So I looked up the context of the quote and it’s actually even worse than I thought. I knew that Sally Hemings was a fourteen-year-old Black girl PREYED UPON by Thomas Jefferson, HER SLAVE OWNER. And that it’s really fucked up of Tina Fey to act like Black female slaves were “lucky” to be sexually exploited and raped by white men. But moreover, in Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants book, where that quote is from, she claims that at University of Virginia, she was “Mexican” because she wasn’t “as white” as the wealthy, blond-haired, blue-eyed girls in her classes, who apparently she is characterizing as Martha Jeffersons (Jefferson’s wife), nor, apparently was she “ethnic enough” to be as “exciting” as the Black women who she characterizes as “Sally Hemingses.”
If that wasn’t racist enough, she also is implying that the fact Black women have been sexually exploited and fetishized by white men benefits Black women and hurts white women and means white men prefer them to us, thus rendering them our “competitors” for white male attention. She did a similar thing when she said that beauty standards for “women” (aka WHITE women) are made worse because some female celebrities of color have promoted empowerment in their beauty, and again characterizes white men’s fetishization of women of color as detrimental to white women:
“But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.”
So basically Tina Fey is blaming celebrity women of color for daring to be seen as beautiful and making it “harder” for white women in a society white men control. She is taking the attributes women of color are fetishized for and blaming these women for having these attributes as opposed to blaming white men for fetishizing these attributes, and acting as if this fetishization is something woc have benefited from at white women’s expense. She is also blaming woc for the impossible beauty standards in our culture (THAT WHITE MEN MADE). She not only does that, but she characterizes these women of color is fetishistic ways, reducing them to an ass, “leg meat,” arms, lips… This is the first time I’ve seen this quote in full and it convinces me that Tina Fey is a raging racist and racialized misogynist.
I’ve got a few questions about this…
Basically a bunch of Topless feminists recently protested against International Olympic Committee in London outside City Hall on the…
Yes! I’m tired of some feminist silencing others. Femen i’m sure means well but they are stepping on so many women and delegitimizing their voices and choices as they go.
Hiya, Rookies! Behold, below, our meet-ups schedule & list of locations for the Rookie Road Trip.
JUNE 25, 4 PM - BROOKLYN, NY
Supercute! will play some music, Babycakes will provide all sorts of sweets, a few Rookie writers will read one of their pieces out loud, all of…