I believe that the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
I believe all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of kinship, love and tolerance.
I don't believe in distinction of any kind, such as
- race, colour, ethnicity, nationality
- sex, gender identity
- sexual orientation
- language, culture
- religion, spirituality
- political opinion
- any opinion
- origin (social, national or any other kind)
- age
- weight, size
- looks, beauty or lack of it
- disability or illness, visible or invisible, of mind or body
- property, wealth
- birth
- other status or identity

Friday, December 30, 2016

Taylor Swift

 5 Important Reasons I Can't Love Taylor Swift Anymore

You feel what you feel. None of my business. But I don't think those reasons are valid... perhaps you express them in a way I don't understand, being a white European woman. Our cultural reference frames are very different.

1) "Her Music Videos Are Full Of Cultural Appropriation"

Firstly, she has made 38 music videos. You talk about two.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of another culture.

Was there any of that in "Wildest Dreams"? No.

I can see how it was insensitive, inappropriate and just wrong, but there was no cultural appropriation.

So, was there that in "Shake It Off"? Perhaps. But there were many different dance styles presented and Taylor was relating to them all equally, so I don't think you can say it was racist or "perpetuating stereotypes".

Let's compare that to Nicki Minaj's Anaconda. It shows black women as twerking bottoms and the message of the song is "it doesn't matter if you are kind, smart, funny and loving, all that matters is that you have a big butt.."
Also, how do they justify placing the video in the middle of South American jungles? And not one Native American in the video... but that's OK, because Nicki isn't white?

"This time, I couldn't find any excuses on her behalf."
OK. What about this:
Someone else made the casting?
The director didn't want any black people on the set?
That's the way Africa is presented in Bogambo, African Queen, Out of Africa and English Patient, which was their intention with the video.

The profits from the video go to save and protect the African wildlife shown in the video.

I'm not saying those make anything OK, just that there are excuses.

2. She Constantly Displays White Feminism

With other words "she doesn't seem invested in the struggles of nonwhite women". Fair enough.

But - there was no squabble between Swift and Minaj. People accuse Taylor of "derailing" Nicki's "important issues", and say that Nicki was trying to speak for black women and against the sexism of focusing on skinny as beauty ideal. In my mind Taylor's reaction is very understandable. When a black woman's video was nominated, and when Taylor was the only woman in the nominated videos with "a very slim body", it's hard to see how Nicki was NOT saying "Taylor was nominated only because she's a skinny white woman, and it should have been my video there". I suppose it's even harden when one is a skinny white woman...
And she invited Nicki to the stage if she wins, and she won. Did Nicki take the opportunity to get on stage to speak about how non-white people and especially women are being exploited?
Nope. Why?

3. Her Use Of "Squad" Is Also Cultural Appropriation

No, it's not.
1) Squad is an existing word that has been existing for hundreds of years, and within white culture it is nothing more than a synonym to "group", "team", "pack".
2) How long has the "black youth culture" used the word, and how probable is it that the white culture is even aware of this usage?
3) Who do you think is more "mainstream"? Taylor Swift or Waka Flocka Flame and Gucci Manet?
I suppose it's not a surprise to you that I have only heard one of those names.
I also assume you don't want me to tell you how "Gucci" is cultural appropriation.

Seriously, that your culture has one meaning to a word, it doesn't mean that another culture can't have another meaning to the word.

4. And The Demographics Of Her "Squad" Are Problematic

A white girl born in Pennsylvania, grown up in Tennessee, who has been famous for some 10 years, has friends who look just like her. Most black singers are also shown with black women.
She also told Nicki to come up to the stage with her if she wins, and she won. But I suppose if she had done that, people would accuse Taylor of tokenism.

It's kind of ironic that people are making it HER problem that her "squad" reminds them of the popular girls. Taylor was bullied at school by the popular girls, too. She was too tall and too skinny and looked weird and liked country music, when everyone else loved something else. 

5. She Refuses To Acknowledge Her Privilege

Ok, so she is a rich, white girl, and also tall, skinny and pretty. What would SHE know about obstacles and difficulties?

Of course she has had it easier than 90% of people. But that doesn't mean she is lying about the hardship. One thing with first world problems is that they are so difficult to take seriously. We are spoiled rotten. But to us it's the norm. It's all we know. Just like every other human being on this planet, you included, we believe the world is like it is to us for everyone else.It's not "refusal to acknowledge our privilege", it's failure to understand. But when one is spoiled rotten, what is a wrinkle to you, is a mountain to me. Because it IS the "worst" that has ever happened to me. It was painful. It was hard. It was an obstacle. It's totally subjective, so it cannot be compared.

For example, I have fibromyalgia, which means that my body aches more or less all of the time. I can't even remember what it was like not to be in pain. The last time that happened was when my doctor ordained new painkillers and they kicked in. It lasted for a week, I think it was march 10 years ago. I remember standing on the bus stop and wondering what was wrong because I didn't feel like I used to... and then I realized... the pain was gone. I felt "normal". OMG, it was wonderful! Why don't healthy people understand how invincible they are!
Being in pain 24/7 has also its benefits. I can function with migraine. I can function when smells make me want to vomit, and I can't deal with light, and the pain is splitting my head. I have learned to ignore it. I can walk on sprained ankle. No problems. That's just a little more annoying than what I usually have.
So when I see someone sprain their ankle and fall on a sniveling heap and crying - CRYING - because the pain is SO BAD, I roll my eyes and think they are making a lot of noise over nothing. Just get up and move, and whine about the ankle when you're done.
But who am I to laugh at someone's pain? Maybe that IS the worst they have ever experienced? Maybe that is crippling to them.
And maybe there are people who live with worse pain than I do, and to whom I am the sniveling wussy. Like children with cancer... and I'm pretty sure they don't judge me.

So, please, don't compare journeys. Just because there are people who have a harder journey than others, others' journeys aren't easy.

And, sure, she could use her fame and influence better. What about giving her ideas? Write her a speech? Give her suggestions on how to make a video that is NOT offensive? How she could be more inclusive of the non-white population?

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