I was walking near the Port Authority Bus Terminal recently when a balding guy smoking a joint yells “Sexy Asian girl!” I give him a dirty look; he smiles.
As a 26-year-old Korean-American woman, I am wary of men whose attraction to Asian women leads to exaggerated gestures. I still remember Sam, the “Asiaphile” in my freshman dorm who majored in East Asian studies, practiced t’ai chi and presented handmade origami paper cranes to his love interests. Then there was Matt, whom I met at a wedding. When he mentioned that he was “really into Asian girls,” I wasn’t sure what he meant. I wondered if he had some perverse “Oriental” fantasy to satisfy. When I showed no interest, Matt moved on to Grace, the only other Asian girl in a reception of 150.
Asian women are everywhere. We rank No. 11 on the blog “Stuff White People Like” and star in a host of iPhone apps: “Cute Asian Girls” promised; “If you have yellow fever, this app is the cure!” “Asian Boobs,” which heralds our modest-sized racks, was a top seller for the App Store in October.
Now, we’re playing peek-a-boo in “Puff!” In this app, the user selects a photo from a scrolling selection of Japanese women, then blows into the iPhone microphone to lift the woman’s skirt and reveal her undergarments. The more vigorously the user blows and rubs the screen, the higher the skirt flies. Shyly attempting to cover herself, the woman yelps delightedly, wearing an inviting smile. “If the girls don’t react, try changing breath length,” instructions advise. “Winning a special bonus is all up to you!”
I’m infuriated at the thought of sitting next to some pervert on the subway furiously blowing and touching a woman who giggles adorably in response. But what I hate most about this app is that it feeds into an old and tired stereotype. The image of the voiceless, passive Asian woman is a common form of racism in visual media. She’s the “Puff!” woman - cutesy and obedient, she’d never kick a creep to the curb. She’s not too different from that saccharine Hello Kitty, the infantilized mail-order bride who promises to “love you long time” or the hypersexualized character in anime porn.
Passing off sexual stereotypes that reduce women as objects of so-called harmless fetishes is socially irresponsible. And it’s not harmless. By fostering a culture of behavior that denigrates one group of women, all women are denigrated. And that is unacceptable.
In 2005, a white Princeton graduate student admitted to secretly cutting locks of hair from nine Asian women. He apparently took the hair to fill women’s underwear and mittens, which he then used for personal sexual gratification. He even poured his urine and semen into the drinks of Asian women more than 50 times in the student dining hall.
In 2000, two Japanese women in Spokane, Wash., were raped by two white men and a woman who admitted to having a sexual fetish for “submissive” Asian women and targeted them because they believed the women’s submissiveness would prevent the assaults from being reported. In November of last year, police were searching for a serial rapist known for prowling the subway at Union Square for Asian women to follow home.
Contrary to their claim, tongue-in-cheek apps featuring “Cute Asian Girls” hardly “cure yellow fever.” Instead, by cashing in on insulting cliches, they only serve to spread the infection.
Planned Parenthood is excited to be launching our new Tumblr that’s all about sexual and reproductive health – bodies, birth control, relationship issues, “is it normal for this to do this?” type things. In the coming weeks and months we’ll be sharing what we know, answering questions, and just… tumblring.
“[TRIGGER WARNING: Rape] Fat women are treated as utterly undesirable in our culture [and] are often turned into a ‘bizarre’ fetish object. The result is that fat women are told to be grateful for any sexual attention they receive from anyone, whether they themselves find that person sexually appealing or not. In other words, even more than your average women, fat women are only allowed to be occasional objects of desire and are regularly denied their right to have and pursue sexual desires of their own.
That way of thinking becomes very dangerous when sexual violence is mixed in. When fat women are raped, they’re often told they should be grateful that anyone wanted them, or, alternatively, disbelieved because it doesn’t seem plausible that anyone would want them ‘enough to rape them.’ These arguments not only rely on the dangerous myth that rape is about uncontrollable sexual desire (it’s not), but also propagate the message that fat women’s bodies aren’t valuable enough to the culture for their violation to be taken seriously.”—Jaclyn Friedman, What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety (via wewantrevolutiongirlstylenow)
My name is Monique and I am a Native American of the Navajo tribe. I’m from Arizona, and there is currently an issue going on about Navajo and Hopi water rights.
It is called “Senate Bill 2109”. Its sole purpose is to “ask the Navajo and Hopi peoples to waive their priority Water Rights to the surface waters of the Little Colorado River ‘from time immemorial and thereafter, forever’ in return for the shallow promise of uncertain federal appropriations to supply minimal amounts of drinking water to a handful of reservation communities.”
Coming from the Navajo Reservation myself, I know that not very many people have running water. The land that was allotted to us as a people is where we build our houses, our lives. To have running water connected takes about 5 years; there is a waiting list. With our water rights taken away, we will have to once again live by the government’s standards. No longer will we be independent.
In my tribe, water is life. Tó bee íína’. To have that taken away from us is to take away our ability to keep our livestock alive, to plant crops, to do anything that would help sustain us as a people. If the government knew that, then why take it away at all? Haven’t you already taken enough? Native Americans are humans too, and we deserve to be treated as such.
I ask for everyone who’s reading this to help support the elimination of this bill. There is a link below to sign a petition to “kill the bill”. Help us keep our water rights.
Aleister Crowley, c 1938. Photograph: Hulton Getty
“The ‘black magic’ libel action again came before Mr. Justice Swift and a special jury in the King’s Bench Division yesterday.
Mr. Aleister Crowley, the author, claimed damages against Miss Nina Hamnett, authoress of a book entitled ‘Laughing Torso,’ and Messrs. Constable and Co., Limited, the publishers, and Messrs. Charles Whittingham and Briggs, the printers.
Mr. Crowley complained that the book imputed that he practised ‘black magic’ and he said this was a libel upon him. The defence was a plea of justification.
At the material time Mr. Crowley had a villa on the mountain-side at Cefalu, Sicily, which was known as the ‘Abbey of Thelema.’ He denied that he practised ‘black magic’ there. He also denied that a baby mysteriously disappeared, as the defence alleged, from the ‘Abbey.’
Mr. Martin O’Connor (for Miss Hamnett) resuming his cross-examination yesterday, invited Mr. Crowley to try his magic in court. ‘You said yesterday,’ said Mr O’Connor, ‘that, as the result of early experiments, you invoked certain forces with the result that some people were attacked by unseen assailants. Try your magic now on my learned friend (pointing to Mr. Malcolm Hilbery, K.C.). I am sure he will not object.’ ‘I would not attack anyone,’ replied Mr. Crowley. ‘I have never done wilful harm to any human being.’
When invited again Mr. Crowley replied: ‘I absolutely refuse.’
‘On a later occasion,’ continued Mr. O’Connor, ‘you said you succeeded in rendering yourself invisible. Would you like to try that on now for, if you don’t, I shall pronounce you an imposter? - You can ask me to do anything you like. It won’t alter the truth.’
Counsel then dealt with the ritual observed in the ceremonies at the villa at Cefalu. Mr. Crowley denied that a cat was killed in the ceremony and that part of the cat’s blood was drunk by a person taking part. ‘There was no cat, no animal, no blood, and no drinking,’ he declared.
In re-examination Mr. Crowley agreed that he had studied black magic, though only as a student. He had never practised black magic, and had always written about it in terms of strongest condemnation.
When Mr. Crowley’s evidence was concluded Mr. Justice Swift asked him to tell the Court ‘the shortest, and at the same time comprehensive, definition of magic which he knew.’
Mr. Crowley: Magic is the science of the art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will. White magic is if the will is righteous and black magic is if the will is perverse.
Mr. Justice Swift: Does that involve the invocation of spirits? - It may do so. It does involve the invocation of the holy guardian angel who is appointed by Almighty God to watch over each of us.
Is it in your view, the art of controlling spirits so as to affect the course of events? - That is part of magic. One small branch.
If the object of the control is good then it is white magic? - Yes.
When the object of the control is bad what spirits do you invoke? - You cannot invoke evil spirits. You must evoke them and call them out.
When the object is bad you evoke evil spirits? - Yes. You put yourself in their power. In that case it is possible to control evil spirits or blind spirits for a good purpose as we might if we use the dangerous elements of fire and electricity for heating and lighting, &c.”
Neither plague, nor war, nor smallpox, nor a crowd of similar evils, have resulted more disastrously for humanity than the habit of masturbation: it is the destroying element of civilized society.
- New Orleans Medical & Surgical Journal - 1850
“Scientific” declarations like these inspired Dr. John Harvey Kellogg (brother of the Corn Flakes Kellogg) in his campaign to eradicate masturbation from the United States.Though widely considered to be one of the leading sex educators of his day, Kellogg proudly claimed never to have had intercourse with his wife in over four decades of marriage.
As a medical doctor, Kellogg claimed the moral authority to instruct parents on the proper sexual education of their children. If you’re unfamiliar with the writings of Kellogg and others like him, their gloating disdain for basic human eroticism is chilling and unmistakable. In his best-selling Plain Facts for Old and Young (written on his sexless honeymoon in 1888), Kellogg offered parents guidance for dealing with their sons’ natural erotic self-exploration in a section entitled “Treatment for Self-Abuse and its Effects:”
A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision… . The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anaesthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment… . [emphasis added]
If circumcising a struggling, terrified boy without anesthesia wasn’t quite what a parent had in mind, Kellogg recommended “the application of one or more silver sutures in such a way as to prevent erection. The prepuce, or foreskin, is drawn forward over the glans, and the needle to which the wire is attached is passed through from one side to the other. After drawing the wire through, the ends are twisted together and cut off close. It is now impossible for an erection to occur… .”
Parents were assured that sewing their son’s penis into its foreskin “acts as a most powerful means of overcoming the disposition to resort to the practice [of masturbation].”
Circumcision remains prevalent in the United States, though varying greatly by region, ranging from about 40 percent of newborns circumcised in western states to about twice that in the Northeast. This widespread procedure, rarely a medical necessity, has its roots in the anti-masturbation campaigns of Kellogg and his like-minded contemporaries. As sexologist John Money explains, “Neonatal circumcision crept into American delivery rooms in the 1870s and 1880s, not for religious reasons and not for reasons of health or hygiene, as is commonly supposed, but because of the claim that, later in life, it would prevent irritation that would cause the boy to become a masturbator.”
Lest you think Kellogg was interested only in the sadistic torture of boys, in the same book he soberly advises the application of carbolic acid to the clitorises of little girls to teach them not to touch themselves.
Rallies and protest marches will take place across the United States and territories on April 28th. This movement, Unite Against the War on Women, has been gaining momentum across the nation. Events are scheduled at state capitols and major cities in all fifty states, Washington, D.C., American territories, and other areas. All event times and locations are available at UniteWomen.org. A full list of all Facebook group pages by area is available at the end of this article.
This national day of protest is expected to draw thousands of participants. Each state in the United States has their own Facebook group for Unite Against the War on Women as well as corresponding event pages.