Monday, April 21, 2008

It stings.

I have seen the (pro-Obama, sexist AND racist) video featured recently on Feministe before, and just kind of chuckled at Obama dancing without really thinking about it. I can clearly see the ridiculousness of it (Obama as a classically stereotyped pimp, complete with purple felt; Hillary as an emotional bitch). But, as far as I had thought (which wasn't very far), it was just a catchy tune to some silly lyrics. I listened to the stuff all the time on the radio. I had hardly realized the extent to which the racism and sexism around me dulled my bias-radar.

Until this weekend.

To be very vague, one of my friends spent some time alone with male company she had met just that night. The rest of my friends, with whom I was present, spent hours afterwards (literally, hours) talking about how "loose" this girl was, how she was "definitely fucking him," how she was a "slut". It was difficult for me, in the presence of such comments from such close friends, to even say that I personally would give her the benefit of the doubt, and perhaps we should give her an easy way to leave his company and rejoin ours, in case he started making unwanted advances. But, according to people I had (until that point) respected, we shouldn't worry about protecting her "virtue," because she obviously didn't care about it herself. Of course, the guy shouldn't be blamed for anything that happened, because she was putting herself out there.

The loudest mouth in the room was another woman.

Next morning, turns out they watched a movie and then went to sleep, her on the couch and him in his bed. AND EVEN IF SHE HAD SLEPT WITH HIM, I kept wanting to scream at my coyly smirking associates, THAT DOESN'T MAKE HER WORTH LESS THAN YOU. And if she were to be raped, it wouldn't be "not as bad" because she's had sex with more people than you.

This kind of talk was probably commonplace among my friends. I just hadn't been paying attention to it, until now.

I made up my mind at that instant to 1) keep better company, and 2) be aware of how my own environment and comfort zone was blinding me to obvious bias.

And here it is, slapping me in the face again.

Thank you, Feministe, for helping me become a better person.

1 comment:

  1. Huh. You should enlighten me about this a bit later. On a semi-related note, when finals are done I'll lend you bell hook's Feminist Theory from Margin to Center. It's a good read and it's especially relevant to hear the opinion of a black feminist when we're going through this particular election.