eurocentrism

don’t you just love girls with big thighs? curvy girls with wide hips, large feet, and round bellies? girls who have cellulite, stretch marks and folds? girls with full lips, crooked teeth, and braces? girls who don’t shave? girls with flat noses, small eyes, oily hair, and dry skin? girls who can’t find makeup to match their skin tone because it’s dark? girls who are thick in all the “wrong” places? girls who are ugly according to eurocentric beauty standards?? 

I know I sure do. 

K so I’m not done.

This is the year 2017 and I’m still having to yell about how ridiculous Maya extinction myths are and tell people we are ‘Maya’ not ‘Mayan’. I’m not saying shame shame if anyone reads this and didn’t know. I’m so angry concerning how slowly these issues are being picked up by educational institutions, at how often I have to bring these things up to higher education professors.

We are a massive massive group of peoples. One of the largest Indigenous groups in the Americas. Wikipedia cites 7 million or so of us total but honestly that’s way off because that’s about how many Maya folks there are in Guatemala alone.

We’re not dead. The Maya did not ‘mysteriously disappear’. We did not ‘fall’. We did not fade into obscurity. We’ve led revolts and rebellions against colonial powers for hundreds of years. We’ve had a big hand in shaping legislative definitions and protections for Indigenous Peoples in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

We haven’t lost our cultures. We’re constantly threatened and experience a lot of violence and have our resources stolen but we are still very much alive and our cultures have persisted.

And don’t even try me with the whole “Oh well we mean your CIVILIZATION disappeared, not you.” The structure of our societies and layout of our network changed and decentralized in many areas. That didn’t make us turn invisible. That didn’t make us not still be large in numbers with a relationship with our lands and lose influence in the areas we live. We still held power in large cities way after what people like to cite as “the fall of the Maya Civilization” (around 600-900 A.D. when we still had cities that we held power of until nearly 1700 when the last was “conquered” by Spain.)

Which brings me to the next issue. Being “conquered” or having a colonial government installed does not erase Indigenous societies or civilizations. That’s an extremely eurocentric way of thinking. We didn’t suddenly turn into Spaniards. We still had massive amounts of towns and villages with leaders. We still had our cultures, our trade, our networks, our influence, while Spain focused on putting up flags in our cities.

So yeah. All your history books have you all convinced that an extremely large group of people, with a greater population than more than half of the countries in Europe, all died out 1100 years ago.

Now try to imagine what kind of shit Indigenous Peoples with much less numbers and much lower access to resources go through.

cole sprouse/jughead is so ugly how can yall sit here and lie on this damn website EVERYDAY? someone called him a beautiful hobo and i felt guilt from their own damn lie! it is a LIE! he’s UGLY! open your eyes you eurocentric beauty standard worshipping sheeple!

when will people realize that not every lesbian is a white blonde girl with super long hair who has a “nice” body with tattoos and resides in california

black lesbians exist (incl. dark skins)
brown lesbians exist
east asian lesbians exist
indigenous lesbians exist
islander lesbians exist
latinx lesbians exist
jewish lesbians exist
muslim lesbians exist
fat lesbians exist
nb lesbians exist
lesbians who aren’t able bodied exist
trans lesbians exist
mentally ill lesbians exist
lesbians who don’t fit eurocentric beauty standards exist

and we’re not just here to be a token post on your blog. we exist and we’re real and we’re just as valid.

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eurocentric beauty standards are not only like (geek voice) oppressive but they’re… not… cute? like why is having the most tiny body possible attractive i hate white people for making these lies up 😂 What’s cute about looking like a broomstick with no lips

internetcoward  asked:

Why do you think highly advanced ancient civilizations are so prevalent in sci-fi/fantasy?

Basically it’s the Roman Empire’s fault.

No, seriously.

One of the reasons the Roman Empire was such a big deal in the ancient world is because it was able to punch way above its weight class technology-wise due to its sophisticated civic infrastructures. When the Western half of the empire collapsed, those infrastructures essentially imploded, leaving a huge chunk of Europe with large caches of technology that they could still use, but lacked the means to reproduce or repair. A lot of what modern Eurocentric history books present as the natural technological progression of civilisaton is glossing over this massive hiccup where innovation was being driven primarily by the need to repurpose or maintain this leftover tech in the absence of the infrastructures that produced it. Things basically went all Mad Max for a while there - that actually happened.

(This is all hugely oversimplified, of course, but that’s the gist of it.)

The thing about modern fantasy settings is that, by and large, they’re also going all Mad Max. Your typical Western fantasy setting used to be dominated by this huge, technologically sophisticated empire, but then somebody screwed up and blew up the world, and now everything sucks and people live in fortified shanty towns separated from each other by miles of barren wilderness populated by gnarly monsters, where the most valuable commodities are the scavenged detritus of that bygone empire. It’s straight up post-apocalyptic - the only variable is how much time has passed between the apocalyptic event and the present day.

And in terms of literary and artistic antecedents? You can pretty much draw a direct line between Western fantasy fiction’s obsession with post-apocalyptic worldbuilding and the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It’s been 1500 years and we still haven’t gotten over it.

EDIT: To be 100% clear, I’m talking about the antecedents of the specific constellation of post-apocalyptic tropes that characterise Western fantasy fiction, not the more general trope that things used to be awesome in the distant past and now everything sucks. A couple of the responses are giving me grief about how this can’t possibly be right because the Romans themselves wrote about how things used to be awesome in the past and now everything sucks, and it’s absolutely true that they did - along with very nearly every storytelling tradition in any culture whatsoever. Certainly, there’s a discussion to be had about why that might be the case, but it’s a separate and much broader question from the one I’m addressing here.

no offense but bts worked too damn hard to be measured by america’s definition of success. reminder that BTS has achieved so much in Korea even when they come from a relatively small company. they’ve had to work that much harder to build themselves and their company up from the ground and they’ve grown so much that they’re being recognized globally. im proud of BTS and all they’ve accomplished and will continue to achieve in their careers. im so proud to stan such hardworking, talented and genuinely kind hearted boys who are making history. however, it’s true many fans validate them according to the american based awards and shows they attend. this also ties into how the music industry in the US is still mostly eurocentric, however recently there are artists who change that. BTS is an emerging artist who contribute to that change. it’s still upsetting to me how long it has taken for the music industry to let asians be represented, so this is a huge thing for Korea and the US, not only for BTS. i think the biggest factor as to why fans are hyping up BTS’s appearance at such shows is because it’s a relatively new concept. asians have not always been so welcome in the industry (even hollywood) and the fact that BTS has started to pave the way for more asian artists is in itself shocking. i think it’s important to support BTS but also strike a balance in placing weight on what they achieve in the US compared to the things they achieve in their home country, which should not be overshadowed by their american achievements.

I get so confused when USians use the word Eurocentrism to mean something that has a lot to do with white Americans but little to do with Europe. Same with white privilege and linguistic Anglocentrism. Confusing Eurocentrism with linguistic Anglocentrism is my favourite, though, because it crosses the border between ‘mildly irritating’ and 'terribly hilarious’. I know these concepts often intersect, especially in the US, but Europe still exists and is not just some historical, monolithic area that used to produce/produces white English-speakers.

A lot of the Western feminist/sj discourse here has little relevance to people who aren’t USian and/or native speakers of English.

Strategies for Decolonization

(1) Deconstruction and reconstruction. This refers to destroying what has wrongly been written—for instance, interrogating distortions of people’s life experiences, negative labeling, deficit theorizing, genetically deficient or culturally deficient models that pathologized the colonized Other.

(2)  Self-determination and social justice.  This refers to the struggle by those marginalized by Western research hegemony to seek legitimacy for methodologies embedded in the histories, experiences, ways of perceiving realities, and value systems.

(3) Ethics. There is a need to recognize—and where none exists, formulate, legislate, disseminate, and make known and understood internationally— ethical issues and legislation that protect indigenous knowledge systems.

(4) Language: recovering and revitalizing, validating indigenous knowledge and cultures of the historically marginalized, and thus creating space to decenter hegemonic Western research paradigms.

(5) Internationalization of indigenous experiences. Struggle collectively for self-determination.

(6) History. People must study the past to recover their history, culture, and language to enable a reconstruction of what was lost that is useful to inform the present

(7) Critique. There is a need to critique the imperial model of research, which continues to deny the colonized and historically marginalized other space to communicate from their own frames of reference.

- Linda Tuhiwai Smith, University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand.

I think one of the things that white feminism / terf feminism misses completely about WOC is that there is a difference between being sexualized and being found attractive and how that affects women of color as a result.

White women in the media are both sexualized and viewed as ideal and conventionally attractive, white women tend to take a position that pushes back on all forms of the male gaze which includes both sexualization, and being viewed as conventionally attractive.

Which is fine because of their dominant position as the apple of men’s eye they’re never going to doubt themselves as the most attractive species (even when it’s unwanted and generally unfavorable, and comes with a strict set of rules and beauty standards, because even if a white girl feels ugly, internal racism is still going to make her value herself higher than brown girls) but generally when white women reject beauty standards, they have enough support that it doesn’t adversely affect their mental well-being.

Now onto WOC. The system is completely different, woc are considered play things and sexual objects in a way that is unparalleled by their white counterparts. White women don’t /want/ to feel beautiful woc never /got/ to. And that matters, in a world where beauty, especially for women, determines worth, when women of color were never considered beautiful in the first place, their self worth is nonexistent.

So when woc say things like “I want to feel beautiful” a lot of white women mistake that for “I want to look good for men” which can be true if you’re white (even though everyone should be allowed to feel attractive in whatever way they want)

But with women of color the meaning shifts to more like “I want to feel like I have value, I want to feel loved and respected and to be attractive. Eurocentric beauty standards have never fit me, and with those being all the media I ever consumed, they’ve cemented themselves in my brain, I deserve to be desirable in a non inherently sexual way.”

And white women literally can’t empathize with this, which is okay! But there has to be an understanding that feminism isn’t one size fits all in which white women are the proxy.

sometimes i feel there’s a tendency to forget that Christianity is a religion that was born in the Middle East…not a religion founded by Europe. Many people in the MENA were Christian when Europe was still worshipping its pagan gods and polytheistic pantheons. yes, it is important to wrestle with how Europeans, after they converted to Christianity due to Roman imperialism, used it themselves as a tool for their own imperialism. but conflating the history of Christianity with whiteness comes off to me as actually a reproduction of white supremacy itself. like we’re attributing things to Europeans/whiteness again, and forgetting its Middle-Eastern roots. Eurocentric history, no?

this is actively harmful when it leads to the notion that Christians everywhere = privileged. they are not- MENA Christians are facing genocidal violence at the hands of ISIS right now, for instance. these people are not white or Westerners who can escape from this via Western privilege. If we go further back in time, the Ottoman Empire’s genocide was targeted at Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, who were Christian minorities in what’s now modern Turkey. 

Someone asked a good question yesterday that got me thinking: why are some mythologies more “mainstream” than others? Where I’m from, everyone knows at least a couple things about the Egyptian, Norse, and Greek (and sometimes Roman) pantheons, but no one’s ever discussed those of East Asia, or South America, for example. 

My theory: Eurocentrism and colonialism.

Egypt, Greece, and Rome all have some relevant proximity to the history of Christianity. Egypt features prominently in the Exodus, and Greece and Rome were important cultural shapers in the time of Jesus and Paul. When Christianity spread and gained the force of empire through Constantine and others and spread up through Europe, it dominated nearly all the local traditions in its wake. This domination continued through the European colonization of the Americas, Africa, India, and others – history is written by the colonizers, so it makes sense that the prominent revival pantheons among European-descended pagans aren’t those of the conquered people but those of their own people (Norse) and those that are “necessary” to provide historical weight to Christianity.

Completely conjecture, but this was interesting to think about today.

Filipina-British-American Immigrant

Hey everyone! I’ve been following this tumblr for a while and I love it. Not only has it addressed problematic representations of Asian people in the past, I have also learned a lot on portraying other non-Asian people of colour. I’m currently working on an alternate universe-dystopian novel where the Cold War turned “hot” but with people of colour as the main characters. I have come across novels that portray this, but it’s often from a white person’s perspective.

While I am fully Filipina by blood, I identify as a Fil-Brit-Am: born in the Philippines, lived in England for 12 years and currently live in America. Below is what I have experienced and/or observed.

Beauty Standards

Just like what some people have said on here, whiter = more attractive. In the Philippines, walk into any beauty store and you’ll instantly see tons of skin-whitening products. With women, pale skin was a beauty staple; with men, being handsome meant being “tall and dark”, but not “too dark”. In England, it was such a double standard. I went to a mainly white secondary/high school where for white girls, it was attractive to have tanned skin (the more tan = more attractive) while girls of colour were seen as the opposite. In America, you were “exotic” (my situation) or shamed.

Daily Struggles/Culture

Oh man. Balancing conservative Filipino values with those of the less conservative English was a struggle, especially going through puberty. While it was normal for my friends to hang out in the park after school everyday, date who they wanted and just get home before it was dark, my parents gave me a strict curfew (always way earlier than when my friends would go home) and pressured me to not date until finishing college. Back then, I resented my parents for what I saw as my lack of freedom. Looking back now, I understand why. We lived in a neighbourhood where crime was relatively high and during the time, it was also where a surge of immigrants from East Asia flowed into the UK. As you can imagine, our presence wasn’t welcomed. My parents were simply trying to protect me.

Dating and Relationships

For a lot of immigrants, education was THE way to progress to a more secure future. During my teenage years, my parents emphasized this with the whole “no dating until you finish college and have at least some form of a stable job”. They mellowed out after some time. In some talks with my mother, she said that my dad and her would prefer me to marry a Filipino because they would have a better understanding of our culture. However, if he is a good man, loving etc, the race wouldn’t matter. 

Food

In England, I discovered staples such as the “English breakfast”, cake with custard, scones, fish and chips, Indian curry while keeping to Filipino dishes at home (adobo, pancit anyone?). Even though I had the option to bring lunch to school, I decided to have meals from the cafeteria. Whether that was from a moment of other children thinking my lunch food was weird or I feared of being seen as different, I can’t remember. In America (with more diverse communities anyway), they’re more open to food of other cultures.

History Repeating in the Workplace

Philippines - you’ve guessed it: colonialism. From beauty standards to power, whiteness is seen as the best. Just like another poster has said, it makes me sad that Filipino culture has been eradicated through the ages and that I never got to experience it.

England and America - Having benefited from colonialism, there is a lot of colonial mentality (though subtle). From stories I’ve been told from my parents and their generation, this is common in workplaces. White people are fine working with people of colour until they hear that a person of colour is applying to be their manager. Then they suddenly have a problem (with the whole mentality of “people of colour can’t be leaders” crap). 

Identity Issues

With three cultures part of my identity, I never really knew what my identity was or even how to identify myself. I always had the feeling of “belonging everywhere and nowhere” at the same time. it was only until last year that I discovered a term for it: third culture kid (or fourth for me I guess). Third culture kids are people who have developed multiple cultures from having lived in multiple places: one from their parents’ culture, one they grew up in and the third being a combination of the two. It has helped me with my depression, as it stemmed from the fact that I had no label to call myself while everybody else seemed to. If you are like me, I would suggest the book Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds by Ruth E. Van Reken and David C. Pollock. It helped me a lot.

Misconception/Micro-aggression/Religion

In England, discrimination was more towards the Asian community (in particular, the Muslim community despite living there for a long time). In secondary school (high school), I had the typical comments of “chink” and talking to me in a mocking Chinese accent. I remember one time when a guy asked me where I was from - I answered “Philippines” and he immediately said, “so basically Japan?” *rolls eyes* 

As I was raised Catholic, the family went to church every Sunday. After some time, due to some pressure from my mother, I became an altar server. We became pretty close to the church community. What I didn’t remember is when we first attended mass, (as my parents told me later) they had openly looked at us with disgust. This shocked me as I couldn’t imagine the church goers being so mean. Talk about “loving your neighbour”. Makes me wonder what would have happened if I didn’t become an altar server…

Things I’d like to see less of

- Asian women being portrayed as submissive, shy, petite or as the Dragon Lady

- Asian women only being seen as scientists (with the whole smart, nerdy Asian trope). What about writers? Mechanics? Musicians? Leaders even?! One of my characters is an Asian woman who is an investigative journalist.

Thing’s I’d like to see more of 

- Asian people being friends with or at least, being respectful towards non-Asian people of colour (in particular, black people). It’s my hope that my generation and the ones after ours will bridge that gap.

- That writers of colour get more representation. 

I look forward to learning more from y'all!!

Read more POC Profiles here or submit your own.