Oppressive White Men

‘Why are you dressed like that? So you’re born over here. Why not take our identity? Why not take our ways? When was the last time you came out in a mini skirt and a low cut top?’

Yes, big burly white man on Make Bradford British, I will wear a mini skirt and low top, and then when I get raped, you can tell me I was asking for it.

I usually avoid watching anything with Asian people in it because I usually end up screaming at the television. Telly has a knack of seeking out the stereotype and whilst some people will acknowledge this, middle England read them like the Daily Mail. Insomnia is one of those gifts I’ve come to accept, where you can catch up on all the stuff you really didn’t need to know. It’s not like you have much of a choice, everyone else has gone to bed.

So I found myself watching Channel 4s latest “Shock! Brown people in Britain” series. It follows a group of people living in the notoriously overrun by brownies area of Bradford. Or Bradistan as it is affectionately termed. This was a coupla weeks ago but I have not been able to shake off the image of the white man barking down to the Asian girl in a headscarf.

I lolled. I’ve been told I smile when I’m talking about the worst stuff. My lol wasn’t one of joy, he certainly wasn’t making funnies. Big white man was telling small Asian girl that she was not welcome if she was going to cover up. Yes dear, strip so we can see whether you’re worth having a go on. And then, he rubbed her leg. Being a woman, if some strange, frankly disgusting man touched me without my consent, I could have him for assault. Yet, whilst I watched in horror, the Asian girl pushed his hand away, clearly mortified but did not say anything. And nobody else did either.

I would like to share my disgust. How dare he? How dare any man tell any woman what to wear?

They make it about race so we forget the misogyny.

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6 comments

  1. Racist program and anyone complained? Surprise, surprise, no. Misogyny and women’s objectification and anyone complained? Again no.

    Mr I-am-a-hot-and-rich-celebrity says something wrong? Thousands of complaints; how dare he?

    We live in a broken society where terms like “brown people” should create an uproar and yet sensationalism is what the media provides and what the mass craves.

    I am angry and disappointed but I am not surprised. These days I tend to stay away from television as the quality is at all times low.

    Oh and smash patriarchy and the objectification of women. 🙂

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  2. Interesting. I didn’t see the show so can’t really comment but I wonder if what we’re missing is the underlying meaning. Now, don’t for a moment think I’m defending this man’s actions or words, but it may be that what he was, admittedly hamfistedly, trying to explore was what appears to him to be a passive form of judgement of and a deliberate attempt to reject the prevailing culture in favour of a culture that he sees as a threat.

    Perhaps he sees someone dressed in what he thinks is the national costume of “the other” and perceives it is a big old “fuck you” to the culture he holds dear?

    This is basically no different from any other form of out-group fear. So perhaps it’s not misogyny? Perhaps the misogyny is merely incidental.

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    1. I’ve got a quote somewhere else on the blog from a journo working at The Sun, shortly after 9/11 revenge attacks were carried out. She made a good point, many of the victims were women in scarves. Not the men with the beards, the women. White fascists pick on women because men in general control women. It is absolutely about misogyny as much as it is about race.

      I was born here, I grew up here. I’ve been out with people for who they are, not what colour they are. Even the most liberal feel superior in their englishness. They don’t see the things I do, the indirect digs at ‘my people’. They think I shouldn’t make a fuss whenever I hear the Paki word, cos it’s not the English thing to do, make a fuss. But then, they haven’t been reduced to nothing at the mere mention of the word.

      How can I expect blonde, blue eyed englishmen will EVER have any idea of what it feels like to be subordinate? As a woman and a minority?

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  3. I live in Leeds, and pretty much spend all my spare time in Bradford or surrounding areas. You can say, I know Bradford like the back of my hand.

    I followed this series of ‘Make Bradford British’ and after watching the first part, I emailed the producers asking them to clarify what ‘being British’ was. From my research and asking few other British citizens like myself to explain what British was, they too found it difficult to explain. I’m yet to hear from the producers.

    That bloke you briefly mentioned who touched the Asian girl in the pub, he was making his point that the dress sense of wearing short skirts, low tops and high heels was being British, and the lady who accompanied him egged him on and made her contribution by saying, dressing like the Asian girl didn’t make her a British citizen. This was a total failure by those supposedly British people. How can Britishness be what you wear? At that point I was actually looking for an object near me to throw at my TV, but my iPhone was too valuable.

    No one knows what Britishness is, the failure of that exam at the beginning by those taking the exam proved that British Citizens (white or coloured) didn’t know the value of being a British Citizen. Because all who participated in that test failed miserably proved that being British could not be defined.

    When reading your post, I could relate to how you felt and trust me, that chap in the pub should be reported because he only knew one thing – and that was how to be racist.

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