Critical Readability

My critical readings of the best and worst of online media

Archive for the tag “Hegemony”

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story | Video on TED.com

 

This is a beautiful depiction of the danger of a single story, while at the same time illuminating the power of an individuals’ story. In this Ted talk, novelist Chimamanda Adichie discusses the creation of a “single story” vis-à-vis literary, historical, popular, and media representations that are articulated, performed, reenacted, and reinforced through a process of cultural translation.

Like scholars F. Farahzad, T. Niranjana, G. Spivak, L, Venuti, and S. Faiq who have theorized the problematics of cultural “translations,” here Adichie explains that a “single story” is created through naivety, ethnocentrism, supremacy, hegemony, colonization, the white savior industrial complex, and above else, power. The result is a “single story” – a homogenized stereotype of difference that is uncritically cast upon an entire group of people.

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes,” said Adichie, “is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.”

Rather, people and cultures are multifaceted, and their ethical representation thus depends on the “balance” of stories – a conglomerate of individual stories understood according to the multifaceted identities performed within each story, as well as the profound complexity of their relationship to one another.

“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also be used to repair that broken dignity.”  Watch the whole video here: Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story | Video on TED.com.

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Poll: 0 percent of blacks for Mitt Romney – Mackenzie Weinger – POLITICO.com

This surprises no one:

“President Barack Obama continues to beat Mitt Romney among African American voters with a staggering 94 percent to 0 percent lead, according to a poll released Tuesday.”

via Poll: 0 percent of blacks for Mitt Romney – Mackenzie Weinger – POLITICO.com.

Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment: Not a misstatement, but a worldview.

“The sexism is outrageous, but it’s the stupidity that really burns. It takes a lot of work for a member of the House science committee to cultivate an ignorance of science as profound as Todd Akin’s. It’s not accidental and it’s not incidental to his worldview—his belief system requires a rejection of science.

The thing about science, as Neil DeGrasse-Tyson says, is that it’s true whether you believe it or not. And the truth is that biology does not give a goddamn how sperm meets egg, whether it’s within the bounds of a sanctified marriage, in a test tube, or after a rape.”

Additionally, Missouri’s “Right to Pray” amendment does what Texas lawmakers have been trying to do – make it possible for kids to opt out of classes that conflict with their beliefs. Read more: Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment: Not a misstatement, but a worldview..

Aesop to the Right: Why I Believe Bristol Palin | Owldolatrous

“Supremacy turns to hate when the feeling of innate superiority is openly challenged.

That outraged feeling you have of being oppressed or silenced just because pop culture doesn’t like you, and Rahm Emmanuel threatened to keep Chick-Fil-A out of Chicago? That’s the feeling a supremacist gets when her cultural superiority is being eroded.

Supremacy is why you and Bristol Palin have more outrage at your own inconvenience than at the legitimate oppression of others.” Read more here: Aesop to the Right: Why I Believe Bristol Palin | Owldolatrous.

If you would like to read the original post that started this conversation, you can find a link (and my thoughts) here. 

The Chick Fellatio: stuck in the craw | Owldolatrous

Before commenting, this article needs to be read in its entirety to be fully understood. Here is the link: The Chick Fellatio: stuck in the craw | Owldolatrous.Just one part I’d like to emphasize: “This isn’t about mutual tolerance because there’s nothing mutual about it. If we agree to disagree on this issue, you walk away a full member of this society and I don’t” For those of you who feel you are being unfairly attacked for supporting Chick-fil-A and feel as though you should be able to believe whatever you want free of criticism, I remind you that Chick-fil-A is an organization that funds action fueled by hate. You can believe whatever you want, but when your beliefs lead to action (in this case the legal and cultural marginalization of other people) your beliefs have crossed a line into hate.  

For example, the Taliban and Al Queda believe deeply and to the core of their being that women are second class citizens that should be stoned to death for adultery. Do I respect the right of fundamentalists Muslims to believe what they want according to their cultural and religious values? Absolutely 100%. Do I agree with their beliefs? No. Do I fundamentally disagree with their actions? Yes. The difference is between belief and action. The line is crossed when your beliefs lead to actions that deprive other people of their beliefs, freedoms, equality, and ability to live free of fear.

Stoning women to death is a breach of human rights, as is sentencing homosexuals to death in other parts of the world. If money is given to an organization that does “missionary” work to strengthen the criminalization of homosexuality internationally, they have moved beyond “belief” and to “action.” When action is taken to legally or physically marginalize a group of people, because of who they are, that becomes hate. Historically, this has been the basis of slavery, colonization, apartheid, the Holocaust, and countless wars and genocides. 

 

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