Posts tagged: children
I wrote this for a course blog about the MDGs. It’s taught by Stephen Lewis and Christopher Gore. Obviously, the KONY2012 campaign created by Invisible Children has sparked a lot of debate and was brought up in class.
I’ve been reading a lot of the posts, and I’ve noticed that a lot aren’t from the perspectives of Ugandans, and that out of anyone, they’re the ones who have the most right to have opinions on the video. Also, a lot of articles are written by well informed people but not necessarily ‘formally educated’ in the topic.
This article (which I was put onto by a friend who studied under him) is written by Mahmood Mamdani, an expert in the field of government and the region. Mamdani, is Ugandan. He summarizes the history of the Ugandan military and the LRA, but in terms of specifically the KONY campaign, the last 6 paragraphs are what you should read.
I think it was interesting that our resident Ugandan (I’m sorry, I don’t know your name, please comment if you see this so I can edit the post!) pointed out the colonial problems with IC, but no one brought it up again. Maybe it’s because it makes us uncomfortable to think about, multiple people in my facebook network have said this whole “White Man’s Burden” criticism offends them. I think this is coming from a general lack of understanding of England’s/Portugal’s/Holland’s/Spain’s/France’s history in Africa. Someone said to me “Africa should be left to deal with Africa’s problems” completely ignoring in so many ways that much of Africa’s problems come from oppression via Western countries.
I get it, we have the money and resources, but there’s a difference between speaking on behalf of people, and speaking with people. And speaking on behalf of people can be very dangerous if you’ve got the power and you’re speaking about those who don’t without their blessing of your allyship. IC is telling the world what is best for Ugandans. And as a primarily, white, middle class and male organization (at least, their executive is), they’re just ramping up the voltage in their privilege and reifying our colonial history by saying “This is what’s wrong with Uganda, and this is the best way to save Ugandans”.
*See an excellent PARODY of this issue from the movie “Get Him to the Greek”*
While I obviously have an opinion about IC, I think that no one really has a right to say theirs is the best opinion on the matter except for Ugandans, whom it affects. I’m white and the history and present mistakes of my race are terrible, so the best thing I think myself and other white people can do for Ugandans is to fully realize that our draw in the genetic lottery privileges us, and therefore we need to acknowledge that we’re not the experts of their (Ugandans’) lives. As opposed to getting our knickers in a knot when people talk about our Western Savior complex. Because it’s true!
I’m an Equity and Diversity Studies major, so I do a lot of studying of anti-racism, and anti-colonial theory if you’re wondering what my lens is or why I have the opinion that I do.
Inequity in Current Fashion and Media
New Topman shirt promotes taking advantage of women with a list of no consent excuses, and insinuating women are pets.
JC Penney had a shirt out (they have taken out of production) which was quite blantantly saying women are stupid. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard a young woman pretend she didn’t know something talking to a guy, that I knew she knew.
JC Penney Shirt - an article
How about lingerie for little girls- as young as 4!? This French retailer thinks it was a great idea.
And - if you haven’t seen this Nivea ad, it’s pretty self-explanatory if you consider the historical perception (which continues in various degrees through to present time) of Black people.
And FINALLY: What exactly is the problem with shoulder pads?
Think back to when shoulder pads were brought into fashion, originally. The 1980s - which is also when women first started to really make their way into the corporate, professional, executive world and wore suits. The purpose of shoulder pads is to make them look bigger, more square. More like a man’s shoulders. Something to think about as they’re reappearing.
Some questions I keep thinking about, with answers I’m trying to discover -
How can women be in leadership roles without relinquishing their femininity?
How can a woman be assertive and not be called manly? Or a bitch?