Oh come on, you know those hicks don't really matter

It really is nice having your culture be the laughing stock of the nation. I remember someone remarking that he was amazed that actual NASCAR fans were loving the movie Talladega Nights. Apparently the thought that they might find the stereotypes as funny as everyone else was beyond him. And that it was a movie making fun of stereotypes must have really eluded him, because, you know, all those southerners are really idiots, right?

Well, Amber Rhea links to Le Débris est Blanche, who has a little something to say about that:

However, it’s still beyond me why otherwise intelligent, supposedly open-minded and tolerant people, who stand against all other forms of prejudice, have no problem openly mocking anyone and everyone from the south. You’d never laugh in someone’s face for talking “black” or “gay,” but someone who has a southern accent? All bets are off. Because, they *must* be a complete idiot for talking that way. Just like @BowlingAlleyLawyer said, the first thing any ed-ja-ma-cated southerner must do to be considered even remotely intelligent is to learn how to talk right.

And then Ellie (have I mentioned Ellie? I have a mad internet crush on Ellie, especially when she says things like this) brilliantly adds

I’m a Southern transplant myself but I still bristle when I read crap like this. Pretty easy for Northeastern folks to call poor Southerners racist, etc when those poor Southerners have NO INSTITUTIONAL POWER TO PERPETUATE RACISM.

At some point I’d like to write about growing up white and male in a culture in that teaches you that white males are in control, yet feeling none of the control yourself. I’ve seen different ways that the men in my life responded to that, the ways I responded to that. But I’m honestly afraid of the scathing backlash something like that would bring about. Any time I see someone even approach the issue there seems to be a shouting match revolving around “BUT YOU’RE PRIVILEGED!” as though privilege discounts the reality of someone’s experience.

The whole thing reminds me of one of my favorite songs about being a Southerner, “Good Ole’ Boys Like Me” by Don Williams.


Vocabulary Expansion!

I’ve learned two awesome words recently!

1) Kyriarchy

Kyriarchy – a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza and derived from the Greek words for “lord” or “master” (kyrios) and “to rule or dominate” (archein) which seeks to redefine the analytic category of patriarchy in terms of multiplicative intersecting structures of domination…Kyriarchy is best theorized as a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression.

Patriarchy – Literally means the rule of the father and is generally understood within feminist discourses in a dualistic sense as asserting the domination of all men over all women in equal terms. The theoretical adequacy of patriarchy has been challenged because, for instance, black men to not have control over white wo/men and some women (slave/mistresses) have power over subaltern women and men (slaves).

– Glossary, Wisdom Ways, Orbis Books New York 2001

See, I’ve never been terribly comfortable with the term “patriarchy.” The description of power along gender lines just didn’t seem complex enough to fit my description, and the root of the word referring to fathers just made me uncomfortable. Felt like demonizing scrotum-toters. It just didn’t explain my experience of power and the way that it’s used. Kyriarchy does, though. I’m glad to know it.


Pronunciation: \və-ˈləp(t)-shə-ˌwer-ē\
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural vo·lup·tu·ar·ies
Date: circa 1610
: a person whose chief interests are luxury and the gratification of sensual appetites

So I can simplify my business card next time I create them. “Gabe, Voluptuary and Pleasure Advocate/Activist.”

Sex Workers Union (from touchyourself.org)

The prostitutes of Calcutta are making huge strides forward!

“I strongly believe that for a program to succeed, the subjects have to adopt its goals as their own,” he explains. They have: the sex workers run the HIV program themselves. Jana persuaded them to form a growing collective that now includes 60,000 members pledged to condom use. It offers bank loans, schooling for children, literacy training for adults, reproductive health care and cheap condoms–and has virtually eliminated trafficking of women in the locale. Best of all, the project has kept the HIV prevalence rate among prostitutes in Sonagachi down to 5 percent, whereas in the brothels of Mumbai (Bombay) it is around 60. Other sexually transmitted diseases are down to 1 percent.

Wow. There’s so much more than that in the article as well. Please go and read it.

Scientific American link