Another Queer Muslimah

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GAME OF GROANS: Calling out sci fi/fantasy is the social justice equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel

aamerrahman wrote two pieces on Game of Thrones, calling the Daenarys storyline ‘racist’, and comparing the ‘exotic’ Dothraki to Star Trek’s Klingons. He included this meme-tastic image.

image

The crux of the argument is summed up here:

The Klingons are the Dothraki of Star Trek - the scary, warmongering Other from the Heart of Darkness out in deep space.  The great thing about imaginary black and brown people is that white sci-fi/ fantasy writers can project their repressed oriental fetishes onto a blank canvas without taking responsibility…

But this isn’t just about imagery and brown people looking bad on TV – the Dothraki storyline is just a stepping stone for Dany’s overall storyline which is more deeply racist - essentially, a liberal white woman who goes around saving and civilising brown people.  The subtext of Dany’s story is a cultural war where Dany’s enlightened values triumph over lesser ones, where whiteness is both a conquering and civilising force.

My only thought is: duh. 

Yes. Obviously. Of course.

It’s not that science fiction and fantasy are two of the most regressive genres around. It’s that that regression is built right into the fabric of the genres themselves. Science fiction started as a satire of the ‘travel log’ genre, where writers would share their – often fictional – accounts of travels and interactions with ‘exotic’ locations and people. Western fantasy is derived from European folklore, where kings were divinely chosen, peasants were worthless, and a scary, exotic culture loomed to the East, and every glimpse of that culture was given through white eyes.

Sound familiar?

There’s a reason science fiction and fantasy are often mashed together, and it’s not because people want to know who’d win a fight between Yoda and Merlin. Both genres are built on the same illiberal notions of conquest, sexism, violence, hierarchy, and everything else that makes progressives squirm. They almost always include tropes of white travellers, rulers in exile, and white saviors: Lord of the Rings, Zelda, Dune, Star Trek

And now Game of Thrones. Listen, I haven’t seen Game of Thrones. I haven’t read the books. At most I’ve browsed the wiki and read a few thought pieces. But I know the genre. I know what to expect when if I’m going to sit down and absorb however many hours of something with dragons magic & knights. If Game of Thrones broke the mold on race, it would’ve been mentioned, along with the thought pieces on the strong female characters.

But unless I’m told a series about knights and dragons is progressive on race, I’m not going to assume it is. And I’m not going to be shocked when, gasp, it isn’t. Yes, Game of Thrones is (probably) racist, but it’s built on an entire genre steeped in European racism. 

This conversation comes up in just about every adaptation of sci fi/fantasy, and in the countless discussions among the sci fi/fantasy groups about these tropes. Because, yes, it’s a breeding ground for really regressive notions on society. It’s also a magical world that takes the motto ‘anything can happen’ to its logical conclusion and beyond. There are amazing artists who subvert and defy these tropes (RIP Olivia Butler).

So, take this rule when looking into sci fi/fantasy: unless explicitly told otherwise, assume it’s problematic.  It’ll save a lot of time and energy. Besides, what sci fi/fantasy needs is more attention given to the artists that are breaking the mold.

Until then, I’m going to re-read Parable of the Sower and do some laundry.   

mucholderthen:

academicaxolotl:

jumpingjacktrash:

vivi-shiba:

j-aws:

ryedragon:

inritum:

reblog and make a wish!this was removed from tumbrl due to “violating one or more of Tumblr’s Community Guidelines”, but since my wish came true the first time, I’m putting it back. :)

OH MY FUCKING GOD, IT’S BACK ON MY DASH.
THIS SHIT WORKS OKAY, I AM DEAD SERIOUS.
The last time I saw this on my dash, I didn’t think it would happen, so jokingly I wished I could go to a fun. concert.
AND GUESS WHAT, I WENT TO A FUCKING FUN. CONCERT.
THIS SHIT WORKS, TRY IT.

yay its back.

so…I half jokingly reblogged this yesterday cos I thought it was a nice picture…and was like oh wow I only get wishes on birthdays what would I wish for?!?!?! how about gainful employment L0L… and like…I have a job now? That I never applied for? That someone just called me up and said “here, have this”? In a place I really really like?So like… h8ers gonna h8 or something

what the hell, i’ll try anything once.

yeah, why not?

Reblogging as a public service … may all your dreams come true!

mucholderthen:

academicaxolotl:

jumpingjacktrash:

vivi-shiba:

j-aws:

ryedragon:

inritum:

reblog and make a wish!


this was removed from tumbrl due to “violating one or more of Tumblr’s Community Guidelines”, but since my wish came true the first time, I’m putting it back. :)

OH MY FUCKING GOD, IT’S BACK ON MY DASH.

THIS SHIT WORKS OKAY, I AM DEAD SERIOUS.

The last time I saw this on my dash, I didn’t think it would happen, so jokingly I wished I could go to a fun. concert.

AND GUESS WHAT, I WENT TO A FUCKING FUN. CONCERT.

THIS SHIT WORKS, TRY IT.

yay its back.

so…
I half jokingly reblogged this yesterday cos I thought it was a nice picture…
and was like oh wow I only get wishes on birthdays what would I wish for?!?!?! how about gainful employment L0L

… and like…

I have a job now? That I never applied for? That someone just called me up and said “here, have this”? In a place I really really like?

So like… h8ers gonna h8 or something

what the hell, i’ll try anything once.

yeah, why not?

Reblogging as a public service … may all your dreams come true!

My GayBi

Something was different when Mykki Blanco took the stage. Things started well enough, Blanco brought fellow rapper Le1f onstage, and promised that even if this was her ‘first GayBiGayGay’ it wouldn’t be her last.

But then the mic cut out, and then someone jumped onstage and tried really hard to kiss Mykki. And on one hand it looked like some teen heartthrob stuff. But on the other, there’s a real issue with unwanted advances on performers.

Less ambiguous was the bro-dette in a backwards baseball cap who started slapping Blanco’s ass like she was Miley Cyrus. Blanco stopped the song. ‘That’s racist’ she said.

Add the shifting crowd, the woman with an incredibly unfortunate makeup, and the shoving match between members of the audience and HYENAZ, and it started to less like a queer family reunion and more like a festival with not enough security.

I didn’t get a picture of the incidents, but I snapped this when the first person (bottom center) tried to get back on stage. The facial expressions around her say it all.

But that’s the thing: GayBiGayGay has always been a family reunion. It was started as a glorified backyard party with bands. It only started moving when it got too big for private residences. Even now, you see these elements. The stage, — even the port-o-potties — are decorated by the community. There’s no corporate sponsorships, no cover, no line. The music is interspersed with choirs, marching bands, lounge singing and queer aerobics. And the stage show takes second place to friends, food, and impromptu glitter fights.

And, for most of the day, that’s what it was. Tents were pitch and blankets unrolled. People passed around candy and health information. Kids hung out next to near naked drag queens. People were greeted with ‘Happy GayBi’ instead of ‘Hello’. ‘Happy GayBi’, like it was a church group celebrating a holiday picnic. Incidentally, this year it took place in an abandoned churchyard, with the sign that still read ‘Seven days without prayer makes one weak’. On the back it said ‘God is Love’.

There was no mistaking that this was the most planned GayBi I’d seen. There were designated walkways, and separate sections for picnicking and dancing. There was even talk of a shuttle to help out with the parking situation.

And that professionalism extended to the line-up, which seemed almost exclusively drawn from national and international acts. Which is sad, and not just because I miss Butch County. Locals like Krudxs Cubensi and BLXPLTN killed it, and showed what the local queer community is capable of.

The only downside it was cold. A semi warm afternoon meant people braved it in tights. But a cold snap later that afternoon sent most back home to get jackets. The Sahara Lounge, which was hosting a tie in all day dance party, became a refuge. Ironically.

By sunset, though, it seemed like the crowd was changing. Maybe the stature of Mykki Blanco and Le1f caused more than the usual amount of SXers to venture into the grounds. Or it could be the Sahara dance party had drawn away most of the longtime attendees. Or it could be that I left too early. That I should’ve stayed at the dance party instead of going home. In my experience, it has a way of excising negative energy. And I get the feeling that people who left had a much different impression than people who stayed.

I can’t help but feel a little worried, though. This is exactly what happened to SXSW. Believe it or not, locals used to love Sx. It was a meeting of like-minded creative to celebrate music. But, over time, it became less about celebration and more about self-promotion. That shift spurned a group of local DIY ‘alternatives’, of which GayBiGayGay was one. It’s survived by focusing on the tight knit local queer community.

But now I wonder if it isn’t in danger of going the way of its predecessors. I mean, is there going to be security now? Will we have to have sponsorships and fundraisers to fund it? Will that mean looking for bigger and bigger acts, until GxGG outgrows the very community who it was made by and for?

Maybe I’m being pessimistic. Okay, I’m being very pessimistic, but maybe it’s unfair. In the past few years, I’ve seen GayBiGayGay straddle the line between insular familiarity, and extroverted showmanship. And I worry that the balance will tip.

I don’t think I could offer any advice, because honestly I had an amazing time. And for several hours, hundreds of other people did, too. Without much more than some music, some food, and each other’s company. It’s enough to make Sartre turn in his grave.

Happy GayBi, indeed. 

(Source: csection)

Mar 9

No one is born homosexual, how can you say this? Allah did not put that into us. For years and years no one practiced this act until the people of lut, thats why he destroyed them. We are all born pure as angels and the world shapes us, people shape us and our environment. You must not give in or promote this temptation.

Anonymous

Oh, you’re tough enough to tell me what to do, but not enough to tell me who you are. For the record, I leave anonymous questions open for people who are struggling with their sexuality. People who need to reach out to someone, but are scared about being outed to their families and communities. What’s your excuse?

Mar 8

so i was just wondering, if you dont mind me asking, what your ethnic background is, apart from being an american.

Anonymous

Egyptian

destroyedforcomfort

destroyedforcomfort

(Source: thedykewiththespikes)

Feb 9

labrujamorgan:

hashtagsagainstpatriarchy:

If I never see another cute boy as long as I live, that would be fine. 

isn’t cute boy an oxymoron? 

frustratingly, it isn’t.

(Source: chroniccisphobia)

The Larger Story

ericnus:

I try to avoid writing about reporting because I constantly feel like reporting is something I’m still figuring out. That said, I know Caleb Hannan a little, and did just write a feature that involved a trans woman as one of the two principles. I actually feel like I have a stake in the debate…

paintdeath:

deep

paintdeath:

deep

(Source: peter-from-neverland)