her and an actual persian woman

I was recently in a discussion about lateral erasure re:racebending on my personal and it got me to thinking that our princesses of color kind of miss out on a certain sort of creativity because they tend to be based in real-world cultures, and as soon as you start pulling from real-world cultures, you get real-world baggage (though to be clear, that happens with every kind of fictional creation no matter what, fiction is definitely impacted by reality).

Anyway, I was thinking that Tiana wouldn’t be Tiana if she wasn’t black, because her struggle and her dream would have so much less resonance in her particular setting even though Disney didn’t touch much on the racism of the times at all. And Disney’s Mulan wouldn’t be Mulan without the filial piety that motivated her to go into the army in the first place (don’t get me started on the white feministy ‘maybe I did it for myself’ moment, guh). Pocahontas would literally not exist if she was not Native American because her story is that much tied into her identity as one. Same for Esmeralda and being Rroma. Nani could theoretically be another race, but it would make no sense to not have native Hawaiians in Hawaii, plus there would be an incredible lack of depth to her fear of losing Lilo because native Hawaiians lose their children to Social Services all the time, and the fear of cultural obliteration added to losing one’s family makes the struggle so much more intense. The one “exception” to this rule could be Jasmine, and only because Agrabah is a multi-MENA hodgepodge meant to be pure fantasy, so there’s not much actually Indian/Persian/Arab about her character especially when you realize that she was based off a white woman (one of the animator’s sisters).

To racebend any of these ladies or characters of color literally turns them into someone else. For me, I couldn’t call them the same characters anymore. Their race and how that impacts their stories is that essential. It’s essential in a way that the white princesses like Aurora and Belle and Ariel will never experience because these princesses are white in all-white casts, which means that without the framework of racism in their tales (and in Mulan’s case, the cultural values of that 'era’ of China), the white princesses are essentially blank slates. Nothing about their stories is intrisicallly French or German or Danish, and even if those stories were, that value has to do with nationality and not race. You can have black French people, for example. Asian German people too. Latinx Danish people definitely exist (in that their parents came from Latin America). So it doesn’t change anything about their stories to be nonwhite, whereas for the princesses of color, their stories the way we know them would not exist if they were anything but their races.

The way to fix this would be more characters of color and more princesses of color. It distributes the weight of these heavy histories more evenly and gives more freedom for all.

South Asians honestly need to learn how to respect one another rather than focussing on internal differences. Nothing pisses me off more than people who start speaking to me in their language assuming I’ll understand and then get offended when they discover I don’t. And then the conversation that follows is even more frustrating, starting from “why don’t you speak Urdu?” to dragging religion into it.

First of all, I don’t speak your language because it literally isn’t my language. I could ask you why you don’t speak Bengali but I’m not on the same level of idiot as you. Secondly, religion has nothing to do with language. I came across a woman a few weeks ago who literally said “if you’re muslim then why don’t you speak Urdu?” I informed her, as kindly as I could, that there are many countries with Muslim people and they all speak different languages.

Another went as far as to ask my name and then comment on how Naveed is a Punjabi name and asked why I don’t speak Punjabi. I let her know that Naveed is actually a Persian name.

I’m not highly patriotic, I find borders to be a troubling concept in and of itself, but it irks me when people demand that I know their language. My country literally lost millions of people so that we could have our own language. Fuck off with the ignorance, please.

4

Been kicking around the idea of doing my own spin on Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera.

Based on my interpretation of the story, Raoul, who usually is depicted as a dashing hero type, is this precious dandy baby.  He’s sheltered and naive and just a little ridiculous, but he means well.

Then there’s the Persian/Daroga. The people of the Opera are a bit frightened of him.  He’s this big intimidating presence who’s always lurking around. He’s actually a very empathetic, it just keeps getting him into trouble.

And Christine. Christine is a haunted young woman in more ways than one.  Never fully recovered from the death of her father Christine is left this faded version of herself. She’s clearly vulnerable and finds solitude in the Voice teaching her to sing, even when she suspects it might be a delusion. 

brooklynboos  asked:

quick question: any fave underrated women in greek mythology / history? as in, women that may not be all that well known / understood by a mainstream audience?

I’m answering this publicly in case any of my wonderful followers who know more about women in Greek myth/history want to add to this. I study military history, so my knowledge on ancient Greek women (especially obscure women) is probably less in-depth than the other amazing classicists who study different areas. Here are some women that I am personally fond of:

Hydna of Skione was a total badass who, along with her father, at the battle of Salamis cut the goddamn lines of the Persian ships by diving under them. You know, only 10 MILES OFF THE COAST. In a storm. The ships were destroyed. No big deal for Hydna.

Agnodike (possibly mythical) was a midwife and doctor who dressed up as a man in order to be able to train in Alexandria. Badass alert.

Thetis. Literal goddess and mother of Achilles who wins #1 mom of the year award 10 years running. She’s featured most in the Iliad and is great. She is the reason why Achilles even can rejoin the battle, since she gets him new armor from Hephaistos. 

Thetis: “Yet, see now, your splendid armour, glaring and brazen, is held among the Trojans, and Hektor of the shining helmet   wears it on his own shoulders, and glories in it. Yet I think he will not glory for long, since his death stands very close to him. Therefore do not yet go into the grind of the war god, not before with your own eyes you see me come back to you. For I am coming to you at dawn and as the sun rises bringing splendid armour to you from the lord Hephaistos.” (Iliad 18.130-137 trans. Lattimore)

Hera is also in the Iliad and is very cool. She’s made into this bitchy wife stereotype in modern culture, but in the Iliad she’s fucking shit up on the battlefield with Athena. Very underrated.

Briseis is also great and says a very nice lament for Patroklos in the Iliad. Her character is constantly screwed up in modern culture (Troy and Song of Achilles, I’m looking at you. And while I’m on the subject: Deidameia)

And now, in the likeness of golden Aphrodite, Briseis when she saw Patroklos lying torn with sharp bronze, folding him in her arms cried shrilly above him and with her hands tore at her breasts and her soft throat and her beautiful forehead. The woman like the immortals mourning for him spoke to him: ‘Patroklos, far most pleasing to my heart in its sorrows, I left you here alive when I went away from the shelter, but now I come back, lord of the people, to find you have fallen.’ (Iliad 19.282-289 trans. Lattimore)

Queen Gorgo of Sparta was awesome (300 actually got something right) and instrumental in the Greco-Persian wars. And in Herodotus, she was the only one smart enough to figure out where a secret message about Xerxes’ plan was written on a wax tablet.

Olympias, Alexander the Great’s mother, has been underrated and treated poorly in common culture since the ancient times (just watch the 2004 movie Alexander and you’ll see how they screwed her over). 

Olympias, however, refused to flee but on the contrary was ready to be judged before all the Macedonians, Cassander, fearing that the crowd might change its mind if it heard the queen defend herself and was reminded of all the benefits conferred on the entire nation by Alexander and Philip, sent to her two hundred soldiers who were best fitted for such a task, ordering them to slay her as soon as possible. They, accordingly, broke into the royal house, but when they beheld Olympias, overawed by her exalted rank, they withdrew with their task unfulfilled. (Diodorus 19.51.4-5)

And of course SAPPHO. I can’t leave out Sappho and she can never be overrated in my opinion. But thankfully she’s not that obscure.

I hope this list helped. I’m sure there are many other wonderful and underrated women in ancient Greek myth and history, and if anyone wants to add their favorite please do so!

I found a dive.

I didn’t have to think long before remembering the Kibitz Room was only three blocks away. Jimmy is bar tending. I don’t know Jimmy but everyone else seems to. “Thanks, Jimmy!” says this girl with a South African accent sitting next to me at the bar with her girlfriend as they flip through pages of Comso and Allure. It’s dark - so looking through fashion mags seems an odd choice to me.

Jimmy is wearing a green and red shirt that says “go buckets” or something and I have zero interest in what it means. Oh, he just said why to a Persian preppy guy ordering “silver tequila”. He’s from Boston and it’s a Boston thing?

A four-piece band plays in the background. “Jimmy!” shouts another patron. This one is a small white dude with a modern hair style wearing a ‘fancy’ Supreme shirt. Hair gel. Pale. Designer jeans. You know the type. 100% Melrose attire that just screams “I’m an EDM DJ”. He hands Jimmy a card and Jimmy is thankful.

“Sure man yeah I look forward to trying that yeah ok man thanks ok cool” that hyped up dialogue that occurs in loud dark bars. Oh, I just overheard. The card guy runs an after-hours things with games and booze and stuff. Jimmy is now explaining it to the cocktail waitress.

This crowd vibe doesn’t match the live music. Singing now is an older Liza Minnelli type and her band is rag tag at best. But man, the sound is nice. Almost too nice. Like I’m an extra in some movie about going out on a Summer night like Manhattan or LA Story or well, After Hours.

The white guy with the skinny on the happening after hours is back and I see now he has an ironic mustache. He’s talking to an older woman at the end of the bar. “Jimmy!” she yells.

The guy who I thought was Persian is actually Indian. I know this now because he just sat down next to me. He’s wearing an Indiana hat and is still sipping his “silver tequila”. He offers to buy me a drink. I decline. We agree we enjoy the music, strangely, maybe because it’s good or maybe because we’re getting older as we’re both 29 and aren’t keen to mixed drinks or hard music.

“Elevator music,” says silver tequila guy, “I’ve never hated it.” Me either I think to myself. Three tall white dudes with long hair and skater shirts walk into the bar and greet the bartender, unsurprisingly. It’s Wednesday night and this dive is alive. Liza starts singing “The Fool On The Hill” in the style of Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66.

“Hey Jimmy!” I yelled, “Can I get another scotch?”