I think this week’s readings were great choices because of just how applicable they are in our current times. I read and watched Noble’s work which gave a really good insight into the dynamics of privilege and oppression. I’ve been itching to say this for so long but I can easily see the way race and gender plays into the way people, especially women are viewed online. So, there are two notorious women on social media I’m thinking of here: Eugenia Cooney and Azealia Banks. Both are grown women. Cooney is known for her fashion videos on YouTube and Banks is known for being a rap musician. However, both women have major issues. Cooney has an eating disorder and uses her body to make pro-ana (“pro anorexia”) content. She is white. Banks has an unspecified mental disorder and frequently is seen having public freakouts. She is African-American. While Cooney does have people railing against her (especially nowadays) she has still received massive amounts of support. People donate large sums of money on her gaming streams, frequently come to her defense, and even doxx those who go against her. Banks was originally known for her innovative music and was critically acclaimed. But as she began to have issues being in the public eye, almost all her support has left despite the fact that she is creating incredible music even still today. Now, Banks vicious actions towards others have been inexcusable but I find it quite suspicious that Banks has little support and is mocked for her mental condition in newspapers/gossip sites while Cooney is treated like a princess by so many.
On the topic of algorithms, they can be a mess in themselves. I’m coming at the subject from the angle of an artist on social media. I’m a white manga artist but I have many friends who are poc manga artists. They’ve struggled terribly to get their art seen over the years because people don’t seem to have any interest in their art unless they start writing angry/sad tweets rallying against the racism in the online art community. However, I want to point out that poc artists have come up with some amazing trends to beat the algorithm lately: They make their own algorithms! Two tags that have been insanely popular are #SEAArtistsUnite (“South East Asian Artists Unite”) and #Blacktober (a play on the Inktober month where artists of African descent reimagine popular characters or create original characters for each day of the month). Two close friends of mind also started a smaller trend under #PastelsOnMelanin for poc manga artists. (Please check it out on Twitter or Instagram if you have the time! The work there is gorgeous.)