links for 2010-10-02

  • "A version of this narrative played out last week when journalist Sarah Harris released a documentary titled Prostitutes of God in four installments on Vice Magazine's VBS.tv site. In Harris's documentary, she interviews Hindu sex workers in India about their work and their lives. The only problem is that the people she talked to say that what's on the screen isn't their lives. The film has, in fact, been condemned as racist and condescending by the very people that it's supposed to show compassion for. Sampada Gramin Mahila Sanstha (SANGRAM) and Veshya AIDS Mukabala Parishad (VAMP), two organizations that provide peer counseling and education for sex workers, have released an open letter condemning the film as a betrayal of people who trusted her and a distortion of their words."
  • "A couple problems with this stance. For starters, people don't hold the 'savage Indian' stereotype in isolation. They don't think, '[First Nations people] are Plains chiefs and warriors, but other than that I draw no conclusions about them. I'm completely neutral about Indians except for how I envision their appearance.'

    "The so-called mental map is part of a continuum of beliefs and values. If you have one stereotypical view of [First Nations people], you're likely to have others. Whoever has educated you–your parents, your schools, the media, society–has linked these stereotypical views into an overall perspective."