So many times have I watched sci-fi, especially when it’s supposed to be utopian, and ask, “So, that whole part where 80-90% of humanity was wiped out in targeted ethnic violence or a mass eugenics program that CLEARLY must have happened for this group to be so white? Can we talk about that?”
Or flip-side, the dystopias where the BIG CRIME is that white people are being treated poorly, but no one mentions what happened to the POC… (still wondering what happened to the Latino folks in Hunger Games movie, and shudders with horror at their absence…)
Am I the only one who thinks the reason that the society is represented as utopian is because they somehow got rid of all the people of colour? And the author never seems to realize this is what is coming out of their minds? This scrubbed whitewashed superiority etc wish?
I haven’t seen the dystopian ones though. Or at least, the distopian ones I have seen? There are white ppl being treated badly, dealing with poverty. And then there are MUTANTS or ALIENS trapped on earth or some such, and STILL no human people of colour. And it’s all the corrupt government megaconglormate’s fault; which is run by rich greedy white people.
And then I end up wondering if the poverty etc happened cause none of the poor white people want to be janitors or maids or gardeners or assembly line workers etc.
Occasionally? I have the horrible thought that all the PoC are actually the servant class robots. That there was a mass ethnic cyborgizing, cause it was easier to re-enslave electronically than create actual complex AI. And of course the cyborg/android servants just take it.
Hell even though the Matrix had PoC? I can’t get over the Animatrix explaining how the machines set up their own civilization in a desert and the humans declared war cause they just couldn’t stand having that civilization exist and be more advanced than them and create advanced products etc. And all those peeps in power declaring war and sending the world to hell? White.
It’s all damn telling.
Just like the enemies in fantasy always being brown; while white people walk around in kimonos and faux Egypt, and ride the plains like Mongolians and some NDN tribes.
Am I the only one who thinks the reason that the society is represented as utopian is because they somehow got rid of all the people of colour?
Or at least, the people of color who are present are a few tokens who never shake the system… The utopia is either our complete absence or our obedience, because POC having their own in any way or form is too dangerous.
In a lot of ways, where I see the all white cast + robots, I figure they made the robots and got rid of the POC, much in the same way they constantly shifted cheap labor based on who they could get to work the hardest and survive under the worst conditions.
Reminds me of the short story “Space Traders”
Because if it really came down to it, this shit would most definitely come true.
scariest fuckers on earth
How many then went to go see “AfterEarth” in the theaters because if you didn’t then you comments are useless. If you will not support a film with us not only in the future but with a leading role then why make/reblog posts like these?
Just for the records; cause this level of ignorance (the above post by - I believe it is ‘lessonsinthecorner’, needs speaking on.
When there are SO FEW media products out there that contain PoC in leading roles, far less leading roles in SFF, that the PoC media consuming public has to be treated like a monolith; is treated like a monolith in that their personal likes and dislikes; their personal appreciation for actor and director doesn’t settle into it because SOMEHOW revolution will come from purchasing power directly and only and not from change higher up the line; not from cultural wake up calls and realizations, not from a lack of ethnocentric focus in the creators, not from a pigeon holing of WHO gets to act and direct in those few few media products?
THERE IS STILL A FUCKING PROBLEM.
People swarmed to see the first and even the second Men in Black. Do you know what that told the film companies? Make more of the same. Exactly The Same! NOT - there’s a hunger for SCIFI / Urban SCiFI with PoC possibilities.
PEOPLE SWARMED (who were in the know to hear about) ATTACK THE BLOCK. That shit has FANS. DIE HARD FANS. Have YOU heard about a follow up? If we’ll ever get a continuing story of if there are more of the aliens, of Moses’ treatment by the police once he was out of the spotlight of his neighbourhood? If there were other attacks in other parts of the world?
Did you watch Silver Hawk? I can ask you. Did you watch The Touch?
And it’d mean nothing. Because the promotion of those films was minimal in the US. And individuals may not personally have liked the actors or the style. Whereas white audiences? They get such a mixture of things. They get Galaxy Quest AND Gattica AND Solaris and Dark City AND Aliens AND The Matrix AND Cloverfield and so many many more; different styles and contexts and approaches in SciFi, so many different actors and directors and editing styles.
When PoC are still being treated as a blank single block of monolithic viewing possibilities and ALL must go and watch a SINGLE film or they ‘aren’t doing anything’ about the RAMPANT MULTI-TIERED GENERATIONALLY INSTITUTIONAL RACISM in the movie making business?
That is a fucking problem.
Also for the fucking records: Talking about it, having conversations, bringing LANGUAGE into it - that powerful thing, language; sharing information, creating, forming and maintaining COMMUNITY? Bully shit for you you find it so fucking scary you want to downplay it. BUT IT IS DOING SOMETHING.
The communication of ideas, ideology, philosophy and life NEVER HAPPENS IN A FUCKING VACUUM. The communication of the revolution? IS ALWAYS AN ACTIVE PART OF THE REVOLUTION.
remember that one time sir patrick stewart really wanted to play othello because othello is gr9
and so his solution was to do a racially flipped cast of othello and he hired all black actors for the rest of the story so he wasn’t being mr. all the time white dudes while at the same time providing opportunities not often available in theater for black actors to fill the stage, incl. an interracial relationship w. a black woman who was presented as desirable
without changing the original text and having “an increased emphasis on abuse against women”
…this was in 1997
just throwin’ that out there
US-centrism is people in Australia following the US news cycle incessantly about violence in Boston, but having no awareness of violence in Bangalore, and simply being desensitised to violence in Baghdad.
ASIAN AMERICAN DISNEY PRINCESSES:
by Kim (annakimskywalker) & Donnie (donniekompany)
11x17 inkjet prints
Most of us grew up watching Disney classics featuring the beautiful Disney princesses we all know and love. Disney was and continues to be a staple in the lives of many children. However, despite how much we admired these princesses, it was difficult relating to them because they didn’t physically represent us. Take a look at any Disney princess product and you will see the preference towards the White princesses, white washing of princesses of color (skin color, facial features, etc), and the shoving of these princesses to the side.
In the 76 years since Snow White was released, there have been 11 (soon to be 12) Disney princesses, only 4 of whom are women of color (Jasmine in 1992, Pocahontas in 1995, Mulan in 1998, and Tiana in 2009). It took 55 yearsto portray a woman of color as a princess, and these portrayals also came with problematic and inaccurate representations of their respective cultures & histories (not to mention Tiana was a frog more than half of the movie).
How are young APIA children supposed to believe in “happy endings” when we don’t see them happening to people who look like us?
All of the above was the inspiration behind this photoshoot. We believe physically showing some of our favorite princesses as Asian American women will allow us to build more of a connection with the princesses who weren’t women of color, but who still possess qualities we admire and/or see in ourselves.
**These are just 5 of the 15 we recently showed at our university’s Asian American Studies Expo.
Andrea as Sleeping Beauty
Henna as Belle
Cat as Cinderella
Young as Snow White
Jenny as Tinkerbell
Editing: Kim & Rachelle
I live in cracks and nooks. I exist nowhere and everywhere. My feminism is a territory cast aside from the big island that is Feminism, at least, the feminism that everyone has been discussing regarding #femfuture.
There is this US territory, not coded as such but as “online feminism” (presented as neutral, deterritorialized, homogenous) but this construction is not online feminism, it is American or perhaps North American, or should I go all Latina and just call it what it is: Anglo feminism and then there is me in the sidelines. So, when Jessica Luther wondered out loud what I thought (there have been a lot of polemics about the report), I sincerely have no thoughts because I don’t belong in this.
To call what is going on in an Anglo centric environment “online feminism” is to cast me (and millions like me) away from the umbrella. We live elsewhere. We communicate in English but we are not part of the culture that is being discussed. We are the outsiders that have issues that are alien to this “online feminism”. I highlight the attack on reproductive rights going on in the US as much as I can, but this is not my personal fight; I point to the need of US immigration reform as much as I come across topics that cover it, but my reason of existence is EU immigration reform and its intersections with gender; when something that happened in the US needs denouncing to harness the collective attention, I gladly lend myself to it because I believe feminism is not a zero sum game (i.e. if I spend a few minutes or hours talking about an issue in North America, it doesn’t detract from my long term goals about policies, racism and gender in Europe). However, that’s not my “online feminism”. I might get lumped into the term because I communicate in English but my reality is rather different: I live in Amsterdam.
And here’s what happens when you inhabit these cracks: you pretty much don’t exist. Years ago when I started writing publicly, I made the decision to write in English (instead of Spanish or Dutch) because a) it’s the language most spoken in my surrounding and b) my written Dutch is appalling. I lack nuance, I lack depth, I have the vocabulary of a child and quite frankly, it’s a language that limits my ability to communicate on the level I wanted to. Besides, when in 2002, the Euro came in, I quickly threw myself into the political consequences of this Union and I thought I’d be more effective writing in a language that is widely spoken within the area. However, because I am simultaneously in (i.e. part of this online feminism by virtue of writing, blogging, creating media, etc in the English language) and outside (i.e. I live in Europe and the bulk of what I write and communicate is about WoC living in Europe), I get pretty much ignored. When feminist organizations in The Netherlands organize events, they do not know I exist. Sure, I know for a fact I am read by some (in fact, the biggest feminist NGO in the country has me listed in their blogroll), but I do not speak the “local language”. Oh I do speak Dutch all right. But I speak of a feminism that is practically alien to them. I shout about immigration reform and death of WoC, I yell about State violence directed at WoC, I insist on the hierarchical nature of a White Supremacist Patriarchal State… all the topics that local feminist organizations won’t touch with a ten foot pole. So, I simply do not get invited. They will happily bring Caitlin Moran over from the UK to give a talk (they did last year) but those like me simply do not exist locally.
Then there is the American version of online feminism, which has other realities and other goals and other culturally relevant issues, to which I do not get invited either because frankly, I have nothing of meaning to contribute (thousands of WoC are doing that locally and passionately, so why would anyone bring me over to talk about what people with better local knowledge and ideas are already doing?). In the UK, the online feminist discourses seem to be dangerously US centric as well. The exception being Black feminists who are contributing a wealth of knowledge and creating their own epistemic histories but that is not (yet) mainstream UK feminism. Mainstream is, once again, Caitlin Moran. Online, British feminism looks either inward (rightfully so, because they are focused in their local issues) or towards the US (as if the US was the feminist Mother Ship one should aspire to) but there isn’t much in terms of a European focus. “Things” happen either in the UK or in the US and once again… I inhabit another space.
So, all these talks about #femfuture are certainly not about me. If anything, I try to firmly stand my ground so as not to be colonized by this increasingly US centric version of online feminism. My resistance ends up being a double bind: I need to resist the policies, racism, discrimination, etc of a State that considers those like me disposable and I need to resist the absorption of the “Mother Ship” that owns the discourses around which feminist issues matter the most. In the meantime, I can tell you this much: my #femfuture is about yelling louder. Because really, there isn’t much else I can do, further than assimilating (which, no) in order to create the awareness I believe is needed.
God, do I know this feeling. It’s mostly why I stopped capital-b blogging.
What rankles as well is that here there are some pretty vocal & strong voices from women of colour. But often white feminists in Australia will ignore them in favour of an analysis of racial justice coming from the USA. Sometimes in favour of people coming from the USA.
Also, Flavia is more generous than I am, I suppose. After trying to be heard by US-centric bloggers, only to be told I was “doing nothing” and “build it yourself”, I pretty much gave up on showing solidarity when none was being shown my way.
…moving beyond transation is also an attempt at restitution for the careless aggression and violent appropriation involved in any act of translation—a restoration of the balance, a making visible of our failures. It is a new sense of what fidelity in translation means.
The need for restitution came to me strongly a few years ago when I discussed before a Malay audience, in a stranger’s version of their language, my experiences in translating the opening lines of the great Malay classic, the Hikayat Hang Tuah … When I was finished, and the last polite questions appeared to have been asked, a respected Malay scholar stood up and said he hoped I would not translate Hang Tuah into English.
I was nonplussed. Why not? He explained that if it were available in English, no one would read the Malay. He seemed to state this as a matter of obvious fact, not as an accusation. I did not make a good response. I suspect he knew I wouldn’t and had politely waited until the end of the questioning. I had not thought that a translation might come to represent the Malay original. I had seen it, naively, only as giving access to the original. I had no sense of the responsibility of it or even being entitled to… translate.
… Translation has not been a neutral painless act. It has been necessarily full of politics and semi-intended errors of exuberance and deficiency. … Some reciprocity is called for, not out of silly sensitivities and politeness alone, but because translation is not a neutral act. Translation fidelity itself demands a reciprocity, a sorting out of exuberances and deficiencies, a confession of failures and sleights of hand.It is the only way I know of by which to make restitution to those who, in old Malay words, mpunya carita ‘wrought the words and in that sense own them’.
A.L. Becker. “Beyond Translation—Essays Towards a Modern Philology”, 1995.
I have a thing in my eye…
Thank you for the helpful advice fb but Australia is already stuck with me
i want to say something witty and insightful but i can’t
I started a hashtag
you can attain native fluency when people pull their eyes up at the corners and call you “Ching chong Chinese girl” when white people tell you “go back where you came from” when the asshole on the bus tells you your breakfast “smells like shit” when you’re too embarrassed to speak your native tongue in public with your parents when you’ve lost so much of it you can’t be called “fluent” anymore and instead have to sit by and watch pretentious white boys write papers in Chinese and Japanese and get called “cultured” “educated” “worldly” when you’re too embarrassed to introduce your aunt to your friends because she doesn’t speak their language when you’ve forgotten all the words. when you try to study it in college to pick it up again. when it’s not your area of focus or study and you speak it anyway, you whisper it in your head and translate coworker conversations, looking for the right phrasing. when you smile at the lady who works the dumpling cart, call her aiyi and have her eyes crinkle in a smile only shared between two people of the same background, to have her tell you that you’re welcome back any time in a warm voice like your mother’s.
[img: ‘the uncomfortable truths well.’ two stick figures stand before it. one throws in something and says ‘for a universe that’s supposed to be half chinese, firefly sure doesn’t have any asians.’]
indian and hindu women apparently aren’t inspiring enough to be featured on a bindi blog.
like just the whole attitude tumblr feminists have towards that scene makes me so angry because wow a++ job not taking ANY cultural context into that film
like haha look she has so much agency she has decided to cut off her hair and thus divorce herself of femininity EXCEPT THAT THAT’S NOT THE WAY GENDER OPERATES IN ANCIENT CHINA EXHIBIT A:
for han people prior to the qing dynasty (and i’m telling you right now mulan is set before the qing), cutting your hair is a sign of shame and disgrace and humiliation because you are cutting off that which your parents gave you and you are being incredibly disrespectful to your parents, which is the ENTIRE REASON why people were willing to LOSE THEIR HEADS instead of cut their hair when the manchus mandated that men were to shave their hair into queues after conquering china
like unless you are a buddhist nun or a buddhist monk (even daoist monks and daoist nuns don’t shave their heads; see wudang, emei) who has cut their hair to signify that they are no longer concerned with the 凡 and thus familial/personal relationships are no longer of import, i can’t remember a situation in which it wasn’t a disgrace for han people to cut their hair prior to ~1644
i will always reblog this always relevant piece of commentary re: cultural appropriateness of feminist commentary, or lack there of.
Organic, fair trade, locally-produced, all natural, cage free, cruelty free, eco-friendly. An elaborate array of labels and certifications yanks at the conscience of the American consumer at the grocery store, attempting to convince them that by buying certain products over others, they can do their part to create a more equitable food system.
The idea of the “Green Economy” is to address the environmental and social problems within the food system by creating a more “ethical” economic market alternative to the mainstream corporate market.
While the Green Economy has made some important gains in enlightening consumers to many issues, the creed of “voting with your fork” – of buying change – is inherently undemocratic, distracting the consumer from taking aim at the deeper issues at the root of our broken food system and reinforcing divisions of race and class.
Participation in the Green Economy “is about how much you have to buy or sell,” sociologist Alison Hope Alkon points out in her spot on the political radio program Against the Grain. “Voting with your fork” is only an effective means for hearing the voices of those who can afford the most forks. “The need in a farmers’ market, or in any kind of alternative [Green Economy] food project, is for the producers to be able to make money. So that’s certainly at odds with making the food cheap enough to increase access,” Alkon explains.
As consumers remain convinced that by shopping in a certain way they are doing their part, they are blind to the need to fight the corporatization of our resources in order for good, healthy, “ethically” produced food to be available to everyone.
For one thing, the idea that there is only one right way of doing English – and everyone else is doing it wrong – is inherently flawed. And by “flawed” I mean illogical, elitist and even oppressive. Judgements about what counts as “right”, “good” and “correct” in writing and grammar always – ALWAYS – align with characteristics of the dialects spoken by privileged, mostly wealthy, mostly white people. We make these judgements based on learned biases, as well as a certain emotional attachment to our own way of doing things. But when people study dialects in an objective, scientific way (which is what cunning linguists actually do), they find that low-prestige dialects, such as African-American Vernacular English or Cockney English, have fully-formed grammar rules of their own that make just as much sense as any others. They are perfectly valid and functional forms of communication used by millions of people. The only difference is that they don’t have people running around telling everyone else to do it their way.
The REAL Toy Story | Michael Wolf
Behind those toys are a whole new world of “fun”.
This is not steampunk, but everything to do with the contradictions of steampunk subculture that will become more apparent with the rise of mainstream consumerism: a community that scorns mass production, but to an extent, is dependent upon mass produced goods to create the styles its aspires toward.
Many steampunk props, guns, and modification source materials for the person of average means is created by a larger global production force that is undergoing their own industrial revolution.
While many people thrift, mod, and create their own subcultural goods, that is more possible for participants with a certain level of class privilege (time to thrift, time to build, financial means to get special-order goods, access to stores that sell wholesale products, etc). And there are many steampunk participants who choose to mod, thrift or upcycle using source materials that are produced overseas (the classic Nerf mod being an example).
As mass popularity of steampunk items grow, this connection to non-Western mass production will need to be ethically addressed by participants of our community.