Lena Horne in 1938 film, The Duke is Tops/The Bronze Venus
GOD THIS IS SO FUCKING IMPORTANT
- Cis person: Have you had The Surgery yet?
- Me: Yeah but I can't use the wings to fly yet, the graft points are still healing
- Cis person: what?
- Me: what?
It was a direct reference to Puccini’s ITALIAN opera “Madama Butterfly”, which depicted a Japanese woman (played by an Italian woman) who falls so madly (UNCONDITIONALLY) in love with a Western man that she takes…
Here’s the thing: this chatty little summary gives Puccini far too much credit. “Madame Butterfly” doesn’t admirably tackle themes of white imperialism and racism; “Madame Butterfly” is a work of white imperialism and racism; it’s a work which, regardless of any interpretation, has in effect promoted racist misogyny, predatory pedophilia targeting Asians, and the stereotype of the tragically suicidal oriental for more than a century, since it hit the Italian opera stage in 1904.
Puccini wrote the opera based on a short story by American writer John Luther Long, who in turn based his short story on the memoirs of French imperial naval officer and renowned orientalist Pierre Loti. If there’s any self-awareness about white imperialism in this story lineage, it’s about how hard it is to be a white guy looking into the eyes of your child rape victim and how heartbreaking it must have been when she killed herself in desolate solitude out of her unending love and devotion to you because of her lack of comprehension that you had actual real white family obligations.
Personally I was introduced to “Madame Butterfly” when I was in 4th grade, attending public school in Montreal as one of about 7 or 8 children of color in a student body of 700, getting in fights with white kids all the time, and my sister’s 6th grade class put on a performance in which her entire class of white kids donned geisha yellowface. Let’s just say, it was memorable. I remember sitting in the auditorium next to my mother, whose father died when she was a child during the Japanese invasion of China, as she watched stoically. And I remember the two elderly white ladies in front of us, who exclaimed when my sister came forward on the stage “Elle est vraiment japonais!” meaning “She’s really Japanese!” I considered saying something to them, but there was a song in progress. When we walked out, all my mom said was, “That was terrible.”
Coming all the way back around to Katy Perry, yeah obviously there’s nothing to discuss, it’s a shitty racist yellowface performance and what a pathetic attempt at snobbery to defend it by saying it’s an allusion to Italian opera, as if that makes it cool. Mussolini liked “Madame Butterfly” and he also liked his pal Adolf and his war in Ethiopia and a lot of other stuff that’s pretty fucking far from cool.
Australia’s history of racism towards Aboriginals is absolutely disgusting.
Until the mid-60s, indigenous Australians came under the Flora And Fauna Act, which classified them as animals, not human beings. This also meant that killing an indigenous Australian meant you weren’t killing a human being, but an animal.
To this day, Australia breaks every code of the Geneva Convention when it comes to indigenous Australians and their human rights. The “public housing” that the government has given them are one-bedroom shacks with no running water, no electricity and no gas, that entire families are forced to live in. These shacks are in communities in the outback, as far away from “civilised” society as possible. Out of sight, out of mind.
Indigenous Australians that live in the city are commonly forced to live in very dangerous and derelict areas that the government gives very little funding towards. Redfern in Sydney is a highly indigenous Australian populated suburb that is rife with crime, unemployment and horrendous living conditions. The government does next to nothing to help these people, either.
Whenever riots have broken out as a result of incredibly low morale, the police and the government are very quick to point all the blame at the indigenous Australians and say that they are the cause of their own problems, rather than looking at what the actual cause is.
Unemployment rates amongst indigenous Australians is astronomical. Crime rates are astronomical. Suicide rates are extremely high within the indigenous Australian community. Death from inadequate living conditions and inadequate health care is common. Brutality towards indigenous Australians is common.
The way many indigenous Australians are forced to live is equivalent to that of what one would expect from a third-world country. Indigenous Australians are considered by the UN to be one of the most horrendously marginalised groups in the world.
And how does the government amend all of this? With a national “Sorry Day”, where white people plant a hand in some designated area of soil as a token of their white guilt, and then continue going about their white privileged day.
On top of that, white people here commonly bitch and complain about how “good” indigenous Australians have it and how “thankful” they ought to be to the white man for improving their quality of life. Meanwhile, indigenous Australians have lost almost all sense of identity and culture because of white colonisation.
What is left of Aboriginal identity and culture has been nearly completely destroyed. And most people in this disgustingly privileged country do not give a single god damn fuck.
Australia is a disgusting country when it comes to racism. I am disgusted by my own country.
things to do if you are cishet, and you come across someone insulting cishets, or saying ‘dis cishet scum’ or anything along the lines
- think to yourself.
- 'am i the kind of cishet that performs transphobic actions, or is homophobic, or oppresses any minorities?'
- if the answer is no; congratualions! the phrases/insults to cishets do not apply to you. move on. we are not talking about you
- if the answer is yes; go shit yourself you transphobic homophobic bastard