Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yellowface, Rape as Comedy, 9/11 Racial Profiling and More, from the Blogosphere

This photo from the Toronto Slutwalk is courtesy of Anton Bielousov

First up, Racialicious has an article about the controversial practice where models tape their eyes to appear more Asian - a practice sometimes called "yellowface." While the model in question dismisses her decision as an attempt to simply create a different look, Racialicious considers it an act of consuming the Other. The basic idea here is that members of a dominant group enjoy fantasizing about belonging to a disadvantaged group.

Next, feminist Mormon housewives discusses ways in which women and other groups of oppressed people fight against their own interests. While I'm guessing readers will take issue with some of the authors' examples of oppressed people fighting against their own interests, this post raises some points that are well worth considering - there are aspects of life that we all take for granted, and it's easy to ignore even the oppression and discrimination that affects us, simply because it seems like a fact of life.

Then, we have a chilling tale of racial profiling on September 11. The story is a bit long, but the basic gist is that an entire row of people of color were removed from an airplane, handcuffed, and stuck in the back of a police car.

Among chilling tales, we've also got an article about sin culture, a term that the blog By Common Consent connects with rape culture. Essentially, BCC argues that when we counsel potential victims to follow a set of rules in order to avoid being victimized, we unwittingly encourage the stereotype that someone who breaks those rules is responsible for the behavior of his or her attacker. A friend of mine recently posted this link on facebook, and the ensuing discussion could have filled a set of encyclopaedias. Part of what makes this issue so disturbing is the rape-story-passed-off-as-comedy which BCC links in their article. While the men on stage listening to the rape confession acted uncomfortable, they cracked jokes about the questionable legality of his actions, rather than telling him to shut his stupid, rapist mouth.

And of course, we can't overlook the end of Don't Ask Don't Tell. It's been a long, hard fight to pull it down, so let's hope it stays dead.

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