antebellum era


“Ages ago, Rebecca pitched The Zoo to Lamar and I as this absolute utopian, hippie society full of beautiful and healthy people with no concept of pain or sadness. So we went to town drawing as many different kinds of hot people as possible!” - Katie Mitroff 

“a good good friend of mine told me about a quote from…uh…someone…about how utopias usually have something/someone missing, or that you should look for what’s not there in these settings. with that in mind i wanted to make the zoomans (zoo humans) as varied and diverse as possible.” - Lamar Abrams  

For a series that has creators who are so concerned with inclusion and diversity, it’s really confounding to see stuff like “the Zoo” crammed into the narrative. You would expect the crew to be more educated about the history of colonization, especially since the main antagonists of the series are colonizers. It can’t be refuted that colonization plays a huge role in the story. Steven Universe lifts a lot of stuff from real life, but hippie communes should not have been used as the inspirational foundation for Pink Diamond’s “human zoo.” Crewniverse should have researched how colonization efforts contributed to the creation of actual human zoos long before they even began brainstorming. Hell, even a vague knowledge of Antebellum era stereotypes would have sufficed. Then the crew would be like: “No, let’s not have mostly black and brown captive humans act like docile, happy Uncle Toms, because if we did that’d be pretty racist!” 

If the crew is truly as invested in the promotion of diversity as they claim to be, then they would have known about human zoos. Had they done their research, they would have known not to represent the “zoomans” as unburdened, overly innocent, clueless, and totally dependent on their captors, because such a portrayal would fall in line with racist stereotypes propagated by white colonizers. Had they done their research, they would have known not to have characters say “human zoo.” Had they done their research, they would have known that making the “zoomans” mostly “hot” black and brown people would be a terrible idea, because racial fetishitization is dehumanizing and the inclusion of predominantly black/brown people in a “human zoo” would have unfortunate implications. Had they done their research and had they really cared about being inclusive, “the Zoo” would not be a thing that exists. 

“The Zoo” just makes it painfully clear that Crewniverse is full of really ignorant people who are not aware of their ineptitude at meeting their own ideals. 

Note: the gems are the equivalent of white colonizers and the captive humans are synonymous with colonized people. Again, colonization plays a big role in the story and the crew takes cues from real life to get that across (e.g. Homeworld colonizes land for resources, they brutally uproot native populations, they express prejudice toward native populations, the Gem Homeworld salute, etc.)

limevines  asked:

Hi there! I was wondering, do you know any tips about clothing from American 1860s-1890s? Specifically girls dresses, gowns from a richer side. Anything off the top of your head, don't want to be annoying. I check your historical clothing master post but everything was specifically English [at least, the internet ones]. Whatever you have on this subject is greatly appreciated. So sorry if this is an annoying or stupid question, and by the way, I love your art and your rocks are glorious. Thanks!

American fashions weren’t vastly different from their European counterparts at the time, actually!  Especially with the advent of the telegraph, communication and cultural exchange across the ocean sped up dramatically- American fashion might be behind the times, sure, but it would usually only be by a year or two.

(everyone stop what you’re doing right now and read The Victorian Internet, it’s amazing)

Nonetheless, American dress is it’s own beast- different resources and different politics create things like the advent of  Zouave jackets after the Crimean War, or Amelia Bloomer’s dress reform movement that is so American as to eventually be referred to as “American dress.”  The great thing about this time period is that you can still get your hands on American fashion plates, photography, and even extant dresses from the era- all the easier if you’re looking for fashions of wealthy privileged people.  Here are a bunch of books that could point you in the right direction:

Less what you’re looking for since you mentioned well-off fashion and finery, but still a great read:

I hope that’s a start!  Do remember that the 1860’s - 1890’s is a pretty broad swath- that’s forty years, almost half a century, and so you’ll probably want to pinpoint the era you’re looking at more specifically. :)



September 3rd 1838: Douglass escapes

On this day in 1838, famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in Maryland. Douglass was born into slavery, and when he was around twelve years old was taught the alphabet by the wife of his plantation owner. The young Douglass was soon able to read and write fluently, but had to keep his literacy a secret as slaveholders decided that an educated slave was dangerous. When it was discovered that he was teaching other slaves to read, Douglass was sent to a ‘slave breaker’, who frequently and brutally whipped him for alleged ‘insubordination’. Douglass’s education, and his experience of the horrors of enslavement, refined his critique of the institution of slavery. Douglass successfully escaped from his enslavement in September 1838, using the papers of a free sailor to board a train headed North, eventually arriving in the New York safe house of abolitionist David Ruggles. Douglass went on to become a prominent abolitionist, famous for his eloquent oratory and his intelligence, which disproved slaveholders’ claims that slaves were not intelligent enough to be free. He published multiple narratives of his life in slavery, which drew attention to the injustice of slavery in the Southern states, and campaigned for civil rights issues in the antebellum era. Douglass continued the fight for equal rights after the Civil War and emancipation, advocating the enfranchisement of African-Americans and women. In 1872, the radical Equal Rights Party nominated him for Vice-President - with feminist activist Victoria Woodhull for President - making him the first African-American nominated for the office. Frederick Douglass died in 1895, aged seventy-seven.

“On Monday, the third day of September, 1838, in accordance with my resolution, I bade farewell to the city of Baltimore, and to that slavery which had been my abhorrence from childhood.”
- from ’Life and Times of Frederick Douglass’, 1881

vvilde  asked:

hey so obvs 18th century masculinity is very different today but is there a specific time when the change occured? like did it just sort of gradually change to masculinity today or was there a time u could pinpoint that it sort of flipped from Then to Now?

The change was gradual but there was definitely something of a flip point from the end of the 18th century into the early 19th century. I made a post about how men’s fashion changed drastically at this time, how it, and men’s bodies in general, became less sexualized: men’s legs and calves were no longer on display, the colors of the fabrics became dulled to browns/blacks/greys/, the male nude was no longer an inspiring art model (this is where you start seeing the fig leaf popping up to cover the peens), etc. 

There were a lot on contributing factors (the French Revolution, the decline of apprenticeship and the increasing self-made manhood, the rise of social darwinism, etc.), but the one factor that’s probably the most responsible for the rise of hypermasculinity was the rise of white male middle-class ideals, combined with white male solidarity in the Antebellum Era (most embodied in the glorification of his most esteemed fuckface, Andrew Jackson). Masculinity became defined by what the white male middle class deemed it, which mostly meant defining what it was not: African, Native, and Asian American men were removed entirely from the definition, since only, with very few exceptions at this point, European American men had the right to vote; in the 18th century, the white male vote was limited to how much property he owned, but now in the 19th century all white men were entitled. White middle class men were then defined by their independence and “manly” work ethics.

I made another post about how due to differing views of the body that came out of this rise in the sciences, the one versus two-sex model, the male and female bodies became even more strictly defined, and this carried social implications. A man’s place was in the public; women’s place became entirely reduced to the domestic. It’s also at this point that white women became desexualized and was thought that they didn’t have any interest in sex (tho while the nude male disappeared, the nude female form was increasingly sexualized), while in the previous centuries it was assumed that, in the ideal, a man was supposed to sexually gratify his wife, and there were even cases of wives divorcing their husbands due to impotence. 

The middle class ideal also came to disdain the dandyism that it saw as the construct of rich leisure - basically any man that had the time to devote so much attention to his appearance must be rich and thus a “deviant.” It’s this connotation that gave rise to the association of effeminacy with male homosexuality. And from that sprung “virtuous” and “pure” heterosexuality.

So pretty much most of the problems with masculinity nowadays has its biggest roots in the 19th century’s white middle class masculinity crisis. 

Antebellum Magical Girls

Chinese Magical Girls turning rocks into gold so they can help their families move away from the rails and to new cities and lives. Chinese Magical Girls turning into dragons and protecting the new Chinatowns of the 1870s from outside harm with their flames and hones claws.

African-American Magical Girls using healing powers to help delivery babies and soothe wounds. African-American Magical Girls using kitchen magic to make food hat warms the soul and infuses people with what they need, be it courage or love.

Southern Belles Magical Girls with swishing skirts and bundles of petticoats that fly through the skies with lace and frilled umbrellas: belles that are truly gone with the wind. Southern Belle Magical Girls that sew magic and spells into their skirts for protection against suitors that don’t respect them.

Native American/Amerindian Magical Girls with prairie skirts using the elements to reclaim land and protect their people by scultping the land around them. Native American/Amerindian Magical Girls using ignorance to their advantages and creating great, magical feats across the nation.

Magical Girls using their powers to sway abolition speeches. Magical Girls free slaves at night and cloaking them until they cross in Canada. Magical Girls spelling corsets to be comfortable. Magical Girls sneaking into the army and fighting for their homes and to save the nation.

Antebellum Magical Girls.

Okay, I figured since I've acquired new followers/friends in the TOTALLY AWESOME Antebellum Era fandom, that I’d post some art I’ve done to do with that era. I wanted to post something I hadn’t show ya’ll before. I don’t think I’ve posted this? 

So um, yes. This is John C. Calhoun and Andrew Jackson. This can literally show whatever you want it to. I’m leaving it open-ended. In the eye of the beholder and whatnot. 

On second thought, is this really what I should use as a welcome to my new friends? Well, if you want to get to know me properly, then yes, this is what I should use.

Using fashion to teach history- slavery edition

Earlier today, I made a post about how it’s more or less a fact that several of today’s garments were made by slave hands, it’s just virtually impossible to tell which ones.  There is no gap in quality between those made by a personally-owned seamstress from a Southern plantation and those made by a highly-paid dressmaker from Boston or New York City.  In the history talk of “house slaves” and “field slaves,” it’s often overlooked that their existed a third subset of slaves- highly skilled artisans who could sell their wares or be rented out to make their masters more money.  As Southern ladies needed many dresses for many different occasions, seamstresses made up a large portion of these artisan slaves.

Here’s where it fits a bit more broadly into the broader scope of things:  White people so often cling to the idea that those who opposed slavery in the antebellum era only did so because they believe slavery was a moral wrong, and forget that White craftsman and workers from the north had a very real economic incentive to oppose slavery.  How could an average seamstress or fancy dressmaker possibly compete with an equally skilled seamstress who need only be paid in food and shelter?  How could a small family farm possibly compete in selling its crops with a massive plantation next door?  Southern wealth was deeply entrenched in a small number of families, and with a single healthy adult male slave costing an average of a thousand dollars, it was virtually impossible for a penniless immigrant like Gone with the Wind’s Gerald O'Hara to built a plantation simply by his own hard work.  With America’s expansion westward, this make it much more easier to imagine why northerners hoping to seek new fortunes would be dead-set against the expansion of slavery, as well.