SuperPost for week 5: Feb 14th and 16th

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Theme for the week: Race and Ethnic Identity in the Digital

"privilege denying dude" meme

Readings to discuss in class on Tuesday: 

Additional material to discuss on Thursday: 

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Optional: Byrne, Dara N. “The Future of (the) ’Race’: Identity, Discourse, and the Rise of Computer-mediated Public Spheres.” Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media. Edited by Anna Everett. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2008. 15–38. http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/dmal.9780262550673.015 [PDF Link]

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52 responses »

  1. Hi folks, I hope you enjoyed watching the Chesca Leigh video. I can’t remember who mentioned her interview with Anderson Cooper, but if you’d like to post and talk about that, please feel free.

    I also included this SlutWalk article because, well, it’s about Carbondale and was written by a SPCM professor, but also because it cites some of the privilege-related discourse that has surrounded the Walk online.

    Hoping for a productive discussion today!

  2. Welp, all in all, I LOVED Chesca’s video and I could relate more than most. I found it comedic and refreshing, to finally have someone say all the things that I couldn’t. 🙂 Also her interview with Anderson Cooper was awesome, people tried to come at her really hard, but she handled herself very well, and kept it real…ignorance lives. lol

    • I always approve of using humor as a tool to open people’s eyes, and this video was no exception. Especially when “I’m not racist, but…” or “Uh, not to be racist, but” are used so often as justifications. For some reason, the way she said those in the video had me chuckling.

      • thank you for posting! it’s so interesting how quickly some people jump to calling it racist when white privilege is called out. a student in my 201 class this semester did this (timidly) on our blog, and it’s difficult to explain the difference without getting incredibly frustrated.

        • I understand its never easy to explain, especially for you being a teacher, and having to sometimes care about not stepping on any students toes. smh. Whenever something like that happens just think “I have some awesome students in my 491 class, who would soooo understand where Im coming from.” 🙂 lol

    • Completely agreed. I wasn’t sure how the interview would go but I was pleasantly surprised with how she presented herself and, yes I completely agree, handled the questions comments extremely well.

  3. This has nothing to do with the post but Kate I saw this comment on the article you posted about the slut walk. I just wanted to share the ignorance.

    Eloise says:
    September 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I cannot believe women still think rape is only exclusively about power. Are you kidding me? Men are turned on by a woman so they take advantage of her. While power is a part of it, if the man was not turned on and it wasn’t about sex, then wouldn’t he have just beat her up? I know it’s a way to try and make poor rape victims feel better about themselves, that this act had NOTHING to do with sex, but it’s a shame that people are lying. To be honest, a lot of rapes have to do with what a woman is wearing. Men find it easier access to target a woman who is dressed like a slut, period. There is no nicer way of saying it. As a woman, I am disgusted that these liberated women feel the need to prance around like “sluts” to make a point. How about a better point…tell women to stick together, stick with eachother, not leave without your girlfriend at the bar, dress appropriate, and not take drinks from strange men. Instead of perpetuating a terrible word and making it “trendy”, focus on ways from preventing rape. I just see all of this backfiring, even though it’s being done with good intentions…

      • Exactly. I hate when people put the blame on women and not take into consideration the ignorant assholes who commit the act. In a way shes saying a girl who dresses like a “slut” deserved to be raped. Instead of telling women to be scared and not take drinks from someone they may be interested in, tell men to not slip a roofie in the drink.

        • Before Kate talked to us in her 201 class about the Slut Walk, I had never heard of it and I didn’t really like to think about rape very much. It is sort of a sensitive subject for me, but after the class discussion we had that week in 201 I realized that rape wouldn’t happen if the rapists would just stop doing it. People should not be afraid to dress a certain way, or drink too much, or get separated from their friends. Those things can happen to anyone, but what shouldn’t happened to anyone is becoming a victim to sexual assault. No one deserves to go through that no matter what they wore out that night, or how many shots they took.

          • Yeah, me too. Embarrassingly, I was more in the “asking for it” camp before I took 201, mainly because I never really thought about rape that much and because I didn’t know why women would do such stupid stuff like walking around practically naked at night by themselves. What did they expect was going to happen? I mean, the rapists were obviously at fault, but the women were making themselves appear as easy targets and…yeah, I’m stopping there. Ugh, I can’t believe I ever thought like that.

            I also had never head about Slut Walk prior to the class. I was tempted to go, but I chickened out. Oh well.

    • Does…this person even know what they’re saying? This is full of victim-blaming and…ugh. And it’s a (I’m assuming) woman too, which makes it even worse. I’m willing to bet that anyone close to her or she herself has never been raped, because if that was the case, she wouldn’t be making the “asking for it” excuse.

      Where is she getting her statistics from anyway?

    • Yea… picking on what women wear is still a terrible excuse as I know of victims who were attacked while jogging or even walking home from work… Not the skimpiest attires. However,am I wrong to agree with “tell women to stick together, stick with eachother, not leave without your girlfriend at the bar, dress appropriate, and not take drinks from strange men” ? This seems like a good message.

      • no not at all,I make sure I don’t leave the bar without the people I came with and I wont let my friends go home with anyone, but shes saying that these are the only ways to prevent rape. Putting the responsibility all on women.

        • Agreed, but then I kinda feel like “don’t leave your friend at the bar and don’t accept things from people you don’t trust” are lessons that we should ALL be taught.

        • Okay, just wanted to make sure I was on the right page. Yes, that is a terrible assumption. It also nulifies the idea that men are self-controlled but instead perpetuates the thought that we are horny monsters that will sexually pursue/attack anything in a skirt. The whole “it’s her fault” stereotype does nothing more than damage our gender culture in it’s entirety.

      • It is a good message, however if men would stop assaulting women it wouldn’t even be an issue. But yes, for safety reasons and getting home it’s always good to abide by the buddy system.

        • I cant help but to think of all the non heterosexual women & men who have to walk home late at night from bars??? Would it be wise to have them abide by the buddy system or is it just a hetero-normative issue? Because thats all that ever comes up.

          • I doubt most rapists will care about the orientation of the person they’re assaulting, so I’d think guess the buddy system is probably a good idea. But then, the buddy system is kind of a good idea regardless.

          • this is a great point, and really brings up some heterosexual privilege (and compulsory heterosexuality) on the part of those who slut-shame and victim blame.

    • Wow. This is the kind of thinking that perpetuates rape culture. Are they completely oblivious to the intermingling of power and sex? For some, the two are inseparable.
      And using the word ‘slut’ in SlutWalks isn’t because they’re trying to make the word trendy. It’s to, one, get some fucking attention. It’s undeniably attention catching. And two, it’s a way of taking charge, not being meek, and making a statement about the label that is usually placed on the victims of these crimes.

  4. In response to the Slutwalk article, I understood where the author was coming from in terms of how it was a shock to see the minority participating. To me mostly because slutshaming isnt something most readily talked amongst us in everyday conversation or something we feel to just casually bring up. I remember being extremely excited to participate in the Slutwalk, especially after I missed the summer one in St. Louis. What drove me to it, was the fact that it was something TOTALLY new to me as a black woman, not because I didnt have a sense of the shaming, but I didnt have a concept behind it, or anything as organized as the SW. 🙂

  5. I just have to say after looking through at ALL the comments for today thus far, we are SO on one freakin accord…I LOVE IT!!!!! Guess SIU isnt so bad, its produced quite the intellectual individuals if I must say so myself.

    However, with everything that we are agreeing with and discussing, its hard to believe and think that someone else wouldnt “get it” as easy as we are. 0_o *shrugss 🙂

    • It’s really a product of up-bringing and what culture has a tendency to nurture. I have friends (who are men) who are somewhat more racially and sexually bigoted. Some just have a more rural up-bringing which has a tendency in some (not all!) to bring that out while others have somewhat more unstable female roles in their lives often starting with their mothers. It’s a touchy and complex area that almost is outside the realm of “getting it”. But yes, it’s often annoying and endlessly frustrating when I try to converse with them in these areas… I’ve mostly just stopped myself from adding anything of my own insight.

        • Yeaa… Kind of hard to do when it’s 75% of my male friends and essentially all of my friends in my major with little exception. At the same time, it keeps me aware of how others think and perceive issues that I often view as a given. Plus, the majority of them are not hateful but they talk to me with the same “how do you not get this?” attitude.

          • I haven’t run into that so much, but that’s probably because I’ve never really had a lot of male friends. Plus, I tend to avoid talking about feminism and gender issues around most of my friends, since I know their opinions on things.

      • This kinda of reminds me when the Fraternities here hosted the “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”. It was right after or before the Slut Walk, I can’t remember but basically they walked around the strip of Carbondale in heels that were then donated to the Women’s Shelter. The message was suppose to be that if they walk around in our heels they will understand the pain of rape? Yeah, I didn’t really buy that. So I just sort of starting asking them why they were doing it? And what type of an impact they were hoping to make from participating. Most of them responded with the generic answer to raise awareness. My only thoughts after that was, that they aren’t really solving anything by walking in our shoes. The only solution is to stop raping women!

        • I’m glad you brought this up, and I have had similar feelings. It seemed that walks like that tend to make a mockery of femininity, and I don’t really see that as being helpful in preventing rape and assault at all (potentially the opposite!)

          • I just felt like the overall message, was “feel their pain” not “QUIT RAPING” which is what it totally should be!

        • One would only assume the answer was that easy… But hey, as men let’s all wear high heels and it will totally stop rape… ಠ_ಠ

          The problem totally stems from up-bringing. As a man, if you haven’t considered rape as an option before and look at is as bad then you’re probably not going to do it in the future. As men I think the best thing we can do (on the smaller scale) is stick with our female friends at parties and bars or at least if they are being bothered by a guy who doesn’t know the meaning of “no” politely (and firmly) reiterate that “NO”. I hope this doesn’t come off as chauvinism… It’s just something I’ve found myself doing with a few female friends of mine…

          • That’s one thing men can do to help, I think. Look out for friends/loved ones and try and protect them. Not because women are weak and need to be protected, but because there are some shitty people out there who refuse to accept “no”.

          • I don’t see it as chauvinism. I see it as men trying to help. If I ever went to any bars, I’d want to go with at least one guy because it would make me feel safer and because (I think) guys tend to listen to what other guys have to say more than women. Since it’s hard to stop people from raping, taking safety precautions and trying to hammer the idea that no means no into someone’s head are good places to start.

  6. On of the biggest things I liked about the Shit White Girls Say to Me was the attention drawn to the word ‘ghetto’. I know so many people that use it so carelessly. I personally have never felt comfortable with it. If you haven’t already, an audience member really puts it perfectly, when talking about the misuse of the word.

    Also, the “good looking…for a black guy”. C’mon…. That’s just a blatantly ignorant thing to say. The fact that you end what you’re saying with that just shows how much race plays a part in how you see people.

    Finally, the hair.That’s probably the one thing, as a white women, that I really related to. I have never asked to feel a black woman’s hair, or asked such abrasive questions about the origins of it. But it has definitely crossed my mind. However, I must say it all comes from a place of curiosity. I love hair and hair care, so when I see a young black woman with ornate hair or hair that looks like it could be in a commercial, I’m very curious. Although, watching Chris Rock’s documentary Good Hair was incredibly informative (and funny). It’s sad that that kind of talk isn’t so open. That exchanges about hair care between women of different races isn’t more readily talked about. I see that there is apprehension on both sides, but I think we could learn a lot from each other, or at least diffuse a lot of the charged curiosity. And of course, this expands beyond just white and black.

    • How fascinating and encouraging that we can have these conversations about unexamined privilege, stereotypes, and subtle oppression. The fact that a viewer is white and does not ever say these things *should* make them want to promote this video to their friends/roommates/sisters who *do* rather than feel implicated.

  7. Thank you again, everyone! I got caught up in watching the rest of the Anderson Cooper video and lost track of time. 🙂

    I’ll be posting the readings for next week about body image online and body-positive communities. Looking forward to a great discussion on Tuesday.

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