Just a few hours after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) went public with accounts of sexual harassment from her fellow lawmakers, a cadre of mostly male reporters took to the airwaves and Internet to question her credibility.
In a gender-equal world, Beyoncé could strut her stuff freely because she wouldn’t have to prove her intelligence, even if she was shimmying in a tight-fitting dress. Men have the liberty of shaking their hips without their intelligence being questioned, but women don’t.
The last page of a medieval book is usually a protective flyleaf, which is positioned between the actual text and the bookbinding. It was usually left blank and it therefore often filled up with pen trials, notes, doodles, or drawings. This addition I encountered today and it is not what you’d expect: a full-on drawing of a maiden playing the lute, which she holds just like a guitar. A peaceful smile shines on her face. I love this rockstar lady, so unexpectedly positioned at the end of the book, trying to catch the reader’s attention as he is closing it.
Pic: London, British Library, Sloane MS 554 (more here).
So many tourists do this with little to no interaction with the people they’re posing with. To them, these Himba women are so odd and strange (I’ve read a substantial number of travel posts/personal blogs that attest to this) that their humanity is not apparent. Sadly, it is not just White people, but anyone and everyone so Westernized that to them, the Himba are simple artifacts of Namibia not unlike the wild safari.
There are of course photos that exhibit some interaction (read: the Himba/s in the shot are smiling at least), and I know the Himba are open to meeting other people and interacting with tourists. But they are not always treated like human beings with expectations of privacy and dignity.
Their rejection of western culture is not why the Himba people receive this treatment. Let’s be clear about that. It is because of their lack of proximity to white supremacy. Being non-European is an oddity that must either be ogled or exterminated, whether you’re in Namibia or the US, whether you’re bare-chested in Windhoek or walking down the street in Ferguson, Missouri. Not even money and fame can protect you from the standard shame of being Black.
Being Black is treated as a situation one only employs away from “civilization”, even in Africa. Our existence is not accepted in the current world as is as this video shows. A Himba man must fold and stash his culture (read: soul) away in order to shine outside and he is lauded as “exceptional”.