white girls who want my culture’s bindis and saris and henna
take my skin colour too
and my dark brown lips
take my self-hatred because i don’t fit into the euro-centric ideals of beauty
take the oppression too
take the history of colonization that has devastated my country
and the drones that currently devastate my country
take all the bad stuff too
not just the pretty, shiny, sparky bits
take the ugly, dehumanizing and shitty parts too
I remember how, when I was in second grade, this white class fellow of mine would openly make fun of my skin color and how she’d tell me I was “gross” because my complexion wasn’t white. That hurt but what’s worse is that she would call my mother “disgusting” and “ugly” and that would make me cry so much. I would stay away from the playground because she’d say things like, “Your mom is brown and ugly!” along with her group of equally racist kids.
What hurts me is that, since I was young and naive, I believed her. I thought that maybe I really am ugly. Maybe mama is ugly and I hate myself for telling my mother to stay away from the school premises whenever she’d come by to pick me after classes were over. “You can’t come over there! Don’t show up, please! I’ll come to the car myself.” I couldn’t tell her why because it was so painful. I think I did it because I was protecting her. I didn’t want anyone laughing at her for any reason. It took a long time to reassure myself that my complexion or race doesn’t make me or my mother ugly or low. It wasn’t easy.
Just shows how racism against colored people can actually force a child to believe her mother is unappealing because she’s not white like the other mothers in the parking lot. It breaks my heart because my mother is beautiful - not just on the inside but outside too. She’s graceful, strong, radiant.
Just one of those memories that will always disturb me.
Ah, yeah, I got this regularly from classmates in primary school. Like, all of them. Even the ones who weren’t white.
Some may strenuously object to the suggestion that queer identities like their “less radical” counterparts, homosexual, gay, and lesbian identities, are also implicated in ascendant white American nationalist formations, preferring to see queerness as singularly transgressive of identity norms. This focus on transgression, however, is precisely the term by which queerness narrates its own sexual exceptionalism. While we can point to the obvious problems with the emancipatory, missionary pules of certain (U.S., Western) feminisms and of gay and lesbian liberation, queerness has its own exceptionalist desires: exceptionalism is a founding impulse, indeed the very core of a queerness that claims itself as an anti-, trans-, or unidentity . The paradigm of gay liberation and emancipation has produced all sorts of troubling narratives: about the greater homophobia of immigrant communities and communities of color, about the stricter family values and mores in these communities, about a certain prerequisite migration from home, about coming-out teleologies. We have less understanding of queerness as a biopolitical project, one that both parallels and intersects with that of multiculturalism, the ascendancy of whiteness, and may collude with or collapse into liberationist paradigms. While liberal underpinnings serve to constantly recenter the normative gay or lesbian subject as exclusively liberatory, these same tendencies labor to insistently recenter the normative queer subject as an exclusively transgressive one.
Queerness here is the modality through which “freedom from norms” becomes a regulatory queer ideal that demarcates the ideal queer. Arguing that “more reflection on queer attachments might allow us to avoid positing assimilation or transgressive as choices,” Sara Ahmed notes, “The idealization of movement, or transformation of movement into a fetish depends on the exclusion of others who are already positioned as not free in the same way.” Individual freedom becomes the barometer of choice in the valuation and ultimately, regulation, of queerness.” —
jasbir k. puar - Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times (via effusionofbiopower)
If you can get past the too-long words and convoluted academi-speak, this basically says truth: the dominant (white) story about what ‘queer’ means is about escaping “norms” but with no sense of how it also upholds and makes its own norms.
Somewhere in there should be a history about how these stories about what makes up “queer” identity are shaped by the post-WWII economic boom in western countries, that led to the creation of ‘adolescence’ and the idea of a lone individual striking out from the nuclear family to realise their identity. And the romanticisation of homelessness and poverty so that really middle class people could appropriate from people of colour and glorify it by making it part of their personal liberation story.
Bitter, who me?
Wow, did you even read the findings? How is this comment not completely ableist?
Fuck, maybe they should call it White Guilt Day. Or POC Stay Inside Day.
Nigerian author and artist Teju Cole (via xkimberlyx)
Also the implication that kids only starve or people are only homeless in Third World countries. Hello, that happens by the thousands in First World countries too, we’re not special.
(I don’t like anyone saying “first world problems”, “white problems”, “girl problems”, etc. I feel like a lot people don’t really understand what they are implying when they say it. There is no such thing as first world problems, they are just problems.)
This quite succinctly summarizes my feelings about that phrase.
Food for thought. I had never considered this until now. I’m not going to say First World Problems anymore. I feel the same way about when people use the term “White Girl Problems”….are you saying that I don’t have those problems because I’m not white? I guess the same logic applies for First World Problems.
If it’s transphobic or ableist to have appreciation for one’s own menstruating body, then it’s also ableist to enjoy taking walks, listening to music, smelling flowers, or looking at pretty pictures on Tumblr.
PERSONAL PROBLEMS. CONSIDER THERAPY.
I agree and I also want to add: the thing with menstruation is that it’s one of those double binds women face. you’re supposed to do it, but you’re also supposed to be ashamed of it. you’re not a real woman if you don’t menstruate, but menstruation is disgusting.
it’s kind of like sex, I think. allow me a tangent? sometimes I feel pretty awkward and inadequate when women with a more active sex life than me talk openly about it. as a woman, if not many people want to fuck me or if I’m considered a prude then my status is severely lowered. that’s a real consideration. there are also definitely times when what’s labelled sex-positivity is just the expectation that you will be sexually available, and many more times when it feels that way. that’s a real consideration too.
but so is the dehumanisation of women who have sex. I basically don’t experience slut-shaming, but most of that is because of multiple layers of image control. I often wish I didn’t have to be so guarded but trust me, I really do, like many other women. women talking openly about their sexual experiences are probably not my enemies. the whole madonna/whore thing is a catch-22, a battle with two fronts, and we need people fighting both sides of it.
similarly, we need women asserting their right to be considered women regardless of whether they menstruate. but we also need people who menstruate, most especially women, to assert that our bodies are not gross, that menstruation does not exist for the convenience of men seeking heirs but rather is an essential aspect of our embodied experience, and to place the blame for the disgust for menstruation where it belongs, with misogyny. they’re not mutually exclusive; rather, they’re mutually necessary, so if they’re pursued in ways that are cissexist or misogynist then we’re going to fail. and it’s misogynist to pursue the (very necessary) anti-essential project of detaching the expectation of menstruation from womanhood if you do it in a way that doesn’t acknowledge that the widespread revulsion around menstruation is tied to misogyny, that many women menstruate, and that it’s super important and often difficult for them to make peace with their own menstruation in order to feel okay in their bodies.
and you can even believe all that and still think menstrual art is kind of silly. it’s amazing.
It’s not only cis women who menstruate.
Also, I think menstrual art is both silly and kind of awesome in its not-giving-a-fuck-what-you-think-ness.
But I think that menstruation and ‘menstruation culture’, both of the reclaimy-‘feminist’-menstrual-art variety, and the pop-cultural/capitalist menstruation products variety, are definitely based on cissexism. And because of that, I don’t think that criticism of pride in menstruation is always misplaced, since a lot of it is informed by some really cissexist logics & tropes.
Like this commercial for Libra tampons that asserts the ‘true’ femaleness of a cis woman against the ‘fake’ femaleness of a trans woman.