Professional pounder of the patriarchy.

Archive for December, 2015

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Thank you to everyone for your support this year! I can’t believe how successful the blog has become. When I started all the way back in March, I only intended for it to be a short-term project, but it has grown and grown. 51 followers and 1,322 hits are astronomical numbers (at least as far as I’m concerned!) and I can’t adequately express my appreciation and gratitude.

All the best for 2016,

Dolly x

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Quote #9

Anne was that rare phenomenon, a self-made woman. But then, this became her demise. The machinations of court were an absolute minefield for women. And she was a challenging personality, who wouldn’t be quiet and shut up when she had something to say. This was a woman who wasn’t raised in the English court, but in the Hapsburg and French courts. And she was quite a fiery woman and incredibly intelligent. So she stood out — fire and intelligence and boldness — in comparison to the English roses that were flopping around court. And Henry noticed that. So all the reasons that attracted [Henry] to her, and made her queen and a mother, were all the things that then undermined her position. What she had that was so unique for a woman at that time was also her undoing.

~ Natalie Dormer on Anne Boleyn

From Tumblr – Political Correctness

From Claudia Boleyn:

The ‘political correctness gone mad’ crowd are actually hilarious because they are the ones who kick up a self-righteous stink or start protesting or think you’re somehow infringing their human rights for asking them not to use racist words. 

“You’re asking me to be polite and respectful to people? How dare you! The cheek of it! It’s my human right to be just as racist as I want and you can’t stop me! To prove I’m not a racist and that you are the villains here, I’m going to be more racist than ever!!!” 

Another thing about the ‘political correctness gone mad’ lot is that they characterise anybody who asks them, however politely or delicately, to change their vocabulary when talking about certain social issues to be more inclusive or respectful, as completely radical and unreasonable. They act like you take a wrong step and the ‘SJWs’ will eat you alive!

The reality, in my experience, is actually that the people that will eat you alive in the grossest way are those selfish, privileged jerks who want to shut you down and imply you are being unreasonable, attention-seeking, and asking too much when you simply want to talk about the reality and struggles of your existence or point out a way in which others could help/be more understanding towards your community. 

Why Aziz Ansari Has Destroyed My Chances, And Why He Is So So Important:

This was a really interesting read. Love Aziz Ansari to bits, and this was a fascinating perspective on what Asian actors have to go through in order to get roles. It’s terrible to think that your chances can be diminished, purely because you lack a “normal” (meaning “standard Anglophone” name).

Arnab Chanda

Throughout my life, even though we’ve never met, Aziz Ansari has consistently beaten me to the punch. It’s becoming a theme. A sometimes very annoying theme. Although, for various reasons I’ll discuss below, I do believe he has been the most important Indian Comedy Actor in the past 10 years.

In his new series on Netflix, Master of None, Aziz Ansari says “There can only be two,” referring to the idea that there can only ever be 2 Indians in one show at any point, max. Studio Executives and Networks are afraid to put any more than that, and they’re afraid most of the time, to even put one on.

I remember when I started doing stand-up in New York City in 2003, and after watching me, a fellow comic asked me “Oh, do you know Aziz Ansari? He’s an young Indian stand up as well.” Aziz was another…

View original post 1,384 more words

Culturally Appropriative Arseholes

Cultural appropriation is a hot topic among the internet masses. I’m willing to bet any money (exactly no money, because I don’t have any) that you’ve come across the term at least once. So what is it? Why is it so damaging? And how can you avoid becoming a culturally appropriative arsehole?

Cultural appropriation is when a dominant culture adopts/uses elements of a different culture in a negative, exploitative and damaging way. You’ve probably seen it floating around – so-called spiritual folk with “Namaste, b*tches” in their Instagram bios, that one friend who has a plastic Buddha in every room (including the bathroom), that one time your main man Gary went to a fancy-dress party as a “Red Indian” and made everyone there super uncomfortable.

sobbing

Seriously, brother, what was up with that?

This is damaging for a number of reasons – the main one being that people from these cultures are shamed and mocked for “standing out”, but the practice suddenly becomes acceptable and cool when a white person does it (and, unfortunately, it is usually white people). It also exoticises customs and traditions which are a part of everyday life in their home culture. It’s incredibly degrading for a non-Native person to dress up in a traditional Native American warbonnet for Halloween because it’s “weird” and “funny” – the feathered headdress is a highly symbolic item of ceremonial importance, not a fashion accessory. I accept that we do share our culture; however, the non-consensual claiming of traditions, customs and practices – without thought for the meaning and significance of such concepts – is not sharing.

So how can you avoid appropriating other cultures? It’s not wrong to appreciate another culture, but, first and foremost, think about why you like it. If you think it’s pretty/cute/exotic/mysterious or you think you’ll have some kind of life-changing spiritual experience driving past native people living in poverty, then basically don’t do the thing. But if you’re genuinely interested in the history, the architecture, or even the language, that’s positive. Here are some ways you can immerse yourself in a culture without denigrating the people it belongs to.

  1. Learn the languageRather than gracing us with your ability to get a wildly incorrect tattoo in Chinese, why don’t you try and learn the language? If you’re so into Indian culture, you’ve got your choice of 447 languages and dialects, according to Ethnologue. Personally, I’m fascinated by the Basque Country (Euskal Herria). Guess what my intention is? To learn the language, with a nifty little website called Memrise. Google it.
  2. Give something back to the places you visit. Avoid businesses/products that exploit the local people. Sponsor a family so they can adopt a goat and start a business. Get yo’self some local art.
  3. Make sure you understand a tradition/custom before you engage in it. Cultures are far more complex and nuanced than you think they are. No matter how much reading you do, remember that you are not the expert.
  4. Don’t wear/use sacred symbols unless you have explicit permission and you are in an acceptable social context. I know, I know – I’m not your mother and I can’t tell you what to do. But I’ve seen enough Christians getting tense about the inverted cross (of my old pal St Peter) being associated with Satanism; I don’t see why the symbols of other religions shouldn’t be perceived in exactly the same way – as too valuable and sacred to be used in such a manner. (Not that Satanism is wrong or bad in any way. You do you, babes.)
  5. Most importantly: STUDY THE CULTURE. Make sure you do so from firsthand accounts and original sources. Ensure that you are knowledgeable, open-minded and respectful when you discuss the culture.

Ultimately, enjoy! It’s a wild, wide world out there and it’s so diverse. Experiencing other cultures is a good thing, as it can widen your scope and give you a new perspective on your own life. But your exploration of another culture should not be at the expense of the people it belongs to.

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‘Tis all, for this evening.

For other articles on the subject (far better than mine), go to (x) (x) (x)

Problematic Feminists – From Tumblr

A really excellent piece from Tumblr, via thedatingfeminist

Please stop ending your critiques of bigoted self-identified feminists with “then you’re not really a feminist.” That’s not a useful statement to make. It’s more useful to say “then you’re a bad feminist, and you are using feminism in a harmful way.”

Feminists can be racist. Feminists can be classist, ableist, transmisogynist, Islamophobic, antisemitic, whorephobic, homophobic, intersexist, terrible people and still be feminists. It makes their feminism tainted and flawed and oppressive and not very useful, but it doesn’t erase it.

Pretending that only people completely free from bigotry are “actual” feminists gives us an excuse to not address the very real problems happening in our movement, by people who are very much a part of it, or even leading parts of it.

To say bigots “aren’t really feminists” allows us to ignore the white supremacist and transmisogynist histories of Western feminist movements, allows us to be self-congratulatory about our own imaginary lack of ingrained prejudice, and neatly absolves us of taking responsibility as a movement for bigotry happening within that movement.

So yes, let’s acknowledge that people can be shitty feminists. But to imply that their shittiness neatly removes them from the movement is to deny the harm that they’re able to do as part of it. And that’s not helpful.

I see a lot of this – people seem to pull this particular tactic with Lena Dunham, a self-identified but deeply problematic feminist. Yeah, she’s a white feminist. Yeah, her brand of feminism is a bit shit. But we can’t just ignore problems in the movement; we need to talk about them, explore them and iron them out.