October 27, 1979, 33 years ago today… St. Vincent & the Grenadines finally gained independence from Britain. Both of my parents were alive when this happened. While my father was in Canada at the time, my mother was still in St. Vincent and can vividly recall the celebrations that happened on that glorious day.
My father never had a Vincentian passport. His passport was a British one as a child. If he were to move back there today, he’d definitely have a Vincentian one.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY, ST. VINCENT!!!
Some pictures I took when I went there for Christmas:
When asked about the pay discrepancy between men and women in the workforce, Mitt Romney chose not to answer the question, and instead discussed how, “If you’re going to have women in the workforce,” businesses need to adjust to making schedule accommodations because women will come in late and need to leave early in order to do things like take care of the children and cook dinner.
This is a thing he said on a national broadcast of a public form in a country he is trying to get elected president of. He said it with no sense of irony or even awareness of how misogynistic he sounded.
He said it to a woman.
NO LISTEN, SERIOUSLY GUYS
- What you call “correct grammar” is a social construct which is useful to know specifically because people will equate it with your level of education when you are trying to, say, apply for jobs, or get a book published, or the like. It is otherwise mainly a tool to divide people with a certain level of education from people without.
- What you call “incorrect grammar” is colloquial language, it is the native English learned by that speaker during childhood, and it follows complex rules of its own. NO NATIVE SPEAKER OF ENGLISH SPEAKS BAD OR STUPID ENGLISH. THAT’S NOT HOW LANGUAGE WORKS.
- THEREFORE, when you call people on “incorrect grammar,” the effect is often that of drawing attention to speech patterns that are perceived as signifiers of a person’s social background or education level. It is particularly important to keep this in mind when you are addressing a person’s language when they are in a space where they feel more comfortable or safe, and thus might want to use their native grammar rather than the socially imposed standard.
I’m pretty sure that most of you don’t intentionally do that sort of thing, so you should probably be aware that that’s what you’re doing.
Sometimes I can’t tell whether I’m being an egoist, or if I have a justified desire for my thoughts to be considered and the people around me are just being assholes.
Found actually useful proportioning tutorial. The last third of it divided features up by gender. I now feel dysphoric as hell [and also, I know a lot of cis people who don’t fit those descriptions, dammit].
Also stop making fun of people who aren’t interested in improving, you can scroll straight past them and keep your mouth shut, okay? They’re not hurting you.
"I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited."Sylvia Plath (via theselittlewondersstillremain)
In like EVERY SINGLE MOVIE THAT’S NOT ENTIRELY BASED AROUND ROMANCE there’s a female character (if the main character is male) who’s only there for the purpose of ending up with the main character as a “reward” or whatever and she kisses the main character at the end and it happens ALL THE TIME AND IT’S THE WORST THING like IT ADDS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THE STORY AT ALL THERE IS NO POINT TO IT it’s just this thing that nobody cares about at the end and it’s all “CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE ACQUIRED A WOMAN” and it’s just really weird WHY DOES IT EVEN HAPPEN
I wanted my first-year film students to understand what happens to a story when actual human beings inhabit your characters, and the way they can inspire storytelling. And I wanted to teach them how to look at headshots and what you might be able to tell from a headshot. So for the past few years I’ve done a small experiment with them.Some troubling shit always occurs.
It works like this: I bring in my giant file of head shots, which include actors of all races, sizes, shapes, ages, and experience levels. Each student picks a head shot from the stack and gets a few minutes to sit with the person’s face and then make up a little story about them.
Namely, for white men, they have no trouble coming up with an entire history, job, role, genre, time, place, and costume. They will often identify him without prompting as “the main character.” The only exception? “He would play the gay guy.” For white women, they mostly do not come up with a job (even though it was specifically asked for), and they will identify her by her relationships. “She would play the mom/wife/love interest/best friend.” I’ve heard “She would play the slut” or “She would play the hot girl.” A lot more than once.
For nonwhite men, it can be equally depressing. “He’s in a buddy cop movie, but he’s not the main guy, he’s the partner.” “He’d play a terrorist.” “He’d play a drug dealer.” “A thug.” “A hustler.” “Homeless guy.” One Asian actor was promoted to “villain.”
For nonwhite women (grab onto something sturdy, like a big glass of strong liquor), sometimes they are “lucky” enough to be classified as the girlfriend/love interest/mom, but I have also heard things like “Well, she’d be in a romantic comedy, but as the friend, you know?” “Maid.” “Prostitute.” “Drug addict.”
I should point out that the responses are similar whether the group is all or mostly-white or extremely racially mixed, and all the groups I’ve tried this with have been about equally balanced between men and women, though individual responses vary. Women do a little better with women, and people of color do a little better with people of color, but female students sometimes forget to come up with a job for female actors and black male students sometimes tell the class that their black male actor wouldn’t be the main guy.
Once the students have made their pitches, we interrogate their opinions. “You seem really sure that he’s not the main character – why? What made you automatically say that?” “You said she was a mom. Was she born a mom, or did she maybe do something else with her life before her magic womb opened up and gave her an identity? Who is she as a person?” In the case of the “thug“, it turns out that the student was just reading off his film resume. This brilliant African American actor who regularly brings houses down doing Shakespeare on the stage and more than once made me weep at the beauty and subtlety of his performances, had a list of film credits that just said “Thug #4.” “Gang member.” “Muscle.” Because that’s the film work he can get. Because it puts food on his table.
So, the first time I did this exercise, I didn’t know that it would turn into a lesson on racism, sexism, and every other kind of -ism. I thought it was just about casting. But now I know that casting is never just about casting, and this day is a real teachable opportunity. Because if we do this right, we get to the really awkward silence, where the (now mortified) students try to sink into their chairs. Because, hey, most of them are proud Obama voters! They have been raised by feminist moms! They don’t want to be or see themselves as being racist or sexist. But their own racism and sexism is running amok in the room, and it’s awkward.
This for every time someone criticizes how characters of color and female characters of color especially are treated in text and by subsequent fandoms. It’s never “just a television/movie/book”. It’s never been ”just”.