I’m white. I’m well-off. I’m college-aged. In the world I grew up in, people were accepting. I learned about racial discrimination, but my high school was diverse and every student was treated with respect. I grew up hearing about “how boys/girls should be,” but I watched Carmen kick ass in Spy Kids when I was seven, and five of my boy co-workers asked me how to jump a car (and I told them). I read about how people who identify as LGBTQ are treated differently, but again, anyone who identified as such in my high school was welcomed with open arms. Because none of these has ever been displayed to me as an issue, it’s hard for me to relate to them. Once I realized that, I quickly understood why I found it so challenging to compose this week’s blog post. Because I have a hard time relating the topics to myself through experience, I have chosen to investigate three pieces that I both a) agree with, and b) don’t totally identify with. Prepare yourselves.
First I will address the YouTube video “On Intersectionality in Feminism and Pizza” by @AkeelahObviously. What I Agree With: It makes so much sense that minority groups have a harder time getting their point across, even when it’s identical to those in the majority. We must talk about all pizza’s (women’s) rights, not only those of cheese pizzas (white women). Deluxe pizzas (any combination of gay, bi, trans, POC, etc. women) are fantastic too, so obviously all pizzas deserve the same rights. Where I don’t Identify: If you put Emma Watson and Beyonce in front of me, saying exactly the same thing, chances are I’m more likely to listen to Emma Watson— she’s white and she’s college-aged like me. (I’m not trying to put down Beyonce; love ya Queen B, but I just identify a little more with Emma.)
Secondly I’d like to take a look at Risman’s “Gender as a Social Structure.” What I Agree With: The way the society tends to look at it: boys are blue, girls are pink; boys like trucks, girls like dolls; boys do the dirty work, girls sit pretty and watch. I agree that people like holding doors, allowing the woman to sit first, picking up the tab at dinner, etc., and that until we can find a way to replace this pleasure with something that doesn’t imply that “women need help,” this practice will remain in place, undermining feminism’s attempts to identify men and women as equals. Where I don’t Identify: This is all fine and dandy until you really get to the meat of it— a lot of guys like treating girls with respect and girls like it too. A lot of my guy friends at school make sure I’m never the last one through the door and that I never walk home alone at night. They pride themselves on being gentlemen, and I am happy to have found college boys who are not “a bunch of drunkards whose goal in life is to fornicate on as many vapid sorority girls as possible” (ABC Family GREEK). The point I’m trying to make is— how do you expect to see that change being made?
Finally I’d like to look at a post entitled “An Introduction to Homonormativity,” and this time I’d like to start with Where I don’t Identify: I originally assumed homonormativity implied general acceptance of any relationship between gay/lesbian people. That it implied a society where homosexuality was accepted as a norm. I did not assume that it had any sort of negative connotation whatsoever, and that the concept created the problems that it does. What I Agree With: Everything. If homonormativity acts like it is accepting of all things homosexual, it can’t turn around and be like “just kidding, you still have to be like completely ‘normal’ members of society.” I think of myself as what homonormatives would think of as a “normal” member of society, but I took the “Subconscious Gender” quiz…apparently I’m 50% male and 50% female.
In the end, my white, well-off, college-aged, cheese-pizza self has learned a lot this week about what’s beyond the boarders of my super-accepting hometown and college friends. I am disappointed that the whole world isn’t the same way, but then again did I really expect it to be? I think a piece of me was hoping. What’s worse is that it seems to me like some of these people are so surrounded by this hate and disdain that they don’t even believe accepting people exist anymore. Just so you guys know, we’re right here. 👋🏼
Smoothiefreak. 2015. “On Intersectionality in Feminism and Pizza.” YouTube website (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgK3NFvGp58)
Risman, Barbara. Gender as a Social Structure: Theory Wrestling with Activism. Sage Publications, 2004.
“An Introduction to Homonormativity.” Homo Normo. 2013. Web.