I’ve already said that Asians just like to eat funny things because of our funny beliefs. We are simply carrying on with this Oriental idiosyncracy by being veg*ns. It’s traditional!
I’m joking, of course.
I feel the whole thing would be best expressed in the esoteric Siamese tongue but unfortunately I must make do with English.
In Thailand, there is literally no such thing as being veg*n. There is only eating veg*n: กินเจ. ‘กิน’ is the verb ‘to eat’; ‘เจ’ is a loan word meaning ‘vegetarian/vegan’ from the Teocheow dialect of Chinese, showing the contribution of the sizeable Chinese (predominantly Teocheow)-Thai population. Whether or not you consume animal products in general (in clothing, cosmetics etc.) is up to you, but you’ve got to keep in mind that Thailand has made a long and revered tradition out of raising larvae and killing them for their coccoons. More of our Siamese decadence for you.
Anyway, that aside, the killing of animals is fully acknowledged and definitely thought to be taboo. However, the fact of death isn’t really covered up to make you feel better about it. Thai attitudes towards meat are generally more frank, in my experience. People regularly raise their own livestock and it is absolutely no secret that we kill animals to eat their muscle and innards. It’s in the language, also - meat is not some vague noun but quite specifically ‘animal flesh’ (the same part of the word used to describe human flesh and human muscle). There is no culinary separation but simply the flesh of a chicken or a pig so we can never be under any illusions about what we are really eating. I’m not saying it’s perfect of course, but it is at least a bit more truthful.
Also, despite the taboo of animal slaughter, there is no stigma attached to those who must do it as an occupation so there’s nothing like the burakumin going on in Thailand.
Veg*nism in Thailand takes different forms. Undoubtedly there are people who perhaps could be said to think of the bigger picture and view veg*nism as a lifestyle because they disagree with the meat industry and its consequences/origins. However, the native tradition of veg*nism is more to do with ritual. One will give up meat for a set number of days in exchange for something else. You’d go along to the temple of your choice, make an offering (of eggs or of course something else if you’re vegan) and receive the blessing of a monk. Then you will go away and give up your meat, and your conscious sacrifice of something sinful will be rewarded with not necessarily the thing you ask for, but a sense of accomplishment.
As for the Thai-Chinese population, those who worship the goddess Kwan-yin will eschew beef and are still thought to be ‘eating vegetarian’. There are also vegetarian festivals - again, for ritual purposes. For some, it is not simply enough that you do not eat meat but you must also avoid certain vegetables - garlic, chillis (well, it’s a berry but bear with me), a type of long green onion — those things are thought to be too strong and excite inappropriate lusts in you at this time of year. And there are yet more who also would not eat dairy or eggs, so they would be considered vegan.
It is important to also consider regional variations. Thailand is not homogenous; it is made up of distinct ethnic groups, languages and cultures. The climate, economy and culture of the north-east of Thailand would make eating vegetarian more difficult than if you were lounging about in your house at Sukhumvit with many restaurants, shops, time, money and probably servants to do your cooking for you.
There are of course people whose attitudes fall somewhere inbetween all that, mixing the spiritual with the political and personal. But what do I know? I’m English and Thai, I could not possibly speak for a Thai person living in Thailand. I’m just relaying to you the little I do know to show that there are different ways of being veg*n.
Iif you want to critique it, you are going to have to be really careful that you don’t lapse into Orientalist narrative. The idea that Asian people are just THOSE ORIENTALS with strange supserstitious beliefs and disgusting food habits in opposition to the rational, enlightened ways of “The West” has got to go, sorry. Check your own back yard at the same time; then we can have a productive and balanced discussion instead of it being quite one-sided.
(bolded text not in the original)
By the increasingly essential Neo-Prodigy.
Dwayne was tremendously important to me, and tremendously important to the comics and animation I love, even if he got about a freaking quadrillionth of the credit he deserved. This piece says a great deal about him in a way I was too upset to do at the time, and I hope you all read it and leave a comment.
So, I’ve long been a neo-prodigy fangirl. He has an amazing mind, astoundingly brilliant politics and takes. no. shit. Which is a quality I adore in peeps. And this tribute to McDuffie is totally a must-read.
Ugh, that guy is a raging misogynist and a bully.
Start With Amsterdam!
An Alternative Statement on the Sexual Nationalisms Conference
By Mikki Stelder
The Opening Panel
“This is the most fucked up conference I have ever been to”: says professor Jasbir Puar at the closing panel of the conference Sexual Nationalisms, held at the University of Amsterdam on the 27th and the 28th of January. This does not mean that the conference is bad, but rather that the conference is very revealing. The aim of the conference is to discuss “current” configurations of Lesbian-Gay-Trans-Bisexual (LGTB) politics in relation to interconnecting realities of globalization, neocolonialisms and increasing nationalisms. The critique of sexual nationalisms, or rather homonationalism, as Puar coined it, is “not a synonym for gay racism and conservatism”, it is intertwined with a critique of broader structures of racism, neoliberism and class exclusion that are at the core of these homonationalist configurations. Homonationalism is often set aside as a synonym for gay racism and a conservative politics, but if someone takes an interest in reading Puar’s work it becomes clear that homonationalism and nationalism are no longer categories that belong to the political right. Homonationalism is a liberal queer politics that works on the basis of a discourse that allows citizenship for some and excludes (often racially constructed) others.
The perspective of the conference already became apparent in the decision to choose sexual nationalism and not homonationalism as the title. Already in the opening speech of the first panel there is a lack of understanding on how the concept of homonationalism has been developed. A question that arises is: why did the organizers choose the term “sexual nationalisms” and not “homonationalism” or “gay imperialism”? The choice of renaming this concept, without revealing the purposes, erases previous labor invested in developing a strong critique of homonationalism over the years. The term is presented as a new invention in light of the conference and obscures the work already done over the years. It becomes even more problematic when the term “sexual nationalism” is heralded as an invention by a PhD-student from the University of Amsterdam Paul Mepschen, who is one of the organizers of the conference. It moreover becomes embarrassing that the person who coined the term, Jasbir Puar, is actually sitting on that opening panel. Why does a PhD-student, who is overtly privileged, but does not have any substantial academic credentials as of yet, get to wield so much power? Why is it that the concept of “sexual nationalism, ” already in the first five minutes of the conference, is wrongly introduced, while the person who developed the term is sitting right next to the speaker? Why is it that the speaker can get away with this? Mepschen hardly raised a finger when “sexual nationalism” was heralded as a term he developed. Only after the introduction, he laughingly refuted the praise, without correcting the mistake.
aaka mewmew has
nofew reservations about being grumpy on tumblr
i am not posting this to be mean or grumpy but just to comment on the nature of tumblr, which i like to do from time to time.
i find it interesting that i can post a picture of a pretty stand mixer or something from hyperbole and a half about avoiding people for the internet (which is still getting reblogged from time to time, even though i posted it months ago) and that will get 300 reblogs in an hour
and i can post a screenshot of mubarek resigning, or something about something oppressive, or a picture of fat identified folks looking fucking hot, etc etc, and it will get maybe three or four reblogs
what is the point of tumblr? what are we here for? how can we mix the gawking and admiring of beautiful things/art/lovely objects with actual constructive thought and discourse?
finally reblogging this because i’m kind of legit pissed at the queer tumblrverse for having only given this photo from fuckyeahhispanicbears eight notes so far
eight! what is that shit?!
this photo is fucking awesome y’all
no, seriously, it’s one of the best sexyphotos i’ve seen on tumblr in a while
i love the hot chubby cub, obviously, and i love his cute undies and his pose: and, as much as that, i love that it’s clearly in a family home, i love that he took a sexy photo of himself - i think with a timed camera - in a room that was probably decorated by his mom or his auntie or his abuelita, i love the gold-tone drapes and the mismatched sofa, i love the family photos, i love the oldass computer, i love the vacuum in the corner and the soda bottle in the foreground
idk, like - and this is not not not a personal attack on any of the people who’ve said whatever in response to transartorialism’s original post - but a chunk of the response has been like “yeah! isn’t is weird how i can post a cute pic and get dozens of reblogs and post an actual idea and get like three??”
- but that’s kind of exactly the point: it’s pretty overwhelmingly urban skinny white kids with a certain cool hipsterish queer fashion who get 30, 50, 100, 400 reblogs
not chubby brown guys who take pics of themselves in their family’s livingroom, you know?
and partially it’s straightup body-normalizing stuff ‘cause he’s a chub-of-color but i also think the photo’s setting is at least as important; i find it really beautiful and charming and, just - it means something to me that this sexy photo is happening in a family home with family pictures on the wall, and not in some cool kid’s apartment in the city where they live with their cool kid roommates or whatever
there’s the life-style normalizing: the normative queer-white-middle-class assumption that you move away to the city and live ‘on your own’ and don’t (need to / want to) stick around to pay your share of your family’s rent or take care of your little siblings or your grandparents or whoever else
i mean i definitely know queer and otherwise not-het adult folks who live with their biological families, and they are all working-class or poor and almost all are not white: the expected queer life trajectories are very! raced and classed!
even though i’ve followed the normative queer young adult life path pretty closely, i can’t believe / would like to not believe that there are really so few people around here who have some - some sense of emotion and eroticism around the home-ishness of this photo, some idea of what it could mean, some sense of pleasure around the queer norms it subverts
i’m grumpy that this photo only has eight notes right now
whatevs! toxicass normalizing queer aesthetics and thought patterns
I mean obviously lots of people have really good reasons to avoid their families, I’m not seeking to minimise that. but there’s this very high school feeling thing around me where it’s really uncool to have significant ties to the family you were raised in, what the hell is that? like cutting/loosening ties to your family represents independence and maturity [implied: fuckability]. which for some people it can. but coming to terms with your interdependence with others, shouldering responsibilities, learning how to get along with people you don’t necessarily have interests in common with, learning how to maintain intergenerational relationships — these are all mature acts as well. in any case, the people I know who genuinely can’t rely on their birth family tend to get a bit grumpy with young people with reliable families acting like they are super hardcore and living on the edge for living out of home by choice.
so that’s a general Anglo youth culture thing. then there’s also the white queer narrative of shedding your “biological family” and finding your “real family”. but what if you don’t fit in in hip white-dominated assumed-middle-class queer spaces? they’re not necessarily a sanctuary. just like birth families, they can be sites of violent oppression.
This is why I find “alternative queer” culture just alienating, cliquish, and elitist. Why “radical queer” crtiques of same-sex marriage politics ring super hollow to me. What these people build are cliques of people just like them, not families. And for someone who’s been torn away from my family through migration, then racially abused in this country, why the fuck would I accept this hollow ethics into my life as “family”?
And, in my culture, someone moving away from their family for reasons other than needing to for study/work, is doing something really childish, self-indulgent and irresponsible. White culture, and the deep neoliberalism that informs it, never recognises any such thing as obligation.
Tom Gates (via kari-shma)
This is such bullshit. Of course a white dude would find it “easier” to be angry at someone. Of course he’d have the wherewithal to determine that the “courageous” thing to do is to tell them that he’s hurt. He’s never going to have to worry that his pain will be taken in bad faith, will be ridiculed, or simply ignored.
Anger is fucking useful, that’s why humans have it. I’m so sick of privileged dudes preaching cheek-turning meekness when they have nothing to lose by it.
In Australia, I have so many friends, awesome in many ways but I’d be without MOST of them if I distanced myself from those that had done just one of the following:
- exoticised the skin tone and background of myself /other people of colour to my face
- appropriated the styles and forms of expression and rebellion of ‘other’ cultures (of people of colour) for their own creative self-expression and/or radical credibility (without acknowledgment of the privilege they are enacting to do so)
- called me ‘paranoid’ when I’ve expressed my concerns of being treated suspiciously/differently because of my race/skin tone.
- never initiated an observation/conversation about racism nor called out peers for racism such as the above
- not acknowledged the above things as racism.
If I chose to only hang around with people with good racial politics, the friends I would have that weren’t people of colour themselves would fit around my small kitchen table.
I choose not to isolate from my broad range of friends because I want to believe that people share more humanity than our differences and that racist ignorance can change through conversation, self-education and experience with consciousness. The responsibility for change should not have to be in the hands of people of colour. The effort should be coming from all non-people-of -colour, non-indigenous Australians to bring about an awareness of white privilege.
The focus of my energy has to be in constructing my own positive identity and presence in the world as a person of colour. I am open to conversation but meanwhile talk amongst yourselves please.
Okay, though I think that it’s great that you personally choose to not isolate from your “broad range of friends,” you should be careful and make it very explicit that though this approach may work for you, other POC should not feel obligated to stay in friendships that may be very damaging and painful to be in.
Yes, people need to start somewhere, no one is perfect and much of unlearning racism and confronting one’s privilege needs to start somewhere, but it does not have to come at the cost of what may be a very painful experience for their POC friends. We should not feel obligated to be patient, to have those conversations and essentially teach white folks not to be racist if we don’t want to. We don’t always have to give people the benefit of the doubt when we are never extended the same privileges.
And no, many of us who choose to distance ourselves from these “friends,” don’t do it because we do not believe that “people share more humanity than our differences and that racist ignorance can change through conversation, self-education, and experience with consciousness.” Many of us distance ourselves for reasons of self-care, because it is exhausting, because we are often invalidated and silenced, because we are always the ones to bring it up, because it is emotionally triggering etc.
I need folks in my life who will have my back. I need friends who I can talk to without fear of invalidation or defensiveness. I need friends who will call other white folks out (instead of waiting for me to do it as the token “POC”). I need friends who actively work at unlearning racism and who actively confront their white privilege. I need allies. I need people whom I can trust will give me solidarity. I need my friendships to be about love.
If you cannot do those things for me, then maybe we can hangout, but I cannot invest my full love and support in someone who wouldn’t do the same for me. If those things take time for some folks, then that’s great, maybe our friendship will change in a few years, but until then, I cannot depend on those people to be a close friend.
Some of my best friends are white, but it’s because they have my back and I have theirs.
If having those conversations and going through those processes with white friends is good for you, then great. It shouldn’t be an expectation placed on anyone else.
[addressed at okapidreams]
Well, okay, but no need to be so preachy & self-righteous about it.
A lot of the time poc who do anything to contradict or challenge a white person at all get labelled “scary” or “angry”. I get this all the time. I could go on a spiel about how racialisation is a means of containing & silencing political differences & challenges to a dominant order, but it really boils down to this point: white people don’t want poc to be honest with them. So for you to go about talking about “constructing [your] own positive identity” is kind of passive-aggressive to those of us who don’t have the luxury of white peoples’ good faith.
It’s fine for you to relate to your friends however you want to. Making those personal experiences into public comment in this way is a really disingenuous way of setting yourself up as an example for other poc. This post reads like a missive to poc to stop being so angry & argumentative. The article is constructed around an imaginary imperative, coming from an equally imaginary source, to distance yourself from white people if they do the most remotely racially problematic thing. Which I don’t see any poc advocating.
Finally, the argument kind of boils down to “beggars can’t be choosers, so we should smile and try to act positive” which I find… rather problematic.
Personally, I prefer misanthropy; it’s much healthier.
Also, for reference: Some of my Best Friends: Writings on Interracial Friendships (2004) Emily Bernard
white women and the privilege of solidarity by houria bouteldja (2010)
[…] Having laid out that question clearly, I now feel more at ease to tackle the second question dealing with the relationship between Western feminisms and Third World feminisms. Obviously it’s very complicated but one of its dimensions is the domination of the global south by the global north. A decolonial approach should question this relationship and attempt to subvert it. An example:
In 2007, women from the Movement of the Indigenous of the Republic took part in the annual 8th of March demonstration in support of women’s struggles. At that time, the American campaign against Iran had begun. We decided to march behind a banner that’s message was “No feminism without anti-imperialism”. We were all wearing Palestinian kaffiyehs and handing out flyers in support of three resistant Iraqi women taken prisoner by the Americans. When we arrived, the organizers of the official procession started chanting slogans in support of Iranian women. We found these slogans extremely shocking given the ideological offensive against Iran at that time. Why the Iranians, the Algerians and not the Palestinians and the Iraqis? Why such selective choices? To thwart these slogans, we decided to express our solidarity not with Third World women but rather with Western women. And so we chanted:
Solidarity with Swedish women!
Solidarity with Italian women!
Solidarity with German women!
Solidarity with English women!
Solidarity with French women!
Solidarity with American women!
Which meant: why should you, white women, have the privilege of solidarity? You are also battered, raped, you are also subject to men’s violence, you are also underpaid, despised, your bodies are also instrumentalized…
I can tell you that they looked at us as if we were from outer space. What we were saying seemed surreal, inconceivable. It was like the 4th dimension. It wasn’t so much the fact that we reminded them of their situation as Western women that shocked them. It was more the fact that African and Arabo-Muslim women had dared symbolically subvert a relationship of domination and had established themselves as patrons. In other words, with this skillful rhetorical turn, we showed them that they de facto had a superior status to our own. We found their looks of disbelief quite entertaining. […]
or: how is “solidarity” defined?
Good fucking question.
I’m pretty sick and tired of how it’s usually defined, as “I get to say when and where and how and on what terms I support you, but you don’t”. This makes “solidarity” into a performance, a spectacle. Solidarity is “shown” not enacted in any substantive terms. And it certainly never involves actual accountability with the object that the “solidarity” is directed at. More often than not, it’s a paternalistic pantomime designed to show off the giver of “solidarity” rather than anything to do with whoever “solidarity” is directed at.
But, more than this, I want to know, what’s the point of solidarity? how do we achieve it? what does it look like? what does it accomplish? what does it involve? what kinds of relationships need to come about to make solidarity happen? I don’t mean that in a cynical or rhetorical sense. I mean, I want to clarify why it’s a worthwhile, effective means of achieving justice. And for all the sloganeering about “solidarity,” I don’t think these questions are considered even nearly enough.
The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century, but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure— in particular the divestment movement of the 1980s. Over the past six months, a similar movement has taken shape, this time aiming at an end to the Israeli occupation.
Divestment from apartheid South Africa was fought by ordinary people at the grassroots. Faith-based leaders informed their followers, union members pressured their companies’ stockholders and consumers questioned their store owners. Students played an especially important role by compelling universities to change their portfolios. Eventually, institutions pulled the financial plug, and the South African government thought twice about its policies.
Similar moral and financial pressures on Israel are being mustered one person at a time. Students on more than forty campuses in the U.S. are demanding a review of university investments in Israeli companies as well as in firms doing major business in Israel. From Berkeley to Ann Arbor, city councils have debated municipal divestment measures.
These tactics are not the only parallels to the struggle against apartheid. Yesterday’s South African township dwellers can tell you about today’s life in the Occupied Territories. To travel only blocks in his own homeland, a grandfather waits on the whim of a teenage soldier. More than an emergency is needed to get to a hospital; less than a crime earns a trip to jail. The lucky ones have a permit to leave their squalor to work in Israel’s cities, but their luck runs out when security closes all checkpoints, paralyzing an entire people. The indignities, dependence and anger are all too familiar.
Many South Africans are beginning to recognize the parallels to what we went through. Ronnie Kasrils and Max Ozinsky, two Jewish heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle, recently published a letter titled “Not in My Name.” Signed by several hundred other prominent Jewish South Africans, the letter drew an explicit analogy between apartheid and current Israeli policies. Mark Mathabane and Nelson Mandela have also pointed out the relevance of the South African experience.
Supporting the BDS movement of Israel and drawing parallels to South Africa does not mean you are implying that the work was not done by the ANC and South African people and themselves alone. It is a way of doing what you can when you can’t do much (and was supported by the ANC and called for by Luthuli). Criticizing people who try to support current strategies instead of just, you know, not using them if you don’t agree with them or supporting different strategies instead doesn’t seem all the constructive to me either but hey, different strokes.
oh dear i hate passive aggressiveness. so i am just going to speak to this directly.
1. in palestine there are a variety of opinions on bds.
2. in south africa, among blacks, there were a variety of opinions on how the international community should participate in the ending of apartheid.
3. there are plenty of ways that people can support the ending of the occupation of palestine. but in a lot of senses we dont talk about those other ways, because bds has become THE way to support the liberation of peoples.
4. i know my opinion is unpopular. that is why i said it when i was asked for an unpopular opinion. jesus fucking christ.
5. it is my fucking moral obligation, to critique strategies that i dont think are effective. i owe it to the people i love who live under a genocide and deserve freedom. i personally think it would be bullshit of me to simply not engage the strategies, when i think they are harmful to the people i love, without critiquing the strategies themselves.
6. wouldnt it be more interesting to ask why i dont agree with bds as a primary strategy for the international commty (read: us/europe/first world) to engage in?
Oh, I’d like to know your opinion on the BDS campaign, please. If you have the time/inclination.
I see this cutesy thing (no doubt with good intentions) claiming that “today we are all Libyan”.
Not only we are not all Libyan but we all hold a degree of responsibility in the oppression of Libyan people. If you live anywhere in the Western world (as I do), you have certainly benefited from the oppression of Libyans, even if you, directly, did not wish to do so. Our governments have supported the Ghaddafi regime, keeping him in place because Libyan oil production is amongst the cheapest in the world (due to its proximity with European Markets). Our governments have only weakly protested Ghaddafi all these years because he was willing to sell his oil (and his people’s labor) for a convenient price.
The mass produced food we consume, the transportation of products across borders, even the tourism industry are all heavily reliant on the Ghadaffis of our time. Part of our well being and high standards of living depend on Libyan (and other Middle Eastern countries) oppression. So no, we are not all Libyan. If we were, we would have demanded that our governments no longer trade with Ghaddafi, we would have questioned the slave like conditions in which Libyan workers make our cheap oil possible, we would have followed the gross human rights violations taking place closely and protested them vehemently.
In fact, we should look at ourselves in the mirror because our comparatively luxurious lifestyles are actually the oppressors of Libyan people. And that’s why global political awareness matters. We can choose to be the colonialist, benefitting from the resources of oppressed people or we can be the ones demanding change on their behalf. But we certainly have no right to congratulate ourselves now.
YES, YES, THIS ALL AROUND.
I am so sick of the west’s reaction to this entire situation. I am so fucking sick of the riot porn and the “solidarity,” when these same people haven’t given a shit about the Libyan people before and have actively benefited from their suffering. Yeah, I know it wasn’t in the news, I know it wasn’t a big deal, I know it wasn’t publicized or tweeted about or any of that. But hey, guess what! The information was out there, and the majority of people (especially the ones so active now) didn’t bother. I’m not saying we have to educate ourselves on every single abuse of power, every single human rights violation, every single terrible thing that’s happening. That’s near impossible, and I wouldn’t wish the emotional and mental repercussions of doing so on anyone. But don’t act like you deserve a fucking medal and like you’re so allied with Libya when you’ve been completely unaffected up until now.
I know that a lot of people are getting on this bandwagon because it is in the news now, but what’s the alternative? Obviously we shouldn’t appropriate it, but do we really want people to stop supporting Libya because they weren’t engaged in global politics before, especially when the US subsidizes far less oil from Libya than we do other horrific places like Saudi Arabia?
I think it would be great if people would become independently educated and outraged about the massive injustices that this country supports. But that’s an unrealistic standard for a lot of people I think, so I’m a little uncomfortable about berating people for paying attention and trying to offer support and learn more. Just my two cents.
I’m not sure if the OP gave the impression that they were berating people for paying attention to the news events. I think what they’re addressing is the tendency of western folks to fetishize non-western struggles and take interest in them for the novelty of non-western resistance and struggles, rather than address the histories and the contemporary contexts behind those actions. The sentiment behind “We are all Libyan” though it may have it’s “good intentions,” also reveals a sense of entitlement. When desirable and sexy to identify with a non-western struggle, it’s cool to take interest in it and appropriate that struggle. However, when addressing the fundamental issues behind those struggles and the ways in which we may be complicit in them, many folks are less interested. There’s privilege in being able to identify as “Libyan” when it’s a hot media issue and when folks can identify with protest and (essentially) riot and porn, but when folks have spent years of daily oppression, they have largely gone unnoticed. This is why we have to be careful and really think about the ways in which we can express solidarity with folks in non-Western areas. We really have to situate our own roles within those struggles, how we may be complicit, the ways in which the West have colonized non-Western countries and how representations of non-Western people have resulted in epistemic violence and colonialism. Things like “We are all Libyan,” I believe is appropriative. What does that even mean? People posting pictures and images of riot porn without captions and little to no context is appropriative. Folks who only take interest in the protest/riot aspect of the struggle and treat the historical political context as secondary are appropriative etc. etc.
What I am saying is that it’s great that folks begin to take an interest in global issues, especially when we are being called to express solidarity with those social movements and those people. However, we also have to understand that there are years of context and history behind those struggles. We have to acknowledge that riots and protests represent a small fraction of the struggle. And we have to be damn self-reflexive about our privilege and our complicity in those situations, especially if we have the privilege to take interest or be concerned about those struggles when it’s a hot issue and do not have to live through the existing oppression that are tied up with those struggles.
First off, what is a trigger warning, anyway?
A trigger warning usually consists of bold, capitalized, or linked text describing in a broad way what text follows it. It can be in the form of a cut, or simply the title of the text in question, warning readers what kind of triggers can be found there.
What are triggers, though?
Triggers are things that cause a strong, heavy emotional response in a person. These usually occur after something traumatic has happened to them.
Triggering material has the potential to remind a person of a traumatic event.
So it hurts their feelings, so what?
No. It didn’t hurt their feelings. Some of the things that may happen whilst a person is triggered include anxiety, tears, flashbacks, body memories, anger, insomia, and the various symptoms that go with each condition. Reminding a person of a traumatic event in their life has potential to cause this.
Being triggered can be debilitating.
Ok, so what kinds of things can trigger people?
This can be a little difficult, because there are certain triggers that are obvious and certain ones that are not.
Triggering material includes, but is not limited to:
-Sexual assault. Anything that describes it in a more detailed manner than the words ‘sexual assault’ do, should probably be put under a trigger warning.
-Abuse. This includes verbal, mental, physical, and sexual. Triggers for abuse can be described in a warning in a variety of helpful ways. “Triggers for child sexual abuse,” “Trigger warning, domestic violence,” or “Trigger warning: police physical and verbal abuse,” are several acceptable trigger warnings.
-Self-harm. Those who have self-injured in the past need not view material related to it if it will upset them, or incite a relapse of behavior they have chosen not to continue.
-Eating disorders: Those how have experienced disordered eating in the past count too. This includes anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS, and binge-eating disorder. You can include the particular disorder, if necessary, in the trigger warning.
-Suicide. Descriptions of suicide can be very triggering to those who have lost loved ones to suicide, or to those who have attempted before.
-Trans and homophobic violence. Trans and queer people can be triggered as well by descriptions and images of homo/transphobic violence, descriptions of body dysphoria, and general intolerance towards them. It’s something they’ve encountered often, sometimes their whole lives, so consider it please.
-Addiction and alcoholism can be triggers for abuse survivors, and former addicts as well.
-Images can be triggering as well; take note of this. Images that denote violence (i.e. blood, gore, people who have obviously been abused), images of self-harm, thinspo, etc. can be very destructive.
Okay, I want to avoid this, but how do I do it?
Trigger warnings can help you post the content you desire, and still give people the option of seeing it or not, based on what it is.
You can put triggering material behind a cut, with a text warning above stating what is under it. (This is very good for triggering images)
You can put a trigger warning in the title of your piece, giving others the option of scrolling past it if they desire. Make sure it precedes the actual title, or is at least in caps or something bold and visible.
You can add a trigger warning at the top of a block of text. Again, make it big and bold so others can’t miss it.
Another great thing you can do is add trigger warnings to posts you didn’t create, but you feel should probably have one.
It can be difficult to forsee every trigger out there, or be sure how to describe triggering content in a safe, not-too-detailed way. If you aren’t sure about it, add a trigger warning.
Brilliant. The one thing I would make sure to be clear on is that if the trigger is homo/transphobic language, be sure that it’s for language that is inciting of violence towards queer/trans* people. Talking about an non-trans-inclusive ENDA, for example, doesn’t need a trigger warning. And it shouldn’t get one, because we need trigger warnings to remain meaningful. But if you’re about to discuss transphobia that looks a lot like the “trans panic,” or another common justification for violence against trans* people, put a trigger warning.
This is generally good, but why single out queerphobia & transphobia for TWs and not other kinds of oppression?
avry:Allyship: first steps Bare mimimums
More complex accommodations
Call people by their preferred name, pronouns, and label. Always. Even if you’re angry with them, even if they’re total jerks, even if they’re using gender-neutral pronouns that “sound weird” or “are hard to remember.” Yes, even when they’re not around to hear. It’s a respect thing.
If you’ve met the person after transition: don’t ask to see pictures from “before,” or ask about their previous name, or otherwise quiz them on topics that are likely offensive/painful.
Don’t try to compliment people by telling them that they look like a “real [gender],” or that you “never would have known.”
Don’t make comments about the person’s gender presentation that you wouldn’t make to someone who was assigned that same gender at birth. Critiquing a trans woman’s makeup in detail, or offering a trans man suggestions on how to walk “like a guy,” is as rude as it would be if you were talking to a cis person.
Do not inform any third party that your sibling/parent/partner/whomever is trans without the trans person’s express permission, gotten in advance.
Don’t describe past situations by saying “When [person] was a [gender]…”
Don’t ever describe someone as a member of the wrong gender, even in a way that’s superficially nice. “But you’re so handsome as a man!” is unacceptable, as is “You were a lovely little girl.”
Words that you shouldn’t ever use: “tranny,” “shemale,” “he-she,” “shim.” Seriously. Even if your other trans friend told you it was okay. Just don’t say it.
Don’t make comments that fetishize trans people. “I love trans guys — they’re so hot!” is pretty belittling; so is “People like you are so exotic.” These kinds of statements reduce trans people to sex objects, as though we exist just to be that “exotic” kink or turn-on.
Don’t ever ever inquire about the state of someone’s genitals, about whether they’re having surgery, or about how they have sex. Ruuuuude.
Don’t make assumptions about someone’s sexual orientation. Some trans men are gay or bi, or asexual; likewise with some trans women. Genderqueer folks have sexual attractions that come in all stripes.
- If someone’s gender is ambiguous, resist asking “What are you?” flat-out; though some people don’t mind or even relish it, for many it’s simply intrusive. Instead, try to pick up on the person’s identification through context. If you really don’t know, and really need to talk about the person in a gendered way, ask “What pronouns do you prefer?” or “How should I refer to you, gender-wise?” (Do this very politely, and in private if you can.) You don’t need to know every detail about the person’s identity — you only need the information that will allow you to speak to and about them respectfully.
Yes, it is certainly difficult to adapt to thinking of a person in a new way, particularly if you’ve known that person all your life. A period of discomfort, or even mourning, is not uncommon. But I challenge you to try to work through that — to understand that trans experiences are usually much harder for the trans people themselves — and to work earnestly on understanding, rather than becoming bogged down in regret.
Many aspects of these concepts can be confusing or difficult at first. (Maybe your trans son is still in a relationship with a lesbian … why? Maybe your trans sister chooses not to have surgery, though she could afford it … why?) However, most trans people do not wish to serve as constant educators; being asked to justify your choices, some of which are so instinctive that they’re beyond words, is tiring and draining for everyone. Be sure to think over your questions carefully, seeing if you can answer them with your own common sense, before you ask the trans individuals themselves.
If you’re in charge of a public bathroom of some sort — in a store, perhaps, or a university building or a workplace — you may wish to label it as unisex or “family.” Some, though not all, trans people are not comfortable or safe in either exclusively-men’s or exclusively-women’s facilities (maybe they’re pre-transition, maybe they present as androgynous and don’t want to be hassled). It’s not a big deal to put up a new sign, and it makes sense for reasons beyond trans issues; young children, for instance, are more easily able to enter unisex bathrooms with their other-gender parents.
Keep in mind that a gender-neutral bathroom should not be used to segregate trans from cis, but rather exist as a voluntary option. It’d be inappropriate to say “Trans women in the genderless lavatory, cis women in the women’s lavatory”; that sort of phrasing implies that trans women are different or unreal.
Refer to “all genders” or “any gender” (plural) rather than “both genders” or “either gender” (dual). Gender is not a salt-and-pepper set, with only two condiments on the table, if you want to think of it that way. It’s a much larger sort of system, including the possibilities of “male” and “female,” but not excluding anyone else either.
Occasionally — when you’re on the subway, maybe, or driving past a pedestrian — you’ll see someone whose gender you can’t decipher at first glance. A total stranger, not someone whose identity you actually might need to know. Your instinct is likely to take a closer look at the person, closer than you normally would, and try to figure out what gender they are. Avoid this, if you can, or at least stop yourself consciously in the midst of doing it. The person may not know the wiser, unless you’re outright staring, but this is an example of an invasive and transphobic behavior. It’s not the King of Indiscretions, but it needs to be treated seriously: you’d feel insulted if you were scrutinized in such a way (“is she or isn’t she?”) and so will most other people.
Trans people are not freaks. The label of “freakishness” can go either way: people may see it as something repugnant, creepy, or against nature — or they may consider it exotic, or especially erotic, or radical.But transness is none of these things. It can’t be so easily characterized by that kind of shallow stereotype. It isn’t something super-special to be considered “cool” and “fascinating,” and it isn’t something super-gross or weird or barbaric. It’s just a Thing, a fact of some people’s existence, and when you assign it a moral meaning the actual facts can get lost in the theory.
Try to level out your thinking on trans issues, realizing that it’s more complex than either an “awful curse” or a “special gift,” but just is. … Some people, individually, will choose to embrace a freak identity. But that has to do with their individual journeys, rather than encompassing all of what trans means to everyone else.
I like this.
Again why I hate the term “ally”. This isn’t being an ally. This is just showing respect to other human beings and letting them get on with their lives. Actually supporting their cause substantially involves much more than just changing how you speak or a few mental exercises so you don’t slip up and use disrespectful language.
Hell, you include non-White people in your calculation of “good racial politics” and the list can get smaller. (Yay Malaysia and their bilateral privilege!)
Actually, this sounds like bliss.