"we’re all human!"
yeah except you never had to fight for your humanity
"we all bleed red!"
yeah except it’s not your blood running in the streets
"we should all be just nice to each other!"
yeah except you’re not holding up your end of the bargain
The romance industry conflates finding love with looking a certain way, and it’s hard even for the strongest of us not to internalize messages about the way we look. And worse, these messages are normalized. Just think of things people say when they are getting ready to date someone: ‘He’s cute,’ ‘He’s short,’ ‘He’s kind of chubby,’ ‘He’s tall and fine.’ Or men: ‘I prefer slender girls,’ ‘I’m not really into fat girls,’ ‘I prefer Asian chicks,’ and on and on. It is completely acceptable to say the most appalling things about the way people look when it comes to dating, and if someone is called out for it, their opinion becomes a matter of ‘preference.’
What gets ignored in calling this level of categorization ‘just preference’ is a history and culture of mainstream advertising that impacts our psychology, causing us to actually want to respond to certain things over others. It’s hardly a coincidence that people are attracted to images of femininity that have been beaten into their psyches….We are taught to prefer certain things over others, and when we repeatedly see the same exaggerated images of femininity and masculinity, we internalize a specific standard of beauty and begin to strive for it unconsciously. Considering the exaggerated nature of these kinds of images, preference is not really a ‘preference’; it is more like a culturally sanctioned fetish.”
Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life (via o8x)
"Considering the exaggerated nature of these kinds of images, preference is not really a ‘preference’; it is more like a culturally sanctioned fetish."
African Explorers of Spanish America
The first Africans from Spain were known as ladinos, or hispanicized Africans, and were soldiers, servants, settlers, and slaves. They began to arrive in the Americas as early as the 15th century, many as auxiliaries to the Spanish and Portuguese explorers. As Matthew Restall states, “[F]rom the very onset of Spanish activity in the Americas, Africans were present both as voluntary expeditionaries and as involuntary colonists” (Restall 2000:172). Many people of African descent initially saw passage to the New World as a means of bettering their social and economic positions. Landers notes, “[G]iven their numbers and roles in Spanish port cities like Seville, and their generally depressed economic conditions, it is not surprising that both free and enslaved Africans hoped to improve their lots by crossing the Atlantic on the earliest voyages of exploration and conquest” (Landers 1999:9).
Those who voluntarily set out on expeditions and became part of armed auxiliaries were more likely than those in unarmed roles to gain their freedom. The African pioneers who set out for the New World contributed greatly to the building and maintenance of colonial societies. Together with the Europeans, they formed a specialized and limited pool of human resources circulating througout the circumCaribbean area. Between 1519 and 1600, 151.6 thousand Africans disembarked on the Spanish American mainland and another 187.7 thousand over the next 50 years. In all, 54% of all enslaved Africans brought to the New World between 1519 and 1700 disembarked in Spanish America (Eltis el at 2001).
Africans and their descendants were an integral part of the exploration of Spanish America from the 15th through the 18th centuries. Spanish expeditions within what would become the United States largely covered Florida and the Southwest. These territories were a part of New Spain, an area which also covered Mexico and Central America. The exploration of these lands required people who would not only open up the land, but settle, develop, and secure the land as well.
Coronado’ s Route.
African men and women were part of a number of Spanish expeditions. The Panfilo de Narvaez Expedition of 1528 from Cuba to Florida is one such example. This expedition included Esteban, perhaps the most notable African male to aid in the exploration of North America.
The Coronado Expedition of 1540 to Southwestern North America included a free African man who later served as an interpreter and would eventually become a Franciscan friar. The Juan Guerra de Resa Expedition of 1600 included African soldiers, their mulatto wives and children, and Isabel de Olvera, a mulatta woman. These are just three examples of the many expeditions which included Africans and African Americans among their members.
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Most girls are relentlessly told that we will be treated how we demand to be treated. If we want respect, we must respect ourselves.
This does three things. Firstly, it gets men off the hook for being held accountable for how they treat women. And secondly, it makes women feel that the mistreatment and sometimes outright violence they face due to their gender is primarily their fault. And thirdly, it positions women to be unable to speak out against sexism because we are made to believe any sexism we experience would not have happened if we had done something differently.
I cannot demand a man to respect me. No more than I can demand that anybody do anything. I can ask men to be nice to me. But chances are if I even have to ask he does not care to be nice. I can express displeasure when I’m not being respected. But that doesn’t solve the issue that I was disrespected in the first place.
I can choose to not deal with a man once he proves to be disrespectful and/or sexist. But even that does not solve the initial problem of the fact that I had to experience being disrespected in the first place.
As a young girl, I wish that instead of being told that I needed to demand respect from men that I had been told that when I am not respected by men that it’s his fault and not mine. But that would require that we quit having numerous arbitrary standards for what it means to be a “respectable” woman. It would mean that I am not judged as deserving violence based on how I speak, what I wear, what I do, and who I am.”