A Halfbreed's Reasoning: The Annual Halloween PSA to Moniyaw Who Didn't Learn Last Year,
For the most part I have been staying out of the ‘native’ tags on Tumblr because they give me a migraine, but I ventured there and it was a dark pit of racist despair. Then I thought to myself, “why in hell is there such an influx of dumb ass people?” then I remembered, “oh yeah, Halloween.” That special time of year where NDNs everywhere grit their teeth and close the blinds, because it’s just a matter of time before you see some person with a chicken feather headdress and acrylic war paint smeared across their rosy cheeks. Now, dear, Moniyaw, I want to veer away from the usual “wow that’s really racist and disrespectful you really shouldn’t put on that faux buckskin bustier and buy that plastic tomahawk” and I really want you to look at the picture of this woman:
Take a good, long look into her eyes.
Now I want you to look at these women:
The first image of a murdered Saulteux woman named Pamela George, she was dispossessed of her land in Saskatchewan and moved into Regina where she worked as a sex worker to provide for her children. She was brutally sexually asaulted and murdered by two white college aged males. Those other women? Those are some of the missing and murdered Indigenous women who have been assaulted and murdered on the streets of Vancouver. Not pictured here, is a Cree woman who the news papers called ‘A Squaw named Rosalie’. She is another Native woman who was murdered by a white guy.
Now, what do the tragic murders of these women have to do with your Halloween costume?
You see, when you dress up as this:
or even this:
You are not only being disrespectful and racist, you are aiding in the sexualization and devaluing of Native women’s bodies. This is a stereotype Indigenous women have been battling since contact. The bodies of Indigenous women have been Settler men’s playgrounds for centuries, not because Indigenous women wanted it, but because of the power they exerted/exert over us. Historically, governments would withhold rations for reserves until they obtained access to the bodies of Native women, the Northwest Mounted Police (pre:RCMP police force in Canada) would turn their backs when Indigenous women would tell them what was happening, sometimes even exploiting starving families for their own access. You see, the sexualization and devaluing of Indigenous women has been a ploy for dispossession and domination by the Settler-Colonial state in order to gain access to our lands, our resources and destroy our communities. The branding of Indigenous women as ‘whores’, ‘licentious’, ‘squalid’ aided in the formation of the stigma and stereotypes that still haunt and influence the everyday lives of Native women. These costumes are a continuation of this. These costumes are a product of this ideology: the same ideology that allowed white men to have their way with Native girls since the 19th Century. When you put your body into the costume, the identity, of a ‘sexy Indian princess’ you are perpetuating the same idea, you are aiding in the continued sexualization of Indigenous women, the same devaluing. This devaluing of the bodies of Native women is what allowed the murderers of Pamela George to be given a minimum sentence, because they were young white men with a future, and she was nothing but a ‘Native prostitute’. This perpetuation of this ‘squalid squaw’ stereotype, is the reason that those missing and murdered women go unrecognised and unoticed by the general public and the cops that were supposed to protect them. When you wear these costumes, there are real life consequences that effect the lives of Indigenous women everywhere. When you put on those costumes, you are allowing the continued dispossession domination, assault, sexualization, disrespect, racialization, and colonization of Indigenous women and Indigenous communities.
All I am asking you, dear fellow Halloween-goer, is to think critically before you wear your costume. And if you choose to wear your racist costume, when someone calls you out on it, listen. Even if you think it is ruining your night to sit there and listen to a person tell you why you are hurting them. Because I can guarantee that they only ruined your night, but you ruined so much more.
Lifetime rate of rape /attempted rape for women by race:1
- All women: 17.6%
- White women: 17.7%
- Black women: 18.8%
- Asian Pacific Islander women: 6.8%
- American Indian/Alaskan women: 34.1%
- Mixed race women: 24.4%
The rate of rape for indigenous women is just horrifying. This is proooobbbably why you shouldn’t be sexualizing their native dress and wearing it as a Halloween costume. It’s a fucking spit in the face.
“To all those who don’t think the rape joke was a problem, or rape jokes are a problem.
I get it, you’re a decent guy. I can even believe it. You’ve never raped anybody. You would NEVER rape anybody. You’re upset that all these feminists are trying to accuse you of doing something or connect you to doing something that, as far as you’re concerned, you’ve never done and would never condone.
And they’ve told you about triggers, and PTSD, and how one in six women is a survivor, and you get it. You do. But you can’t let every time someone gets all upset get in the way of you having a good time, right?
So fine. If all those arguments aren’t doing anything for you, let me tell you this. And I tell you this because I genuinely believe you mean it when you say you don’t want to hurt anybody, and you don’t see the harm, and that it’s important to you to do your best to be a decent and good person. And I genuinely believe you when you say you would never associate with a rapist and you think rape really is a very bad thing.
Because this is why I refuse to take rape jokes sitting down-
6% of college age men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act.
6% of Penny Arcade’s target demographic will admit to actually being rapists when asked.
A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?
They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.
Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.
If one in twenty guys is a real and true rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, really cool guy, then it is almost a statistical certainty that one time hanging out with friends and their friends, playing Halo with a bunch of guys online, in a WoW guild, or elsewhere, you were talking to a rapist. Not your fault. You can’t tell a rapist apart any better than anyone else can. It’s not like they announce themselves.
But, here’s the thing. It’s very likely that in some of these interactions with these guys, at some point or another someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that they didn’t mean it, and it was just a joke. And so you laughed.
And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed?
That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.
You. The rapist’s comrade.
And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, if that doesn’t make you want to throw up, if that doesn’t disturb you or bother you or make you feel like maybe you should at least consider not participating in that kind of humor anymore…
Well, maybe you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim.”
This is the article I send to people who don’t see the problem with rape jokes.
Look at you, all figuring shit out on your own.
Yes, “friendzone” is part of rape culture because it’s predicated on the idea that a woman is deliberately withholding something or punishing a man by not returning his sexual interest.
Which is based on the commodification of female sexuality wherein if a man “pays” through attention, “kindness,” status, etc. then he’s owed recompense in the form of a woman’s submission.
Which traces straight back to the idea that every woman, every woman’s body, every woman’s being, is or should be available to any man do with as he pleases.
Which is itself the very backbone of rape culture.
I am not in the habit of cut-tagging my crankiness, but in this case, I will, because I’m going to be discussing the sexual abuse of women, and I try not to be triggery when I don’t have to be. This is your notification, and your warning.
This bronze monument dubbed the Peace Statue was erected by and commemorates the 200,000 Korean “comfort women” who were forced to provide sexual services to Japanese soldiers during WWII. The statue sits outside of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, silently confronting the government who has failed to issue a proper apology to the survivors of the sexual abuse.
I’ve never seen this photo before, where she’s wearing the winter clothes someone bundled her in to keep her warm.
There are only 63 of the original group of women left. Originally estimates held their numbers at anywhere from 20,000 to as many as 410,000. The oldest of them died in December 2011 at age 97. The senior member is 93 now, Seon said. Time for an apology is running out.
In October 2006, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made another apology but on the same day it was followed by a group of 80 Japanese lawmakers’ visit to the Yasukuni Shrine which enshrined more than 1000 convicted war criminals.  Two years after the apology, Shinzo Abe also denied that the military had forced comfort women into sexual slavery during World War II .
The comments and downvotes on this are depressing.
Save Wiyabi Project
“Wiyabi” is Assiniboine for “Women”. This project is dedicated to bringing awareness to the epidemic of sexual and domestic violence towards Native American women. In the United States, Native women are more likely to be raped and physically assaulted than any other group. We encourage you to support the Re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the SAVE Native Women Act.
You can now follow us on Twitter at @SaveWiyabi and on Facebook at Facebook.com/Save.Wiyabi.Project
Kate Spencer: Today A Man Touched Me On The Subway And So I Hit Him
I’m writing this on the R train as it rattles slowly along toward Brooklyn. I’m headed to pick up my 6-month-old daughter. I’m writing because I’m still reeling from what occurred on the Times Square subway platform a few moments ago. I was walking to the end of the station as I always do. I saw a man, a stout, balding, nondescript looking troll, staring at me as I walked toward him. I watched as he slowly extended his arm and fingers, in particular his pinky finger, so it would make contact with me as I walked by. I’m wearing a skirt. It all happened quickly, in seconds, as these things always do, and sure enough as I passed him his hand jutted out and stroked my thigh. Without thinking I turned around and hit him as hard as I possibly could. I didn’t even stop walking, nor did I say anything. I did turn around to look at him as I hit him, and his face was one of shock but not of surprise. He knew why I had hit him; he just couldn’t believe he hadn’t gotten away with it.
Ive been sexually harassed so many times since my adolescence that I’ve lost count, but I’ve never reacted like that before. Normally I think, process, choose my words. There was no brain power that went into the decision to smack this asshole; it was pure instinct. As I headed away from him I immediately regretted not verbalizing my anger and yelling at him too, but I imagine that choice was instinctive as well. Besides, I think he got the message.
I am not someone who condones violence. But I’m so tired of my safety and personal space being invaded over and over again. I am a 32-year-old woman. I am a mother. I am not someone you can fondle without my consent because you feel like it, nor is any other girl or woman. Not my friends. Not my daughter.
When I’ve explained sexual harassment to men in the past I’ve been struck at their confusion over why it is a big deal. How is someone whistling at you threatening, they ask? Here is what they don’t understand. Those moments, which may seem insignificant and small, create an unsafe environment in which women are forced to live. Last month, after I yelled at some men in a car who made kissing noises at me, I was terrified to then walk down a quiet downtown street out of fear that they’d circle around in their car and hurt me. These moments force us to operate in a state of fear. They define who is in control and who can have their control taken away. And I’m so fucking tired of it that I’m starting to snap. I’m now hitting people. Because as much as I want to believe my daughter will not have to live with this same fear 10, 20, 30 years from now, I know that she will. And nothing makes me more sick to my stomach.
Comic Con Pervs: So why this is A Thing
As with anything on the Internet, I suspect there will be someone out there that will be, for lack of a better word, butthurt about my little endeavor here. So I figure I’ll explain myself here, and also to people who don’t understand what it is I mean when I make reference to Comic Con Pervs, because they’ve never been to a con.
So, REAL TALK:
I started going to Comic Con in 5-6 years ago. My boyfriend and I are exhibitors. Let me set the stage for those of you who have never been: it takes place every year in the San Diego Convention Center. The hall is enormous. It’s cavernous and dark and dank and cold, and each year I fear a catastrophic earthquake that will result in tens of thousands of people in various costumes trampling each other to death in an attempt to escape the collapsing roof. If you’re claustrophobic or agoraphobic, you will not survive. It’s thousands and thousands of people (I need an accurate number for the hall’s capacity but I think it’s over 20,000) milling about in congested aisles as they peruse toys, comic books, get autographs, test new video games and so forth.
So something that’s big is, yes, costumes. It goes beyond dudes dressed as Batman (though rest assured, there are a shitload of those dudes), and the ladies get in on the act. It’s like Halloween. For four days. Why not, right? Besides, if you want to be a random chick from that obscure anime that came out 6 years ago for Halloween, no one might get it. But, if you take that costume to Comic Con, you’ll not only be recognized, but your taste will be validated by people taking your photo or congratulating you. From that comes a sense of community, and it’s fun for me to watch from behind my table.
But this is where the pervs come in— Take for instance, the Sailor Moon cosplayer I saw the first year. She was quite cute and her skirt was the appropriate length (read: tiny as hell) for the character. Someone stopped her in the aisle as I was walking back to my table, and snapped a photo. She smiled warmly and turned to walk away in front of me. I suddenly became aware of two guys quickly shuffle up behind her, stick their camera phones underneath her skirt, take photos, and disappear. I whipped my head around in shock but by the time I turned towards her, she was gone in the crowd. “Holy shit,” I thought, “what creeps”. Except that wasn’t the only time that happened. No man, that happened over and over all day, every day. I saw it in various places— the most blatant thing I saw were guys sitting on the floor training video cameras up the steep, steep escalator in the front, undoubtedly zooming in when a girl in a short skirt rode up. There are thousands of people shoulder to shoulder milling about that hall, so there’s plenty of time for someone to train their iphone or digital camera on your ass while you’re facing the other direction.
I’ve said things to guys before, but they typically act like they don’t hear me and duck away. My boyfriend reminded me of the time I loudly started yelling at some guys for pulling the upskirt-camera-trick on an unsuspecting girl while we were waiting for a trolly to pass outside the convention center. They basically ran away in fright.
And, in case you’re one of those people who wants to pull the “they’re asking for it” card, fuck that. Would I wear a short skirt in a crowd? No. Not anymore; I’ve been groped in public by a stranger when I did. That happened years ago, and I learned you can’t trust other people not to be assholes. I didn’t ask for that anymore than a girl in a costume at the convention—whether she’s paid to be there to promote something or is there as an attendant— is asking a mouth-breather she doesn’t know to stick a flipcamera up her skirt and take grainy photos to spank it to later.
I just think that it’s time for someone to catch the dudes in the act. If they’re too pathetic to make eye contact with a woman but will sneak up behind her and take a photo of her ass, or “accidentally” touch her there, then there’s no reason in the world why I shouldn’t take a photo of them in the act and post it publicly. You can’t get away with that shit at the mall, so why should you get away with it at a comic convention?
To paraphrase Uncle Ben: “With a great cameraphone comes great responsibility.” Nerds, you know better! Behave or it’ll be your pasty face on this tumblr!
Those of you with appropriate social skills that are going to SDCC, join me, won’t you? Let’s shame the hell out of some dudes; if you catch shady behavior, you can submit it here.
I love this.
Women don’t deserve being subjected to unauthorized panty shots. But you know what? The assholes who take those pictures do deserve to be called out and exposed for the creepers they are. They’re the reason why women feel uncomfortable at cons, and why so many of us are suspicious of any unknown guy who speaks to us.
After Dragon*Con last year, a lot of reports were posted on the LJ community by women who were sexually harassed or assaulted by other people. And sure, some of them were probably football fans, but a lot of them were con-goers, too. Being a sports fan and being an objectifying pig aren’t mutually exclusive; there are just as many inappropriately pervy nerds as there are gentlemanly nerds.
I’ve had inappropriate, nonconsensual photos taken of me before––notably, at my first con. When I was 19 years old. The guys in my 501st garrison, who barely knew me at the time, contacted the jerk who posted the photo and had him remove it, but it’s still probably up there in the cloud somewhere. I’ve played interference for friends, standing between them and the pervy photographers. I’ve been groped in public, by people of both sexes. I rarely go anywhere without a friend or handler when I’m wearing certain costumes.
I’m not sure if this perv-catching blog will really change the con culture as a whole—I doubt it will even though I hope it does—but at least it’ll let us know who to avoid.
Last year at Dragon*Con was so bad that my friends and I made a group decision to not wear our Hogwarts uniforms on Saturday night when we were going to, because they ping the classic “hot schoolgirls” part of the brain that, over the years, I have found to be the worst of the worst in costuming, as far as perv-magnetry is concerned (of the things I’m willing to wear at Con, that is; I’m never going to do anything that makes me feel like I’m walking around in my underwear, no matter how good of shape I’m in). There were incidents of girls getting grabbed; a friend of mine was followed into an elevator and up to her floor because she was dressed in a spandex superhero outfit and some asshole decided incorrectly that it gave him the right to stalk her to her room.
I am all for a blog devoted to calling that shitty behavior out. Nearly all the women go to Con to have fun and if they’re cosplaying they’re doing it because they love the character, not because they want some disgusting freak to come and grab them on an escalator or to take an upskirt photo of her. People that harass others at Con should get their Con badges taken away and escorted off the premises.