Riley Dennis, a prominent SJW YouTuber, created a video explaining why she believes the world map is discriminatory. Riley begins by showing an image of the Mercator projection of the earth, which distorts the land size in polar regions. Mercator maps are beneficial when it comes to maritime travel. Instead of doing research on the history and usefulness of Mercator maps, Riley insists that their existence is a result of Eurocentrism.
To support her argument, Riley states that it is “really f***ed up” how the Mercator projection portrays Greenland to be approximately the same size as Africa despite Africa being nearly fourteen times larger. Riley claims that humans naturally prescribe importance to how large things are, and since Africa is disproportionately small on the Mercator projection, she believes many people dismiss Africa as being unimportant.
She continues by saying, “I think if we had accurate maps, people would care more [about Africa].” Riley must be unaware that more “accurate maps” exist. For example, there are conic and azimuthal map projections.
Riley also states that social prejudice is the reason why humans perceive north to be north and south to be south, declaring it to be entirely arbitrary. However, the human construction of north is actually due to the invention of the compass and the understanding of magnetic north.
Despite being unaware of this fact, Riley continues by claiming westerners put themselves on top to portray the western world as being more important. She adds that the world map should be turned upside down so Australia and South America are in the northern hemisphere. She concludes by claiming we were all ‘lied to about maps and the size of the world.’
Watch Riley explain her criticisms of the world map below!
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