Jun. 13th, 2011

azn_jack_fiend: (landlady)
I saw it with my mother earlier tonight. Since she actually lived through the Cuban missile crisis there was quite a bit of eye-rolling at certain points! Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but it had some major flaws. 

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azn_jack_fiend: (aguirre)
I just finished reading the awful story of "Amina" and the embarrassing story of "Paula". Two white men (and probably straight, at least they don't claim otherwise) pretending to be lesbians. On one level their motivations are predictable and reflective of the on-the-internet-nobody-knows-you're-a-dog syndrome. They got pleasure out of pretending to be someone else, and that sort of pleasure (mimesis) is very basic to human beings. In its most benign form, it transforms into acting and art and makes people's lives a little brighter; on the nastier side, it helps fuel con artistry and even lying for the sake of torture.

But I think there's something else beyond sheer mimetic pleasure involved in this cases. The two lying liars involved obviously thought they were doing something noble. They both express frustration with having their lesbian-supporting views dismissed back when they identified as men.  Then, once they were internet lesbians, people listened to them! And they could do... good things! Yeah!

At least, that's what they told themselves. I don't think that's the case. It's not that people didn't listen to them as much when they were men: I bet lesbians didn't listen to them as much when they were men. And that's who they wanted acknowledgment from. They wanted the sweet, sweet regard of the exotic minority.

I used to be a member of an Asian-American internet community, and I remember one white guy getting unmasked one time. It really blew my mind. It's not even that he had to be Asian to be a member, because there were other white and non-Asian members who were perfectly honest about it, and as long as they weren't obnoxious, they were welcome. But he really wanted to present as Asian, I guess. He used most of his time on there to rant about the problem of Asian women celebrities having too much sex with white men. I don't know what caused him to do this, but he was obviously a very sick individual.

Having learned a lesson from this and other episodes, I try to treat everyone the same, whatever they claim to be. I judge them by their words and reasoning and less by their stated identity (unless they're weeaboos, of course, who don't deserve the benefit of a doubt).

If these men really wanted to support lesbian causes on the internet, they should have identified honestly and spent their time advancing those issues among other men. They would have gone onto forums with a lot of men and argued and gotten dogpiled and stuck with it. They would have come in for a lot of scorn and mockery because that's hard, but it would have been good work.

That's why I really like Tim Wise, even though i don't agree with him on everything, and even though I know there's a lot of controversy among anti-racist activists about him. He's a white guy who makes money from anti-racist books and speaking and articles. But he's always been honest about it. In White Like Me, he flat out says, I am saying nothing that people of color have not already said a million times before. However, because he's white, when he says the same things, white people listen to him. So he's acknowledging the problematic nature of what he does, and taking a higher road.

I wish Tom MacMaster could go to jail for this, but since all the people who's lives he endangered are brown people in a foreign country, I doubt he ever will. But both he and Bill Graber deserve everlasting shame for this, and I hope people don't believe their lies about their noble intentions.

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