Here’s why some Anons are motivated to send you hate.
Whether you meant to or not, when you took the photograph you were doing the following:
- Sexualizing Native women—turning them into a fetish.
- Reducing feathers and warbonnets to cute fashion accessories.
MAKING NATIVE WOMEN INTO A FETISH: Why it’s shitty, and what makes me think that you’re doing it.
[Trigger warning: sexual assault, rape, genital mutilation]
Why I think you’re doing it (I’m using this photo as a specific example, but almost all of them fall along these lines):
- you’re wearing revealing clothing
- you’re posing sensually
- you presumably took the photo in Native regalia in the first place to make yourself seem more attractive
You look super hot! And you’re trying to make yourself seem more hot by adding the warbonnet. It’s exotic. It implies that you’re in touch with your inner Sexy Spirit.
Why this is a harmful (or at the very least, in extremely poor taste)
Let’s put your Native-is-sexy mentality into context.
- Tribes cannot prosecute non-Native rapists because of laws made by the United States government. (read the link for more info) This means that non-Native persons assault Native women in their homes regularly and get away with it. 88 percent of all violent crime against Native people are committed by Non-Natives.
- Native women were routinely raped, sexually assaulted, and mutilated by White “settlers” as a way to exert control over Native communities. (My source for this is the same as #1). Here’s an eyewitness account from 1864:
“I heard one man say that he had cut a woman’s private parts out, and had them for exhibition on a stick… I also heard of numerous instances in which men had cut out the private parts of fmeales, and stretched them over their saddle-bows and some of htem over their hats.”
You’re portraying Native women as sex objects, something to fantasize about, in a society in which they have a 33% chance of being raped. If they live on a rez, and the rapist does not, they have no effective way to prosecute their rapist. Do you see how portraying Native women as sex objects—how making them into a fetish—could possibly, maybe, contribute to the rates being so high? Or even going up in the future?
I’m not going to get into #2 here, because this post is long enough as-is. To sum up why it’s bad, though: consider the implications of Osama Bin Laden’s grandchildren posing for pictures wearing a badly-replicated Medal of Honor. Or uploading photos of their new smexy crucifix tramp stamp.
Do you see the issue here?