Wednesday, 19 February 2014

we're exactly what this country needs

Four conversations:

1. Is monogamy a problem, and, if so, what is the solution? Is it creepy 70s style swinger parties where you'll inevitably end up face to face with your dad?

2. Compare and contrast the popular and media reactions to John Terry calling an opposition player a "black cunt", and Luis Su├írez calling an opposition player "negrito". The former remains England's Brave JT, beloved in his besieged, boring stolidity; the latter decried as a latter day demon, the diving, cheating, out-of-control biting little fucker. a) Racism? Racism. b) How much does this depend on applying West European/USian colonial conceptions of race and integration, wherein we're all supposed to pretend to be Colourblind and treat the fact that some people aren't white as a secret that dare not speak its name, to a South American context? c) How much of our attitudes to the issue is based on i) the fact that we support Liverpool, and ii) this video?

3. If class expresses itself in part in terms of attitudes, beliefs, and ways of living, and most people retain those attributes when they change their material circumstances (eg. someone from a working class family earning over £30k and meeting world leaders on a semi-regular basis still finding that expensive dinners and posh hotels feel exclusionary; or someone born into the monied middle classes living out the Common People lifestyle but still feeling that expensive dinners and posh hotels are a human right), is it still meaningful to describe individuals as being working- or middle-class? Is class something better understood on a macro level (while still acknowledging the micro effects on people's daily lives), with individuals' migration between classes basically irrelevant on a larger scale?

4. On difficult conversations:
"Dude, you just need to suck it up and talk about it. Get over your natural British reserve about discussing difficult subjects."
"I think it's a female thing too, the imperative to say whatever will make the most people the most comfortable, rather than what is actually true? Social lubrication, emotional drudge work, that sort of thing."
"Sure, but that's a very class- and nationality-specific version of femaleness though isn't it? Like, I'm not going to trot out the stereotypes, but not all women in the world are socialised into the nicey nice kind of womanhood you're talking about."

On the one hand: I have really good friends. Yay for us.

On the other: if we can do this in normal conversation, poking and prodding at our respective privileges and working through difficult ideas together, utilising our differences in terms of class and race and sexuality and gender rather than getting pummeled by them - over email when we're bored at work; on the phone while we're cooking dinner; on the sofa with the Champions' League on in the background - why is it so difficult for feminism, and social justice movements in general, to do this on a bigger scale? I suppose I'm back at the eternal question of Why Does Feminism Keep Fucking Up, a post which, hilariously, has no comments.

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