New York-based writer and comedian Akilah Hughes was inspired by challenges in her own interracial relationship to create this funny and pointed video about how to treat black women as human. Hughes told the Huffington Post:
I think Black women are exoticized in interracial relationships because the media only portrays Black women in a few ways, while other races tend to get more options. The media mold for a young Black woman is very limited–must be extremely aggressive, commandeering, unintelligent, etc.–while that has not been the case with the overwhelming majority of Black women I’ve met from all different backgrounds. Truthfully, I think more Black women would feel comfortable dating outside of their race if that wasn’t the case, because it’s one thing to have a TV show or movie that doesn’t know you see you in that negative light–it’s quite another to find out that your significant other does as well. When media starts to reflect the actual world we inhabit instead of aiming to create it, I’m sure there will be greater understanding in interracial relationships.
At 24, I found myself faced with a strange and alienating reality, particularly after having just finished the cliché college experience: I found myself having to put effort into finding a date. And then soon after, I found myself making a film about it.
Of course, the short I made, “Sex on Wheels”, is actually about a lot more than that. The film was meant to be a portrait of the bike community in Toronto, as seen through the eyes of an outsider (at 24, I didn’t know how to ride a bike). A running joke I had at the time was how not knowing to ride my bike was killing my dating life, and a series of random/wonderful events turned that idea into a film project.
I’ll spare you the semi-pretentious director’s statement that perhaps no filmmaker can avoid, highlighting all the themes and hidden messages and triumphs that they find in their work, even in something as light as “Sex on Wheels.”
At the end of the day, I found myself, a feminist, to be the director of a film that follows me trying to find a man. And it made me feel weird. Read more
Back on Thursday, January 16 I joined UBC PhD candidate and activist Lucia Lorenzi, and sociology professor Rachel Sullivan for a discussion-oriented panel discussion on campus at UBC. This BARtalk event was hosted by the Terry Project and the UBC Sexual Assault Support Centre as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The topic was rape culture in the media in 2013. Gord Katic moderated the discussion and we talked about what “rape culture” is, how it affects women, how the media factors in, how it played out particularly at UBC last year with the frosh week chants, and things we can all do to help end rape culture.
One action I particularly emphasized and want to mention again is the opportunity we have to read and provide feedback on Femifesto’s toolkit for Canadian media, which the Toronto-based feminist collective prepared to help improve Canadian media reporting on sexual assault. Anyone can read the first version and submit feedback by the end of August.
The audio of the evening is below, along with introduction and help explaining the A/V elements that were shown.
The debate on “toxic twitter feminism” continues and I haven’t written about it for two reasons – I haven’t had the energy; and I feel like as a straight, white, able-bodied, cis feminist, I’m not the most important voice. Luckily a lot of others have been writing amazing, thought-provoking pieces about “twitter feminism” and how it relates to race, exclusion, emotions, “call out culture”, and allyship. Here are a few:
I started with Kate Atkinson’s third Jackson Brodie mystery novel, When Will There Be Good News?, then I went back to the beginning. But if I had started at the first one, would I have even finished the series?
Atkinson’s protagonist is private detective Jackson Brodie: a world-weary, cranky, cynical, tough-guy with “a deeply empathetic heart”, according to Atkinson’s website. Trouble finds him in the most unlikely but plausible of ways, and he attracts or is attracted to seemingly hopeless causes. He sometimes functions more as someone to bring all the rest of the novels’ other complex and interesting characters together than as the person really driving the action. He’s complex.
But he’s also really sexist and quite homophobic, especially in the first two books.