‘Woman vs. Islamist’–Dueling Protests, Flag Switching, And Zero Sum Games

Libyan women at a protest in Benghazi. Via Associated Press.

By Guest Contributor Tasnim, cross-posted from Muslimah Media Watch

The last few weeks in Libya have been tragic, depressing, and hopeful by turn.  For months the militia situation in the country had been brewing, with increasing calls for disarmament and unification under a national army on the one hand and, on the other, calls for patience by those making the argument that the armed groups are needed to keep order and security. This simmering tension exploded on the 11th of September with the devastating attack on the US embassy, which took the life of the ambassador Chris Stevens, as well as other Americans and Libyans. As a Libyan myself, I was left enraged and speechless by the attack, and finally thankful that there was someone to articulate those feelings publicly on behalf of Libyans, as prime minister Mustafa Abushagur did in his article on the attack.

Initially there was some speculation about how far the attack was motivated by the protests against that obscure film, which is no longer so obscure, and how much it was a pre-planned terrorist attack. In the wake of the attacks, however, many people ascribed the blame to certain militias or factions of them, and so on Friday, there were two sets of protests in Benghazi–one called Save the Prophet and the other Save Benghazi, the latter drawing many more people in a march against the militias, including many women.

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WATCH: Fox News Sounds The Dog Whistle One More Time

This is not the way Obama talks. At least it is not the way he talked in the scores of speeches I’ve watched him give, the public appearances I’ve seen him make. This is a put on. This is phony.

- Tucker Carlson

Because we all know that when it comes to critiquing blackness, Tucker Carlson is your go-to guy.
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When Will The Media Start Portraying Black Women Without Betraying Them?

Lakesia Johnson’s new book Iconic highlights how negative stereotypes have followed black women from Sojourner Truth to Gabby Douglas, and shows how the black community can be among the worst perpetrators of negativity.

By Guest Contributor Tracey Ross

Recently, Lakesia Johnson, assistant professor at Grinell College, released her new book Iconic: Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman. Through her book, Johnson strives to demonstrate how black women throughout history have worked to counteract negative stereotypes placed on them–angry, emasculating, mammy, sex object–and reposition themselves to advance agendas for social change. She illustrates this by honing in on some of history’s most iconic figures–Sojourner Truth, Angela Davis, Alice Walker, and Michelle Obama, to name a few–and analyzes the imagery, interviews, film, literature, and music by and about these women. At times, Johnson seems to over-interpret some of the images she analyzes, offering deep meaning to what the eyes in a photograph might signal, but her work highlights the power that images of black women possess.

Throughout the book, a few important themes emerge. For instance, black women’s hair becomes a character of its own, from the “threatening” natural style of Angela Davis to the “peaceful” locks of Alice Walker to the “Afrocentric” braids and head wraps of Erykah Badu. Johnson believes these women’s intentionality with their looks helps direct their message towards their ultimate agendas. Another theme throughout is the idea that outside forces work to turn these “revolutionary” women into sexual objects, focusing on their beauty and appeal over their intellect in an attempt to diminish their power. Johnson covers lots of territory in only 128 pages, but the main contribution of her book is that it serves as a reminder that we need to do better by black women. Starting with the black community.

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Blacklava Lights Up Asian America For 20 Years

By Guest Contributor Ken Choy, cross-posted from Hyphen Magazine

Blacklava founder Ryan Suda

Blacklava has been a reliable support system for Asian America. If one has an indie film, she’d go to Blacklava to help promote it. If one wants to expand a business, t-shirts created by Blacklava is the obvious choice. And if non-profits and live events need more bandwidth, no wider audience is to be found than Blacklava’s. Throngs crowd around the company’s booth appearances at Comic-Con just as much as they do at the Nihonmachi Street Fair.

Originally geared toward the surfing community, Ryan Suda created his company 20 years ago. He segued into Asian American-focused items when he created the “Asian is Not Oriental” t-shirt and was continually asked, “Hey, where can I get one of those?” And since then, Blacklava has been a reliable source of support and socially conscious sustenance for the Asian American community. Throughout the years, Blacklava has partnered with the likes of AngryAsianManSan Diego Asian Film FestivalEast West PlayersNorthern California Cherry Blossom FestivalSecret Identities, and over 150 other collaborators–including our own Hyphen Magazine.

As he prepares to open a 20th Anniversary Exhibit in Downtown LA’s Hatakeyama Gallery which includes an Opening Night Gala, I caught up with the soft-spoken entrepreneur and philanthropist with a huge heart.

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An African Election: Premiere Night!

The public-media premiere for Jarreth Merz’s An African Election is finally here! So, what’s happening tonight?

As you may know, we’re really hyped about the people WGBH, Boston’s public TV station–in collaboration with Racialicious and the National Black Programming Consortium‘s (NBPC) AfroPoP.TV–scheduled to appear in-studio and on Skype to have a roundtable discussion about the  documentary and the issues regarding voting and democracy in both Ghana and the US:

That kicks off at 8PM EDT on PBS’ WORLD channel. We encourage you, Racializens, be a part of the Twitter discussion that’ll take place at the beginning of the panel. You just might have your pithy question or comment read on the air.

Then, at 8:30PM, the film rolls, and so does the live-tweeting! Please feel free to join the R (@racialicious) and (NBPC (@BLKPublicMedia) and our guest tweeters:

The hashtags for tonight are #AfricanElection and #AfroPoPTV.

See you in eight hours!

Related:

An African Election Podcast: Latoya Peterson with Barak Hoffman

An African Election Podcast: Latoya Peterson with Frankie Edozien

Women To Watch In Ghanaian Politics [An African Election]

An African Election: What American Women Can Learn From Ghanaian Feminists 

An African Election Tweet-Up: Ghanaian Women And The 2008 Election With Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

An African Election: African Feminisms With Minna Salami and Yaba Blay

What Votes Count? On Voter Fraud And Intimidation [An African Election]

The Right To Information: A Building Block Of Democracy [An African Election]

An African Election: Pan-Africanism and Ghana’s 2008 Election With Dr. James Peterson

An African Election: A 21st-Century Ghanaian Politics Primer With Dr. Benjamin Talton

An African Election‘s Jarreth Merz On African Stereotypes And Ghanaian Politics

An African Election Takes Over Racialicious

 

Quoted: Jen Wang On XOJane’s ‘I’m An Asian Woman’ Posts

First things first. I don’t give a f-ck who these women f-ck or, really, what any woman chooses to do with her own vagina. Because it’s her own vagina, get it? And because it’s her own vagina, she doesn’t need to justify what she does with it. It should go without saying that a woman can do whatever she wants with her own body. But when she feels the need to explain why she does what she does with it, which is what these posts boil down to for me, she’s just playing into this very old and very male idea that a woman needs to justify what she does with her own body because, ultimately, she doesn’t have authority over, I repeat, her own body. Sound familiar? It should (see: “the war on women”).

The other problem with these posts is that they put race and gender at odds with one another, like they have this mutually exclusive relationship, and you have to choose one or the other to have some kind of cohesive identity. If you believe An’s argument–which she later backpedaled on, calling it “a character” designed to provoke discussion–as an Asian woman, in order to reject “patriarchy and cultural sexism,” you have to be a racist dick and hate your people.

–From “I’m An Asian Woman And I Think Blog Posts Defining That Identity By Who Someone Like Me Would Or Wouldn’t Date Are Bullshit,” at Disgrasian