shout out to all the people who are content with mediocrity. for real, fuck this weird “everyone is gonna be an earth-shaker” stressful shit they push on you before you’re even out of the womb. give me stability, a sense of belonging, rootedness. i don’t need fame and fortune.
Where did this horror movie thing of mummies walking come from was it just some racist weird western notion to further exotify Egypt?? Did anyone actually believe this before The Mummy (the really old version) came out in the 20’s?
Buckle up, y’all, I wrote my thesis on this so I actually know the answer to it. Please take a moment to prepare yourself for white people being even grosser than you thought we were. No, grosser. NO, grosser than that. Okay, you’re ready.
Of course, many cultures have myths about the dead rising up, but the mummy occupies a really unique place in the Western imagination. As far as we can tell, Western anxieties about Egyptian mummies didn’t appear until until the Early Modern period of European history. During this time, Europeans had some…interesting ideas about medicine. Some of these ideas involved straight-up fucking cannibalism. Yep! Mummy parts were crumbled up and used as tinctures or ingested, most frequently to stanch internal bleeding. It wasn’t until people began to realize that eating other humans might contribute to the spread of disease that the practice died out. It’s very probable that fears & anxieties about Egyptian mummies specifically came from their association with disease.
Egyptian mummies continued to be used as raw material up to and throughout the 19th century; they were used to make paint pigment and paper, and some people claim they were also used as fertilizer and fuel. (The last part is almost certainly not true, because the “fuel” thing comes from a Mark Twain joke that subsequent writers took seriously.) They were also the subject of Pettigrew’s famous mummy demonstrations, in which a greasy amateur scientist and showman unrolled mummies in front of London high society. They were ALSO taken into people’s private homes and treated as curios - having looted artifacts was considered a sign of refinement and good personal curatorship.
Despite treating mummies as objects and resources, the Victorians must have known on some level that desecrating corpses was not 100% okay, because it’s around this time that we start to see mummy fictions.
Including Victorian mummy erotica.
Mummy fictions in the 19th century mostly focused on romantic conquest of the mummy, but there was an element of horror in them too; in these fictions (including ones by Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle, among others) we see a lot of fear & anxiety about the mystical powers of the mummy, which I’m pretty sure comes from Englishmen feeling vaguely guilty about having dead people in their houses. (Not guilty enough to put them back, though!) EDIT: if you’re wondering where, specifically, the idea of mummies walking is from, it’s from these stories.
As mummy romance fell out of vogue, the accompanying horror element stayed. When the tomb of Tutankhamun was opened in 1922 and a series of unfortunate events conspired to make people believe in a curse, Western anxieties about the mummy skyrocketed, and birthed the mummy-horror tradition we see today.
Of course, all of this history IS absolutely rooted in racism and exotification; as I said in my thesis:
It is tempting to dismiss the use and abuse of mummified bodies as a quirk of history, an unusual and unrepeatable phase of Western culture. However, to do so would be to dismiss years of imperialism, of colonialist thought, in which people of “the Orient” - a category in which Egypt was definitively included - existed in the Western imagination as curios, commodities, and curiosities, not as human beings.
This concludes the super long answer that no one asked for or wanted. If you take away anything from this, I hope it’s that if you’re European, your great-great-great grandfather was probably a cannibal and your great-grandma was probably into mummy porn. Sweet dreams!
In elementary school, I had a book for children that was titled something like “101 Fun Facts About Mummies”, and one of the “fun facts” was the whole bit about grinding up exhumed mummies to be used as medicine (amongst other things).
It’s important to be able to spot when certain phrases are silencing tactics. The concept of compromise can be used to make minorities look irrational, as if their demands to be treated respectfully are complicated and difficult to agree to.
Such tactics that evoke the same type of doubt in a minority’s claims :
- Gaslighting. Simple phrases such as “but I’ve never seen that happen,” or “that’s never happened to me” are meant to counter the oppressed’s credibility and make them seem unreliable.
- Demanding sources for lived experiences. Sometimes it isn’t enough to the oppressors that a person testifies to living through horrible injustices. Facts are demanded to support the oppressed’s experiences, which are dismissed as “anecdotal evidence.” Which leads to the next point:
- Framing human rights discussions as debates. No one should be able to debate whether or not someone deserves to live peacefully and happily. When oppressors try to engage in “debates” with the oppressed about their situations, the oppressor gets the upper hand, because suddenly the rules of debate apply, and emotions and anecdotal evidence are off limits. The oppressed are forced to discuss their own lives by the oppressor’s rules.
If you have experienced other silencing tactics when discussing racism, sexism, ableism, etc. please share to let others know what and who to be wary of.
Men make $1.22 for every woman’s $1.
It interests me that even the most common simple measure of gender inequality is firmly based on male-as-normative …
So in addition to the Fury movie that’s not about Nick Fury, apparently there’s a Nightcrawler movie that’s not about a blue teleporting mutant.
What if Mack and Raina become a thing?
Like, their ship name would be…