(Image of D’Angelo, five years after “Untitled (How Does It Feel?)”)
The sexual objectification of D’Angelo
D’Angelo felt tortured, Questlove says, by the pressure to give the audience what it wanted. Worried that he didn’t look as cut as he did in the video, he’d delay shows to do stomach crunches. He’d often give in, peeling off his shirt, but he resented being reduced to that. Wasn’t he an artist? Couldn’t the audience hear the power of his music and value him for that? He would explode, Questlove recalls, and throw things. Sometimes he’d have to be coaxed not to cancel shows altogether.
When I ask D about this, he downplays his suffering. Watching him pull hard on another Newport, I realize that he finds it far easier to confess his addictions than his insecurities about his corporeal self. Self-destructing with a coke spoon—while ill-advised—has a badass edge. Fretting over what Questlove has called “some Kate Moss shit” seems anything but manly. If given the chance, he tells me, he would absolutely shoot the video again. But he does admit to feeling angry during the Voodoo tour.
"One time I got mad when a female threw money at me onstage, and that made me feel fucked-up, and I threw the money back at her," he says. "I was like, ‘I’m not a stripper.’ " […]
On the last day of the eight-month tour, Questlove says D’Angelo told him, “Yo, man, I cannot wait until this fucking tour is over. I’m going to go in the woods, drink some hooch, grow a beard, and get fat.” Questlove thought he was joking. “I was like, ‘You’re a funny guy.’ And then it started to happen. That’s how much he wanted to distance himself.”
Tumblr’s Photo upload tool is inherently unfriendly to screen readers. Even if you include an image description, Tumblr is set up in such a way that it will read ALL the caption text TWICE. This is particularly bad when images come with long text posts beneath them. Additionally these descriptions are easily lost after several reblogs, rendering them useless and adding confusion.
Instead, use Tumblr’s Text tool. Why? Because with the Text tool you can provide actual HTML friendly image descriptions that screen readers will love. And with every reblog, the description will stick with the image. No need for crowd sourced solutions. Here’s how to do it.
Select the “+ Upload photo” option in the upper left hand corner. This will open your browser’s image upload dialogue. Select the image and choose OK. This will add the image into the post area.
Now highlight the image you’ve uploaded and select the “Insert/edit image” tool. This will open a small image properties window.
Now describe your image in the image description field. Remember to keep your description short. Less than 90 characters. If there are additional nuances you wish to highlight about the image, you should cover them in the text post following the image. Remember to describe only the facts of the image. Don’t include your opinions, save those for the text post following the image.
You’ve now uploaded an image that most screen readers will have an easy time handling.
Additional Benefits With This Method:
You can post multiple images in one post and avoid the horrible Flash photo slideshow.
Problems With This Method:
You lose support for high quality images. This can be overcome by linking to the image hosted somewhere else that supports high quality images, like Flickr.
This also complicates content source links. If you’re afraid of your images being stolen, try including watermarks and linking each image to your personal portfolio. However even with a regular image post, you risk people stealing your content.
Comments, Thoughts, Concerns or Improvements?
Things like rape jokes or comments that sexualize and objectify women are both crude and sexist, but it’s the sexism that needs to be eradicated, not necessarily the crudeness. To conflate the two avoids the issue and perpetuates the sexist stereotype that women are sensitive flowers and men need to walk on eggshells around us. It’s the same leap in logic a person takes when finding out that a woman doesn’t want to deal with sexist slurs like “bitch” and assuming that means women don’t like swearing. Fuck that.– You Can’t Fight Sexism With Sexism by Alex at Border House
“The Hawaiian sailors are all black and ugly like devils.” This was an entry in the diary of Morita Kiyoyuki, one of the 170 samurai envoys who travelled from Japan as part of the first Japanese embassy mission to America in 1860 during the late Tokugawa Shogunate. The envoys meticulously recorded their views on what they saw during their journey in embassy dispatches, diaries, memoirs, and travelogues.
Kimura Tetsuya, another official on the same trip observed that “The whites are of course intelligent, and the blacks are stupid. Thus the seeds of intelligence and unintelligence are not allowed to mix together.” These as well as other the texts from the diaries, memoirs, and travelogues are now available in English with an interesting analysis in a book titled As We Saw Them (1979) by the late Japanese literary scholar Masao Miyoshi.
According John Russell, a professor at Gifu University in Japan and an authority on Japanese anti-black racism, references to blacks as animals and subhumans in Japanese culture can be traced back to as early as the 16th and 17th centuries. In 2008 a Japanese mobile phone company was forced to withdraw a racist TV advert which depicted Barak Obama as a monkey.
John Russell explains how blacks serve as a reflexive symbol through which Japanese reappraise their status while constructing their identity in relation to Euro-American supremacy. The 16th-17th century Japanese racist imaginations of blacks and the dispatches from the first Japanese embassy to America are widely recognised by scholars as part of the discourses which shaped, and continue to inform Japanese selfhood and their perceptions of blacks.
The introduction of Social Darwinism and eugenics into Japanese society in the late 19th century gave some Japanese intellectuals what they thought of as a “scientific basis” for their representation of blacks. In one of his lectures on eugenics delivered at the University of Oxford on 17 May 1907, English mathematician, Karl Pearson (1857–1936), described how eugenics “Race-preservation and race-betterment” had assumed “the form of a religious cult” in Japan. It was not until recently on June 18, 1996 that Japan abolished the last of its series of Race Eugenic laws. However, the ideas advanced by Social Darwinism and eugenics remain influential today in Japanese intellectual life and popular culture.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Satoshi Kanawaza’s work at the London School of Economics where he has been reproducing and disseminating medieval and early modern Japanese views about blacks and women through the new medium of evolutionary psychology. He is viewed by many as a “eugenicist” working under the guise of an evolutionary psychologist, an area of “study” discredited by many academics as a pernicious political ideology which masquerades as science.
In 2000 a diverse group of 16 of the world’s leading biologists, philosophers, anthropologists, sociologists, and feminist theorists launched what is the intellectual equivalent of a nuclear attack against evolutionary psychology through a collection of scholarly articles which aimed to prove that “the claims of evolutionary psychology rest on shaky empirical evidence, flawed premises, and unexamined political presuppositions.” Kanawaza’s latest article which has shocked people across the world is a good example of such claims.
In the article submitted to the US website, Psychology Today, he argued that “Black women are objectively less attractive than non-Black women.” He has since emerged a hero on white supremacist websites. However, rather than being based on a sound scientific method, his arguments seem to have been based on or inspired by an old Japanese proverb, “In rice and women, the whiter the better!”
Kanazawa claims to have based his article on a survey carried out by Add Health. Interestingly, he failed to ask the first question that any first year undergraduate student would ask, “What does the research tell us about the participants’ racial perceptions about others?” and not, “What does the research tell us about black women’s physical bodies?” Instead, what he did is what any “fundamentalist” would do, he engaged in an eisegesis which is a process of reading subjective meanings into data. His research over the years is considered so poor, even by fellow evolutionary psychologists, that it is often cited by American professors to students as examples of what not to do in research. In 2010 a group of 35 leading evolutionary psychologists launched an unprecedented attack in a jointly written article against what they described as Kanazawa’s “poor logic, lack of nuance, and blatant disregard for the totality of the evidence.”
Okay I get this I do but.. I don’ like it at all especially coming from a British newspaperor an author of color. If all of this is true it still kind of neatly and conveniently ignores the fact that much of cultural interactions will have taken place about viewing Black folks through the lens of American and yep yep British cultural imperialism. This isn’t a well he’s Japanese thing, especially since he’s being allowed to live and thrive and produce his “work” at LSE.
It smacks of orientalism and in a way that makes me go
” gimme ten minutes and google and I can hit you with Englands top fiddy and America’s top 100”
the commenter who goes well uh LOOK HOW THEY ARE, Made me laugh cause frankly the ” shocking” racism sounded no different than counties of New York and london I have family in
Japan had a monkey advert of OBAMA, so did America and MEMBERS OF THE CONGRESS that reports to him
This is A Japanese born , ENGLISH supported psuedo thinker published in an American journal.
This isn’t about his magical hate of black women because he’s Japanese , this is about how at LEAST Three cultures( academic , psychological and publishing no ethnicity Needed) and couple HUNDRED people thought NOTHING was wrong with this when it crossed their visions
the other Hundred/Thousands who were IGNORED when they did see a problem
Japan isn’t some place of UNEXPLAINABLE exotic racism and trying to define it as such is comical especially regarding an article UNPUBLISHED there
The more salient truth the more fucking upsetting shit to deal with as a black woman is that too often we are existing in a world where cultural bonds and structures can be formed over how much everybody hates you
and yet and STILL you can’t be the topic of the conversation
**applause** (at this point it’s a trademark Blackamazon standing O)
From what I’ve seen, there isn’t a single thing in Kanazawa’s bullshit which distinguishes him as a Japanese bullshitter rather than a white European or white North American one. He doesn’t invoke medieval samurai. It’s the same stuff we see reflected (though usually more subtly) in mainstream US culture every day. It’s called whiteness, and it’s not an ethnicity, it is an ideology of power and domination which any ethnicity can buy into.
What the hell? They think Kanazawa is like that because he’s of Japanese descent? Kanazawa thinks that blonde women are objectively the most beautiful. He’s not just anti-black, but pro-white and pro-Aryan.
“This is my rifle, this is my gun. One is for killing, the other’s for fun.” - a U.S. military training cadence popular since WWII
[Image from Time/Life Magazine c. 1951]
The hyper-misogynistic sexual exploitation of Asian women in American culture is one of the racist paradigms that can perhaps most easily be traced back to recent history. For this reason I am always gobsmacked when people try to brush it off as merely “a preference”.
Then again, a whole lot of people don’t know their history…
All women - and certainly any Feminist worth her salt - should be aware of the prevalence of rape and sexual exploitation in military culture and in the context of war. Not surprisingly, however, mainstream Feminist consciousness usually focuses most intently on sexual assault that occurs within the military and usually against White women (Tailhook anyone?)
This ignores the extensive and once notorious legacy of the rape, trafficking and forced sexual exploitation of women of color - and of Asian women in particular - by American soldiers abroad. For nearly half of the 20th century (from roughly 1939 to 1980) America maintained an enormous military presence throughout the Pacific Rim, initially to counterbalance Japanese imperialist aims. During this forty-year period a steady deluge of all-male American troops were stationed in Hawaii, Guam, the Phillipine Islands, Okinawa and Taiwan and during wartime formally occupied the Japanese Islands, Korea, and Vietnam.
In reality the U.S. committed far more troops in many of these regions than were necessary during the lulls between various remote battles. American servicemen stationed in the Pacific had a lot of time in which to explore “leisure pursuits”. Judging by the unprecedented number of STD cases reported in the military during this era it is fairly evident what they were pursuing.
Millions of women who lived in these countries became collateral damage in the military and political conflicts that dominated the regions, left to the mercy of whatever men were in power at the time. Before the Americans arrived the Japanese military had already instituted a formal policy of using rape as a war tactic, forcing an estimated 200,000 primarily Filipino, Korean, Chinese and Japanese women (as well as women in Japanese-occupied parts of Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Burma, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Macau) into prostitution as “comfort women” to serve the sexual proclivities of Japanese troops.
Much of the concept of Asian women as sexually submissive comes from the victimized condition in which American soldiers found these women when they arrived in combat zones throughout the Pacific. And many took full advantage.
“‘We had these [boot camp] classes we had to go to, taught by drill instructors, and every instructor would tell a joke before he began his class. It would always be a dirty joke usually having to do with prostitutes they had seen in Japan or in other parts of Asia while they were stationed overseas. The attitude of the Asian woman being a doll, a useful toy, or something to play with usually came out in these jokes, and how they were not quite as human as white women. For instance, a real common example was how the instructor would talk about how Asian women’s vaginas weren’t like white women’s, but rather they were slanted, like their eyes. Some guys really believed this shit too. Like when you get overseas afterward, you look for things you remember from these jokes.’
- an excerpt from an interview with a U.S. serviceman c. 1972 from the book Chinese-American Workers Past and Present
It is doubtless many of these women took advantage too, congregating near U.S. military bases and choosing attach themselves to U.S. soldiers. The dynamic was, however, inherently and overwhelmingly unequal. On the one hand a woman at the mercy of an unstable government in a war-torn country, facing starvation, forced prostitution and possibly death as a casualty of war. On the other hand, an American service man with a gun, a steady paycheck and the promise of protection, liberation and a better life…maybe even one as a comfortable housewife in that far away promised land called America. (And oh the promises they made! Sometimes in moments of quiet bitterness you can catch an older Asian auntie or grandmother recounting the cautionary tales of women left pregnant and disgraced by their American GI boyfriends who shipped out and vanished along with all their seemingly sincere words of devotion.)
Modern American culture has added insult to this widespread injury by not only failing to chastise American men for this behavior, but celebrating it as suggestive of American virility and perpetuating the meme of the exotic, sexually permissive Asian woman in pop culture. From Miss Saigon to Memoirs of a Geisha to Lucy Liu dressed as a masseuse in Charlie’s Angels, Asian women are rarely represented as having any agency or choice. Their willingness - even eagerness - to be sexualized and sexually dominated is continually portrayed as their most common and most admirable characteristic.
It’s as though they spent 40 years raping us and the last 30 talking about how much we enjoyed it.
This particular form of racism has myriad consequences for Asian-American women. A significant amount of the attention we receive from non-Asian men is in the form of creepy, excessive enthusiasm…as if they grew up at Pappy’s knee listening to legends of how Asian women will do anything to your penis that you want them to. Then there is the offensive assumption that anyone who is half Asian is the product of an American GI and an Asian woman he met standing on the corner saying “me love you long time”. And then of course there is the fact of being overwhelmingly underrepresented in every single industry except porn.
The American feminist narrative focuses a lot on so-called rape culture. What it almost never bothers to mention, however, is that it is Asian women at whom this culture is most blatantly and directly aimed. It is Asian women for whom this culture is almost universally assumed to be an accepted - and even sought after - way of life.
- Massive gains for the NDP are more than a “protest vote” but suggest the possibility of a generational realignment toward a more assertive progressive vision, perhaps roughly in line with socialist and social democratic movements in Europe and South America.
- Four years of Conservative majority is the price that must be paid for such a dramatic realignment. It will be painful for many communities, but I don’t believe it will be much worse than the previous four years, or for that matter the past two decades. And frankly, the NDP needs the time to get organized, build the grassroots, and further professionalize the national organization.
- Unprecedented trouncing of Liberals is entirely deserved and leaves one of Canada’s founding parties with a wildly uncertain future. They overplayed their hand by calling the election more hastily than was advisable, symptomatic of Liberal arrogance and taking power for granted. Ignatieff put me to sleep immediately upon visual contact. As in Europe and South America, centrism is dead.
- Unprecedented trouncing of Bloc Québécois is less clear, and in my view is not necessarily a decisive rejection of Québécois sovereignty, though it will surely cause Anglophones and federalists throughout Canada to rejoice. It could mark the beginning of a generational migration to the NDP, led by young people disillusioned with political stalemate, but the NDP has to do the right things for Québéc in order to earn such a future.
- Election of first Green Party member of parliament Elizabeth May on Vancouver Island gives Greens the toe-hold they need to become part of mainstream discourse. NDP-Green coalition could eventually become a powerful force and maybe even a ruling coalition, as climate change becomes increasingly urgent and marginalized groups, especially First Nations but also new immigrant communities, gain voice.
- One of the few Liberals who survived last night’s bloodletting was in my riding of Vancouver Centre, which was won by Hedy Fry, a woman of color born in Trinidad and Tobago, whom I believe has the longest winning streak in parliament. And I like her. She’s smart and outspoken and funny, and she flat-out knows how to win.
- In Asian parts of Vancity where I hang out, NDP dominance is noticeable. For example, the NDP was the only party in this election running ads on Chinese-language radio. It’s been fun in recent weeks driving around town and looking at all the lawn signs in Chinese and Hindi with East Asian and South Asian names. This is something I never experienced in all my years in the US.
- Over the next four years, in addition to elevating previously marginalized communities and concerns, progressives need to develop fundamental strategies and tactics which fracture Conservative support, probably by focusing on social services for elderly and disabled communities, environmental degradation, and small business development.
- Cheers eh!
When feminists ‘call-out’ other feminists for their racism, transphobia, homophobia, sexism, ableism, ageism, or classism, when a solid anthology is put together making clear the ways in which Feminism (capital ‘F’) has Progressed (capital ‘P’) through maintaining the oppression it supposedly wants to dismantle (and through the unrecognized labour, effort and heart of the people it oppresses), when numerous people contribute to this anthology and read this anthology with the aim of steering feminism to a more helpful and empowering place, when someone posts a blog recognizing that the book itself has been ignored in many feminist spaces (for WHATEVER reasons it might be ignored for): these ‘call-outs’ are not just people ‘complaining without taking action.’ They are not ‘pointing to a gap and refusing to fill it.’ They are pointing to real lives, real histories and experiences, real beating hearts and REAL feminism that deserve to be acknowledged and refuse to be silenced. We ARE the gap and we’re not just an empty space waiting to be filled. We’re full to the brim, and spilling over.–
Shaunga Tagore, a contributor to Feminism for Real, a REALLY FUCKING IMPORTANT BOOK for all
feminists, allies, PEOPLE interested in social justice and changing the world.
(via androgynius)Via androgynius
[ I wrote this piece in 2007 in response to one of those regular waves of white condemnation of “gangster culture” in Black music. Reposting here with some tweaks and updates. It was originally published on my old blog on April 13, 2007. ]
In order to talk about gangster culture at all, we have to begin by talking about how we, in US society, live in a culture which celebrates the machinery of mass violence and extols the heroic virtues of war. We live in a culture where misogyny is the norm, where women are assaulted and raped and objectified and demeaned and otherwise abused every day, every hour, every minute, without much bellyaching from the pundit class. We live in a society whose leaders speak of killing and humiliating their enemies with barely-concealed chest-thumping and juvenile macho posturing. We live in a society whose budgetary priorities demonstrate a violent obsession with body-shattering weaponry and a distinct lack of interest in the health and well-being of human beings.
So I agree with those who are saying that it’s time for all of us to confront the virulent culture of violence and misogyny and crime that is polluting our world. And it begins at the top: with the corporatist kleptocracy of the US government, the global gangster state which dominates and exploits through violence and intimidation and the hoarding of wealth, granting favors to loyal subjects, issuing threats to the unruly, and killing rivals. If we can eradicate the culture of violence and misogyny and crime at the top of our society, then just maybe we’ll have a shot of eradicating it at the bottom too.
All that aside, in my opinion we do have a problem with mass-media representations which glorify gang violence. The most highly-acclaimed television series in recent years tells the story of an out-of-control foul-mouthed misogynistic group of gangsters who regularly murder and rape with impunity: The Sopranos. The protagonist, Tony Soprano, is a semi-sympathetic character whose leadership role in his criminal gang is portrayed primarily as a psychological burden; the pain to his torn conscience receives more play than the pain he inflicts. So if we’re to go after the glorification of gangster culture in the mass media, The Sopranos is a good place to start. But that’s not what most white critics are talking about when they bemoan gangster culture; they’re talking about Black people.
Actually, basically every racial and ethnic group in the USA has its history of street gangs. The reality is that gangsterism is a predictable response to certain social conditions having nothing to do with race, ethnicity, or genetics. Nevertheless, the story of African American gangs does indeed have unique characteristics, because the African American story is unique. So let’s talk about Black gangs.