Feminism, Pop-Culture | Posted by YingYing S on 09/14/2012

Skin Is Just An Organ – But Insecurity Sells

I am not white.

Yeah, I know, stating the obvious, but in fact, even for someone of Chinese ethnicity, I am decidedly not on the pale end of the spectrum. And every time I flip open a fashion magazine here in America or visit my home city of Beijing, decked out with all its skin-lightening billboards, I am reminded that because of my skin tone, the world wants me to change.

Previously referenced as “the Snow White complex,” the pressure to be white has overtaken most of the world as an indisputable standard of beauty, despite the fact that every standard of beauty we try to mold ourselves to is culturally constructed.

In Asia and India, skin lightening has soared into popularity thanks to modern procedures. In places …

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Feminism | Posted by Jaded16 on 06/16/2011

Things People Need To Stop Believing

As a dusty third worldling, one of the things I learnt first was to see if there were other dusty people in the room whenever I go to any transnational feminist conferences. Something else I also learnt is to not expect ‘solidarity’ from anyone unless expressly proven otherwise — and these views are a result of the way people view me and my body in notIndia, what people assume of me in most internet spaces and fandoms. My friend and I compiled this list comprising of a few of the most repetitive and inane stereotypes that we’ve encountered of Third World Women. By no means is this list exhaustive, feel free to add your experiences in the comments — and tread carefully, the list is full of racial slurs and …

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Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 03/25/2011

Body Image in the Media: Glee Gets It Right, But Are We Ready?

Every once in a while, usually when 30 Rock is a re-run, I’ll flip over to the CW. And I kind of get the draw of the utterly escapist fantasies that shows like 90210 and Gossip Girl offer. Serena Van Der Woodsen / Blake Lively is like 14 feet tall with blonde hair that cascades over her shoulders as she effortlessly hails a cab on her way to a club – that just so happens to blithely serve the underage – in order to sabatoge another rich, white, tall, thin, personality-less girl in a plan that always seems to involve drugs or faked pregnancies or a trip to Geneva or something that probably could’ve been solved had she invited her nemesis to have a nice talk over Chai tea. But …

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Feminism | Posted by Regina on 11/4/2010

The Entitlement List

Entitlement: belief that one is deserving of certain privileges

When men are invading your space (at the supermarket, jogging, the bank, lunch line) and think it’s okay.

“Nice guys” who feel they’re entitled to sex because they treat you well.

When you dress “slutty” ( it doesn’t matter you can be wearing a garbage bag) men feel entitled to comment on how provocative you look and how you deserve anything that THEY do to you because of it.

White people trying to touch POC’s hair.

White people trying to cultural appropriate other people’s cultures.

The N word. ” Why can’t we say it?!?”

Men think it’s ok to say “bitch,” “slut,” “skank” etc etc

The whole Ground Zero mosque fiasco.

White Americans are upset because they feel their …

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Feminism | Posted by Anna M on 09/21/2010

An Unabashed Imitation of An Article by Peggy McIntosh

In 1990, Wellesley College professor Peggy McIntosh wrote an essay called “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. McIntosh observes that whites in the U.S. are “taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” To illustrate these invisible systems, McIntosh wrote a list of 26 invisible privileges whites benefit from.

As McIntosh points out, men also tend to be unaware of their own privileges as men. In the spirit of McIntosh’s essay, I thought I’d compile a list similar to McIntosh’s, focusing on the invisible privileges benefiting men.

Due to my own limitations, this list is unavoidably U.S. centric. I hope that writers from other cultures will create new lists, or modify this one, to reflect their own …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 04/27/2010

Being An Ally

In December, I attended the National Association for Independent Schools’ Student Diversity Leadership Conference, which I blogged about here. This conference, which brought together high school students from across the country to talk about diversity, inspired a friend of mine and I to start a diversity club at our school. We had no idea how hard pulling this off would be.

While there were teachers at our school who had attended the conference with us and who completely supported us, our efforts at starting a club were completely ignored by the student body. We concluded that much of the disinterest had to do with the fact that our school is overwhelmingly white and pretty much conforming to stereotypes across the board.

Getting kids at our school to understand that …

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Awareness | Posted by Julie Z on 12/14/2009

What I Learned at SDLC

When I told my friends I was going to SDLC, the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, they all asked the question I’d both anticipated and dreaded. “How can you go to that?” they asked, “You’re white.”

I didn’t really know how to answer at that point. In a way, I had wondered the same thing when I found out that my school would be represented by 7 black students and me. I knew diversity was more than race, and I knew that I would inevitably learn a lot by going to this conference, but nevertheless I was a little uneasy.

In the airport, walking towards the flight for Denver, the confusion felt by my friends seemed to be mirrored in the faces of others we passed. I’d never really been stared …

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