Aww, hey Joe Dowling, Artistic Director of the Guthrie Theater, why do you have a job? Is it because you know the most about theater because you clearly know which plays are the best plays all by yourself?
Can we overload the Guthrie’s mailboxes and inboxes and everything with some educated discussions of privilege, and how it plays out in the arts? Can we bombard the board members of the Guthrie with emails and letters and calls about how this is absolutely terrible? No, really, I am not overreacting, this is actually really backwards.
Can we send Joe Dowling to grad school so he can learn the basis of the past 40 years of scholarship about diversity and education and arts administration?
Can media folk stop reviewing the Guthrie’s mediocre Shakespeare productions (the “best” theater)? Can the selection of upcoming seasons be a board-centered process that includes a diverse board that represents the city, or the world population, which includes women and people of color? Can we write the State Arts Board and Guthrie donors - which surely include women and people of color - and encourage them not to renew funding next year? Can we encourage boycotting? Can we launch a direct mail campaign that rivals the Guthrie’s of awareness?
The Guthrie doesn’t care about your perspective because you haven’t had one throughout history, see, and it’s a historical theater.
Can we get this guy fired? Fuck his noise.
See also: the very amazing Marianne Combs.
Although I don’t necessarily agree with Burt-Murray’s hiring decision—Essence is black women’s media, and it’s not that I don’t think that a white woman can represent black women’s fashion, but there are also plenty of qualified black women for that job—I very much agree with her larger point that black women’s media is pretty much ignored by every other media group. Even feminist-oriented outlets like Jezebel don’t use Essence or any other magazine targeting people of color for critique. It’s just Elle and Vogue and Glamour (and this was one of the primary criticisms I wrote about in my MA thesis. Hasn’t changed a year later). While we’re all feminists here, there’s no sense of intersectionality. For more evidence of this, please see Jezebel’s comments section for their post on Essence's decision. Compare this to the comments section at Clutch, where Geneva Thomas originally wrote her post.
Major stories and great work in media for people of color, media for women, and particularly media for women of color are routinely ignored by mainstream media outlets. Here’s a pretty classic example, which might contain some great magazine writing, but also contains six different essays by David Foster Wallace but zero from any magazines for people of color or for women.*
And I’m totally guilty of this. When I was writing my thesis I was all, “No other magazine is as feminist as Jezebel!” and one of my committee members was like, “Uhh, Essence" and she was right. So let’s all pay attention, ok? I’m picking up Essence's September issue alongside my annual purchase of Vogue.
*Link via the always awesome @marathonpacks. There’s only about five magazines represented, and I’m sure they’re great pieces, but you get the point.
Insight on the Kind of Racism You’d Think Would Be Eliminated by Now; OR, the Best Dashboard Coincidence Ever
- "Racism by Any Other Name Smells Just as Rotten" by Steph Pituc details her less-than-wondrous visit to the new Wanderers Wondrous Azian Kitchen space, rife with sloppy PR, lame stereotypes, and a general lack of cultural understanding.
- "Shut up, dude. For @joeljohnson." by Channing Kennedy on the fact that there was a Gizmodo post titled “Why I Stalk A Sexy Black Woman on Twitter (And You Should Too!)” (Yeah. I know.)
These posts appeared one right after the other on my Tumblr dashboard last night, and it was a triumphal moment of “Boo racism! Yay Tumblrers who write critical, insightful posts on stupid racist bullshit! Yay dashboard coincidences!”
Keep writing, friends and followers. It makes a difference.
So I was reading Maureen Dowd today instead of doing what I should be doing (I was trying to revisit college, I guess?), and she quoted Jimmy Kimmel saying “There’s a weird reverse racism going on.”
Googling “reverse racism” yields stories from Time, ABC News and CBS News in the top 10 results. It is not a popular term, but neither is it uncommon.
It’s like when men who know I’m a feminist say, “So I experienced reverse sexism the other day.”
It’s racism. And sexism. There’s no reverse anything.
Yeah, I experienced reverse sexism and reverse racism when I was treated fairly and equally by everyone, all the time.