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thehandydandynotebook asked:

Marissa based this future after a world war - where many cultures came together and melted into multiple countries because of the war. IT'S FICTION. DON'T TAKE IT TOO SERIOUSLY. There is more diversity in this book than I've seen in a long time in YA literature and I think it's fantastic. Not every author has to play by your rules. Usually I don't get mixed up in these sort of spits, but I couldn't ignore your distasteful comments. I'm sorry you are offended by it.




Wow. Fucking really? It’s fiction. China is clearly just fiction. The entire continent of Asia, its people, its history. All fiction. We’re all reduced to ~Eastern Commonwealth~ but every other continent, Europe, Africa, South America, gets to keep their name. CHINA has to be the one that becomes a “melting pot” despite being rich in its own culture history and language, while the US (the current most diverse country in the world) is not. Yeah, mm-hmm, seems legit.

No, she didn’t have a fucking right to write about us like that—IT’S NOT HER CULTURE. She knows zero, she knows fucking ZILCH about Asian cultures and histories at all. Let’s not forget the colonialism and imperial rule white people had over Asian countries, either. Like how white folk forced opium on us Chinese to take our stuff? Stole our tea? Our artifacts? Took lands including Hong Kong? We never got most of that back. What the fuck? You’re apologizing that I’M offended when you’re coming over to my ask box whining and excusing her blatant racism because boo-hoo I had the nerve to call out your precious lily white author on her absolute bullshit?

JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE “DIVERSITY” DOESN’T MEAN IT’S GOOD. Like you’re going to tell ME, an ACTUAL ASIAN PERSON, what is “good” representation when I criticize something that shits on MY culture? You think your opinion is suddenly more valid than mine just because YOU, someone who clearly knows nothing, think it’s good? It’s not. It’s stereotyped. It’s dehumanizing.


Newsflash: FICTION DOES NOT EXIST IN A VACUUM.  By telling us to “not taking fiction so seriously,” you are essentially taking an overly simplistic stance, and glossing over the REAL WORLD consequences in terms of representation and ACTUAL ASIAN and ASIAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE who are affected by it. This is a very dangerous attitude to have overall, because guess what? Media matters. FICTION matters. Fiction helps shape the lens in which we view the world, and "the narratives that we surround ourselves with can subtly, subconsciously influence how we think about ourselves and others.” 

Look, you’re obviously a big fan of Meyer’s books, but here’s the thing: You can be a fan of something problematic, as long as you acknowledge its problematic elements. By trying to deny the existence of problematic elements of Cinder, ESPECIALLY when critiques come from individuals who are directly affected by Meyer’s depictions of Asian characters, you’re essentially trying to derail/talk over our own experiences as Asian-Americans. So yes, as an Asian/Asian-American person who is coming across one of the very few depictions of herself in the larger media, particularly YA, you best be damn sure that I will examine how I am portrayed and take this piece of fiction so “seriously,” and even more so if it is problematic. Here’s more on this topic overall. 

Likewise, I would also point out that you’re also engaging in tone policing. Kerou’s ‘distasteful comments” as you call, do not make any of her points any less valid. God forbid that you find her comments ‘distasteful’ because the problematic elements in Cinder evoke an emotional response from her as an Asian-American. Also keep in mind, that Kerou and I, as people of color, "often do not have the luxury of emotionally distancing themselves from discussions on their rights and experiences." I would also refrain from using the phrase “I’m sorry you were offended by it,” because this is typically another derailing tactic that attempts to invalidate the points we are trying to express. 

Also in regards to your statement, “there is more diversity in this book than I’ve seen in a long time in YA literature,” I find this very curious and would ask if you’ve ventured yet to read Asian fantasy books written by actual Asian-American YA authors? (such as Ellen Oh, Cindy Pon, or Malinda Lo) Because I’m quite sure that you’d be able to find quite a lot of diversity in their books as well. Likewise, just because you may cite Cinder as one of the examples where you find that it has ‘had more diversity that I’ve seen in a long time in YA literature’, (and I would point out again that you’re also glossing over fantasy/science fiction books written by actual Asian-American authors which have plenty of diversity), the job of diverse representation is far from over — you can’t just cite one example on diversity and be like “Bam! That’s it! We’ve clearly covered the diversity quota on Asians.” Particularly for a book like Cinder that appears to depict Asian cultures as one giant monolith, which is problematic in it itself. (Also did this monolith only include East Asian countries?) Even with the setting of futuristic China, China is still a country with many, many ethnic minority groups. A similar understanding on the importance regarding the types of diverse representation and why this is significant can be found here.

Furthermore, as Kerou mentioned, not all diversity is an example of good and/or respectful diversity, especially if it falls along the lines of tokenism and cultural appropriation. And if the diverse representation that I’m getting as an Asian-American only manages follows from a very long tradition of dehumanizing stereotypes, then I quite frankly would prefer not being represented at all. Additionally Kerou’s “rules” as you call it, is simply a reaction to how she, like many, including myself, are sick to death of white writers who will appropriate elements from our culture that just end up re-creating the same dehumanizing, culturally fetishizing stereotypes which we have, for decades, have never truly been to escape and only serve as a reminder of our perpetual foreignness in how we are depicted in the media at large. Even if a work of fiction is in a futuristic setting, this never excuses an author from not even bothering to research the BASIC elements of our culture. Korean-American YA author Ellen Oh discuses more regarding the privilege of white authors who write about Asian cultures, and how this affects her as a PoC author here

Oh and by the way, Kerou and I aren’t the only ones that find Cinder problematic:


—co-signed by a Chinese lady.


Young Dad Wins Back Custody of Child Adopted Without Consent

26-year-old Jeremiah Sampson waged a three-year court battle that forced him to drop out of college to pay for legal expenses in gaining custody of his child.

Sampson drove five hours to Rolla, Mo., once or twice a week for more than six months to challenge the adoption in court. The adoptive parents threw a towel over the baby’s head in court, refusing to let him look at his birth father.

Born and raised in Coweta, Oklahoma, Sampson had four older brothers, three sisters and a mother who worked two jobs to support them all. He didn’t meet his father until he was 13 and hasn’t seen him much since.

“I would never do that to my own flesh and blood,” Sampson said. “I would never walk away from my own child.”

Sampson is now suing the adoption agency for violating his parental rights by going ahead with the placement even after he objected.

Source: Tulsa World








Just so everyone is aware, there is a bunch of misleading info being spread around re: ALS research - the “27%” figure is based on previous years’ annual funding; furthermore, the remainder goes to improving the quality of life of those suffering from ALS. Given that the annual funding is approximately 16M, that’s just over 4M spent on decreasing their suffering. It isn’t greed, it’s a lack of money.”

Shut up already.

The ALS Association has a 4-star rating from Charity Watchdog. 

And the next time you start to complain about a charity either a) working on multiple fronts (because that’s what ALSA does—both seeking a cure and helping people suffering now) or b) daring to have administration expenses—let’s see how long you can last, much less tackle a cause, without printer paper and an internet connection. 

As someone who has watched a family member die from a neuro-degenerative disease; funding to develop better wheelchairs and bedsore creams is *just* as important as funding research to cure the disease itself…

A friend of mine posted an update from one of HER friends to FB earlier.  Her dad has ALS.  The ALS foundation came out to see if they could put in a ramp for his wheelchair, but they couldn’t afford it because of the kind of ramp he needed for the kind of house they had.

This week they called back and said hey, the thing is, we suddenly have a bunch of money, so we’re coming out to build that ramp.  And they did.  She posted pics.

So if you feel like bitching about the ice bucket challenge…reconsider.

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