Link Roundup and Open Thread

My folder of links to share with you all is getting rather full. I guess that means it’s time for a link roundup. It’s a little long, so I put it under a jump.

Blogs to Watch

Here are some new blogs I’ve come across this week:

Ramblings in Space and Time – blog of writer M H Ayinde. If you’re into discussions of SF/F books and television, this blog looks like fun. I was particularly amused by the ‘Elven Nations‘ post:

Although I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of Big Fantasy, I’ve always been uncomfortable with the stereotypes that seem implicit in this form: orcs are bad, elves are noble, hobbits are bumbling, etc. It’s the same in Star Trek – Klingons are war-like, Romulans are untrustworthy, Cardassians are cruel, and so on. By extension, I suppose this kind of writing encourages us to view our own nations in this way, which is obviously a bad thing.

… Orcs, elves, Klingons, etc, etc, are all just short-hand for racial stereotypes and there’s something deeply unsavoury about the way they’re often used to cut corners. Surely these kinds of generalisations are something to be discouraged, not perpetuated?

Agreed.

RosaRose on LJ caught my eye with a post on the ‘Feminist Wars‘. The post is kind of rambly, but the bit that interested me was the discussion of blogs by Women of Color. (You’ll find most of it in the comments.) Definitely take a look if you need to add some extra POVs to your blogroll.

The Unapologetic Mexican’s blog is awesome, but the Ask Nezua section makes me laugh until I hurt. Search engine queries are funny enough, but when someone answers them they get a whole lot funnier.

Race Stuff

I was reading the excellent How to Suppress Discussions of Racism again when I came across the ‘secret memo that apparently the white people got’. Namely, The Art of Defending Racism.

No matter what, your objective is to be able to maintain these three beliefs at the end of any exchange:

1) I’m not racist.
2) I didn’t do anything wrong.
3) I don’t have to change at all.

If you can hold on to that, then you win!

Keep it in your toolbox for dealing with fools.

I can’t remember where I found this link (probably on blackfolks), but Tim Wise has another excellent essay online. This time about “Racism, Scholarships and the Manufacturing of White Victimhood

…although white students often think that so-called minority scholarships are a substantial drain on financial aid resources that would otherwise be available to them, nothing could be further from the truth. According to a national study by the General Accounting Office, less than four percent of scholarship money in the U.S. is represented by awards that consider race as a factor at all, while only 0.25 percent (that’s one quarter of one percent for the math challenged) of all undergrad scholarship dollars come from awards that are restricted to persons of color alone (1). In other words, whites are fully capable of competing for and receiving any of the other monies–roughly 99.75 percent of all the bucks out there for college. But apparently, that’s just not good enough for the likes of the BU Republicans. One quarter of one percent of all scholarship money, and yet that is the “worst form of bigotry confronting America today.” The suggestion would be laughable were it not so sad; so indicative of a fundamental break with the ability to think critically and logically about the world.

What’s more, the idea that large numbers of students of color receive the benefits of race-based scholarships–something that is often supposed, usually with an unhealthy dose of white racial resentment–is also lunacy of the highest order. In truth, only 3.5 percent of college students of color receive any scholarship even partly based on race, suggesting that such programs remain a pathetically small piece of the financial aid picture in this country, irrespective of what a gaggle of reactionary white folks might believe.

I’m thinking of creating a page on this site called “Required Reading” where I post links to such essays. Then anytime folks like little white girl show up flapping their jaws about nonsense I can skip arguing with them and just say ‘read this’.

Over on Alas, there’s a discussion surrounding Race, Opposition to Equal Marriage Rights, And Homophobia that spiraled out from an NYTimes article on Race and SSM. The discussion there is fascinating, if long. Angry Brown Butch’s response to the post, which I also find highly interesting, is here.

Female Issues

Blackamazon really ought to know better than to take a peek at the Salon Broadsheet. It’ll just piss her off. Oop, too late:

First and foremost , for now and forever more STEP YOUR MOTHERFUCKING JOURNALISTIC GAME UP!

… This is how a womens issues blog handles the delicate issue of rape. Half assed half baked and half done. It is more important for MS. Lloyd to emphasize the way it was ” messed up” or the backlash than basic facts of the case

The depressing thing about this is that stupid half wits make sweeping statements about large scale social programs because they don’t want to show the tits and clit to challenge anything.

… Fat is not healthy !!!! NO NO !

Except we always fall to mention that in all the studies done they don’t take in to account age. Which means that the process of aging is treated as part of an obesity epidemic. Or that youngsters are gaining weight

CAUSE THY CUT GYM !!!

Go read.

And let us not forget our sisters in the struggle. Those brave souls who watch network TV in order to keep us informed of the stupid shit that’s still going on in tubeland.

Megatrouble’s LOST: The Perfect Show for the Angsty White Male highlights exactly why I stopped watching the show in the middle of the second episode.

LOST started with the hope that its multi-racial cast, without any discernible lead character, had the chance to offer a unique, multilayered portrait of minorities that is rarely highlighted in whitebread television. While other television shows shoved them to the background cast, LOST gave equal face time to it’s non-white, non-American characters. In fact, after LOST’s first season, we felt that the writers of the show cherished all of their characters equally. So we tuned in to watch how their diverse histories, identities, and deep, hidden secrets conflicted with every one else’s front and backstory. Indeed, the secondary plot of the show–the conflict between the characters (”what if everyone on this plane had to live together on a deserted island”)–makes LOST sound like a social experiment in race relations. Yes, it had potential for greatness. But once again, I hoped for too much and got very little in return. Despite a cast as diverse as LOST’s, the show continues to deflate its female characters and push its angsty white men to the forefront.

Now, during the second half of Season three, when I look at LOST all I see is 1.) white people, 2.) men, and 3.) angry white men.

She also hits this point square on the head: “Aren’t these male Cinderella stories a fiction of Hollywood’s perturbing fascination with the men who deserve love at any cost?” Yes. God yes. But then, you all know I agree.

Warning, there are Season 3 spoilers. If you’re waiting for the DVD set to catch up, don’t click.

And finally, Truly Equal brings this craziness to our attention:

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Women should wear chastity belts to prevent rape, incest and other sex crimes, a prominent Islamic cleric in northern Malaysia was quoted as saying Friday.

Abu Hassan Din Al Hafiz, speaking in the northern state of Terengganu, said chastity belts could protect women from a growing number of sex crimes in Malaysia, The Star newspaper reported.

The best way to avert sex perpetrators is to wear protection,’ Abu Hassan told a crowd of followers. My intention is not to offend women but to safeguard them from sex maniacs.’

And the whole world took a breath and said: WTF?

What I want to know is: how do women wearing these belts go to the bathroom? Do they needto find the person with the key in order to take a piss? And, if incest is the problem, and a girl’s father or brothers has the key, how then does a chastity belt prevent it? And… WTF?

One of the commenters posted a follow-up article where the guy claims he was just making a joke. Oookay then.

Another commenter points out that some women in South Africa wear a special condom called RAPEX to prevent rape. “It’s inserted into the vagina, and has little teeth on the inside, so when a man puts his penis where it doesn’t belong, the teeth get embedded and have to be surgically removed.”

I just made all my male readers cross their legs.

And now for something completely different

Images that particularly struck me this week:

Kanye West in SI

Now you know when I saw this I couldn’t leave well enough alone:
Where the white women at?

And:
I'm in UR Magazine

Obama - Articulate and Clean

You can find other Obama-related shirts and stuff onCafePress.


As always, this is an Open Thread. Say what you want, I can take it!

6 Responses

  1. Completely awesome link on “white victimhood.” I’m a white woman and I’m definitely for affirmative action but have a hard time articulating why–I knew there was some stats to back me up and you unearthed them.
    The strange thing is that I’ve known several people who claim to have been discriminated against because of their whiteness and all of them have been successful in their subsequent second choices or whatever.

  2. “Then anytime folks like little white girl show up flapping their jaws about nonsense I can skip arguing with them and just say ‘read this’.”

    Whew. I’m glad you didn’t use me as your example. *hides*

    Re: fantasy, especially Tolkien–

    On a careful reading of LOTR it’s evident Tolkien went with the idea of “higher” or better blood. For example, Faramir was able to resist the ring because he had more of the “good” higher blood of the Numenorians (as opposed to that evil black orcish blood, yech!)

    Very un-PC for this day and age, but he was making Anglo-Saxon mythology, and that was apparently a big belief in the days of yore (the whole good blood/bad blood thing).

    I don’t feel real good about the whole species stereotypes thing in SFF either, it’s lazy writing at best.

  3. Yup Tolkien is a prime example. I remember at one point, when talking about the enemy armies in LOTR, he refers to “little black men with red tongues.” I think that kind of speaks for itself.

    Basically, all the evil in that book comes from the east and everything bad is described as “dark.”

    I thought it was just a product of its time and the movie version would remedy that… but when I watched the movie I saw orcs with dreadlocks, and soldiers of the enemy armies wearing turbans…

  4. thank you. :) your blog is awesome, too. and i love the stuff on your family. i’m about due for another entry in my own family category.

  5. Hi,

    Thanks for linking to my blog. I’m working on adding some blogs to my blogroll – yours is definitely on that list!

  6. LOL on the T-shirt!

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