fulfilling all kinds of cultural stereotypes
This is a crappy pic but I saw your picture, Farah, and I remembered my own Halloween of being Jasmine (and my little sis was Raja- she’s always been really into animals haha). I was all about Jasmine- I think she was the first Disney princess I loved (then Ariel, then Belle, then Pocahontas). And honestly, the only two Disney princesses that came anything close to looking like me were Jasmine and Pocahontas. Stupid Disney couldn’t get their shit together (not that it was ever together) so by the time Princess Tiana came into existence, I was 20.
It’s a strange thing, growing up Disney as a girl of color. The representations that actually sorta reflect what you look like are so damn problematic and are always seen through the eyes of white men. But it’s still so necessary to have any sort of vaguely positive (i.e. not outright negative and hateful) representations of oneself in our media-saturated world.
I’ll never forget the time in my Native American studies class we had a discussion about Disney’s Pocahontas. Everybody was talking shit about the Disney movie and whatnot, and that class I actually spoke up. I outright said to a class of mostly white people that while I agree the movie is HIGHLY problematic, that growing up as a girl of color and not having many representations of myself in the media, Pocahontas meant a lot to me. I was so nerve-racked but I felt I had to say something to these folks who clearly can see themselves represented all the time. Pocahontas came out when I was 6, which is the age I started to really recognize race and that I was different from the almost all white people in my class (and at my school). I needed Pocahontas to make me not feel completely freakish and less-than. And I’m the first to admit that the movie is made up of all kinds of lies and wildly inaccurate history, but considering there was no African-American princess and girls of color were and continue to be scarce in the media, Pocahontas meant everything to me, simply by being brown and from Virginia.
All that to say that I have very complicated feelings about the Disney princesses of color- that while their portrayals are very very problematic, I suspect many young girls of color (like myself at a young age) find their own, positive meanings in these flawed representations. At the very least it’d be an interesting discussion to have with young women of color, particularly those who grew up in the 1990s Disney princess era.
The 1970s-80s social movement called U.S. third world feminism functioned as a central locus of possibility, an insurgent social movement that shattered the construction of any one ideology as the single most correct site where truth can be represented. Indeed, without making this kind of metamove, any ‘liberation’ or social movement eventually becomes destined to repeat the oppressive authoritarianism from which it is attempting to free itself, and become trapped inside a drive for truth that ends only in producing its own brand of dominations. What U.S. third world feminism thus demanded was a new subjectivity, a political revision that denied any one ideology as the final answer, while instead positing a tactical subjectivity with the capactiy to de- and recenter, given the forms of power to be moved. These dynamics are what were required in the shift from enacting a hegemonic oppositional theory and practice to engaging in the differential form of social movement, as performed by U.S. feminists of color during the post-World War II period of great social transformation.
Chela Sandoval, Methodology of the Oppressed (via eastafrodite)
for anyone who assumes that “third world” and “feminism” are diametrically opposed or antithetical to one another
put down your Ariel Levy and Jessica Valenti
seek out documents from the grassroots collectives of the ’70s and ’80s
shit was fucking happening at this time
people will try to tell you that the ’80s was a decade marked by a ~return~ to ~traditional~ values via Ronald the Devil
but the ’80s is so fucking important
you won’t regret it
Photo reblogged from with 437 notes
Vivienne Malone Mayes: Why she kicks ass
- She earned a B.A. (1952) and M.A .(1954) in Mathematics at Fisk University.
- She is the fifth African-American woman to receive a Ph. D. in Mathematics (University of Texas-Austin).
- She was the first Black woman to serve on the executive committee of the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM).
- She served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Mathematicians (NAM).
- In 1966, she became the first Black faculty member at Baylor University, the institution which had rejected her, with an explicit anti-black policy, as a student only five years previously. She spent her teaching career there until she retired in 1994 because of ill health.
- She was heavily involved in anti-racist picketing; her articles situate her academic struggles within the broader anti-racist movement.
- She served on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries, the Board of Directors for Family Counseling and Children, the Texas State Advisory Council for Construction of Community Mental Health Centers, and the Board of Directors of Cerebral Palsy.
- In 1971, the Baylor Student Congress elected Mayes Outstanding Faculty Memeber of the Year.
- She was very successful, although she initially faced much opposition in studying mathematics; in her first undergraduate class she was the only Black person and the only woman and she was denied a teaching assistantship even though she was an experienced (13 years) and excellent teacher.
- Her Ph.D. thesis was entitled “A structure problem in asymptotic analysis.” Part of this work was published in the Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society, v. 22 (1969) under a different title. (Later her research interests shifted to summability theory).
Jada Pinkett-Smith: “The War on Men Through the Degradation of Woman”
“How is man to recognize his full self, his full power through the eye’s of an incomplete woman? The woman who has been stripped of Goddess recognition and diminished to a big ass and full breast for physical comfort only.
The woman who has been silenced so she may forget her spiritual essence because her words stir too much thought outside of the pleasure space. The woman who has been diminished to covering all that rots inside of her with weaves and red bottom shoes.I am sure the men, who restructured our societies from cultures that honored woman, had no idea of the outcome. They had no idea that eventually, even men would render themselves empty and longing for meaning, depth and connection.
There is a deep sadness when I witness a man that can’t recognize the emptiness he feels when he objectifies himself as a bank and truly believes he can buy love with things and status. It is painful to witness the betrayal when a woman takes him up on that offer.
He doesn’t recognize that the [creation] of a half woman has contributed to his repressed anger and frustration of feeling he is not enough. He then may love no woman or keep many half women as his prize.
He doesn’t recognize that it’s his submersion in the imbalanced warrior culture, where violence is the means of getting respect and power, as the reason he can break the face of the woman who bore him 4 four children.
When woman is lost, so is man. The truth is, woman is the window to a man’s heart and a man’s heart is the gateway to his soul.
Power and control will NEVER out weigh love.
May we all find our way.”
~ Jada Pinkett-Smith, Sinuous Magazine
You Have Struck a Rock
Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now
“This poster was created for Women’s Day, a South African national holiday commemorating a 1956 demonstration in Pretoria. Thousands of women gathered to protest the apartheid government’s pass laws, which required black South Africans to carry documents authorizing their presence in racially restricted areas. The text is based on a song that became the anthem of women’s struggle against apartheid and that today represents the strength of South African women in general. The poster was printed by Medu Art Ensemble, a collective of South African exiles and activists formed in 1978 in Gaborone, Botswana, eight miles across the South African border.”
my project for my Women, Culture and Society class! :)
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