Here’s a short collection of articles I saved in Pocket. There’s definitely a theme to the stuff I collect there, and that’s gonna be reflected here. Now, I usually post things on Fridays, but its that time of year again where I get really, really, tired, very easily, and all I can think about is going to sleep. I call it post-seasonal malaise. (I think doctors call it SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder.) Well, anyway, I’m gonna soldier through it (while trying to get more sunlight.)
The Clapback Mailbag
If you have not read any of these, you need to get over to The Root and catch up. Michael Harriott is hilarious even on his worse days, but he shines when discussing issues of race. He is the only writer who can make me laugh about racism every time. The Clapback mailbag is posted every Friday.
The last thing I posted was about Greta Thunberg, the young girl who has White men in a bit of a tizzy. This is the funniest thing I’ve seen regarding the entire issue, which of course, is not remotely funny.
Can Black Women Be Introverts
It appears that I simply enjoy being contrary, doing and being everything that’s against society’s mainstream rules. I’m a woman in a society that preferences men. I’m fat in a culture that prefers women be thin. I’m Black in a White supremacist culture. I’m an introvert in a society that prizes extroversion. I’m left handed in a society that prizes right handedness. I have hobbies, I’m not supposed to have, I love music I’m not supposed to listen to, I’m a nerd who likes Science Fiction and math, and a geek who likes to draw superheroes.
According to the American society I’m not supposed to be doing any of that stuff.
Well, that’s too bad, because I mean to go on, as I began.
Butler talked about the overwhelming Whiteness of the Science Fiction genre waaay back in 1980.
Once again, I did things in the most contrary manner possible, as I did not come by my interest in Science fiction and Fantasy through reading the works of Tolkien and Heinlein, like most people did. I found my way into SciFi by way of Stephen King, and the Horror genre, having started that journey with women authors, like Octavia Butler, and James Tiptree. Since I didn’t get into SciFi by reading White men, I tend to think of these men differently than a lot of SciFi fans.
I would love to see some Black time travel stories where the person truly changes the course of long history, like stopping slavery, or helping some tribe win a war. Its funny, but every time I see Black time travel story, its usually them trying to save a life, rather than the usual time travel question of who should be killed, and I wonder if that’s some type of racial thing, because there are a million different ways to change history that do not involve killing someone. And I have never seen stories, at least not the ones written by White people, that ever seek to overturn the truly big events of events of history, beyond the Holocaust. I mean why not stop Christopher Columbus, or disrupt the slave trade?
Here Sherronda Brown talks about how she would love to see time travel stories that destroy the status quo.
We’re supposed to be getting a movie about this soon starring Chadwick Bozeman. Ive been fascinated by Samurai since I was a teenager. I will watch any movie that has samurai in it, and I will definitely see this, if it ever gets made. In the meantime, there’s a couple of books on the topic that I’m looking forward to reading.
There’s already a book on Yasuke’s time in Japan:
An interview with the author of African Samurai Tim Lockley:
And here’s a short fictional film about a young girl who finds out that she is Yasuke’s great, great grandaughter. I would love to see this done on a larger scale.
So, James Bond is still in the movie, but there is a statement by the creators, that she is a Bond Woman, (since the term Bond Girl is no longer being used), and that the code name 007 is used for multiple characters. So Daniel Craig is still in the movie, and isn’t actually passing the torch to a new face, but Lynch is playing an Agent with his status.
Bond 25, as its being called will not be released until 2020, and the director is Cary Fukunaga and also stars a very diverse cast with Rami Malek as this episodes villain, Naomie Harris as Miss Moneypenny, who is an agent in her own right, and Jeffrey Wright as Felix Letter, who has starred in at least two other Bond movies.
A Black Little Mermaid
So this happened last week, the announcement that the star of the live action Little Mermaid is being played by one Halle Bailey, who you have to admit is just cute as the dickens.
The Little Mermaid is one of my all time favorite Disney movies. I did grow up with the usual Disney princesses, none of which struck any kind of chord with me. I don’t even remember watching any of their movies as a child. That’s how little impression they made on me, but I saw The Little Mermaid when I was an adult and I was simply “shooketh”! Apparently I was at just the right age to appreciate it. A few years earlier, or later and I would have paid it no mind because that’s sometimes how films work.
I loved both female leads in the movie. I learned all the words to Ursula’s song, which is probably one of the saltiest songs ever sung in a Disney movie, and I loved Ariel’s plaintive song calling for a different life, in the typical Disney “I Want” song, that’s featured in every Alan Mencken written film, from the Little Shop of Horrors, to Beauty and the Beast, to Mulan. I think The Little Mermaid was the first Disney film that ever brought me to tears (although, Pixar has done this consistently, for the past twenty years!)
Predictably, a certain percentage of White people reacted very badly to this news, and showed their whole and unvarnished asses. I think. Its still up in the air exactly how many participated in this, and whether or not the reactions, including the hasty creation of a hashtag that showed up a little too conveniently, is believable. Someone, (its believed that this is fake) even started a petition to have Ariel be White!!! According to an article in Salon, and in online magazine reason, the backlash was faked, and the overwhelming response was one of support. The reason the hashtag trended is because people were protesting the #NotMyAriel! Personally, I consideer more than some of this completely laughable, but you know what, now they relaly got something to cry about with Lashana Lynch.
It’s true that a few Twitter users seemed genuinely upset about the casting. But the overwhelming majority of people tweeting #NotMyAriel are doing so in support of Bailey and expressing outrage that anyone would be offended by a black Ariel. Their fury is well-intended but largely unnecessary.
For those people who insisted that mermaids are White, well mermaids have only ever been depicted as White, but there have always been Brown mermaids. Just because White people don’t know about them doesn’t mean they lore isn’t there, and there have been folklore about them in every country, like the Caribbean version called:
The image of Mami Wata, also a water spirit, has taken on many forms, including a mermaid.
Mami Wata represents the finer things in life, such as luxury goods. Her story began long before Europeans crossed the ocean to Africa’s shores.
When people saw the European ships’ figureheads, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art Deputy Director and Chief Curator Christine Kreamer said they saw a powerful, long-haired. The African people linked her beauty and her relation to the Europeans to powers that could bring protection and wealth.
“These are depictions as imagery that came across and set into an existing set of beliefs,” she said. “These images that we look at as mermaids fit into to an existing sort of broader belief of powerful water spirits, and then how that’s picked up in the visual arts changes over time.”
Missy is one of my favorite performers. Ive loved her style since that first vidoe. Well, she is finally getting her due respect, in that was inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June of this year, and Monday was the 22nd anniversary of the release of her first album Supa Dupa Fly. Here she is stylin’ on the cover of Marie Claire, and in her first genre challenging video “The Rain”.
The irony is: being black in America lends itself very well to the horror genre because every day is a potential horror movie. We’ve seen time and time again how a seemingly safe, casual moment can turn deadly in the blink of an eye.
I love images of Black women in armor, as you can see, I used to have one as my avatar so:
Here! Have a DeviantArt page full of nothing but images of Black men and women in armor:
Basira- Wisdom by Othon Nikolaidis
Probably one of the funniest phrases I’ve ever seen on the internet is “Its the Goatpocalypse!” It’s then followed by the actual reasons this neighborhood has been taken over by goats, which is almost as funny as the images themselves.
If this happened in our neighborhood, half the residents would be having a complete shitfit while cursing their torn up lawns, and the other half, (probably all the women and children), would be running outside to pet the goats. (A smaller, more pragmatic, contingent would be trying to herd the goats into their garages to milk them.)
Updates have since come on this subject; we now know where the goats came from and I gotta tell you, it is better than you could possibly imagine. See.
These goats got loose from a goat rental service.
You may be thinking, who rents a goat? Who rents a hundred goats? What are they for?
They’re for eating.
Specifically, they’re for eating unwanted, flammable vegetation that can contribute to the spread of wildfires. Some people whose property tends to grow such vegetation, keep their own goats. But for some people it works out better to just rent some goats.
These are Professional Eating Goats. They are trained to thoroughly and methodically scour an area of plantlife. And they came to the suburbs.
And they did their jobs.
I’m so proud of them.
*Tumblr users discuss exactly why Brooklyn 99, a show I absolutely love despite my general dislike of cop shows, and my awareness that the show is, in fact, a form of propaganda. Now, this was not the argument I made for its being propaganda, but this person does a fine job of outlining the different reasons why it might be considered such. This is not to say you can’t enjoy this show, even if it is. What critics of Pop Culture are actually trying to do is get people to be more mindful of what they’re consuming, not destroy their enjoyment.
So, as I have been briefly visiting some of the B99 tumblrs I see showing up in the notes, I’ve discovered that the tumblr algorithms keep directing me over and over to posts about the question, “Is Brooklyn Nine-Nine just propaganda for cops?”
I have some thoughts about that which I will put below the cut tag. The short story:
1) Any show with cops as protagonists unavoidably becomes cop propaganda.
2) Brooklyn Nine-Nine is overtly idealistic, whereas most cop shows at least pretend to be realistic.
3) At this point in American history, idealist cop propaganda may actually be socially useful, in part because it counterbalances the social effect of realistic cop propaganda.
I could go on about this topic for a long time but I will try to keep it short.
* The position of protagonist is so powerful and the desire to identify with the protagonist is so strong that whoever you put in that role becomes the person that the viewers will attach themselves to and sympathize with. This is true whether the protagonist is good or evil. If your protagonist is a serial killer, the fans identify with and sympathize with the serial killer. If your protagonist is a chemistry teacher gone bad, they will sympathize with the chemistry teacher gone bad *no matter how bad he goes.* It doesn’t matter who you put at the center of the narrative, people identify and empathize with that person. This is why it’s so important that white men are losing their lock on the position of protagonist (and why so many white male viewers are freaking the fuck out over that).
+( Except when, as has not been pointed out here, that primary character is a man of color, in which case, White viewers are quick to vilify them as villains, while giving White male villains, in the same narrative, a pass.)
* In general, crime fiction tends to idealize the detective and more specifically the police procedural tends to idealize the police. Even in the hard-boiled genre where the detective is a deeply flawed antihero, this still happens (see point #1).
* I grew up during the heyday of the “gritty” cop show, which attempted to change this by offering a more realistic depiction of American policing (Hill Street Blues, NYPD Blue, etc.). “Gritty” basically meant more violence, more drugs, and more unethical behavior from the police. You started to see storylines for main characters who were abusing their powers, corrupt, addicted to police brutality. If this was intended as a critique that might motivate people to demand social change, that is definitely not what happened. Instead, this bad cop behavior became the norm, and eventually, the cool and the good. If the protagonist is doing it, then it must be cool. Dirty cops, cops who use excessive force, cops who lie about the excessive force they’re using–all of that was rehabilitated because the cop is, by definition, for most viewers, the ‘good guy’ and if the ‘good guy’ is doing bad things there must be some reasonable/sympathetic explanation for that. Then after 9/11 torture became A-OK for ‘good guys’ to do and that was very bad for the police procedural but I’m not going down that rabbit hole right now.
+(What people don’t take into account is that the people who are cops now also grew up watching all this gritty cop imagery as well.)
* So the “gritty realism” cop drama just became another kind of cop propaganda. A bad kind, to my mind. It got people used to the idea that cops don’t have to obey the laws, that it’s OK to mistreat people as long as you ‘know’ they’re criminals, and that if they steal a little blow or get paid off by the occasional mobster, that’s OK because they do a hard job and they have to deal with the pressure and anyway they’ll eventually be punished for it and that will be tragic and we will feel bad for them.
+(This can be traced as far back as the gritty cop films of the 70s/80s, like Dirty Harry, Death Wish, and The French Connection, and even in comedies like Beverly Hills Cop, where the police routinely break the rules of law, and get rewarded for it, because they caught the bad guys. We have an entire generation of Americans who grew up watching countless hours of such plots, and they have not stopped making these movies either.
But I want people to notice the similarity of the tropes in these movies to the constant refrain from apologists of police brutality. Many of their excuses for why the police kill unarmed Black people sound they can be taken directly from the excuses the cops use, in some of the movies.)
* “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” is a comedy and not just in the ha-ha-funny sense of the word. It’s comic in a more old-fashioned sense in that it takes place in a world that is, essentially, good and happy and full of fellowship and community. This is precisely why, when you contrast the world of the Nine-Nine with what we know about the actual NYPD, it can seem grotesque (as symbolized by the GIF I opened with, where happy Gina rocks out obliviously as violence and chaos erupt around her).
* But. What is valuable to me about B99 in the context of cop shows is that it has rejected the “gritty realism” definition of a good cop. On B99, a corrupt cop is a bad cop; a bigoted cop is a bad cop; a cop who plants evidence is a bad cop; a cop who’s addicted to excessive force and illegal activity is a disordered and deranged cop (Adrian Pimento). These bad cops are sometimes people’s friends, partners, or idols; but they are not given a pass for that reason, and they are not given protagonist status. They are, or become, antagonists and they are eventually expelled from the Nine-Nine (Pimento is a bit of an outlier, but Diaz does eventually kick him to the curb). The protagonists, meanwhile, are committed to being ‘good cops’–which means following the law, treating people with respect (even if they show up in superhero garb), and being honest.
I think this is deliberate on the part of the show’s creators, and I think they’re deliberately satirizing a lot of the ‘bad cops are cool’ tropes that have become part of the genre. B99 is like what would the Adam West Batman would have been if it had been done after the whole Dark Knight franchise thing instead of before. I mean this is B99′s version of torturing a suspect:
And as Jake points out, it never works.
* This is demonstrated in one of my favorite Charles & Rosa bits. In the S4 episode “The Overmining,” after Rosa discovers that their foot massage parlor is most likely a front for some criminal enterprise, she and Charles have a scene in the briefing room where they discuss what they’re going to do about it. Rosa enlists Charles in the development an elaborate fantasy in which she invents a justification for leaving the foot massage parlor alone. They are briefly enraptured by this collaboration; it’s one of their most charming interactions. But once they reach the end of it, they both look at each other in silence. Then Rosa says, “we’re gonna have to do our stupid jobs,” and Charles says, “Yeah, let me get my stupid gun.” It’s a minor point in a B-plot, but it’s very revealing about the show as a whole. This place hasn’t tried to corrupt them; nobody’s offering them money; only they are aware of the ‘bribe’ that they are considering offering themselves; the chances that they would get ‘caught’ are almost nil. But they still can’t do it; and what’s more, the audience wouldn’t let them do it because the audience knows on some level that even this trivial act of police corruption is unthinkable for Rosa and Boyle. Because they’re good cops, even though at this moment they’re pissed off about it.
* Is that propaganda? Well, it’s propaganda for the idea that cops should be good (brave, honest, and just). Not that cops are good (which is the message sent by traditional police prodecurals in the Law & Order vein) or that cops are brave but can’t be expected to be honest and just (which is the message sent by “gritty realism” cop shows). But that they should be, and that maybe under the right conditions they could be. And in the context of art, that’s what idealism is: a representation of how things *should* be.
* Idealism’s social effects are complicated and some of them are starkly negative. White Americans, for instance, tend to idealize institutions like the police and the courts, and to be resistant to the idea that said institutions perpetuate inequality. That kind of idealism is a function of privilege: if you’ve never been wrongfully accused or convicted, then you can go on for quite a long time believing that nobody else ever has been. On the other hand, idealism is also ultimately the only foundation for progressive politics or for ideas like honesty and justice. This is a central preoccupation of “The Good Place”: in a world without idealism, how can people be good? The only motivation for being good that is not in some way corrupt has to be based on an idealistic belief in *something*–even if it’s just your idealized beloved.
* So, if you believe that policing can never be good–if you, for instance, think that developing a full-time police force is where modern society went wrong, and that social progress depends on dismantling ours–then yes, B99 is part of the problem. B99 uncritically accepts the necessity for a police force and there is no examination of the ways in which even good cops can negatively impact society as a whole. For instance, it’s always accepted that more arrests=good. That’s the metric Holt and everyone else use to determine whether a detective is good at their job: how many people do you arrest and how many of those do you clear. The consequences of the fact that the Santiago/Peralta bet given them both an incentive to arrest people they might not otherwise arrest are not examined. The idea that*fewer* arrests might be desirable is a bridge too far for the characters and the show. In fact, in the B99 universe it’s a problem when crime rates drop because the Nine-Nine is threatened with closure. By getting us so invested in the preservation of the 99th precinct, B99 does get us attached to the idea that we can’t do without the police. To that extent, it is cop propaganda.
* But if you believe that the police must exist but that they should be just and honest, then B99 is part of the solution–because it challenges the idealization of bad policing that has been a trend in US popular culture since at least the 1980s.
*This discussion about the different ways men and women perform fandom was very enlightening. I had been trying to put my finger on why fandoms that were predominantly male were different from fandoms made up of mostly women, and I think this writer hits it on the head.
What isn’t mentioned here however, is that female fandom is also very relationship motivated. What intrigues women in fandom is not the minutiae of the world building so much as it is the characters and their relationships to each other. It’s the reason why shipping is such a huge deal for female fandom, and why we engage in the creation of meta as much as we do. That is something that is less of a priority for men.
Women want to be a part of those worlds in a different way than male geeks, who often imagine themselves in that world as powerful, mastering the technology of that space, or solving that world’s problems. Women prefer to imagine themselves as having relationships to and interacting with the other characters, (although everyone engages in some degree of self-insertion.)
But it is this different approach to fandom that helps to explain some of the gatekeeping of male fans.
I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from. Like, AT ALL.
Cus when I look for fandom related stuff like 90% of the fan art and the fanfiction and the meta, zines, comics, etc. Like 90% of the shit that I’ve seen is created by women & girls.
And all that stuff take’s a lot of work and research and critical analysis and staring at reference photos for hours.
We are literally the most well versed and invested group in the fandom. So, like, What the fuck boys? You mad you can’t keep up?
I saw an argument, and I can’t find it now, but it totally made sense, that there’s a gender split in fandom. Male fandom tends to be a curator fandom; male fandom collects, organizes, and memorizes facts and figures. Male fandom tends to be KEEPERS of the canon; the fandom places great weight on those who have the biggest collection, the deepest knowledge of obscure subjects, the first appearances, creators, character interactions.
Female fandom is creative. Females create fanart, cosplay, fanwritings. Female fandom ALTERS canon, for the simple reason that canon does not serve female fandom. In order for it to fit the ‘outsider’ (female, queer, POC), the canon must be attacked and rebuilt, and that takes creation.
“Male” fandom devalues this contribution to fandom, because it is not the ‘right’ kind of fandom. “Girls only cosplay for attention, they’re not REAL fans!” “Fanfiction is full of stupid Mary Sues, girls only do it so they can make out with the main character!” “I, a male artist, have done this pin-up work and can put it in my portfolio! You, a female artist, have drawn stupid fanart, and it’s not appropriate to use as a professional reference!”
In the mind of people who decry the ‘fake geek girl,’ this fandom is not as worthy. It damages, or in their mind, destroys the canon. What is the point of memorizing every possible romantic entanglement of heterosexual white Danny Rand if someone turns around and creates a fanwork depicting him as a bisexual female of Asian descent (thus subverting Rand’s creepy ‘white savior’ origins)? When Danny Rand becomes Dani Rand, their power is lessened. What is important to them ceases to be the focus of the discussion. Creation and curatorship can work in tandom, but typically, in fandom, they are on opposite poles.
This is not to say that there aren’t brilliant male cosplayers or smashing female trivia experts, this is to say that the need of the individual fan is met with opposing concepts: In order for me to find myself in comics, I need to make that space for myself, and that is a creative force. Het white cis males are more likely to do anything possible to defend and preserve the canon because the canon is built to cater to them
And for the serious, more informative part of this post:
This is a list of tropes about Asian women, and that first trope is probably the reason I had such an averse reaction to the Elektra character in Daredevil. For me she was a classic example of The Dragon Lady, being of course, beautiful, evil and mysterious, who seduces Matt and tries to corrupt him. This is especially obvious when she was contrasted against the blonde, wholesome, and virginal, Karen, who is supposed to be good for him. The article also outlines how these stereotypes are harmful to Asian women in the real world.
Oh, yeah don’t forget this kinda newish trope, the rebellious Asian woman with the colorful hair: as seen on the TV show Minority Report, and the movies The Wolverine, Deadpool 2, and Pacific Rim!
Recently, a friend and I were talking about growing up Asian American in predominantly white neighborhoods and schools, and she told me that when she was in fifth grade, boys teased her on the playground by saying that she had a “sideways vagina.”
This has happened to me, too – and I’m sure to so many other Asian girls.
From racist humor in mid-1800s brothels to today’s playground jokes, the race and gender identity of Asian women is seen as so foreign, so “alien,” that our vaginas magically defy biology.
Throughout my life, I’ve received unwanted comments and questions about my body, specifically my anatomy, including being harassed on the street with calls like, “Ni hao,” “Konichiwa,” “Are you Chinese, Japanese, or Korean,” and recently, “Hi Ling Ling.”
On top of that, in my dating history, I was expected to be more quiet and less assertive.
The hyper-sexualization and fetishization of East Asian women is problematic – I am not “lucky” that my race and gender is imagined as sexy and exotic, that Asian women “all so beautiful.”
Or that, an image search of “Asian women” pulls up excessive pictures of women posing in lingerie.
Racial fetishes are about objectification, fetishizing an entire group of people – in this case Asian women, means reducing them down to stereotypes instead of recognizing their full personhood.
Beyond just personal preferences or “having a type,” racial fetishes project desired personality and behavior onto an entire racial or ethnic group.
The fetishization of Asian women even has a name, “yellow fever” – as if the obsession with Asian women were also a disease.
When my identity as an “Asian woman” becomes the only thing that’s important to someone in an interaction, that’s a problem.
So, where did the fetishization and objectification come from? How did Asian women get the hypersexualized stereotypes of being docile and submissive or being dangerous and seductive?
While today, some people might think of fetishes and sexual stereotypes as “not a big deal,” the history behind these tropes is rooted in violence and war, which get oppressively reimagined by mainstream media and entertainment.
Below are five ways East Asian women became fetishized and how that fetishization horribly impacts our lives.
1. Mainstream Media Creates the Submissive ‘Lotus Blossom’ and Evil ‘Dragon Lady’ Stereotypes
“[S]mall, weak, submissive and erotically alluring…She’s fun, you see, and so uncomplicated. She doesn’t go to assertiveness-training classes, insist on being treated like a person, fret about career moves…” —Tony Rivers, “Oriental Girls”, Gentleman’s Quarterly, 1990
Growing up, Lucy Liu was one of the only East Asian women I saw on TV and in movies. It was her, the Yellow Power Ranger (Thuy Trang), and Mulan.
For me, Liu is badass – both for being one of the only Asian American actresses in mainstream Hollywood and also for playing roles that literally kick ass.
However, many of her roles throughout the 90s and early 2000s, such as Ling Woo on Ally McBeal or as O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill, were also ones that showed Asian women as beautifully evil, aggressive, and also mysterious.
Asian women are often stereotyped as either the dangerously cunning “Dragon Lady” that seduces White men, leading to their inevitable downfall, or as the submissive “Lotus Blossom.”
Both are meant to be demeaning and demonizing.
While there are exceptions, for the most part, mainstream media has created one dimensional, sexualized representations of Asian women that have affected the way they’re perceived by others.
Chinese actress Anna May Wong, the first Asian American actress to be internationally famous in the 1920s, was often cast in stereotypical supporting roles – and passed over for leading roles of Asian characters, which were given to white actresses in yellowface.
One of her most recognized characters was the demure, respectful Lotus Flower in The Toll of the Sea.The demure, subservient, and delicate “Lotus Blossom” stereotype is intended to cast Asian women as “less than,” both in terms of race and gender.
These stereotypes are seriously harmful. In the US, up to 61% of Asian women experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner during her lifetime.
Being docile is specifically about being deferent and obedient, especially to the authority of men.
As our race, gender, and sexuality become ruled by Western and male fantasy, in order to serve men sexually, Asian women must both be “feminine” and “heterosexual” and also either submissive and/or hypersexual.
These double stereotypes of “Lotus Blossom” and “Dragon Lady” reflect the ways that Asian women become transformed into either a sexual servant or embodied as a sexual adventure.
“Somebody, anybody, sing a black girl’s song. Bring her out to know herself to know you.”
From Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.
You know what’s made me happy lately? It’s all the differing depictions of Black womanhood that’s been in the media lately. From upcoming shows and movies, to programs that have already currently awaiting a new season (or have sadly been cancelled, like Still Star Crossed).
Allow me to explain.
I saw Thor Ragnarok with my sister. Now, I’m not really a Thor fan, but I was beyond hyped to see this movie simply for Tessa Thompson. I wouldn’t call myself a Trekkie by any means (I do love Star Trek DS9 though) but I love Michael Burnham in Discovery (and I love the fact that this show focuses on a Black woman who has a background in the sciences). I love Misty Knight in Luke Cage. My sister and I watched the first episode of Issa Rae’s Insecure recently, and I marveled at the writing and the characters of Issa and Molly. I’m beyond hyped for the Nakia, Shuri, Okoye, Queen Ramonda and the rest of the Dora Milaje in Black Panther. I can’t wait to see Thunder and Lightning in the new Black Lightning TV series, and Iris West in the upcoming Flash movie (honestly Kiersey Clemons should never have been cut from the Justice League movie, but that’s a rant for another time.)
It’s great to see little black boys dressed up as Falcon, Black Panther, Luke Cage, etc, but it’s just as important, if not more so, to see little Black girls dressed like Valkyrie, dressed like Shuri, dressed like Storm or Vixen. I hope that Michael Burnham as just as much impact on Black girls and Black women as Benjamin Sisko had on me.
I love that media, lately, has taken to singing “Black girls’ songs” because black women have always been the backbone of the Black community. And I hope it can continue because Black women/girls deserve all the positive representation in the world.
Black girls (just like Black boys) are seeing that there isn’t one way to be a black person. That black womanhood is made up of differing ideas, politics, feelings and emotions, and each one of them is valid.
That’s an important thing for our community, and I’m glad its being spotlighted. I’m glad we have directors like Ava Duvernay who chose to have Meg Murray be a Black girl. I’m glad we have movies like 2014′s Annie with Quevenzhane Wallis who showed that Black girlhood is something that’s just as innocent and hopeful as anything else. I’m glad we have The Wiz Live with Shanice Williams, Queen Latifah, Amber Riley, Mary J Blige, and Uzo Aduba to show off the multiplicity and magic (yes, actual fucking magic) of Black women. I’m glad we have Laverne Cox, because her mere presence on screen is a validation for Black Trans Women who rarely see themselves in a positive light. I’m glad we have Riri Williams and her presence in the Iron Man narrative, just like I’m glad for the wild success of Hidden Figures, and I’m super excited for Taraji P Henson’s Proud Mary.
I’m here for any kind of representation for Black women because it’s needed now more than ever.
Black people’s contributions have pretty much been erased from all vectors of American history, and that includes most musical genres like Country, Rock, and even Punk.
Goth So White? | Black representation in the Post-Punk scene
One would be gravely mistaken to think that there is no black representation in the fundamental part of Punk’s history. To illustrate this fact, all one need do is take a look at photographer Michael Putland’s 1980 portrait ‘Ladies Tea Party’ that features Pauline Black, and Poly Styrene, along with Debbie Harry, Viv Albertine, and Siouxsie Sioux, and Chrissie Hynde.
The language we use to talk about racism is obviously distorted, a big clue that something is being hidden. It’s pretty easy to pinpoint the source: most White people can’t handle talking about racism. We flail. We don’t understand the subject, we get really uncomfortable, and we either clam up because we don’t want to say the wrong thing, or we bust out the whitesplaining (FYI, this is a best-case scenario. It can be much worse).
To mitigate our shortcomings, we surround ourselves with comforting words. Words that feel neutral. Words that don’t point fingers (at us). Words that center Whiteness, while erasing the harshness of discrimination and segregation. We reject words that we feel are too direct, that might reveal complicity on our part.
Let’s be clear that these linguistic gymnastics are only fooling White people. People of color have been aware that corporate pushes for “diversity” are often flimsy CYA efforts to mask sustained homogeneity, and “inclusion” is often code for tokenism. Scholars of color have been writing about the nuances of privilege and oppression for a long, longtimewhile watching White people invent different ways to either wriggle out of, dominate, or shut down the conversation. These same scholars have also been watching White writers and educators whisper the same exact thing they’ve been shouting, and magically draw a crowd.
Terms like “inclusion” and “white privilege” are designed to sneak past the racial stress triggers of White Fragility. They center Whiteness in a way that makes White people comfortable, while deflecting from the stressful realities of the racist harm that Whiteness causes. Imagine how many racial stress trigger alarm bells would go off if we were using words like “discrimination awareness” and “white undeserved advantages” instead.
It has bothered me for years that linguistically, white supremacysounds kind of great. Almost holy. It would sound more appropriately scary if it were called something actively negative, like “White domination” or “White oppressorship.” Once again, imagine the White stress level skyrocketing.
Some disambiguation is necessary with this term. “White supremacy” is a system that prioritizes whiteness regardless of the presence or absence of racial hatred, but a “white supremacist” is a person who embraces overt racial hatred. It’s like a spectrum. By default, all White people are on the spectrum of complicity in upholding a system of White supremacy, but we only give the negative label of “White supremacists” to the really hateful people at the far end. This allows the rest of us to say “we’re not them.”
If you’re not aware of the old movie trope, “The Black Guy Dies First”, then you don’t know how groundbreaking it is for a movie to not only have a Black hero, but for that Black hero to live all the way to the end of the movie ,while saving the world. This was famously spoofed by the Black slayer named Rona, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, with her snide remark to Buffy, “The Black girl gets it…”
Thanks to Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, horror movies have always tried to have progressive representation. This certainly isn’t true of all such movies, but Horror and Scifi movies are at least willing to break with the tradition of a White male hero and cast women, and PoC, as the stars of the movies. From The Afflicted with its Asian male lead, to Halloween’s Jamie Lee Curtis, and Sigourney Weaver in Alien, from Danny Glover in Predator II, and Wesley Snipes in Blade, many of these movies have become iconic films by overturning the tradition of having a White guy be the hero.
Predator, the franchise ,was itself willing to break with tradition, after casting Arnold Schwarzeneggar as the hero of the first movie, by casting Danny Glover as the hero of the second. That movie is also unique in casting a Latina, Maria Conchita Alonso, as one of that movie’s good guys, who also gets to live to the end.
Alien Vs Predator is just continuing this habit by casting Sanaa Lathan as Alexa Woods, the guide for a team of archaeologists, who are exploring the Antarctic for alien artifacts, along with Charles Bishop Weyland, the CEO of Weyland Industries, and the prototype for Bishop, the android from Aliens. Suffice to say,, she is the only survivor, after the team gets caught in the crossfire between the Aliens, and the Predators who came to Earth to hunt them.
Alexa is as tough as they come. She’s brave and determined, and finally rewarded for her fortitude with the proper facial scars of a successful Predator, by the other Predators, who have been watching the events from on-high. I haven’t watched this movie in a few years. I have to admit, I failed to appreciate its novelty when it was released. It’s only on later viewings that I realized the film’s uniqueness. It, and the fearless Alexa Woods, have since become a favorite. (I find it especially interesting that most of the reviews of this movie seem to ignore her presence in it, although fans of the movie seem to really like her, and Danny Glover.)
This movie is also notable because Alexa is also a scientist, an environmental technician. As depictions of Black women in science are really hard to come by at the movies, its important to take note, its the Blerdgirl who saves the world.
Demon Knight is notable not just for Jada Pinkett as Jeryline, the hero of the movie, but for also starring CCH Pounder as Irene, her bullying work release employer, who is every bit as badass as she thinks she is. I did not fail to appreciate the release of this movie. Mom and I were already Jada Pinkett fans after her work in A Lowdown Dirty Shame and we were looking forward to seeing her work it in our favorite genre, Horror. We were not disappointed. Jeryline is smart as fuck, and fearless too. From the moment you meet her character, she is sympathetic, and you start to root for her to survive this movie, because you just know, somebody’s gonna die!
William Sadler (another favorite of mine) plays Frank Brayker, as a Knight of the Cross, attempting to keep a Holy artifact out of the hands of Billy Zane’s Collector, to keep the world safe from demons. The artifact is meant to hold the blood of Christ, but over the centuries, the Keepers of the “The Key” began to fill it with their own blood. The blood in The Key is sanctified to create protective barriers, or to kill demons directly, and when the last of the blood is used, the Keeper, who is immortal as long as he/she carries it, dies.
When Brayker finally sacrifices his life, he passes The Key to Jeryline. The person who carries The Key must be a thief, in homage to the first carrier of The Key, a thief who stole Christ’s blood at God’s command. Jeryline fits the bill because it was the reason for her prison conviction. In the end, Jeryline defeats The Collector, in a novel way that would never have occurred to Frank, and sets herself on the road, followed by a new Collector, a Black man carrying a suspicious looking guitar case. (My mom and I applauded.)
I was disappointed to learn there would be no sequel to this movie. I would’ve loved to have seen this take place in Georgia or Louisiana, with an all Black cast.
Hollywood is still somewhat stuck in the rut of pandering to the White male demographic, but that is slowly beginning to change, especially after the success of Get Out, and the forthcoming release of Proud Mary in January, and Black Panther during Black History Month, next year. Hollywood could use Indie and genre films as an example of how to craft movies that appeal to other than White men.
Yes, Black women want to have onscreen adventures. We like to see representations of us in movies, and TV shows, being heroes, being brave, and fearless, and saving the world, just like White women, (and I’ll wager that Asian women, and Latinas want to see this too.) There have been so many demographics Hollywood has been ignoring for decades. Horror movies, by their nature, seem willing to be different, to overturn tropes, and even mock its own stereotypes.
These aren’t the only Horror movies featuring Women of Color, they just happen to be two of my favorites. Its about time for me to watch them again.
In all these films, these women used their brains, brawn, and instincts to survive amidst a mostly white, male cast. They weren’t treated as servants or sex slaves except for that cringe worthy scene in 28 Days Later.
All three women fought just as hard or harder than their white, male counterparts; proving that they could and did survive regardless of their gender or race.
article by Priscilla Frank via huffingtonpost.com The pop culture landscape is littered with lazy images of black women ― the nurturer, the hussy, the angry bitch. Hovering around the all-encompassing myth of the “strong black woman,” those paper-thin characterizations fail to represent real women in all their complexity and vulnerability. Despite the monolithic representations that appear […]
Here’s a roundup of posts and articles about being an introvert. I foind most of these to be hilarious, and for the most part kind of true about how I think, most especially about people.
There’s also a the idea that the Myers Briggs personality tests are a bunch of bunk’em but I’m okay with that. Even if these personality assessments aren’t any more real than horoscopes, its still a lot of fun, and I enjoyed reading these articles.
General Introversion: I found a lot more articles about genral introversion than articles specific to women. Keep in mind that most of these are probably written to the standard of White males, because female introverts are so rare, and most people who study this sort of thing, use White men as the default.
On Black Introverts: It was hard finding posts on this topic, that weren’t racially insulting, so I just left those out. I’m not surprised to find that most of them were on Yahoo Answers. I don’t fuck with Yahoo as a source for anything other than my email, as it’s quite possibly one of the most racist, and least informative, of all the search engines. It’s like Fox News for the internet.
Introversion: The I stands for introverted which means she obtains her energy and personal satisfaction from her thoughts, imagination, and/or creativity rather from external factors like other people, status, and/or possessions.
Intuition: The N stands for Intuition. It means that she draws from stored unconscious knowledge accrued through the years from books, movies, other people, experience, and reflection. Generally, the INTJ has top-notch information stored.
Thinker: The T stands for thinker (as opposed to feeler), and this means that decisions are based on a process of deduction and analysis rather than what she feels. Bear in mind that feeling is related to emotions and is not the same as intuition.
Judgement: The J stands for Judgement, and it means that closure is preferred. Open-ended and unresolved problems and issues are not welcome to the lady INTJ.
I only really understood this description about a year ago, and yeah, I’m most definitely in the INTJ column. I tried to find as much information as possible about being INTJ but found almost nothing at all that addresses my specific issue. There’s information about being a woman and an INTJ,something I understand is extremely rare, but not much on being a WoC and INTJ., which must be even rarer still. (It seems no matter what part of my life I examine I always seem to be contrary.)
1.Yep! I often find myself exhausted after family or business events. I love my family, and love spending time with them, as long as I know ahead of time. When we have events at my job, I usually get notification months in advance, with an exact date. Introverts like people, we just don’t like surprise events (with people).
2. When I was a kid, I always learned what not to do based on whatever shit my peers, cousins, and siblings, got in trouble for, and this made perfect sense to me. When I figured out that I needed to learn to speak slang, (in an effort to make myself seem less like a robot to my classmates), I studied that shit like I was learning a second language. Introverts love to make plans. We have plans within plans, and then contingency plans for those. We like for everyone else to have plans too. We generally dislike spontaneity, as it does not involve planning.
3. Yeah, I’d say this is true. For the record though, Introverts do have feelings. We just sublimate them in public, and they generally have no greater priority over our decisions than actual facts. INTJs have feelings. They don’t rule us, though.
4. I would say this is mostly true for me, but I’ve gotten very used to be situations, people, events, and things not being complete sometimes. I don’t like it, but I can lump it.
So, what I’d like to do is reach out to all the INTJ WoC, who get this message. Holla at me, about your lives and experiences. How do you get along with your family, and friends? What’s is it like at your job? How do you approach life? How do people treat you, in general? Lemme know you’re out there. In the meantime, I will try to amass as much information as I can on the topic of being an INTJ and a WoC. I guess I’m just gonna have to do this myself since no one else is doing this. Those of you who really have something to say can do a guest post here, or we can post to a new website, if necessary.
I also found one other resource on this topic. It’s someone’s personal blog and it’s fun and informative.
For example, this paragraph on how the INTJ mind works when we encounter friends and acquaintances:
Imagine an INTJ’s brain like files on your desktop, or an old-fashioned rolodex. Our “desktop” or “rolodex,” are labeled and categorized. Each time we encounter an acquaintance, we “search” or “thumb” through our “files” for relevant information. When we find said relevant information, we pull from that storehouse of knowledge.
I’ll post topics about INTJs in Pop Culture, Why we get a bad rap, how are we misunderstood, and coping with other personality types. (These will be largely based on my own personal experiences, but I can get receipts if I have to.)
Black men who are INTJs have their own unique issues and, not being a guy, I can’t really address those. So guys, this is strictly for that rarest of the rare, the Black Woman who happens to be an INTJ. But if you want to chime in about your unique circumstances and experiences, then please do. I’d love to know what life is like for you, too.
I can be reached at :
There are set rules to having an INTJ in your life. (We’re kinda like Gremlins.) So, how do you feed, water, and care for your INTJ:
This is mostly funny but also mostly true. I do spend a hell of a lot of time in my head. I prefer it there, really. The parking is always free and its always entertaining.
This is a perfect example of captain Holt from Brooklyn 99 who, ironically, happens to also be one of my favorite characters, on the show. Brooklyn 99 has been on the air for about four years, and in that time we’ve seen Holt display more emotions, and become more relaxed in the presence of his team. This is a perfect example of me, btw. If I’m very comfortable with you you will be shocked at the sheer levels of silliness. If I don’t know you, it’s impossible to tell if I’m feeling anything at all.
*I’m a huge A Wrinkle in Time fan. I used to read these books at least once a year when I was a teenager and had a lot free time to fill up. I’m ecstatic about this movie, too. It being directed by Ava D’uvernay, and stars Oprah, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling, and now someone my 11 yr. old niece can relate to, Storm Reid as Meg Murray.
When I was a little girl, I identified pretty closely with Meg, and always cast myself in the role, so this will also be an opportunity to revisit my childhood.
*Okay here’s some photos from the new Iron Fist show coming to Netflix next year. I’m still not a Finn Jones fan. I don’t even know who he is, and I’m unimpressed by his looks (in the photos I saw of him he looked like an underdone potato), but he’s cast in the role now, and since I actually do like the comic books, I’m going to watch the show.
For my readers, who are not comic book fans, Power man (Luke Cage) and Iron Fist (Danny Rand) are two of the iconic pairings in Marvel, like DC’s Batman and Robin. They are both fully fledged, partners though. There’s not one in charge, and the other a sidekick, type of thing. For a while, there was just Luke and Danny, then they teamed up in the comics with Misty Knight, and Colleen Wing, to form Heroes for Hire, or with Daredevil to form The Defenders. (There have been several groups called The Defenders, with different members each time.) Colleen Wing is cast as Asian in this show. Lets see if any of the whining fanboys notice and say anything.
I think Iron Fist is suffering from the same problem of Dr. Strange. The whole white guy going into a mystical land, based on Asian Culture, and coming out of the other side with superpowers. There still would’ve been a much deeper story to be told if they had cast an Asian American in the role. I still do not understand this utter reluctance (and truculence) that Hollywood has against hiring Asian actors to star in action movies. What the Hell is that about? (Can you tell I still haven’t forgiven Hollywood for casting a White teenager in a movie starring both Jackie Chan and Jet Li, as if they needed the help?)
*Ooh! Here’s the new Misty Knight poster. She is shown with Luke Cage a lot, and is being introduced in his show but, canonically, she and Danny end up together, while in the comic books Luke and Jessica Jones are together w/child. I don’t know if the creators will keep that dynamic for the series though, because Luke and Jessica ended on a bad note (and I also hate the television version of Jessica with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. )
Misty Knight // Marvel’s Luke Cage (2016)
Portrayed by Simone Missick, “Mercedes “Misty” Knight was born and raised in New York City. She graduated the Police Academy with honors and joined the N.Y.P.D. and rose through the ranks; quickly becoming a Lieutenant…
Misty Knight is a skilled detective, capable of observation, forensic investigation, and inductive and deductive reasoning of the highest caliber. Given any mystery, she can arrive at the correct conclusions with a fraction of the data. ” X
Yet another installment in the King Kong movie franchise. This time it has a more modern update, and looks like a Vietnam War movie, so maybe there’s some parallels there, or something. I’m not really into Kong all that much because of all the nasty racial undertones, and I’m also reluctant to watch Samuel L. Jackson in, yet another, historical jungle movie. Seriously, tho’! He needs to quit. He is the hardest working man in Hollywood, I swear.
Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”
and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”
and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.
those posts that are like “do any of you actually enjoy anything” are like high key annoying. like we live in a society where inherently oppressive actions are so ingrained into every bit of media we consume so being critical and pointing that stuff out is important. like i want to be able to watch or read something and not have my identity or just who i am as a person be attacked/mocked. because these bigoted ideals lead to violence and death. and on top of that people are capable of doing more than one thing at a time i know it’s shocking. i like overwatch and play the shit out of it but i can point out some of the racist undertones in the game itself. like you can enjoy somethin, know that it’s not perfect and talk about its faults all at the same time. let that sink in lol.
Your social justice should be founded on love for others, not on a desire to be the most visibly enlightened.
Source: periegesisvoid@ @Oh Gawd! Whyyy?!!!Yeah, this is my aesthetic right now.I’m not even religious but I will join in a prayer circle to send love and calming vibes to Jennifer. Sending her positive energy, so that she don’t end up choking the fuck outta Adam Sandler, within the first fifteen minutes of meeting him. There are no words to express how much I despise that man. She gon’ need some strungth. (Yeah, that is the correct word.)Source: bonitaapplebelle@ @*This poster is correct in saying that a lot of the current fandom has thoroughly whitewashed the participation of Black fans from television Scifi and Star Wars history. When I was little, everybody was about Star Wars, Lost in Space, and The Incredible Hulk. Even my Mom had a favorite character, (Lando Calrissian ) and my personal favorite was Boba Fett. All the kids I knew had the toys, and talked about it in school. (I had a Space 1999 ship that my Mom bought me for Xmas when I was about ten or so.) So yeah, Black people were definitely there, as part of Scifi fandom, and we have a lot of nostalgia around Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica, but when you hear fans today, they make it sound like we had nothing at all to do with any of it, like it was exclusively a white thing to like Star Wars. Well, anyway, I like that The Get Down is showing people what it was really like for us. (Scifi and Kung Fu movies in the 70s, and Scifi and Ninja movies in the 80s.)diversehighfantasymeredithgene
Can we please talk about the relationship between hip hop and geek culture?!
Can we please have that discussion of remix, Easter eggs, superhero mythology and why The Get Down is needed rn?
I’m in. I think one thing that is worth stressing is that the geeky things in TGD, from the love of Star Wars to Ra-Ra’s comic book and superhero analogies to Dizzee’s afro-alien art (and, of course, everything Shaolin Fantastic) are not a retcon of history. I say that because a while ago I posted about how Lando Calrissian isn’t merely a “token black guy” – aside from being extremely important to the plots of Empire and Jedi, he was cast as Black because Black people were into Star Wars from the very beginning, even though the first movie was all white on screen. Billy Dee was cast as Lando as an acknowledgement that Star Wars was part of Black experience in the ‘70s and ‘80s. And when I said that, some people reacted with surprise, because the revisionist white fan narrative is that Black people don’t care about Star Wars, fantasy, or scifi.
That can’t be further from the truth. Sci-fi and fantasy are a huge part of Afro-American Culture. In the ‘60s, while Black people in the US were fighting for basic rights, the space race was in full force. If white people were planning to conquer space, it should be no surprise that Black people identified with outer space aliens. It should be no surprise that Black people dreamt of far off worlds.
Afrika Bambaataa (who Shao refers to as the King) and Soulsonic Force were full-on sci-fi (now called Afrofuturism) from the South Bronx. “Planet Rock” was one of hip-hop’s first widely recognized masterpieces. And it wasn’t just hip hop. Funk icon George Clinton drew inspiration from Flash Gordon. The Jacksons made a sci-fi music video/film (The Triumph), and Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough” references The Force, as in Star Wars. There’s Sun Ra, Newcleus – and this is not at all a comprehensive list from the ‘70s and early ‘80s.
Most depictions of Black kids in the ‘70s (ie mainstream TV and movies made in the ‘70s) ignored these interests and Black culture’s longtime love of fantasy and sci-fi. The Get Down shows a more honest picture of ‘70s Black kids in that respect, and in doing so should drive it home that we’re not new here.
*There’s a big discussion going on about casting Ryan Potter as Batman’s Tim Drake. I’m all for it because DCEU really does need more Asian representation. So far, they and Marvel been kind of slacking in this regard, and the depictions of Asians in the MCU leaves a lot to be desired. Also, he just looks like Tim Drake from the comics. As usual there’s white boy’s tears about it. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even care about white boys being mad about stuff anymore. My attitude towards them now is just “So, What?”
*Yeah, this is a basic summation of the whole topic of white writers being too scared to write Characters of Color. In my opinion, though, if you are too scared to write, you’re a shitty writer. You can’t be scared and write well. This is basically my entire response to the bullshit that Lionel Shriver spouted in her speech at the Brisbane Writers Festival, entitled Fiction and Identity Politics.
I can’t believe the TFA fandom is trying to blame the lack of Finn fic (or the general racism in fandom) on fans of color. I know I have the privilege of being naive but goddamnt, can we just listen to ourselves for a moment here?
The argument apparently is that people would write Finn, but they are too scared of those fans of color who are bullies and will criticize them for writing the super racist fics they want to write. So basically racism is to blame on people who call out racism. They are taking away white fandom’s god-given right to write awful racist stuff, so they won’t write characters of color altogether. Logic.
It’s a conversation I’m seeing a lot in professional fiction right now, specially sf/f and young adult. That white authors don’t want to write diversity because they don’t want to risk being criticized by minorities. And I’m like “no, what you are saying is you don’t want to do your job, you don’t want to put in the time and effort to write minorities well, what you mean is that you can’t do the half-assed racist job of it you’ve been doing all your writing life, because people are finally calling you out on your bullshit, and rightly so”.
Next up on, People Who Are Pissing Me Off:
So this happened, during Fashion Week, with Marc Jacobs appropriating a type of hairstyle, for his White models, that Black people get vilified and demonized for: dreadlocks. So, I was never on Marc Jacobs, but it was his response to criticism, (as a Black woman who permed her hair for decades before deciding to go natural), that got my blood pressure up.
I’ve been seeing this asinine question all over Tumblr asking why Black women straighten their hair. Its not unlike the usual wtf*ery, where various dumbasses attempt to “gotcha” black people into shutting up, by saying “But you do it too!” As if the idea that other people are racist makes it okay for them to be assholes, too.
Guys! That’s not how that works, okay. You don’t get a get out of jail free card simply because other people might be acting a fool. (Although, I know now that sort of response is an attempt to alleviate their feelings of guilt, for engaging in assholery. I know that’s where it comes from because the answers to their questions are easily Google-able.) The snag they keep running into is that the Black people, they are accusing, know our history exceptionally well. People that dumb are walking into a conversation armed with a paperclip, thinking they have a gun.
But then I’ve noticed that people that do things like that, have a tendency to be deeply, deeply, stupid.
I don’t even get into the “are dreads cultural appropriation” discussion anymore because the topic has been discussed ad nauseam. If – after all of the thinkpieces and resources and historical research – you’re still just fine with white people wearing dreadlocks, I have moved on from that topic with you. I’m not interested in talking about it anymore. As such, I wouldn’t even be talking about Marc Jacobs if not for this comment right here:
“funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair”
That “women of color” is just code for Black because – newsflash – most of the women of color on the planet have straight hair BECAUSE THEY’RE ASIAN. And most of the white people on the planet do not have straight hair because there’s usually a wave or a curl or most certainly some frizz. Obviously all Asians don’t have straight hair (particularly those from South Asia) but the vast majority of women from China to Japan to Korea have straighter hair than most white people, so Marc Jacobs is talking directly to Black women and doesn’t have the balls to just say it, probably because Naomi Campbell is one of his bffs.
You know what? Naomi, come get your boy. How do you fix your mouth to say “I don’t see race” when one of your homegirls has spent the better part of her career promoting visibility for women of color in fashion? If one of my white friends said “I don’t see race” then I don’t see his name in my contacts list any longer. That is seriously one of the most offensive things you can say to me as a white friend.
I don’t care what white strangers say, I don’t care when your racist uncle drops the n-word, but when you are on my team and you say you don’t see race, then you don’t see my struggle when I get stopped by the cops or my frustration when we go to the movies and all of the leads are white or my anger when another one of us is gunned down for existing. Sometimes it’s small and sometimes it’s serious, but you still need to see it and me and recognize that we’re not the same. That doesn’t mean one is better, but part of respecting someone and their culture and the path they walk is to recognize the differences and realize how they may move through the world differently than you.
If Marc Jacobs doesn’t see race then he can’t possibly see how offensive it is to have white women walking around mimicking natural hairstyles for Black women when we have little Black girls in this country protesting at school for the right to wear their hair in their natural state. We have little Black girls being sent home from class and Black women being denied jobs and promotions because their hair is called unruly or unkempt when it doesn’t adhere to European standards of beauty – and then Marc Jacobs wants to try and throw “cultural appropriation” at Black women for straightening their hair? It’s called survival in a white supremacist society and maybe if he could see race (or pick up a history book) he’d know that.
Edit: Just got a message on FB from this white guy who worked on the show
One of these days I’m going to come up with a title for these particular types of posts. ‘Til then, I’ll just stick with having the word Tumblr somewhere in the title, I guess.
Well, anyway these are reproductions of some of the discussions about fandom and race, or race and Hollywood, I just want to signal boost. I give the authors full credit, and advocate for everyone to please subscribe to Tumblr, if you can, or just visit the blogs in the links.
*First, the good news!
9 Black Women Who are Directing Upcoming Feature Films
“Being that 1.3% of feature film directors are women of color (Directors Guild of America, Diversity Report), some powerful black woman are rising above the statistics. From feature films on racial inequality to relationships to women’s issues, these nine directors are shaking up the theaters in 2016 and 2017. Here are the incredible women and the movies they are directing.”
*Wow! I have a lot to say about this one. I’m no longer surprised that this is America’s level of discourse now. This is apparently the country’s go-to, whenever a celebrity, most especially a woman, most often a WoC, does anything to displease White people. And let’s be honest here, its primarily White people because the harassment is often not only gendered, but racial. (Black people generally prefer sarcasm, snark, and biting commentary.)
There’s a certain contingent of White people who love to think of themselves as “not-racist”, but will find any and every excuse to come down hard on PoC who commit the slightest error (and sometimes when they don’t, ala Leslie Jones), especially if that person is a public figure.
These are the same White people who claim to have Black friends, that you never see them with, the same ones who proclaim loudly, and often, that they don’t see color, and love to invoke Martin Luther King’s name to police Black people’s efforts to speak up for themselves. Having publicly made these proclamations, they are still racist, but can’t express it, so when an opportunity presents itself to be irate about an issue and a PoC happens to be involved in it, they use the event (or in the case of Normani, a non-event), to express racial hostility. That way they can still claim they’re not racist, but still express their hatred of Black people.
And if the Black person is being pitted against a White favorite, (especially if that fave is a White woman, with her own gendered harassment that people are willing too ignore, in order to defend her from the imaginary harassment from WoC), they can use the defense of the White man or woman to claim they’re not being racist. This doesn’t just happen on Twitter. It occurs across all social media.
I wonder where this is going, and how far. And I completely understand when celebrities don’t want to have anything to do with social media.
“Normani Kordei is the latest person of color to abandon the Wild West of racism that is Twitter after being subjected to a stream of abuse about an over-long pause during a Facebook Live chat.
Kordei was asked during the interview what she perceived to be fellow singer Camila Cabello’s “best quality,” but instead of responding instantly, she paused to think about her answer. That pause led many of Cabello’s fans to take to Twitter and post the most offensive images they possibly could, including one of Kordei’s head Photoshopped onto the body of a lynched black woman:
In her departure note on Twitter, Kordei told her nearly 2 million followers that “[o]ver the course of this last week and especially over the last 48 hours I’ve not just been cyber bullied, I’ve been racially cyberbullied with tweets and pictures so horrific and racially charged that I can’t subject myself any longer to the hate.”
Her entire farewell-for-now tweet can be read via Twitter.”
Read the full story here (TW for lynching imagery)
This can’t be stated often enough. The standards for Feminism are different for WoC. What White women consider a priority is not the same for Black women, Latinas, Asians, Gay, or Trans women because the media stereotypes are different for each member of these groups, and that’s what the priorities are going to be for women from those particular groups.
Trans and gay women want to stop being killed (Kill Your Gays Trope), Latinas, and Black women just want to be allowed to join in (Erasure), Asian women just want to be seen on screen (Whitewashing). White women want to stop being seen solely as romantic interests (The Sexy Floor Lamp).
But one thing we can all agree on, we just want writers to stop being lazy and write women as people.(This means, of course, that WoC would have to be included for this to happen.)
white women are always like “more strong kickass female leads!” and when i say i want to see a black female love interest who is allowed to be girly and fall in love they give me weird looks and say that i’m supporting gender stereotypes and heteronormativity but what a lot of white women don’t get is that black women we’ve had hundreds of years of having our femininity ripped from us, of being deemed unworthy of male (especially non-black male) attention. black women in media are never allowed to be the “cute” ones or the love interest, we’ve always been the “strong kickass street smart woman” trope that white women want so badly. so basically if a black girl says she wants to see another black girl fulfill the role of “love interest” there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that and it isn’t a hindrance to feminism
*“When I think about what’s going on in the world right now, the world is ready for a bulletproof black man. – Executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker
Saw someone on twitter comment on how the Luke Cage people dropped the trailer on the same day of the anniversary of Mike Brown’s death and you see Luke sporting hoodies throughout the trailer. That really stuck with me
There is a reason that Sam and Steve are dressed alike in every fucking scene. They’re partners. There is no sidekick here. They are on equal footing and every decision that has to be made, is made together, as teammates, as partners.
I think it’s important that Sam was the first to disagree with signing the Accords and not Steve. Sam made his point known first. He didn’t wait to see how Steve would respond to it, because it didn’t matter. Sam felt how he felt, independent of Steve and whatever Steve’s feelings may have been.
Sam’s not afraid to call Steve out on his shit. This is also comic canon. Sam makes his opinion known and Steve shows nothing but respect for Sam and his opinions.
Everyone wonders why no one but Sam was at Peggy’s funeral to support Steve. Did anyone consider that the reason Sam is the only one there for him, is because Sam is the only one he wants to be there for him? Did you consider that Sam is the only one he’s willing to be vulnerable in front of? Did you consider that Sam is the only one he wants by his side? Did you consider that Sam is the only one he actually wants to receive comfort from?
He didn’t even know Natasha was there and his first thought upon seeing her was that she was there simply to talk him into signing the Accords.
Steve tried his best to save Bucky from any and everybody. He and Sam with the help of Sharon, find Bucky together. Sam on the roof as lookout while Steve goes inside. When Black Panther first attacked Bucky, the first thing Steve did, before he did anything else, was call out for Sam. That in itself is very telling.
Bucky attacked Sam and Steve in turn attacked Bucky. They could have played this out a million different ways, but they didn’t. Bucky also fought with Tony, Natasha, Sharon, and T’challa. Yet it was Bucky attacking Sam, and Steve in turn attacking Bucky that they chose to highlight.
Once they, you know Sam and Steve, standing side by side, the way they were for this whole damn movie, have Bucky’s arm in the vice and Steve’s all emotional and happy that Bucky knows who he is, it only takes one look and a few strong words from Sam to snap Steve back into action. “People are dead, Bucky. I need you to do better than I don’t know.”
People wondering why Bucky’s in the back side instead of Sam. There’s a reason Sam and Steve are side by side in the car (besides that fact that side by side is how they’ve been throughout this whole fucking movie,) with Bucky the odd man out in the back, but you know, draw from that scene what you will.
The way Steve keep looking over at Sam throughout the airport scene, you know where they once against stood side by side. I mean, he wasn’t looking back at Bucky, who was once again off to the side. Seriously every scene that had all three of them in it, was Sam and Steve side by side in front of Bucky. They were a united front. Sam and Steve that is. How the fuck do you get Sam as the third wheel side kick out of that?
Airport scene. Steve left because Sam told him to. End of discussion on that.
The last scene before the two end credits is Sam and Steve smiling at each other. Like who the fuck is this third wheel side kick you speak of?
I’m not saying there wasn’t a sidekick. I’m just telling you that it sure as fuck wasn’t Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, aka not your fucking third wheel no matter how much you may want him to be.
Steve said the name ‘Sam’ more times than any other word throughout this whole fucking movie. Just saying.
*This is an excellent summation of the above defense. Sam is constantly being cast as someone whose only worth is that he is of use to the White characters. This is a common trope in fandom because its such a common trope for television and movies.
*I was going to do a post on how all PoC are only ever presented, in most forms of media, as being useful to their White stars. I’m not surprised to see common media tropes about PoC being reproduced in fandom. Its what happens when people don’t bother to examine the media they consume. You can believe yourself to be as Progressive as you want, but if you don’t remain constantly vigilant against racist messages, those messages will infest any art you produce.
*Being Progressive is not a final resting place. Its not a place you get to, then stop moving. It takes constant work. Like germs, these tropes are insidious and sometimes you don’t know you’re in possession of them until you run into them, or someone else points them out.
Is fandom racist? Of course it is. Every other form of media they’ve been exposed to carries problematic messages, or the simple erasure of PoC. The foundations of their fandom are racist, so that is what they are going to produce when it comes to their own art.
The thing is all the antiblack racism in fandom, isn’t new in its use of racism. They cycle though the same racism stereotypes and fit the ones on that they think fit the best. But a lot of this boils down to black people not being seen as people and or individuals separate of nonblacks people. We exist on a spectrum from the saintlike nonthreatening blacks people who exist to take care of nonblacks usually to the detriment of their own wellbeing(Sam)(T’Challa),
and erased from the narrative or vilified depending on how best to be pushed aside(Rhodey)(Nick). But with both we still exist in connection to nonblack people either as their asexual mammy, Mandingo, therapist, or the angry negro, the shady black pesron, and the savage. They can’t fathom we exist as actual people that’s why even before the Black Panther movie comes out their trying to make it about Bucky.
Fandom is so stressful because this always happens whenever there are Black characters in a piece of media. Fandom either figures out a way to use them to shore up their ships or they find out a way to make them a bad guy (that the ship has to band together to take down or something).
(Normally, I’d say something about how it’s all about white dude slash ships, but I just read a Darcy/Steve story where Nick Fury was positioned as a minor bad guy interrupting their happy rom-com of a life for asking Steve to be a little less conspicuous and to let them know that they’re not safe running around New York like they’re on an episode of Friends.)
And Black fans of stuff know this isn’t new.
Our friends know this isn’t new.
Nonblack POC who are fans of characters of color (like Elementary’s Joan) who’ve seen the fandom spin machine at play get it.
The only people who don’t get that rewriting Black characters as villains, nannies, wingmen, and jealous exes so that they can prop up a non-canon ship between two white characters is a bad and constant thing are the people who don’t want to get it.
I mean… considering how you can google this shit? And how there are blogs dedicated to talking about racism in fandom spaces? There’s a point where “I didn’t know” becomes “i didn’t want to know”. Because you can literally track the cycles and the racism and the hate for Black characters in their tags and in fandom meta posts.
I know we joke about it but it is really hard to not be hyper-critical of the media you consume as a person who has been made aware of the ways that stereotypes contribute to your oppression. It’s hard to turn it off an simply enjoy something. As a black person, the hyper-visibility of our death and pain and struggle makes it damn near impossible sometimes. And so to have people who will *never* understand that, people who in their various ways benefit from anti-blackness, say that black fans are overreacting when they critique your favorite cartoon or movie or comic is incredibly callous and dismissive.
it’s so fucking IRRITATING to see these ignorant, holier-than-thou nonblack ppl being all like “there goes tumblr at it again” in my fucking face when I have to deal with another fucked up mishandling of a narrative that’s based around discrimination, castes, slavery, racism or whatever
I am trying my damn best to move past hyper-criticizing media, I really am. i’m trying to be happy and escape from the real life news about another black person being gunned down excessively, by a nonblack person who’s probably gonna get off scot free because that’s what the previous 10 news articles said happened before
I’m trying to keep from media that consistently fucks up writing about racial discrimination/castes in fiction or whatever and mistreating characters that are clearly based on my skin color and my history, but what do we fucking get?
The same garbage. Over. And over. And OVER again. In different sources. In ALL mainstream media. That all say the same thing. That black people are caricatures, are dangerous, are stupid, are aggressive, are hypersexualized, or whatever other one-note stereotypes that nonblack writers make out of us. And we’ve been seen that way in America since the very beginning.
America’s history is solely profiting off of Black (and other non-White) people and their heritage and history and stories, all while making us feel worthless and despicable even though we’re the reason they’re so fortunate.
It’s 20-fucking-16 and I’m tired of seeing myself dead on the news, only to turn the channel and see that I’ve been maimed and murdered in fiction for no discernible reason, portrayed as a dangerous brute that “had it coming”
Writing black or black-coded characters in such a way that they HAVE to threaten the protagonists and force the protagonist into “self defense” (Sound Familiar???) or whatever, when there are other avenues.
There’s nothing wrong with complicated, morally gray, unsavory, black coded characters- but you need to have ENOUGH complex, multifaceted black/black-coded characters to do that with and have a BALANCE. As heroes, anti-heroes, villains, and anti-villains.
“Tumblr’s at it again, they’re never pleased” No, your tasteless, tone-deaf, shitty creators who you hold dear- who I THOUGHT I held dear, are at it again.
Tell them to quit fucking up stories that are CLEARLY based on our suffering, and we’ll stop complaining about it.
And seriously, when are people going to realize that when I post resources that happen BEFORE A THING OR TIME IN QUESTION, I’m showing you that people of color were ALREADY THERE? They didn’t just magically spring into being in time for a battle or to have their portrait painted, that we can assume they were born out of a human and spent some time growing up and existing before anyone wrote about them or created an image or other record of them?
Like this is what happens from teaching and learning history in “periods” or “events” that get presented and analyzed in some sort of vacuum. As if once a new “era” starts, someone slams their hand down on the “Racial Reset Button” that makes everyone magically white again?
Look, no one can force you to fact check what I post here, click the links I have provided, or read what I post at all. But can we at least PRESUME basic knowledge of temporal existence? Am I asking too much?
Bringing you the ongoing geekery on Tumblr and Twitter, where it seems most of the arguments about PoC and the media seem to be occurring. Plus random geekery feat. black people, including announcements of new shows and just hey!isn’t this pretty kind of stuff.
tfa gif meme[1/5 characters] » FINN “I’m not Resistance. I’m not a hero. I’m a stormtrooper. Like all of them, I was taken from a family I’ll never know. And raised to do one thing.”
Shonda Rhimes new Shakespearean drama, Still Star Crossed, which I’m totally here for, and the deeply (and I mean deeply) ignorant backlash against this, as if black people hadn’t been invented until 1964.
ABC’s “Still Star-Crossed” stars Wade Briggs as Benvolio, Lashana Lynch as Rosaline & Sterling Sulieman as Prince Escalus
Written by Heather Mitchell, and based on the book by Melinda Taub, the “Romeo & Juliet” sequel is titled “Still Star-Crossed” and is set in 16th century Verona, picking up where Shakespeare’s original work ended. It chronicles the treachery, palace intrigue and ill-fated romances of the Montagues and Capulets in the wake of the young lovers’ tragic fate.
Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG! A black woman playing a white English queen? And I’m not even talking about the armour nonsense. What’s next a native american roman emperor wearing a grass skirt? A white Ghandi wearing ripped jeans and psychedelic shirts?
If you throw reality and historical accuracy out of the window for being PC you’re movie isn’t worth watching because it can have no real message.
And this is why I don’t have any plans to stop blogging here anytime soon. Until the concept that “historical accuracy” means “only cast white people” dies a well-deserved death, I’m going to keep posting art and documents that prove that casting historical adaptations with people of color is MORE accurate that leaving them out. When it comes to Black women characters in European Medieval and Renaissance theater, you can go back to PRIMARY sources and see them for yourself:
It sickens me that after three years of posting my research, there are still people who look at images as beautiful as these and say that it’s wrong. This is a Shakespeare adaptation; are you seriously sitting there thinking that everyone’s in Shakespeare’s writing, or in Elizabethan England, was white? The idea of people of color existing outside where YOU think they should be is somehow ridiculous?
Such a double standard. It’s wrong to turn poc historical figures white but it’s also wrong to turn white historical figures to poc. Social justice warriors are always trying to rewrite history to fit their agendas. People on tumblr constantly lose their shit over their false claim cleopatra was black. Yet a white British queen is black and that’s fine. It’s nonsense.
That’s because if you call out their lies and delusion they scream racist. They are bullies who are turning what should be a serious accusation into something meaningless. Sadly they are too stupid to realise this and how harmful it ends up being towards victims of real racism. It’s the boy who cried wolf but instead it’s the SJW who cried racist. Not to mention medieval poc has been called out countless times for talking utter shit. Not to mention a few personal accusations. Which I take with a pinch of salt but still they are out there.
And again I’m noticing that it’s when a person of color is cast in a role considered to be the “property” of white people only, because, you know, “historical accuracy”, that’s when everyone really comes out of the woodwork to show what’s really important to them.
Dominic Cooke explained the decision to cast Sophie in what is considered to be a traditionally white role, saying: “Well, in the theatre we’ve been doing this for donkeys years.”
He said that he wanted to go with the actor who was “right for the part” rather than any other factor.
Dominic went on to say: “I think Sophie is the best person in this country to play that part, I really do. Her visceral power and range is so extraordinary – that’s what I was really looking for.
And hey, when you can’t attack the truth of what someone has to say anymore, you try to cast aspersions on who and what they are to try and discredit what they have to say. Because that’s a wholly new and original concept, right?
Every time we see a sign of real, concrete change, there’s twice that amount of backlash. I post pictures like these ones of Sophie Okonedo because so many people STILL have a massive, vocal problem with seeing an actress of color, especially a Black actress, playing a Medieval European role. I’m really not sure how any of you who’ve commented really can believe, or that anyone else can believe, that you care about “the truth” when it’s painfully obvious that what you really care about is Whites Only, Forever.
Also, “Social Justice Warrior”? That’s the best rebuttal anyone can come up with? This is tiresome and old, and I’d like to think after three flipping YEARS of doing this, someone would have come up with something better than “SJW!!”, personal attacks, and “b-b-b-but HISTORICAL ACCURACY!!!”
Oh quit bullshitting like this isn’t about your racism. Anthony Hopkins did Titus Andronicus as a half-dream half art piece with Saturnius and Bassanius using podiums and 1950′s style microphones to argue which one of them should be king. Kenneth Branagh did Hamlet in the Victorian Era. David Tennant did Hamlet in a fucking t-shirt. “Sons of Anarchy” was based on the story of Hamlet and it was about a motorcycle club running guns to the IRA. Don’t give me any shit about fucking ‘historical accuracy’ you fucking ponce, it’s SHAKESPEARE- it’s literally been done by a dog dressed in little hats and jackets (Wishbone, I never forgot you) and Wednesday and Pugsley Adams. If you have a problem with this you are not only a racist asshat, but you are so damn ignorant of Shakespeare I don’t even fucking know why you bothered to have an opinion except to let people KNOW you are a racist asshat.
And I mean, all good Shakespeare companies blind cast. Shakespeare companies pretty much invented that. An African-American actor was playing King Lear in the 1820s in London, yet people still get bent out of shape over actors of color in Shakespeare in the 2010s. It’s a long tradition, unlike the movie and TV tradition of casting people of color mostly in small roles and only “when there’s a reason for it.”
and plus it’s not like AC fandom gave a shit about what fans of color thought anyway!
every time a fan of color brought up lack of diversity they’re always crowing ‘just keep watching! just keep supporting the show! they’ll have more diversity next season!’. ‘wait your turn’ basically. ‘let us have ours and you’ll get yours in eventually. just wait your turn. baby steps :)’
all that, all the time from white fandom. ‘if you don’t support the show it’ll be cancelled and you’ll never get to see representation! just support AC and more diversity will come!’
*I have never played this game, what I know about it comes from books but I was unaware that the movie had been “whitewashed”.
I hope the Assassin’s Creed movie bombs not because domestic abuser Michael Fassbender is the lead, but they were supposed to tell the story of Altaïr. Instead we have a white assassin from Spain with tribal paint and a Moor-themed outfit. Not only
is this blatant whitewashing as the Moors descended from Northern Africa, but it’s a disrespect to Spanish speaking cultures as well. They literally used a surname as the assassin’s first name (Aguilar) just because it means eagle. Moreover, I’m not only a non-white Latina, but have Moorish descency and regularly get mistaken for being Middle-Eastern so I obviously find this movie disrespectful to my ancestors. And it sucks that Fassbender is not only director but Aguilar and Callum.
The Assassin’s Creed movie is real shitty especially since we’ve been bombared with white male leads as of late. This would’ve been a perfect opportunity to tell a Syrian assassin’s story or introduce an entirely new poc character. Fuck Ubisoft.
Yeah, as someone who played the games, I am really disappointed – I was hoping we’d get a Middle Eastern protagonist, PLAYED BY A MIDDLE EASTERN PERSON instead of some tan, stubbled white dude (see: Prince of Persia and Gods of Egypt)……and instead we get this boring lazy whitewashed re-hash with freakin Aguilar instead of Altair because they want the same concepts but without the color.
They don’t actually want Middle Eastern people to play anything but villains.
But, what REALLY kills me is that Altair means close to the same thing as Aguilar. (altair means bird)
They wanna keep every element of the story down to the smallest details but wanna literally white-wash not only the history of Moors and the culture, but they whitewashed the damn game too.
I mean, they couldn’t have just gone with Ezio if they wanted a white male protag that badly?
As someone who loves videogames and would be happy to see a videogame movie suceed for once, I’m actually hoping this one flops too.
– Mod K
Seriously with the Assassin’s Creed movie, they had like 4 other games they could’ve pulled from the series if they needed their white protag so badly(all which are always acknowledged over the characters of color the series has). But no, they HAD to mess with Altair’s story for other reason but to whitewash. Hope these whitewashed movies keep flopping. When that’s out in theaters I’ll be playing Assassin’s Creed 3 and Liberation with Connor(native american) and Aveline(black).
If you wanted your mid-30′s brown haired grizzled white man with stubble aka. the only video game protagonist anyone know how to make, why don’t you pick the white boy faves of Assassin’s Creed? Pick Ezio, Shay, and Jacob if you want ANOTHER white male lead.
This just takes it up to a whole other level in appalling and racist.
Seriously, I’ll be playing Assassin’s Creed with the non-white washed, Syrian assassin named Altair, instead of watching this whitewashed knockoff.
*I have been wondering about this for some time. Read these articles about the Grizzled White Male in video games. I’m just baffled that game developer’s their world building is astonishing, but they are completely lacking in imagination when it comes to creating people for these games.
I feel like I’m the only person on Earth who doesn’t want a Black Widow movie.
1) ScarJo has been in like 40 marvel movies, Lucy and she’s about ruin Ghost In The Shell. I honestly don’t care if ScarJo never works again.
2) White Women starring in films is not progressive in 2016+
Give me a Misty Knight/Colleen Wing movie. Give Storm the full length feature justice she’s long been denied. Introduce the movie going audience to Kamala Khan and/or America Chavez. I’m psyched that Wonder Woman is finally getting a movie, but letting white women join the party just isn’t enough for me.