March 30th, 2007

knowledge is power

race, etc.

It weirds me out when Eric gets all PC and thoughtful and like serious.

A few episodes ago (5.11 "The Benign Prerogative") I said something about "bonus, token woman of color" about Rena. Eric said he wasn't sure she was "of color." I tend to think I fail at coding people, but it seemed pretty clear to me that she was Hispanic. I looked up the actress and saw that her most recent role is playing a character named "Maricruz Delgado," which sounds pretty Hispanic to me. He said that didn't necessarily mean anything about the actress, pointing out that Rosario Dawson played a Hispanic woman in RENT and she's not Hispanic. So I looked *her* up, and IMDb says: "Is of Puerto Rican, Cuban, African American, Irish and Native American descent." Eric said Hispanic means specifically Spanish and that it seems like people use "Hispanic" for everything that isn't White or Black, or Asian, and that there's a whole lot of Mediterranean culture -- Portuguese, Italian, etc. (It occurs to me now, is Mimi ever specifically coded? I only saw the show once and haven't seen the movie.) These are all very valid points and mean I start going in circles in my head about how everything blurs and how useful *are* categories and all that (with the obvious flip sides of the importance of being known and understood, and how it's a diminishment to just code everyone as Other and so on and so forth).

[Edit: It also occurs to me to note the irony that this followed a conversation about how Jewish Toby looks.]

***

There is SGA race wank, and I read liviapenn's post and she talks about Ronon and Teyla being supporting characters and I couldn't help thinking, "Dude, Ronon has knives! in his hair! and from what I understand, Teyla is way hot. Isn't fandom supposed to be all about the superficial?"

It was interesting, though, skimming the initial comment-thread and then reading liviapenn's post, and of course I was reminded of Smith (Grassroots was my first year and arguably more influential than 9/11, insofaras it affected *my* experience [of college]), and I feel like I "get it" more than I did when I was at Smith, and I'm not sure exactly what to credit with that. Probably just maturing and being away from the antagonistic environment -- I dunno.

neverneverfic quoted liviapenn, which to me just seems to say it all as to how we should interact with people, period:
But I also believe that a lot of people just aren't thinking at all about the messages they're sending with the stories they write. And I wish more people would *start* to think about it, just a little-- and to *listen* when people say "I'm hurt, and I'm angry, and I'm offended," instead of blowing them off and saying they're just "imagining" things.
[Edit: rydra_wong posted a roundup of links to thinky posts on the matter, complete with excerpts. And used possibly *the* best icon for white girls posting about race.]

***

In other news (and to bring us back to the very beginning of this post), today was the Muppet episode (I thought of you, Amy), so afterward I e-mailed my colleagues the YouTube links I'd seen a while ago from TLGN of Stockard Channing on Sesame Street back around 1970.