This post doesn’t directly relate to rape, but I wanted to discuss and share. When I was at the “Walk for a Change” this month to raise money for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, they had a lot of great things going on before and after the event. One of these activities was button making. I got one with a dog on it that says “I bark for BARCC” among the other awesome buttons that you could make, there were ones that said ,” My preferred pronoun is ____” The options were he, him,or she, her, or them they.
I thought that was great because so many people choose to identify in so many ways! You can’t tell how a person identifies just by looking at them, it doesn’t always work like that. This issue of “identifying” people based on looks leads to so many problems and sometimes that can lead to violence.
Then you have what I am about to show you. This is a clip from the HBO series “Girls” I don’t know if you have ever seen this show, but I would describe it as a dark comedy that is highly serialized nature involving a group of highly self centered young adults in their 20’s.
The character you see here, (not behind the counter) is Ray. He is the oldest one of the crew, and and shows. In this scene, a new coffee shop opens across the street from the one he owns. The new coffee shop does not use lids on their coffee. Ray’s coffee shop has been loosing business to this new shop, and to make matters worse, the customers who now go to the new shop, come into his shop only to “steal his lid’s”. Ray decides to go over and talk with the people from the new coffee shop.
So, assuming you watched that clip, you will notice that Ray, actually was not meaning to offend They. But, the reason why I liked this is because at the day, it doesn’t matter. This is not some “new thing” and people who identify as “they” are sick and tired of putting up with individuals who attack them on purpose, or who are just ill informed due to whatever the reason might be. They responded by demonstrating what was suppose to be an offensive label “white man”. Because Ray has white skin, and looks like a man, then that will be his “identifying label”.
Watching this for the first time, I thought what the producers at HBO did was pretty ingenious, and a great way to raise awareness. At first I was a bit bothered that they chose Ray’s character. This is because he is actually the only character who isn’t such an…hmm…asshole, selfish, self absorbed, I could keep going, but you get the picture. Then I realize that because Ray’s character is not that way, is the exact reason they probably choose him. Maybe I am wrong, but I can foresee Ray doing something about this in the future. He just started getting involved in politics and was voted as a new chairperson. So we will see. If character on this show can be positively effected by that situation, it is Ray.
I am not so much into watching tv, but it nice to see that you have producers pushing envelopes on what many people feel are “uncomfortable subjects” .This is not my view, but I know from first hand that it is society’s view.
Keep up the good work HBO