But I am writing to you today not to talk about lady business. Instead I want to talk about how we are both mixed race Southeast Asian high femme ladies, and you are the first mixed race Southeast Asian lady I have ever seen on American television (I am not counting Cassie because she had hardly a line in Step Up 2: The Streets). Your work at the Daily Show has made me feel sad, alone, and quite a bit like crying, despite the fact that I have a shriveled angry little anti-racist feminist heart, and it's rare that things on TV hurt my feelings anymore.
I'm not going to argue about whether or not you got where you got because the male-dominated worlds of gaming and comedy value women who are beautiful, over women who are competently funny, because that horse has been beat to death. And also, comedy is pretty subjective and obviously you have a lot of fans, so clearly there is an audience for your style.
What angers me about your comedy, Olivia Munn, is how it is built on gleeful collusion with misogyny and racism. If we're talking about the race stuff, unlike other comedians of colour (Katt Williams! Dave Chappelle! Russell Peters!) whose jokes—while hit or miss with the kyriarchy—rely on poking fun at white racism, your jokes generally rely on racist stereotypes about your own damn people, to get a laugh out of a racist white audience.
We are hoping to build a broader network of organizations so that we can intentionally share successes, strategies and lessons learned. We are particularly interested in hearing from and connecting with other groups led by Women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two-Spirit, Trans, and Gender Non-Conforming People and People of Color.
I decided to share some of my favorite "don't sweat it, you got it" anthems with you.
Bag Lady - Erykah Badu
One day, all them bags gon' get in your way. I shook my booty to this song many a time before I realized that it is actually an anti-consumerist anthem packaged in the most compassionate older-sister-pep-talk-lecture I've ever heard.
Ashley Anne Kirilow, a 23-year-old Burlington native, admits she faked cancer, ran a bogus charity and collected thousands of dollars from hundreds of people. She shaved her head and eyebrows, plucked her eyelashes and starved herself to look like a chemotherapy patient.
... When I first saw this news case, I thought to myself (yes, rather cynically): there is no way that anyone other than a young, attractive, normative person could have pulled this off. If Kirilow had been—for example—fat, in her 30s, plain-looking and homeless, few would've given her the time of day. Much of Kirilow's success seems attributed to the fact that she easily roused pity with her little lost girl story and her brave smile. Kirilow embodied a version of white womanhood that we want to believe in (or at least we've been socially conditioned to embrace it): pretty, plucky, determined, and in need of rescue.
Kirilow is a prime example of a sympathy grifter: a grifter who uses racist/sexist/classist/etc beliefs in their favour, to get money, affection and attention, or to (literally) get away with murder.
You know, I would really like to enjoy Snyder's films. Because they look nice. And also, I enjoy going to the theatre, turning my brain off, and being dazzled. But he keeps on having to throw these wrenches in my brainless enjoyment...
...My heart just cannot take any more films or TV shows (or books or whatever) that try to turn into entertainment our culture's (and many other cultures) long history of locking up people with psychiatric disabilities and subjecting them to horrendous and unimaginable and inhuman conditions, sometimes for their entire lives.
And let's not even get into the fact that Snyder's main character (characters?) is meant to arouse our sympathies simply by being that distillation of all that needs to be protected and cherished: the perfectly petite, panty-wearing blonde virgin. This is a formula that objectifies white women and erases all others, and it's just not going to fly much longer.