30 Sep 14 at 8 pm

(Source: gastrogod)

29 Sep 14 at 2 pm


It’s something astonishing to me that we live in year 2014 and yet articles such as this are still published, receiving criticism in spurts and yet overwhelming support overall, and still remains posted on a website as long as this one has.

The fetishization of Asian women is rampant, disgusting, and a lot of the fetishizers try to play it off as if these are good traits that Asian women should be “happy” are associated with them.

Heads up - There is such a thing as “loving racism” if that’s what you even want to call it. Moreso it’s some sexist garbage wrapped in racism, tangled in gender role propaganda.

They reduce women into one defined name - “Asian” - and then assign attributes that are demeaning and humilating at best.

  • "When you do something that makes her happy, she’s delightedly joyful, saying “yayyyyyyyy!”, clapping her hands together repeatedly like a little girl who just received her first birthday cake." Childish, child like, naive, innocent
  • "The way she shyly caresses your shoulder when she wants to talk to you instead of tapping it with insistence until you turn around. Her special feminine touch in those little day-to-day actions makes a man instantly curious and attracted to her" Obeying, obedient, “well-behaved”
  • "The way Asian girls move, the way they express themselves and even the way they dance are artful ways to attract men’s attention to their greatest physical asset: their face. Her scintillant eyes, through which her emotions pour out uncontrollably, will get your gaze stuck in them for a lot longer than you anticipated"  Eternally youthful doll-like attributes, praised for unrealistic beauty ideals that no one can really achieve
  • "She listens to what you have to say and wait until you’re finished before speaking, never cutting you off in the middle of your stories to butt in with something about hers." Submissive; again obeying, obedient, well-behaved
  • "You will never be hungry again for the rest of your life if you decide to live with an Asian girl. Even if she’s tired and stressed from her own day and you told her you would order food for the evening to let her rest, you will come back home and be welcomed by the scent of a warm, freshly cooked dinner that could feed your entire family for a month."  Housewife; her race inherently means that she is a caretaker, she lives to serve others, she conforms to daily rituals of feeding and cleaning and assumes a role of a domestic slave

This is a “writer” (using the term writer VERY loosely here) that writes incredibly misogynistic garbage, so much so that an article saturated in blatant racism and stereotypes such as this one is no real surprise. See: 


Tell this piece of subhuman garbage that these kind of trash articles are not okay.

Thought Catalog Nikolao Montaya

Twitter Page

And contact Thought Catalog directly, here

This kind of shit is beyond fucking disturbing. Protect Asian girls and women from fetishization and this type of demeaning behavior at all costs.

(via thisiseverydayracism)

5 Reasons Men Love Asian Girls
29 Sep 14 at 2 pm


by CARRIE KAHN | July 31, 2014

As you plan — or even go — on your summer vacation, think about this: More and more Americans are no longer taking a few weeks off to suntan and sight see abroad. Instead they’re working in orphanages, building schools and teaching English.

It’s called volunteer tourism or “volunteerism.” And it’s one of the fastest growing trends in travel today. More than 1.6 million volunteer tourists are spending about $2 billion each year.

But some people who work in the industry are skeptical of volunteerism’s rising popularity. They question whether some trips help young adults pad their resumes or college applications more than they help those in need.

Judith Lopez Lopez, who runs a center for orphans outside Antigua, Guatemala, says she’s grateful for the help that volunteers give.

All visitors and volunteers get a big warm welcome when they walk in the doors of her facility, Prodesenh. It’s part orphanage, part after school program and part community center.

Most of the kids at Prodesenh don’t have parents, Lopez says. They live with relatives. Some were abandoned by their mothers at birth. Others lost their fathers in accidents or to alcoholism.

There are three volunteers here now, all from the U.S. Lopez says they give the kids what they need most: love and encouragement.

One those volunteers is Kyle Winningham, who just graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in entrepreneurship. “Yeah my real name is Kyle, but mi apodo aqui es Carlos,” he says.

Winningham didn’t have a job lined up after school. So he decided to spend his summer at Prodesenh. “When the kids have homework, I help with homework,” he says. “When they don’t, I generally help out with teaching a little bit of English.”

But today they are cooking. Lopez hands out bowls filled with bright red tomatoes, onions and mint. She’s teaching the kids to make salsa.

Haley Nordine, an international relations major at American University in the District of Columbia, is also spending her entire summer at Prodesenh. During her first six weeks here, the 19-year-old helped build the newest addition to the center, a small library. Now she’s tutoring.

"I’ve met a lot of international relations majors here so it seems like a trend," Nordine says.

Most volunteer tourists are women. And they’re young adults, between the ages of 20 and 25, says the industry consulting group Tourism, Research and Marketing, based in Glasbory, Wales. But more and more high school students are also traveling and volunteering.

Sam Daddono is a junior at Rumson Fair Haven High School in New Jersey. His whole Spanish class is in Antigua, sharping up their Spanish skills. But they’re also hiking up the side of a volcano every morning to help tend to a coffee plantation — and learning about what life is like here in Guatemala.

"The way I view things now is a lot different than before," Daddono says. "I’ve visited other countries, but I’ve never done hands on work or really talked to the people about the problems that they face in their lives."

That worldview for many American teens is a lot different than it was two decades ago, says Ken Jones, who owns Maximo Nivel, a volunteer tourism company out of Antigua. He got his start in the travel business, offering only Spanish language classes. But young people today, he says, want a richer experience.

"It used to be beach and beer," Jones says. "And now it’s, ‘Well, I want to come down and learn something and figure out how to help or be a part of something.’ It was more superficial 20 years ago, maybe."

The industry has exploded in the past few years, says Theresa Higgs, who runs United Planet in Boston. The nonprofit offers what she calls a cultural immersion program.

But Higgs is on the fence about whether the rise in popularity of volunteerism is a good thing. She’s heartened by the altruism of volunteers. But she’s worried about the flood of for-profit organizations bursting onto the scene.

"What I think often gets lost is the host communities," she says. "Are they gaining? Are they winning? Are they true partners in this? Or are they simply a means to an end to a student’s learning objective, to someone’s desire to have fun on vacation and learn something?" she asks.

Higgs urges travelers to do their homework and research companies, just as you would before giving to a charity or volunteering for any organization.

About a dozen youth from the United Church of Christ from Yarmouth, Maine, are learning how to count to 10 in the Mam language, from an elderly Indigenous woman in Guatemala City. They are volunteering for a week at the nonprofit Safe Passages, which helps children and parents who live and work in the capital’s sprawling garbage dump.

It’s pouring rain outside, but 17-year-old Mary Coyne isn’t bummed. She’s glad she spent her summer vacation here instead of at the beach, she says. “Yeah, I’m not getting a tan and not eating ice cream,” Coyne says. “But it’s something different. It’s like your whole being is satisfied because of experiences like this.”

As 'Voluntourism' Explodes In Popularity, Who's It Helping Most?   
29 Sep 14 at 2 pm



"Voluntourism is ultimately about the fulfillment of the volunteers themselves, not necessarily what they bring to the communities they visit.” 

An article in The Onion mocks voluntourism, joking that a six-day visit to a rural African village can “completely change a woman’s Facebook profile picture.”  The article quotes “22-year-old Angela Fisher” who says:

I don’t think my profile photo will ever be the same, not after the experience of taking such incredible pictures with my arms around those small African children’s shoulders.

It goes on to say that Fisher “has been encouraging every one of her friends to visit Africa, promising that it would change their Facebook profile photos as well.”

I was once Angela Fisher. But I’m not any more.

I HAVE PARTICIPATED IN not one but three separate, and increasingly disillusioning, international health brigades, short-term visits to developing countries that involve bringing health care to struggling populations.

Such trips—critically called voluntourism—are a booming business, even though they do very little advertising and charge people thousands of dollars to participate.

How do they attract so many paying volunteers?

Photography is a big part of the answer. Voluntourism organizations don’t have to advertise, because they can crowdsource. Photography—particularly the habit of taking and posting selfies with local children—is a central component of the voluntourism experience. Hashtags like #InstagrammingAfrica are popular with students on international health brigades, as are #medicalbrigades, #globalhealth, and of course the nostalgic-for-the-good-days hashtag #takemeback.

It was the photographs posted by other students that inspired me to go on my first overseas medical mission. When classmates uploaded the experience of themselves wearing scrubs beside adorable children in developing countries, I believed I was missing out on a pivotal pre-med experience. I took over 200 photos on my first international volunteer mission. I modeled those I had seen on Facebook and even pre-meditated photo opportunities to acquire the “perfect” image that would receive the most Likes.

Over time, I felt increasingly uncomfortable with the ethics of those photographs, and ultimately left my camera at home. Now, as an insider, I see three common types of photographs voluntourists share through social media: The Suffering Other, The Self-Directed Samaritan, and The Overseas Selfie.


In a photograph taken by a fellow voluntourist in Ghana (not shown), a child stands isolated with her bare feet digging in the dirt. Her hands pull up her shirt to expose an umbilical hernia, distended belly, and a pair of too-big underwear. Her face is uncertain and her scalp shows evidence of dermatological pathology or a nutritional deficiency—maybe both. Behind her, only weeds grow.

Anthropologists Arthur and Joan Kleinman note that images of distant, suffering women and children suggest there are communities incapable of or uninterested in caring for its own people. These photographs justify colonialist, paternalistic attitudes and policies, suggesting that the individual in the photograph …

… must be protected, as well as represented, by others. The image of the subaltern conjures up an almost neocolonial ideology of failure, inadequacy, passivity, fatalism, and inevitability. Something must be done, and it must be done soon, but from outside the local setting. The authorization of action through an appeal for foreign aid, even foreign intervention, begins with an evocation of indigenous absence, an erasure of local voices and acts.


Here we have a smiling young white girl with a French braid, medical scrubs, and a well-intentioned smile. This young lady is the centerpiece of the photo; she is its protagonist. Her scrubs suggest that she is doing important work among those who are so poor, so vulnerable, and so Other.

The girl is me. And the photograph was taken on my first trip to Ghana during a 10-day medical brigade. I’m beaming in the photograph, half towering and half hovering over these children. I do not know their names, they do not know my name, but I directed a friend to capture this moment with my own camera. Why?

This photograph is less about doing actual work and more about retrospectively appearing to have had a positive impact overseas. Photographs like these represent the overseas experience in accordance with what writer Teju Cole calls the “White Savior Industrial Complex.”

Moreover, in directing, capturing, and performing in photos such as these, voluntourists prevent themselves from actually engaging with the others in the photo. In On Photography, Susan Sontag reminds us:

Photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing – which means that…it is mainly a social rite, a defense against anxiety, and a tool of power.

On these trips, we hide behind the lens, consuming the world around us with our powerful gazes and the clicking of camera shutters. When I directed this photo opportunity and starred in it, I used my privilege to capture a photograph that made me feel as though I was engaging with the community. Only now do I realize that what I was actually doing was making myself the hero/star in a story about “suffering Africa.”


In his New York Times Op-Ed, that modern champion of the selfie James Franco wrote:

Selfies are avatars: Mini-Me’s that we send out to give others a sense of who we are…. In our age of social networking, the selfie is the new way to look someone right in the eye and say, “Hello, this is me.”

Although related to the Self-Directed Samaritan shot, there’s something extra-insidious about this type of super-close range photo. “Hello, this is me” takes on new meaning—there is only one subject in this photo, the white subject. Capturing this image and posting it on the Internet is to understand the Other not as a separate person who exists in the context of their own family or community. but rather as a prop, an extra, someone only intelligible in relation to the Western volunteer.

VOLUNTOURISM IS ULTIMATELY ABOUT the fulfillment of the volunteers themselves, not necessarily what they bring to the communities they visit. In fact, medical volunteerism often breaks down existing local health systems. In Ghana, I realized that local people weren’t purchasing health insurance, since they knew there would be free foreign health care and medications available every few months. This left them vulnerable in the intervening times, not to mention when the organization would leave the community.

In the end, the Africa we voluntourists photograph isn’t a real place at all. It is an imaginary geography whose landscapes are forged by colonialism, as well as a good deal of narcissism. I hope my fellow students think critically about what they are doing and why before they sign up for a short-term global volunteer experience. And if they do go, it is my hope that they might think with some degree of narrative humility about how to de-center themselves from the Western savior narrative. Most importantly, I hope they leave their iPhones at home.

This post originally appeared on Sociological Images, a Pacific Standard partner site, as “#InstagrammingAfrica: The Narcissism of Global Voluntourism.”

Source: http://www.psmag.com/navigation/business-economics/instagrammingafrica-narcissism-global-voluntourism-83838/

#InstagrammingAfrica: The Narcissism of Global Voluntourism