I was talking to a friend the other day (online, of course, because Covid), and the subject of Willow Tree ornaments came up.
I don’t know if it was a worldwide thing, but for a while, everyone in the UK had AT LEAST one. We had three, back in the day.
Anyway, I sent the link to Zoom chat, and she said: ‘Oh yeah. They are really white, aren’t they?’
And here is where I call myself out.
For not realising this, at all. For never considering how these ornaments are made a facsimile, not of ‘every man (women or child)’ but actually ‘every white man (women or child).’ For not realising that being able to recognise myself in those faceless ornaments meant that other people would be made to feel other, different. Again.
This. Is. White. Privilege.
I mean, of course Karen is not a slur. I was interested, however to find this definition of ‘a Karen,’ that 100% is me (apart from the blonde hair part).
But the value of being these things: entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged and white has not been lost on me.
Ever since I started having to tell the world that no, my child wasn’t a girl or a boy, and no, they couldn’t choose between Miss or Master, and no, they weren’t happy when staff at school used the term ‘girls and boys’ (it’s hurtful because it doesn’t apply to them).
And yes, there would need to be a change or an adaption to the system to make sure they fit. And yes, they (and I!) would require support from many different agencies.
And yes, they were entitled to all of these things.
‘Ug I hate that phrase. It’s so sexist.’
‘Bang for your buck. It’s clearly a reference to sex workers.’
‘Dunno. I thought it was about fireworks.’
‘You know, if there was a way to check…’
‘… you mean like a magical encyclopedia on your phone? OK. Let’s see…
“Bang for the (or one’s) buck, which means ‘value for one’s money’, was originally a political one. Its first use was quite literal: With bang referring to ‘firepower’ or ‘weaponry’, it really did mean ‘bombs for one’s money’. The alliteration of bang and buck helps to make the phrase memorable. (Random House, via Wikipedia)”
‘There, you see. Isn’t education a wonderful thing?’
‘You’re just delighted I was wrong.’
‘Not delighted. I’m pleased for you. You’re growing.’
‘At least I can admit when I’m wrong…’