By Any Other Name
the tale of Willow

Willow
Date: 10:10PM | Sun, July 3rd | 2011
Subject: 'Going Native' - 2
Security: Public
Tags:#privilege(s), #race issues: writing, #social justice issues, book series: foreigner, thinky thoughts

"Going native" is a colonizer's expression, right? It's about longing, but also about contempt; it's What These People Need Is A Honky, it's about being a better native than the natives, it's about "native" meaning "primitive," "erasable". And it's also about fear: the fear of the arrogant, that if they stop erecting boundaries, they'll dissolve into the Other. - 2009, CoffeeandInk @ Livejournal.

Someone else did explore the the thoughts I'd found bubbling up to think more on later and posted about at this early entry; about the concept of the term 'Gone Native/ Going Native'.

ASIDE:Seriously since last year, since the beginning of this year, it's been amazing to me how much I wasn't at my best in 2009 at all. How clearly I wasn't thinking. How I just wasn't making connections as fast as is probably normal for me. And to think I'm still dealing with exhaustion and depression, just not at quite so heavy a megaton of weight.


Another good quote from Coffeandink, same essay: " Cherryh, for example, isn't great at racial diversity -- lots of white and default white people in there. But the way she thinks about otherness and conflict and alien contact undercuts some of the manifest destiny/white man's burden implications of older sf."

This also explains why, as much as I near hunger for conversation on the Series (having read it twice now, 12 books, in the space of a 2 month period and seriously considering yet another re-read) - I can't last more than two mins tops skimming through boards that deal with the topic, or Cherryh's own blog hosted fan comments. It hits me right in the gut that these readers are all white and heavily unexamined in their privilege. Who they focus on, why they focus on them, the power and importance they want the white male human character to have or think he deserves, the little micro-aggressions showing that the Atevi are side-kicks in a story about the progression of their own homeworld. The very present hovering oppressive feel I get reading their words of 'What those aliens needed was a honkey. Yay!'

I feel I will lose everything that soothes me about these books, if I venture forth to dicuss them outside certain circles - subtle things like Caejeri as immigrant within his own culture.

PS: I don't read Mospherians as American AT ALL. They're space faring Canadian/Australians to me. With Ogun becoming, what I think, far too many Australians wish would happen to that land's continued Aboriginal Tribes People

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Willow
Date: 07:51PM | Fri, November 19th | 2010
Subject: Picking Out The Blue M&M's
Security: Public
Mood:exhausted exhausted
Tags:#privilege(s), #s is for survivor, #social justice issues

A little blonde, blue eyed girl child likes Star Wars. Boys at her school tell her different. She starts wanting to take a pink water bottle to school. Her mother has means and opportunity to write about it all in an editorial for a Chicago news source. People write in, email in, sign up for accounts to comment, news travels to Star Wars peeps who do things, want to send things etc... BUT...

But I find myself wondering about the little girls and boys who aren't white, who get told there's no one in Star Wars like them, or that they have to be an alien to count. And while I don't begrudge a child, I begrudge the system that makes me wince knowing that if it wasn't a little blonde, blue eyed child, with a parent with means and access - it'd just be one more smear of bullying on a family's attempt to survive.

I've done a lot of thinking on my own about consumerism, the pressure to push gender biased on things, etc. But the books I read didn't discuss what it's like dealing with those messages and not being white. What it's like dealing with bootay in thongs in rap videos, and being black. Or what it's like that there are girls who fall all over themselves over Bishies, but ignore actual Asian boys.

I can't go 'Geek Girls Unite' just like that. I actually feel somewhat angry at being asked to jump while asking 'how high'.

And I can feel the exhaustion hitting already at the thought of idiots gong 'Why are you bringing race into this blah blah ignorance cakes'.

ETA: Comment I left elsewhere

I had not considered 'coddling' as the reason I was so twinge-grr about it all. I thought it had lots to do with her looking the part of blonde, blue eyes, chubby rosy cheeks - which people like to believe is the only way to be ALL AMERICAN. AND then treating her tenderly BECAUSE she's a girl.

And me thinking of all the other kids who just have to -deal- with stuff like that, sometimes harsher, where their parent can't go call for help on a system with loads of viewers and basically go 'Here, make my kid feel better, internet'

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Willow
Date: 03:44PM | Sat, March 20th | 2010
Subject: NCIS + Privilege (Cnt...)
Security: Public
Tags:#privilege(s)

I'm not looking it up right now, but previously this year I wrote up a bit about how NCIS turned me off and how amazingly upset I was about a character previously shown to be empathetic, choosing a dog over a friend who'd been traumatized by same dog. There were of course a bunch of other things, but just now it finally hit me what had disturbed me about one set of circumstances, but which I hadn't been able to pin down definitevely before.

In the show, Abby (Goth Queen of Forensics) goes out briefly with a fellow scientist, one who is of short stature; a Little Person. When they break up, it's all about Abby. But it's only just hit me how privileged the whole thing was. They break up and it's all about how Abby, a normal/average statured person didn't 'see height', and thought they were so good together, but he kept saying there were difficulties. And it came across very, very, much like the problem was all on the side of her Little Person ex; he had issues, he couldn't see beyond height, etc... etc...

Because no where is there any sort of acknowledgement that maybe he didn't want to have to play 'upbeat representative' in his personal/romantic life. That he may have wanted part of his life to be privilege and education free. That the fact that she couldn't even see difficulties to acknowledge them, could have been the problem.

Instead it was very much, if all those people considering themselves minorities would stop harping on the thing that makes them minorities and making normal/average people uncomfortable and upset the world would be a much better place.

And granted Abby's a main character and he was a briefly reoccurring guest - who was then mentioned but not even shown onscreen again, so to a certain extent the break up would be all about her. At the same time, it all was about her. She doesn't blink when she realizes he's a Little Person. She gets rejected for being 'the wrong height' - (Y Hallo Thar 'Reverse Discrimination' Claim). She got her heart broken for 'trusting one of them' and 'he didn't know what he'd given up'.

Subtle, but reinforcing the idea that the best way to deal with humanity's differences is to ignore them and pretend they don't matter and not to do that makes you 'hung up on minority issues'.

I can't be 100% positive, but I'm fairly certain there may been have been a bit of a 'And he wouldn't even educate me!' whine going on in there too.

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By Any Other Name
of Willow
January 2016