PDA

View Full Version : How PoC crosses with other minority groups



Rachel Udin
02-25-2013, 08:56 PM
Because Kim seemed to want to ask this question and I'm dead curious since this isn't really well talked about. Might help with our writing endeavors too?

Please talk about personal experiences so there isn't stepping on toes.

As an Asian woman:
Told that I'm supposed to be subservient.

Shouted at on the street in basically racially charged things about Japanese women. (Though I'm Korean) Occasionally I get Chinese women comments.

I was told that "Korean women are crazy." probably because they don't fit the stereotype of women who are supposed to subservient to men exacerbated by the "Asian" label. (Picture this used as a threat.)

As an international adoptee and PoC adopted to white parents:
-Constantly told that I should be grateful that I was rescued (from a communist country--yes, I tell them it is South Korea. And no, they don't know the difference. I heard this the first time from an adult when I was five. So, yes, this is pathetic.)
(BTW, I've heard on the flip side when it's white to black parents that people constantly asked the person had been "kidnapped".)

As a Korean adopted to a Jewish family:
Everyone kicks me out. Koreans kick me out for being adopted. So I don't "really" count for being Korean. And the Jews kick me out because I'm not "Jewish" (I mean really, you might have been raised by Jews, but you don't look "Jewish") and the biracial people think I don't understand what it's like to be kicked out of both heritages and asked "What are you?". And adopted people tend to kick me out for wanting to claim both heritages rather than one like society conditioned them for. Oh and my parents started kicking me out because I became "too" Korean. (which earns a WTH were you doing adopting moment)

Note that the previous is a "tendency" rather than a fast and hard rule.

As a Asian GIRL to be adopted, I know that some people buy into the notion that Asian girls are supposed to be quiet and well-behaved. And the boys are wild. Which is why more girls get adopted. (Among other reasons... though this for some reason was a large myth).

Mostly with adoption and POC the "You should be grateful" (Implying a rescue by white people) often overlaps in astonishingly ignorant ways.

POC and woman overlaps with people assuming I'd be calling the man master. (I had a few bosses who treated me like this.)

POC and Jew overlaps with people saying they are exclusive of each other (mostly because they don't know about the Jews in South America and Asia.)

Anyone else?

patskywriter
02-25-2013, 09:44 PM
This "kick me out" phrase you keep using … do you mean that these people are now refusing to have anything to do with you? Or is that your way of saying that they're insensitive? I'm asking because I have actually seen people disown others for crossing racial lines.

I went to school with lots of Japanese-American kids and worked with a few Chinese- and Korean-American people. As a kid and young adult, we had biracial (black +) Japanese, Korean, Hawaiian, and Vietnamese kids in our community. (I grew up in a black community and attended high school in a mixed-race neighborhood.)

To this day I haven't been able to assume how anyone—boys or girls—of Asian descent should act. They're all so different, like anyone else, and we weren't brought up with any ready-made stereotypes. But that's just my community—obviously there are folks who have been taught to categorize people by ethnicity/nationality, and that's too bad.

This does remind me of a funny story, though. On my particular block we had one kid, Paulie, who had a Japanese dad. When Paulie was a toddler (and we were older kids), we always had to pretend that we couldn't figure out who he was on Halloween night. The doorbell would ring, we'd run to the door and see Paulie's dad standing at the base of the stairs while little costumed Paulie held out his goody bag. We'd yell, "Omigod, who's this?!!!" while we dropped candy into the giggling kid's bag. Later we'd say to each other, "Dang, Paulie's dad should at least stand out of sight so we wouldn't have to pretend."

Maryn
02-25-2013, 10:07 PM
I happen to live in a community with a large Jewish and fairly large Arab and Asian populations, mostly Chinese but with a fair number of adopted Korean kids. And you know what? That being 'kicked out' thing for not being wholly in either group, people expecting certain behaviors from you because of how you look, people yelling at you on the street, is offensive to me.

That's people being dicks, and probably more related to the kind of people who make up your community than you being a PoC or not genetically Jewish.

Since you so often seem upset by how you're treated for looking as you do and being who you are, you seem a prime candidate to benefit from being judged only by the content of your character.

Have you given serious consideration to relocating to a place which is not characterized by hate or even bias but a will to get along? There are plenty of places where people of every color and ethnicity coexist in relative harmony. I suspect you'd be happier in one.

Maryn, who liked this one

slhuang
02-26-2013, 12:00 AM
I happen to live in a community with a large Jewish and fairly large Arab and Asian populations, mostly Chinese but with a fair number of adopted Korean kids. And you know what? That being 'kicked out' thing for not being wholly in either group, people expecting certain behaviors from you because of how you look, people yelling at you on the street, is offensive to me.

That's people being dicks, and probably more related to the kind of people who make up your community than you being a PoC or not genetically Jewish.

Since you so often seem upset by how you're treated for looking as you do and being who you are, you seem a prime candidate to benefit from being judged only by the content of your character.

Have you given serious consideration to relocating to a place which is not characterized by hate or even bias but a will to get along? There are plenty of places where people of every color and ethnicity coexist in relative harmony. I suspect you'd be happier in one.

Maryn, who liked this one

Hi Maryn,

I'm not speaking for Rachel here, but respectfully, your post frustrated me a little.

It sounds to me like Rachel is talking about an institutional problem she faces. Like she said, a "tendency" rather than a hard and fast rule. In my own experience, I hit systemic racism all the time in society -- it's everywhere; that's what it means to be an institutional problem. :-/ That doesn't mean I haven't been able to find communities made up of individuals who are good people and who make an effort to combat institutional *-isms and check their own privilege. In fact, I surround myself with such people, but it doesn't make the institutional problems go away.

I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but your post reminded me of the sort of well-meaning but unhelpful people who say, "But we're not ALL like that! Why don't you just move/find new friends/watch other movies/read other books/not go to that type of event/not associate with that type of person/etc./etc./etc.?" which I encounter all too often. :( Both of those things are tiring to me, because yes, I know not everyone is "like that" (whatever the "that" is I happen to be discussing), so mentioning it doesn't address the issue, and the "why don't you just XYZ?" brushes off a vast institutional problem as an easy fix that's up to us POC if we just, y'know, had a better attitude or something. For instance, I run into the, "why don't you just watch something else?" reaction a LOT when I complain about institutional racism in media, which completely ignores the vast institutional problems or the fact that, you know what, I shouldn't have to.

I apologize if I'm coming off as overly energetic here; I've seen your other posts and you seem like a terribly nice person, and I'm sure you didn't mean any of what I read out of your post. But the sentiments in your post are just the type that make me very . . . tired. And again, I'm not speaking for Rachel, but it sounded to me like she wanted to discuss intersectionality in a general sense rather than looking for advice. :(

Kitty Pryde
02-26-2013, 12:22 AM
Please, let's not negate our fellow AWers' experiences of racism, nor blame them for facing them. Racism is a massive institutionalized problem, not the case of a few backwards people acting badly. Suggesting she needs to move to avoid racism is not only incorrect, it's victim-blaming. To offer a more dramatic example, "If you just stopped wearing short skirts, you'd stop getting raped." "If you just stopped dressing like a thug, salespeople would quit following you aaround the store." False, and hurtful by blaming one who is not at fault.

Maryn
02-26-2013, 12:51 AM
I certainly didn't mean my post to come across as it did. (And yet I think of myself as a writer; go figure, huh?) But I don't understand choosing to live in a place where the general populace tolerates disrespect of anybody, especially if it gets under your skin, as it clearly does with Rachel.

It would indeed be ideal if nobody ever had to leave a bad neighborhood, city, or region because of racism or any other intolerance. But I don't see the person who's different as being the 'problem' here. It's the behavior and attitudes of the general population.

Changing the attitude of the locals is an enormous, and in some cases perhaps an impossible, undertaking. (I've lived in areas where racism, hatred of gays and Jews, etc. was the norm. The haters learned what to say and do to mask attitudes in public, but what they thought did not change. I imagine they're teaching it to their kids.) My suggestion that Rachel consider removing herself from a place where intolerance is frequent does not address the root of the intolerance at all, simply seeks to make one woman happier in her day-to-day dealings with other people.

I wouldn't stay in a place where it was okay for people to comment on what they expected of me in terms of behavior based on stereotype, whether it's racial, ethnic, or gender- or sex-based. I can't change what the small-minded think, but I can leave them to their ugliness and be happier in a place where this isn't the norm.

Is it unacceptable to express that here? I posted hoping Rachel would consider leaving a situation which she cannot change and which disturbs her.

Maryn, never intending offense

Kitty Pryde
02-26-2013, 01:05 AM
Thanks for clarifying your intent. However, I would say there is not a place one can move to where they are free from inane stereotypes. I live in LA. I attend a diversity themed synagogue with many members of color. You won't find a more welcoming congregation anywhere, and yet my partner still hears stupid crap like "I can't believe you know all those prayers" or "You're so eloquent" or "Are you really Jewish?" It's worse in other places. There' no place where people aren't willing to spout homophobic crap. There's no place where tons of people don't have bizarre twisted notions of adoptees. Let's all work toward a world where there are safe places...but right now there aren't. As a person who doesn't face these comments, it can be surprising how prevalent they are.

slhuang
02-26-2013, 01:24 AM
I think what you may not be realizing is that prejudice happens all over the place, even in communities just like yours, Maryn. I too live in LA, and like I said surround myself with diverse and open-minded people just as Kitty does, and institutional prejudice still manifests in a thousand tiny ways. Suggesting Rachel move feels like you're discounting a huge, pervasive problem that is present EVERYWHERE and calling it the actions of a few people we POC could easily get away from by moving. It's minimizing. :( Does that make sense?

Edited to add: Also as Kitty said, it's very easy not to notice this stuff if you don't face it -- there may be a heck of a lot you're not seeing in your own community (and if not, we should all move there, heh).

Maryn
02-26-2013, 01:24 AM
I believe it, Kitty (and everyone else). One of my small triumphs in parenting is that our white-bread suburban kids have friendships and date people different from themselves, and ordinarily don't mention race or ethnicity when talking about their friends or dates. It simply isn't a factor. (But their taste in music can be a deal-breaker, for sure.)

Maryn, stepping out now

Maryn
02-26-2013, 01:31 AM
I think what you may not be realizing is that prejudice happens all over the place, even in communities just like yours, Maryn. I too live in LA, and like I said surround myself with diverse and open-minded people just as Kitty does, and institutional prejudice still manifests in a thousand tiny ways. Suggesting Rachel move feels like you're discounting a huge, pervasive problem that is present EVERYWHERE and calling it the actions of a few people we POC could easily get away from by moving. It's minimizing. :( Does that make sense?It does make sense, of course, but so does leaving an atmosphere where racism is pervasive for one where it's less so.

I don't doubt prejudice large and small happens everywhere, nor do I for a moment discount the effect it has on those on the receiving end. I was merely thinking of a small way to improve Rachel's individual situation.

Maryn, this time really stepping back

Kim Fierce
02-26-2013, 03:12 AM
I think I do see where Maryn is coming from, but I also agree that unfortunately these situations are not always something that can or should be easily be solved by moving.

In my own experience, being a white lesbian in a very small backwards town full of homophobes and racists, moving one town away did help me, but there are still homophobes and racists in my new town. (Even before I had black people in my family I just wasn't down with the racist talk.) In my small town everyone knew I was a lesbian, even though I probably only told a handful of people myself, I lost friends and had many people treat me really weird. However, I think my case is the exception to the rule. We can't always cut people out of our lives or move away to fix things. Sometimes it happens. . . I have a grandmother who I stopped talking to years ago because, in part, I know how she surely talks about me behind my back as well as my sister who is in a relationship with a black man and has children with him. I'm not trying to equate racism with homophobia, but in general, differences among people who are perceived to be a minority group or even just different from whoever is doing the judging has always baffled me.

I think some people who ask questions about race are seriously brainwashed, and others are bigots, and others are just trying to learn and overcome the racial barriers. I have noticed in very recent years like a lightbulb coming on that many white people I am around actually treat the word "black" in and of itself as a bad word. I work in a multi-racial company but there are always going to be your secret a-holes, and others who mean well but don't even realize the ignorant non-truths they have internalized about other people, or don't realize the superiority complex over other groups that comes out of their mouths when they speak.

I don't know the answers to these problems, except on a small scale of individuals living their lives anyway. I used to wonder if the only answer was for everyone to have a child with someone of another race, so then everyone would be multi-racial. But I know enough from talking to people today who are multi-racial that sometimes this is a difficult life. I once dated a girl who was black/white/Mexican/Puerto Rican/and also she suspected some native American but wasn't even sure what. She identified as black and didn't always like it when people referred to her as "the Mexican girl" and told me that my own biracial niece, who was just a baby, would probably go through a "mixed girl phase" when she got older. I am sure when you are constantly hearing stereotypes about yourself, and having one group or another treat you differently, it can be painful and confusing.

Our writing of course can help. And yes, I did write a book where the characters are multi-racial and racism doesn't exist, but I am also working on a steampunk series with an MC whose girlfriend is a recently freed slave, and includes an imaginary alternate history where native Americans, whites, and blacks all attempt to live in harmony, but not without some bumps along the way.

I have this naive idea that all the different groups of people aren't as different as we're supposed to be. I was friends with a Japanese exchange student in high school, and she told me that before she went home she had to spend a week or two in a re-orientation group, to get familiarized with the Japanese customs and culture once more. (This was in 1999). So when it comes to different countries, there are definitely different ways of acting and behaving that are expected . . . these are learned behaviors, not inborn . . . and I don't recall her ever saying she was supposed to be submissive of course, and the only thing I can remember right now that she said about a major difference between her country and America were that the food portions were much, much bigger.

But to someone from any race or group who was born and raised in America, unless they are taught certain behaviors in their home, and even if they are, I just honestly think that we are so much alike . . . I think all humans are more similar than different, but we have these social expectations forced on us. These include gender roles. OK I'm done!

Rachel Udin
02-26-2013, 03:55 AM
I wanted to focus on intersectionality between POC and other -isms as was brought up by Kim Fierce's thread. If I was going to ask for "advice" I would have.

I asked people to share their own experiences with this issue since it's not very well talked about. In my own schooling which may have been individually good for say, PoC (Mostly white-black, to be honest) and women's rights, the two weren't talked about in *conjunction* with each other. How is it that they kinda breed with each other.

And for the record:
1. I couldn't choose my adoptive parents. If they chose to eventually reject my Korean heritage isn't something I can control. (Nor can I control where I grew up either.) <-- You going to blame a five year old for where she lives?
2. I'm not saying *all* peoples in the categories I talked about either don't accept me in their group or don't act accepting. It's a *tendency* for people I *don't* know to want to label me as fast as possible. I get individuality.
3. Could we stick to the topic: How does the minority labels intermingle rather than pointing it to me, whom I associate with and which city I live in. I really, really, am not that self-centered.

I get enough of the "You're doing it wrong." and the "That's not -ism" train. (Also the "Quantify that" (though it makes no difference to whether the action or word was whatever mixing -ism). Not the point of this thread.

I really *do* want to hear how prejudices in society cross with each other from other people. I thought it would be easier on other people if I started. Discussing personal experience with prejudice is never easy.

Which is why I requested that you talk about YOUR OWN experiences if you are PoC and have some other intersectionality going, say woman, LGBT, etc. It prevents the minimizing, saying one is wrong and the blind guessing from being on the outside of the issue. Also, I'm not into the pity train either. This is a good point for others to listen. And I'm keen to learn since I obviously don't encompass all issues. Could we *please* do that? Focus on learning and listening?

Here's one that makes me squirm. Since generalities doesn't seem to stick. And I still see minimizing. (Such as "I don't believe that which means, I've never seen that which *sometimes* means, "therefore it doesn't exist.")

I was at a party and this woman asked me, "How do you know [person who hosts the party.]"
I told them I was related to them.
She got a puzzled look on her face. I was thinking OMG, I have another one.
So I firmly told them I was related and how without using "I am adopted."
She still looked puzzled.
My thought is "Get over yourself."
She went to my grandmother, who is horrible with adoption issues and asked.
My grandmother gave her the same run down. (Good!) and then said, "She's adopted." (Boo, let that woman stew)
And the woman and my grandmother both had a moment. She said, "Oh!" as if "OMG she's not biracial, that makes all the difference." and my grandmother had a moment, "Wait, is this woman being prejudiced."
I snerked even though I hadn't set it up that way. Sometimes people realizing their own ignorance is beautiful. It's often better than trying to front line explain and people trying to mask it.

This makes me squirm because the woman was being prejudiced against interracial marriage, and biracial children. But somehow "being adopted" makes it "better." <-- anyone else feel a serious chill over that? It's weird to get prejudice meant for other groups (which made me feel mad too). On the other hand, it's also the PoC mixing with the adopted. Why can't I say my title in relation to other people and there be a good period at the end?

I hope you really don't feel the need to justify this woman (Nor that grandmother) or say she's individual. I'm pointing to a system that set up this woman for that level of ignorance and where the intersection of several prejudices mattered. I get enough from *some* of my own relatives the "that's not -ism". And then also not speaking up in the face of prejudice which bugs me.

Kim Fierce
02-26-2013, 05:44 AM
I don't understand all the talk about how in older generations people were "brought up" a different way, and somehow it's supposed to be okay for them to be racist, or like the previous mentioned situation, judgmental of a biracial situation but not of adoption. My grandma used to show me pictures of a biracial baby in our family when I was a kid and call her something I'm not even going to print in here . . . we grew older and she turned out to be the same age as my new stepsister, they went to school together, those relatives started coming to family gatherings when previously we had never met them, and I was even more angry at my grandma for saying those things. Never, ever bought into it. So I don't know how other people can justify being "raised" a certain way I guess.


I have seen firsthand my own black/biracial family members treated differently for no reason. I wish everyone who sees me would know without my having to tell them that I am not one of the racist ones. I've considered some sort of tattoo, but I don't know what to get.

In my experience, around here, many PoC, especially of older generations, are likely going to assume that white people are racist, and this is from hearing their own words. And in hearing some of the conversations white people have when no "other" people are around . . . mostly again of older white people but sometimes trickling down into my age group (I'm 31), it's not too far off-base for their to at least be some prejudice and ignorance. As for me, sometimes I want to say I may be white, but I'm not like some of these others.

Kitty27
02-26-2013, 06:00 AM
I'm a woman and I am Black,but my race is always seen first.

I've had encounters with the feminist movement that caused me to abandon any interest in it whatsoever. I refer to myself as a womanist,meaning I support women who are trans,lesbian,poor,POC,and anything else. But the modern feminist movement is steeped in the very same privileged blindness they claim to want to fight so hard against. Intersectionality doesn't work with people who refuse to listen to a POV that deep in their minds,is inferior to theirs.

Hatred towards Blacks and particularly Black women,starts EARLY. Look at the mess with Quvenzhane Wallis. We aren't seen as women,but as feminine looking men.

I've had prejudice exhibited towards me by other POC. From going in an Asian owned beauty supply store and being followed/spoken to rudely to dealing with Arab store owners who told me they want some"chocolate" because Black American women drop it all the time,like videos have shown them. My racial group is considered the bottom of the totem pole and I would honestly say Blacks get it worse than any other group. We deal with racism from BOTH POC and Whites.

That being said,I MUCH prefer living in the South,despite its reputation. The races have lived so closely here for so long that my environment is not as racist as some would believe. I call it a polite distance. They go their way,we go ours and when we do encounter one another,there is rarely any nastiness from either side. Of course,mess can and does happen. I've had a White gentlemen with an enormous Confederate flag flying from his truck stop and help me when my car broke down and give me a stern talking to about being a woman driving alone at night. That was QUITE interesting.

But on a trip to New York,the supposed melting pot of the US,I saw blatant racism. I mean racism that shocked me to behold. So,location means nothing. Racists are like weeds. They grow in even the most carefully tended gardens. All you can do is make sure your personal circle isn't like that. I have LGBT friends,friends of every race,and every background. It makes the world a little easier to know everyone isn't like that. Frankly,I don't worry about racists UNLESS they are in a position of power to harm people. Say a doctor,judge,police officer. Then they MUST be confronted and dealt with. Other than that,kiss my Black ass and keep it moving,sir/madame. Constantly worrying about them will give you a never ending spiritual and emotional ache that isn't worth the time or effort.

Rachel Udin
02-26-2013, 09:08 AM
I don't understand all the talk about how in older generations people were "brought up" a different way, and somehow it's supposed to be okay for them to be racist, or like the previous mentioned situation, judgmental of a biracial situation but not of adoption. My grandma used to show me pictures of a biracial baby in our family when I was a kid and call her something I'm not even going to print in here . . . we grew older and she turned out to be the same age as my new stepsister, they went to school together, those relatives started coming to family gatherings when previously we had never met them, and I was even more angry at my grandma for saying those things. Never, ever bought into it. So I don't know how other people can justify being "raised" a certain way I guess.
Prejudice is often irrational at it's basis. But I've gotten racism from all ages. In this case, I didn't disclose the age of the person I was talking to.

I've gotten prejudice and racism from five year olds. You're conditioned to learn it and it's around you, if you like it or not.

But that's not the point. I really do want to see *how* it intersects and maybe why it works at the intersection. I don't particularly need comfort or need to understand these losers that can't get basics of humanity. I want to see how it manifests.



In my experience, around here, many PoC, especially of older generations, are likely going to assume that white people are racist, and this is from hearing their own words. And in hearing some of the conversations white people have when no "other" people are around . . . mostly again of older white people but sometimes trickling down into my age group (I'm 31), it's not too far off-base for their to at least be some prejudice and ignorance. As for me, sometimes I want to say I may be white, but I'm not like some of these others.
I don't need and I don't think other PoCs need this justification. We don't need you to prove that to us. When we state a story like above, where it's suddenly OK to be POC as long as you're adopted, (i.e. you've been rescued by white folks if you want it plain) is
1. To be believed.
2. Recognize what's wrong with what was said or done. Validate that.
3. Questions before statements.

Going into defense mode doesn't make it less -ist what OTHER people did.

I was really hoping to learn...

Maybe people don't feel safe? Exposing wounds when the first reactions are often to be told one is wrong, is really difficult. I don't think one should have to justify their feelings or have to explain another person's hatred/ignorance/misunderstanding.

@Kitty
I do think that blacks, particularly the ones that came from slavery are put at the bottom of the heap in terms of how society sees people. I can so understand that.

Relative to if other races pick on other PoCs... I don't think it's so even as I previously thought. In my school, (and no, I'm not saying everyone) I've had black kids pick on me. One girl stole my homework out of my backpack. (And that was racial because joke is on her--I suck at math). Teacher caught her.

What I've recognized isn't relative of "who has it worse" among races but that the racial framing by the *previous* rich white elite. (white elite grouped here rather than rich and elite) as a way to gain economic control really does work to pit people below them at each other so that people buy into the stereotypes about other groups. (Dominant class gets that luxury.)

For example, I learned out of the model minority that people buy into the idea that Asians make close to the same money as White Americans, not taking into fact that the majority of Asians live in the most expensive states in the union and are making far below that of the whites from the same area (matching the other minorities).

I wanted to see how they cross 'cause sometimes how the two prejudices cross tells about struggles that we don't really talk about? You know. I know prejudice is both painful, annoying, and all of that, but I've come to realize, too, that sometimes people don't know what it looks like when it's smacking them in the face as well. Especially people who are from the dominant part of society.

Disproving one prejudice is hard enough, but when two slaps you and you can't untangle them--understanding that struggle--I thought it might be helpful since they are often dealt with on a separate basis. I wanted to see a bit of that.

Ah, I have a feeling I'm not expressing myself well here. Sorry. Take the jist of it?

Lavern08
02-26-2013, 09:27 PM
... Frankly, I don't worry about racists UNLESS they are in a position of power to harm people. Ditto

Other than that, kiss my Black ass and keep it moving, sir/madame. (LOL) :D

Constantly worrying about them will give you a never ending spiritual and emotional ache that isn't worth the time or effort. Amen!

;)

Kim Fierce
02-27-2013, 02:02 AM
Well I am just trying to make sense of things myself and learn.

Rachel said: "I really do want to see *how* it intersects and maybe why it works at the intersection."

I have no answers. Only observations.

One of the weirdest ones: I am sometimes around someone who is a white woman, had two marriages to two Mexican men, with children, still married today. She talks shit about Mexicans and what she desribes as the trashy white women that run after Mexicans. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa? Some of the things she says around us I hope she doesn't say around her kids.

And I know people don't always need explanations or justifications, but when I am trying to be friends with people who are different race or whatever from me, sometimes I feel like at first they look past me or don't realize this. But others do realize it. I don't know what the difference is, maybe some people have more walls put up than others.

Ken
02-27-2013, 02:13 AM
... being accepted by a group is nice in theory.
But in actuality, I don't believe I'd really dig it. Too limiting.
And you know, "groups" only seem like groups when you're on the outside looking in.
When you actually belong to one then there is no real cohesion.
Only time you really get that is with good friends.
My 2 cents. (Maybe just sour grapes.)

Rachel Udin
02-27-2013, 04:51 AM
I noticed (so far) that intersection seems to lead into two extremes, which shouldn't have surprised me given how extreme prejudice is.

(At least the ones stated from personal experience)

It either crosses and oddly seems to self-justify it for the person speaking it.

Or it opposes and then people think it's impossible and therefore don't believe you.

Both kinda turn my stomach, but at least I can understand a bit about how it might work for someone on a receiving end since I've gotten some of that.

But then, this kind of extreme polarization tends to come with prejudice. Women are either subservient or they are super dangerous from being oversexed. As an example...

So the intersection points would b where it opposes either both ideas with another designation or confirms, which seems to me, from my observation of what was said, to kind have a circular effect (The logical fallacy of this proves the other when they aren't related)?

Am I wrong in this observation?

@Kim I know you aren't PoC, but has the intersection between QUILTBAG and woman affected you? (If you're willing...) I want to see if my theory pans out.

If so, this probably would help you to write future characters where race, etc *was* an issue in the society thus they get singled out?

Also kinda helps me process things a bit, personally, and also see if I were to do layered issues what that might look like and how it might affect a character outside of my assigned labels. <-- I know I'm tripping into sociology.

Kim Fierce
02-27-2013, 05:27 AM
Well I've had some negative experiences, of course. I do think that different races and different sexualities are completely different experiences, but I also feel like I know what it's like to be considered outside the group, in this case it's a group I'm supposed to belong to but I don't. I don't feel like I fit in with many white people around here in good ole Indiana, at least not in my hometown.

When I was younger and first came out at 18, I had to deal with the whole thing of guys thinking I wanted to be converted . . . I have had guys just sort of pull their pants down in front of me as if this is something I was dying to see. . . but that has probably happened in the same ratio to a young straight girl who partied too much. A lot of straight girls also suddenly seemed to think I was going to prey upon their virgin souls and ostracized me.

Moving did help me, but I don't think it's fair or reasonable to say that's always an answer. I went to my best friend's house for her daughter's birthday party last summer in my hometown, and there were several of the family's redneck relatives there, and it was one of those moments where I realized that among these people I stand out and am seen as an abnormality. My best friend's grandparents have told her multiple times that we shouldn't hang out because I would try to convert her, or because people would think she is a lesbian too.

Every once in awhile I have the experience of someone meeting me, then later finding out I'm gay and treating me differently. You can't always tell I'm gay just by looking at me, so of course this is a different situation than someone of a different race.

Now Wanda Sykes has a comedy routine that replays on TV quite often where she says for her being both black and a lesbian, she had more of a problem being a lesbian. I'm not sure if she is in the majority on this opinion. But she said at least she didn't have to come out to her family as black and have them freak out and pray to Jesus about where they went wrong.

There were several times in my life I was the only lesbian I knew, and to be around straight people, especially if I wanted to be friends with straight girls, I would sometimes feel I had to act different to fit in. Sometimes in the younger years I would omit all talk about my sexuality or say I was bi just because it seemed more acceptable. I have had conversations with female friends about sex, and have been seen as something less than or other than a "real woman", and felt like I really was some hideous freak, until I finally found some other lesbians to talk to and realized that it is ok to be who I am and like the things I do and that I don't need to be judged about it. I learned that no matter who I am around, I should be myself, and if others don't like it that's their problem.

I do have one gay friend who actually was disowned by his grandparents, who raised him from the time he was a small child. He committed suicide a couple years ago. A lot of gay people will speak of each other as being "family" because sometimes our own isn't comfortable around us. I went to a funeral not long ago of a great-aunt, and realized my extended family thinks I'm a freak. I don't talk to any of my family except my mom and siblings, and my dad passed away.

Do you think that for race issues, there is a higher proportion of being judged by strangers, and for gay issues it is a higher proportion of being judged by family or others who at least have gotten to know you to some degree if you don't "look gay"? This is something I have pondered but don't know the real answer to.

Rachel Udin
02-27-2013, 07:32 AM
@Kim So has it ever intersected that you've noticed where someone took issue with you being a woman AND lesbian at the same time? If I understand correctly, it's a no? You haven't heard it particularly intersect?

^^;; Not trying to pry, but I am trying to see if you understand what I was fishing for in the main topic.

For example, for me, some rude guys have shouted at me in words I won't repeat here for being an Asian woman. I'll go for the nondirectly racial one.

"Can you meet me at home and bow to me?"

Buys into intersecting stereotypes of women. "Women should shut up and do as they are told." *strangle*

And buys into the stereotype taken from a misunderstanding of Japanese culture and I would posit probably rape of women in war. I'm guessing from the 1930's and also probably taken from some of the previous Chinese railroad workers. (I know my racial history well)

So they cross into an amplified hateful comment where one justifies the other.

I think the internal logic goes something like this (or dislogic):
Can't talk badly about women now, can we.
But wait, Japanese are supposed to be "submissive" because they are so "polite".
That must mean I can talk about Japanese women that way.
All Asians are alike.
Asian woman, therefore, must be submissive. Therefore, it's NOT misogynistic to say that about that Asian woman over there. It's just "part of the culture"

Being Asian makes it "not misogynistic" logic (I've actually read and heard this justification.)
And being a woman means that they feel on some level they can be racist towards you. (As in the level just sinks that much lower. I think they feel more justified to say that comment on the street because I'm a woman, thus justifying the racism in the comment.)

Sorry if I'm repeating. I'm making sure I'm clear.

Kim Fierce
02-27-2013, 07:48 AM
I am actually quite a recluse, and have had the same job for 6 years, so I guess these days I don't put myself in a lot of situations that I used to when I was younger. Here is the main example broken down, though, for woman plus lesbian. I don't think it is going to be as extreme as the things in your case though:



Woman plus lesbian = You should want to have a man to "take care of you", right? Why don't you want that? And what do you mean you don't do "this or that sex act?" You are not a normal woman if you don't like "this or that sex act". Apparently I just don't know what I'm missing and should give "this or that sex act" a try!


I still might not be completely getting the whole scenario. I am sure there are plenty of men who just think women in general are beneath them, and then to find out I'm a lesbian on top of that is worse. But in my experience, those judgments are more subtle, and do not get yelled at me in blatant ways on the street. These are more likely to be experienced by older men who just give you a degrading look.

I don't consider myself as going through too many problems in general just by being a woman, but again, I stick to my comfort zone.

kuwisdelu
02-27-2013, 09:36 AM
Does being a minority among other PoCs count?

It's interesting going to a diversity workshop and still being the only Indian.

LJ Hall
02-27-2013, 09:41 AM
Hatred towards Blacks and particularly Black women,starts EARLY. Look at the mess with Quvenzhane Wallis. We aren't seen as women,but as feminine looking men.

I've had prejudice exhibited towards me by other POC. From going in an Asian owned beauty supply store and being followed/spoken to rudely to dealing with Arab store owners who told me they want some"chocolate" because Black American women drop it all the time,like videos have shown them. My racial group is considered the bottom of the totem pole and I would honestly say Blacks get it worse than any other group. We deal with racism from BOTH POC and Whites.

That being said,I MUCH prefer living in the South,despite its reputation. The races have lived so closely here for so long that my environment is not as racist as some would believe....


I can't really contribute anything to that first paragraph up there, I just know that when I read it it struck a chord in me, especially after that Twitter idiocy. I wonder if that's the kind of subconscious belief that's fucking up feminism when it comes to WoC, and why white feminists have such a problem with intersectionality.

I'm Lebanese but pasty-skinned, and not many people who don't know my family guess my race just from meeting me. I don't experience overt racism on my own (though when I visit my mom and grandparents and we all go out as a big ole ethnic group it's very different). On the other hand, since few people peg me as Middle Eastern on first glance, I have heard a lot of shit that folks would have kept to themselves if they did know my background. It's like being undercover, in a very depressing way.

That being said, I have no doubt that Black people get it worse than any other group. And most of that certainty comes from my growing up in Alabama. Like you say, for all the reputation the deep south has, my experience in Birmingham was a thousand times more multicultural than any other place I've lived. My high school class was mostly Black and I wouldn't change that experience for anything, especially not the bland monotone high school life I used to see on TV shows and in movies.

There's probably more racism in the south, sure. But there's also more communication, and way more familiarity, because we live so close together. I'd sit in social studies classes and we'd talk about current events and race, and if I thought I could hang because one time one person called me and my mom desert n****rs, that feeling got crushed listening to story after story after story from the Black kids in class.

Hell, I remember hearing people saying right after 9/11 that Arabs were becoming the new Blacks (ie the new bottom of the totem pole), and even then I knew it was bullshit. Yeah, things got seriously ugly, in some cities, for a while. There are still incidents - look at Emad Burnat getting held at LAX on his way to the Oscars. But just the fact that stories like his get all this outraged international coverage proves that it's nothing like the ingrained, widespread, and mostly tolerated prejudice against Black people.

Nonny
02-27-2013, 10:10 AM
@Kim So has it ever intersected that you've noticed where someone took issue with you being a woman AND lesbian at the same time? If I understand correctly, it's a no? You haven't heard it particularly intersect?

^^;; Not trying to pry, but I am trying to see if you understand what I was fishing for in the main topic.

If I may interject :) I can say that I have certainly had being pansexual and female intersect. There's the offensive "barsexual" assumption that is all too common towards pan/bi women. To continue on, I have had probably worse experiences with other women, because behaviors that would be over-the-top creepy coming from men are seen as accepted and "no big deal" from other women. I've gotten felt up at bars by straight women who then excused it as "oh but you like girls" and "I wasn't serious anyway" and "well, we're both girls so it's no big". I've run into that A LOT.

It's also meant that my rape by another woman has been taken less seriously. I have been raped by both a man, and a woman, and the rape by a man was treated as far more horrifying and violating even though both were awful.

And I will point out gay guys, in particular, like Dan Savage can be absolutely horrible to pan/bi women. In addition there's the assumption that pan/bi women should be sexually available to men always. That's something that lesbian women run into too (as Kim talked about the conversion types) but pan/bi women have added to it that we should be willing to sleep with these guys in order to prove that we're not lesbians.

... and then, among rad-fems, you have the types that insist that we should be political lesbians because men are the enemy. I will admit to being pretty fed up with cis men at this point but these types tend to be transphobic as all fuck... plus, I find the idea that because I am attracted to multiple genders, that I should limit myself in who I love, fucking offensive.

Then there is the pan/bi woman = slut thing, which is EVER SO MUCH more fun being poly. Because now not only have I somehow "proven" that I'm a slut, but I get crap from other pan/bi people for "being the stereotype."

Sooo... yeah. There's a lot of intersection. I could probably think of more but this is just off the top of my head.

nighttimer
02-27-2013, 01:59 PM
As a Korean adopted to a Jewish family:
Everyone kicks me out. Koreans kick me out for being adopted. So I don't "really" count for being Korean. And the Jews kick me out because I'm not "Jewish" (I mean really, you might have been raised by Jews, but you don't look "Jewish") and the biracial people think I don't understand what it's like to be kicked out of both heritages and asked "What are you?". And adopted people tend to kick me out for wanting to claim both heritages rather than one like society conditioned them for. Oh and my parents started kicking me out because I became "too" Korean. (which earns a WTH were you doing adopting moment)

POC and Jew overlaps with people saying they are exclusive of each other (mostly because they don't know about the Jews in South America and Asia.)

Anyone else?

I wonder Rachel, but regarding being a young woman, Asian, Jewish and unique are you familiar with the work of Francesca Biller (http://www.francescabiller.com/)?

Not saying she's any sort of role model, but Francesca and you do share a few commonalities. (http://www.francescabiller.com/culture.htm) :Hug2:

Kim Fierce
02-27-2013, 08:26 PM
Damn Nonny that's horrible! I just don't even go to bars anymore, unless it is a gay bar with my wife. And I work at a trucking company where there are plenty of men who look down on both women and lesbians, but since I am thankfully surrounded by both, the men don't voice it much. But I work in an office with 95 per cent women. And surprisingly 95 per cent of the supervisors are men. Go figure. I am good at ignoring negativity mostly and mainly want to learn about others.

I think the black experience is still the worst. My biggest reason for coming to this forum is because I do try to write books with diversity and want to make sure I am not doing something wrong. I want my niece and nephew to have a good future and love to tell my niece that the president has a white mom and black dad just like she does.

Intersecting multiple stereotypes has got to just make everything so much worse. And as far as the undercover thing goes, people make remarks about blacks that they normally wouldn't if they don't know my family, but they soon learn I don't approve, not thhat I didn't do the same before my niece was born, but now it feels even more personal like a knife to the heart.

Rachel Udin
02-27-2013, 08:30 PM
Damnnnn~ I learned a lot. So thank you very, very much. I respect that it's often very, very hard to talk about these things.

So it does look like it is amplification or exclusion with intersectionality.

Either one proves the other stereotype, or if you're both then the person (ignorant...) assumes you cannot be both. <-- My brain works on patterns.

I do wonder, though, if anyone did an academic paper on this type of thing before.

Beyond that, I think intersectionality really does show the pits of society. Especially when it's suddenly "OK" to be whatever -ist because it combines.


I wonder Rachel, but regarding being a young woman, Asian, Jewish and unique are you familiar with the work of Francesca Biller (http://www.francescabiller.com/)?

Not saying she's any sort of role model, but Francesca and you do share a few commonalities. (http://www.francescabiller.com/culture.htm) :Hug2:

I know another Korean Adopted Jew (besides my brother) as well (We're rare). More like I was reporting how intersectionality played in my life. In that case, you proved my other base thesis: That PoC adopted to white families often experience a lot of the same things that biracial children also seem to face, but unlike biracial children, there is one parent missing out of the equation. (So it's almost like they were born through a one-night stand and the other parent died.). So the support that biracial children seem to get is absent in interracial adoption. (This is not to say Adoptive parents slack, but there is kind of a difference when people are suddenly thrust into teaching a culture they never experienced first hand and letting their spouse do the work.)

But I have had the reaction from *some* biracial people that I don't understand what it is like to not fit into either... because only one color shows on my skin and features.

This is not saying one has it worse than the other, either. I believe there are unique challenges to both.

I also had a classmate who was adopted from Africa to a white family, but I found this out years later, which made sense why he was picked on in school. (He was tall for his age, but was really sweet...) He got it bad from both the white and black classmates.

In this case, I think the divide is that within the social family status, if you aren't surrounded by ignorant family members in your adoptive family (And I do have some--especially those who put adopted or Korean first piss me off. They use labels before who I am in relation to them in describing me to other people.), you enjoy 100% white privilege. But as soon as you leave the house, people start labeling as fast as possible, so that one remembers they are PoC. <--so exclusion in this case.

I ended up being proud of my labels and pretty much have a screw you attitude towards people who don't get that a period means a period at the end of a sentence. Despite that, I still want to know, in effect, what I am fighting--I mean the level of stupidity and the justifications. Not just for myself, but for others as well. I'm a bigger picture type of person.

In this case, it looks like the root stupidity is pretty much the same at it's base.

Kim Fierce
02-28-2013, 04:01 AM
There was a couple my parents used to be friends with (I forget how they met) and it was a white man who had married a Korean woman during the Korean war and she moved to this country afterwards. The woman did my mom and sisters' hair for a time period. They had a daughter who was in my youngest sister's grade, and when I was in high school and they were in middle school I was an aide for one of their classes. We went to a mostly white school. It was there I witnessed that other kids would call this girl "foreigner" and I stood up for her, in complete shock, because I hadn't expected that at all.

There is some kind of mentality with some people, which I used to imagine was only immature people but I am probably wrong, which says "Anyone who is different from me is okay to make fun of" and includes race, religion, sexuality, or whatever else you can think of. This mentality is apparently caused by something, I prefer to think of it as an inferiority complex, but may be wrong, and in the end it just means weak people want to feel better about themselves by bullying other people.

Nonny
02-28-2013, 11:07 AM
[QUOTE=Kim Fierce;8005309]Damn Nonny that's horrible! I just don't even go to bars anymore, unless it is a gay bar with my wife. And I work at a trucking company where there are plenty of men who look down on both women and lesbians, but since I am thankfully surrounded by both, the men don't voice it much. But I work in an office with 95 per cent women. And surprisingly 95 per cent of the supervisors are men. Go figure. I am good at ignoring negativity mostly and mainly want to learn about others.[quote]

To be fair, these aren't necessarily everyday things that I run into. The areas I've been in have definitely mattered; I actually got far less shit for being queer in Texas (Dallas suburb) than I did in Boston. Where I live now (Olympia, WA; about an hour south of Seattle), I've had nowhere near as bad experiences as either (I should also add I'm disabled, which is another minority that can combine with being queer and female). It's just that I have run into it often enough for it to be worth mentioning, and it certainly seems to be worse the more intersections there are.


Rachel, I don't know if there are completed academic papers but I do have friends in academia that have been talking about people they know who are working on such. To my mind, I have only really seen intesectionality talked about to any serious extent in the past 5yrs or so; at least to the point that it's a not uncommon concept in social justice communities. I'm not surprised that it may take a bit for academia to catch up, so to speak.

Rachel Udin
02-28-2013, 09:21 PM
There was a couple my parents used to be friends with (I forget how they met) and it was a white man who had married a Korean woman during the Korean war and she moved to this country afterwards. The woman did my mom and sisters' hair for a time period. They had a daughter who was in my youngest sister's grade, and when I was in high school and they were in middle school I was an aide for one of their classes. We went to a mostly white school. It was there I witnessed that other kids would call this girl "foreigner" and I stood up for her, in complete shock, because I hadn't expected that at all.

There is some kind of mentality with some people, which I used to imagine was only immature people but I am probably wrong, which says "Anyone who is different from me is okay to make fun of" and includes race, religion, sexuality, or whatever else you can think of. This mentality is apparently caused by something, I prefer to think of it as an inferiority complex, but may be wrong, and in the end it just means weak people want to feel better about themselves by bullying other people.
I used to think that too... I mean on an individual level. When I showed sympathy towards a bully he quit picking on me and tried to defend me, but in a torrent of drowning voices, despite being close to the top of the pecking order in the school. (Kids just learned to not do it around him... --;; and at some point he quit trying... yeah...) <-- BTW, this is a lesson to educators to try to nip bullying and teasing early--start it in kindergarten. Once it starts, it's hard to get it to stop. (Learned that firmly as a kid so when I saw the start of it as an adult helping in a classroom setting, I worked to reverse it which made it stop.)

But I think on a systemic level it's to establish a pecking order that often has to do with economic factors. For example with QUILTBAG, I heard reports where people are using that as an excuse to fire people from their jobs, no questions asked.

Racism also has economic ties and classicism also has economic ties...

By establishing a "pecking order" and lies about everyone below your own social status, it keeps the divide and conquer true and the people at the top, still at the top, so they will *tend* (not always) to get more benefits and more opportunities to economic success.

You can see this in the prejudiced line that "Poor people are lazy."

Translate that to a racial... and voila, it's economic.

I think at some point adults do realize this when they are teaching it to the next generation, such as the people leaving the neighborhood because a gay or a black couple move in. Or claiming that Mexicans (in which they really mean dark-skinned Latinos--because really, they don't care to distinguish) are "stealing jobs".

On an individual basis, I think people don't know they are getting programmed that way when they are young. But when it suffuses the media, the speak, etc, that's pretty much the definition of systemic prejudice. And fighting a cultural voice is difficult even if you have parents trying to constantly teach you that it's not true.

Anyway, I don't think anyone should have to justify. In understanding where it comes from and why it exists, one can at least try to reverse it and also to write anything with prejudice realistically.

@Nonny
I'm glad to see the catch up, but I wish the results were a little faster.