julaya asked: we are all women of color and we don’t appreciate strangers assuming our identities based on a photo. we understand the implications of gang violence, and are making an informed choice to reclaim them and embrace our bodies. the photo has no other meaning than that, and people need to stop reading into it (unless they want to enter a dialogue, which any of us would be happy to do) without checking facts. we are celebrating ourselves, not senging a message to anyone else. and UGH we are not white
i never said you were white so you don’t need to be bringing that shit up in my ask. take it elsewhere. you can reclaim and embrace your bodies without appropriating a culture that was never meant to be a cute photo to reblog. because that is straight up what is happening. there was absolutely NO context on that photo other than two cute light skinned women throwing up some fake ass gang symbol. you wanna dialogue, that’s fine. i’m fine with that. i want to know what your connections to actual, real gangs are? you said you are reclaiming them so if you have connections — whether it be friends, family, or yourself..how do those people feel about what you’re doing? how would you feel if a white woman did see your photo and decided it’d be a good idea to also start throwing up some gang signs? it’d be irresponsible to not talk about what the fuck that would mean. because that is wrong.
rookiemag reblogged it. it’s a cute ass symbol that a ton of young white women are probably screaming fuck yeah about without thinking about it how it affects young people of color in gangs, people who are women without ovaries, and people without ovaries who are women.
the only thing i talked about is how it made me uncomfortable and it made me uncomfortable seeing all those reblogs and likes and they are probably going unchecked.
whatever. this is bullshit. if you two were doing this in your own damn living room i wouldn’t care but you put it on the internet where strangers are allowed to assume and talk about photos. especially when there is no context attached and people want to work out what the fuck is happening. and you only don’t like strangers assuming shit when it’s negative because i am sure you like it when all those people are saying I’M IN. i’m sure they are also assuming things.
this is what triggered my earlier rant. i wouldn’t say i hate the idea behind the ovarian gang sign, i get the well-meaning solidarity/empowerment vibe for sure, but other aspects definitely make me uncomfortable. chelsea articulates some of those questions well in this post:
…saying you’re in a gang when you really aren’t. because when i think of gangs, i think of people of color, usually brown and black men (but i ain’t forgetting the women), who are trying to survive their lives but don’t have access to a lot of helpful resources. so those folks who are in the same or similar boat come together to create resources in their lives so they can live another day. and although a lot of those decisions and resources they create are negative or have the potential to be negative, they are just making do the way they know how.
important questions. why don’t we make the space to have a conversation about these questions, rather than shut things down altogether in a quick, defensive, reactionary way?
this has got over 3,000 notes on tumblr. it’s on buzzfeed. it’s being written about almost universally as “awesome.” and yeah, a handful of people have pointed out that not every “grrrl” has ovaries, and not every person with ovaries is a girl, and some have pointed out how class/race cannot be divorced from gang culture. instead of saying, “i hadn’t thought of that. let me think about that,” you just get personal defensiveness.
you can’t truly believe stating “we’re not sending a message to anyone else” when hundreds of girls have seen this now and say “best believe i’m doing this in almost every picture thats taken of me now” is enough, or does your message justice. write a manifesta. talk about your intentions. explain it to me if i’m just not getting it. because all that’s happening right now is a photo of what looks like two cis-female friends throwing up ovarian gang signs - with no context or statement, open to whatever interpretation people want - and young white cis feminists online are loving it.
it’s important to address how race, class, and gender play into this if it’s going to pick up steam and trend for real. you have to at least take the time to THINK about those questions, talk it out with the people behind this trend.
and as calloutqueen put it best:
once I saw a picture of this white person I used to be friends with throwing up a gang sign and I was just like “well I’m glad that friendship is already done with”
- iris, writing about our internet friendship. i can’t believe she wrote this six years ago, and how true it still holds - even if the mediums we communicate on have evolved and changed since.
posting this publicly, here, for posterity’s sake, and to remind myself how lucky i am to know someone like iris who profoundly understands so much about who i am, and challenges me on the things i need to be challenged on.
all i’ve got so far are spoken word poets throwin’ it down and people saying fuck off. which is great! and awesome! but i was still wondering: hey internet, can you recommend any interesting articles or blog posts about unwarranted fetishizing (about size, race, clothing choices, etc…)?
i get really, really tempted to publicly post the conversations i have with the assholes who tag their photos #indian, #headdress and #squaw in the hopes that i won’t have to have the same inane conversation twenty million fucking times.
yes, you’re young, you’re white, you live in america, you think wearing a headdress and posting pictures of it to tumblr (with all of 5 notes if you’re lucky) means you’re hip and cool and ”appreciating” native folks and culture. even if you don’t know anything about the history of said headdress. even if you refer to it as an “accessory.”
no, you’re wrong.
oh, you’re a big meanie. you and your stupid blog are mean.
you think i’m being mean in these private, civil, tame conversations? i’ll show you fucking mean. wait ‘til you see mean.
tell me not to.
tell me not to.
tell me not to.
tell me to save my breath.