Thursday, December 15, 2011

double dongs the size of donkey kong

One interesting thing thats come up in discussion and sales is size! Not in regards to a persons penis but vibrators/dildos/"massagers"

First its good to point out heaps of people have the mindset if you pay more money there should be a large quanity or amount of whatever it is. This is in general, i think. Then there are some folks who will pay more for better quality, long lasting whatever it is. I totally get both points. In an adult shop though, you get what you pay for IMO.

Now to shift to the saucy side of things! We know theres a myth about size for men. Bigger is better for women (or other men but I feel in most spaces this exists in a heteronormative discussion, lesbians dont tend to have this ideal and most gay men don't subscribe to this myth because it is about dominating women and thinking women get off on penetration as opposed to clitoral stimulation. Kk?)

This myth has spread further than I imagined. People leak this into toys. Men take a look at the higher quality, longer lasting, nicer feeling, best warrantied, and ironically, one of the only lines designed by women, luxury toys and say either "shit, I could please a girl better than THAT, I'm way bigger than that thing!" Or "Who the hell would pay for that? No woman would enjoy that, especially for 150-250 bucks!"


It's even gotten into womens heads they need something huge and elephant-like to get 1)pleasure and 2) their moneys worth.

Dont get me wrong. Some women really enjoy that. But its wrong to assume, (especially for vanilla folks, or women who want to get in tune with what pleases them), to reach awesome orgasms that it requires a double fist. Or is anything far from a lelo/swan. Its wrong to assume orgasms can only or should come from penetration. Why is this wrong? Because its not true and stems from male dominated fields full of sexist ideals that dont have a voice or space for women.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Racist Commercial

Recently on TV I saw this

The commerical I saw was the first 30 seconds of the youtube clip I just linked, I guess there's a longer version or a different one? Regardless, it should be clear what is very wrong and very racist with this advertisement.

First, the language. Can someone please confirm what language they're speaking? Because if the commentor both on the YT link and elsewhere are true - it's a fake language. I might add it's a bit fucked up they put subtitles in - not only when it's a fake language - but when the Asian characters are speaking English. The subtitles are even "ungrammatical" to really really DRIVE the point home - these are "ignorant foreigners" ('why they so busy over there'). The description on the link even says "Watch as Sumo Sam and his waiter discover the secret of Alfa One Rice Bran Oil."

Secondly, Asian male roles typically encompass these stereotypes: the "goof", martial artist, have an ancient/ethereal way of living, highly intelligent loner who "can't get a girl", and almost always heavily accented. Think Toshi from American Dad.

This commercial fills most of those stereotypes - they even have a gong sound effect a few times throughout.

Now, there's nothing wrong with having an accent or not speaking English, or not having English as your first language. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. There is something wrong when it's perpetuated as a negative trait in the media, such as in this commercial.

They are associating ignorance with the "other", the accented-English-speaking/fake Asian language/"needing subtitles", non white characters. They make a direct negative connection between the Asian men and their empty restaraunt to their failure to use this healthier, smarter product where, surprise, the white male characters' restaraunts use and they are packed with customers.

I understand the basic concept: Our product is a secret, from a restaraunts standpoint, if you use our product (the target demographic I'm guessing is soewhere with large/mass production compared to at-home cooking) you'll bring in/keep/have happy customers because the food will be amazing. blahblahblahbullshitbullshitbullsiht. Advertising 101.

There could have been sooo many different ways to show this, so many different ideas, presentations. But no. It took a series of meetings, and people in a series of groups and discussions to come with this racism.

Alfa One Rice Bran Oil, shame on you.
This was the only link I can think of to tell them their racist commercial is unwanted:

Friday, December 9, 2011

my body, my business

Recently two events have happened and frankly they have pissed me the hell off.

If anyone recalls my other blogpost about how our bodies are not here to be wallpaper for men and that we are only considered valuable if we look sexy (an inachievable prescribed type of sexy) - well this relates.

These two events involve being scrutinized and insulted about my weight.

Now, I have a hard enouh time keeping my self esteem up with the pressure from other every day external sources we all know about, the media, etc. Just because we know theres a problem with having a warped view of beauty and body idealism and pressure doesnt mean we cannot also fall victim to it. Because we are meant to feel shamed, we react with pride. So it takes a lot of mental and emotional energy for me to feel pride, not feel ashamed, maintain some decent level of confidence and simultaneously, actively try to lose weight. Did i also mention I have hashimotos disease? Okay. That being said...

Im sick to fuck of our bodies being picked apart publically, as if open for damn debate, opinion and consensus. Discriminating, judgemental assholes have the problem of 'viewing' when they see something strange, or really obviously ignoring it because heaven forbid something undesired come into eyesight. But opening your mouth is another damn thing.

So my fiance had his wisdom teeth taken out. His mom invites us over for dinner a few nights later. Sure, why not. When we get there she says we will probably have omelettes. My fiance having just gotten off a huge day of work suggests fish and chips since that is also soft and more filling and we can just pick it up, nobody has to cook, etc!

FMIL: "but thats not good for Tiffany's waist"

Fiance: "her waist is fine"

FMIL "no it's not!"

And she proceeds to look at me and I'm trying to be patient and not react. Take the calm road or whatever the fuck. I don't even look at her. She changes the subject, then later my fiance comments on how good our cottage pie was we tried to make (for the first time evar~) and how funny it was we had to mash potatos with a spoon and fork. Her response?

"No wonder Tiffany is having weight problems." took everything inside me not to explode. I really regret holding it in, to be honest. She, in particular, is really bad. Every time I see her she is on me about my weight, asking if or when or why haven't I gone to the gym, and even going regularly multiple times a week I was, to quote, "probably doing something wrong and needed a personal trainer." This night was probably the worst comment she had ever made to me, directly and blatantly.

The second incident was at my job. I was lacing up corsets while my coworker was checking a girl out. I wasn't even in their chit-chat conversation. She saw we had plus size costumes, commenting "wow you usually don't see that, big girls in sexy outfits." Then waved at me saying "no offense." Im sorry but what the fuck? What in the actual fuck? It was really awkward for me and my coworker. I just smiled and walked off continuing to do my job.

Are people so entitled they think they can shame, humiliate, insult, debate, and flat out negatively comment on my body because im not xyz size or measurements? Are they really that up themselves?

My fiances mom, i think, has good intentions but who gives a shit. Its not her job to care about my weight, its never been her concern. Even if she did want to be caring it requires an element of support, not negativity. She as a person is a whole different case, but as a representation of the type of fuckwit who thinks theyre doing a good public deed by flat out insulting people, she paints a good picture I'd say.

Even if the comments were "positive" its still inappropiate. Like that girl in the shop. "Oh wow big girls can try to look sexy too, even though theyre bigger!" lolstfu! Hiding behind the "compliment" is bull because its still discriminatory, coming from a priviliged person.

To assume that people are in such a horrible state based on nothing but fucked up perceptions of beauty and attraction, that you think its a okay to insult- oh wait these people dont even consider it an insult thats right theyre helping, okay- to comment on that persons body and life that you know NOTHING about is entirely and completely wrong.

I'll put it simply: unsolicited comments are unsolicited. If someone wants your opinion, they will ask. This includes "compliments" and "help". If you cant contain yourself because someone near you isnt a size 6, get fucked! listen to Thumper.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

F*cked Up Facebook Finds 3

Third edition of Facebook finds! You know the drill, lower left hand corner is where you can find the report button.

Page #1: "Giving your pregnant girlfriend the ol 'whoops a daisy' down the stairs"

Violence towards pregnant women. Because if birth control fails when a man ejaculates inside a woman, the man has some right to be so angry at her and the consequence to push her "accidentally" down the stairs, hopefully inducing an abortion. Not, you know, taking responsibility and taking her to a doctor where yall can discuss the options and have a safe abortion, no no, it's much more hilarious to push a woman down the stairs. I'm surprised nobody on the page recently made a "falcon punch" joke.

Page #2: "Hit with the ugly branch? You've been gangbanged by the whole fkin forrest."

Page #3: "That awkward moment when a fat chick trys to be sexy."

Page #4: "Letting ugly chicks suck your dick cause your a top bloke." 

Because it's our place to walk life judging others by how much we want to fuck them! And our standards? What we value? Obviously not anybody considered "fat." And that phrase - hit with the ugly branch - goes from only physical violence to describe someone who's 'ugly' in some asshats eyes, somehow turn into sexual violence, a gang bang.

I'm so sick of people who walk through life sitting on a pedestal, as if they were cops, judging the value of women based on how much they are attracted to them.

So you think someone's ugly? Who the fuck are you? As if the only purpose women have in life is to look good - no wait, not just look good, but look good *specifically* in the way society tells us too (which is dictated by men), at the very least, and in cases like these - to look good and attractive in some random person's eyes. Because obviously if they're deemed ugly by you then they must be depressed as hell. Women weren't put here to be decoration for you - whoever the fuck you are - as if you're so damn important. Women aren't seen as people, but just potential sex toys. And if they're not fuckable (or someone you'd jerk it to) then they can piss off and die? Their existence is annoying?

Get over yourself. Women are people. 100% people. Value them for being a person, not how much your sorry self wishes they could screw them, because they sure as shit don't believe they were put in this world to be your eye candy.

Happy reporting.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Not offended

I get a lot of comments from people who say “I’m a woman and I’m not offended” or, more recently, “I’m native and I wasn’t offended!” at this video, or in general at whatever discriminatory comment or movie or song or whatever that I’m critiquing.

The reason why this argument doesn’t hold strong is because I could easily find someone who does identify as a woman, or native, and is offended. I could also easily find a GLBTQ ally who is offended. But is this necessary in order for the “unoffended” to recognize what’s wrong? 

If someone in a marginalized community raises a concern, it's quite common that before their concern is even heard they have to legitimize it. This, my friends, is disrespect. Plain and simple.

Usually when someone is offended and recognizes this verbally, they’re met with how wrong it is for them to be offended by a discriminatory statement. They say we ultimately chose to be offended. It's our choice to find it insulting. It's our choice to feel belittled. These are the same people who say marginalized folks shouldn't show pride for their community and identity. Failplz.

So the logic is, “I’m not even insulting your community, and if I am, it’s not offensive or disrespectful because I say so. If you’re offended, that’s your fault.”

Acknowledging when something is discriminatory towards a community, be it your own or one you are an ally in, isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s not a testament to how “thin your skin can be,” how “badly you take humor,” how “tight your ass is,” or how much you just need to “get over shit.”

The people making these insulting statements/jokes, or approve them in media, are usually one of four types.

1)      The Privileged Outsider: The most common. They aren't in the community and are very open with their lack of care. These are the types of people who will go on about how their sense of humor is clearly superior to yours, and you need to “lighten up.”

2)      The Pseudo Ally: They aren’t in the community, but attempt to publically recognize what they did/said was wrong by using a friend as an extension of themselves. “I’m not racist, I have a friend who is black!”

In a larger institution, it might come off as something like Richards stated, the Summers Eve advertising agency founder, as a defense for their racist ads. “Our in house multi-cutural experts confirmed the approach.” 

3)      The Convenient Member: They claim to be in the community to waive any kind of trouble they could get in for being so disrespectful. These people aren’t in the culture in its entirety, but cling onto stereotypes. “My great great long lost grandmother was Cherokee, so don’t think I’m being rude, I’m totally 1/16th native which makes my Halloween costume okay.” 

4)      The Normative Spokesperson: They are in the community, in the culture, but are still fine with the insults. I’ll direct you here for some examples. 

Regardless of the category, it all boils down to one thing: They have no respect for the concerns of community being targeted.

They don’t care to recognize how damaging stereotyping is.

They don’t care to recognize how hurtful insults are.

They don’t care to recognize how detrimental it can be to treat your culture like it is up for grabs.

They don’t care to acknowledge the very real, dangerous and violent ways that accepting this disrespect can manifest itself.

They don’t care. They don’t care about the community. They don’t care about the people in it.

If you cared about people being raped, you wouldn’t make/laugh at rape jokes.

If you cared about people being beaten to death, you wouldn’t make/laugh at jokes targeting that group.  

If you cared about people being bullied, you wouldn’t enable bullying by discriminating the people being targeted. 

If you cared about people being abused, you wouldn’t accept their abuse by paying money to the people perpetuating it.

And a hint, people who typically experience this = people of color, GLBTQ folks, people who are overweight, underweight, redheaded, disabled in any way, have an accent, women, work in the sex industry, etc. Sometimes these categories and communities intersect.  The bottom line is: They are different and they are marginalized. From something as “little” as a joke to something as real as murder.

Most people don’t like to be disrespected simply because someone more privileged than them decides it’s okay and has a big powerful mouth. People don’t like this because, believe it or not, they like to be treated as people.

So, if you don’t get offended? Who doesn’t recognize the things listed above? You’re entitled to your opinion. But you should at least recognize that in accepting and perpetuating those beliefs, you’re also excluding yourself from a large portion of that wonderful community.

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Blog by Por-La-Boca is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

F*cked Up Facebook Finds 2

Second edition of F'd Up Facebook Finds! You know the drill, lower left hand corner is where you can find the report button.

Page #1: "Throwing eggs at a slut, brick shaped eggs - made from brick."

Moar violence and shaming towards women.

What's especially disturbing about this page, and the next one, is that it clearly represents how shaming women can directly lead to and harbor violence. So when reporting, it's up to you to decide if you want to report the page for hate speech towards gender or orientation, or a credible threat of violence. So far I have been reporting under hate speech towards gender or orientation.

Page #2:  "Kick the bitch, why? coz shes a slut"

I'm noticing a disgusting theme here.

When someone is trying to degrade women or discount what they say/believe/their existence for whatever reason, it's very typical for them to simply call her a slut.

Don't like what she said? Call her a slut. Don't like what she's wearing? Call her a slut. Don't like how she's (not) talking at all? Call her a slut. We can also replace this with the word bitch, which is very common as well. If you hook up with her, she's a slut. If she won't hook up with you, she's a bitch. If you think she's ugly, sluttybitchbitch. If she engages in sexual activity at any level (depending on the person doing the insulting) she's a slut.

People have no right to look down on women. They especially don't have a right to look down on women simply because they don't like the fact she's a sexual being. Her sex life is not your business.

And if she is going to talk about her sex life, it doesn't matter if she's had one sex partner or 22, it's not your place to judge or shame her.

Please, go read this and pay heavy attention to the effects of slut shaming.

Page #3: "I'm not sexist, sexism is wrong, and being wrong is for women."

Sexism attempts syllogisms. This seems innocent because it seems like such an outrageous joke, nobody could possibly agree with it. "We all know women aren't actually wrong in all aspects of life, we're just joking." Jokes like these are maintained when a real argument or disagreement comes up. Not only is a joke like this a reflection of real values in our culture, a page like this on Facebook fosters a place where women can be bashed, openly, and it's all okay!

We have gems such as this from the people who liked it, "I think it's so effing funny when bitches crack the shits about sexist jokes. Like fuck, pull the wooden spoon out of your ass and cook me something, fuck."

"Put a dick in it females or get back to the kitchen."

i know this is a joke page. but seriousley women are fucking retarded. only good for rooting. coz the birds i know cant even cook fucking shit cunts"

Additionally, there are plenty of other racist comments mimicking the page title such as, "I'm not racist, racism is a crime, and crime is for aboriginals."

Note, there are multiple versions of this page, some other ones besides the one I linked are here, here and here.

 Page #4: "Dropping a spoon and naming your Chinese kid after the noise it makes"

Amongst 99% of the comments spouting "ting, ching chong hurhur" there's also wonderful comments such as this one, "I named mine Squints, does that count?"

Don't think I need to explain the racism behind this, but encase you want some reading, check out this wiki entry here.

Happy reporting!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

F*cked Up Facebook Finds

Facebook has a nifty thing called pages. They are "pages" that are funny, represent something or someone you like, or are interested in. It's just one click and it's attached to your profile, under "info."

Sometimes pages are created that are incredibly offensive, luckily Facebook has a "report page" option. The thing is, they won't get removed unless a lot of people report it.

With that said, I have come across a few pages recently that I would appreciate being reported, and I need your help!

Page #1: "you know shes playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleyway."

Tiring and typical. An assault/rape joke.

Page #2: "There is a new anti depressant drug for lesbians, It's called "Trycoxagain".

The message: Lesbians are depressed because they haven't found the right dick. Try cocks again, you'll be happy, and straightened out.

Page #3: "'I took my girlfriend out last night' 'really?' 'yeah one punch!'"

Violence towards women! Whoop!

Again, please report these pages. Go to the lower left corner of the page and you will see the button to report.

PS: I know that in my last post I said I was going to continue talking about the rape rock and related issues, and I still plan on writing more and keeping up with this blog, but it seems like that'll happen when I move. Same thing with my youtube videos, more is going to come, but with moving in less than two weeks that's my priority.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Part I: The Timeline & The Problem

If you're against rape, you should read this.

The timeline

Sometime in the week of the 6th in February 2011, I was walking with my friends to one of their rooms. I live in an off-campus student housing facility. It’s like a dorm-apartment blend, with Resident Assistants on every hall, all male halls, all female halls, and co-ed.

In every hallway there is a bulletin board which the RA is supposed to decorate somehow, usually according to whatever holiday or festivity is going on. Valentine’s Day was coming up, so this board had, “What’s your pick up line?”

Beneath it had a permanent marker and a bunch of blank note cards for residents to write their answers on. To quote my friend who is an RA on campus, leaving a blank and open space for the bulletin board "can quickly transform into one of the most destructive presence of a residence hall community."

Looking at this board, I already had a problem with it because of the very idea of having a “pick up line” – something you (usually a man) says to someone (usually a woman) that enables you to coerce them into sex. Not exactly the most consensual phrase.

With that thought in mind, and my feministey-senses tingling, of course, my friends and I stop to read what has been written. The few that stood out to me were as follows:

“Want to see a garage full of dead babies?” (Or something to that effect, I didn’t get a picture of it)

“Want to know how I know you’re getting laid tonight? ‘Cause I’m bigger than you.” I didn’t get a picture of this either, but I remember it verbatim because it implied rape.

Then, the one I got a picture of, “Let’s not turn this rape doesn’t into a murder!”

Don't ask what that drawing is supposed to be - I have no clue. An electrifying and phallic two thumbs up? Whatever.

So, I rip that note off, take my mighty pen, and write a response. Please note, I do curse, I have no problem with cursing. I would probably appear “calmer” if I didn’t, but I’m always suspicious of folks who only respect a woman when she’s at an appropriate level of “calmness.” So I can’t remember exactly what I wrote, but it was something along the lines of, “Whoever the fuck wrote that rape ‘joke’: You’re disgusting. It’s pathetic that you find that funny…there’s something called human decency.”

A few days later I walk by again, and I see this in response to what I wrote:

“LOL! – The Rape Guy <- He’s awesome”

He identified himself as "the rape guy." This should trigger an alarm for y'all.

So Saturday the 12th I made a video on my YouTube channel about the rape jokes made, about a dorm on my campus that is known for having a “rape rock," and about rape culture. A quick note on what the rape rock is: it's apparently a rock that gets passed down to freshman guys that has painted on it, "Rape. It's not rape if she can't say no."

Anyways, I have the video privately listed now, and have re uploaded a new version without the specific references.

The link to the new video is here

Let's proceed, shall we?

Sunday morning around 8 AM about 200 Stop Hate messages were went in to my University.

Sunday afternoon: I reported the incident at the front desk. My name and number was written down. The first RA I spoke to was using many qualifiers with me, sounding almost skeptical about the jokes. The second lady I spoke to was much more understanding and concerned, rightfully so, and every time I’ve met with her she’s been a lot of help. So, I was told “Joel” would contact me when I inquired about a meeting. I also sent an email to corporate and got no response.

Tuesday the 15th: I got stopped while walking out the door by the Resident Director who told me she had SENT out warning letters to that floor and that there was no way an investigation could be done.

See, I didn't appreciate being stopped like that, I had a lot more I wanted to talk about (like investigating who wrote it, programs being scheduled about sexual harassment, etc) and of course don't appreciate being lied to. My friend lives on that floor, and he had received nothing that day.

I'd also like to point out that I never showed the images I took to any of these people. I only quoted the murder/rape joke to the first lady at the front desk, and she didn't write it down.

Wednesday 16th: I called front desk, and got called back by the RD who told me she was GOING to send messages out either Thursday or Friday. I had more questions to be addressed, but was told my specific RA would contact me. She said she sent an email to her “right now.” I got no contact about a meeting from her. (*Now, I also had a meeting with a woman who works for Resident Life about the rape rock. She said that Sunday there was roughly 90 students from the dorm at a meeting on Sunday evening, they were investigating about the rape rock, and alerted the University Police Department about a student who allegedly had it last.)

Friday around noon the 18th: I went to front desk, left name/number/message I wanted to MEET with the RD (Nothing).

Saturday the 19th: My roommate and I alerted the community around 5 PM of the harassment by posting flyers in the stair wells and 2-5 floor of the bulletin boards. They said, “Rape is not funny. Ever. These were jokes posted by residents here, the community needs to be aware.” With the two photos I posted above.

I got a call warning me about MY soliciting, that it is a violation of my lease by doing this.

Let’s note: Soliciting is when you’re trying to sell something. I was not selling anything.

They were angry because some tour group apparently saw the flyers (that was the point), because I needed permission to post flyers, and the RD said, “This is not the way to handle this. I told you I was handling it, I told you I was taking care of it, I am taking care of it.” *I can post a transcript of the voicemail if people are interested*

Also note: threatening me with a violation of my lease after not meeting with me after I requested a meeting is known as retaliation here.

To add another factor in the mix, the Thursday or Friday night before, I found flyers posted on the bulletin boards between the elevators of two pictures of girls that said, “for a good time please call one of us” with their names and numbers, then below “Willing to do: anal, bondage, rimjobs, facials.” I have a copy of the flyer still and a photo of it, but because it shows the girls’ face I don’t want to post it here.

I contacted one of the girls and it turns out it was a couple of her guy friends who wanted to start a prank war. They didn’t get in trouble or reprimanded, and she didn’t want them to.

The first week of March my friends and I are sitting in the cafeteria after it was closed, just talking, and we see flyers being put up. They are always there on the tables, normally about study habits or procrastination. 

This was about sexual harassment! A slight move forward, I thought. But then I saw some issues.

Problem 1) Makes a chart between flirting and sexual harassment.
Problem 2) Says sexual harassment is a violation of SCHOOL RULES.
Problem 3) I found one that had been written on *I’ll post a picture after Spring Break, I left it in my room* It had “is awesome” written in after “sexual harassment” and someone scratched that out writing “muy bueno.” (means "very good")

The problem

Sexual harassment and rape.

Sexual harassment and rape on college campuses.

Sexual harassment and rape on college campuses that claim to be safe or free of that threat.

Sexual harassment and rape on college campuses that claim to be safe or free of that threat, when in actuality rape culture is fostered here.

Sexual harassment and rape on college campuses that claim to be safe or free of that threat, when in actuality rape culture is fostered here, and becomes a tradition.

Sexual harassment and rape on college campuses that claim to be safe or free of that threat, when in actuality rape culture is fostered here, and becomes a tradition under the guise of a joke.

Next Time

My next post will talk about rape jokes and how important it is to target this younger college demographic. I’ll also talk about how big a part it plays in the rape culture we live in and how we talk about rape. Also, I'd like to have more discussion about the role Universities play (and Resident Assistants, for example) about this culture.

On my video I linked to earlier, I go on more about rape jokes, but I’ll reiterate here as a preview. The big message to take home, folks, is that it’s never “just a joke.”

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Explicación

This started from a paper I wrote a year ago, has been expanded since.

The Explicación

Every semester the first day opens up with ice breakers, yeah? One of the most common: Where are you from?

That question always throws me off. The reason being I’m from lots of places.

When I open my mouth to answer that question, I always stutter because I never really know what I’m going to say. I feel like no matter what I say, an explanation is always needed because being “mixed” is never simple. 

Same thing happens when I speak Spanish in front of anglos, when I blurt out Chilenisimos in front of my Chicana friends, when I translate something differently to my Mexican-American coworkers, when some TexMex slang slips out in Chile, etc. etc. etc.

I love being mixed, it’s amazingly normal and strange to me. I’m my own unique venn diagram that always has to be mapped out to those who would never think of merging those circles and categories. 

For some reason I try to make things easy for others, so I refer to myself as a pale Latina. I can get more specific: I identify as a (Chilean) Latina, as white (Texan), and as biracially both. Heritage-wise? I can break it down. Mapuche + Italians + Spaniards + French + Irish = all of me.

And just to note, “Examining samples of mitochondrial DNA, passed down only from mother to daughters, allowed researchers to come up with the ‘Eve theory,’ that although we also have many other ancestors, all human beings have at least one common female ancestor, part of a small band of several thousand humans from whom we evolved, living in sub-Saharan Africa, about 200,000 years ago” (Aurora Levins Morales, Remedios, 3).

The only time I’ve ever struggled with my identity or being mixed was when people gave me crap for it, presented it to me as if it were some big curse I was truly experiencing but never was aware of.

Like I didn’t realize growing up bilingual was "actually a problem, and not a benefit."

Like I didn’t realize growing up exposed to different cultures was "actually a problem, and not a benefit."

Like I didn’t realize growing up without prejudice to different races was "actually a problem, and not a benefit."


Let’s turn one thing around. I refuse to be upset and bothered because they can’t understand. I never have and never will find anything wrong or confusing about me. If anything there’s something wrong with the premise of their questions.

For example.

Knowing I’m bilingual, the very next question is, guaranteed, what was your first language? The asker has conditioned me to only be allowed one language to be first. When, as I said before, the reality is I grew up speaking Spanish and English at the same time. I would go days thinking/speaking only in Spanish, days thinking/speaking only in English, and then days thinking/speaking in Spanglish. This branches into more confusion because other Spanish speakers will pick up on my Chilean slang, and English speakers will pick up on my Texan slang. Y’all are fixin’ to be so confused, porque no cacha ni uno, que fome.

Let’s move on to the bicultural bit.
This was normal for me, to see differences and accept them. I am sad that for some people it was not normal to see differences, and thus differences were strange and creepy and wrong and had a “quick somebody’s different let’s beat them up!” kind of mentality in the air. I’ve gotten in trouble and told to step back in line many times. Yeah, I’ve learned the rules, just like my mother had to when she immigrated. But hey, since when do writers play by the rules? Of all the clashes I’ve had, the most I can do is talk about it, and explain why I’m not bending my ways. There’s no reason for me to. The most common cultural difference I experience every day has to deal with time. I play by ear, I don’t own a watch, and I stay happy. To other anglos? This is a control issue, or it’s lazy, or it’s irresponsible and of all those it’s inexcusable. Time is money and we do not waste it. The more Americans jerk it to a fast-paced life of multitasking and idolizing employees who work themselves into an early grave the more I count in, as it’s called, “Mexican Minutes.” *

I think one of the most prevalent features that sparks confusion is the issue of color. We’ve come to divide and associate race/ethnicity by skin color. Because of this, I don’t even pass as a stereotypical European Spaniard. My brother’s favorite joke is to gasp when he sees me in the hallway, “Oh my bad, I thought I saw a ghost” or “Casper!!” Yeah, I’m pale. Milky. Never experienced a tan, only a burn. Go ahead, count the veins you can clearly see.  Our society perpetuates the image that any real Spanish speaker is a certain shade that I will never fit. As irritating as status quo’s are, I enjoy bursting the bubble of some, being proof that pale Latinas exist.

To give a real world example, I was in a group of 3 other girls in class one day. They looked Latina (by stereotypical standards – and to clarify, nothing wrong with that, just painting the picture). One of them asked, “Do you two speak Spanish?” I looked up about to answer, then realized she wasn’t talking to me (Duh, should have realized by the “two”). I was genuinely sad for a moment. One said no, she forgot. The other said yes. Dammit, I was having a candid moment, so I said “Yeah I do too.” She then asked, “Oh you learned it in school?” Insert bigger sad face here. “No, my mother’s Chilean, I grew up-” (You know the rest). All our faces got red, realizing how awkward interesting it is when stereotypes are so prevalent we’re shocked when they’re broken.

Another benefit that’s come of this is, as mentioned before, seeing “differences” as normal, appreciating them but not freaking out about them. I grew up next to an African American family, and their four daughters. It wasn’t until around fourth grade did we realize that our hair was different. We put grease in my hair, and it wasn’t having the same effect as it did on them. I like to say I grew up semi-color blind. A lot of things were pointed out to me, like when I was hanging out with the latinos in my elementary school who were taking English as a Second Language, then other English speaking white kids “informed me” about what I now recognize as slurs and stereotypes. I also experienced a reenactment of when Babe separated the chickens by color by those same kids. Like I said – confusion came about when I was told to be confused, and differences came about when I was told to treat them like a bad, separating feature. 

Every day it is always there and always marked: My skin in relation to my language at the moment, my language in relation to the place I am in, and my accent in relation to an assumed history. All of this causes nothing but confusion from an outsider, and it is astounding how many outsiders there are, who cannot begin to debunk my identity and my history and how I came to be such a bundle of trilingual, cross cultural characteristics.

Society enjoys boxes and labels and nothing fluid crossing in and out. It is hard for people to wrap their mind around a person who can travel in and out of a giant Venn diagram, and the sentiment towards it is that it is a very messy, confusing thing to be.

There is a Chinese saying that women are like water, and I believe that exemplifies how mixed people are. I am a confusing fluidity, and if society takes that negatively then so be it. Embracing that otherness and being branded as an outsider in a negative fashion? No, I take that in a reverse fashion.

Those who imply my identity should be confusing are the confused ones, and those who do not understand and see this as an impediment are the ones who should reevaluate their preconceived and preset notions. I have concluded that I will never be confused about my identity.

My language has made me and brought me across countries and cultures and continues to move me, and hand in hand with that, my physical traits do not add or diminish anything to my true self or my language. With this conviction I will force the security out of pre-set simple ideals and of uncomplicated and pre-defined boxes with which our language and identity is forced into. Ultimately, I have one personal language, Chilean[sometimes Mexican]Spanish-[Texan]English-Spanglish, because it defines my own personhood, which is never confusing to me.

* See, the world tends to see all Hispanics/Latinos as being Mexican, and alliterations are easy.


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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Female to Male to Female

I made a video about gender fluidity. There should be annotations popping up throughout the video, but the writing is in the description as well, and I'll just post them here for good measure. I think it's pretty self explanatory, so there we go :)

Here's the video
Or watch it here

This video is a combination of me always wanting to know and being curious about what i'd look like with a beard, and wanting to express gender fluidity.

Sex =/= Gender =/= Sexuality

Gender is a social construct.

Gender is a performance and we are ALWAYS performing.

About behaviors, roles and ideas relating to someone's sex.

Our society creates a binary where two categories are mutually exclusive.
(Think masculinity and femininity.)

"One is not born a woman, one becomes one."
Simone de Beauvoir

Gender, however, like Sex and Sexuality is fluid, and has a wide range on a spectrum.

People should have the freedom to chose without hatred or discrimination simply because they don't fit certain expectations.

"This is my body. Worry about your own body.
To the people that are looking at other people
and judging them?
Get a life.
It's not your place to say anything
about how anyone is living their life
unless they ask you.
If they don't ask you? Zip it."
- Andrea's C

Music: Black Eyed Peas Don't Phunk with my heart
Jessie J Do it like a dude

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Victim (versus) Survivor

One of my Kines professors said that she didn’t believe in “rape victims” only “rape survivors.” I have read a lot about this sentiment and I have to disagree.

When you take away the rhetoric of being a victim, you take away the possibility of there being a perpetrator, a crime committed, and something done wrong to that person. Being a survivor and being a victim, I think, are intrinsically linked. Hopefully, if you are a victim, you will survive and rise up against the wrong doing. If you are a survivor, you have to have survived from something, and that is where I feel identifying as a survivor and identifying as a victim are not mutually exclusive. Saying there are no rape victims implies that agency is stripped from all rapists, that they might as well not even be in the picture.

I was a victim, but I am a survivor. I have no shame in saying I was a victim; there is nothing wrong with admitting that.

We associate the victim identification with being weak, and being weak is a bad thing in our culture. We should learn to separate the two and realize, especially when discussing rape, that if you continue to have a negative connotation with being a victim, then you are only furthering victim-blaming and victim-shame.

The spectrum of being a victim and a survivor is something fluid and upwardly progressive, and if someone is struggling with being a victim, then we cannot look at them with shame and harsh judgment because they are “too weak to be a survivor.” Someone struggling with this needs help and support, and then they can move on to survive and help others as well.

After all, who are you to judge who is a "real victim," acting as if their identity in that term is beneath them (you, a stranger to them), and thus "should be a real survivor?" If you are so bent on people being survivors, then it would do you well to respect where they are coming from, (that they do feel like a victim and not to make them feel bad because of it), and help them.

How do you help them? First step: Stop shaming them because you don't believe that there are "rape victims."

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Outside my circle: A guide to love (Interracial love)

[I created a series of FAQ we often encounter regarding different types of love in this world, titled "Outside my circle: A guide to love." This section is about interracial love.]

How can they be in love, or any kind of relationship? They are different races! 

People like and/or love other people. They are able to embrace different races and ethnicities and find beauty in and past skin color. 

Mixing is bad, they’re doing wrong by their race.

The entire concept of race and it’s hierarchy was made up by (racist) people; “mixing” isn’t wrong.


They’re just stealing guys/girls from my race and I don’t like it.

You don’t own everybody in your racial group. If you don’t like it, try to consider why.

We need to preserve the cleanliness of our race; this is all kinds of wrong for our civilization.

You like the privilege you have, calling yourself pure? The concept of purity that you have is prejudiced and racist. You are not better than someone else because your mother fucked some man of the same race. Not only do you propose us to be separate, but you don’t even think of us as equal? That’s the main problem. Additionally, unless humans all stop having babies completely, I don’t think you have to worry about the human race dying out any time soon. 

Two or more different cultures can’t meet and be stable though.

With a closed mind, racist attitude and superiority complex, I imagine it would be difficult. Luckily that’s not the case for many interracial couples and multiracial children of these couples. If there’s not a racist family member breathing fire down their throats, usually it turns into a beautiful experience and a richer view of the world and an amazing part of people’s identity. At the end of the day, a culture should rely on more than just the shade of someone’s skin and the pedestal that certain skin tones get to sit on because of their power throughout history. 

How is it a good thing though? What benefit comes from it?

You can’t say that any real negative thing comes from interracial relationships without a very racist, privileged mentality. In most relationships, if they’re healthy and consensual and loving, then that enough is a good thing. A (new) population that embraces differences is better than one that is built on hate. Even if you ignore that point, interracial love simply is. It’s love, and it’s not your place to decide who gets to love whom. 

Think of the children!
♥ I happen to be one of those children, and a more personal blog about that will come later :)

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Monday, January 3, 2011

A smooth, rich, creamy, intense dose of sexism

So I want to talk about a few commercials I’ve seen recently. Typically in advertisements, women are displayed as being sexual and/or objectified, or it's usually as a nagging partner, the naive partner, or very strict motherhood (cleaning, caring) roles. This can also shift and change when you intersect race and size and the product, but those tend to be the general images.

The commercials I want to talk about are the Ghirardelli chocolate and York Peppermint Patty. Here is a link to the Ghirardelli and here is a link to an older York Peppermint Patty commercial  , and here is a link to the newest one that I saw (it’s not on YouTube).

I have quite a few issues to point out in these commercials. Firstly, it’s women being portrayed as having a sexual experience from eating. This sexual experience comes from food. It puts women hand in hand with an object, something that you pick off a menu and enjoy, creating that image by association. This also plays off of the "XYZ object inserted into woman's mouth is something she will enjoy and induce an orgasm. You don't need to discuss what this woman likes sexually, just any (literal) thing will do."

Additionally, despite the fact they're usually alone (the only person in the ad) these women need something else to make them sexual (the food), and that is something inserted into them. We might consider the whole "Oh, women love chocolate!" mentality when you look at multiple chocolate advertisements. "Let me buy her some chocolate, it'll get her in the mood, and then I'll give it to her, obviously."

These ads also prescribe a specific type of look regarding a sexual or orgasmic experience. Fingers in the mouth (as opposed to chewing or eating), licking the lips, goose bumps, open mouthed (again, as opposed to eating), arched back, shocked expression, heavy breathing, big eyes, hair flying back, etc. So, not only is this not what happens when you eat a simple piece of chocolate, it's neither what might happen when you orgasm or are aroused.

This is a typical occurrence, but it’s important to note that the types of women being displayed (sexually) are incredibly thin and incredibly white. (And always with luscious lips.) I highly doubt that if a woman who wasn't very thin was in this commercial, because of how our society mistakenly views health and body fat percentage and beauty, the commercial would have been received the same way. "It's okay to enjoy chocolate because you're thin, in the same way that it's okay to be sexual when you're thin. Otherwise? Not wanted.” 

It's also important to note that these advertisements usually involve commands. This is obvious considering it's supposed to get you to buy something, but because it is displaying women in this specific way, the message changes from "everybody should enjoy this chocolate" to a direct order towards women or how people are supposed to understand women. "Women, you need to get this sensation" / "Men, women want to receive this sensation" or "Women, you want an intense [chocolate] experience? An intense, slow melting, rich, smooth, silky one? Enjoy it slowly… So don't enjoy it quickly, and when you do eat it, you should enjoy it for the reasons we mentioned."

We are told that, as women, enjoying food is supposed to be a sexual experience. We are told that in order to be sexual, we need some help, we can’t do it alone. We are told that in order to enjoy food and/or be sexual we need to look and act a specific way. With all these problems in mind, I find it an even bigger problem that this sexism is being openly displayed under the guise of “just an innocent food commercial.” At the end of the day, they’re using women’s bodies in a specific way not only to prescribe specific things about our bodies and women as people, but to also sell their product. What does that say about the company and the product? Like that popular image, if the product was so good, it wouldn’t need sexism to sell it. If this chocolate was so yummy for my tummy, it wouldn’t need to objectify women to sell it.

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Outside my circle: A guide to love (Same-sex love)

[I created a series of FAQ we often encounter regarding different types of love in this world, titled "Outside my circle: A guide to love." This section is about same-sex love.]

What if I don’t like looking at two guys or two girls holding hands, kissing, and generally expressing affection or love?

You should consider whether you have a problem with PDA in general, or if the problem is with who exactly is expressing this in public. You cannot dictate what kind of kiss is allowed in public or in the media and then deny all the other types.

You should then consider the fact that people who surround you in this world do not exist for your judgment. Strangers in the mall are not in your eyesight to please or entertain you. At the end of the day, holding hands, hugging, kissing and light cuddling is the most PDA you’ll probably see, in average.

Realistically, your life isn’t truly affected if the people holding hands in your peripheral vision have the same genitalia or not. If you don’t like it, realize that nobody’s asking you to like it. They don’t want your opinion, nor do they want you to join in. So it would probably be best to mull over the idea that it’s none of your business, and they have a right to express their affection in the same way that others do all the time.

But it’s against my religion.

Are you sure about that? Might want to do some research. Additionally, it’s your faith, not theirs. Hating something under the guise of religion is a choice that you make, with an excuse that you chose. Love and equal rights are not something that can be made into a pageant, debating around the subjects where you’re the judge. 

But relationships lead to marriage, and marriage is between a man and a woman, for the purpose of procreating.

Some relationships lead to marriage. I know many hetero couples who live together but have no intention of getting married. What’s important is that marriage is a right that all should have. Also, marriage is a cross-cultural institution that exists in a different form for different people depending on their ideas, the time period, and many other factors.

There’s just not one way of practicing. You don’t need men and women to be getting married in order to procreate. That can happen outside of marriage. There are also many men and women getting married that chose not to have children, or who are unable to have children without additional help (if they chose it). 

It’s not natural.

Yeah, it is. It happens in nature all the time. I wouldn’t be so quick to throw around the word or idea of things being “natural” to begin with, either, as you sit here and read this on your computer. ;)

But it’s nasty!

Last time I checked, hating and discriminating against people and their rights is nastier than people loving one another.

Okay, so I respect same-sex relationships and the GLBTQ community. What more can I do to be a better ally? 

That will be addressed in a later post :)

Can you expand on the marriage issue?

♥That will also be addressed in a later post. This series is all about love, and marriage is just a part of that, not the entire issue of understanding different types of love. 


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