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Posts Tagged ‘stereotypes’

The connections between race and sexuality that Patricia Collins mentions, for me, are really relatable. Even though she and many other feminist studies writers have focused on African American men and prison power dynamics, as an Asian man, I can see exactly what they might be talking about in my own history.

When I was growing up, I had a really high voice; it was really really high. Some people might have said things such as, “You sound like a girl”. It really was that high pitched. And ultimately, many people at my school assumed that “He must be gay”. It’s true. People even asked me about it.

When I told them “No”, many of my peers were confounded. “That can’t be!”, they said. They assumed I must be lying and this was big issue for them for a long while. But then, many people suddenly turned around and said that I wasn’t lying after all. And I was confused.

It turns out, according to some individuals, that my voice was so “feminine” because I was Asian. “Asian men are just much less masculine and we should just accept you because you can’t help but be that way”.

Now, I realize that this was an example of the connectedness between race and sexuality. Like African American women or the less masculine African American men that were called “bitch” or “dicksucker”, my say on who I was was ignored by my surroundings but instead got replaced by peoples assumptions. And conversely to African Americans who were threatened because of their race, I was “validated” as acceptable because of mine.

No one paused to think that my sexuality, a private issue, was being violated. And then no one stopped to think that “blaming” a whole race of people for my “situation” was sort of racist. Reading such passage has enlightened me that, in this scenario, there were interlocking systems of power at play. Race and gender, in my case and many others, were used as intersectional societal methods of control at the expense of those affected by such assumptions.

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The reading about manscaping got me thinking about the role that bodies play in the gay community, specifically fat and hairy bodies. They completely determine where you are and who you associate with. This especially apparent in gay dating apps, which, for better or for worse, have become a very important part of gay culture. (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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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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It is always the same scenario.  Someone who is either blind, struggling to guide their way throughout the bus with their walking stick tapping the ground in a rhythmic motion, or someone who cannot walk, as the bus driver has to take the extra minutes to load that individual in a wheelchair into the front of the vehicle.   While all this is happening, I usually look away uncomfortably.  But the question is why?  I’ve decided to answer with that I feel guilty.  But why should I feel guilty?  I haven’t contributed to what society calls their “disability”.  But somehow I feel somewhat responsible for the way the blind can never see the beautiful scenery during a hike, or the deaf may never be able to hear the wonderful melodies embedded in music.  Maybe it’s the fact that I enjoy these pleasures, that it is tearing me inside.  Sometimes I wish it was me . . . . that I was blind, deaf, lame, dumb and so on.  I feel that then the guilt would disappear because I would be stripped of the “pleasures” society says that I have.

But are the disabled really suffering? Is that a legitimate cause for me to feel guilty?  The strange thing is, I only feel this way towards disabled individuals that are strangers to me.  I know at least one person very well that is disabled.  And I wouldn’t even call her “disabled” because she is so driven and strong.  She doesn’t seem to experience any limitations and boldly reaches for the same opportunities that I or any other “normal” person would want.  Because of that, I feel no sense of guilt around her, she greatly inspires me.  Maybe if I stopped to look at the “disability” of others and feel sorry and crappy about it, as society has so often told us to do, I would see greatness and not sympathy.

To be honest, I never dared to express my thoughts on my guilt toward disabled people.  To me, I thought it was inappropriate to do so.  But now letting all my thoughts out here in this post for the first time, I’ve realized that it is society that is causing my guilt, not the disabled.  The disabled are not telling me to feel sorry for them, society is; the disabled are not telling me to look away, society is; the disabled are not telling me they are not enjoying life, society is.  And looking back on it, the way society is downgrading the disabled is really shattering.

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