By Guest Contributor Cora Harrington, a.k.a. Treacle Tart, cross-posted from The Lingerie Addict
Photo of the author by POC Photo. Hair & Makeup: The Shanghai Pearl. Lingerie: Kiss Me Deadly.
Today’s post was really hard to write. I’ve been thinking about the things I’m about to say now for months, but it’s only become clear in the last few weeks they urgently need to be said.
I never know which articles people see first when they visit The Lingerie Addict, and we get a lot of new visitors everyday. So I’m going to say a few things which are probably obvious to my longtime readers but may be less obvious to visitors who are new or who don’t come around as much.
- I’m black.
- I’m a US dress size 10, bra size 34C.
- I weigh 175 lbs.
- I’m American.
I’m saying all that to give you a bit of context about who I am and the perspective I’m writing from because, for some time now, I feel like the conversation on diversity within the lingerie industry has been dominated by those who behave like diversity only matters along one axis–and that’s size.
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
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.”
by Guest Contributor Chally, originally published at Zero At the Bone
Katie Price, also known as Jordan, is a British TV personality and former model. I’m Australian, so I can’t claim to know much about her. The one solid thing I came into this piece knowing is that she is the subject of a lot of ire in the way only British tabloids can produce. Her eldest child, ten-year-old Harvey, was fathered by a former Trinidad and Tobago football player called Dwight Yorke, and is blind and autistic. You can see how this is going to go already.
In December 2010, a comedian called Frankie Boyle performed a routine on the UK’s Channel 4 poking fun at Katie Price through Harvey. It was pretty awful in a number of ways, but the bit I want to focus on is the following joke, which refers to Katie’s former relationship with Alex Reid: “I have a theory about the reason Jordan married a cage-fighter: she needed a man strong enough to stop Harvey from fucking her.” Continue reading
By Sexual Correspondent Andrea (AJ) Plaid
Well, this is a fine way for me to commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
I survived a young Black man raping me when I was five years old, and I’ve been subjected to decades of the stereotype of the Black male rapist and the racism behind it. So, this cartoon triply triggered my reaction.
I rubbed my hands. I walked away. I wanted to cry but couldn’t because I was at work when I clicked on the link. I shook inside, back to that frightened little girl who couldn’t possibly tell my mom the truth about what happened. (I eventually did, about a decade later.) I didn’t want to reflect on my experience—not like this.
But there it all was, splayed on my screen, demanding some sort of order, some sort of reason for it all. To deal with it. Again.
As does the cartoon itself. Why this scenario? Why these stereotypes? Why all the justifications—again? (Yes, the poster said it can’t be racist because the woman is green.)
I’d love to say this cartoon was aimed at me, a Black woman who survived a rape, but I may be a side audience for this. This cartoon’s intended audience is for people intent on holding onto their unchallenged notion of all Black men—as both capable and very willing to rape, even symbolically. And their victims are always stereotyped as that embodiment of all that is ideally and virtuously feminine in the US, white women. Even symbolically, such as the paragon of US freedom and rights, the Statue of Liberty. So, this cartoon is the wet dream—and dog whistle—to those folks who need to believe that a single Black man being president is using that power to rape “their” beloved country and the rights and entitlements this country (ostensibly) offers. Continue reading