If you’re not upset about Katniss, Tonto, or Khan being played by white people, but you are upset about Annie being played by a black girl, you’re probably racist.
And by probably I mean definitely.
International Women’s Day: a day, according to the UN, to “reflect on progress made”, to “celebrate acts by ordinary women”. Few would say that it fails to do this. Last year Google marked it with a doodle, and there were events from streets marches to window displ of Selfridges, who marked it with a short film showing famous female designers and presenters.
Yet all this fails to reflect exactly what the day means. Amid pastel Gifs and shop windows full of well-off women, barely a whisper could be heard about those who brought the day into being. Perhaps it’s not surprising: next to them, modern feminists look a little wet. They forged International Women’s Day (IWD) in the midst of fire, bloody strikes, starving workers and revolution.
Luise Zietz and Clara Zetkin were the first to come up with the idea. Inspired by growing numbers of female activists, in 1910 they proposed to the second Socialist International the organisation of a day worldwide dedicated to promoting women’s rights.
Against a backdrop of ambivalence from male unions, women had been organising for decades. Cap-makers, match girls and laundresses had all picketed at the turn of the 20th century, and as Zetkin and Zietz made their proposal, the “Uprising of the 20,000” was drawing worldwide attention. A bloody strike by New York’s garment workers, it was led by Clara Lemlich, a 23-year-old Ukrainian-Jewish immigrant who rallied tens of thousands of women to the picket lines even after thugs hired by her employers broke her ribs.
The first IWD took place on 19 March 1911. Over a million women across Europe took to the streets calling for equal rights. Jubilation at the day’s success was short-lived: less than a week later fire ripped through the sweatshop where Clara Lemlich worked, killing 146 workers who had been locked inside by their employers. Lemlich lost a cousin to the flames, collapsing in hysterics when she was unable to find her body. The tragedy – still one of the worst industrial disasters in US history – brought universal condemnation, focusing future IWD campaigning fiercely on worker’s rights.
Cis men like Jared Leto have their pick of roles in Hollywood. Meanwhile, trans* actors are rarely considered, and when substantial roles are written as trans* they are almost always cast with cis actors. The cis actors are celebrated as the trans* actors are shut out, and this is wrong.
Or maybe they chose him because he’s an amazing actor, who they thought could do the part …
I was expecting at least one person to naively respond with this exact argument. On the surface it sounds really compelling—believe me, I used to spout defensive stuff like this all the time. Pretending it is all a meritocracy, prioritizing an actor’s “talent” over the representation of marginalized people…
When we say things like this, we are basically saying that the best people to portray trans characters are people who are not trans. As if good acting and being trans are mutually exclusive, and that is good enough of a reason to justify leaving them out of stories about them.
And the arrogance, the enormous arrogance of us cis people to think that we can portray the struggles of trans people better than they can—better than the people who have to live in the cissexist world that we create that they have to live in!
Jared Leto played trans in a movie and tonight he’s taking home that golden statue. Tommorow he will wake up and field a ton of phone calls offering him roles to play exciting cis characters. Meanwhile, trans people will continue to struggle for representation in the scarce amount of films about them. They’ll continue to struggle for basic rights while Dallas Buyers Club and the Academy’s Best Supporting Actor award for a trans woman character reinforce to the average cis person that the gender identities of trans people are not real, that the best actors to play trans characters are cis actors, and that trans people are not needed in movies with trans characters.
WAKE. THE. FUCK. UP.
- DEPRESSION IS NOT SPECIAL
- ANXIETY IS NOT CUTE
- SELF HARM SCARS ARE NOT BEAUTIFUL
- SUICIDE IS NOT POETIC
- EATING DISORDERS ARE NOT GLAMOROUS
- MENTAL ILLNESSES ARE NOT ROMANTIC SO STOP TREATING THEM THAT WAY
- SCHIZOPHRENIA IS TERRIFYING
- DON’T PRETEND TO HAVE HALLUCINATIONS
- YOU DON’T FUCKING WANT THEM
ANNE FRANK WAS BI
HOW DID NO ONE EVER TELL ME THIS
I FEEL FUCKING ROBBED
Excuse me while I memorize this list
I keep trying to tell people this but nobody believes me.
haha yea they edited bits of her diary out which included anne expressing attraction to girls and it’s even been banned from schools because of this!! fun fact
“Unconsciously, I had these feelings even before I came here. Once when I was spending the night at Jacque's, I could no longer restrain my curiosity about her body, which she'd always hidden from me and which I'd never seen. I asked her whether, as proof of our friendiship, we could touch each other's breasts. Jacque refused. I also had a terrible desire to kiss her, which I did. Every time I see a female nude, such as the Venus in my art history book, I go into ecstasy. Sometimes I find them so exquisite I have to struggle to hold back my tears. If only I had a girlfriend!"
American author, activist, and lecturer Helen Keller, June 11, 1916 (via womenaresociety)
Reminder that Helen Keller was a bad ass, and the fact that people only remember her as an “inspirational” child is really annoying.
international womens day today
dont forget to include trans women, disabled women, women of colour, non-binary people who partly identify as women, queer women, all women.all of them. i don’t want to see any derailed posts today about shit like “international mens day” it doesnt fly like that
i swear to god if i see ONE MORE programme about the london economic boom~~~~ without some acknowledgement of the following:
- that more than a quarter of londoners live in poverty. hackney is the most deprived borough in england. tower hamlets has the worst child poverty, with more than half of children who live there in poverty, and the london boroughs of islington, westminster, camden, and, again, hackney, all make the top ten. there are londoners living on slum houseboats without heating or water in order to make rent. homelessness has increased by 13%. (and it increased a staggering 43% the preceeding year.) rents are twice the national average. more than 60% of teachers have personally fed children in their classes who would not have eaten otherwise. we are increasingly re-creating a london that would not seem unfamiliar to henry mayhew. does this scare anyone? am i scaring you yet?
- that nobody is asking the right questions. who is benefiting from this economic boom, as clearly it is not 25-30% of londoners, at the very least? where is the money coming from? who does it belong to? how can you call something a boom when thousands of children in the same city can’t afford three meals a day? does that sound accurate to you? does that sound right?
- that, yeah, london jumps the queue. some of london. the bitterness felt about london, especially in the most northern english cities and in scotland and wales is palpable, and, frankly, pretty justified. if you want to make programmes about the north/south divide, why don’t you make them in the north? why are they always filmed in the south? why don’t they ever have any real depth to them? if you want to talk about the north/south divide, why haven’t you tried talking to any actual northerners?
—then i am gonna cut a bitch.
macklemore: “don’t shit on other people just because they’re of a different race or because of their sexuality.”
the world: “hey, lets shit on macklemore because he’s straight and white; therefore he shouldn’t be spreading a good message because he’s already privileged.”
macklemore: *drafts songs about systematic oppression* $$$^$$$$$$$
groups under oppression: “Please stop exploiting the very real struggles of the GSRM and minority communities for your wallet”
the world: “HEY HE HAS A GOOD MESSAGE OK STOP HATING JUST BECAUSE HES WHITE AND PRIVILEGED ITS AMAZING ITS NOT LIKE ANYONE ELSE HAS TRIED TO TALK ABOUT THESE ISSUES BEFORE THIS IS SO EYEOPENING”