Thursday, January 19, 2012

Shit we say?

A friend just posted on FB a clip called "Shit Korean Girls Say," which made me laugh b/c I responded to it as more or less good natured fun. So much of it is familiar and recognizable, but more particularly, it is performed by a phenotypically white male with facial hair who pronounces his Korean so convincingly well!

Yet, I also had an uncomfortable moment wondering about what the point of the "fun" might be. B/c apparently, this is just one of the many iterations of the YouTube phenom that is "Shit Girls Say." I did not click on the other versions that popped up. I am afraid of what happens when you arm groups of young men with video production capabilities and then they produce something that they call "parody" concerning women.

However, what alerted me to the phenom in the first place was a video called "Shit White Girls Say to Black Girls". I have been thinking about this video, which illustrates what we can think about as the everyday-racism-not-recognized-as-racism - in other words, privilege.

Privilege is what allows white girls to say shit like that depicted in the video without themselves intending or meaning harm to black girls with whom they actually might be trying to make a connection. Case in point: The comment about being dark enough to be black ("Twinsies!")

More particularly, I have been thinking about the comment in the video about the best friend who used to be black. ("She is black... but we're not really friends anymore.")

For me, this is a reminder of how segregated our supposedly post-racial society remains - and why white and black (and Korean) girls remain such mysteries to each other. (The same might be said about women and men in this so-called post-feminist - I would say anti-feminist - society.) So that we mistake our superficial observations about the shit we say as some kind of insight.

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