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Reblogging every time it shows up on my dash without fail
by Nicole Ouimette
The revolution will not be cited. It will not have a bibliography, or a title page. The revolution will never happen in the seclusion of the ivory tower built by racist, sexist, and classist institutions. Professional academic researchers in the social sciences of many colleges and universities exploit the struggles of oppressed peoples. Oppressed peoples are left stranded with little to no resources after researchers leave their communities high and dry.
Researchers steal value from oppressed peoples by making them the subjects of theoretical research without lending them access to information that could better help their communities. Articles, books, and dissertations written about marginalized populations are written for academics, not working people, and as such have little impact on the people whose lives are the subject of this research. Liberal academics and social scientists are more concerned about developing the wealth of academic literature than addressing the immediate material concerns of the communities they research.
I started this project by being inspired by Jamie C. Moore's work. She photographed her daughter who dressed up as five amazing women who made their mark in history. And so, I decided to do the same and make it around women of the arts.
As much as we are surrounded by art in every aspect of our life, the arts I believe doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. From my personal experience at home, the idea of a career in the arts wasn’t a “real” job and was told it would get me nowhere…especially as a women. I wanted to help open up people’s minds and expand the term of what art is. Art isn’t just painting or photography but it can be everything from music to writing to performing. There are tons of unbelievable people in the arts but I chose these eight influential ladies who I feel can empower young girls everywhere.
- Baljit Singh
by Zoe Mungin
There’s Tia Regina up on 116th, an old-school boricua who doesn’t go outside because she says the air makes her ill. Rosie says it’s called patatús, but Mami says patatus is a load of shit, says it’s just a reason for Tia to act a fool, falling over like she needs something on the floor, gasping in prayer: ave maria, dios mio, you’re all going to hell.
Every month, Mami sends me and Rosie up to see her on the first, to pick up money, because Mami doesn’t ever have enough. Mami says it’s because she’s got to take care of me and Rosie both. And it’s not like Tia’s has anybody, Mami says. Not nobody but us. So after school, me and Rosie ride the train for more than an hour, still in our school clothes, all the way up to the barrio, and as soon we come out the station, it’s like stepping off the world, like maybe stepping into a TV, color and people and noise pushing in on you like walls, all the Spanish, nothing but Spanish. Tia lives right across from the station, right above a shop called, Yoly’s Hair, where Tia will take Rosie to get her hair cut and take me to get a perm when we bring our good report cards. Tia gets her nails painted and Yoly tells Rosie she has such pretty hair. And Jenny, Tia says, Jenny is such a good girl.
Qué suerte, Yoly says to Tia, and Tia nods at Rosie and Yoly and doesn’t look at me.
Reading "India: The Story You Never Wanted to Hear”, an article by a UChicago student on her nightmarish experiences in India dealing with sexual violence and harassment, I’m at a loss about where to begin. This story is too fucking familiar. But the dynamics of structural and gendered violence in India are not why I’m writing this post.
Rape culture and sexual violence have been covered extensively this past year (finally) and this is a conversation that I’m usually willing to have but…. as an Indian woman who often reads about foreign (usually white) women’s accounts of sexual violence in India, I’m tired of feeling like I should feel shame or responsibility or gratefulness that someone has chosen to blow the lid off of some “secret” part of my culture/nationality/identity.
Let me be clear, I am not addressing the author/survivor. These voices need to be heard. This is directed wholly at the reactions and public discourse surrounding these stories, specifically the comments sections where nuance goes to die. For example:
Biology2010 says: ”I’ve traveled to other parts of the world that are poor, and you can’t blame this behavior on poverty - it has to do with values. In a country that has a history of cremating the live widow with her dead husband - can we expect women to be valued? ”
aardman: By western standards, India is a misogynistic, sexually repressed society, which doesn’t make it unique, but nevertheless, as a South Asian Studies major it’s surprising that you didn’t know enough to conduct yourself accordingly. Really, dancing in public in the middle of a festival? Did you think you were in Rio or New Orleans? Sheesh.
stupendified: Being an Indian I apologize to you regarding the ordeal you had to go through. Yes we continue to have such incidents on a regular basis, and believe me it is just not foreigners that have to go through this plight but even Indian women have to go through the same ordeal everyday.
Racism, slut shaming and an apology.
Let’s tackle the first comment….
Much to the Indian tourist board’s dismay, sexual violence is going to outstrip spirituality as the main discourse surrounding travel to the country. Earlier this year, regarding the Delhi rape case, a bunch of publications blamed Indian culture for what happened. Again; gang rape, street harassment and sexual violence are not uniquely Indian. I’m irritated having to deal with white men who come up to me and talk about how horrible Indian men are. As a survivor (the perpetrators where all Indian), I hate being put in a position where I have to defend the actions and integrity of the “Indian male”. The flipside to that is my experience of survival is proof of my victimhood, that I am somehow uniquely oppressed.
Slut shaming: Fuck you. This is too fucking basic.
And the apology: I do not feel any shared national responsibility for acts of violence. I feel anger, empathy, frustration and fatigue but I don’t like being pressured to apologise for the existence of the Indian patriarchy. Help me tear it down but don’t fucking expect me to assume responsibility for deep seated structural and historical inequalities.
Finally, to the author, I hope you are surrounded by understanding people and a strong support system. I’m not going to tell you what to think about India now or any of that, do what you have to. Self care above all else, even nuance.
It’s not a crime to stalk and kill. It’s a crime to be black in America. Fuck this.