Quantico: Where the Brown Boys At?

I get it. Quantico is a pioneering show in multiple ways: most notably it’s the first American primetime drama to feature an Indian (and female) lead. Priyanka Chopra is indubitably the Mayor of Babesville, and I’m all for any show that has strong, kickass women of color — including Muslim hijabi twins who aren’t complete stereotypes (although this has been called into question). And complicated, tough gay characters who aren’t just planning weddings and snapping their fingers around – we need more of those too.

DOUGRAY SCOTT, AUNJANUE ELLIS, PRIYANKA CHOPRA, JAKE MCLAUGHLIN, JOHANNA BRADDY, GRAHAM ROGERS, YASMINE AL MASSRI, TATE ELLINGTON

But c’mon y’all — WHERE are the men of color? Granted, I’ve only seen a couple episodes, and maybe new characters were introduced, but the “top billed cast” on IMDb shows no men of color. Zero. And the optics of that bugs the hell out of me.

Indeed, Chopra and Yasmine Al Massri and Aunjanue Ellis and Annabelle Acosta provide plenty of eye candy, but I’m sick of all these Captain America Wonderbread types abounding. Four out of the five female leads are women of color, can’t we get ONE hot brown man for me the characters to lust after and have sexual tension-filled exchanges in the co-ed bathroom and get freaky with in the front seat of an SUV? Or will this go the way of The Mindy Project, with no men of color ever entering the fuckable orbit?

Oh wait, there’s this guy(?):

helloinback

Hello? Can someone tell me where the craft services table is at?

It’s only Season 1, there’s still time to assemble a proper hottie special agent dream team. Get it together, Quantico!

 

 

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Racially Diverse Emojis, Now with Oriental Yellow!

True, emojis have been sorely lacking in the melanin department, and even borderline racist (the only current “ethnic” emojis are a dude with some sort of turban-thing, a guy with a mandarin cap, and one wearing a cossack hat)…so having the option to add pigment is definitely positive (as well as same sex couples and families).

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.33.57 AMBut Gawddamn, why the Asian emoji gotta be so YELLOW? Like, not even a tawny, golden, mellow-yellow hue…but fluorescent HI-LITER, jaundiced Hep C (shoutout to Puj D!), Pantone Yellow 108. Dude straight up looks like Pac-Man.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.34.16 AMApple countered by saying the yellow tone is intended to be “ethnically neutral” and apparently there’s a precedent for it this “default, non-ethnic” color (more on that here). Yeah ok, that may make sense in techie-speak, but this attempt at multicultural inclusion seems ridiculously naive and wack in the face of social and racial reality…sound familiar, tech industry? Oh, the irony.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.47.35 AMvia HuffPo

*Thanks to Puj & Noms for the emojinspiration

Gwen Defends Harajuku Girls

Gwen-Stefani-5-The-Harajuku-Girls2Gwen & Katy Perry must be BFFs or have the same publicist or image coach or something, because the delusion runs equally thick with these two. Throw Madonna in there and you got the Grand Trifecta of Asian-appropriating white women (with Avril Lavigne clutching at their coattails).

When recently asked by TIME Magazine if she regretted her whole “Harajuku Girls” fetish phase from 2004, Gwen gave a resounding:

“No…. For me, everything that I did with the Harajuku Girls was just a pure compliment and being a fan. You can’t be a fan of somebody else? Or another culture? Of course you can. Of course you can celebrate other cultures. That’s what Japanese culture and American culture have done. It’s like I say in the song [“Harajuku Girls”]: it’s a ping-pong match. We do something American, they take it and they flip it and make it so Japanese and so cool. And we take it back and go, “Whoa, that’s so cool!” That’s so beautiful. It’s a beautiful thing in the world, how our cultures come together. I don’t feel like I did anything but share that love. You can look at it from a negative point of view if you want to, but get off my cloud. Because, seriously, that was all meant out of love.

Oh yes, by “celebrate”, she means: shut up, get in back, and kowtow, sidekicks!

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 4.35.59 PMAnd “Get off my cloud”? AHAHAHAAA what foolery. So is she supposed to be an angel or goddess or something? Ridiculous as that sounds, Stefani may have just coined the new catchphrase for self-important pop co-opters (paging Iggy Iggy and Mileyyyyy). Oh, but it gets better:

“…They were dancers that were cast, but they became real. One girl was a Japanese girl that grew up in L.A., and she got to hang around with three different Japanese girls that were from different places in Japan and had different backgrounds. They became best friends, and she got to go to Japan and see her heritage and see how we are all the same.”

Because they weren’t real people to begin with, just mute, cutesy pets yeah? And Gwen’s basically saying, “YOU’RE WELCOME, HJG #3” and taking credit for helping one of her props dancers wake up and smell the matcha and connect with her Supaaa Kawaiiii peeeoopleessss.

But really this is not surprising, coming from someone with a long and illustrious bindi-wearing, “Indian Princess” cosplaying, Ska-appropriating history. And I almost ralphed when Gwen “BUKK BUKK BBUKK!!!”-ed through Anita Antoinette’s Bob Marley audition on The Voice. Ugh, take a seat and turn it back around.

via Dlisted

Pussy Paddler Makes Poons Pop (It’s Not What You Think)

No, really, it's iiterally a pussy boat. And a fun alliteration.

No, really, it’s literally a pussy kayak. And a fun alliteration.

Holy Hoo-Ha, talk about dedication to one’s craft!

Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi —  aka Rokudenashiko — has demonstrated an uncompromising, steadfast commitment to chocha art — to the extent that her latest endeavor has landed her right in the clink!

Rokudenashiko started down the glorious pussy path when, feeling something was “abnormal” with her own fla-fla, she underwent vaginal “rejuvination” surgery. Afterwards, she felt “disconnected” from her remodeled cooter and turned her energy towards spreading the sweet gospel of poon acceptance through her artistic creations — which includes jewelry, an iPhone case, and her latest project: gliding around in a kayak modeled after her very own ladyparts — which promptly got her arrested under Japan’s obscenity laws. Well, should have better been choosing one form here http://kayaklife.co.uk.

Rokudenashiko’s stated goal is to make “pussy more casual and pop” (if your brains have been living in the gutter like mine, you probably had to re-read that sentence a few times to get what she meant, because the first place your mind went to was that line from “My Neck, My Back”).

Given that rates of cosmetic vaginal surgery keep rising (a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery projected there were over 53,000 vag rejuvenations performed by all U.S. physicians in 2009. Among AACS members alone, there was an increase of more than 50 percent in 2008) — which reflects how fucked up society’s perceptions and projections are around “normal” or desirable goddess-given gonads (I blame straight porn) — Rokudenashiko is doing the lord’s work, IMHO. Paddling her “peach on the beach” is obscene?!? Butchering one’s box to look like Barbie’s no-no zone is obscene!!! Rokudenashiko is out of order?!? YOU’RE OUT OF ORDER!! THEY’RE ALL OUT OF ORDER!!!

Ahem…Talk about Pussy Power. I bet Drake’s song was totally about Rokudenashiko (or it should have been).

pussykayakAlso really feeling the kayak color choice….perhaps a Rokudenashiko X Yellow Peril collab is in order?

***

Check out the petition calling for Rokudenashiko’s release, which has amassed over 20,000 signatures.

via Dlisted and HuffPo.

Subway Badonk FTW

subwaybutt

Damn, can the author of this NYMag post do a better job of disguising his thinly veiled, seething envy?

In his post, “How Not to Use Your Butt on the Subway, in One Extreme Photo”, Joe Coscarelli describes the above subway situation thus: “On the scale of underground nightmares, it is somewhere amongst a wild rat and a man eating a large chunk of cheese with his hands.”

Please. You can stop clutching your pearls over this one, Joe. I’m pretty sure Survey Says juicy booty > a rat running twixt your toes on the way to work. Every time.

And anyone who’s ridden a jolting NY subway knows that standing in the aisle is a precarious position. While people who lean their whole damn back against the pole during rush hour embody the spirit of RUDE, this lady’s immediate area doesn’t look too crowded. This is obviously a smart, hands-free leveraging of assets — she’s able to text whilst anchoring her center of gravity — so she doesn’t go flying headfirst down the train car as it pulls out of 42nd St. You gotta use all the tools in your toolbox, ladies.

Methinks that in addition to sounding like a snotty, elitist (vaguely racist and sexist?) dickbag, Joe doth protest too much. Were that he had such a triumphant BIG REAR DON’T CURR bringin all the bois to the backyard all DAT AZZ. Oh how he WISHES. Can’t keep your eyes off that fatty, daddy, huh?

Joe also describes the expression of the girl on the left as one of  “abject horror” and proclaims, “We stand with you, Side-Eye Girl.”

First off, I wouldn’t say that chick looks so much “horrified”, as contemplative-bordering-on-admirational. She’s all, “Hmmm…now why didn’t I think of that? Note to self: Sensible. Functional. GLORIOUS.”  An all-out Side-Eye, this is not (and I am a Side-Eye conoisseur, bishes). As far as the “we stand with you” part — speak for yourself, Joe!

To the contrary: Resourceful sunshine jeggings subway pole woman, we SALUTE you!

 

via NYMag.com

Thanks Char Char!

Why Asian Americans Should Care About Native Mascotry

Art by Carrie Grubb

Art by Carrie Grubb

Over the past couple weeks, many Asian Americans who are active online were swept up in the major drama that was #CancelColbert. I’m not saying I’m completely on board with Colbert’s usage of “Ching-Chong” and “Oriental” to illustrate the ridiculous racism of Dan Snyder’s sham foundation (nice try Dan). Nor am I going to debate the contours and pitfalls of satire, or even re-hash the whole Twitter sh*tstorm here, as there’s already been much media a-blitzin and I just CAN’T WITH THAT. Google it.

Rather, I’d like to touch on recent efforts and why I think AAPI peeps should get on board — efforts intended to re-focus online energy and demonstrate solidarity with Native activists by supporting the original issue: changing the Washington R*dsk*ns name (and ending Native mascotry in general). These campaigns have been led by Native activists both online (EONM) and on-the-ground (see: AIM, Oneida Nation) decades before it became part of Colbert Report‘s slate or a blip on the radar of AAPI online activists.

Yes, there are deep shared social, economic, and even cultural histories between Native Americans, First Nations, and Asian folks, especially in the Northwest and Canada, that is not widely known (perhaps we can get into this via a future guest post)…but I believe there are also some immediate and intuitive parallels that should feel familiar to us Asians. Particularly how Native communities continue to be plagued by stereotypical and racist imagery  — and the narratives invoked to justify them.

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

How often have Asian Americans heard variations on the “Relax, I’m Honoring You” theme? From Katy Perry’s shuffling, mish-MESS geisha at the AMAs — to the HIMYM yellowface “homage” to kung fu flicks — to Tao’s dodgy apology about its “happy ending” advertising…to basically every case of yellow fever ever. And that’s just in the last six months!

Every Halloween, there’s geishas and ninjas and Pocahontases, oh my! — a swarm of costumed commodification set loose upon the land to try our last nerve. There’s always that one person at the party playing racial dress-up in a kimono, a feather headbandy thingy, a sombrero, or some other dreadful item (see: Dreadlock. Hats.). It’s a perennially pervasive problem, as reflected in the popular “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” campaign (and let’s not even get started on music festivals and haute and hipster fashion).

SETH2FINAL2-1

photos for poster

These “costumes” don’t exist in some harmless, aesthetically pleasing vacuum, but are the gateway drag to activating a network of stereotypes and/or acting like a bigoted asshat. The ornamented geisha is just shy of being a submissive, exotic whore. Like the mascot “chief” with colorful feathers is a step away from a drunk savage — as Jacqueline Keeler notes in her powerful Salon piece, “My Life as a Cleveland Indian“:

“Because it’s not just the static image of the mascot that is the problem, be it stoic and noble or a horrific caricature with a feather on top. It is the license it confers others to act out dated stereotypes about us and ignore our real issues — even our humanity. This is particularly noticeable when members of EONM challenge fans, who immediately go from saying, “But we are honoring you,” to, “You’re drunks and on welfare, you should be grateful we are doing this.”

These are just a couple, perhaps more obvious examples of how our bodies, our traditions, our imagery have been similarly filtered through the fun house mirror of White gaze and used to sell products, experiences, and racial fantasies. Our culture reduced to a schtick: something ancient and quaint you can buy in a curio shop or cobble together with a hot glue gun, chopsticks, and a hodge-podge of crap from Party City.

Of course, there are limits around how far we can/should take these parallels between Native and Asian issues and experiences. But in this common understanding of what it feels like to be be reduced to kitsch and caricature, there is the opportunity and necessity to go all in together. Asian Americans, as another relatively small (but fast growing) racial group, have also felt like we were shouting into the wind, laboring to be seen and heard on our own terms — beyond buckteeth and slanted eyes, chopsocky and dragon ladies. We’ve come to appreciate the support and significance of allies, and building community beyond the usual suspects (shameless shoutout to #BuildDontBurn).

The Washington R*dsk*ns, Chief Wahoo, the Atlanta Braves — shouldn’t be viewed as solely a “Native” cause. Because the underlying issue — cultural (mis)appropriation and the lurking racism that props it up — is a shared one. Changing even one Native mascot is a win for AAPIs, because it chips away at the system that supports these stereotyped symbols, and shifts the public’s understanding around what is and what is not acceptable. What is paying respect and what is plain ol’ racism. We can do better and go farther together…and that’s how we’ll win.

***

Many Thanks to Jackie Keeler and Ethan Keller for reaching out and sharing their stories, as well as those of other Native writers and activists. Please check out their Native-led online activist group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry (EONM) and follow them on Twitter.

Reappropriate is aggregating a list of posts and shares that are a part of the #Native and #AAPI solidarity effort around #notyourmascot, #not4sale, and #changethename. Check it out here.

What you can do:

– Sign the 18MR petition calling on Dan Snyder to change the R*dSk*ns name and mascot here.

– Show your support by blogging & tweeting with hashtags #Not4Sale #NotYourMascot and #ChangetheName

– Send an email to Wylliet(at)redskins(dot)com asking them to change the R*dSk*ns team name.

– Add your voice to the mix!: write your own blog post, Op-ed, or sound off in the comments.

BCB Hoebags: Amy Chua & Jeb Rubenfeld

Welcome to the first inductees of 2014 into the BCB Hoebag* Hall of Shame: Amy Chua & hubby Jeb Rubenfeld!!

Shudder.

Shudder.

In all honesty, Amy Chua should have joined these hallowed ranks in 2011, when that Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother aka Chinese-moms-are-better-because-they (ALL OF THEM)-brutalize-their-kids-emotionally-physically-and-spirituality-WHAT-COME-AT-ME-AMERICA sensationalist mess that spawned a household meme no one in their right Asian American mind could stomach.

Well, fetch me a switchin’ stick, Fame Whore Mom Tiger Mom and her husband are back and classy as ever. With an (if you can believe it) even more trollish, race-baity, and offensively ridiculous message: Some races oh I mean ethnicities oh wait cultural groups yes that’s the ticket…are better than others! Because of three “unlikely traits”: Superiority Complex. Insecurity. Impulse Control. Yep.

And these successful, uh- risen groups? Cuban exiles, Nigerians, Mormons, Lebanese, Iranian, Indian…..and Chinese and Jewish (oh looky there! Obviously explains how these two were able to write such a magnum opus).

No better way to cash that publicity check ring in the new year than pseudo-scientifically exploiting stereotypes, ignoring virtually everything about American history and context, and hawking a 300+ page cunt punt to race relations with their new book: The Triple Package: How Three Random BS Traits Explain Why Some Groups Rule the Skool and Why Other Groups Suck at Life and Deserve What They Get (I’m paraphrasing, but basically). Eugenics always got a bad rap, am I right guys!? Model Minority, woof woof raise the roof!

Sure, Chua will backpedal and qualify, dodge and charm all throughout her high profile book tour, just like her last go-round. Semantics-shimmy all you want, the racial shit is implied; the damage is done. Book sales, speaking fees, and media hits, however, are over the moooon! LOL XOXO suckers!

Please Amy Chua. Just take a seat. You don’t speak for Asian Moms (#NotYourAsianTigerMom) and your bootstraps crap sure as hell doesn’t speak for the rest of us. Let’s retire this nonsense…to the BCB HOEBAG HALL OF SHAME!!

Check out some great takes on this horseshit at Changelab’s Race Files (YAASS), YOMYOMF and NY Post (really).

*We at BCB consider Hoebaggishness to be an equal opportunity quality across sex and gender(s).