Malala Yousafzai and the White Saviour Complex

Malala Yousafzai and the White Saviour Complex —click this to read a story in the HuffPost. Below is an excerpt – but I would definitely read this article in its entirety.

” I support Malala, I support the right to education for all, I just cannot stand the hypocrisy of Western politicians and media as they pick and choose, congratulating themselves for something that they have caused. Malala is the good native, she does not criticise the West, she does not talk about the drone strikes, she is the perfect candidate for the white man to relieve his burden and save the native.

The Western savior complex has hijacked Malala’s message. The West has killed more girls than the Taliban have. The West has denied more girls an education via their missiles than the Taliban has by their bullets. The West has done more against education around the world than extremists could ever dream of. So, please, spare us the self-righteous and self-congratulatory message that is nothing more than propaganda that tells us that the West drops bombs to save girls like Malala.”

I will be writing a response to this soon – But this is a really interesting read.

Feeling Safe is a Privilege.

I was walking to school today at about 9 this morning. As soon as I stepped out – I pulled out my phone to turn on some music for my roughly 30 minute journey to school. I look up and there is a guy – mid 20s – staring at me. Okay – that’s fine. I start walking and i see him bend down to tie his shoe lace – he has crocs on. I’m thinking – oh no – I know what’s going on….As soon as I pass him – he starts following me. I promptly take my headphones out – yes, I’m scared. I turn around as casually as possible –

knowing it’s just me and this guy on this street and he is on my heels….

and then he proceeds to talk to me – “Hey girl – you in college?” I say yes…He tries to get my name, number, age….It’s like a damn interview. But why am I engaging in conversation with this person that makes me feel so unsafe? – Because I’m scared – I was intent on studying off of my phone on my way to school but instead I’m forced to converse with this person – because I feel like I cant ignore them – I don’t know if he will get physical.

Just me and this man…walking slightly behind me.

Well – this continues until I reach a part of my neighborhood where other students are also making their way to school and he gives up. And the adrenaline is down now – and I’m furious. I’m exhausted. I’m a nervous wreck. He knows where I live and he is persistent. I didn’t study for my test. And I’m alone on the verge of tears with anger and resentment. Because i am a WOMAN….i naturally must feel unsafe. ALWAYS. I’m subjected to this treatment because of my gender.

I’ve had men say – “oh yeah – I don’t walk anywhere alone when it’s dark.”

It is NOT the same…

I’m tired. I’m so done. Do not tell me I should live in a better location. Do not tell me I have to walk with a buddy. Do not tell me – you don’t need to have your headphones in anyways – you’re just listening to music.

All I’m asking is to be safe. That is clearly too much to ask of a woman.

 

My Life in Colorism

When I watched this video, I was shocked that every word that came out of these women’s voices has been something I’ve also said in the past. This video covers Black women in America and many of their tales are also shared with dark women in the Indian community.

Much like slavery in America, the caste system existed (let’s not lie – it still exists) in India. Within the Black community light skin is more desirable because of an idea tied back to slavery. The house slaves were lighter than the field hands because they were not in the sun all day long (and probably for other reasons…). The same idea lies in the caste system. The lowest caste is attributed to outdoor menial labor while higher castes received indoor jobs such as banking, engineering or medical work.

The Indian community, much like most other non-Euro ethnic groups, believes dark is unfavorable – no, they believe that it’s a curse. Dark is a physical label that attributes one to stupidity and ugliness. As an Indo – American, I literally feel like ripping my hair out because I live in a country with a majority of White people constantly tanning yet I exist in a smaller community of Indians that make me feel like I’m lesser for being dark. Many of my own family members have shamed me for my skin color while my white sisters have shared their feelings of jealousy of my chocolate complexion. I don’t think there is anything more frustrating than White girls telling me that they are jealous of my skin.

Bleaching is a fairly routine thing I have to go through for important Indian events such as weddings because dark is ugly and not fashionable. God forbid someone thinks I’m a low caste. As a baby, my mother used to give me baths in turmeric and chickpea flour to lighten my skin – a common thing in Indian culture. I used to break out in hives every time I got these lightening baths. We now know I’m deathly allergic to chick peas.

Throughout my life, and I admit even now, I’ve been ashamed of being dark. I wasn’t given a choice at birth to capture mainstream beauty like white girls. I will always stand out in a crowd in America. My life is intertwined with my darkness. I’ve been conditioned to understand that some colors in clothing do not look good on me, that my naturally curly hair should be straightened for interviews because it is naturally disheveled and nappy and that I should use a lighter foundation on my skin (than foundation that matches my skin..).

Indian guys have told me that they are not attracted to dark skin and for some reason-that’s okay. I have definitely suffered hyper-exotification because I’m dark. I’ve felt that I’m less desirable because of skin color and my body shape. I don’t fit the mold but there is some sort of curiosity amongst men about dark skinned girls. I know that meaningful relationships are and will be hard to come by for me.

Some of the quotes I connected with in the video:

One lady said – as a child, she asked her mom to put bleach in her bath water so she would be lighter:

…..”so that my skin would be lighter and so that I could escape the feelings that I had about not being as beautiful, as acceptable, as lovable.

One girl explained that she used to wash her face hoping that the darkness would come off – something that I used to do as a child:

“I thought it was dirt and I tried to clean it off and it wouldn’t come off.”

This link is to show how ingrained colorism is within children:

I believe parents need to change their vocabulary when they speak to their children. Parents are their light and they hang on to every word you say. Why not compliment your daughter for being strong or considerate than for being skinny or pretty. Or pointing out that their existence has a positive impact in the world instead of saying your light skin will help you acquire a good husband.

I hope that one day I can be completely comfortable with my complexion but I know that lookism and colorism are embedded in my heritage. The best I can do is encourage and educate my family about the affects of colorism on children~

Jesse Pinkman

Jesse Pinkman

Why Breaking Bad is so good:

In just -one- episode, Jesse said all of these fantastic things. ‪This is from Season 3 Episode 10. “Fly”

Jesse Pinkman: So that’s your… flysaber?
_________
Jesse Pinkman: So you’re chasing around a fly and in your world, I’m the idiot?
_______________
Jesse Pinkman: Gatorade me bitch!
_____________
Jesse Pinkman: Look, I like making cherry product, but let’s keep it real, alright? We make poison for people who don’t care. We probably have the most unpicky customers in the world.
_________________
Jesse Pinkman: Possum. Big, freaky, lookin’ bitch. Since when did they change it to opossum? When I was comin’ up it was just possum. Opossum makes it sound like he’s irish or something.
____________
Jesse Pinkman: Dude, you scared the shit out of me. When you say it’s contamination. I mean, I’m thinking like… an ebola leak or something.
Walter White: Ebola.
Jesse Pinkman: Yeah, it’s a disease on the Discovery Channel where all your intestines sort of just slip right out of your butt.
Walter White: Thank you, I know what ebola is.

Why I’m Here.

Well, I just dove right into some heavy topics when I started this blog and I wanted to take a step back and do a little introductory autobiography about myself. 

I’m a fourth year at the University of Georgia and I love my school. I”m studying Broadcast Journalism with minors in Women’s Studies and Dance. I recently became a far more vocal person and I love that about myself. I am not afraid to speak my mind, though in writing, I second guess myself. I’m here to mold myself into a more eloquent writer and to share my thoughts and experiences with those who wish to listen.

I’m a dreamer and I’m a fighter. Sometimes I’m so passionate i cannot help but let the words flow but sometimes the passion does not take the form of words; that is the artist in me. What I can’t speak, I dance.

I started out college on a pre-veterinary route. Im the girl who made 4s and 5s on those science based AP exams in high school but struggled through AP language and literature. I’m a slow reader. I often stare at a blank Word Documents for hours even the day before my college essay is due. So why am I here? Why am I choosing a profession that requires non stop writing when it’s a struggle for me? 

I look at it this way: words are so permanent. That is why I hesitate to commit to them. However, now I see the beauty in this permanence and I wish to capture it. I need to capture it.

As a first generation American that belongs to a large conservative South Indian family, I have dealt with such a heavy identity crisis…and it wasn’t any easier for me growing up in the South. I think I’ve reached a point in my life where I know myself a lot more. I’m no longer ashamed of my background. I stand my ground with both communities about who I am and the choices I make. I know now how important of a task I have as this voice for my cousin sisters, my aunts, and my mother. I must be a voice for all the women that are wronged in my community. 

I need the permanence of words to remind myself of the trials and tribulations of my sisters in my community that are not given the opportunity to learn about gender/women’s studies or given the opportunity to voice their emotions, thoughts, or opinions. I am truly blessed to have these opportunities and I intend on using my education and my connections with my motherland to break social norms. 

I want to redefine beauty and kill this obsession with skin color.

I want sex education for women and girls in India to be more comprehensive. 

I want women to know there will be someone to help them escape abusive relationships and that there is no fear is speaking out.

So this is why I’m here. This is why I need to be here. I’m not the least bit eloquent but with practice – these words – my words – will start to empower and change things. I guarantee it. Image