Monday, December 10, 2007

Princess Rantypants calls bullshit.

I have a homicide inducing migraine and have for three days so I put on my rantypants.

Buckle up.

First let's talk about how much I never want to see the word diversity again.

di·ver·si·ty /dɪˈvɜrsɪti, daɪ-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[di-vur-si-tee, dahy-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun, plural -ties.
1. the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness.
2. variety; multiformity.
3. a point of difference.

Ok so most of us grown up types probably know what diversity means. And you like me probably hear and see it all the time.

Quite frankly I'm over it.

Not the idea of diversity when it's a real thing what I'm over is the self congratulatory tone many people adopt when they invite one of "them" into the sandbox.

What I see more and more are people patting themselves on the back soundly when they pretend like they are really going after diversity. Groups talk about inviting (accepting, tolerating) people who are unlike themselves. I read a ton of random artist blogs and they pat themselves when instead of the thin model with biggish boobs they photograph/paint/whatever the thin model with small boobs.

Granted yes everyone has to start somewhere but, that does not mean once you have a minority or someone else not made in your own image in your immediate vicinity that does not mean you have magically become some uber diversity having fabulous whatever. It really doesn't.

I am talking about a very specific thing here. Example.

Not too long ago I was reading some random photography forum I found on Google and they had a very interesting thread about diversity in a persons work. Do you try to out pace your own aesthetics? Do you open up your eyes a little wider? Some people had interesting things to say but what got me was one jackhole (male or female jackhole I don't know) who went on at great length about his/her diverse portfolio and "daring" use of non traditional models.

So I went and had a look at the provided link and well. It pretty much went like this, tall thin blond big boob having lady, tall thin big boob having redhead lady, tall thin/sculpted bald headed gentleman, shorter thin smaller boob having lady, etc. You get my drift. I spent a good long while looking at this artists photos and the theme repeated over and over.

Yes, this photographer does have an eye for lighting and texture. Yes the photos were very lovely but are you fucking joking? Are you serious about this diversity thing?

I want a new rule. You cannot crow about your diverse anything if save for a detail or two the people you are bragging about including are fairly interchangeable in a surface manner. No really fucking stop.

I am really not trying to be wanky but come on. I actually did email the photographer and was very polite about asking if they are serious about this claim to being a "lover of all types of beauty".

Princess Rantypants calls fucking bullshit on that.

That was about two weeks ago and I've gotten no response.

From that I want to move onto a little race talk.

I am a black woman. I know probably a lot more about my genealogy than a lot of people. I am also acutely aware that there is no way right now to know past a certain point.

That all said if ONE more person says that I am exotic looking I will probably punch them with my exotic looking small fists. I have experienced way too many people who cannot simply accept that someone of a different race is just pretty or nice looking or whatever. There is so often that extra, "so exotic". For the record, that can be really insulting and makes me think you are a moron.

Say I'm interesting looking, say I love nice eyes, say I have lush lips, say I have a fucking banging body but that exotic shit does not fly with me at all. Also, don't comment on my hair in a way that lets me know you're surprised a black woman has pretty hair.

Just fucking don't.

I have heard it from (I'm seriously giving the benefit of the doubt here) well meaning people and I honestly don't always have the time to be the Educating Black Woman. However I am more than happy to make sure you understand you said something fucked up.

This principal applies all over the place. If you are one of those people who will get a shocked look in your eye and then say, "oh you look so nice" and leave the "for a (insert whatever here)" the person you're speaking to will probably hear that unspoken part and like you a little less for it.

If you really don't think a fat person/person of another ethnicity/whatever the difference is, is in fact capable of beauty keep your fucking trap shut. And maybe have a good long look in the mirror because you might have the word douche on your forehead.

More on the subject of shock I've said this before and I will say it again. If I EVER hear the following words with a raised eyebrow or astonished glee I will stab the person who said it:

"You are so well spoken."

I have done lots of work over the phone. Customer service type, help line type and not once has anyone ever said that in that particular tone. However I have had it when I've shown up for a job interview, met a customer face to face etc. I've heard it in public on the bus. I've heard it from random people and my response is always (and has been for at least a decade) the same.

"Is there some reason I shouldn't be?"

Which invariably leaves people stammering about how non-racist they are.

Fuck off. You have predjudices and I am not impressed that I have made the "good negro" impression on you. Matter of fact I could give two shits less.

There are ways to give this kind of compliment without being a douche. Example:

I was standing waiting for the bus when a lost tourist from Athens GA stopped to ask me directions, I gave them to him and asked if he was from Georgia to which he nodded. We exchanged a few very Southern type pleasantries, he called me Miss and started to walk away. He turned back and walked back over to tell me that I have an "absolutely beautiful speaking voice" and should be doing voice overs.

See the difference there? I'm sure at least most of you do.

I have also had random people tell me how "proud" they are that I am such an avid reader. Generally older people and it's always that slightly infantalized tone you might use with a precocious four year old.

"That's sooooo great you read so much."

In writing it doesn't come across but once you hear the tone of surprise and misplaced pride, you remember it.

I'd rather you tell me you think it's cool. Tell me you envy my ability to concentrate. Tell me I'm a fucking nerd and give me a wedgie but spare me the "oh look what the Black girl can do" tone. Fuck off.

What next?

Um. I'm not sure. I'm really tired of hearing a lot of things. I'm tired of getting the message that my love of things like make up and whatnot somehow make me less than or somehow makes me ignorant to something.

I really fucking hate that. I really fucking hate people putting their reasoning into my actions. I've heard that sort of thing from pretty much every corner of life and pertaining to everything about me. My clothes, my hair, my love of super girly things like glittery eyeliner and finding that perfect mascara, my shoes blablablablabla.

If you don't know me intimately, as in you cannot finish my sentances or know when I'm going to yell NO randomly as I am wont to do, then don't presume you know my reasoning for anything. Ask me. If you ask in a polite manner I will probably answer in the same way.

I think I'm done. My head really hurts and I need some tea and a snack.

Also welcome folks from Tribute to Black Women. Feel free to look around.

Homo Out.




Davita Cuttita said...

I, too am a black woman and I just want to say thank you.

Thank you for writing this post.

Nudiemuse said...

No need to say thank you. Welcome stop by anytime!

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