Why I Don’t Mind Being Seen In The Image of My Native Ancestors, By Anpo Jensen

For centuries, Native American people have been discredited and placed onto a pedestal as primitive and savage. Although a lot has changed, that image still hangs above Native people, and I, as a student, have felt its pressure. Fortunately, because of the teachings I have received throughout my life, the pressure never stays with me.

When I was twelve, I met a Native American woman engineer. She was the director of a science, math, and culture camp. In this camp, we traveled to our beloved sacred sites and learned how to see our world through a scientific lens that doubled as a cultural one. My mother and the elders who raised me have always told me that science and culture correlate. These two women and elders have nurtured my mind into knowing that my ancestors were naturally mathematicians, scientists, and engineers and, above all, survivors.

As a result, over the past few years I’ve been involved in a lot of scientific research, and I would have to say that it’s sparked the most interest for me thus far. In my spare time, and sometimes in assignments, I would find in my research that some scientific “discoveries” have been inspired by Native American people. (Aspirin is a good example.) Yet the best, and most unique, experience is making connections between ancient teachings and science.

For example, I was taught that everything is connected, everything is in motion, and everything has a spirit and is alive. If we looked at this teaching scientifically, it means every object on Earth has atoms that move at different velocities, defining the object’s state of matter. Even in solids, the atoms move. Because of this, everything to us that may appear to be still is in fact in motion.

Our teachings weren’t wrong.

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Search CEO and the first “woman” you see is a Barbie - from an Onion article. A recent study showed that when men search for jobs they are shown ads for higher paying jobs than women are six times as often as women. Researchers used hundreds of thousands of false accounts that shared all attributes in terms of education, skill and work experience. The only thing that changed was the system’s determination of gender.

Last year, a study conducted by Lancaster University concluded that Google Instant’s autocomplete function creates an echo chamber for negative stereotypes regarding race, ethnicity and gender. When you type the words, “Are women …” into Google might predict you want one of the following: “… a minority,” “… evil,” “… allowed in combat,” or, last but not least, “… attracted to money.” A similar anecdotal exercise by BuzzFeed’s Alanna Okun concluded that anyone curious about women would end up with the impression that they are “crazy, money-grubbing, submissive, unfunny, beautiful, ugly, smart, stupid, and physically ill-equipped to do most things. And please, whatever you do, don’t offer them equality.”  In effect, algorithms learn negative stereotypes and then teach them to people who consume and use the information uncritically.

In the last month, two other startling and egregious cases made the news. In the first instance, Jacky Alciné was looking at one of his photos and saw that both he and a friend, both black, had been automatically tagged “gorillas” by automatic recognition software. Google quickly apologized. In the second, a recent analysis showed that searching for the word “CEO” basically surfaces pages of photos of white men. The first image of a female is of Barbie and, as Tech Times noted, it’s even worse because it’s actually a photo from the satirical news site The Onion. While white men do make up the vast majority of CEOs, the search results actually grossly disproportionately favor their images (27% of CEOs are women, only 11% of images however.) The problem is even worse when you consider the impact of stereotypes and on advertising. As with Search, Google’s predictive targeted advertising algorithms use aggregated user results to make what appear to be sexist assumptions based on gender, for example, inferring based on a woman’s search and interests that she was a man because she was interested in technology and computers.  A recent study showed that when men search for jobs they are shown ads for higher paying jobs than women are six times as often as women. Researchers used hundreds of thousands of false accounts that shared all attributes in terms of education, skill and work experience. The only thing that changed was the system’s determination of gender.

Sean Munson, a UW assistant professor of human centered design and engineering commented on the impact of searches like these earlier this year, after releasing the results of a study designed to examine how images affect perceptions.  "You need to know whether gender stereotyping in search image results,“ he explained, "actually shifts people’s perceptions before you can say whether this is a problem. And, in fact, it does – at least in the short term.”

……

At the 2008 Singularity Summit, Marshall Brain, author of “Robotic Nation,”described the predictable, potentially devastating effects of  "second intelligence" competition in the marketplace.  The service industry will be the first affected.  Brain describes a future McDonald’s staffed by attractive female robots who know everything about him and can meet his every fast food need.  In his assessment, an attractive, compliant, “I’ll get you everything you want before you even think about it” female automaton is “going to be a good thing.”  However, he went on to talk about job losses in many sectors, especially the lowest paying, with emphasis on service, construction and transportation sectors. Brain noted that robotic competition wouldn’t be good for “construction workers, truck drivers and Joe the plumber.” Nine out of 10 women are employed in service industries.  The idea that women will be disproportionately displaced as a result of long-standing sex segregation in the workforce did not factor into his analysis.

I don’t mean to pick on Brain, but the fact that male human experiences and expectations and concerns are normative in the tech industry and at the Singularity Summit is clear. The tech industry is not known for its profound understanding of gender or for producing products optimized to meet the needs of women (whom the patriarchy has cast as “second intelligence” humans). Rather, the industry is an example of a de facto sex-segregated environment, in which, according to sociologist Philip Cohen, “men’s simple assumption that women don’t really exist as people” is reinforced and replicated. Artificial intelligence is being developed by people who benefit from socially dominant norms and little vested personal incentive to challenge them.

If you hear the words “neutral platform” or “algorithms are objective” run in the other direction as fast as you can. 

“Social justice”: a short guide

The words ‘social justice’ and ‘social justice warriors’ are constantly being thrown around on (social) media, without people knowing exactly what they mean, and what social justice advocates are actually trying to achieve. The expression ‘social justice warrior’ was mostly made up by anti-feminists and other anti-’movements’ in order to mock social justice advocates. What is it that social justice advocates are trying to achieve, and why are so many people umcomfortable with it?  

First things first: what is the definition of ‘social justice’?

  • “[Social justice is] a status in society where all people, regardless of their individual identities and social group memberships, have an equitable shot at achieving success.” (Sam Killermann, The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook: A Guide to Gender, 2013 p. 9)

The focus is on achieving equity instead of equality, why is that? As Sam Killermann puts it: 

  • “Social equity is all about creating access to success (wealth, education, happiness, etc.), whereas social equality focuses more on possession of success (everyone gets an equal level of wealth, education, happiness, etc.).” (Killerman 2013, p. 10)  

The difference is subtle but important. By saying that you try to achieve social equity, you acknowledge that our societies are inherently socially unjust. That means that not everybody is on the same ‘level’.

Picture the following scenario: an adult, a teenager and a child go to see a sports game, but they have to stand behind a fence that only the adult can look over. Equality would be giving all of them equally sized crates to stand on. Now the adult and teenager can see the game, but the child still can’t. Equity would be giving the teenager one crate, and the child two crates to stand on. Now everyone can see the game and nobody loses. 

Then, what’s standing in the way of achieving social justice? That would be oppression. 

  • “Oppression is the exercise of authority or power in an unjust manner. Oppression plays out between social groups when one group has power and limits another group’s access to that power.” (Killermann 2013, p. 13)

Generally speaking, oppression is a systemic, perpetual cycle of prejudice and discrimination in which social, economical and political power play a crucial role. Social justice advocates try to actively dismantle oppression. However, in order to do so, you have to understand what oppression and privilege are, and how power dynamics work. This is where a lot of people disagree.

In order to speak out against oppression, it is therefore important to acknowledge in which ways you are oppressed or privileged (or both). Intersectional feminism (see recommended reading) would be a great place to start to learn more about this particular subject. It is important to note that privilege, too, is systemic. We’ll elaborate on this point in a different post. 

In short, privileged people hold power whereas oppressed people do not. Before you can appropriately speak out against social injustice, it is crucial to check your privilege. In Western societies, you can have white-, heterosexual-, cisgender-, male-, class-, and/or ablebodied privilege for example. This (partial) privilege can still be used to fight for social justice, which brings me to the next point:

What can you actually do to achieve social equity?

  • You can use your privilege to help oppressed people.
  • Constantly educate yourself (and others) on subjects/topics you’re not familiar with or have little knowlegde of. 
  • Know that unlearning (internalized) oppressive behaviour and thoughts will last for the rest of your life.  
  • Always try to be more inclusive. This is not the same as “political correctness” (more on this soon).
  • Refrain from using stereotypes, even if they’re “good stereotypes”, like the “Asian model minority” trope. They are just as harmful as negative stereotypes, because they uphold impossible and unrealistic standards! 
  • Know that there is not one absolute ‘truth’, ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. There are multiple ways to tackle social issues. 

Sources:

Killermann, Sam. The Social Justice Advocate’s Handbook: A Guide to Gender.              Austin: Impetus Books, 2013) 

Recommended reading: 

Everyday Feminism. Daily articles that help readers apply intersectional                        feminism in their lives. http://everydayfeminism.com 
It’s Pronounced Metrosexual. Articles and graphics about gender, sexuality,                and social justice. http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com
Reason, Robert D.. Developing social justice allies. San Francisco: Jossey-                  Bass, 2005. 

anonymous asked:

Alright so I know there's a sort of asexual stereotype about us being childish and I'm the only asexual my mom knows (I recently came out to her) and she didn't even know what asexuality was before then and idk if my schools GSA knows about asexuality and I'm planning on joining when school starts, but I personally am a childish individual (I like stuffed animals and candy and I'm typically a very bubbly person) and so I'm just wondering how to prevent people from seeing the stereotype as true?

well, i should hope that at least in the GSA, as people who have suffered from stereotyping, they should know better than to put stock in stereotypes or hold others to stereotypes or use stereotypes against others

because the thing about stereotypes is that they’re oppressive tools used against other people. you can’t.. perpetuate or “make true” a stereotype about your sexuality if you’re just. being yourself

i mean, personally, i happen to fit a lot stereotypes. being socially awkward, reclusive, introverted, “cold and aloof”, dispassioniate about dating, sex repulsed; not to mention being depressed/otherwise mentally ill. but we can’t just.. pretend to not be how we are in the name of “fighting stereotypes”

like, you are more than just being childish. you’re not a charicature. the thing that makes you “break” the stereotype is that you are literally a whole human being with many facets to your personality. childishness is just one part of that, just like your asexuality

and if anyone tries to give you shit, then you can just tell them exactly what i’ve said here. feel free to print it out word for word if you like. added cuss words or raised inflection is totally optional, depending on who is listening and how angry you are

~Mod Q

Where Does the Black Woman's Body Belong?

by Jenn M. Jackson

Few things personify white privilege more than the erasure of Black women’s bodies from the public sphere. Evidence of this fact can be found in the reactions to Serena Williams’ recent Wimbledon title and the faux outrage at Amandla Stenberg’s commentary on Kylie Jenner’s culturally appropriated cornrows. In the face of these obstacles, an important question we must ask ourselves is: Where does the Black woman’s body belong?

Serena Williams – arguably the best tennis player of all time – has been insulted, diminished, erased, and disrespected since she started playing the sport professionally nearly two decades ago. A recent New York Times article describing her body as “muscular” and questioning her womanhood is just a glimpse into the insults she has had to endure over the years. From racism and sexism to transmisogyny and flat out hatred, she has had to experience a myriad of criticisms just for existing in professional tennis while Black and female. The road to loving herself wasn’t easy. But, Williams learned to do it despite the hate she continually faced from white critics, coaches, commentators, and fans.

For Williams, her body belongs precisely where she has been all along: on the tennis court. While efforts to erase and exclude her from that predominantly white space prevail, she has been crystal clear that she both deserves and has earned the privilege to be there no matter how threatening it is to systems of white superiority.

Similarly, 16-year-old Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg was recently called a “jackhole” by TV host Andy Cohen after she criticized 17-year-old Kylie Jenner (younger half-sister of Kim Kardashian) for posting an image of herself on Instagram wearing cornrows. Cohen later apologized. Stenberg’s words, while offensive to many whites who believe this issue is only about “hairstyles,” were incredibly accurate and timely.


Stenberg later clarified her comments in an Instagram post. In particular, she noted that “While white women are praised for altering their bodies, plumping their lips, and tanning their skin, black women are shamed although the same features exist on them naturally.”


Stenberg, though young, is not wrong in her claims. For the mainstream media to pretend as though her concerns were being expressed this way for the first time is misleading and reductive. Stenberg has been consistent in her critique of appropriation of “Black culture” and the exclusion of Black women from Eurocentric beauty standards. If anything, Stenberg has summarized precisely the exclusionary actions of white supremacy that Serena Williams herself experiences daily – a phenomenon Dr. Moya Bailey calls “misogynoir.”

No, this isn’t a new issue. I recently covered this subject at length in reference to the Rachel Dolezal media debacle. The mainstream media’s obsession with Dolezal was fueled by both a hatred for Black women and an insatiable desire to present white women as inherently pure and idyllic.

Even more importantly, I have thoroughly explained how white women have long invested in the demonization of Black women and families. By making themselves the point of reference for womanhood, they have contributed to a framework which excludes Black women’s bodies, marking them as “other.” This double standard is so pervasive that it has been internalized and projected onto little Black girls. Therefore, these two recent events involving Williams and Stenberg should not surprise anyone who has been paying at least a little bit of attention.

As it stands, modern beauty standards rely on almost unattainable ideals but still rest upon the exploitation and appropriation of Black women’s bodies. But why?

The answer is simple: Just as whiteness is defined by the existence of blackness, white women’s beauty can’t exist without Black women’s (purported) lack thereof. This isn’t to say that Black women’s beauty is reliant on the White Gaze. Rather, I am noting that many white people, at least partially, define themselves by their deviation from Black people.

This cruel fact isn’t true just when considering beauty standards. In Williams’ case, it also articulates itself in professional athleticism. For Beyoncé and Rihanna, it manifests itself in the music industry. And, for Viola Davis, Shonda Rhimes, and Ava DuVernay, it emerges in the television and movie fields. In all cases, from the vantage point of white supremacy, Black women’s bodies are to be emulated rather than empowered, appropriated rather than appreciated, and excluded rather than extolled.

Thus, in a system predicated on the “otherness” of blackness, Black women’s bodies are meant to exist on the margins. But, in this era of #BlackLivesMatter, many Black women have been challenging this status quo of oppression. Rather than accepting marginalization and exploitation, these women have carved out spaces for themselves that were once designated for whiteness alone.

Frankly, Black women’s bodies belong wherever we choose to exist. It is a function of White supremacy to try and convince us otherwise. However, as we continue to make space and dismantle those existing narratives and structures which seek to erase us, we must be prepared to contend with the blowback we are certain to experience.

In this way, the critiques of Williams and Stenberg can be best understood not as barriers to our full existence, but as stepping stones that allow us to come closer to realizing what being “free” truly feels like.


Read more: http://www.forharriet.com/2015/07/where-does-black-womans-body-belong.html#ixzz3h8vd0Enf
Follow us: @ForHarriet on Twitter | forharriet on Facebook

Uncensored - Key & Peele - A Cappella

Conflict erupts when a black student joins a college a cappella group that already has a black member. Watch more Key & Peele: http://on.cc.com/1CCj8Le [Read More]

anonymous asked:

I'm Fil-Chi (Filipino-Chinese) and I get absolutely annoyed when the first thing people ask me is: "Can you speak Chinese?" or "What business does your family own?" or "You must be rich." What if I'm not all of the above? Ever thought about that?

People just don’t get it, but stereotypes are so annoying, and can even be harmful. I’m sure a lot of us can relate!

-Mod V

From the Goshen HS Alum fb page. The complete ignorance that someone shared this pic thinking it would prove reasons to keep the name. Dressing up like stereotypical indian and running in a circle war whooping. Def not an honor. Support the efforts to change the Goshen Redskins name. 

Even minority food is not represented

Chinese privilege is when people don’t tell you you’re not like the “usual” Malay because you’re an “educated Malay”. It is when you counter them by saying you know and have read about so many Malays who are equally “educated” as you are and way more successful and they respond by saying “but they’re your friends, you guys are all educated”.

Chinese privilege is also watching a local film (directed by a top filmmaker) about local food and then only having a few token minority dishes as part of local cuisine. I enjoyed the film (amazing shots) but halfway through realised how problematic it was to have such (literal) minor representation on local food, especially when it was screened to an all majority audience - because that reinforces their privilege and blinds them to the existence of all the other amazing local food (and cultures!) we have to offer ourselves.

Thanks and kudos for this bold space. It truly bothers me (although nowadays it amuses me more than ever) that some people from the majority see this as a potential trigger to disharmony. It’s not. It’s a constant reminder to the rest of us that we need to always be aware of who and where we are in the system.

sometime i think that Canadian stereotypes aren’t as extreme as they’re made to be but then i remember that once someone accidentally dialled the wrong number and called me and i apologized, then apologized for apologizing, then apologized again. i was so freaked out and mortified at this point that i hung up.

i then called the number back and apologized about hanging up so suddenly. 

what annoys the signs the most about their representation on tumblr

Aries: the extreme anger/violence stereotype

Taurus: the stereotype that they’re always eating

Gemini: that they’re the most hated sign

Cancer: the excessive crying stereotype

Leo: the extreme hate they get during shade hour

Virgo: that they’re the “prissy” ones

Libra: the assumption that they never get into fights and aren’t intelligent

Scorpio: the sex-crazed stereotype

Sagittarius: nothing, they don’t give a fuck

Capricorn: that they’re the overlooked sign

Aquarius: the alien thing??

Pisces: the fish association

reblog if you're a:

Aries who doesn’t get mad at everything
Taurus who doesn’t live in the fridge
Gemini who doesn’t talk shit about everyone
Cancer who doesn’t cry at everything
Leo who isn’t an arrogant tosspot
Virgo who doesn’t obsess over their grades
Libra who isn’t an indecisive airhead
Scorpio who isn’t obsessed with shagging people
Sagittarius who won’t actually cheat on every partner they get
Capricorn who actually knows how to have fun
Aquarius who isn’t a weirdo who is definitely an alien
Pisces who won’t obsess over spirituality and let everyone walk all over them

FIGHT THE STEREOTYPES 2K15

MBTI Arguing Squads

Would start crying during an argument squad: INFP, ISFP, ENFP, ESFP

Didn’t realize they were in an argument squad: ENTP, INTP, ESTP, ISTJ

Knew they were arguing and meant to make the other person cry squad: ENTJ, ESTJ, INTJ, ISTP

Is comforting the crying person squad: ENFJ, INFJ, ISFJ, ESFJ

Stereotypes of the signs
  • Aries:overly aggressive psycho
  • Taurus:obese couch potato
  • Gemini:two-faced backstabber
  • Cancer:weak crybaby
  • Leo:obnoxious narcissist
  • Virgo:snobby perfectionist
  • Libra:manipulative flirt
  • Scorpio:jealous nymphomaniac
  • Sagittarius:sarcastic asshole
  • Capricorn:snooty workaholic
  • Aquarius:unemotional alien
  • Pisces:overemotional hopeless romantic