RACIALICIOUS: An intersection of race and gender exploitation in popular culture
February 7, 2012 § Leave a comment
“RACIALICIOUS” comments on portrayals of people of color in popular culture. The writers seek to expose popular culture images and messages that are based on racial prejuedices, and other forms of prejudice if present also. The authors often post images that they critique as containing prejudicial images. They attempt to describe what stereotypes the images are meant to exploit, and how they are detrimental and misrepresentative. Anyone who find race and gender issues in popular culture would have an interest in reading this blog, because the issues discussed dive into the complex racialized and gendered images and rhetoric in popular culture. For example, a photograph of the well-publicized encounter of President Obama and Governor Brewer is deconstructed by one of the writers. She explains why the news story about their heated talk contained racial overtones. Though Governor Brewer claims she was intimidated by President Obama, though the pictures in the media depict her with a finger in the President’s face and appears to be yelling at him. He, on the other hand looks to be calm and collected, not making comments or gestures that seem intimidating. The author of that piece points out the body language of the two, but tells a different story about how we, as consumers of mass media, can read this situation in a much different way that the news media and Governor Brewer claimed about how the encounter played out. The blog writers are cognizant of the ways in which media can misrepresent people and events. They attempt to shed light on these common misperceptions and give a framework for a differential reading.
Although much of what is covered in the blog is based on the individual opinions of the writers, their arguments are based on historical evidence and academic writings of scholars in race and gender studies. At times the blog posts focus more on popular culture images and events without analyzing them. However, these posts serve as a break from the often heavier, more serious topics that the blog most often covers. Some of the posts are meant to evoke surprise, disgust, and outrage over injustices that racial minorities, often they are women who are discussed, face in the United States. “RACIALICIOUS” points out serious issues in popular culture portrayal of people of color and women. Many of the prejudices they expose may be overlooked by others who do not have similar personal experience. These are important issues to point out, because some ideas can be so embedded in a culture that they are not questioned unlessed they have been experienced.
The post about rape culture is particularly relevant to Feminist theory and consciousness-raising. This article is important, because it covers an aspect of Feminist theory that has been extensively discussed, but also relevant to the lives of all women, and those of men as well, because they can be victims of sexual assault and rape. The author of that piece points out the rhetoric around rape prevention being directed toward women instead of men. Her Feminist critique is accurate in that in hinges on the phenomenon of victim-blaming, and proposes the idea that men should be taught not to rape rather than women be taught not to behave in certain ways. Her use of photographs and video show the most gender exploitative of popular culture material. Using images as well as critique of cultural phenomenon helps the bloggers support their arguments with cultural media.
The “RACIALICIOUS” blog forces people to think about issues that are not normally talked about in mass media. Race and gender issues are important, and yet many forms of popular culture exploit racial and gender stereotypes. This blog exposes these representations as problematic for people to assume they are true. The issues they blog about are of importance to race and gender studies, because these two characteristics can intersect in interesting and oppressing ways.