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Posts Tagged ‘open letter’

Open Letter to White Edmonton About White Privilege

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Dear White Edmontonians,

I am dismayed and disappointed by the overwhelmingly negative response to the Racisim Free Edmonton Campaign, most of which seems to be coming from white Edmontonians. That’s the first indication we have a problem.

Just to be clear, I’m talking to white folk in Edmonton in this post, as a white person who has in recent years started to come to terms with her own internalized racism and white privilege. I’m not an expert in any of this: I am at best an advanced beginner.

So I have some things to say, as a fellow white Edmontonian:

  1. You have white privilege. Not knowing you have it is part of how it works.
  2. It’s not your fault. Chance determined the colour of your skin which is a thing you can’t change just like someone of colour can’t change theirs.
  3. Because having white privilege is not your fault doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
  4. Learning all this for this first time sucks. But so does racism and a world that privileges one group of people over another. Deal with it.

I also have a couple of things to say about the campaign:

  1. It’s not perfect. There are some legitimate complaints about the writing positioning “us” and “we” against “them”. This argument is not wrong.
  2. The campaign is over simplified in places. Probably in more places than I realize.
  3. In regards to items 1 and 2 above, the campaign has to be oversimplified in some respects because it’s targeted at a general overwhelmingly white public that probably has never heard of white privilege before and so it needs to be simple and short while still getting the main point across. Which I think it does fairly well.

 

Okay.

Now that you’re all gnashing your teeth at me, before you wade knee deep into a conversation about race and whether or not the campaign is racist please educate yourself first. Google “white privilege”. Learn how racism works.

Here are some resources to get you started. Some of these links I found on my own, some of them have been pointed out to me as “Important, Read This” by various people in a position to know way more about this topic than me, and some of them are well-known resources for anyone who has dared to wade into racism on the internet.

Comment Policy: If things get out of control I will have to freeze comments on this post because I just don’t have time to moderate the type of conversation this post might generate in the way it needs to be moderated. I almost didn’t publish it for that reason.

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Open Letter: The Importance of Capitalization

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Dear People of the Internet:

I know it’s hip and cool right now to use all lowercase letters in your brand names, menus and whatnot. Heck, I do it too — just look up at my header and you’ll note a lack of proper case.

But!

This does not mean you should completely abandon reason in your quest to appear youthful and edgy. Capitalization serves a legitimate purpose in the English language: it helps us decipher proper nouns and names from other words, especially when a word could be either. On the internet correct case performs an even more important task: proper use of capital letters helps us scan content quickly. Capitalization often indicates important keywords like place and name. It also helps us quickly identify and digest those clever informational chunks known as “sentences”. Without capital letters, periods get easily lost and sentences blur together visually, making it difficult and frustrating to read quickly.

Blog post titles and any website body content that is longer than six or seven words should always use proper case. At least, they always should if you’d actually like people to read the stuff you’ve written. Branding is great, but when it gets in the way of what you’re trying to say you’re probably doing it wrong.

Missing those capital letters,

Chelle

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Open Letter: Big Bust Shame

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Dear World (but Most Especially ABC & Fox):

This isn’t so much about showing skin on plus size models as it is about showing cleavage of plus size models. Because, in our society, it is often perfectly acceptable for an A or B cup to wear tops that just barely cover their nipples, but should a lady with a larger cup size wear a neckline even hinting a cleavage line, suddenly we’re up in arms about ‘appropriateness’?

The size of my breasts are indeed larger than average, but that does make them ‘excessive’ as in ‘excessively tawdry’. My breasts, by virtue of their relative size, are no more inherently sexual than smaller ones, despite popular opinion. And yet I am constantly accosted by the ‘appropriate’ police when it comes to clothing, especially in office and professional situations while my small-breasted colleagues receive naught but praise for necklines that cut far, far deeper and hide far, far less than anything I’ve ever worn (including many of my bras). I have even been asked at pool sides when wearing a bathing suit top that covers a significantly higher ratio breast than the average bikini top in the area to ‘cover up’ and ‘be modest’, as if the very existence of breasts the size and shape of mine is an offense.

My breasts are not — ARE NOT — offensive. They are not lewd or tawdry or shameful. Suggesting otherwise, however, is incredibly offensive.

Also? Since we’re having a little breast rant right now, a few other things I’d like to ‘get off my chest’ so to speak:

  1. Stop STOP STOP asking me if my breasts are ‘real’. Or ‘natural’. Especially in that little *winkwinknodnod* way that suggests whatever I say you’ve already made up your mind.
  2. When you ask me my bra size and I tell you, BELIEVE ME. I am NOT lying to you when I say I’m a 32G/H. I am not trying to scandalize you or show off. Educate yourself about bra sizing: it is not what you think it is. A 32D and a 38D are absolutely NOT the same cup size with a bigger band. The letter in a bra size is a ratio indicator, not a static or interchangable cup size with a standard volume.
  3. If you’re going to talk about ‘appropriateness’ to a large-busted woman, examine your hypocrisy first. Compare what they’re wearing to what the small-breasted women are wearing (especially in the office, where this sort of oversexualized shaming of large-busted women is rampant).
  4. Stop telling me how ‘lucky’ I am. Especially when I talk about my chronic back pain, about the outrageous cost of bras that fit me (when and if I can find them at all), or about a social and retail industry that fetishizes my body but does not actually make clothing that fits me. From where I stand, your B or C cup seems pretty ‘lucky’.
  5. The next person who tells me I have the ‘breasts of a porn star’ is going to get kicked. Hard. Male or female. If you are male, you’re gonna get kicked in the groin.

The Lane Bryant commercial is no more sexualized or outrageous than a Victoria Secret ad. Anyone who says it is is a hypocrite. Check them out side by side:

Go ahead now and tell me which ad is too sexual. Breasts are breasts: the only sexual scales relevant to them are ones of personal preference.

Tired of the big-bust shame,

Chelle

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Dollhouse and Merlin and Dexter, Oh My!

Monday, December 7th, 2009

So I’ve caught up on a bunch of TV I didn’t have time to watch over the weekend. Some open letters with varying degrees of spoilers, in no particular order:

Dear Dollhouse:

Why are you getting canceled just as you’re really starting to get that special kind of good? You can’t just give me Epitaph One Topher and Adelle, then Topher and Doctor Saunders, and a Sierra episode that did everything wrong right, and Alexis Denisof being so fantastic, then Topher and Bennett, Ballard finally fucking learning something and letting Madeline choose and fall, and Victor!Topher, and the crown jewel of Actual Topher and Victor!Topher scheming in synchronized geekery, and then tell me this show is cancelled? For serious?

This show was pretty mediocre at the start of the first season. And no matter how many tiny ways Eliza Dushku occasionally sucks me in (and she did a few times in this two-parter for sure, especially as we start to understand that sweet Caroline may not be so sweet after all) it’s always going to be the characters on her peripherals that make this show win. But somewhere four or five episodes from the end of season one, this show hit its stride and aside from a bump or two it hasn’t really looked back. I love the way it plays with identities, the way it asks questions about technology and what makes us human and who we are once our minds are no longer our own. Bodies are hardware and minds are software and the Topher-tinkerers sit in little rooms and write stories with pictures of brains in computers and empty dolls in glowing chairs. I have never seen a show with so much relevant commentary on science and morality and spirituality, and so, so many shades of gray. I can hardly keep up with them all and I love it.

At least we’ll get some of the loose ends tied up. Or at least hopefully understand the direction they were pointing.

So sad there’s only a few more,

Chelle

Dear Merlin:

Can we at least attempt to keep Arthur’s character somewhat even from episode to episode? Please? Pretty please? Yes, we’ve established the guy’s an arrogant prick sometimes and an honourable softie some other times, but instead of schizophrenic extremes of his personality, could we find a nice middle ground? I much prefer seeing both sides of his character play against each other like in the episode where he stayed at Gwen’s to this weekly ping-ponging.

Begging for the tiniest bit of consistency,

Chelle

Dear Dexter:

It is unfair that I have to wait almost an entire week for your season finale. You are such a tease.

Excited,

Chelle

PS: I love Deb. Even more than Dexter now. Because she is just awesome. There, I admitted it.

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An Open Letter to Hollywood

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Warning: anything linked to below contains triggery/potential triggery content.

Dear Hollywood:

Roman Polanski raped a child. Then skipped the country to avoid the consequences.

He SHOULD go directly to jail for a very long time. I don’t fucking care if it happened 30 years ago. Justice does not have an expiration date. And it CERTAINLY does not have an expiration date because the guy won an Oscar. Or because he’s wealthy. Or because he has famous, wealthy friends like you. This shit is completely unacceptable and everyone on this list should be shamed.

Do you realize by supporting this campaign to free Polanski you’re saying his choice to rape a 13 year old girl is okay? Because he’s famous and a brilliant artist and old, raping a child shouldn’t matter? Really? Really?

No love, no respect, and deeply offended,

Chelle

ETA: And also this link, because yes this is exactly what rape culture looks like.

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