Friday, July 27, 2012

New book details the struggle of a blonde white thin girl to find love in reverse racism world

http://racebending.tumblr.com/post/28112744536/save-the-pearls-is-a-vanity-published-ya-novel

“Save the Pearls” is a vanity published YA novel trying to bill itself as the next “The Hunger Games.” The publisher says that “‘Save the Pearls turns the tables on racism.’”

It uses blackface as a plot device.

In author Victoria Foyt’s futuristic world, no one wants to mate with white people—or “pearls”—considered to be the ugliest humans oppressed by people of color. In order to survive, they must put on blackface make up to be attractive to the ruling class of “coals.” Hoyt explains: “their stunningly dark skin that carries the greatest amount of melanin…makes them the strongest, most powerful race alive.” The protagonist is a white girl who must smear her face with “midnight luster” make up in order to protect herself from radiation and in order to look beautiful to the oppressive “coals” in hopes that they will mate with her.



I have no fucking words for this. >_<

First, if this is reverse racism world, why are white people being referred to as a precious stone and black people referred to as "coals"? -_- Sure, you could claim it's to show just how backwards this world is! But more likely it's to show the innate awesomeness of white people and to imply the innate value of white people that's being unjustly ignored.

Secondly, seriously, with so few unconventionally attractive heroines in fiction, we need a book about the poor oppressed thin blonde white girl who struggles through "racism" to find true love?

Thirdly, the "look at this horrible future where a blonde thin white girl who would be a model is seen as ugly! How awful a world that would think this!" is SUCH a f-ed up message. >_<

Fourthly, I always hate when privileged people have escapist oppression fantasies. >_< Whether it's middle class white cis straight people lamenting that they don't live "interesting lives" like marginalized people, or MRAs and their oppression fantasies. If oppression is a fun fantasy to you, it says a lot about your privilege.

I'm also pretty pissed off about the constant "OPPRESSED WILL BECOME THE OPPRESSORS" crap in fiction, b/c it's a narrative that's used IRL to deny rights to marginalized people, and to dismiss our concerns.  "You just want to dominate and become the ones on top!"  "It's a slippery slope and then you'll take us over!" "You're as bad as us inside!"

I also always love the idea that if somebody MUST be on top (which I completely disagree w/ as a thing that must always happen anyways) it should be white, cis, straight, abled, etc people.  Like even as oppressors they are better, kinder oppressors than "we" would be.

Fifthly, that book sounds hella racist.
 

https://twitter.com/#!/search/realtime/%23savethewhites

Read these tweets for quote excerpts from the book. It's really an excuse to be racist to black people while saying "it's not racist for her to think such horrible thoughts about them b/c they are her oppressors in backwards upside down world!"

Sixthly, BLACKFACE IS HEROIC!!! GO HER!!!

Seventhly, that video actually has her in blackface.

Eighthly, as somebody who is currently struggling to get a date on OKC b/c I'm trans (And I know that I'm already very "lucky" in that I fit a lot of beauty standards) and face a lot of transphobic crap when ppl message me at all, that video to promote the book really pisses me off >_< Esp since of course the expected reaction is for men to go "OF COURSE I WOULD DATE HER!! SHE'S SO BEAUTIFUL! WHO WOULD THINK SHE'S UGLY?" and the expected reaction of white people is what I said above "what a f-ed up world where she's discriminated against!"

Ninthly, it's pretty sexist to equate her finding a husband as "saving" her. And the implication to men watching the video that by finding her attractive enough to f- you are "saving" her.

Tenthly, racism is all about people not wanting to date you. That's the biggest problem with racism.

I think the twist ending of the book should be there are no black ppl & it's all white ppl in blackface cluelessly oppressing each other. 

25 comments:

  1. So it's basically a book set in a world where the wild delusions of the "Stop the White Genocide" crew are somehow factual... that explains why the heroine just wants someone to support her so she can pop out kids like a production line.

    I the White Power nuts demanding this book be included in school curriculum alongside 1984 and Animal Farm.

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  2. This looks like just an updated version of the movie "White Man's Burden," which has the same "Black people are the oppressors of White People" setting.

    This seems to be a recurring theme.

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  3. I am embarrassed to be white. Yet more poorly disguised racism. I was reading a review about a book that took a similar tack in regards to sexuality. Straight people were the sexual deviants in that story. Makes me ill.

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  4. She changes her EYE color too? Why? The whole thing is messed up and sad.

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  5. Let me start by making the most intelligent response I can to this: huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh?

    I mean...really? As an aspiring writer (and general lover of fiction in all its forms) I don't mind people putting their creative juices to work and crafting new worlds, even if they aren't to my fancy. But this...Foyt couldn't have POSSIBLY thought this was a good idea, could she? Even if SOMEHOW this turned out to be less racist than it appears on the surface, it's still incredibly insensitive and short-sighted.

    Oh man. If Foyt was out for fame, it's likely she's going to find it for all the wrong reasons.

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    1. You`d be surprised over how many ideas which sound great in productions and terrible once they are written.

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  6. Random thoughts in no particular order...

    'Pearl'? 'Coal'? Really? Seriously? lol

    She looks pretty hot in 'black face'.

    Lotsa white chicks out on the beach this weekend working on their tans.

    'Pearl'? 'Coal'? Really? Seriously? lol

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    1. If you`d want something gem related that is black and beautiful, Onyx or Obsidian. Heck, pearls can be black as well.

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  7. FALSE EQUIVALENCE TIEM!!!!!!!! (At the author of the book, not Ami).

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  8. On the bright side, the internet is exploding in WTF!? over this. Which is as it should be, because, seriously, this is a cornucopia of WTF!? Also of racism.

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  9. Your twist ending cracked me up here at work. That reveal would simply blow away the ending of the classic Twilight Zone episode "Eye of the Beholder."

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  10. This whole thing sounds like a horrible mashup of "Eye of the Beholder", "White Man's Burden", and "Gattaca". Rod Serling, Andrew Niccol, and Brian K. Vaughan fused together into one awesome being could not save this concept.

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  11. Hah, this reminds me of the Mad Men episode where a character writes a speculative script for "Star Trek" about some planet of reverse racism (http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/05/mad-men-begins-highlighting-science-fiction-as-a-tool-of-expression).

    It's deliberately shown to be a really awful allegory and is supposed to demonstrate that the writer character is delusional about how good his work is.

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  12. Wait... what? For realz?

    The only positive thing is your proposed plot twist, Ami. That actually would be amazing.

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  13. This reminds me of my cousin writing a non-fiction short story about how hard it was for her dad and grandmother when they integrated schools in the south. They're white. A story about how hard integration was for white people because now, all of the sudden, they have to be around scary black people and go to a sub-par school that the black children had been rotting in for a generations. She submitted it to a contest. They sent it back and she wondered why. I hope she gains sensitivity with age.

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    1. Sadly, that could have actually been an interesting story if it had explored the issues of racism and the fear of change that contributed (and still contributes) to the excruciatingly slow pace that our society is moving into a more accepting, open-minded... um, mindset.

      But I get the feeling your cousin wasn't going for that angle, huh.

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  14. Well said and I really like your thoughts.

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  15. Okay, I just wrote an entire comment and blogspot decided to fuck it up by giving me an error when I tried to sign in. *headdesk*

    Oh well, let's see how much of it I can remember...

    So basically, I dunno if I'm a horrible person for thinking this, but I don't see why, if there's a legitimate biological danger to having light skin in this fictional universe, it's so important to save the 'pearls.' I mean, granted, it wouldn't be cool to, I dunno, kill off all the white folks just because they're at a disadvantage biologically, but that doesn't mean that they should be preserved like some kind of glorious treasure.

    I dunno. I just feel like if I were stuck in that world, I would make it a point *not* to have kids, or at the very least find the darkest-skinned man I could possibly find to get me pregnant so that my kids would at least have darker skin than I do. I just don't see how having it be all about finding a mate (and presumably breeding with said mate) is supposed to make us feel sympathetic for the protagonist.

    It's like the author either doesn't know a damn thing about what natural selection is, or she's fallen for the bullshit idea that white people are somehow 'more evolved' or genetically superior to people of color. Either way, I still think it's stupid, both for my reason and for everything you said in your post.

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  16. I'm going to have to ask you to interpret things as kindly as you can. This is the first time I've heard of this book, so I don't know if the author had stated her intention somewhere. But it struck me as the very opposite of what you think.

    The first comparison that came to mind is how there are huge skin-whitening industries in east Asia.

    It seemed to me that the author was trying to show people what a problem this is in the real world. I interpreted it as the intention to raise awareness of racism, rather than the intention to play the oppressed victim.

    Obviously, if the author said somewhere else that she really was talking about reverse genocide, it would be very different. It just sounded to me like the author was choosing a shocking way to talk about the real-world problem of east Asians and Asian Indians trying to lighten their skin.

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    2. Yeeeeeeeeah...see, here's the thing, the actual book doesn't deal with anything about the skin-whitening industry, or of any harmful ideas of beauty. It just plays, "White Man's Burden" (which, btw, is an actual movie where whites are slaves and blacks are slavemasters), and then uses that pretext (and horrible world-building) to condone some really bigoted shit.

      Seriously, look at the actual contents of the book. It's awful on every level, not just in writing, but also in content.

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    3. So this is the first time you've heard of the book, but you're sure the author's intentions are good? That sounds to me like it has less to do with the book and more to do with your personal agenda.

      The darkening process in Save the Pearls is not even faintly comparable to modern skin lightening. In Save Whitey... Save the Pearls it is a procedure to guard against radiation, in real life it is a purely cosmetic procedure to make one appear more desirable to white people. Just like Pols, Jews and Irish in the USA used to change their names to blend in and avoid persecution and discrimination.

      The author markets it as the very opposite of what it is for the same reason people start sentences with "I'm not racist but...". She wants to place herself above criticism and portray herself as a great crusader for all humankind - rather than as a whitesplainer who wants attention and praise.

      But in the book she portrays all non-whites as racial caricatures, invents ridiculous circumstances to justify the cultural shifts (whens he bothers to explain them), fetishcises black men and (simutaneously) promotes the idea that even in a PoC dominated society black men would be seen as a constant rape threat (even with medical reasons making the darkest possible skin desirable).

      There are already plenty of books out there that white people can use to understand racism. This book is both redundant and insulting to people of colour as the author has already admitted that her primary "self awareness" of the problem of racism comes from an incident when she was a child and someone called her an incorrectly assigned racial slur.

      There is simply no sane basis to want to give this author the benefit of the doubt, other than it somehow co-incides with a personal agenda.

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  17. Wobster, it's very nice of you to interpret the author's INTENTIONS so charitably, but have you heard that intention is irrelevant? Whether she intended to or not, the author ended up reinforcing some very toxic myths about race, about whiteness, and about blackness. If her intention was to illuminate the problem of skin-whitening in Southeast Asia, I can think of lots of much better ways to do that.

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  19. Wobster: Given the absolutely godawful problems of internal logic Ami has pointed out in the book, and all the WTF howlers in the self-contradictory components of the premise, I doubt the author herself had a clear idea what she was talking about. But if you can actually manage a stretch like reading this as some sort of allegory about real-world Asians who buy skin-whitening products, you may put Plasticman out of a job.

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