Privilege Praxis

December 8, 2008

Beer Pong, Objectivication, and Agnes Scott

Check out the article one of my friends, a senior at Agnes Scott College, wrote about the recent film shot on campus: “Road Trip 2: Beer Pong.”

Basically, Agnes Scott is a small women’s college in the South that prides itself on being the world for women. However, from time to time movies are filmed on campus, and this one was clearly quite terrible. The straw that broke the camel’s back, however, was when a student from Agnes Scott was paid to recruit other students during dinner to participate in a scene about a “LUG club”–lesbians until graduation. Students were told that they didn’t have to kiss, they just had to be comfortable around lesbians. Ick.

Other terrible stuff happened, too–Louisa writes that

FURTHERMORE, the movie’s Craigslist ad states “primarily seeking White” and “Attractive Female Model Type” extras, valued at $7.17/hr (be sure to send in your weight!). These racist and sexist standards are clearly visible on the movie’s promotional flyer. The flyer shows a headless white woman’s body, focusing on her large breasts, barely covered by a shirt that says “Nice Rack.” Her pelvis is in front of a triangle of shot glasses. The tagline? “Get your balls wet.”

Check it out. Ick.

Eta: One of the Bitch Magazine blogs has a write up about it.

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November 7, 2008

Privilege and Response to Barack Obama.

One of my best friends from high school couldn’t have more divergent political views than my own.  He posted a dramatic note on Facebook about how Barack Obama would tax the upper middle class to death and that was nothing less than a “Marxist created theory of the redistribution of wealth.”

I didn’t reply, because there is no way I could change his mind, but I couldn’t put my finger on why I was upset until I did my laundry last night.  I realized I was upset because economic policy, while part of the reason I didn’t vote for John McCain, was not my main decision.  Here are some of the more salient reasons I didn’t vote for him.

  1. John McCain, on his campaign website, states that he “believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench.”  Clearly, he doesn’t care about women’s bodies, or their right to make decisions.  I must also say that I hate this idea of “activist judges,” because it implies that first, an activist is a bad thing incongruent with being a member of the judicial system, and second, because it implies that conservative judges aren’t “legislating from the bench.”
  2. John McCain also states he “believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation.”  Thanks for upholding a heterosexist, sexist, and generally not accurate view of what a family is.
  3. If John McCain had been elected, it would continue this paradigm of a white, rich man being the president of the United States.

I could go on and on.  You know the facts; you know what each candidate stood for.

I just think it’s privileged to focus on how each candidate will affect your tax return.  If you don’t have to worry about conservative activist judges making decisions about your body, if you don’t have fight tooth and nail to enjoy the privilege of being married, if someone who shares your identity has NEVER been president, then you have the privilege to focus on taxes.

August 8, 2008

Alejo’s intro

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — alejo @ 6:22 pm

I’m Alejo, Neil’s co-blogger here at Privilege Praxis.

I’m a mostly middle-class college student at a major state university in the South. I studied graphic design before I dropped that in favor of critical theory, in the guise of a dual English and Women’s Studies degree, thus buying myself a ticket to the thrilling and decadent lifestyle of the activist-academic. My father is Costa Rican, my mother is a Southerner of mostly Scottish decent, and I’m a fairly light-skinned person with a hyphenated surname. I’m a short, queer transguy who’s generally able-bodied. My three favorite people I’ve never actually met are Foucault, Morrissey, and Bea Arthur.

Hello, world.

April 27, 2008

Yet another blog.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — quiteneil @ 10:25 pm

Hello.  In light of BFP ending her blog, and the scandal surrounding Seal Press/appropriation of ideas, (all of which is thoroughly documented in Questioning Transphobia’s post here), as well as some discussion of white privilege in the queer community gone awry in, of all places, ravelry.com, I think that it’s time for some blogging specifically about privilege.

I am a white able-bodied middle class transguy who goes to a women’s college in the South.  I have a lot of privilege on my own, and our school has a whole realm of racism, classism, heterosexism, plain old sexism, body stuff, and other things going on behind a privileged facade of semi-liberalism.

There’s a lot to deconstruct, but that’s okay.  We’ll take it one blog post at a time.

If anyone is interested in writing with me, let me know.

ETA semantics:  Praxis is a word thrown around a lot in writing center theory/literature (I am a tutor who dabbles in WCT) about the real actions that you actually do in your center versus shit about cognitive processes and whatever.  When I looked it up on dictionary.com to make sure it’s what I wanted to talk about privilege with, I liked that it meant habitual action, things that people do every day, things that build up over time.  So I want to look at the things that built privilege over time, as well as how it built up in me over time, on top of calling stuff out.  So yeah.

-neil

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