Since last week’s recap of fuckery went over so well I’ve decided that I’ll attempt to make this a weekly thing. So welcome everyone to “This Week In Fuckery” for the week of September 20 - 27th. Now let’s relive the horror!
- New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) requires women seeking childcare assistance to prove they were “forcibly raped.”
- Hugo Schwyzer, the male feminist who mansplained attempting to kill and rape a woman, wrote an article for Jezebel in which he offers up five tips for the mansplainers in your life. (Because the perfect person to give tips to mansplainers is another mansplainer, am I right?)
- Stephen Colbert donned brownface in his “Esteban Colberto” skit. His point? I haven’t really figured that out and it really doesn’t matter.
- Someone thought it’d be a great idea to make a horrifically racist graphic of the President.
- A fraudulent voter registration website is making it’s way around the internet.
- Australia’s Channel 7 network has been found guilty by the press regulator of serious violations of the broadcasting code, after screening a report so extreme it was branded ‘Freakshow TV’ by Survival International.
- Mitt Romney doesn’t understand why you can’t roll down the windows on an airplane. (I promise you that’s not from The Onion.)
- Three-fifths of Milwaukee’s black voters have disappeared without a trace.
- Mississippi schools are sending kids to prison for misbehaving in the classroom.
- Walwyn “Smiley” Jackson was shot and killed by police in his home in Queens, NY after his family called 911 to stop him from hurting himself.
- White people believe they are the victims of racism more often than black people.
- The Packers were robbed.
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker only supports unions when it comes to football.
- Madonna wants you to vote for Obama because having a “black Muslim in the White House” is some “amazing shit.” (What I find amazing is that this woman still has a career.)
- Voting laws may disenfranchise up to 10 million Latin@ US citizens.
- Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) thinks that he can look at a person and tell if they’re Native American or not.
- Sen. Scott Brown’s staffers do “war whoops” and “tomahawk chops” to taunt Elizabeth Warren.
- Dolce & Gabbana thought it was a great idea to use Blackamoor imagery in their Spring 2013 collection.
- A Texas woman had the Obama/Biden sign in her yard vandalized. The message scrawled on it read, in part “N**GER LOVER! OBAMA SUCKS DICK!”
- A Muslim man asked Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream on Facebook whether or not the gelatin in one of the flavors of their ice cream contained pork. The answer he received as less than accommodating.
Is “Gangnam Style” a Hit Because of Our Asian Stereotypes?
If you haven’t been following South Korean rapper PSY’s meteoric ascent to transcultural ubiquity, allow me to get you up to speed: “Gangnam Style” is now the most-watched Korean pop music video on YouTube, and as of last Thursday, the most-liked of all time, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The song, which currently tops the iTunes charts in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and a half-dozen European countries, just jumped to the 11th spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 after debuting at No. 64 hardly a week ago.
Since its release on July 15, PSY’s addictive new single has been dissected, parodied,translated, and meme’d (Move over, #YOLO). It’s inspired propaganda in North Korea, a gun fight in Bangkok, and this surreal moment on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Justin Bieber’s manager promises to turn PSY into an American shining star. E! declares “Gangnam Style” is soin, it’s already out. Like a knight in a one-button tuxedo, Jae-Sang Park, the 34-year-old father of twins, galloped into our cultural consciousness atop his invisible horsey and captured our hearts with his irresistible hook and four-step jig.
-Pop heavyweights like Girls’ Generation and 2NE1 have spread hallyu (meaning “Korean Wave”) popular culture across the globe, garnering devoted fan followings in East Asia and Latin America. (Part of a Brazilian rainforest is named after K-Pop veteran Seo Taiji.) Carefully pruned and primped for mass consumption, these idol groups have made some inroads in the United States, particularly in coastal cities, like Los Angeles and New York, where immigrant subcultures proliferate. Yet PSY, after more than a decade in the business, has accomplished what these glossy young superstars have ceaselessly failed to do: He’s entered the American mainstream.
Part of the video’s mass appeal is obvious: PSY, a longtime comedic performer, is downright hilarious in “Gangnam Style.” His song is catchy; his dance moves are easy to replicate (though, poorly—”ride” at your own peril). His latest song-and-dance number doesn’t depart from his usual shtick.
“Gangnam Style” is “very different than the kind of K-Pop that has been trying to break into the United States to this point. It’s got the unique factor,” says Crystal Anderson, an associate professor of English at Elon University who studies hallyu culture. “But I also think from a cultural studies point of view, we cannot discount the relationship that American culture has with Asian masculinity.”
“If you go all the way back to someone like Bruce Lee,” she continues, “Bruce Lee could not be the star of Kung Fu the television series because the United States was not ready to see an Asian male in a lead role. To date, we still don’t have a lot of lead roles taken by Asian men in television, in movies, and they are practically nonexistent in the American music scene.”
In an essay on her blog High Yellow, Anderson argues that PSY owes some of his newfound popularity to the racial stereotypes that Hollywood and the television media have long perpetuated: Think Long Duk Dong from 16 Candles or Leslie Chow from The Hangover. Like PSY, they epitomize the “comedic Asian male” trope: buffoonish, desexualized, and emasculated.
“He’s this chubby, happy guy. We can embrace that in a way we can’t embrace…other Asian male bodies that challenge the constructions of Asian masculinities that have occurred in the United States,” Anderson says.
That’s part of the reason why she thinks K-Pop’s chiseled male idols, like the South Korean heart throbs in Big Bang, have had a particularly tough time making headway in the American music market.
A blogger at Racialicious makes a similar point:
You only have to look at a handful of other Asian and Asian American men that have made any impression in mainstream American music to guess what role PSY fits. Just this year, Korean American Heejun Han made it to the elusive top ten of American Idol and, while his buttery baritone did cut muster, it was his off-stage antics as a hilariously deadpan prankster that the public particularly reacted to. Before Han, the other Asian male that made any particular impact in American mainstream music was William Hung. Yeah.
That’s right: alongside clowns from other mediums like Ken Jeong (and yellow-face disgraces like Mickey Rooney’s Mr. Yunoishi from Breakfast at Tiffany’s), PSY fits right into the mainstream-friendly role of Asian male jester, offering goofy laughs for all and, thanks to PSY’s decidedly non-pop star looks, in a very non-threatening package. Psy doesn’t even have to sing in English or be understood because it’s not the social critique offered by the lyrics that matters to the audience, but the marriage of the funny music video, goofy dance, and a rather catchy tune, of which two of the elements are comical and, again, non-threatening.
PSY is the “Asian man who makes it” because he fits neatly into our pop cultural milieu wherein Asian men are either kung-fu fighters, Confucius-quoting clairvoyants, or the biggest geeks in high school.
What do you think? Are we laughing with PSY as he takes his rightful place in pop cultural history? Or at him, as Anderson believes? Watch the video (for, admit it, the upteenth time this month).
Living in a place where every race listens to K-pop and everyone gets the point of the video, it would easy to say that Gangnam Style’s appeal isn’t racist. But judging the YT comments, it’s very clear that the majority don’t understand that this is a satire of K-pop.
Kpop fans understand that he is mocking the overmasculine, hypersexualized Korean celebrity
Gangnam fans think it’s funny because everyone knows Asian (that monolithic group) men are effeminite, sterile things.
Kpop fans who know what Gangnam is see a parody of the frivilous lifestyle of the rich and famous.
Gangnam fans want to know that the view they have of Asians as deviants is a universal perspective.
Not all of Gangnam Style’s success is due to racism and Western stereotypes, but for a lot of white people…
Bolded for fuckin truuuuuth
I really glad this post is here because it really has been making me uncomfortable seeing white people at my job talk about this mv without any context. And I could never really pinpoint WHY. This makes it easier to see. This one boy, who is quite overweight himself, sees it as this guy who isn’t “conventionally” attractive being “a boss.” And while I think it’s sort of cool that he can relate to PSY in that way, he’s missing the point of the mv and song, which makes more sense if you’re a kpop fan (which he is not).
[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A large photograph of a manatee in a tank. It is floating just above a large rock, and is holding a long stretch of blue vacuum hose. Several large striped fish are swimming near the top of the frame. TEXT: “Accepting help doesn’t make you weak. Lots of people love you, and want to make things easier for you.”]
We found this lovely photograph of me from a wonderful photographer on tumblr, but I forgot to put their name somewhere! If you know who took this picture, I would love to mention them and let them get the credit they deserve.
Sandra Fluke at the Democratic National Convention.
Look. I have nothing at all against Sandra Fluke personally. But nope. It couldn’t have easily been anybody else.
There are people who speak up ALL THE TIME but no one listens to them because they are black, trans, immigrant, latin@, poor, fat, etc. (unfortunately the list is long). They take big risks to speak up but they do.
And it saddens me that we have had multiple speakers at the DNC talk specifically about reproductive rights and none of them have been women of color. On a larger scale, it bothers the hell out of me that women/people of color are the hardest hit by anti-choice laws/regs and yet WE RARELY SEE THEIR FACES OR HEAR THEIR VOICES.
This movement and its leaders need to start (really, should already be) asking hard questions starting with: Are we just fighting for reproductive rights or are we fighting for reproductive justice? On nights like tonight, when I see Cecile Richards tweet about her younger-generation doppleganger, “Sandra Fluke speaks for the next generation,” I know the answer and I don’t like it.
I don’t know where I came across this, but it’s witty as fuck (via octagon-surgeon)
Second or 3rd reblog, will never get bored of it lol.
Hehe, this is like my favorite response to the “I don’t try to be PC” argument: whoa! so brave! it takes real courage to buck the thoughts and feelings of others while you say whatever you want! BRAVO!!!
I want to copyright “Cracker von Patriarch” as this blog’s Patronus.
I’m getting this printed on business cards for convenience, so I can just hand them out whenever appropriate.
This is fabulous.
[Image: An old white man in Catholic priests’ garb. Blinky text says “CRACKER von PATRIARCH”]
what? you like racist white history because ‘you enjoy history’? how unique of you. really. HOW UNIQUE
In Focus: Monsoon Rain Floods Manila
Images: Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images, AP Photo/Aaron Favila, Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images
The capital city of the Philippines has been drenched by heavy, deadly rainfall for 11 days now, beginning with the arrival of Typhoon Saola last week, leading to mudslides and extensive flooding. About 60 percent of Manila is currently flooded, and authorities are reporting 72 deaths so far. Nearly 850,000 remain stranded or displaced, as residents wait for a break in the downpour, predicted to begin on Thursday.
Who took that last picture?
killin’ it planned parenthood
Planned Parenthood, I love you so much for this. You have no idea.
Dear anyone who says it’s too complicated to account for non-binary genders in official capacities: LOOK, IT’S THIS FUCKING SIMPLE. Just let people write the damn things in.
I’m gonna reblog this whenever I see it.
This is not to say that Planned Parenthood hasn’t had some major fuckups RE trans issues in the past, including some recent ones. I think it varies from state to state.
I wish others would use this as an example. I advocated for a fill in the blank option on gender where I work and it hasn’t happened yet.
Non-profits, especially those that are government funded or privately funded, have to have 2 options only based on binary genders for funding purposes. So giving people an other option for certain non-profits would be damaging to funding because the gov/private funders doesn’t recognize anything outside male/female etc. Which is why donating to PP is important because it gives them the monetary leverage to do necessary things like this.
I work with a few non-profits that are government funded and funded through grants that “could” not and will not process their data and applications if it had anything other than male and female. It’s rough.
Everything about this is awesome.
“This is a painting I did for my little cousin who will soon be going through a bone marrow transplant. I hope that every time she looks at it she will feel brave and strong.”
OH MY GOODNESS
First of all whoever this cousin is, I wish her all the luck in the world. Second of all, OH MY GOSH CAN I HAVE THIS STORY.
this is making me teary-eyed it is so awesome :(
I was doing an interview once, and this guy goes, “So you must be pretty psyched about all this ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ stuff?”
And I was like, “Um, yeah, I am.” I have no idea why though. I had nothing to do with that movie. It’s just some people that kind of look like me are in this movie that everyone loves, and winning Oscars and stuff.
And then I was like, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Are white people just psyched all the time?” It’s, like, “‘Back to the Future’! That’s us! ‘Godfather’! That’s us! ‘Godfather Part II’! That’s us! ‘Departed’! That’s us! ‘Sunset Boulevard’! That’s us! ‘Citizen Kane’! That’s us! ‘Jaws’! That’s us! Every fucking movie but ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Boyz n the Hood’ is us! We are white people! Suck our dicks!”"