My Fellow (Ace) Americans – “International” spaces and mediating our voices

Of all the “get out of your seats and move” ice breakers I’ve endured throughout my education, there’s only one that gets my antisocial blessing.

This was Introduction to Religious Studies, and the professor had a knack for transforming her 100+ student lecture halls into dynamic discussion spaces. Her ice breakers had a purpose – not “let’s see how physically uncomfortable we can make everyone” – but were aptly woven into the subject material for the course. The focus of a class like this inevitably boiled down to the concept of shared identity.

We were asked to separate ourselves into the four corners of the room, each labeled with a particular term or terms. The labels were, “Human,” “Religion,” “Man/Woman,” and “American.” We were to stand by the label which we felt formed the strongest basis for our identities.

The largest, in a great wave of shuffling students, filled the corner under “Human” and watched with amused grins as the rest of us filed into our sections. Predictably, in this Californian public university, a single-digit quantity of people headed for the “Religion” section. A sizeable group occupied the “Man/Woman” section, and without a glimmer of hesitation I strode toward the last remaining corner and planted myself squarely in the American sector.

I am not a patriot.

And neither were the other members of this group.

We were aware of the glances from the other groups and once the intergroup discussion was underway it was clear that the other sectors held the least amount of affection for us. The vast majority of the class, barring international students, was born-and-raised American too. But there was something about acknowledging this as the most critical part of our identity and our thought processes that provoked the judgment of every other person around us.

It was like pointing out a kind of shared, dirty secret that no one wanted to admit.

We had a moment to speak within our groups before the larger discussion, and the curious thing we found in common was that most of our group had lived or worked overseas for a considerable period of time. We had all been removed from what was largely invisible to us in our daily lives – what ran as an undercurrent to American life – and saw it from the outside-in.

“Everything about the way we act is American,” one girl said.  “You can’t avoid it.”

“The way we talk, the way we think, the way everyone else sees us,” I added.

“There’s no way around it.”

I am a mixed race, gender-ambiguous agnostic ace who grows vegetables for a living, and I am undeniably American.

We’d consumed the same media, we were fed the same histories and heroes and lessons and language and laws and rhymes and riddles as nearly everyone else in the room.   But beyond that, we were marked with experiences of culture shock, of miscommunication, of grappling with this identity stamped onto us like scarlet letters. We realized how all of us from the cis-het white male student to the mixed race genderwhats, contained distinct socio-cultural markers that were to a great degree shared among others within our country, and thus contrasted against others beyond our borders.  Regardless of how the media or other prescriptive powers defined our bodies (and how any of us can feel othered from this society) we still talked the American talk, and walked the American walk, in a manner of speaking. Essentially, the sharedness of a crucial social American identity ran deep within our bones – and yet we were the only ones who owned up to it.

People just, didn’t feel very American.

Counter-arguments to our group identity included accusations of homogenizing this vast country.  Nationalists.  Flag-waving sheeple.  But there was nothing that compelled me to emigrate from my group. In stark contrast to our very practical explanations of our unifying social identity were the arguments by the “Human” group which suggested that they could, on the basis of shared specieshood, relate to anyone. People were generally all alike.

Somehow, the idea of homogenizing all humankind was preferable to homogenizing just one country.

At the back of my mind, one word on repeat: Projection, projection, projection.

“All alike,” but you mean, “All like you.”

We returned to our seats and I watched the parting Humans with a feeling of vague hopelessness. They were the largest group and they had maintained, steadfastly, that what they thought and how they behaved was common to the human experience.  As if the experiences that made up their lives could be rolled across the rest of the map, as if these experiences could never be met with horror and uncomprehending silence by another human being just across the pond. They had even convinced a few members from the other groups to switch and join their corner.

I had little love for the Man/Woman group who declared, “If you’re not a man or a woman, then you aren’t, like, anything,” but the Human group struck me in a peculiarly threatening way. And over time, after leaving the American corner of the world more and more, I know why that mentality haunts me.

There is something unquestioningly bully-ish about a mentality that holds that the experiences of the loudest person in the room must be the experiences of everyone else. This mentality isn’t coming from the largest group in the room, like during the activity, but as Americans we hold the reins to the information highway. What we generate flows outward onto one-way streets, where the stories and realities of the rest of the world are drowned in our outgoing tide of stories exclusively about ourselves.

The problem isn’t necessarily that we are talking about ourselves – it’s that A) we are consistently the loudest group of people talking about ourselves, which leads to B) the fiction that our attitudes and experiences are applicable to people everywhere. Surely, everyone must conceive of their asexuality in this way, otherwise I personally would have seen compelling evidence to the contrary within the bounds of this American culture or on this American-dominated information highway. In English.

When you couple this with the idea that our language is the language of the “developed” world, and that our culture seeps into every corner of the world (whether people like it or not), people beyond the US start to look to US culture for the answers to their society’s questions. And why shouldn’t they, considering how much we invest in this idea of our universality and wisdom?

I can’t quite describe the mix of emotions I feel when I see AVEN’s complete description copy-and-pasted onto the budding asexual facebook group for the South American country I’m now working in. A country that in many parts, doesn’t have running water, nor reliable electricity, but they are 100% set with a definition of what it means to be asexual. Granted, it’s great that these resources are visible and that people at least have a starting point to know, “What I feel is felt by other people too, and I am not broken,” but local models and identity-formation are often replaced by, compared to, or stifled beneath our distinctly foreign models.

It might still work, and movements for visibility might still proceed, but what is ultimately injected into these cultures are models formed from American perceptions, American communicative processes, and American ways of navigating a social landscape. At the very least, the expectation that these models must be followed and striven for is exerted upon the population.  Except, there is no guarantee that the dialogues that persist in our culture will be appropriate or communicable in any other place.

Ask me how anticlimactic it is to attend your first queer pride rally in the capital of a developing conservative country, and finding that the immediate public could care less. A couple doomsdayers, a handful of bored onlookers, and two police officers who leave within minutes to take their tea break. I hang around to support the only asexual I know, remarking on how all the chants are directly translated from what we chant, the imagery reflections of our images, and the actions interpretations of how we act. Flashbacks to rallies on Castro Street. It is flamboyant and jarring against its surroundings, and at first I’m swept up in the pride of the moment, until something starts to needle at my confidence. It is failing to hold the attention of any non-participants passing by.  There are photo-snapping journalists collecting images for internet publications and papers – for a populace that overwhelmingly does not have internet access, and doesn’t read the paper.

Whom is this message for?

I’m reminded of viral tumblr posts and pictures of queer activism from around the world. Most poignant of all are the stories from the developing world, where we interpret the most resistance, and we are thus the most moved by their manifestations.  But what strikes me as the most critical part of all of this is that we are viewing, delighting in, publicizing, spreading, and furthering the dialogue around images that aren’t even transmitted to people in the country in which they originate.  The general public, beyond the egregiously few who are connected to international news sources and online communities, are not being engaged.  These images are being granted relevancy in a paradoxically insular cross-national information exchange where the parameters for relevancy have been defined by western voices.  Where we have posited our culture and our history as universal, people are asked to imitate it, sidelining swaths of their populations that hold significant cultural wealth, and whose participation would shift the dialogue back towards something unique for their people. Whose models for queer sexuality may already include and are strengthened by their own historical framework.

I ask myself if, on this speeding track toward a global western-dominated culture, we are at all being fair by claiming “internationality” of our communities and resources. They are “international” because of this regulated cultural flow, not because we have necessarily opened them up to international voices, but because we are positing our voices as coming from a fictitious, culturally-neutral origin which can be stuck on top of any culture. And because, historically, it pays to fall in line American culture, the erasure is two-tiered: We spread ourselves to occupy space and exclude dissimilar experiences, and those seeking relevancy model their own experiences to reflect ours, in the process erasing their own cultural fingerprints.

Our attitudes are exercised in places in which they did not originate, challenging indigenous models and identity-building processes.  In the context of queer activism, this means generating a “standard” LGBTQIA activism that is rooted firmly in American sexuality politics and appeals to attitudes of American individualism and conceptions of the self. And this activism may work, eventually, but only because entire cultures are made to shift to reflect our own, and they happen to absorb our sexuality framework in the process.

In recent months, there has been a call specifically for Americans and other western voices to recognize our role in shaping and regulating asexual dialogues.   In understanding our complicity in the globalization of activism and identity politics, we are asked to give space to others to deconstruct our notion of our own universality, and listen to others’ experiences.  Participation in our communities requires a competency of our own models, and yet the reverse is never true – we are largely (myself included) ignorant of and oblivious to non-western models, speaking over everything doesn’t make sense to us.  It is not enough to ask that others create their own spaces – because our voices and bodies crowd every virtual room.  Generating equity will mean quieting down, withdrawing our projections, and owning up to our distinct cultural identity that shapes our “universal” narratives.

How do we go about shaping and informing asexual spaces?  How do we mediate our stories and give space to narratives to challenge what we think we know?

About Katie

Katie is an American expat working abroad on environmental conservation. She is a queer romantic asexual, mixed race, and existentially overwhelmed. When she’s not chasing pigs away from her vegetable garden, she likes to keep up on intersectional issues and open her ears to the murmurs of the internet.
This entry was posted in asexual politics, Community. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to My Fellow (Ace) Americans – “International” spaces and mediating our voices

  1. I appreciate how your post opens up this discussion beyond Europe, as most of the posts I’ve sen previously on this issue are from the perspective of white Europeans.

    To what degree are some asexual groups in the U.S. specifically encouraging aces in other countries/cultures to use materials that we have created for our own context, and to what degree are these resources being used by the non-American and non-Western aces without any action or intervention by American aces? It seems to me that at least some of this is occurring without American aces intentionally doing anything or even being aware of the phenomenon, and I’m not sure what the best solution is. As much as this phenomenon is rooted in a much larger and systemic American cultural dominance, how can a tiny, marginalized group like aces be able to combat it? (I think these questions apply to other characteristics of the dominant and white culture in the U.S. that influence the norms in ace communities.)

    • Ace in Translation says:

      you’re talking multiple posts? Could you link me to any other discussions except my posts on my Tumblr (Tristifere)? I’d love to read them!

      Also, I think you make some good points about how this issue ties into American cultural imperialism at large. This treatment of the American experience as universal is not a unique phenomenon to the ace community. It’s in every online Anglophone community. However, that doesn’t mean we should just give up and resign to the fact. Talking about this and naming the issues are step one towards are community in which other voices are heard as well, and an environment in which non-American / non-Anglophone aces start to think critically about what parts of the asexual discourse and resources we will and won’t copy from the Americentric resources we have now. Also, I dream of an environment in which Americans realise they’re not talking to a national audience, but to an international one – something which is all too often forgotten. People simply forget that the resources they created are unavailable to others (the documentary (A)sexual, the Trevor project, I have to cross my fingers whether I’ll be able to order Ivy’s book when it’s published), or that the resources created might not make sense / work how you intended them in another cultural context (quite a few “how to respond to x comments” guides don’t really work when arguing with people in another language).

  2. Ace in Translation says:

    I’m so happy to read this post! I felt I was screaming into the void when I first posted the blogpost you’re linking to (I’m Tristifere on Tumblr 🙂 ). I am thinking about writing another post that’s more coherent and touches upon more recent examples of how our treatment of the American experience as universal is undermining visibility and activism for non-American members of the Anglophone communities.

    (As a side note: curiously enough, the people who liked and reblogged the post were almost all Americans? Like I don’t know whether I’ve become so adept in American discourse that what I’m saying doesn’t resonate with other non-Anglophone aces? Or perhaps it’s one of those things you only realise if you’ve spend time in the US? I personally didn’t realise how absolutely saturated many online spaces are with American culture after I spend some time living in the US…. Like suddenly, things you’ve always considered “internet culture” is put in the context of it actually being “American culture”. Oh well… hopefully this gets people thinking and writing about this subject more.)

    It is not enough to ask that others create their own spaces – because our voices and bodies crowd every virtual room.
    THANK YOU. Sometimes, I feel unwelcome to discuss how my asexuality works in a non-American setting in the Anglophone communities. “Go make your own community” is something I’ve read one time too often in response to me or other non-native speakers of English wanting to bring in our perspectives. Only for the Anglophone community to turn around and criticise the slightest differences they can perceive in non-Anglophone communities, because *obviously* “our community knows best”. There’s some mechanisms in play that on the one hand push you away and puts you outside the Anglophone community as “foreigner”, while on the other hand, you are expected to duplicate that exact community and discourse in another language.

    • Sara K. says:

      That is an interesting point you raise about internet culture.

      Though I in no way endorse government censorship of online spaces,, one of the good effects of the Great Firewall of China is that it does act as a buffer against outside cultural influence and has allowed a more distinctly Chinese internet culture to emerge than might have happened otherwise. I would not be surprised if there are ace-like people forming their own communities within the Chinese internet while using a framework so different from the Anglophone one (just as the Russian antisexuality is a different framework).that nobody has noticed the connection yet.

      Even Taiwanese internet culture has its own buffers – BBS still has a large following in Taiwan, and the fact that almost nobody else in the world still uses BBS has allowed a distinctly Taiwanese BBS culture to emerge. The English-lang Wikipedia has some information about it:

    • Aqua says:

      When I first saw your post on tumblr, I was so happy! I mainly just lurk there, but am trying to get back to rejoining the tumblr asexual community. I wanted to reblog your post, with my own commentary, but haven’t gotten to that just yet. I ended up saying much of what I wanted to here, anyways.

      The first time I read your post, it really spoke to me, because of my situation. I could relate so much to the frustration that comes with using a framework very different from that of the English-speaking asexual community.

      Do you know anything about other people who are native English speakers, yet stuck between two very different frameworks? My experiences aren’t exactly like those of non-native speakers, but not exactly like native speakers either. I hope I’m not the only one who has been in this kind of situation.

      • Ace in Translation says:

        I really enjoyed reading your response here, so thanks for sharing! Even if what you’re experiencing is rooted differently, it is a cultural disconnect between the different communities you were/are part of. so yeah, I do understand where you’re coming from. I don’t know anyone personally who’s in a similar situation like you, but from time to time, I have seen some people in the Tumblr tags who are asexual / have asexual-like experiences (but don’t identify as ace) and who disidentify with the asexual community. I never really read any reasons why, though, so I don’t know if these people’s experiences resemble yours. (And I can’t really link to anyone, as no-one recently springs to mind… woops)

        Though can I just say that in my humble opinion, the ace community can really be helped by the antisexual discourse? I don’t hang out on AVEN too much, but I found the interview you did for the Asexual Agenda personally very useful. I could really relate to some of the point you made – especially about the precision in word usage. I don’t like the words “celibacy”, or even “single” – too many connotations attached to those words that I don’t want to associate with. While “single” is questioned by some (especially aromantics), “celibacy” is embraced by many as a useful word. Perhaps it’s a slight difference in meaning of the word in Dutch and English, but I can’t think of celibacy outside of religion. So I can’t use that word for myself, because for me, my sex-free-ness has nothing to do with religious reasons. Also, it implies choice, and it’s not a choice, it’s a natural state of being for me (being sexually active would be a choice for me). I’d like to have a word that says “I don’t do/need sex, and that for me is my natural state of being”. A word that would have that connotation would be an empowering word for me.
        Sex-repulsed/averse doesn’t really work for that, as it only emphasizes my negative relationship with sex. But I’d like a word that emphasizes my positive relationship with my sex-free state. Am I correct in thinking that was part of what the antisexual discourse was about?

        Went a bit on a tangent here, but in any case, I think a larger debate on having a negative relationship with sex/sexuality (sex-repulsed/antisexual/etc.) would be very beneficial for the ace communities.

        Also, the recent post by Queenie*, about the need for more spaces for sex-negative/sex-repulsed/antisexual/whathaveyou people, outside the ace community as well, reminded me of the antisexual communities. After all, it was/is approaching the topic of not wanting sex from a different perspective, and leaves room for non-asexual people to fit into such a community as well.

        * Not Everybody Wants To Do It:

        • Aqua says:

          Thanks, and you’re welcome! I’m glad that you liked the interview, and found it useful!

          I’m guessing that the people who disidentify with the asexual community, but may be asexual, feel like the asexual community overall doesn’t speak for them. To them, or others who don’t identify with the community, ‘asexual’ may have political connotations that they don’t agree with.

          I’ve observed that in English, ‘celibacy’ can be either a neutral or loaded term, depending on the context. It’s a neutral term pretty much meaning long-term sexual inactivity to the English-speaking part of the asexual community, and some celibate (celibate-identified) spaces, but outside of those spaces, it’s still frequently a loaded term with religious connotations. That’s also something I learned the hard way, because I’ve had some friends react very poorly when I said I was celibate, because they associated celibacy with homophobia, religious authoritarianism, and sexuality policing. I had to explain to them that I meant what the asexual community meant, and that wasn’t easy.

          Good point about the lack of term for one’s positive relationship with not having sex. Among the self-identified* antisexuals, there is a lot of emphasis on one’s negative relationship with sex (what this means, and entails, varies by person. I’d like to see more discussions about this). That there’s a positive relationship, feeling liberated to not have sex, is only implied. There have also been problems with identifying as antisexual being taken the wrong way in Russian too, because of the connotations, and some people believe that extremists took over the label, to the dismay of those who aren’t extremists; that’s why the offshoot Freedom From Sex was made, and a different term that does emphasize the positive relationship towards not having sex is much preferred there.

          *Is it bad that I keep putting that ‘self-identified’ qualifier? I’ve done so out of force of habit.

          I saw Queenie’s recent post, and am still writing a comment for it. I was going to mention it there first, but I created a space!:

          I linked to the introduction, and not the main index, to describe the approach I want to take with this. It’s still a work in progress, and I could use help with it. Terminology is a major issue that my forum is struggling with, because there are both self-identified antisexual and celibate people there. And it’s not that there are concepts that need to be adapted from English in this case, but adapted into English!

  3. Victrix says:

    I find this topic interesting as somebody from an Anglophone background that isn’t American as parts of the discussion are relevant to me particularly the sexuality discussion, though many other issues (particularly the inter-sectional issues) I just can’t relate to as they are so different from the American culture perspectives of them (I’m also usually outside them so this only makes it harder). A lot of discussions I start reading and then just go nope, the core issue is relevant but the perspective isn’t (directly or easily) related to mine.
    I always find the international perspectives beyond the dominant english speaking countries interesting, getting to see the different cultural perspectives and differences in how the concepts we work with have been developed in different cultures.

  4. Miriam Joy says:

    I found this really interesting. I’m British, and I know that a lot of our cultural stuff isn’t that dissimilar from American cultural things, but I do find that people’s attitude to LGBTQ attitudes here is different to what the internet presents to me as a ‘worldwide’ phenomenon, and as time has passed I’ve realised it’s primarily American. Sites like Tumblr etc tend to attract people who apply their own experiences to the entire world without bothering to investigate what it’s like, and while we might feel like the internet homogenises culture, actually it just tends to blur away the differences so that we don’t see them, but they’re still there.

  5. Pingback: Call for international voices | The Asexual Agenda

  6. Arrela says:

    Thank you for this post! I’m a white person from western Europe, and a lot of the time Americans seem to think that means my life and experiences are just like those of a white American. A lot of the time I get fooled into thinking so myself – until I read an analysis of racism or heterosexism or whatever and realize that what is described doesn’t align with my world at all. The thing is, it seems to me, that Americans treat national discussions as the default and global or international ones as the particular. So they’ll state in an analysis that so and so is it, without mentioning the in the US part, and forget that a large chunk of their audience lives outside the US. I’m not blaming any individual Americans here, I think it’s simply a product of living in a country that sees itself as the rightful and de facto leader of the “free world” and where the inhabitants are used to always being the centre of attention. It’s still maddening, though, the level of arrogance, and how many times I’ve been told I’m wrong about my own experiences. And I’m a white person from a NATO country. I can only imagine what this consistent structure does to people from the global south.

  7. Sara K. says:

    Background: I am an American who has lived in Taiwan for three years and visited other parts of Northeast Asia (I am in Hakodate, Japan as I type this)

    The Taiwanese ace community is at an embryonic stage, and it already exhibits traits which I have noticed in Taiwanese GSM communities in general – i.e. it looks like something copy-and-pasted from American/Anglophone GSM communities. Most of what I have read about GSM in Chinese reads like a bad English-to-Chinese translation.

    Now, copying and pasting certain aspects of American GSM culture makes sense – for example, loud, colorful street events where people do bizarre things are a feature of Taiwanese political culture, so pride parades fit very nicely into that, and I think that might partially explain why Taipei has the biggest pride parade in Asia (those who are interested can read this article: )

    Some people in the Chinese-speaking world claim that GSM (particularly homosexuality) is something imported from “the West”, and I have to admit they have a point. Historical records show that GSM people have been in the Chinese-speaking world for a long, long time, but the LGBT culture I have encountered in Taiwan really does seem to be a cultural import rather than something which is in continuity with historical GSM in Chinese-speaking or Austronesian societies (Taiwan has both Chinese and Austronesian heritage).

    Ironically, the most openly anti-LGBT people I have met in Taiwan also talk like a non-localized cultural import. Almost all of them are Christian, and some cite their Christianity as a reason why homosexuality is wrong. Of course, there are a lot of anti-GSM attitudes in traditional Taiwanese culture without bringing in Christianity or “Western” ideas, but they generally express their intolerance in less direct ways.

    The only place – the ONLY place – I have found any discussion of GSM in Chinese which is not based on Anglophone discourse is in wuxia novels. And they often use words which I cannot find defined in any of my dictionaries, so while I can tell by the context that they are discussing GSM, I cannot get a clearer understanding of what they are saying.

  8. Carmilla DeWinter says:

    So, late to the party as always these days. Thanks for this post.
    I’ve sometimes been asked why I’m not blogging in English, because most of the discussion is happening here, and the audience is larger, too. Answer: There are people in Germany whose English isn’t all that good. We NEED stuff in German, stuff which isn’t informed by junior years and prom dances and homecomings, all of which are something German schools do not have. Our issues are different, the racism is different, the attitude towards GSRMs is different. As a whole, we’re much less hung up on religion and people’s sex lives.
    Copy-pasting doesn’t, therefore, always work. The original US leaflet – the one with the portraits and quotes – looks like a religion recruiting followers to most Germans. We also have a differing definition for the AVEN forum, which I personally disagree with. However, kudos to the people back then who didn’t take the easy way and translate.
    How it must be like outside a Western framework of reference, I have no idea, but the discrepancies are surely bigger.

  9. Aqua says:

    My situation is very unusual because I’m an American, and a native English speaker who happened to find out about the Antisexual Stronghold well before I found the asexual community, and that affected how I conceptualize my sexual identity, and conceptualize sexuality. It still does, even after my time spent in the English-speaking asexual community. I had no real framework to use before then.

    I’m aware of, and learned the hard way, that what I’d been saying about how and why I identified as antisexual, don’t make much sense by the standards of the English-speaking asexual community. A lot of self-identified antisexuals are using standards that originated in Russian, even if they don’t speak the language, and regardless of where they’re from. It’s painfully isolating, and I end up feeling alone, but if I completely switch over to using English-language asexual community standards, and just identify as a sex-repulsed asexual, I may fit in, but feel broken and erased. Not just that, I’m stuck between two different, conflicting standards. I often feel unsure what label to use anymore. Oftentimes now, I don’t bother, and just say that I rejected sex.

    I’m not actually hit by the effects of cultural imperialism, but I’ve strongly felt that frustration that comes with using a different framework than the English-speaking asexual community. I’ve had difficulty articulating my experiences, knowing all too well that I don’t see things the same way that the English speakers who found AVEN/the asexual community first do (I can, but it’s not my default setting). There were times I felt too intimidated to speak up about my experiences.

    What frustrates me is that the standards of the English-speaking asexual community (primarily AVEN’s) are asserted as the “one true way”. I had issue with this since I first found AVEN, because I already knew that their way of conceptualizing sexuality wasn’t the only one. It made me feel like my experiences are invalid, and that I have no legitimate way to explain how comments like “Don’t you mean sex-repulsed?” or “That’s just celibacy” aren’t helpful to me. I know what I’m describing would be considered ‘celibacy’, but for me to just identify as celibate feels so imprecise.

    On my interview featured on this site, while I described my experiences and interactions with other self-identitied antisexuals in sort of an English-speaking offshoot, a bilingual person from the Antisexual Stronghold helped me with some of the interview questions. They didn’t want to be interviewed themselves, but agreed to help fill in the gaps in information, and double-check my notes for me.

    Reading this post and its comments were interesting, but it’s discouraging to see that in many of the other communities, their resources are copy-paste translations of the information in English.

  10. Pingback: The discrepancies between our community’s self-perception and our international make up | The Asexual Agenda

  11. Isaac says:

    Well said, both in this post and in those of Tristifere (Ace in Translation).

  12. subterran says:

    this is a great article, and made me think about a lot of things i hadn’t really considered before (i knew that western/american constructions of homosexuality/other MOGAI concepts were imported to various places as a side-effect of colonialism, but hadn’t considered how modern MOGAI groups are still perpetuating this trend, only now in a less condemning light).

    my one issue with this post is your use of “developing world.” i know the term is considered more politically correct than “third world” in some circles, but it’s actually worse – it implies that poor countries are only poor because they haven’t properly embraced industrial capitalism enough yet, whereas “third world” has traditionally been used to describe countries that have been colonized and exploited. it’s not meant to imply that those countries are inherently lesser, only that they are treated as lesser by first world countries.

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