Category Archives: humor

Awkward Black Girl’s No-pology to Transgender Fans and Allies

By Andrea (AJ) Plaid

If you’ve seen the latest episode of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (ABG), you probably caught J’s best friend Cece refer to White Jay’s ex as a “tr***y bitch in heels.” Or J’s co-worker Patty ask her if she’s “gay” because J cut her hair to a tweeny-weeny afro (TWA). Or J’s nemesis, Nina, asking her when did she “catch cancer” due to the new ‘do.

Some fans responded to the overt transphobic insult with an open letter on Crunk Feminist Collective Tumblr:

Dear Awkward Black Girl,

We love the show! We also love your continuous engagement with fans and your commitment to staying on the Web to maintain your vision. What we don’t love is the transmisogyny and misogyny in episode 11.

In episode 11, CeCe calls White Jay’s ex a “tra**y bitch in heels.” The word tra**y perpetuates violence and divisiveness amongst women by relying on the idea that trans women are not “real” women; it suggests that White Jay’s ex is somehow less than the main character J.

The word “tra**y” has a very real history of violence and discrimination, often targeting trans women. It has been used as a slur, as a way to objectify women, and as a way of denying the personhood of trans women on the basis of appearance.

We have seen your responsiveness to the fans of ABG and we hope that by raising this concern you will respond accordingly by not using such language in future episodes. There are so many awkward queer, trans, and disabled folks who love the show and it hurts to see and hear our lives used as punchlines. For those of us, the awkward black, queer folks who have lived at the intersections of our awkwardness, our blackness, and our transness, words like “tra**y” erase our lives, and our humanity. Phrases like “No lesbo” and the use of affected speech to imitate hard of hearing people detract from the vision of creating representations for the rest of us who are all too often maligned in mainstream media.

We look forward to many more episodes of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl that are hilarious without the use of marginalized groups as a punchline. We have confidence that you have the creativity to continue to push comedic boundaries in new ways and educate your audience in the process.

With fierce love,
alicia sanchez gill
Claire Nemorin
Moya Bailey
Kimberley Shults
Anonymous Awkward Others

Another tumblrer reblogged a tweet regarding the creators’ response to the Open Letter.

The initial Tumbl’d responses to this:

“This does not look promising.”

“hoping the response letter does not cause more pain.”

“well, shit. so much for finding a non-problematic show to love.”

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Since We’re Just Throwing The Word Around…

Wyatt Cenac breaks down racism in American geography, pointing out that Rick Perry’s dumb ass ranch is only the tip of our racially charged cartographic iceberg:

Stewart: Wyatt, what does this say about America?
Cenac: (yelling) It says there aren’t enough black people making maps!

That’s my new answer to everything.

Triple Awesome Score for the America the Beautiful remix. Lord, Wyatt’s going to make me start DVRing The Daily Show again…

Next week, we will discuss why it’s not just about the damn word, but I’m too burned from the week to do it now. Also, file under things to look up when we have time – why “fuck” is bleeped out on TV, but nigger is cool. I’ve been wondering that since the Chappelle’s Show, and then the Boondocks, so at some point, I need to get an answer.

Quoted: Jeff Yang on David Sedaris’ Anti-Chinese Racism

So look, David: Chinese people eat weird food. There is a saying that “Chinese will eat anything with its back to the sky,” and another that says “Chinese will eat anything with legs but a table and anything with wings but an airplane.” These are Chinese sayings, I might point out — a sign that Chinese aren’t exactly unaware that the “delicacies” that send prim Westerners to their fainting couches are a little off the beaten path.

But Chinese are far from the only culture that eats weird food, and fuck, given that you’re from North Carolina, have you looked at what American Southerners traditionally eat? No? Chitlins! Possum! Muskrat! Bull testicles! Oh wait, you’re from suburban Raleigh, so probably not, given that most of the more exotic dishes in Southern cuisine, like in many culinary traditions, was the offspring of necessity — invention midwived by destitution. If you’re hungry enough, rodents will start to look tasty, as will chicken claws, stray innards and balls. And once you’ve eaten them long enough, all these things evolve into nostalgic signifiers — especially after you’ve pulled yourself out of poverty. They go from things you have to eat all the time to things you choose to eat once in a while, to remind yourself you don’t have to eat them all the time.

And this is what’s truly ugly about your piece, David: For someone who’s spent a lot of your career puncturing middle-class aspiration and self-delusion, your essay is unpleasantly blind to the fact that all of China is just a few generations removed from dire, desperate want, and that many people, like the peasant family you had such a bad experience sharing a meal with, continue to subsist on an annual income that’s a tiny fraction of what a sophisticated awesome American literary superstar like you loses in his sofa. And in a country of 1.3 billion people, even having braised pig’s stomach to occasionally go with your daily rice is a fucking luxury.

–From David Sedaris Thinks Chinese People (and Food) Are Repulsive, Which Makes Me Sad, Because I Used to Like David Sedaris

The Black Zooey Deschanel Play Offs

by Guest Contributors Eddie and Ralph

Eastern Conference: The Thuggish Seductress Dream Girl
Starting Line Up: Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown

Nicki MinajIf the notion is that Zooey Deschanel is an unreal amalgam of white male fantasies, female rappers like Nicki Minaj may offer that for Black males.

  • The sexy female rapper who can outshine her male counterparts in guest verses.
  • She’s as gully as she is sexy, equally comfortable talking about selling blow and blowjobs.
  • Embodies a unique sexuality that is emulated by other women. In Nicki Minaj it’s a hyper-sexuality compared to the childlike sexuality of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
  • The Nicki Minaj catsuit could be a parallel to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s lens-free horn-rimmed glasses.

Western Conference: The Multi Culti World Wanderer
Starting Line Up: Rashida Jones, Maya Rudolph, Rosario Dawson

Rosario in Sin CityIf the notion is that she speaks primarily to the fantasies of Black males who aren’t into mainstream standards much in the same way that Zooey Deschanel fulfills the fantasies of indie rock loving, comic book reading White males.

  • They can play many different ethnicities, playing the girlfriends of both White and Black actors without it raising an eyebrow.
  • That ability to float in and out of a specific racial identity offers both the actress and her Black male admirers access into worlds where they may not normally feel represented. Rashida Jones is one of the few black actresses currently on a Thursday NBC sitcom. Jones and Rudolph were the only two people of color in the Beastie Boys “Make Some Noise” video.

  • In “I Love You Man” Rashida Jones character is named “Zooey.”
  • Both Dawson and Jones write comic books. Occult Crimes Taskforce and Frenemy of the State
  • Rashida Jones’ dad is Quincy Jones. Maya Rudolph’s mom is Minnie Riperton. They may not play ukulele but they have the master tapes of some amazing stuff.

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