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That "White Belly Dancers" article on Salon.com →

asharah:

This article has been making the rounds in our community.  It’s nothing new.  Here’s my response:
—-
As a “white belly dancer” I’ve heard/read this argument before. That white belly dancers are playing at “Arab Face” and engaging in cultural appropriation. Maira Sunaina already wrote that article, and frankly, it was poorly researched. This one does no better, but at least it is framed as an opinion piece. We cannot deny Jarrar her experience or her opinions, and her observations are worth hearing and considering (as are the opinions of ANY person).  And I do admit that as a woman who presents as white and has devoted much of her life studying the language, culture, history, and politics of the Middle East, I do take some personal offense. I came to belly dance (raqs sharqi, raqs baladi, danse orientale, gobek dansi, etc.) through my study of the Middle East, not the other way around, as many dancers do. Unfortunately, many of my fellow practitioners do commit kinds of cultural appropriation that the author mentions here. It’s true. I’m not denying that these things happen. Some of us are much more educated in our approach to the dance than others, and, yes, using belly dance as a vehicle for Orientalist fantasy is harmful and rife with ignorance.

But, let’s for a moment, change the dance and the ethnicity, using some other imperialist powers from history.

"Why I can’t stand Chinese hip hop dancers."

"Why I can’t stand Turkish salsa dancers."

"Why I can’t stand Mongolian blues singers."

"Why I can’t stand Russian ballet dancers."

"Why I can’t stand French Afro-Caribbean dancers."

"Why I can’t stand Japanese belly dancers."

Each of the groups mention here were imperialist powers. Each of the arts mentioned here have been appropriated by the people of the imperialist powers in question. Do the above titles sound any more or less ridiculous than the title of this article? And if they do, why?

What this article wants to be is about imperialism and power. It wants to be an article about the domination of the “West” over the Middle East. It wants to take a jab at the exploitation of Western powers (read: British, French, and American) of the Middle East and its people. It wants to be an article about Orientalism. All of these topics are valid and should be discussed; and they are being discussed in academic discourse every day. But, as a means for bridging gaps of understanding between the Arab world and “white people,” it fails. It fails because of its own racism. Change the sectarian group name and it still turns into “Why I can’t stand ___ group for doing ____ thing.”

Hating on a group is not a productive way for erasing racism.

(Yes, that means let’s stop hating on all white people—I mean, people of northern European descent, for are Greeks, Sicilians, and people of Balkan descent “white”?—for doing anything that isn’t also of northern European origin.  Just as a Arab woman has no choice but to be an Arab woman, a “white” woman has no choice either.  We can however, make educated choices about how we regard elements of other peoples’ cultures.)

To the author: You could have used this article as a means for productive education and discourse. But you instead relied on a click-bait title (and, as it is within my field of study, I clicked). ّI hope that you are able to take your personal experience and work with, say, an educational institution, or maybe you should reach out to your local belly dance instructors and offer to give a special class to their students rather than just writing yet ANOTHER article about how white people oppress brown people.
  Yes, imperialism, racism, and cultural appropriation happen.  Let’s help it NOT happen by fostering exchange and education rather than anger and bigotry.

Hating on a group is not a productive way for erasing racism.” YES

lindsaybottos:

some new stuff I’m working on, I get tons of anonymous messages like this every day and while this isn’t unique to women, the content of the messages and the frequency in which I get them are definitely related to my gender. I almost exclusively get them after I post selfies. The authority people feel they have to share their opinion on my appearance is something myself and many other girls online deal with daily. 

This is so powerful. We CAN deny the haters their power.

amandapalmer:

HOW TO LIVE LIKE A KING FOR VERY LITTLE by Thor Harris
1. DON’T SMOKE CIGARETTES.
2. DRIVE OLD JAPANESE CARS. EASY AND CHEAP TO FIX & THEY RUN FOR FUCKING EVER.
3. BUY MOST OF YOUR GROCERIES FROM THE PRODUCE SECTION. MOST OF THAT OTHER SHIT IS NOT ACTUALLY FOOD. YOU DON’T NEED IT.
4. RIDE YOUR BIKE INSTEAD OF DRIVING AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. YOU NEED THE EXERCISE AND GAS IS EXPENSIVE.
5. DON’T HAVE KIDS. THEY’RE NOT MIRACLES, THEY’RE PEOPLE. 7 BILLION IS TOO FUCKING MANY. FIND SOME OTHER WAY TO GIVE YOUR DULL EXISTENCE SOME MEANING. BTW THEY’RE EXPENSIVE.
6. GET YOUR CLOTHES FROM THRIFT STORES. WITH THE PHYSIQUE YOU’LL HAVE FROM RIDING YOUR BIKE, YOU’LL LOOK HOT WEARING ANYTHING.
7. LEARN TO FIX THINGS. TONS OF GREAT BOOKS AND YOUTUBE VIDS ON FIXING ANYTHING. OR ASK AN OLD DUDE. PEOPLE USED TO FIX THINGS. NO SHIT.
8. LEARN A TRADE – CARPENTRY, PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL, AUTO MECHANICS, TAILORING, COMPUTER/ELECTRONICS REPAIR, SOMETHING THEY CAN’T FUCKING OUTSOURCE. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOUR MASTERS IN DOSTOYEVSKY…. FIX SOMETHING, DUMBASS, FIX SOMETHING!
9. IF YOU LIKE BOOZE, DRINK AT HOME WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS. DRUNK DRIVING IS FOR ASSHOLES, RICH ONES WITH LAWYERS.
10. DO PEOPLE FAVORS. IT’S CALLED COOPERATION. IT’S HOW THE WORLD WORKED BEFORE MONEY. THEY WILL RETURN THE FAVOR, OR SOMEONE WILL. NO SHIT. THIS REALLY WORKS.
11. MAKE THINGS – LOOK AROUND YOU. WHAT DO YOU SEE? YAH, SHITTY STUFF MADE BY IMPOVERISHED ENSLAVED PEOPLE FAR AWAY. PICK ANYTHING. MAKE A BETTER ONE. PEOPLE WANT GOOD SHIT. YOU WON’T GET RICH, BUT YOU’LL GET BY.
12. IF YOU LIVE IN AMERICA – DON’T GET SICK AND AVOID INJURY. WEAR YOUR FUCKING HELMET AND PUT LIGHTS ON YOUR BIKE.
13. FIND WORK YOU LOVE. IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT, THEN FIND A JOB WHERE YOU LOVE THE PEOPLE.
14. JUNKIES AND ADDICTS ARE LIKE TODDLERS. THEY JUST WANT TO SHIT ALL OVER YOU AND EVERYTHING. THE MESSES THEY MAKE CAN GET EXPENSIVE. AVOID THEM IF YOU CAN.
15. DON’T BUY SHIT ON CREDIT, REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA? CASH ONLY, FUCKERS. CAN’T AFFORD IT? DON’T FUCKING BUY IT!
16. PREVENTABLE EXPENSES - STD’S, ABORTIONS, DWI’S, LUNG CANCER, HEAD INJURIES, SPEEDING TICKETS, CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER.
17. DON’T GO ON FANCY DATES IF YOU’RE NOT FANCY. MOST PEOPLE KIND OF DESPISE THE RICH ANYWAY.
18. WHEN YOU GO SEE SHOWS, BRING A FLASK IN. THAT WAY YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY A RECORD.
19. IF YOU HAD TOLD ME 15 YEARS AGO THAT COCA COLA WOULD PUT TAP WATER IN PLASTIC BOTTLES AND MOTHERFUCKERS WOULD BUY IT …… NO FUCKIN WAY.
20. DON’T GET CABLE. ASSHOLE. THERE IS NOTHING ON. I PROMISE. $100 A MONTH ? FUCK NO!
THIS LIST WAS EDITED BY STACEY YATES WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM JHEREK BISHOFF, CHAD RAINES & AMANDA PALMER. WE LIVE IN A WASTEFUL SOCIETY. LIVE WELL. IT DON’T TAKE MUCH. REALLY.
 (p.s. i posted this here for thor, who plays drums with me, cause he’s got no tumblr. you should also check out thor’s now-famous “HOW TO TOUR IN A BAND OR WHATEVER”, it’s just as awesome as this if not awesomer: http://beenlookingforthemagic.tumblr.com/post/1427157150/how-to-tour-in-a-band-or-whatever-by-thor-harris thor forever x a)

This is awesome.

amandapalmer:

HOW TO LIVE LIKE A KING FOR VERY LITTLE
by Thor Harris

1. DON’T SMOKE CIGARETTES.

2. DRIVE OLD JAPANESE CARS. EASY AND CHEAP TO FIX & THEY RUN FOR FUCKING EVER.

3. BUY MOST OF YOUR GROCERIES FROM THE PRODUCE SECTION. MOST OF THAT OTHER SHIT IS NOT ACTUALLY FOOD. YOU DON’T NEED IT.

4. RIDE YOUR BIKE INSTEAD OF DRIVING AS MUCH AS YOU CAN. YOU NEED THE EXERCISE AND GAS IS EXPENSIVE.

5. DON’T HAVE KIDS. THEY’RE NOT MIRACLES, THEY’RE PEOPLE. 7 BILLION IS TOO FUCKING MANY. FIND SOME OTHER WAY TO GIVE YOUR DULL EXISTENCE SOME MEANING. BTW THEY’RE EXPENSIVE.

6. GET YOUR CLOTHES FROM THRIFT STORES. WITH THE PHYSIQUE YOU’LL HAVE FROM RIDING YOUR BIKE, YOU’LL LOOK HOT WEARING ANYTHING.

7. LEARN TO FIX THINGS. TONS OF GREAT BOOKS AND YOUTUBE VIDS ON FIXING ANYTHING. OR ASK AN OLD DUDE. PEOPLE USED TO FIX THINGS. NO SHIT.

8. LEARN A TRADE – CARPENTRY, PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL, AUTO MECHANICS, TAILORING, COMPUTER/ELECTRONICS REPAIR, SOMETHING THEY CAN’T FUCKING OUTSOURCE. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOUR MASTERS IN DOSTOYEVSKY…. FIX SOMETHING, DUMBASS, FIX SOMETHING!

9. IF YOU LIKE BOOZE, DRINK AT HOME WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS. DRUNK DRIVING IS FOR ASSHOLES, RICH ONES WITH LAWYERS.

10. DO PEOPLE FAVORS. IT’S CALLED COOPERATION. IT’S HOW THE WORLD WORKED BEFORE MONEY. THEY WILL RETURN THE FAVOR, OR SOMEONE WILL. NO SHIT. THIS REALLY WORKS.

11. MAKE THINGS – LOOK AROUND YOU. WHAT DO YOU SEE? YAH, SHITTY STUFF MADE BY IMPOVERISHED ENSLAVED PEOPLE FAR AWAY. PICK ANYTHING. MAKE A BETTER ONE. PEOPLE WANT GOOD SHIT. YOU WON’T GET RICH, BUT YOU’LL GET BY.

12. IF YOU LIVE IN AMERICA – DON’T GET SICK AND AVOID INJURY. WEAR YOUR FUCKING HELMET AND PUT LIGHTS ON YOUR BIKE.

13. FIND WORK YOU LOVE. IF YOU CAN’T DO THAT, THEN FIND A JOB WHERE YOU LOVE THE PEOPLE.

14. JUNKIES AND ADDICTS ARE LIKE TODDLERS. THEY JUST WANT TO SHIT ALL OVER YOU AND EVERYTHING. THE MESSES THEY MAKE CAN GET EXPENSIVE. AVOID THEM IF YOU CAN.

15. DON’T BUY SHIT ON CREDIT, REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA? CASH ONLY, FUCKERS. CAN’T AFFORD IT? DON’T FUCKING BUY IT!

16. PREVENTABLE EXPENSES - STD’S, ABORTIONS, DWI’S, LUNG CANCER, HEAD INJURIES, SPEEDING TICKETS, CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER.

17. DON’T GO ON FANCY DATES IF YOU’RE NOT FANCY. MOST PEOPLE KIND OF DESPISE THE RICH ANYWAY.

18. WHEN YOU GO SEE SHOWS, BRING A FLASK IN. THAT WAY YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY A RECORD.

19. IF YOU HAD TOLD ME 15 YEARS AGO THAT COCA COLA WOULD PUT TAP WATER IN PLASTIC BOTTLES AND MOTHERFUCKERS WOULD BUY IT …… NO FUCKIN WAY.

20. DON’T GET CABLE. ASSHOLE. THERE IS NOTHING ON. I PROMISE. $100 A MONTH ? FUCK NO!

THIS LIST WAS EDITED BY STACEY YATES WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM JHEREK BISHOFF, CHAD RAINES & AMANDA PALMER. WE LIVE IN A WASTEFUL SOCIETY. LIVE WELL. IT DON’T TAKE MUCH. REALLY.


(p.s. i posted this here for thor, who plays drums with me, cause he’s got no tumblr. you should also check out thor’s now-famous “HOW TO TOUR IN A BAND OR WHATEVER”, it’s just as awesome as this if not awesomer: http://beenlookingforthemagic.tumblr.com/post/1427157150/how-to-tour-in-a-band-or-whatever-by-thor-harris thor forever x a)

This is awesome.

sorayachemaly:

From the Guardian: The Al-Wakrah stadium in Qatar: ‘With its shiny, pinkish tinge and labia-like side appendages, the supposedly innocent building was just asking for trouble.’ Photograph: AECOM
I CAN”T STOP LAUGHING AT THIS. 
Word of the day: YONIC. 

Oh, the irony, it burns!

sorayachemaly:

From the Guardian: The Al-Wakrah stadium in Qatar: ‘With its shiny, pinkish tinge and labia-like side appendages, the supposedly innocent building was just asking for trouble.’ Photograph: AECOM

I CAN”T STOP LAUGHING AT THIS. 

Word of the day: YONIC. 

Oh, the irony, it burns!

How We Teach Our Kids That Women Are Liars →

sorayachemaly:

Two weeks ago a man in France was arrested for raping his daughter. She’d gone to her school counselor and then the police, but they needed “hard evidence.” So, she videotaped her next assault. Her father was eventually arrested. His attorney explained, “There was a period when he was unemployed and in the middle of a divorce. He insists that these acts did not stretch back further than three or four months. His daughter says longer. But everyone should be very careful in what they say.” Because, really, even despite her seeking help, her testimony, her bravery in setting up a webcam to film her father raping her, you really can’t believe what the girl says, can you?

Everyone “knows” this. Even children.

Three years ago, in fly-on-the-wall fashion of parent drivers everywhere, I listened while a 14-year-old girl in the back seat of my car described how angry she was that her parents had stopped allowing her to walk home alone just because a girl in her neighborhood “claimed she was raped.” When I asked her if there was any reason to think the girl’s story was not true, she said, “Girls lie about rape all the time.”  

She didn’t know the person, she just assumed she was lying.

No one says, “You can’t trust women,” but distrust them we do. College students surveyed revealed that they think up to 50% of their female peers lie when they accuse someone of rape, despite wide-scale evidence and multi-country studies that show the incident of false rape reports to be in the 2%-8% range, pretty much the same as false claims for other crimes. As late as 2003, people jokingly (wink, wink) referred to Philadelphia’s sex crimes unit as “the lying bitch unit.” If an 11-year-old girl told an adult that her father took out a Craigslist ad to find someone to beat and rape her while he watched, as recently actually occurred, what do you think the response would be? Would she need to provide a videotape after the fact? 

It goes way beyond sexual assault as well. That’s just the most likely and obvious demonstration of “women are born to lie” myths. Women’s credibility is questioned in the workplace, in courts, by law enforcement, indoctors’ offices, and in our political system. People don’t trust women to be bosses, or pilots, or employees. Pakistan’s controversial Hudood Ordinance still requires a female rape victim to procure four male witnesses to her rape or risk prosecution for adultery. In August, a survey of managers in the United States revealed that they overwhelmingly distrust women who request flextime.  It’s notable, of course, that women are trusted to be mothers—the largest pool of undervalued, unpaid, economically crucial labor.

Pop culture and art are just the cherry on the top of the icing on a huge cake. The United States is among the most religious of all countries in the industrialized world. So, while some people wring their hands over hip hop, I’m more worried about how men like Rick Santorum and Ken Cuccinelli explain to their daughters why they can’t be priests. I know that there is hip hop that exceeds the bounds of taste and is sodden with misogyny. But, people seem to think that those manifestations of hatred are outside of the mainstream when, in reality, it’s just more of the same set to great beats.  Hip hop has nothing on religious misogyny and its political expression. 

An entire political party’s “social policy” agenda is being pursued under a rubric that insists women need “permission slips” and “waiting periods.” The recent shutdown? Conservatives holding the country hostage because they want to add anti-abortion “conscience clause” language to legislation. Whose consciences are we talking about? All the morally incompetent and untrustworthy men who need abortions?

It’s no exaggeration to say that distrust of women is the driving force of the “social issues” agenda of the Republican Party. From food stamps and “legitimate rape,” to violence against women and immigration policy. “We need to target the mother. Call it sexist, but that’s the way nature made it,” explained the man who penned Arizona’s immigration law. “Men don’t drop anchor babies, illegal alien mothers do.” I could do this ad infinitum.

See entire piece at Role/Reboot here. 

 

americanorientalism:

I can’t believe I sacrificed a night of video games for these. A little while ago, the UN rolled out an ad campaign focusing on sexism on the internet (http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2013/10/women-should-ads). They utilize google’s instant search feature, and I felt the ads powerfully show how sexism on the internet reflects what we encounter in real life.

I decided to copy it, focusing on the discrimination and prejudice female gamers face within the subculture. These searches were done on November 14th, 2013.

(via geekgirlvideo)

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