I am so tired of seeing female characters getting raped, beaten, and killed—all for titillation or to move along a male character’s arc. Call her the Manic Pixie Dead Girl.
Or ‘raped girl’, for that matter. I won’t be watching the new season of [SPOILER] because I found out that a major female character will be sexually assaulted. It’s become impossible to enjoy most quality television shows because the hurt or endangered women device is so frequently used. And if a character is pregnant, forget it—you pretty much know she’s a goner.
Yes, dead or harmed women in television is nothing new. There are entire series dedicated to the practice (I’m looking at you, SVU!). But lately, I’ve just found it too…stressful. I watch my favorite female characters with my heart in my throat, just waiting for the inevitable to happen. Women have to fear and anticipate violence and sexual assault in their everyday real life—I don’t want to fear for it in my entertainment as well. It’s bad for my soul.
Edgar Allan Poe once wrote, “The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.” Too many male writers and directors buy into this narrative. But I don’t have to."
Life happens around food. This is a show about that. We’re simple and kind of sassy. Help us fund Season 2!
Let me tell you about a thing.
I write for a web series called ‘Bite Sized’ and we’re gearing up to do a second season (if you haven’t, you can watch season one in about 20 minutes at bitesizedseries.com). Like most web series, we need some help to get going!
But why should you donate? Well, I’ll explain. At first glance, Bite Sized might strike some as a cute and funny little show that stars only cis white actors a la GIRLS. At first glance, you’d be correct. HOWEVER.
However. As a staff writer, I’ve been bumped up from season one to a head writer position, and now we’re really aiming to change all that. Our goals for Season Two are to incorporate way more diversity in terms of race and sexuality and really explore those areas of privilege in a short, funny, and honest way. Some themes from the second season include: erasure of bisexuality, white privilege, the strange post-grad-figuring-stuff-out period from different economical points of view, casual/hipster racism, feminism, the politics of popular fandoms (ie what it’s like to be harassed as a gamer/comic book fan because you’re a woman), and, naturally, FOOD.
The episodes are so short, but I think we’re really going to have some great material that will appeal to more than just the GIRLS-y audience that season one seemed to connect with. I’m very excited to have the freedom to explore these topics with the other writers (who are all women) this season, but we need your help to get there.
If this interests you as a series, PLEASE donate if you can — and if not, I would absolutely appreciate a signal boost!!
SIGNAL BOOST PLZ
Dying right now.
I cannot believe this got so many notes. But this is the continuation.
THIS WOMAN IS MY NEW HERO.
When the Internet gives you lemons, make lemonade.
This is such a righteous post that I am happy I stayed up late. I will probably still regret going to school on 5hrs of sleep, but then I’ll just think of this and not give a damn.
My faverouite person ever.
My god, the level of sass.
"Getting a Job: Is there a Motherhood Penalty?" American Journal of Sociology, 2007 (via checkprivilege)
The answer to the question is yes.
A virulently anti-Islam movie trailer sparked widespread protests across the Arab world and may have caused the death of a U.S. ambassador. But the truth about Islam is anything but hateful, writes Olga M. Davidson.
September 13, 2012
1. Allah is not a name of a god. It is the Arabic word God, with a capital G, referring to the very same god that Christians and Jews worship. If you want to be very literal-minded it means “the god” because it is the definitive of the word “god” (ilah or ilāh), and if one adds the definitive article (al) it become Allah (Allāh, actually but let’s not quibble). In Farsi, God is called khodah—as in French, God is called Dieu, etc.
2. Mohammad isn’t a god. According to Islam, Mohammad is the final prophet, or messenger of God. He isn’t worshipped, since he isn’t God or an avatar of God. His example is emulated, but he is considered a real person, who eats, sleeps, loves, and so on. Islam has many prophets before Mohammad, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus and arguably Mary, because she spoke with God. Mohammad is just a man; progeny of human beings. In the Qur’ān it is clearly stated that God is neither begotten nor begets (lam yalid wa lam yūlad)
3. Speaking of Mary, mother of Jesus … she is considered to be among the finest of women and there is an entire surah, or chapter in the Qur’ān, entitled Maryam, the Arabic form of Mary. She is emulated because of her unwavering faith in God and her supreme spirituality. She becomes pregnant with Jesus, though a virgin, because God can do anything, but God is not considered to be the father.
4. Mohammad was not a womanizer. He married a widow, Khadijah, and was singularly devoted to her until she died. She left him with Fatima, their daughter. Upon her death, Mohammad did not want to remarry but was urged to do so by his followers. His subsequent marriages were primarily to form alliances with his nearest and dearest as well as with more remote followers. In the Sunni tradition, Aishah, daughter of Abu Bakr, was considered to be his favorite wife. She was married to him at a very early age and was consequently raised by him and was his only virgin bride. Her tender age was considered to be normal at the time, but marriages are not consummated until the bride has menstruated, just as in Game of Thrones. His other wives were either widows or divorcées. Mohammad wanted to form a tribe or ummah that was connected through faith, as opposed to blood ties. As this tribe grew, consolidating it through marriage ties was politically prudent. At the time, polygamy at was the norm in Arab tribal society and marrying widows and divorcées was a noble thing to do.
5. Women aren’t sold into marriage. Marriage and divorce in Islam have been greatly misunderstood. In Islam, marriage is a contract, not an oath. The groom has to give the bride a dowry to make the contract valid, and that dowry is for her and her alone to use as she wishes. Hence, her father or uncle or brother does not sell her. Unlike her Christian and Jewish sisters at the time, Muslim women could own property. As for divorce, it is not as simple as making a public declaration. Because marriage is a contract, dowry negotiations are taken very seriously; half the dowry is given at the marriage, while the second half has to be given if the bride asks for it or if the marriage is terminated through no fault of the bride. Furthermore, the groom needs to answer to the bride’s family of he wishes to terminate the contract. A bride can terminate the marriage if her husband is impotent or abusive; if he is an alcoholic or drug abuser; if he forces her to abandon her faith or act in a way that she deems as abandoning her faith; or if he disappears for over a year. Marriage as contract, not an oath, is are meant to be fluid, and if a couple is not happy in living together, they can part from each other, remarry and continue to live normal lives.
6. Mohammad was not illiterate. The word Qur’ān means recitation, coming from the root q-r-‘, which means primarily to recite or declaim and then to read. If Mohammad is said to be illiterate, that is to underscore the importance of the spoken word, not the written word. The angel Gabriel gave the command form of q-r-’, saying iqra’ , which means “recite!” in Arabic, when he transmitted the message of God as opposed to having something written on tablets. That is why memorizing the Qur’ān is so valued. Under Uthman, who was caliph from 644-656, the Qur’ān became a fixed text, as in it was written down as a finalized text and has not changed since. The style of the Qur’ān in Arabic is rhymed prose, so it is easier to memorize and is considered to be inimitable. The physical book as called a maṣḥaf (pronounced as maṣ-ḥaf), which means pages between two covers or a volume, but the value of those pages is in the recitation. When the Qur’ān became mass-produced, recitations of it were considered extremely reliable, to the great surprise of European editors.
7. You can’t be a Muslim if you don’t want to be. Contrary to the misnomer, “Islam or the Sword!”, the Qur’ān is quite clear about not forcing anyone to convert. Conversion must be done through the heart. It is simple because one just has to pronounce, with sincere intention, the shahida: lā ilāh ilā allāh wa muhammad rasūlu’llāh ( “there is no god but God and Mohammad is his messenger”) three times in front of credible witnesses. Hence one comes to Islam from pure intention as opposed to being schooled by a priest, minister or rabbi.
8. You are unlikely to meet 72 virgins in heaven. The Qur’ān says nothing about 72 virgins waiting for you in heaven. Heaven is described, among other things, as the opposite of the harsh desert, hence it is verdant with the river or body of water, Kawthar, and filled with hūr al ayn, which means “ones with eyes that are very dark around the pupil”—a sign of true beauty. The concept of 72 virgins comes from outside of the Qur’ān.
9. Non-Muslims are not infidels. Christians and Jews—also Zoroastrians, for that matter—are considered to be ahl al kitāb or “people of the book,” because they are monotheists, and Islam is strictly monotheistic. References to infidels in the Qur’ān usually have to do with the Quraishi of Mecca, Mohammad’s own tribe, because they tried to kill him and destroy his following. Same would go for any Christian or Jewish tribe with the same intent.
Olga Merck Davidson earned her Ph.D. in 1983 from Princeton University in Near Eastern Studies. She is on the faculty of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, Boston University, where she has served as Research Fellow since 2009. From 1992 to 1997, she was Chair of the Concentration in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University. Since 1999, she has been Chair of the Board, Ilex Foundation.She is the author of two books: Poet and Hero in the Persian Book of Kings (Cornell University Press: Ithaca, 1994; 2nd ed. Mazda Press: Los Angeles, CA, 2006) and Comparative Literature and Classical Persian Poetry, Bibliotheca Iranica: Intellectual Traditions Series (Mazda Press: Los Angeles, CA, 2000), both of which have been translated into Persian and distributed in Iran.
Copyright © 2012 The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC.
[Image: Indian Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Shahi Jama Masjid Mosque in the Walled City of Ahmedabad on August 20, 2012. (© Sam Panthaky, AFP/Getty Images)]
THIS IS REALLY COOL AND EASY TO READ
thank you for catering to my ignorance and making me less so <3
never judge a religion by its lunatic fringe.
Most marriages during the time this was written were contracts. I find it strange that anyone could call Mohammed a womanizer when Abraham had like, ninety wives.
This is really great information and I learned a lot of new things. Thank you!
This is my son, Chester, who is nearly 4. He was invited to his friend Chloe’s birthday party today, the theme was prince and princesses. He asked if he could go as Sleeping Beauty, so I bought him a dress and put a cute little clip in his hair.
We arrived at the party to the following comments from the adults present:
“Oh that is just cruel.”
"Why did you make him wear a dress?"
"Poor little man, what’s your mummy playing at?"
"He’s going to hate you when he grows up."
"No way I’d let my son dress like a girl."
The fact is, Chester is almost completely gender neutral. I let him wear what he wants, be it boys or girls clothes, and he plays with whatever toys he likes. This usually involves him holding tea parties while wearing his pink Minnie Mouse top, jeans and a tiara. The guests are more often than not a mixture of Winnie The Pooh characters, dinosaurs, Barbie, Dora and solders, and they’re usually transported in his favorite fire engine.
When my husband arrived at the party later on, he was subjected to endless ridicule from the other dad’s present about how I must keep his balls in my back pocket because otherwise he would have put his foot down and not allowed Chester out like that. Oh, and by the way, our other son dressed as Ariel. When my husband pointed out that the boys were happy, and the mother of the birthday child made a point of saying how wonderful she thought it was that we allowed them freedom of choice and expression, they then stopped talking about it to our faces and started muttering about us behind our backs.
Interestingly enough, not a single child said a word about their choice of costumes, other than to compliment Chester on his new dress.
so you’re telling me there’s an alien who regenerates into a completely random form, that he cannot control or determine himself, and who understandably could take millions of different appearances, but who all 13 times just turned into a different skinny white guy
in which amandla’s twitter is better than all twitter
Omg how old is she?! Too young to be so perfect.
The powerful ending to Janelle Monae’s (and Erykah Badu’s) song “Q.U.E.E.N.” The acronym: Queer. Untouchables. Emigrants. Excommunicated. Negroid.
In the aftermath of George Zimmerman’s acquittal on all charges related to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the continued racial profiling of young black men has become even bigger news than usual. On Tuesday, Essence Magazine launched a social media campaign called #HeIsNotASuspect to challenge the negative images of young black men in the media. Its aim is to end racial profiling by targeting the often unacknowledged victims of violence targeted at young black men: the black mothers, grandmothers, aunties, sisters, and girlfriends who are often left behind to pick up the pieces.
So far, the campaign has unearthed beautiful images and declarations of love. Check them out after the jump.
that black mothers even have to do this is fucking WRECKED
brown parent love is dangerously self-sacrificial. and it will leave you feeling horribly inadequate as a product of that love.
I mean whoa.
Here’s the thing: I have brown parents. And I have never, NEVER even considered for a second that this was a thing until right now. BUT IT IS A THING. It’s so so so so real and this person put into words what I have felt but was not even fully aware I was feeling?
I need to process a lot of feelings after reading this. Um. Okay.
TRIGGER WARNING: misogynoir, violence, harassment, sexual abuse, rape.
@HoodFeminism (which is @Karnythia's and @thewayoftheid's work) hosted a Twitter discussion regarding the stereotype of “fast tailed girls” that Black girls deal with primarily during adolescence, but certainly starts before that for many Black girls and continues well into adulthood (i.e. the Jezebel controlling image). I put many of the tweets shared in this discussion in a Storify: #FastTailedGirls: Examining The Stereotypes and Abuse That Black Girls Face though a few are included above.
"Fast tailed" girls: Black girls stereotyped as “hypersexual” beings and seeking sex whether or not they are sexually active. This stereotype is proliferated in the home (especially by some mothers and older women), within the Black community (i.e church, socially; especially by the Black men who abuse and by some Black male leaders who want this silenced) and amidst society itself (i.e. schools, media; because of racism and White supremacist notions of womanhood). These Black girls are viewed: as “adult” women “asking” for abuse,” as responsible for the abuse that primarily adult Black men inflict on them or coerce them into and often inflict without punishment let alone blame from the Black community (as “protecting” Black men from racism often takes precedence over any other intraracial issue); as providing consent simply by experiencing puberty (or not even experiencing puberty); as automatically heterosexual; as automatically culpable for any street harassment, physical violence, sexual violence or emotional abuse that they experience. A Black girl with confidence who speaks up for herself, wants to express her femininity visually, has a normal interest in boys, gets unwanted attention from adult men, and/or has male friends can easily be labeled as such. This stereotype sits in a binary opposed to “respectable" Black girls while both "types" of Black girls are regularly abused. It is the hatred of Blackness, womanhood and childhood (or rejection of a period of childhood actually existing for Black girls) intersecting in this dangerous stereotype.
Though difficult of course, this conversation was so important and I am grateful to Hood Feminism for their presence, in general, and for this conversation, specifically. It is important to discuss how within and outside of our communities internalizing the hateful messages about Blackness, womanhood and Black womanhood specifically has caused so much harm, much irreversible. What can change is how we think about ourselves as Black women, meaning ending shaming and ending buying into patriarchal binaries about Black girls and Black women while simultaneously protecting abusers. Have open conversations about how patriarchal masculinity is literally killing men, Black men in particular, and how while it is true that they are very much so oppressed via race, as all Black people are, they are also oppressors of Black women. Black women also support this structure when abusers are defended and protected and our truths and experiences are silenced by other Black women and anyone else among Black people; that has to end. Deconstructing and rejecting the way that racism, White supremacy, anti-Blackness and sexism create this stereotype for Black girls, ones that impact them inside and outside of the Black community.
The abuse has to end. The education has to be received. The compassion has to be shared. The unlearning has to commence. The truth has to be spoken, even if at 140 characters at a time. Even if in small groups and in supermarket aisles and schools and churches and anywhere. Black girls deserve better than this. Black women deserve more than the pain of the memories of abuse and the fear that another generation of Black girls will experience the same.
- #FastTailedGirls: Examining The Stereotypes and Abuse That Black Girls Face - this is my Storify mentioned above; includes many tweets (including some of mine) by Black women who spoke out; includes tweets from a trans woman of colour (@HarmonyBabydoll) who added an important dimension to this conversation.
- The Myth of “Fast Black Girls” by @LexiScorsese - inspired this conversation
- Hood Feminism blog
- Misogyny, In General vs. Anti-Black Misogyny (Misogynoir), Specifically
- Black Men and Patriarchy, Intraracial Sexism and Misogynoir (multiple essays listing)
- Abuse Culture: Domestic Violence, Rape, Body Dehumanization and Street Harassment (multiple essays listing)
- Patricia Hill Collins’ books: Black Feminist Thought and Black Sexual Politics speaks to the roots of this stereotype.
- Womanism, Black Feminism and Race In Feminist Discourse (Updated) (multiple essays listing)
Keep learning, growing and healing. ❤
(Please leave content above intact if you reblog. Please take care before adding any comments to this post. It is very serious and very painful for many Black women. Victim blaming and statements supporting rape culture are unwelcome here by people who think they have a “right” to harm us because this conversation occurred publicly. Please be respectful.)
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