Moni in the Middle

Food, words, and a decidedly "other" perspective.

Girls face so many challenges and people are constantly telling them they can’t do things, they can’t be funny, they can’t run the companies. My advice is just not to focus on anyone telling you that you can’t do anything or the politics of your situation. Just think about your art, or that thing you want to do.

(Source: kelly-kapoor, via gabifresh)

Tracy Chapman

—All That You Have Is Your Soul


'Don't be tempted by the shiny apple
don’t you eat of a bitter fruit
hunger only for a taste of justice
hunger only for a world of truth
'cause all that you have is your soul'

(via knowledgeequalsblackpower)

One recent example of how racialized bodies are abused happened recently. At the New Chaucer Society Conference, I spent a portion of my conference tweeting one night at #NCS14 in a “twitter rant” or “PSA.” In it, I related the incident of another junior colleague who had an incident happen to her at one of the NCS cocktail hours. In it, a cisgendered, male, able-bodied, and white junior colleague decided to articulate vocally his surprise that she, a WOC (woman of color) medievalist, had such a “good job.”

Likewise, he also proceeded to school her in how she should be a medievalist by suggesting that she should teach “ethnic fantasy literature” to undergraduate students. My colleague replied, I have neither expertise in ethnic literature nor in fantasy fiction. However, even this clear response did not seem to stop this male white medievalist from explaining her place in the academic world. And her place is apparently not one of authority in medieval studies—where she has completed a Ph.D., written peer-reviewed articles, and obtained an academic job—entirely because her body is non-normative.

Intersectional racism/sexism means that my colleague’s non-normative body will always have questions and “advice” like this lobbed at her (and yes, also lobbed at me). Likewise, no one will ever ask or “advise” this white, male, cisgendered, able-bodied white junior faculty member to teach ethnic fantasy literature or wonder surprisingly or loudly about the fact that he has obtained a tenure-track job in medieval studies. This is a classic example of white, male privilege. And yes, his comments to my WOC colleague are a form of racism (racial/gendered microaggressions). The structures within academia and our field have imagined authority as white, male, upper-middle class, and cisgendered. Divergence from this standard operating body is imagined as a disturbance.