Posts Tagged ‘race’

Content warning: spanking, physical punishment, parenting

When it comes to parenting, there is perhaps no concept more divisive than the use of spanking as a form of punishment.  From conversations with my peers, I have heard a wide variety of opinions on the matter, from what classifies as spanking to whether or not corporal punishment should be administered to children at all. Based on my experiences, those who were spanked as children view the act as an entirely normal part of childhood and even commend their parents use of corporal punishment, while those who were not spanked cannot imagine why someone would put their hands on their child in order to teach a lesson. (more…)

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These days, I find myself more and more annoyed when random people (mostly of the male variety) ask me where I’m from. There seems to be no genuine interest in inquiring about me as a person. (more…)

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As someone who spends $25 on threading her eyebrows, among other things, every month, Matthew Immergut’s Manscaping: The Tangle of Nature, Culture, and Male Body Hair struck a chord with me. Body hair removal is connected to capitalism – I could have told you that a long time ago, while shelling out money for shaving cream, razors, and those monthly threading sessions. I could have also told you that hair, and lack thereof, for women is policed by nearly everyone, from boys on the playground making fun of your “unibrow” or “moustache”, aunties telling you that you should wax your legs every six weeks instead of using a harsh razor, by friends telling you that the extra hour spent straightening your hair every morning is “totally worth it! You look SO much better!” Even today, there are countless memes all over social media about how vital it is to get a perfect eyebrow arch and brows that look perfect, but not too perfect. However, reading Immergut’s Manscaping helped me continue the process of fitting together all those fragments into one larger picture that reflects not only my experiences, but the way that Western society treats body hair on brown women as a whole.


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The New and Improved Racism!

Let me start this off with I like to joke that my skin is so white that it glows in the dark.  I used to work at a jewelry store at the airport.  One of the things about working retail at an airport is that you meet a lot of different kinds of people, some of them great, some of them awful.  Here’s my witness of new racism. (more…)

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I know what you’re thinking.

“Oh my god, how could to title your post that?” (more…)

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Feeling My Body

Lying on the cold ground outside of Penn Station on Thursday night, surrounded by activists chanting “We Can’t Breathe” as I chanted those very same words myself, I felt my body. I couldn’t say how many times it has happened other than to say that it rarely does, and if you asked me to describe the feeling now, I couldn’t for the life of me. I call it a feeling and not an experience because that’s what it is: a feeling. Everything else seems like an experience in comparison. The magic in feeling my body is that I am not in control of it. It just happens to me. It feels as though there’s a shift in my being in which I go from experiencing my body through my consciousness to actually feeling my body, being my body. (more…)

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It’s amazing how you can get along quite well with someone until you realize they proudly blurt out their views that make you want to instantly kick them where it hurts.

I’m known generally as the nicest person in the world. I hate conflict, and when I’m in a conversation with someone, I feel an incredibly strong obligation to smile and listen. Last week I had an extremely gigantic exception.

I was racing onto campus from work to go to the Michael Brown discussion in the Women’s Center when I encountered one of my classmates from History. We both laughed about how last minute we are when it comes to writing papers, and all was fine and good, until he said:

“Did you see the protestors up there for Ferguson?” I had no idea he meant it in a bad way.

I immediately got excited that there were protestors and asked where they were, and that’s when he snapped and exclaimed:

“What are you excited for?! My brother is a cop, and he has to deal with this stuff all of the time! I’m tired of people calling racism. It’s annoying. It’s not like black people are slaves anymore. They have their freedom, they just need to move on.”

In the midst of his “argument,” I immediately snapped, and yelled “You don’t know what the f*** you’re talking about! You have no f******* idea!”And proceeding to race to the Women’s Center with tears drowning from my face.

Did he assume I’d agree with him because I was white? Did he really believe I’d go along with his absurd comments? It made me lose a lot of hope for my generation until I made it to the Women’s Center and found people as outraged as I was, and had sophisticated arguments as well as insightful thoughts. I didn’t feel so hopeless and alone after that, but it did make me realize more than ever that there is still a fight to be won. We are still in a society that holds particular standards for race, beauty, wealth, and power. We need people to get angry and aware if we want to be and see changes in our country. Until then, I hope that guy in my history class knows why I went from nice to outraged in .00006 seconds right in his face.

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I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read it. No indictment? No charges? Part of me wasn’t surprised, but the other part of me, the optimistic part, was crushed. (more…)

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I remember talking to a friend of mine this past summer who currently goes to school in Boston. We went to high school together and she sometimes comes down to visit in Maryland where her family still lives. One time I visited my friend at her parent’s house and we watched The Wolverine. After we watched the movie we decided to go out to eat. Once we sat down at our table in the restaurant, we discussed the film. She spoke very passionately about the portrayal of Asian women/characters in the film. She complained about how the two main female characters in the film played on stereotypical Asian female roles. One of the characters in the film was a was a shy, meek, beautiful woman who needed to be saved by the stereotypical “white man.” The other Asian female character was a samurai sword wielding “bodyguard” for the lead white male character.

She went on to talk about how the city of Boston is mostly white and how the men there are “curious” about her because they look at her in a sexual way. While she believes the city is racist towards minorities, she does believe that as an Asian woman, she believes that what she experiences with the locals is somewhat different. She told me about a time when she went into a grocery store in the city with her African-American friend and while they were shopping, several white men in their 20’s were taunting him. They were whispering racial slurs towards him and they ended up having to leave because of it. While the men were hurling racial slurs, they were making comments about her physical appearance.

Throughout her many interactions with the locals in Boston, she finds it very weird how the men approach her and talk to her. She thinks that they are mostly curious about her because they are curious about her in a sexual way. To be honest my friend truly believes that the majority of white men fetishize Asian women. I’ve heard many of my own Caucasian friends and peers talk about how Asian women are more sexually open-minded than white women and that Asian women are better in the bedroom. It’s actually really commonplace for people to really believe that stereotype. It is one of the things that my friend has struggled with her whole life. Historically, Asian women in American society were sexualized because they were often viewed as the “seductress” or the “prostitute” and I think that has majorly impacted the way our society views Asian women today.

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 (tw: racial slurs, street harassment/assault[?])

And so, I’m driving West on Route 40, feeling like I belong in Baltimore. It’s maybe ten on a Friday night, and about two hundred yards before I am to pass them, I see maybe a dozen kids of color on the median strip. Teenagers. My body tensed, as it’d learned to.


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