August 09, 2011

Debating Frog Woman Rock

I thought renaming Squaw Rock as Frog Woman Rock was unremarkable--a change barely worth mentioning. Judging by the comments on the original article, though, local residents are angry. Below are some of their remarks and my responses.

Note that no one is claiming the name change will affect them personally. It's all about who's in control. "We don't want our (white) name changed to their (Indian) name. We don't want the state spending our (white) money on those people (Indians). Even if the name change doesn't hurt anyone, it's our (white) decision, not theirs. We're the deciders because it's our (white) country now."

Let the debate beginI am afraid that I have to agree with Robert Bradford owner of the property. It will always be Squaw Rock to me. You would think that the state would have more pressing issues to deal with other than this trivial crap.You'd think all the people whining about the name change would have more pressing issues to deal with than their whiny hurt feelings.Gimme a break....Might as well name it "River Rock" and have the casino sponsor it.Have the casino sponsor it? There it is...the racism underlying the opposition to the name change.That article is really bad. Renaming because of its roots in questionable Indian lore and derogatory to women so we'll call it frog woman based on Indian lore. lolz.The Indian lore is questionable but the umpteenth "lovers leap" story isn't? Try the other way around.Seriously? This is the most stupidest thing/name I've heard! I'm w/ everyone else, it'll ALWAYS be Squaw Rock!The old name will be gone and forgotten in a generation or so. Good-bye and good riddance.Is the tribe funding the name change or is it more tax dollars being wasted? Either way it's a waste of time and money.

A fifth generation Sonoma county will always be Squaw Rock.

Saddened by the name change and appalled that Hopland Rancheria tribal members felt they needed to spend their energy in this totally worthless endeavor...a minor point won perhaps but the ensuing confusion will guarantee that Squaw Rock will always be Squaw Rock.

The real issues is that Squaw is not a PC term and we now have to pander and cater to everyone in this country.
You mean you have to pander and cater to people whom you've traditionally oppressed and ignored? Boo-hoo!Ridiculous! Apparently these esteemed "historians" have too much time on their hands.What exactly do you expect the California State Historical Resource Commission to do instead?Let's name it "Just lost my paycheck at the casino rock."Or "white people won so they can name the rock whatever they want" rock.

New name is educationalSquaw, squaw, squaw and mother freakin squaw freakin rock!!!

I have NEVER heard the name or story about the frog woman! There are alot of traditional names, that might somehow be designated as not being politically correct. But how about keeping names and stories traditional? Does everything have to be "politically correct," so afraid of offending anybody/everybody? Come on. Squaw Rock will always be known, especially by locals and EVERYBODY native to the area as "Squaw Rock," regardless of whatever pc label might be attached.
You never heard the story about Frog Woman? Sounds like a good reason to change the name. That is, to educate latecomers like you about the 10,000-year-old history of the land.What a joke....It is Squaw Rock and will always be Squaw Rock. It is a great legend. Not at all condescending or racial. Part of our local history. What a waste of time and money. What is it going to be changed to next year?It's condescending and racial because it's one of dozens of phony legends around the country of Indian maidens leaping to their deaths. It's part of the stereotypical belief that Indians had to die tragically because they were doomed to vanish. I.e., that they had no recourse other than to commit suicide.

White people invented these legends to explain where the Indians went. Whites didn't remove or kill the Indians, according to the spurious legends. Indians "vanished" themselves by leaping off rocks.

If anyone actually thinks this legend has a basis in fact...go ahead and provide the evidence for it. Make sure it's original source material, not romantic rumors passed down from one white man to another. Good luck with your'll need it.OH PLEASE can we stop with the PC bullsh#t???? First, ask the Native Americans if they feel disrespected by the name of that damn rock. If so, ask them why they haven't done anything about it for the last 50 years, if it's so f'ing offensive? Why spend time and TAXPAYER MONEY on such a stupid project? No wonder California is so screwed up....Ask them...and if they explain their reasoning, ignore it. In other words, you don't care what stupid Indians think. So noted.

As for the PC claim, "political correctness" = silencing criticism.I hope all the frog women out there don't get offended, cause then they'll have to change the name again...LOLI hope all the white people don't cry themselves to death over this simple name change.

What about the cost?I only want to know one thing, how much did this cost, during a recession.To issue a proclamation authorizing the name change on future maps and documents? A very small amount, I suspect. Not enough to justify all this whining, certainly.Always will be Squaw Rock to me...this was a milestone all of my life and this is a JOKE that they would try to rename this to a mythical "frog women" come on people...think about this when we vote for our local representatives and county officials...let's keep some history and culture here!Let's keep some white history, you mean.

Yeah, white people have stolen and renamed "only" 99% of the Indians' land. We want that last 1%, dammit. God gave America to the Europeans, not the Indians!Talk about some bull the locals have known Squaw Rock's majestic lore and learn at a young age the lessons from the story get off your high horse Cali and back off Squaw Rock.What lessons...that Indians committed suicide for no good reason? That they, not white men, were responsible for their deaths?

Why would anyone teach an obviously phony legend? Do you really think a young woman could lift a stone large enough to crush two people? Wow.Technically I'm a "squaw." What's so impolitically (unpolitically?) correct about it? All it means is an indigenous woman, i.e. an American Indian woman.squaw [skwaw]

1. Often Offensive. a North American Indian woman, especially a wife.

2. Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.
a. a wife.
b. any woman or girl.
I guess I am an idiot....I always thought "squaw" was a woman Indian, not a derogatory word.Now you know better. Most Natives consider it offensive these days. For more on the subject, see Squelching the S-Word.I've always called it "Progressive Slots Rock" and I will always call it that!

Always will be Squaw there's going to be a lighted venue sign with directions to the casino built on it....

Wow! This is big news. It's just what we need, frog rock. Now where do I go for food stamps?
You gotta love the implicit racism here. These people think the only reason this is happening is because the tribe's paying for it. And it's doing so to advertise its casino. Not because the government has listened to Indians and heard them say "squaw" is offensive and inappropriate for a place in Pomo country.

No, Indians and the people who support them can't have sincere motives. Because of their "savage" background, they must have some hidden agenda. That's what "those people" do: threaten to take what's ours with their tomahawks and name changes.

And the final comment implies the state is catering to Indians with this decision just like it does with food stamps and other government benefits. Nice.

A few voices of reason

There were a few supportive comments--other than mine, that is:You are all fools it has only been called Squaw Rock for 50 years WOW. 1st generation or 5th generation it dosent matter how long you people been here you still just got here we been here for THOUSANDS of years and it has always been Matha Kawo Kabe.

Apparently a lot of people disagree with the name change, but I applaud it. A derogatory term is a derogatory term.

Why complain now? It's a done deal and it was the right thing to. I noticed none of you were motivated to go to Auburn during public comment to oppose the name change. Hutray, I'm glad! I'm going to party like it's 1491. Signed Shawn Padi, Chairman of Hopland Band of Pomo Indians and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer.

I will probably always call it Squaw Rock but I couldn't care less if they change it. It's neat to read some new stories on it, though. On the other hand, if it was called Nigger Rock I bet nobody would object to changing the name would they? I can totally see where the demand for change is coming from. It's a cultural thing.
And in response to "That's B.S.--how do we protest?"You could kill the Indians, take over their land, and re-name it.

Wait a minute....
That wins the prize for the best comment on this thread.

For more on geographic place names, see Explorers Didn't Consider "Squaw" Offensive and Changing Park Name = Guilt Trip?

P.S. As usual, I edited the comments slightly to make them more readable.

Below:  Don't you dare take away our white power Squaw Rock Indian mascot!


Anonymous said...

I suggest we call all the "Squaw this" and "Squaw that" places in America Cunt River or Cunt Rock. Keep the meaning, but it's not racist anymore.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing. Then they'll gasp and say "how dare you say such a terrible thing!"

Ah, hypocrisy...

shichils said...

I made the mistake of reading those comments with that article the other day - argh. I could not comment because I do not have a Facebook account & do not want one (it is unfortunate Facebook is the only commenting option). Such a depressing display of privelege and ignorance.

Illuminating comments on the heels of the reports of high rates of violence against Native women.

Anonymous said...

Violence against Indian women? That's easy: A ridiculously arrogant American general demanded retribution for perceived wrongs.


Um, Custer's Revenge?