All entries for December 2012
December 29, 2012
I’ve seen a lot of blatant racism around anglocentric portions of the Internet in the wake of India’s horrific rape scandal (if you haven’t read about it already, there’s plenty of information on this Wikipedia page – trigger warning for graphic description of sexual violence).
There are those who attempt to thinly disguise their racism by expressing a generalised horror at things that happen in other parts of the world. There are those who are more honest in their bigotry, suggesting that countries such as India are necessarily savage and backward. I even came across one sickening comment from an individual who suggested that the human race would be better off if most of Asia, Africa and the Middle East were simply wiped off the world map.
This kind of blinkered claptrap suggests a divide between “us” and “them”, the civilized “developed” world and the barbaric “developing world” – a divide in which the so-called West sets the agenda for women’s rights.
Of course, the reality is far more complex. This is not India’s problem – it is an international problem.
December 22, 2012
A news feed informed me the other day that Against Me! frontwoman Laura Jane Grace had appeared on MTV’s House of Style to talk about her, uh, style. On one level, I suppose this is pretty typical of the vapid programming you’d expect from MTV – celebrity turns up, talks about her wardrobe, nobody learns anything of value but some mild entertainment supposedly takes place.
Except this is a big deal in one sense, because Grace is trans, and transitioning. By appearing on this kind of programme talking about her favourite clothes and showing off her collection of obscure punk records, she normalises transness.
There’s part of me that feels a bit uncomfortable about this – social inclusion is a worthy goal, but should it really come at the expense of a dull assimilation into corporate cultural mediocrity?