Basically all my obsesions gathered in one place. It started as blog with just books, but now it's just a huge mess. I prefer she/her pronouns.Spoilers ahead.

 


female character meme: supports(1/?) - Mai(Avatar: The Last Airbender)
"What do you want from me? You want a teary confession about how hard my childhood was? Well it wasn’t. I was a rich only child and got anything I wanted… as long as I behaved… and sat still… and didn’t speak unless spoken to. My mother said I had to keep out of trouble. We had my dad’s political career to think about. ”

female character meme: supports(1/?) - Mai(Avatar: The Last Airbender)

"What do you want from me? You want a teary confession about how hard my childhood was? Well it wasn’t. I was a rich only child and got anything I wanted… as long as I behaved… and sat still… and didn’t speak unless spoken to. My mother said I had to keep out of trouble. We had my dad’s political career to think about. 

Anonymous asked
Hi! I'm sorry to bother, but I have a question. I have a friend who looks white (blonde, light skin, green eyes) but was actually born and raised in India by her Hindu parents. She practices Hinduism and only recently moved to the states. She still wears traditional clothing, but the other day she posted a picture of herself in her traditional clothes and got a lot of hate for it, people saying it was cultural appropriation. She's bummed out about it and is now questioning her ethnicity. Help?

pendere:

stirringwind:

1. All those people screaming cultural appropriation at her are ignoramuses who are basically saying, “Wow, you don’t look like my ill-informed, narrow-minded stereotype of what people from this region actually look like!” and “I actually subscribe to horrible, reductionist stereotypes that Indian people can only have dark hair, skin and eyes. Light hair? Green eyes? European (origin) only!” 

This is gonna be a tad long, because it’s gonna delve into biology and history- and it’s because I hope people realise how artificial the US paradigm of race is. It’s woefully incompetent at understanding the biological diversity of our species because it is a social construct. Modern scientists and historians generally refuse to categorise people on the amount of melanin they have because it’s just reductionist and oversimplistic- what they do is classify people by their geographic origin, linguistic and cultural ties. 

2. India is an EXTREMELY diverse continent. It’s so genetically diverse that the only place more genetically diverse is the African continent, aka, the birthplace of humanity. And this is a big deal. I’ll explain why.

image

Surprise! People inhabiting an extremely large country that has more than 2000 ethnic groups, members of all the world’s religions, been the site of multiple ancient civilisations, been on the major crossroads of human migration and trade for thousands of years come in multiple colours!

  • Presently, the most widely-accepted theory of our origins is the Recent African Origin, or Out of Africa TheoryThis holds that originally, humans first appeared in Africa, thus all of us have African ancestors. All modern non-Africans are descended from much smaller groups of people who migrated out of Africa, anytime from 65,000 to 125,000 years ago. How do scientists know this? By looking at our DNA, in addition to fossil and archaeological records. They discovered that the differences in the DNA of non-African peoples like say, a German a Japanese and a New Zealand Maori was far less than the genetic differences between people from different African ethnic groups. (Somali, Dinka, Yoruba, San, Kikuyu, Luo etc- I’m BARELY scratching the surface)
  • What this meant was that Africa had to be the original, diverse genetic pool where modern humans first appeared. Everybody else outside of Africa today is descended from much smaller groups of people who left Africa at various times- and that ancestral genetic “bottleneck” is why people who appear to have very different heritage (e.g European vs East Asian) actually have far less genetic variation than the various African peoples.
  • So, India being the second most genetically diverse place on this planet is a big deal- it’s basically second only to THE CRADLE OF HUMANITY. That’s why I’m pretty convinced your friend can have blonde hair and green eyes and still be 100% Made in India.

3. Now, the genetics of India itself.

Genetic studies have shown that if you take a modern Indian from any part of India, no matter how dark or fair they are, his or her lineage will consist of mixing from two main ancestral groups. One is the Ancestral Northern Indians (ANI), and the other the Ancestral Southern Indians (ASI). You may have heard of the ancient Indian caste system which put a lot of social pressure that prohibited marrying outside your caste. Caste discrimination is banned today, but old attitudes do persist. However, even this caste rigidity wasn’t so 4000- 2000 years ago. ANI people married ASI pretty freely, so that’s why every modern Indian has heredity from both groups. So, already to start off, you got quite a fair bit of diversity hidden in people’s genes. 

  • And the next interesting part to explain why it IS possible for Indians to have features stereotyped as “European” is because while the ASI seemed to be genetically unique to the Indian subcontinent, the ANI people are genetically related to Middle-Easterns, Europeans and Caucasians (and I mean this not in the sense of “white” as often used in the US, but the actual region of Caucasus, which borders Europe and Asia).
  • You mentioned she looks “white”- and the American-understanding of “white” being hurled at her by those people screaming cultural appropriation are actually ignorantly treating “white” as synonymous with “European-origin”. In reality, it’s completely useless in the realm of biology. Biologically, there is actually no real dichotomy where “European” suddenly ends and “Asia” begins. 

image

  • As I earlier pointed out, well, we’re all kinda related. And it’s not at all earth-shattering that some people from India look like they’re of “European-origin”. Because modern Europeans, Central Asians and the Ancestral Northern Indians are all believed to be descendants of a group of people called the Proto-Indo-Europeans. It’s believed they lived around 6000-7000 years ago. Some modern people that are descended from the Proto-Indo-Europeans are French, Germans, Iranians and Pashtuns (a major ethnic group in Afghanistan).  It’s even been found that Europeans and Indians shared a gene for fair skin from a common ancestor- which is why there ARE people who look like your friend. Naturally, fair skin is just relatively rarer in India vs Europe because more parts of India are located in hotter regions. Therefore, there’s more selection pressure for darker skin which has more melanin to protect from the sun- making fair skin rarer, but still possible. 

image

(This is a map of the Kurgan Hypothesis, which is currently the most popular theory for how the Proto-Indo-Europeans migrated from their homeland to settle Europe, Central Asia, Iran, India and Turkey etc)

  • Saying Indians are descendants of the Proto-Indo-Europeans is NOT the same as saying they’re of “European origin”. For example, think of the Proto-Indo-Europeans as like the “mother” of Europeans, Central Asians and the Ancestral Northern Indians- they’re like “sibling” groups, not descendants. The original Indo-Europeans were not “European” in the modern sense. I am clarifying this because plenty of colonial-era scientific racism tried to attribute ancient India’s achievements to “European who left Europe for India”- you might have heard the phrase “Aryan” thrown around in Nazi Germany, which was used to mean “blonde hair, blue eyes”. Nazi scientists and historians also abused it to explain away the sophistication of non-European civilisations in Ancient Egypt and India. In reality, ”Aryan” is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word “Arya" which means "noble". Sanskrit is an ancient language still used in classical Indian texts, and is of Proto-Indo-European origin. For example, the name of the country “Iran” actually means “land of the Aryans”- it was the names ancient Iranians (another people descended from the Proto-Indo-Europeans) gave to what others called the Persian Empire for more than a thousand years before the Third Reich. 

image(Sanskrit manuscript)

  • Furthermore, many languages we often separate as “European” and “Asian” like German, English, French, Italian vs. Hindi, Farsi (Persian), Gujarati, Punjabi, Pashto, Sanskrit etc are ALL classified by linguists as belonging to the same Indo-European language family- which all evolved from the original language the Proto-Indo-Europeans spoke. See how artificial the Europe/Asia dichotomy really is, in terms of human genetics and origin of cultures? 

4. Finally- there’s plenty of modern proof that the region we call Europe today does NOT have a monopoly on producing people with blonde hair, fair skin and green eyes.

This is Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, a popular Indian Bollywood actress who is also known for her striking blue-green eyes. She’s 100% Indian- she was born in Mangalore, India to Indian parents. 

image

This is a couple at their wedding- the lady on the left is Indian, from the Southern Indian city of Hyderabad. Her husband is Ethiopian.image

This is a photo of a boy and a woman who is likely his mother, taken in Turkey.

image

This is a girl from Darfur, Sudan- an area that has more than 30 ethnic groups.

image

This is a Nuristani girl. The Nuristani people are an ethnic group from Afghanistan. 

image

5. And in the first place, what makes up a person’s identity IS NOT JUST HOW MUCH or HOW LITTLE MELANIN THEY HAVE.

  • Tell your friend she is 100% Indian, because what makes up her identity is not just how she looks. Identity is what feels most natural to her, and if that identity is indeed very intertwined with major aspects of Indian culture- then well, she IS Indian and noone can say otherwise. 
  • Those people had no right to make her feel awful and “not-Indian enough” because it’s clear she identifies as such due to actually being born there and also practising major aspects of Indian culture. The best example I can think of to explain this is how in the US, people sometimes use the term “Latino” as a race category, with the stereotype that all latinos must have tanned skin and dark hair. In reality, it’s more of a cultural identity. The are fair haired-latinos and darker-skinned latinos whose ancestors included the African slaves brought to the Americas four hundred years ago. But what really makes them “Latino” or “Hispanic” is their upbringing- growing up in the environment of Latin America, which is culturally a syncretic fusion of Amerindian, African, Spanish, Portuguese and other European influences. 

image

(This is the Brazilian football team that won the 1970 World Cup- you can see Pelé- second from the bottom right. He is an Afro-Brazilian. If you look at his teammates, you can see how latinos come in ALL COLOURS.)

6. Your friend should not be questioning her identity, but those people attacking her should be questioning their utterly myopic worldview. The history of human genetics and migrations makes it abundantly clear how DIVERSE India is- so it’s perfectly possible for her to be Indian but have blonde hair and green eyes, even if it may be less common. 

7. On a more general note, I cannot stress this enough to everyone- DO NOT GO AROUND ATTACKING PEOPLE for “cultural appropriation” when you are NOT even from that culture in question and/or don’t actually know in detail the history and genetics of that region.

  • If you suspect cultural appropriation: DO YOUR RESEARCH FIRST or ASK SOMEBODY you know who actually belongs to that group. You may be attacking mixed-race people or people like the anon’s friend, who simply has features that are less genetically dominant- blonde hair shows up less easily in countries with a bigger pool of people with dark hair because dark hair is dominant. Even if her parents had dark hair, it’s possible they both carried a recessive gene for blonde hair that was suppressed by their dark-hair gene. Their child would be blonde if she happened to get both copies of the blonde gene instead of the dark hair gene.
  • Also, even if you think the person isn’t of that group, please bear in mind they might have been invited to dress in that clothing by a friend, or because they’re at an event. (I.e let’s say, at an Indian wedding)
  • I can’t stress how infuriating this “white knight” complex is. Speaking as someone pretty familiar with colonialism, I’ve had people who didn’t grow up in my culture condescendingly insist that if I’m okay with somebody doing something from my culture, it’s “self-internalised oppression”. I’ve studied African colonial literature, and the way people insist on defining what people should be alright with is very reminiscent of 19th century imperialists high-handedly saying, “oh, we have to bring the light of civilisation to save those backwards colonial subjects from themselves!”

image

This is Reese Witherspoon, wearing a kimono in Japan, where she is being taught by JAPANESE people how to perform the traditional tea ceremony. This is not reducing a culture to a caricature because she’s actually learning stuff respectfully and wearing a bona fide kimono.

  • Fighting against cultural appropriation is to prevent cultures from being cheapened, made into jokes, sexual fetishes or ugly caricatures. Part of returning power to people to define themselves is ALSO by allowing them to set the parameters of what they want to share with others- and many cultures are perfectly willing to share aspects that are non-sacred or do not have to be earned. So, for example, do not go around insisting a Japanese person should not be allowed to teach non-Japanese people to wear a kimono- because a kimono, unlike a Navajo war bonnet (akin to veteran’s medals), is something anybody can wear. Recognise this difference.

Know the difference.

Science Teacher: Aristotle believed that everything was made of four elements. What were they?

Me: Water, earth fire, air.

Science Teacher: Good, now w-

Me: Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked.

Science Teacher: what

Me: Only the Avatar, master of all four elements, could stop them. But when the world needed him most, he vanished.

Student: why are you doing this

Me: A hundred years passed, and my brother and I discovered the new Avatar, an airbender named Aang, and although his airbending skills are great, he has a lot to learn before he's ready to save anyone.

Student: how do you even remember all this

Me: BUT I BELIEVE

Student: no

Student: don't say it

Student: don't you dare say it

Me: THAT AANG CAN SAVE THE WORLD

Anonymous asked
Shouldn't a better way to say "white people" be "american white people" because as an european I am white and yet have my own culture and tradition so we are not like those white trash you got in the us

scrapes:

foie:

whitegirlsaintshit:

plikepterodactyl:

whitegirlsaintshit:

hahaha okay 

image

you’re right. the white trash is only in the US. gotcha.

Cause Germany is all of Europe and nazis are only in Europe right gotcha

those countries above, in order, are:

Sweden

Germany

Finland

Greece

Ireland

France

Ukraine

Thanks for contributing! Maybe next time you won’t do it with your head 1000 leagues deep in your asshole.

I am so proud of you rn

Europe is the ORIGIN of white bullshit how can you even make this argument

luwonderlands:

phyerfly:

when rape is the girls fault 

  • when she is the rapist 

when rape is the guys fault 

  • when he is the rapist 

Always reblog this

http://insertcoolpunhere.tumblr.com/post/97499754139

nitewrighter:

benepla:

ideal hogwarts students:

  • aromantic wizards being absolutely immune to amortentia, it only smelling like the ingredients put into it when they smell it, and teaching other students how to identify the stuff on any food or drink
  • gender confused ravenclaw leafing…

King Jaehaerys once told me that madness and greatness are two sides of the same coin. Every time a new Targaryen is born, he said, the gods toss the coin in the air and the world holds its breath to see how it will land.

(Source: seerspirit)

If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also

Matt 5:39

This specifically refers to a hand striking the side of a person’s face, tells quite a different story when placed in it’s proper historical context. In Jesus’s time, striking someone of a lower class ( a servant) with the back of the hand was used to assert authority and dominance. If the persecuted person “turned the other cheek,” the discipliner was faced with a dilemma. The left hand was used for unclean purposes, so a back-hand strike on the opposite cheek would not be performed. Another alternative would be a slap with the open hand as a challenge or to punch the person, but this was seen as a statement of equality. Thus, by turning the other cheek the persecuted was in effect putting an end to the behavior or if the slapping continued the person would lawfully be deemed equal and have to be released as a servant/slave.   

(via thefullnessofthefaith)

THAT makes a lot more sense, now, thank you. 

(via guardianrock)

I can attest to the original poster’s comments. A few years back I took an intensive seminar on faith-based progressive activism, and we spent an entire unit discussing how many of Jesus’ instructions and stories were performative protests designed to shed light on and ridicule the oppressions of that time period as a way to emphasize the absurdity of the social hierarchy and give people the will and motivation to make changes for a more free and equal society.

For example, the next verse (Matthew 5:40) states “And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” In that time period, men traditionally wore a shirt and a coat-like garment as their daily wear. To sue someone for their shirt was to put them in their place - suing was generally only performed to take care of outstanding debts, and to be sued for one’s shirt meant that the person was so destitute the only valuable thing they could repay with was their own clothing. However, many cultures at that time (including Hebrew peoples) had prohibitions bordering on taboo against public nudity, so for a sued man to surrender both his shirt and his coat was to turn the system on its head and symbolically state, in a very public forum, that “I have no money with which to repay this person, but they are so insistent on taking advantage of my poverty that I am leaving this hearing buck-ass naked. His greed is the cause of a shameful public spectacle.”

All of a sudden an action of power (suing someone for their shirt) becomes a powerful symbol of subversion and mockery, as the suing patron either accepts the coat (and therefore full responsibility as the cause of the other man’s shameful display) or desperately chases the protester around trying to return his clothes to him, making a fool of himself in front of his peers and the entire gathered community.

Additionally, the next verse (Matthew 5:41; “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”) was a big middle finger to the Romans who had taken over Judea and were not seen as legitimate authority by the majority of the population there. Roman law stated that a centurion on the march could require a Jew (and possibly other civilians as well, although I don’t remember explicitly) to carry his pack at any time and for any reason for one mile along the road (and because of the importance of the Roman highway system in maintaining rule over the expansive empire, the roads tended to be very well ordered and marked), however hecould not require any service beyond the next mile marker. For a Jewish civilian to carry a centurion’s pack for an entire second mile was a way to subvert the authority of the occupying forces. If the civilian wouldn’t give the pack back at the end of the first mile, the centurion would either have to forcibly take it back or report the civilian to his commanding officer (both of which would result in discipline being taken against the soldier for breaking Roman law) or wait until the civilian volunteered to return the pack, giving the Judean native implicit power over the occupying Roman and completely subverting the power structure of the Empire. Can you imagine how demoralizing that must have been for the highly ordered Roman armies that patrolled the region?

Jesus was a pacifist, but his teachings were in no way passive. There’s a reason he was practically considered a terrorist by the reigning powers, and it wasn’t because he healed the sick and fed the hungry.

(via central-avenue)

 yo i like thisi would like to know more about thiswhere does one learn more about this seconded like whoa

(via wanderingoff)

JESUS JUST GOT SO MUCH MORE BADASS REMEMBER THIS NEXT TIME SOME WHITE CHRISTIAN TELLS YOU TO BE NICE “LIKE CHRIST” REMEMBER THEY’RE ASKING YOU TO BE LIKE THE MIDDLE EASTERN JEW WHO IS TELLING YOU TO BE PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE.

AGGRESSIVE 

(via cherrypieboy)

jaclcfrost:

what i say: i’m fine

what i mean: the road to el dorado should have done so much better at the box office

tavr0ss:

"I Want A Cartoony Art Style but at the Same Time I Want A Realistic Style" - a song by me featuring fall out boy

peabodysfedora:

smaug-official:

wicked-mint-leaves:

naoren:

filmeditor16:

official-sokka:

thats-not-a-toilet:

korrastyle:

OH SHIT

is this why the show was taken off nick?

So this is what air benders can do. Sucking the air out of people’s lungs. Just as cool as lightening bending if you ask me

No I don’t think you guys understand this is frightening

Airbenders are pretty much the most powerful benders. A firebender has to create fire. A waterbender is most powerful on the open seas as much as an earthbender is on land. But air is literally everywhere.
The Air Nomads weren’t dangerous because they chose not to be.

you’vE GONE TOO DEEP

Hey, HOLD UP.
While I agree that Airbenders do have a lot of power at their exposure, they aren’t the only ones.
Waterbenders can bend any type of fluid containing water, even blood inside the human body! That’s pretty fucking metal.

They can also take the water vapor out of the air, use their own sweat or even drain the water out of every living thing nearby. 

Imagine that ^^ happening to a person..
Next we have fire, the element of destruction. Like Airbenders, they can use the air around them, and transfer it into energy. Firebenders can bend or generate anything fire/ heat related.  That means lightning, flames, or extreme heat that has the potential to shape its environment (such as melt molten rock and metal.) Even fire breath!



Next we have Earth. Earthbenders can bend anything related or comprised of Earth, such as metal, rock, dirt, sand, etc. EVEN LAVA. Anything mineral related? You got it. Admittedly, minerals- although extremely easy to come by, are not as present as water or air. But there sure is enough to make use of, and we can’t say Earthbenders aren’t powerful!

This guy just stopped a volcano. 

Not only are they powerful, but they are also graceful. 

And I mean look at this! Avatar Kyoshi Earthbends a freaking continent in HALF!

In conclusion, fear all benders. 


Yes, we must fear all benders! Benders are dangerous! But do we want to live in fear?

peabodysfedora:

smaug-official:

wicked-mint-leaves:

naoren:

filmeditor16:

official-sokka:

thats-not-a-toilet:

korrastyle:

OH SHIT

is this why the show was taken off nick?

So this is what air benders can do. Sucking the air out of people’s lungs. Just as cool as lightening bending if you ask me

No I don’t think you guys understand this is frightening

Airbenders are pretty much the most powerful benders. A firebender has to create fire. A waterbender is most powerful on the open seas as much as an earthbender is on land. But air is literally everywhere.

The Air Nomads weren’t dangerous because they chose not to be.

you’vE GONE TOO DEEP

Hey, HOLD UP.

While I agree that Airbenders do have a lot of power at their exposure, they aren’t the only ones.

Waterbenders can bend any type of fluid containing water, even blood inside the human body! That’s pretty fucking metal.

image

They can also take the water vapor out of the air, use their own sweat or even drain the water out of every living thing nearby. 

image

Imagine that ^^ happening to a person..

Next we have fire, the element of destruction. Like Airbenders, they can use the air around them, and transfer it into energy. Firebenders can bend or generate anything fire/ heat related.  That means lightning, flames, or extreme heat that has the potential to shape its environment (such as melt molten rock and metal.) Even fire breath!

image

image

image

Next we have Earth. Earthbenders can bend anything related or comprised of Earth, such as metal, rock, dirt, sand, etc. EVEN LAVA. Anything mineral related? You got it. Admittedly, minerals- although extremely easy to come by, are not as present as water or air. But there sure is enough to make use of, and we can’t say Earthbenders aren’t powerful!

image

This guy just stopped a volcano. 

image

Not only are they powerful, but they are also graceful. 

image

And I mean look at this! Avatar Kyoshi Earthbends a freaking continent in HALF!

image

In conclusion, fear all benders. 

Yes, we must fear all benders! Benders are dangerous! But do we want to live in fear?

It’s disgusting. “I have a right to your naked body or images that you’ve sent to your husband, or lover.” It’s disgusting. It’s this violent, abusive violation of womanhood—of divine womanhood. It’s violent, and it’s misogynistic, and it’s revolting, and it’s another example of what this distance has enabled us to do—it’s enabled us to be disassociated from each other. There’s enough awful shit coming from it that hopefully we’ll get to the point of, “OK, wait a second.” What’s scary is that we haven’t reached that point yet, and there hasn’t been a referendum put on it. The Internet is the new Wild West. There’s a guy now taking these pictures and putting them up in an art gallery. What fucking right does he have to do that? It’s absolutely revolting.

Andrew Garfield on celebrity nude hacking scandal (via andrewgarfielddaily)