Help Hyphen fund an upcoming feature story on the challenges of incarcerating Hawaiians in Arizona prisons, which will appear in the November 2012 issue.
Critics at this year's New York Fashion Week seemed enamoured of Ralph Lauren’s less than pioneering embrace of one of fashion’s oldest tropes: Shanghai Chic. Critics eagerly dedicated valuable column inches to the collection, which featured all the mainstays of Asian-inspired fashion: jade jewelry, golden dragons, cheongsams. While some candidly wondered whether the designer’s invocation of China was a statement about the nation’s growing economic competitiveness, others were simply happy to break out as many tired euphemisms for “Eastern” as possible. (Not only did the “Orient Express” make several stops but East, inevitably, met West.)
At this year's Kollaboration LA show, founder and executive director Paul "PK" Kim said his goodbyes to an audience of 5,000+ people, having realized his dream of taking Kollaboration to 10 cities in 10 years. Fittingly, the 3-hour show was chock-full of memorable moments: Assembly Ted Lieu stopped in to deliver a census PSA, journalist Lisa Ling demonstrated how easy it is to join the bone marrow donation registry, and a girl wearing 3-inch, sling-back heels beat out 5 break-dancing, be-sneakered boys in the freestyle dance competition (no contest).
As if we small-breasted ladies didn't have it hard enough. We persevered through adolescences marred by a devastating lack of top-growth, endured comings-of-age minimized by the diminutive jabs of our bustier peers, and, as adults, find ourselves woefully relegated to Victoria's Secret's
young teen "Pink" section, from where we covetously eye the perfectly impractical lacy/strappy/barely-there/disgustingly-provocative underthings so accessibly-sized for plumper patrons. Since childhood, men, magazines, and our mothers have ridiculed our relative lack of endowment, so maybe it was only a matter of time before whole governments made our bitty busts their business.
The first to do so: Australia, whose government censors are banning adult publications and films that feature women with small breasts, in an effort to -- get this -- curb pedophilia. Now, I'm no porn apologist, but I rather dislike having my body categorically likened to a child's, even more than I vehemently dislike censorship. [As I always say: It ain't much, but it sure ain't nothin'!] And it seems obvious to me that an industry founded on fake tits, fake orgasms, and the general fictionalizing of women's sexuality is only made worse by censors that further restrict it from realistically depicting women's bodies -- however flat-chested those bodies may be.
"Two-thirds of Americans now say race relations are generally good, and the percentage of blacks who say so has doubled since last July..."If only the public's perception of "progress" were motivated by actual progress. Even a cursory examination of the state of race relations in the US will reveal that we are still a very racially divided nation, in some ways even more so than before Obama's election. The Southern Poverty Law Center, for example, just released a report which found that the number of hate groups in the US has increased by more than 50 percent since 2000, and by 5 percent since last year. SPLC attributes the increase, in part, to growing anti-immigrant sentiment -- a key point to remember, as Obama's rise seems to have us thinking about race relations exclusively in black and white.
"Yes, she would learn Spanish and English, but to emphasize her Latina side, I felt, was somehow a disservice. Frankly, I didn't want her to lose any of the privileges of being white. [...] I just wanted the eyelashes, and cheekbones, and that lyrical Spanish when appropriate. I wanted the good stuff, and from both sides."...It gets worse. Read the whole article to get the full effect. Lim responds somewhat emotionally to Sprinkle's unabashed prejudice. As a mixed-race person myself, who was raised to value my (father's) whiteness above my (mother's) Filipina heritage, my initial reaction to the article left me too appalled to be articulate, so I asked another mixed-race friend of mine to break it down. She sent me the following thoughtful analysis:
I've been trying to make sense of how I feel about this video since it came out a couple of weeks ago...and am still torn between what little of it I find amusing and the rest of it, which I find tasteless and insulting (Seriously: Are there really any AsAms who think that "me love you long time" is anything other than an offensive, sexist, racist trope?).
The arguably racist/sexist overtones of the video are obvious and have been covered pretty widely by other blogs, so I won't go into that here. Besides, I'm less interested in dissecting why/how the piece is racist or sexist than I am in why the video is (meant to be) funny -- particularly to the women who created it. Are these women poking fun at racists/racism by performing every stereotype associated with Asian women, a la "hipster racism"? Or are they simply making fun of Asian women? And for whom are they ultimately performing?
"Hyphen's recent blog post about Princeton University's "Reverse Racism" was amusing to me, especially since the terminology was used incorrectly -- it's not reverse racism, it's just racism. (Especially ironic since I learned this after I moved to the South.)"
Far be it from me to contradict the teaching of "the South," but I get the feeling that Ben doesn't exactly get it. Then again, his sources included the third (not to be confused with the first or the second) definition of "racism" provided by dictionary.com, as well as some of the less articulate definitions of "reverse racism" posted at the Urban Dictionary, which he describes as his "reference for all things slang this side of Wednesday."
The previous issue of Hyphen is available in its entirety for your perusing pleasure. Almost as good as having it right in your hands!