“Don’t worry about being original, she said dismissively. Yes, everything’s been written, but also, the thing you want to write, before you wrote it, was impossible to write. Otherwise it would already exist. You writing it makes it possible.”—
One of the professors in my department just mentioned he got an email from JPER (Journal of Planning Education and Research) saying they now consider anything posted online as "previous publication," meaning they won't publish any articles that may have appeared, e.g., on someone's blog. This is exactly what you were talking about--gatekeeping of academic writing, keeping the circle small and privileged. It's a disgrace. Thank you for fighting the good fight here for all of us!!
I think it’s not really something your average person is going to know about at all, but it’s basically
stop/discourage things like this blog from happening.
It’s a circling of the wagons, so they can point to a project like this, which 1. is outside their purview for very good reasons and 2. wouldn’t get funding anyway because it’s “too confrontational”.
It’s so they can point to independent projects published online and say “oh, they’re just some wingnut working outside respectable institutions of learning”.
It’s making sure we never get payment or recognition for this kind of work. On the one hand, it might have the effect of stemming some of the rampant plagiarism that goes on, but what do you want to bet that this rule is going to get bent for people who fall IN the sacred circle of publishing within academic journals and maybe happened to lift their entire thesis from “some blog”? And that somehow this new rule will only affect people who’ve previously blogged academic journal-level material online because they were repudiated from publishing it there first? Because that’s already pretty much the established pattern.
That’s the funny thing about structural and institutional disenfranchisement: it’s this amazing coincidence that it seems to always only work in one direction; benefiting those who already have power and recognition, and further disenfranchising those who have neither.
Sooooo, I don’t know if you knew this but Disney made a movie a while back based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen. Here’s a link to the original 1845 text. This tale was written in Denmark, but does not necessarily take place there.
On the topic of cultural appropriation in fantasy, what IS the line between including non-Western cultures in fantasy and accidentally being disrespectful and hurtful? Is it that one should avoid clearly religious/spiritual aspects? I mean the last thing people should do is avoid those people entirely in case someone gets upset because then you're back to 'white medieval Europe' square one, so what's representation and what's appropriation?
To be honest you seem kind of exasperated and I don’t really get why.
I’m not sure what kind of answer you’re expecting. I can’t provide you with some kind of comprehensive list of every single cultural concept you should avoid in order to somehow avoid future discomfort when someone who actually belongs to that culture confronts you over your use or misuse of aspects of their culture. I don’t belong to every culture in the world and can’t speak for anyone else. I’m not a broker or ambassador for anyone else, and the authority to designate what is and isn’t harmful to others is not vested in me.
All it really takes is doing the same thing MOST writers, artists and creative people do: research. dialogue. basic human consideration. understanding of how society works, and behaving respectfully towards others.
If someone says, “Hey! Don’t do that, it’s harmful to me” then stop doing it. There are some people whose cultures, religions, or races have been so badly misrepresented, they prefer no one who does not belong to their culture write about them at all, ever. Respect that.
The problem here is that you want an easy answer, someone to tell you what to do and how to behave, and I can’t do that. People who belong to the same culture often disagree about this topic, too. “culture” isn’t monolithic. Do YOU agree on everything with everyone you are perceived to share a culture with? Of course not. “Western”/eurocentric cultures don’t have a monopoly on human individuality.
The bottom line is, we all have to share a messed up world with each other, and the discomfort of easing that burden is also unevenly distributed. Some people are encouraged by society to railroad over other people’s lives and truths, and then go on to produce media which in turn trains and reinforces the idea the some people are entitled to railroad over other people. You can either reinforce it or go against it.
And everyone has to deal with that. Some people deal with that by feeling entitled to be comfortable all the time, and would rather trigger the oppressive systems that are already in place to easily silence those who are being harmed by having their race or culture misrepresented in the media. Others deal with it by aggressively defending their own character or repeating “I’m a good person, so everything I DO is good, therefore this is okay”.
Or, you could deal with it by being uncomfortable for a few minutes, owning up to the fact that you harmed someone, or MANY people, apologize, and just flipping deal with it.
If you’re looking for some kind of preventative medicine, listening is probably a good start, instead of reacting or demanding.
For those who think “But you really expect me to think about how my words and actions might affect every person of color in the world???” Well.
Consider I was just basically asked to speak for every person of color in the world. Like I said, why don’t we spread that burden around a little bit.
Phyllis Wheatley was born around 1753 in the Gambia. In 1761 she was captured and sold as a slave in Boston, Massachusetts. Wheatley’s masters realized her intelligence and taught her to read and write in English. Phyllis learned quickly and…
“Occasionally I’ll be sitting somewhere and I’ll be listening to someone perhaps not saying the kindest things about me. And I’ll look down at my hand and I’ll sort of pinch my skin to make sure it still has the requisite thickness I know Eleanor Roosevelt expects me to have.”—Hillary Clinton (x)
I swear, half the photos of “PoC” you post are people who I’d consider white. I also made a reply to your bohemia post, and if you’x be willing to drudge through my blog to find it I’d be interested in hearing your reply.
“This is a present from a small distant world, a token of our sounds, our science, our images, our music, our thoughts and our feelings. We are attempting to survive our time so we may live into yours. We hope someday, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations. This record represents our hope and our determination, and our good will in a vast and awesome universe.”—President Jimmy Carter’s wonderfully poetic and optimistic message to the cosmos, included on Carl Sagan’s Golden Record sent into space with the Voyager. (via explore-blog)
The main problem I have with Men’s Rights Activists is that their name really doesn’t do them justice. They’re Straight Cis White Men’s Rights Activists. I have NEVER seen Men’s Rights Activists campaign for the inclusion of trans* men in their spaces.
I have NEVER seen Men’s Rights Activists campaign to end the social stigma around black fatherhood. I have NEVER seen Men’s Rights Activists campaign for better pay and equal career mobility for men of colour. I have NEVER seen Men’s Rights Activists actively campaign for more gay men’s rights. I have NEVER seen Men’s Rights Activists advise others in their group on how using f*ggot to emasculate men who aren’t part of their cause is alienating and marginalising other MEN.
I have NEVER seen Men’s Rights Activists campaign, raise awareness of, or support victims of male rape unless it’s in order to derail a discussion around female victims of rape. I have NEVER seen Men’s Rights Activists campaign, raise awareness of, or support male victims of domestic abuse unless it’s in order to derail a discussion around female victims of domestic abuse. Men’s Rights Activists are hypocrites and frauds.
They’re bitter privileged white men who don’t want to campaign for the rights of men — they want to campaign to keep their privilege unchecked and their ability to discriminate against others. If you want to be a real Men’s Rights Activist — be a fucking (intersectional) Feminist. Peace out.
“Tumblr genuinely is younger than most other social platforms, and more diverse. A greater proportion of its users are people of colour than on any other major platform. Women users make up a higher percentage than anywhere else bar Pinterest. Teenagers over-index dramatically. And while Pew and other research agencies don’t tend to ask about sexuality or gender identification, LGBT visibility in Tumblr fandom is very high. What looks to dim outsiders as some kind of obsession with “social justice” often just springs from people talking about themselves, their lives and the shit that happens to them.”—
This is an extremely interesting insight, for me at least. And sheds some light on certain reactions to this blog both from the tumblr platform itself, and from other external websites. I wonder how medievalpoc and ideas about it are affected by overall perceptions about tumblr as a blogging platform, and the way its users are perceived. It lends some context to some of the assumptions people have made about my age, gender, race and *ahem* “relative credibility”.
Personally, I am in love with the interactive elements here.
I'm an academic librarian, and as part of my job, it sometimes feels like the university leaves accessibility to the Library, (if you're having trouble getting sources, go ask a librarian), rather than ask what is making that accessibility difficult. I really appreciate what you're doing on this blog. It's spreading this conversation to not just the students, but the community that we're apparently representing with this research, and getting that feedback is to my mind extremely important.
Actually the wording of your ask clarifies the problem I’m talking about here: writing and rhetoric by people NOT affected by a situation, especially in regard to social inequalities and oppression, are seen as MORE credible in U.S. culture.
Writing and theory put forward by people who ARE affected by social inequality and oppression are seen as LESS credible, because they lack the things they are denied because of that oppression and inequality. That’s really the underlying message behind a lot of demands for “objectivity”, “use of logic”, or “calm explanations”.
What I do here is attempt to bring access, the same access you would have at graduate-level studies at a private institution, to the people affected by oppression and written about by others. Including myself.
I do differ with you in at least one respect: I’m not “getting feedback”; I’m giving it away. This knowledge belongs to the people it affects, not to institutions who control access to it.
A great deal of this History does not belong to me, either. To avoid mincing words: many Americans of color have had their histories stolen, erased, and even burned, then commodified and sold back to them by colonizers…and when the people in power felt threatened by it, that history has been outlawed.
I’m not “attacking” educators, librarians, or teachers; I’m pointing out the degree to which education in the U.S. is transformed by sociopolitical pressures, profit margins, and maintaining hierarchies of power. The more we use critical thinking and interaction with our education, the better we can see and respect ourselves and our communities.
People say that certain traits are inherited only from one parent, like male pattern baldness coming from one's mother's side, for instance. This may be a stupid question, but is that really so? I thought traits were just dominant or recessive?
Oh no…actually traits are very rarely just dominant or recessive. One of the criticisms of Mendel is he very clearly selected to research only traits that agreed with his model of heredity and even appears to have fudged his data to make it look more perfect.
Of course, this was all before the scientific method existed and Mendel was a monk thinking he was uncovering a structure god had built into creation so it’s not like we can blame him for uncovering something so vital that we’re still talking about it hundreds of years later.
But, yeah, traits are usually a spectrum, not an on-off switch, and are often linked to multiple genes, or the expression of those genes, or having two different genes for the same phenotype that are both expressed or or or or or. Genetics is EXTREMELY complicated.
In schools, we often don’t want to tell students how complicated it is…instead just focusing on the topics that are easiest to explain and test for. Punnett squares and mendelian genetics fill those requirements. I think that’s a dumb way to teach stuff because it doesn’t reflect reality, which is what we’re actually trying to share.
I was woundering how vegetarian animals (horses, cows etc.) can get enough protein to build their muscles??? Thank you
There’s a misconception that “protein” is synonymous with “meat.” This is not the fault of people with the misconception because the United States Department of Agriculture actively pushes this idea on us because they want Americans to eat meat because it’s good for the agriculture industry. This isn’t a conspiracy or anything, it’s just the way we’ve been doing things for decades.
Half of the calories in leafy greens are protein…a higher percentage than some meats (though greens don’t have nearly as many total protein calories as meat). Whole grains have tons of protein as well, as do, of course, beans and nuts. Protein is the stuff of life…chlorophyl is a protein and plants are, of course, packed with it.
So horses and cows have to eat LOTS of grass and alfalfa and even some grains to build themselves up, but there’s protein in every living thing.
“The kind of feeling which you have classified as “homosexual” and “heterosexual” is really “sex adapted to like or understood temperaments” versus “sex adapted to a relationship of strangeness and distance” — To think one goes with man-woman relationships, or that if it’s within a sex it’s because one person belongs in the other sex, is a fundamental fallacy. I believe every person of ordinary sex endowment has a capacity for diffuse “homosexual” sex expression, and specific climax — according to the temperamental situation.”—Legendary anthropologist Margaret Mead, who was ahead of her time on a number of points, on homosexuality in 1933 (via explore-blog)