Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: race

From Miss Saigon to Miss America: Policing Asian Bodies

“Women, particularly APA women who already experience cultural pressures when deciding to start a family, may experience social pressures to produce certain kinds of children, which could lead to less control over their reproductive decisions and experiences.” – National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) After this week’s controversies around Miss America Nina Davaluri and CBS celebrity Julie Chen, it should be clear that the Asian “model minority” myth should be far from the truth. Davaluri faced a great deal of backlash and racial slurs after her victory and Chen came clean about plastic surgery on her eyes to look “less Asian.” Asian-American women are often stereotyped to be submissive, passive, and docile.  But these racist attacks go much further than pop culture and our media.

This is (Racist) America

I had an entirely different post planned for today. However, when I got home from working a midnight shift, and I saw this article on my Facebook Feed, I knew that post would have to wait. It seems as if quite a few people are upset that Nina Davuluri, the new Miss America, happens to not be white. In fact, she isn’t just not white, but is brown, Indian-American, though a lot of people are seemingly confusing her for being Arab, which apparently means she’s a terrorist. Because all Arabs are terrorists—right, my bad @pizzo_nick, thanks for the reminder. I’ll be sure to inform my Arab friends of this fact. The tweets are disgusting, blatantly racist, and apparently a lot of people’s ancestors must have spontaneously generated from the Purple Mountain’s… Read more »

What do Rick Ross and Miley Cyrus have in common?

It’s been less than two weeks since Miley Cyrus’ “twerking” at the VMA’s started a social justice firestorm. She was highly criticized for her appropriation of black women, but commended for her promotion of sex positivity. On stage and in her music videos, she casts black women as sexualized props and background for her interpretation of “hood music.” Miley claims she is “’bout that life.” Are you really Miley? Really? You get a faint clap for owning your body and sexuality, but you don’t get to do it at the expense of black women through music. Rapping, its roots from West Africa, transcended into blues and eventually jazz poetry. Our modern interpretation of rap is racialized, sexualized, and is assumed to often deal with sex, drugs, and alcohol.

Health Care Reform: Moving onto the Next Barriers to Care

The Affordable Care Act is law of the land and that’s a good thing. More people who previously weren’t able to access health care due to financial restraints will now have an easier time doing so. Issues like lack of insurance and under insurance will be alleviated through implementation of The Affordable Care Act. We’ve come a long way baby, that is why I will Debbie Downer all over the celebration party by  reminding us of how far we still have to go. Removing financial barriers to health care is a HUGE step to eliminating health disparities. Now we can begin to tackle the non financial barriers that impede access to care and sustains disparities. Some of the egregious, in no particular order: Plan B  Plan B (emergency contraception) no… Read more »

Making Reproductive Justice Truly Intersectional: Takeaways from #solidarityisforwhitewomen

Like many a Twitter addict, I spent a good part of last week tweeting about intersectionality (or the lack thereof) in feminist movement. The #solidarityisforwhitewomen hashtag started by the fabulous Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) has garnered outstanding coverage, including a great piece written by Kendall for The Guardian. #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen Creator, Mikki Kendal, Speaks About Women Of Color, Feminism (VIDEO) http://t.co/tkG447o03c — HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) August 13, 2013

Sex and Bad Ass Brown Girls: Netroots Nation 2013

Netroots Nation provided panels, trainings, and plenaries that seemed to appeal to everyone. The two panels that I couldn’t miss were ‘Free your Ass: Defining and Creating a Progressive Sexual Culture’ and ‘Ask a Sista: Black Women Muse on Politics, Policy, Pop Culture, and Scholarship. When I first read about the panel and how it combined progressives and sex liberated rhetoric I knew I had to attend. The panel also included Choice USA Executive Director Kierra Johnson, and any discussion with Kierra is thought provoking and always worth attending. There were also other amazing and notable speakers as well; artist Favianna Rodriguez, Women Action and the Media executive Director Jaclyn Friedman, past panelist and progressive voice William Winters, and new to the panel this year was sex educator and relationship… Read more »

Olivia Pope Strong Powerful and Dependent : When can Women Truly be Independent?

I’m not much of a television buff simply because I usually never have the time to devote to it, but a show that has caught my attention and interest (thanks to my lovely roommate Drae) is Scandal. The premise of the show is based on a powerful woman, Olivia Pope, who is known through DC as “the fixer” because she fixes the problems that powerful people put themselves in. Olivia is intelligent, successful, and just a bad ass in general. That is, until she gets around her love interest in the series, the President Fitz, who is married. Olivia and Fitz had an affair throughout the entire campaign to the white house and seemingly fell in love, but through a lot of ups and downs they are always torn apart…. Read more »

Women of Color and Reality TV: the Bad, the Worse, and the Downright Offensive

This post is part of a series about reproductive justice and the media done in partnership with Women, Action, & the Media. Being a woman of color, specifically an African American woman of Caribbean decent, I grew up with little to representations of myself in the media. But looking back the 90’s were really a golden age of television shows with women of color. Shows like Living Single, Moesha, and Family Matters were shows that really shaped my childhood. But when the 90’s ended those representations slowly but surely faded away. By the time I hit high school what began to really take charge of television networks was something I consider absolutely evil…reality TV. Fast forward to the here and now, 2012, where reality TV is no longer the no holds… Read more »

Suffrage: A Reproductive Justice Issue

Let’s open our grade school history textbooks, shall we? Most of us know that, historically, suffrage was intended for white men only, in their infinite wisdom. And in their infinite wisdom, white men have decided for hundreds of years, both in the U.S. and abroad, that certain groups should be excluded from the voting practice for a number of great reasons, e.g., which God you believe in, what kind of genitalia you were born with, the color of your skin, income, etc.  Suffrage for (white) women was attained in 1920 with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Suffrage for people of color, particularly black people, was attained in 1870 with the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment during U.S. Reconstruction. But the right to vote isn’t as… Read more »

An Open Letter to Abigail Fisher

Abigail Fisher was denied admission to the University of Texas at Austin and is currently suing the school because she believes she was a victim of racial discrimination. Abigail Fisher is white. In 2012, the Supreme Court took up her challenge to the equal opportunity laws that govern a small percentage of admissions to the UT system (three-quarters of students are admitted automatically for graduating in the top 10 percent of their Senior class).  The justices then sent the case to be reheard by the lower courts. However, in October 2015, The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, it’s first major affirmative action case since 2003.* Abigail missed the 10 percent cutoff and was evaluated based on UT’s criteria which includes academic achievements, community service, and life circumstances, including… Read more »