression alone is horrendous. *I could literally go on forever about it. That all of these things are interconnected and effect the way we speak, and allow others to speak, about their insecurities is the crux of the issue. Because if we don’t talk about these problems, they will remain indomitable and we overwhelmed.
*And you know I will go on about this for another twelve pages at another time.
Two of my favorite things on one t-shirt!! *HINT*PeoplewhopromisedtobuymeSuperMarioAllStarsformybirthday*HINT*