Fair or Not?: The Snow White Complex
Directed by: M. Hasna M.
“Fair or Not?: The Snow White Complex” is a documentary about Eurocentric standards of female beauty that are held across most (post-Colonial) cultures.
This is the first film I ever attempted to make back when I was an undergrad at UC Berkeley (2003-07). Unfortunately I was never able to complete this project, but it is an issue I hold very close to my heart, so I figured I should just post it online anyway so that people can watch & discuss…
Some of the topics covered: Skin color preferences in relation to class/culture, the media’s role in exacerbating internalized racism, skin bleaching products, exoticism of dark-skinned women, and the phenomenon of tanning amongst White women.
A prof told me the other day that the title is what her partner thinks, that she is sure that feminism is simply an idea planted by the system to keep actual change from occuring. My prof expanded on it a bit, and I sat down and thought about it too, so heres a mix of our…
Yes but let’s keep in mind these criticisms of feminism have long been theorized by WOC since the 18th century with little regard from mainstream feminists …….. that there are COUNTLESS woc who have devoted their lives to making feminism a more inclusive space. In fact, here’s a crash course explaining how feminist theory in the past has dealt with these issues:
—-FEMINIST THEORY CRASH COURSE—-
Feminism moves in between these branches (not a mutually exclusive list, just listed most prominently recognized theorists by each)in order to directly oppose mainstream feminist discourses loaded with eurocentrism, phallocentrism, orientalism, imperialism, racialized colonialism, capitalism (which goes hand in hand with feminist movements as commodification of a so called revolutionary struggle!), white supremacy, ethocentrism, transphobia, ableism and much much more:
1. post colonial theory-undoes the victimization discourse of western feminists/their metonymic blurring of different forms of oppression through an essentialist explanation
2. global feminism/”third world feminism”- disrupts idea that feminism is an inherently “western” ideology
3. Women of color feminism-emerged to counter cultural hegemony of white western feminism
- black feminism-Audre Lorde, Combahee River Collective
- Afrocentric feminism-Patricia McFadden
- Chicana feminism-Anzuldua
- womanism (check out Alice Walker and Layli Phillips to find out more why this isn’t a subcolumn or branch of feminism completely)
4. critical race theory-comes from radical POC law professors who acknowledge feminism’s lack of tools in making visible the ways racial supremacy is embedded in the law system. Check Kimberle Crenshaw, Barbara Smith, Patricia Hill Collins, Susan Schechter
5. Black nationalist feminism—opposes anti-blackness in feminist movements
- Africana womanism (different from African feminism and womanism)6. Feminist hermeneutics-analyzes religious studies as a source of feminist theory7.Feminist Science studies—disrupts biological determinism. Check out Ruth Hubbard’s “Fact Making and Feminism” as an intro to why science needs to be included in discussions of feminist discipline8. Queer theory-holy shit i can’t even start on the ways its disrupted mainstream feminism but HEY:
Flower crown feminism is in no way a reflection of the deeply rooted radical work Women of color, transnational, zapatista, chicana, african-american, “third world” (global south), indigenous and native, queer, dis*abled and post-colonial feminisms have carved out.
When Ida B. Wells called out the racism of progressive feminist leaders in 1894 IE suffragist Frances Williard of Christian temperance union who publically represented black women voters as a threat to modern society, Wells was not about that “abandoning feminism” life
When Paula Gunn Allen pointed out that white American feminism ripped off gynocentric Iroquois nations, who held their own feminist rebellions as early and before the 1600’s, she wasn’t about that “abandoning feminism” life
When Linda La Rue, the Combahee River Collective, Barbara Smith Claudia Jones, Audre Lorde and counless others called out the heterosexist, classist racist shitfield that was the women’s liberation movement, they weren’t abt that “abandoning feminism” life
When Beverly Guy Sheftall, Rudolph Byrd, and Johnetta B. Cole anthologize unpublished works of queer poc thinkers in I Am Your Sister, Still Brave, Traps,and Gender Talk, they aren’t about accepting white feminism as the dead-end truth.
WE CAN’T DISREGARD THESE CENTURIES OF WORK SUBVERTING DOMINANT PARADIGMS AND CREATING SPACES FOR CHANGE BECAUSE A WAVE OF PASTEL COLORED “GRRRLS” REEMERGE AS THE PRIVILEGED SUBURBAN GRANDDAUGHTERS OF THE SAME RACIST FEMINIST WHO STORMED THE POLITICAL SCENE LOUDER AND WHITER THAN ALL THE REST, FIRST IN THE 1870’s, 1920’s, 1970’s, AND THEN 1990’s
Instead let’s make this a fight to continue the legacy of these radical visionaries
in reclaiming our spaces,
reaffirming our rights to tell our own stories freely, to live in the security of our own bodies, and to rewrite histories of social movements that replicate hierarchy within.
A girl I know just posted this Miss A song on Facebook. Not only do they not need men, they don’t want to rely on their parents for money. It’s so moralistic that I’m almost uncomfortable, but damn, is it cute.
I’m into it.
During the first season or two of Roseanne, Roseanne Barr was treated horribly by the producers, who wanted to get rid of her, even though she was the creative genius behind the show, which was based entirely on characters she had developed. She went with “success is the best revenge,” working extra hard to make sure the show hit the #1 spot, knowing at that point she could seize creative control. She hung out with the crew and supportive castmembers (including John Goodman, who flat refused to do the show without her), and put a list on her door. That list had the name of every single person who worked on the show. When they pissed her off, she’d cross off their name in red. Everyone in red was to be fired the second she was in charge. She took this policy from Machiavelli, and she made good on it. Her first move was to fire everyone who had tried to shut her down. She also promoted a number of women writers and fired a number of men writers for being sexist. So, this shirt is no lie.
The continuation to this story is that those writers got picked up for Home Improvement. Which makes total sense.
Tool Time, indeed.
She got SO much flak for firing all the writers. Firing men! She did an awesome interview on Donahue (shut up) and it was like
“So you fired all your writers.”
“It can be hard in the creative world, when there is a team, to be able to tell who is doing a good job and who isn’t.”
“Well I happen to be able to tell.”
is where all the knives are."
— Valarie Solanas (via fuckyeahfeministartandliterature)
1) honking at people who casually walk into the middle of the road (city life) does not have the same effect as honking at deer who casually walk into the middle of the road (country life) because they don’t run away and instead get mad and gesture at me and OK DUDE BUT YOU’RE STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GODDAMN STREET
2) pumps (strip club) is fascinatingly close to my apartment
3) television’s marquee moon is an excellent driving record
and on a related note, because i do some of my best thinking while driving aimlessly or while i’m supposed to be working, as stressful and terrifying and upsetting as these past couple of weeks have been, i’m finding grace in all of it. i’m letting go and acknowledging that no, it’s not all about me, and yes, there are some things i will never understand because i am a white woman who grew up in an upper middle-class home. the process of actually confronting and accepting my privilege has been a giant ego check. one thing about getting sober is you tend to get a little too confident in your natural tendency to be a good person because hey, you’re not doing awful shit in blackouts anymore. doesn’t mean there isn’t room for growth. and though i’m not sure everyone will understand each other in the end, goddammit, i’m going to try. my friends and my feminism and my community mean the world to me. at the same time, gotta keep my side of the street clean. i actually thought about googling “AA for activists” to see if that’s A Thing. tonight a girl shared and she was so fucking honest i started crying listening to her. that’s been happening a lot lately. you can just feel the warmth and gratitude in the room. i offered to become the new chair of this meeting because it is all female, right by my apartment, and life-changing every time i go. so now i have to go. so there, heidi.
anyway. one day at a time. oh, and ice cream.
Have I mentioned I love Heidi? I call her HDVDL in my head.
Sometimes you aren’t right.
Sometimes you need to let go of your opinions.
Nobody is ever an enemy to themselves, but sometimes you are an enemy to someone else, and in order to stop the conflict, you need to acknowledge that.
Letting go can be embarrassing and humbling. But that means you’re probably doing it right, a little bit at least.
Moving on from here, and this post will probably be continued.
Premium talk, here.
- “is that YOUR gear?” (i’m setting it up, you dingus, why wouldn’t it be mine)
- dude starts plugging shit in for me without asking
- ‘wait up, sweetie. i know you’re carrying the gear, but girlfriends don’t get in free.’ (i’m A MEMBER OF THE BAND, ASSHOLE)
- ‘so which one of these guys is…
at matchless the sound guy touched my waist as he leaned over to adjust my amp (i had not asked him to) and i said HEY I BET YOU WOULDN’T BE DOING THAT IF I WAS A GUY! and he was wasted so he thought it was funny.
at a show a couple of weeks ago i was hanging in an outside balcony area talking to my friends at a club in stamford connecticut and the bouncer said “everyone who’s not a member of the band or fucking someone in the band has to leave.” i went OFF on that dude. he threatened to arrest me which was hilarious because he was uh, not a cop. after threatening to pee on the floor multiple times when he said i couldn’t use the bathroom and had to leave and calling him an asshole, i left. what was amazing was that he clearly did not get why i was so pissed off. in his own little weird universe, that was FUNNY. ugh.
How is this shit still going on?? Kill these dudes.
I’m in solidarity with Pussy Riot and all, but it’s bumming me out that my white, straight, cis feminist sisters are bombarding me with stuff about them while being pretty silent about CeCe McDonald and other folks who also need our support and energy.
I know. Right now we’re…
It makes total sense that dudes are worried about misandry. That just shows we’re powerful, and that they’re looking in the wrong place just means we’ll win.
Reminder of things you should be DONE with
So in relation of things folks are done with here
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