Saturday, October 27, 2012

Objectification and Masculinity (and Batman!)

What I would consider my single biggest issue with feminist theory is that much of it stems from a profoundly naive understanding of how males actually behave and socialize with each other.  I hear so many feminist say that they want to be "treated like a man" and, well... if a woman wants to be treated like a man, I have no problem with that. But, few feminists actually have any idea it actually means to be treated like a man in reality, and instead have this idealized fantasy of what they think it might be like that ranges from willfully ignorant to laughably sexist.

So, today I'm going to talk about objectification (a topic I'll likely come back to MANY times on this blog).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Race, Ethnicity, and a deconstruction of "White"

Races, as descriptive terms, are nearly useless. But, "white" is by far the most meaningless, loaded term among them and we, as a society, need to do away with it entirely.

Ok, let me back up a bit.

What may surprise most people is that the concept of "race", as we know it today, didn't exist until around the 1680s as a way for European Americans to distinguish themselves from natives and the now racially specific slaves. So, yes, the foundation of "white" largely came out of racism... but, obviously, racism existed long before this. The different European nations all hated each other, the different Native American nations all hated each other, the Romans hated anyone who wasn't Roman, as did the Greeks, the Persians, and just about every nation before... for as long as there has been small tribes of humans wandering around, those different tribes hated each other. The difference was that this was based on ethnicity, referring to specific places of origin or culture. What made the new concept of "white" unique was that it suggested that the varied European ethnicities were close enough to each other that they could be grouped into one larger "race", as could other ethnicities into other broad races.

So, what does the term "white" literally mean? Anyone of European, Middle Eastern, or North African decent. That's how the term was defined in the 1600s, and that's how the US Census still defines the term today.

Now, of course you're thinking "Wait, Middle Easterners and North Africans are white? And doesn't that make Hispanics white too?"

Yes, it does. And, it's in the discrepancy between the word's definition and the word's usage that we can begin the analyze the true meaning "white".