As with the issue of female sexual submission, racial imagery in a BDSM context is an issue apt to cause heated debates, so I want to include both sides of the argument. Today, I'll examine the objections to the use of racialized imagery in kink, and in my next post I'll look at the responses by those who defend it.
Every month in our newsletter (sign up on the homepage!), we survey our staffers and readers on their top five in a given category, complete with options, results and further comment space here on the Bitch blog. Lend a vote and give us five, or share your own idea after the jump!
I wanted to love The Big Bang Theory, I really did. The concept is hugely appealing to someone like me: a sitcom based on the lives of four seriously geeky scientists (Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Raj), featuring frequent cameos by nerd icons like Wil Wheaton. It's kind of like Friends, except instead of hanging out at Central Perk they play Klingon Boggle and Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock (which I am both proud and slightly embarrassed to own a t-shirt of).
In addition to thinking of nerds as people who are intellectually focused and slightly obsessive, I'd argue that a lot of us attach a gender (male) and race (white, South Asian, or East Asian) to the stereotype of a nerd. When I asked for suggestions of who pops into mind when you think of the idea of nerdiness, white guys accounted for most of the answers I received. And just do a quick Google image search for "geek"—most of the results you'll get back will be pictures of skinny, white men in bottle-bottom glasses.
My name's Jarrah Hodge, creator of the feminist blog Gender Focus. I've been calling myself a feminist since I was 15 and I've been called a nerd for much longer than that, so I'm really excited to get this opportunity to start this guest blog on feminism and nerd/geek culture for Bitch! Over the next couple of months I'll be looking at a range of topics in geekdom, including gender and racial dimensions of the nerd/geek stereotype and feminist analysis of different facets of geek culture, from fanfiction to libraries to board gaming.
Makeup giant Maybelline has a newsletter of sorts in which consumers answer a few questions and get tips on choosing products most suitable for their look. An Asian-Canadian blogger who uses the moniker Rasilla was happy enough to answer Maybelline's questions about her appearance. But after choosing "brown" for eye-color, Rasilla was asked to select the shape of her eyes. Her options? Close set, wide set, hooded, Asian, almond, down-turned, deep-set, prominent and centered. Let's backtrack for a moment. One of the options was Asian. That's right, Asian. Rasilla wasn't too pleased about this.