I’m reading up on the Memoirs of a Geisha controversy, since I’d neither seen the movie nor read the book, and the more I read about it, the more pissed off I get. Basically it went down like this:
Japanese woman tells white American man about her past life as a geisha. White American man then writes a novel that sells itself as an accurate memoir of Japanese woman’s life, but instead falsifies a number of her life events, misrepresents her trade, and exoticises her culture. He also names her as a source even though she specifically asked him to keep her anonymous. Japanese woman gets death threats. White American man becomes bestselling author.
Then Japanese woman gets fed up and writes her own memoir to set the record straight. Meanwhile, white American man’s book gets adapted into a film that grosses $162 million and wins three Oscars.
This is why I can’t stand Memoirs of a Geisha and will side-eye anyone who claims that book as a favourite.
never read the book watched the movie wasn’t anything special the actors were nice to look at
i found this out after i read memoirs of a geisha. although honestly since it was written by a white guy you can’t expect anything better. it’s like they don’t get that fiction is fine but not when it’s about somebody’s culture and livelihood and especially not if you’re marketing it as accurate.
and the worst lie in the whole thing is that she sold her virginity to the highest buyer. why would you make something like that up?
her memoir is definitely on my reading list. i’m ashamed i didn’t read it before his but i hadn’t heard of it till after when i did research :/
"Why does a tragedy like 9/11 change everything about air travel, but numerous gun massacres CHANGE NOTHING?"
bcuz 99% of gun massacres are done by white ppl who should be constantly excused by their actions.
and the 9/11 attacks were caused by da evil brown terrorists ewww.(via cynique)
He might not have been serious, but there’s HUUUUUGE problems with a white person comparing a person of color to an animal. That’s not excuseable, joke or not, he had no business. NONE.
“but there’s HUUUUUGE problems with a person comparing another person to an animal, regardless of race.”
Just FYI, more racism doesn’t cancel out the original racism, even if that person is white.
yup. this is what happens when context is removed for the comfort of white folks.
the centuries-old comparison BY white folks OF people of color TO animals is a thing that will forever have connotations that if people like medusaceratops-lokii aren’t willing to shut up and learn about, you will never understand.
it is the context of the entire post, and of the entire situation.
if you remove that context because it makes you happier or more comfortable to ignore it, then you are missing the entire point.
OH MY GOD.
what is it with white people and being carried on thrones by non-whites? so much wrong with this, I don’t know where to start.
Hmm. This looks awfully similar to this:
And this too:
Excuse me while I throw up all over these royal jerks.
Hey look, something that should be a MUCH BIGGER DEAL than topless photos. Goddamnit, this couldn’t get more tasteless without them actually wearing pith helmets.
Tea Party group called “True the Vote” plans on posting white operatives in black voting precincts on election day to challenge those voters’ authenticity.
If you would not like to be approached by a hostile white person
who wants to “see your ID” before you even enter your polling place, you might want to contact these scumbags now and tell them to fuck off. They are planning to be out in full force on election day, mainly in areas which are majority nonwhite, and they plan on doing whatever it takes to keep you from getting into that booth.
#true the vote #voter suppression
Remember: even in states with voter ID laws, only an actual poll worker has any legal right to check your ID. The actual poll workers are inside the polling station. Anyone outside the polling station is not legitimate and should be told in no uncertain terms to FUCK OFF.
Also let the actual poll workers know if people are outside doing this. They can call authorities to ARREST these people.
What’s wrong with this picture? This.
“The Pepper Pike company that owns the Century Mine told workers that attending the Aug. 14 Romney event would be both mandatory and unpaid, a top company official said Monday morning in a West Virginia radio interview.
A group of employees who feared they’d be fired if they didn’t attend the campaign rally in Beallsville, Ohio, complained about it to WWVA radio station talk show host David Blomquist. Blomquist discussed their beefs on the air Monday with Murray Energy Chief Financial Officer Rob Moore.
Moore also confirms that they bused workers to the rally, and that the mine was shut down for the day (probably because so many workers would be at this “mandatory” rally). So even if workers wanted to, you know, work, they’d be forced to take a day off without pay anyway.”
mittens and his corporate paymasters screwing workers out of their days wage just they can stand around and watch a hollow man in blue jeans deliver soundbites for a camera.
[IMAGE: In a promotional still from Cloud Altas, Asian actress Bae Doona cries as she is snuggled by Jim Sturgess in yellowface]
If you don’t understand the controversy around Cloud Atlas, then in all likelihood, you are focused on the film in terms of its artistic quality. What you appreciate about the film is its grand vision: the sweeping soundtrack, grand special effects, universal concepts of reincarnation and rebirth, adventure on the scale of centuries or millennia.
So I’d like to make something perfectly clear: our concerns are not about the quality of the writing, the story, the special effects, makeup artistry, or cinematography.
Our discussion will be about social impact, culture, and politics. The nature of a multimillion dollar venture like Cloud Atlas is that it is shaped by culture and society. It is designed for the consumption of moviegoers. Millions of consumers will pay to see this film. The act of payment will encourage other films of similar cloth and make. The act of viewing will refine the viewer’s sense of pop culture, if only in a small way.
In watching the Cloud Atlas trailer, the parallels are clear. As with these other films, we see that white creators and performers are permitted to determine what it means to be Asian. It’s frustrating, because the trailer suggests a story that comfortably meshes with preconceptions and stereotypes of Asians: of a futuristic world of high technology and little soul, where the “all-look-same” vision of Asianness is directly translated into racks of identical, interchangeable Asian “fabricant” clones. It suggests a world where white actors (in yellowface) and Asian actresses enter into romantic trysts–while excluding the voices and faces of Asian American actors.
All too often in conversations about race in the 2010s, it seems that the racial conversation is all about performing the same racist actions but justifying them with new words. The use of yellowface, or even blackface, can be justified if the director uses the term “post-racial” or “colorblind.” But an honest look at statistics and demographics reveals that our society is anything but. We cannot enter a “post-racial” world by pretending problems do not exist, by pretending that lopsided representation is justified.
Acting as an apologist preserves the status quo in favor of those who already have the lion’s share of representation, who “don’t care” about race issues because they are fundamentally content with the system. If you can see your race and gender reflected in 80% of the faces that dominate movie posters, then it becomes meaningless to you. It’s worth nothing. It doesn’t damage your self-esteem, as it does for American children of any demographic other than “white male.”
For the rest of us, Cloud Atlas represents simply another film in the long tradition of Hollywood exclusion. It has been a very, very long road. We can only keep the discussion alive, despite how much further yet we need to go.
An excerpt from Racebending.com’s latest article: The Cloud Atlas Conversation: Yellowface, Prejudice, and Artistic License.
I’ve collected as many workout videos online as I could-including Jillian Michaels, P90x, BodyRock, and more ALL FOR FREE! Now you have no excuse for working out! Muwahahaha
Cardio & High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Tone It Up Beach BABE video
BodyRock.tv Hot Body Workout video
BodyRock.tv 4 Minute Workout video
BodyRock.tv Hardest Workout Ever video
BodyRock.tvHard Bodies Getting Harder Workout
BodyRock.tv 6 Minute Workout video
BodyRock.tv Run The World Workout video
BodyRock.tv Hot Attack video
Ripped in 30
30 Day Shred
6 Week Six-Pack
Yoga Meltdown Level 1 & 2
All Over Body Toning
Tone It Up Arms, Abs, and Legs Pyramid video
Tone It Up Bikini Abs & Thighs video (with yoga ball)
Tone It Up Sandcastle Workout video
Tone It Up Bikini Body Workout with Self Magazine!
Tone It Up Bikini Blast Circuit Workout video
Tone It Up Bikini Body Workout with Self Magazine!
Pop Pilates Till The World Ends video
Bodyrock.tv I’m Into You Workout video
skinnyyogagirl’s 1000 Rep Workout
skinnyyogagirl’s Full Body Cardio & Strength Workout
skinnyyogagirl’s Burning Body Workout
Pop Pilates Flat Abs Challenge video
Pop Pilates 3 Minute Ab Challenge video
Tone It Up Tighten & Tone Your Abs video
Tone It Up Itty Bitty Bikini video
Legs & Butt
Pop Pilates Slimming Inner Thighs & Calves video
Pop Pilates Inner Thigh Insanity video
Pop Pilates Saddlebag Shaver video
Pop Pilates Standing Pilates for Legs, Butt & Obliques video
Pop Pilates Butt Blaster video
Tone It Up Bikini Beach Bum video
BodyRock.tv Abs Now Workout video (I know it says abs but it works the thighs more)
BodyRock.tv 300 Squats Challenge
skinnyyogagirl’s Legs & Butt Workout
Dashama Sun Salutations video
Dashama Sun Salutations 2 video
Dashama Hip Stretches
Tara Stiles Bend It Like Tara video (my favorite stretching video)
exercisetv.tv Yoga Fitness Plus 45 minute video
exercisetv.tv Beginner Yoga 20 minute video
exercisetv.tv Yoga Sculpt 30 minute video
exercisetv.tv Yoga Fitness Fusion 45 minute video
Yogis Anonymous Hurts So Good Power Yoga 95 minute video
Yogis Anonymous Blissed Flow Yoga 90 minute (love love love this one!)
Neck & Shoulders
- Hatha Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Health - 57 Min
- Yoga for Neck and Shoulder Tension and Injuries - 14 Min
- Feel Good Friday: Yoga for Neck & Shoulders - 14 Min
- Back to School Shoulder Stretches - Yoga Sequence - 6 Min
- Yoga for Your Shoulders 10 Minute Workout Routine - 10 Min
- Beginners’ Yoga for Shoulder Strength with Melissa McLeod - 22 Min
- Yoga Workout Beginners Home Chest & Shoulders Exercise Routine How To - 11 Min
- Yoga for Heart Opening - 10 Min
- Heart Opening 30 Min Yoga Class - 31 Min
- Heart Chakra Yoga Sequence - 10 Min
- Yoga for Firm and Shapely Arms and Shoulders - 9 Min
- Arm Yoga Workout - 4 Min
- Total Body Transformation Yoga: Hips and Arms - 11 Min
- Yoga For Arm Strength: Part One (8Min) & Part Two (2 Min)
- Yoga For Guitar Players — Arms, Wrists, and Fingers - 8 Min
- Yoga for Back Strength - 7 Min
- Yin Yoga for the Spine - 60 Min
- Restorative Yoga For Back - Restoraflow - 40 Min
- Yoga for Back Care - 15 Min
- Yoga Workout | Low Back Pain Stretches Routine - 10 Min
- Yoga for your back - 19 Min
- Lower Back Relief - 17 Min
- Yoga 4 Abs with Gillian B & Sebastian - 10 Min
- Yoga for Abs and Core Strength - 8 Min
- Yoga Abs Workout - 10 Min
- Iron Yoga Abs & Closing Stretches - 15 Min (Note: Includes weights. If you dont have weights, use a can from the pantry or something similar.)
- Yoga to Build Strong Abs - 7 Min
- Hip Opening Yoga - 45 Min
- Yoga Flow Hip Openers - 14 Min
- Wall Yoga for Hips and Hamstrings - 12 Min
- Yoga for Hip Pain and Stiffness - 17 Min
- Butt, Hips & Thighs Warm up - 7 Min
- Yoga Mania: Move those hips! - 12 Min
- Office Yoga: Hip Release - 10 Min
- Yoga for your Butt - 6 Min
- Yoga Tone your Butt and Thighs - 4 Min
- Denise Austin: Yoga Legs Workout - 10 Min
- Gentle Yoga for Tight Legs and Hips - 20 Min
- Yoga for Sexy Legs - 6 Min
- Sleek Yoga Legs - 4 Min
Full Body/Full Classes:
- Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown Level 1 - 35 Min
- Weight Loss & Fatburning Yoga Workout - 20 Min
- Yoga for Weight Loss - 20 Min
- Yoga for Runners - 26 Min
- Foundations in Flow Yoga Class with Fiji McAlpine - 48 Min
- Connections to Core Power Yoga Class with Fiji McAlpine - 57 Min
- Energizing Sunrise Practice - 38 Min
- Power Yoga with Bryan Jones - 31 Min
- Yoga Class with Logynn Northrhip - 60 Min
- Yoga Basics to Improve Alignment - 62 Min
- Yoga for Beginners Two with Dr. Melissa West - 60 Min
- Intermediate/Beginner: Lunch Time Yoga Class - 45 Min
FULL BODY CARDIO WORKOUTS
Level 1 & 2
Livestrong How-to videos
ALL POP PILATES VIDEOS
- 3 MINUTE AB WORKOUT CHALLENGE
- 6 PACK ABS IN 6 MOVES!
- ABOMINABLE ABDOMINALS
- CINCH THAT WAIST WORKOUT
- CORSET WORKOUT FOR A SLIM WAIST
- CRAZY CORE WORKOUT
- HOT ABS WORKOUT
- INTENSE AB WORKOUT
- LOWER BELLY POOCH ATTACK
- MUFFIN TOP/LOVE HANDLES EXTERMINATOR
- MUFFIN TOP MELTDOWN
- UH-OH OBLIQUES
- YOU’VE GOT ABS FLAT ABS WORKOUT CHALLENGE
- INNER THIGH INSANITY
- LEGILATES LEGSERCIZES
- LEGS AND THIGHS WORKOUT
- SADDLEBAG SHAVER
- SLIMMER INNER THIGHS/RUNNER’S CALVES WORKOUT
- SO YOU WANT NICE LEGS WORKOUT
- THANKFUL THIGHS THANKSGIVING WORKOUT
- LADY GAGA STANDING ABS/LEGS
- PLANK ARM WORKOUT FOR FLAT ABS/TONED ARMS
- SERIOUS STANDING PILATES FOR LEGS/BUTT/OBLIQUES
- STANDING PILATES BY THE SEA FOR THIGHS/CORE/SHOULDERS
- ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS WORKOUT
- BIKINI BOD WORKOUT
- BIKINI BOOTCAMP
- BODY SLIMMING WORKOUT
- NEW BODY MAKEOVER
- POST THANKSGIVING TUNE UP
- SCULPTING TOTAL BODY WORKOUT
- SEA INSPIRED PILATES WORKOUT
- SUMMER SLIMDOWN WORKOUT
- TILL THE WORLD ENDS TOTAL BODY WORKOUT
- TOTAL BODY BANGIN’ WORKOUT
- TOTAL BODY SCULPT FOR ABS/BUTT/THIGHS
- WEIGHT LOSS PILATES
- 20/20 WORKOUT FOR FAT BLASTING & TONING
- BLOGILATES & BEX HIIT WORKOUT
- CARDIO KICKBOXING
- CRAZY PARK HIIT WORKOUT
- FAT MELTING ROUTINE
- FOOD BABY HIIT WORKOUT
- HEART THROBBER WORKOUT
- HIIT BODYWEIGHT WORKOUT
- KICK IT WORKOUT
- CARDIO DANCE!
- TOTAL BODY CARDIO KICKBOXING
Lower body at home workouts
If you don’t have access to a gym try these exercises at home:
- wall squats
- jump squats
- bridge/hip lifts (try them with your feet on a chair/bed)
- hip lifts on a balance ball (you’ll get an almost instant burn!)
- leg lifts
- inner thigh lifts
- the fire hydrant
- sumo squats
If you have access to a gym try these machines & equipment:
- the leg/hamstring curl machine
- the leg press machine
- the leg abductor/adductor machines
- squats with a barbell and/or dumbbells
- barbell deadlifts
- lunges with dumbbells
- bulgarian split squat
These are my favorite leg videos:
THANK YOU BASED GOD!!!
Why “Love is All You Need?” amounts to straight people jacking off onto a movie script and calling it progress.
Let’s talk about this movie, tumblr. The premise of this movie is that the roles have been reversed. Instead of straight people being the privileged majority and gay people being the oppressed minority, it’s the other way around. In a world where being gay is normal and straight is not, two heterosexual people fall in love and must face the derision and oppression of the world.
Seems okay so far, right? WRONG. Here is a list of the reasons why this premise is fucked up, in the order I’m going to talk about them:
1. It is recentering the conversation from being about oppressed people to their oppressors. (AGAIN).
2. It is privileging straight stories over queer stories.
3. It is holding up straight people are more sympathetic than queer people.
4. It /IS/ playing into gay panic.
Points the first and second. So supposedly this movie is helping the gay rights cause by exposing oppression. You know what would do the same exact thing? Making a movie about gay people being oppressed by straight people. The thing that actually happens. There’s actually no really good reason to reverse the situation. (I know you’re going to argue with me on this, but stay with me. I’ll get to that.) In fact, in doing so, all this movie accomplishes is making the conversation not about the actual people being oppressed. Again. This happens all the time. Most of the time when oppressed people talk about how they are victimized, their oppressors immediately begin trumpeting about how they’re not all that bad and how can those naughty marginalized people be so mean and heartless as to accuse them of doing bad things?
We really, desperately need to stop talking about straight people and start actually talking about queer people. I know this switcheroo seems innocuous at face value but it’s unconscionable to fictionalize our oppression and make the viewer cry for the straight people when they’re the ones hurting us on a daily basis. It’s unconscionable to erase our pain like that. Our pain is real and it kills our own every day. Mapping it onto the bodies that actively perpetuate that pain and death? Wow that’s really fucked up. Like I said, it’s 100% possible to accomplish the same thing, which is exposing the damage of oppression, except actually telling it like it is. Why does it need to be about straight people? Point the third: If you are saying it’s so that straight people can empathize then what you’ve just said is that people care more about straight people than queer people. According to that argument, when straight people hear stories about gay people being oppressed they don’t care. In which case, that’s y’all’s fucked up problem. Maybe you should go stand in the corner and think about why you don’t care about anybody but yourself.
Finally, I stand by my point that this movie DOES play into gay panic. No, it is not the intent of the movie makers to create a dystopia where gay people have taken over the world and now oppress straight people. But do you see how that is actually the exact story being told? Intent isn’t magic and it doesn’t erase the reality of what is on the screen. How come apparently the way to get through to non-queer people, according to the premise of this movie, is by showing them a reality where queer people are the majority and it causes “straight oppression”. (Excuse me a moment while I laugh like a hyena. Moving onward.) You must be aware, dear reader, that gay panic is a real thing. That real people are genuinely afraid of queer people. Afraid enough to hurt us and kill us and deny us services and our basic human rights. You must also be aware that there are people who regularly complain that it’s too hard to remember not to be heterosexist or cissexist, or just generally not an asshole, and that being “politically correct” is oppressive to their free speech. In case you’re not, those people do exist and us queers know because we’re the ones who have to deal with them. And just because this movie doesn’t intend to pander to that fear doesn’t mean that it isn’t pandering to it anyway. These things don’t exist in a vacuum. Our media is born into a world full of prejudices and oppression and to not be aware of the context into which we set forth our creations is, at best, irresponsible and, at worst, outright harming people.
So yes. I do know what the creators of Love is All You Need? intended. And I don’t care, because it’s still a fucked movie that offends me and makes my overall life more difficult. If you tried to help a marginalized group and all you managed to do is piss them the fuck off, maybe you haven’t succeeded. And maybe you should listen when they tell you that you’re not helping, you’re just talking about yourself and hurting them in the process.
film about a group of men getting into shenanigans= “comedy”
film about a group of women getting into shenanigans= “chick flick”
film about a friendship between two men= “buddy flick”
film about a friendship between two women= “chick flick”
emotional film about father/son relationships= “drama”
emotional film about mother/daughter relationships= “chick flick”
film about a young man finding identity= “coming of age”
film about a young woman finding identity= “chick flick”
Nerds and Male Privilege (definitely worth a read!)
I want to tell you a story.
A few years ago, I was dating a girl who was decidedly not nerd curious. She tolerated my geeky interests with a certain bemused air but definitely didn’t participate in ‘em… not even setting foot inside a comic store on new comic day. She’d wait outside until I was done… which could be a while, since I was friends with several of the staff.
She came in the store exactly once, after I’d explained that no, it’s a pretty friendly place… well lit, spacious, organized and with helpful – and clearly identified – staff members who were willing to bend over backwards to make sure their customers were satisfied.
She was in there for less than 4 minutes before one mouth-breathing troglodyte began alternately staring at her boobs – evidently hoping that x-ray vision could develop spontaneously – and berating her for daring to comment on the skimpy nature of the costumes – in this case, Lady Death and Witchblade. She fled the premises, never to return.
When both the manager and I explained to him in no uncertain terms as to what he did wrong he shrugged his shoulders. “Hey, I was just trying to help you guys! She couldn’t understand that chicks can be tough and sexy! Not my fault she’s a chauvinist,” he said.
And that was when I shot him, your honor.
So with that example in mind, let’s talk about a subject I’ve touched on before: Male Privilege and how it applies to geeks and – more importantly – geek girls.
MALE PRIVILEGE: WHAT IS IT, EXACTLY?
I don’t think I’m breaking any news or blowing minds when I point out that geek culture as a whole is predominantly male. Not to say that women aren’t making huge inroads in science fiction/fantasy fandom, gaming, anime and comics… but it’s still a very male culture. As such, it caters to the predominantly male audience that makes it up. This, in turn leads to the phenomenon known as male privilege: the idea that men – most often straight, white men – as a whole, get certain privileges and status because of their gender.
(Obvious disclaimer: I’m a straight white man.)
In geek culture, this manifests in a number of ways. The most obvious is in the portrayal of female characters in comics, video games and movies. Batman: Arkham City provides an excellent example.
The women are all about sex, sex, sexy sextimes. With maybe a little villainy thrown in for flavor. They may be characters, but they’re also sexual objects to be consumed.
I will pause now for the traditional arguments from my readers: these characters are all femme fatales in the comics, all of the characters in the Arkham games are over-the-top, the men are just as exaggerated/sexualized/objectified as the women. Got all of that out of your systems? Good.
Because that reaction is exactly what I’m talking about.
Y’see, one of the issues of male privilege as it applies to fandom is the instinctive defensive reaction to any criticism that maybe, just maybe, shit’s a little fucked up, yo. Nobody wants to acknowledge that a one-sided (and one-dimensional) portrayal of women is the dominant paradigm in gaming; the vast majority of female characters are sexual objects. If a girl wants to see herself represented in video games, she better get used to the idea of being the prize at the bottom of the cereal box. If she wants to see herself as a main character, then it’s time to get ready for a parade of candyfloss costumes where nipple slips are only prevented by violating the laws of physics. The number of games with competent female protagonists who wear more than the Victoria’s Secret Angels are few and far between.
The idea that perhaps the way women are portrayed in fandom is aleetle sexist is regularly met with denials, justifications and outright dismissal of the issue. So regularly, in fact, that there’s a Bingo card covering the most common responses. Part of the notion of male privilege in fandom is that nothing is wrong with fandom and that suggestions that it might benefit from some diversity is treated as a threat.
But what is that threat, exactly?
In this case, the threat is that – ultimately – fandom won’t cater to guys almost to exclusion… that gays, lesbians, racial and religious minorities and (gasp!) women might start having a say in the way that games, comics, etc. will be created in the future. The strawmen that are regularly trotted out – that men are objectified as well, that it’s a convention of the genre, that women actually have more privileges than guys – are a distraction from the real issue: that the Privileged are worried that they won’t be as privileged in the near future if this threat isn’t stomped out. Hence the usual reactions: derailment, minimization and ultimately dismissing the topic all together.
As much as my nerdy brethren wish that more girls were of the geeky persuasion, it’s a little understandable why women might be a little reticent. It’s hard to feel valued or fully included when a very vocal group insists that your input is irrelevant, misguided and ultimately unwelcome. It’s small wonder why geekdom – for all of it’s self-proclaimed enlightened attitudes towards outsiders and outcasts – stil retains the odor of the guy’s locker room.
HOW MALE PRIVILEGE AFFECTS GEEK GIRLS IN REAL LIFE
Don’t make the mistake of thinking male privilege is solely about how big Power Girl’s tits are, fan service and jiggle physics in 3D fighters. It affects geek girls in direct, personal ways as well.
Remember the example I mentioned earlier with my then-girlfriend in the comic store? Her opinions were deemed mistaken and she was told she didn’t “get it”… because she was a girl.
Y’see, one of the issues that nerd girls face is the fact that they are seen as girls first and anything else second. And before you flood my comments section demanding to know why this is a bad thing, realize that being seen as a “girl” first colors every interaction that they have within fandom. They’re treated differently because they are women.
We will now pause for the expected responses: well that’s a good thing isn’t it, girls get special treatment because they’re girls, guys will fall all over themselves to try to get girls to like ‘em so it all balances out.
If you’re paying attention you’ll realize that – once again – those reactions are what I’m talking about.
Y’see, nobody’s saying that women don’t receive different treatment from guys… I’m saying that being treated differently is the problem. And yes, I know exactly what many of you are going to say and I’ll get to that in a minute.
Male privilege – again – is about what men can expect as the default setting for society. A man isn’t going to have everything about him filtered through the prism of his gender first. A man, for example, who gets a job isn’t going to face with suggestions that his attractiveness or that his willingness to perform sexual favors was a factor in his being hired, nor will he be shrugged off as a “quota hire”. A man isn’t expected to be a representative of his sex in all things; if he fails at a job, it’s not going to be extrapolated that all men are unfit for that job. A man who’s strong-willed or aggressive won’t be denigrated for it, nor are men socialized to “go along to get along”. A man can expect to have his opinion considered, not dismissed out of hand because of his sex. When paired with a woman who’s of equal status, the man can expect that most of the world will assume that he’s the one in charge. And, critically, a man doesn’t have to continually view the world through the lens of potential violence and sexual assault.
Now with this in mind, consider why being a girl first may be a hindrance to geek girls. A guy who plays a first person shooter – Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield, what-have-you – online may expect a certain amount of trash talking, but he’s not going to be inundated with offers for sex, threats of rape, sounds of simulated masturbation or demands that he blow the other players – but not before going to the kitchen and getting them a beer/sandwich/pizza first. Men will also not be told that they’re being “too sensitive” or that “they need to toughen up” when they complain about said sexual threats.
Men also won’t have their opinions weighed or dismissed solely on the basis of how sexy or attractive they are. The most common responses a woman can expect in an argument – especially online – is that she’s fat, ugly, single, jealous, a whore, or a lesbian – or any combination thereof – and therefore her opinion is irrelevant, regardless of it’s actual merits. This is especially true if she’s commenting on the portrayal of female characters, whether in comics, video games or movies.
Men can expect that their presence at an event won’t automatically be assumed to be decorative or secondary to another man. Despite the growing presence of women in comics, as publishers, editors and creators as well as consumers, a preponderance of men will either treat women at conventions as inconveniences, booth bunnies or even potential dates. Many a female creator or publisher has had the experience of convention guests coming up and addressing all of their questions to the man at the table… despite being told many times that the man is often the assistant, not the talent, only there to provide logistical support and occasional heavy lifting.
Men are also not going to be automatically assigned into a particular niche just based on their gender. A girl in a comic store or a video game store is far more likely to be dismissed as another customer’s girlfriend/sister/cousin rather than being someone who might actually be interested in making a purchase herself. And when they are seen as customers, they’re often automatically assumed to be buying one of the designated “girl” properties… regardless of whether they were just reading Ultimate Spider-Man or looking for a copy of Saint’s Row 3.
Of course, the other side of the coin isn’t much better; being dismissed for the sin of being a woman is bad, but being placed on the traditional pillar is no less insulting. Guys who fall all over themselves to fawn over a geek girl and dance in attendance upon her are just as bad. The behavior is different, but the message is the same: she’s different because she’s a girl. These would-be white knights are ultimately treating her as a fetish object, not as a person. It’s especially notable when it comes to sexy cosplayers; the guys will laude them for being geek girls and celebrate them in person and online. They’ll lavish attention upon them, take photos of them and treat them as queens…
And in doing so, they’re sending the message that women are only valued in geek culture if they’re willing to be a sexually alluring product. Everybody loves Olivia Munn when she enters the room ass-cheeks first as Aeon Flux, but nobody is particularly concerned by the girls dressed in a baseball tee, jeans and ballet flats. One of these is welcomed into geek culture with open arms, the other has to justify their existence in the first place.
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN TO YOU?
The reason why male privilege is so insidious is because of the insistance that it doesn’t exist in the first place. That willful ignorance is key in keeping it in place; by pretending that the issue doesn’t exist, it is that much easier to ensure that nothing ever changes.
Geek society prides itself on being explicitly counter-culture; nerds will crow about how, as a society, they’re better than the others who exclude them. They’ll insist that they’re more egalitarian; geeks hold tight to the belief that geek culture is a meritocracy, where concepts of agism, sexism and racism simply don’t exist the way it does elsewhere. And yet, even a cursory examination will demonstrate that this isn’t true.
And yet geeks will cling to this illusion while simultaneously refusing to address the matters that make it so unattractive to women and minorities. They will insist that they treat women exactly the same as they treat guys – all the while ignoring the fact that their behavior is what’s making the women uncomfortable and feeling unwelcome in the first place. They will find one girl in their immediate community who will say that she’s not offended and use her as the “proof” that nobody else is allowed to be offended.
Changing this prevailing attitude starts with the individual. Call it part of learning to be a better person; being willing to examine your own attitudes and behaviors and to be ruthlessly honest about the benefits you get from being a white male in fandom is the first step. Waving your hands and pretending that there isn’t a problem is a part of the attitude that makes women feel unwelcome in fandom and serves as the barrier to entry to geeky pursuits that she might otherwise enjoy.
Bringing the spotlight onto the concept of male privilege as it exists in nerd culture is the first step in making it more welcoming of diversity, especially women.
*Thanks to Madoka for bringing this to my attention.
"It’s like that poem I read… back in Alaska, there’s a poem from Africa. I wanna read it to you: When I born, I black. When I grow up, I black. When I go in sun, I black. When I scared, I black. And when I die, I still black. When you’re white, when you born, you pink. When you grow up, you white. When you go in sun, you red.. and yet you call me colored? See…. see… this is what I mean. We are all diverse. White people are just as colored. We don’t carry any privilege."
Sarah Palin, September 2008, Judson Baptist College, Huntsville Alabama. (via sarahpalinquotes)
OH GOD, I CAN’T EVEN
How does this in any way, shape, or form translate to white people not having privilege? God I hate this woman.
Is this even for real? I can’t believe someone could be so far off from the point, but then again, it’s her. She completely missed the point.
“When I was born, I was black.
When I grow up, I am black.
When I go in the sun, I am black.
When I‘m scared, I‘m black.
And when I die, I’m still black.
When you’re white, when you‘re born,
When you grow up, you‘re white.
When you go in the sun, you’re red.
And yet you call me colored?”
I didn’t even think Sarah Palin could have made that quote racist, but lo and behold…