Aaand it’s time for another installment of What I Really Think. Not that my usual nonsense and the inane ramblings of delirium are any less me – DON’T YOU REDUCE ME, READER! – but here’s something that’s quite important to me.
Privilege. Oh, it’s so encompassing and blinding and crippling, really. And there’s more than one way to be privileged. In the context of this conversation, privilege does not refer only to the dominant default class (ie White American, and yes I sometimes or often capitalize social class identifiers and why not), it also refers to the default coupling (ie same-race-romance, whether White, Black, et cetera).
Here’s what happens: My sister, Jen-the-Twin, and I are watching old mash-up videos from Boy Meets World featuring Shawn and Angela.
Because who didn’t love Boy Meets World? No one, that’s who.
Privilege says something like: “You guys are obsessed with interracial couples.”
Riiight. Here’s the deal, mon petit. Everyone who fits into the default gets the privilege of seeing themselves and their love story told and retold and retold and represented and repeatedly replayed on every station, in every movie, no matter the year. There’s nothing to think about. When you are not underrepresented, you don’t think about it, let alone “obsess” over it. You know no scarcity. (Now, the sociologist in me wants to g’head and point out that even if I’m not White/Black/whomever is constantly being portrayed – as long as I am in a homophenotypical relationship, I can relate to those couplings and it satisfies me. ::ahem:: And the same goes if we’re not the same race, but we don’t GET that we’re not the same race but no worries, I’m not going into Identity Crisisland today.)
The thing is – everyone wants to see themselves in love. That’s not the discussion. We all watch films and/or read literature and/or frequent the theatre and RARELY can you get taken in by a story that lacks all romance, subtle or not. So we can agree that the desire for a love story isn’t where my “obsession” comes into being, yes? Apparently, because it’s easy to come by, same-race romance doesn’t constitute an “obsession”, no matter how much you like it, watch it and are satisfied by its portrayal. No, no. You can only be “obsessed” with that which stands out*, I’ve found. So, my obsession is in enjoying what everyone enjoys – to have myself reflected in the story. Hmm.
I write interracial, I watch interracial and neither of those do I do wholly discriminately. (If I only watched interracial, I’d have like three shows, you guys.) The point is, not only am I going to continue to be normal, I’m going to point out what’s ridiculous about being so privileged that you fail to hear the foolishness in what you’re implying.
[Insert entire thesis on related subjects – because I’m being really good right now and I need you to acknowledge the height of my self-restraint, people.]
*And before we start the discussion of oh-em-gee-there’s-a-million-interracial-couplings-now-a-days, let’s not. First of all, it’s comparative thinking and second of all, just in my lifetime, it was few and far between and always issue-oriented. Anybody remember the very special episodes of Moesha? (Was that really her name?!)
Point being, I love difference. This isn’t about saying we’re all the same. It’s about saying – before God and as far as Satan’s concerned – we’re all the same. So I’m gonna keep reading, writing, watching and loving what I do until people stop thinking it’s “cute” – i.e. until it’s no longer an issue. ::waves::