So today Angelina Jolie had double mastectomy, which is the removal of one’s breasts, to prevent Breast cancer. So instead of praising Angelina on her bravery, men on Twitter decided to ridicule her, even calling her stupid for removing her breasts. For those of you on Tumblr that are attacking Feminists for being delusional about sexism against women and misogyny here’s your fucking proof that sexism and misogyny exists.
Our celebrity obsessed culture may be a joke but breast cancer definitely isn’t - nearly 500,000 people die from it every year. Angelina Jolie’s doctors estimated she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer and a 50% risk of developing ovarian cancer because she carries the common gene mutation that causes both. Her mother died at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer as well. My own mother had both breast and ovarian cancer within a couple short years and let me tell you, it’s about the least funny thing in the world to watch someone suffer from.
Valuing someone’s body parts you sexualized over their life and humanity goes beyond sexism, it’s sub-human.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on being detained at the U.S. Airport—twice. (Once, he was detained while promoting a film called “My Name is Khan” which was ironically about a person with the last name Khan suffering from repeated racial profiling.)
Multiple actors and other prominent individuals in the film industry with the last name “Khan” have been detained when entering the country. Irrfan Khan (The Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire, Spider-man) described the three times he was stopped—while on the way to receive honors for his roles in films such as The Namesake—as “humiliating.” Actor Aamir Khan was stopped and stripped searched in 2002. Director Kabir Khan, was reportedly detained at least three times in 2008 while filming in the United States. The New York Times ended up remarking on The Dangers of Fying While Khan
This much is clear:
- Despite being an incredibly common surname, in the United States, Khan is a racialized last name and those who carry it suffer from additional, insulting, stigma and scrutiny.
- There is no shortage of talented actors of South Asian descent whether from within the United States, from the UK, or Bollywood—and many of them even have the last name of Khan.
- With Star Trek Into Darkness the name “Khan” is once again stigmatized as antagonistic, but the actors named Khan, the Khans of the world, and those who look like Khans once again have no voice about how they are represented in American media.
If you’re an award winning actor named Khan, you will still get stopped and humiliated at the airport. When that rare character in American media finally shows up sharing your name, he will be played by a white British man. That actor will wear your name for one movie and sneer and strut to great critical acclaim. You will wear your racialized name, your skin color, and hope you don’t get detained another time.
U.S. domestic security forces can do in just a few minutes what some people pay thousands of dollars every year for therapy to accomplish: keep non-white superstars humble and grounded. Thanks, TSA.
Half of my family clan has the surname Khan.
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