Thursday, January 31, 2008

Princess Rantypants is in the house.

I awoke this morning feeling extra super stabby. It's either PMS or just one of those things. I'm thinking a mix of the two.

I think when people start leaving work I'm going to have to turn on less gentle music because the gentle is just not cutting it right now.

And since I'm so cranky I'm probably going to say some things that will probably make some people mad.

Let's start with this link I found somewhere in the Fatosphere. This "Real People Model" thing from Newsweek. I want to look at a quote from the article.


"Now, with New York's Fall 2008 Fashion Week arriving this week, fashion watchers say we may begin to see subtle indications of the trend on the runway: the models will still be thin and gorgeous, but they may look more like thin, gorgeous versions of real people than like stereotypical models. "In the '80s and '90s, models were expected to look glamorous and clean, like Niki Taylor and Christy Turlington," says Faran Krentcil, former editor of Fashionista."



So these "real people" models are only kind of like real people but thinner and more gorgeous. So otherwise, they are maybe instead of a size 00 model who looks like she's really pissed on the runway, a size 2 model who's only scowling a little? Are you serious? I am really starting to hate the phrase "real people". It's yet another example of people finding some phrase that sounds really great and promising but, it's not really what they mean.

The article also talks about street style blogs but, I don't care about those. I've abandoned my search for one I actually like.

That irritates me.

It falls into the same category as the whole "real women have curves" mentality. Guess what? A lot of women are not curvy. Fat or thin or inbetween some just aren't. I read a manifesto of sorts about reasons to love being curvy and honestly I found some of it highly offensive in the, so if you don't have a big booty, big hips, or big boobs screw you? Having any of those things does not make you better or worse than any other woman.

Now I want to have a look at the privilege meme that has been floating around teh intertubes lately. I find it flawed. Let's see why shall we?

Here is the list of things you are supposed to bold if they are true leave if they are not true of you. The bits I have issue with I'll make notes in italics for ease.

ADULTHOOD:
If your father went to college
If your father finished college
If your mother went to college
If your mother finished college
If you have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.
If you were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
If you had a computer at home- This really doesn't specify what kind of computer? Why yes I did have a computer when I was 18 and in my senior year of high school. What it doesn't ask is was it new? Matter of fact the one I used was more than 5 years old at the time and was donated to me for my senior project. Does that still count as being super fancy?
If you had your own computer at home
If you had more than 50 books at home
If you had more than 500 books at home
I'll take these two at the same time. Does this mean books that you owned? Used books? new books? Library books? Books bought by the box for ten cents at the thrift store? Books found? So really how much can you tell other than that someone in the house was a reader. Also doesn't it make a difference as to what kind of books these may or may not have been? Does 500 trashy romance novels have the same heft of privilege that 500 classics in original languages do? I don't know.
If were read children’s books by a parent
If you ever had lessons of any kind
If you had more than two kinds of lessons
Okay I had to bold and italicize these. Do they mean school lessons? Private lessons? Were you involved in one of those at risk youth programs does that count as lessons? Were they free? did they cost money? Were they mandatory because of behavioral or academic necessity? Come on dude.
If the people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively- This I find thorny at best. It is based on the assumption that white people speak only one way and everyone else speaks another way which, if the majority of people I know are any indication this is not as big a goddamn deal as people make it out to be. So if I don't sound "that black" can I bold this one? If I speak "white" does that mean I can bold it? This is fuckery.
If you had a credit card with your name on it- Does this mean ever? Are these people aware of the predatory lending a lot of big name stores with store cards have been doing for ages? Come on now.
If you have less than $5000 in student loans
If you have no student loans
If you went to a private high school- Does this mean on scholarship? Paid for by your parents? Paid for by the state? In private school because their sports team sucked and you happened to be good at whatever sport?
If you went to summer camp Does this mean summer camp for at risk youth? Free? Does it count city provided day camp? Going to your neighborhood school for camp because your parents can't afford childcare? Does it count you're at camp because you were badly behaved and needed some sort of institutional intervention that happened to be called a "camp"?
If you had a private tutorDoes this count a tutor at school if you were dyslexic? What about a tutor because you got passed along in school and can't read? Or does it only count if Mummy and Daddy paid for it? Does it count if you are forced to get a tutor so you don't get expelled for failing something in school?
If you have been to EuropeDoes this mean on vacation? What about army brats? Does it still count if you were born there and immigrated? Or if your family is there? Again, the permutations of the situations that may or may not cause a person to have been to Europe are staggering.
If your family vacations involved staying at hotelsDoes Motel6 count? Motor courts? Places where you had to sleep with your four cousins in one bed and your parents and their cousins in another bed? What if the TV was bolted to the wall and the remote was glued to the table? What if there were roaches? Does it still count?
If all of your clothing has been new and bought at the mall
If your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
If there was original art in your house
If you had a phone in your room
If you lived in a single family house
If your parent own their own house or apartment
If you had your own room
If you participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
If you had your own cell phone in High School
If you had your own TV in your room in High School
If you opened a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
If you have ever flown anywhere on a commercial airline
If you ever went on a cruise with your family
If your parents took you to museums and art galleries
If you were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family.

~

You see where I'm going with this I'm not doing the rest of this. This is the sort of thing that tends to chap my ass about a lot of the discourse about privilege. You can take a question. Let's take the one there about having your own room.

It doesn't ask other questions. Was it not an actual bedroom? Was it say only big enough to hold a twin bed? Were you an only child? Were you the youngest child with grown siblings? Did your parent(s) sleep in the livingroom on the couch so you could have a bed? Did your bedroom have a door? Or was it a curtain? These questions in my opinion do not at all address the myriad of things that could take something like having a bedroom from being a sign of just how privileged you are to oh wow you lived in a trailer and your "bedroom" consisted of a table the turned into a bed when you flipped it over, and your door was a curtain.

I have yet to find an approach to the whole privilege debate that doesn't smack to me of trying to instill guilt/other bad feelings in people without addressing that what may come off initially as "privilege" wasn't exactly it. Also, who are we comparing all these things to?

Who or what are the criteria?

All that said, I do think that some people do need to be reminded that their big pimping life is not how a lot of other people have it. However I will stand by that I absolutely HATE this argument being beaten to death and invoked piously when there's not really a need.

Okay I am taking my ranty pants off.

Go watch this documentary on youtube about Laurie's work. do it now.

Homo out.
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