This post isn’t meant to address every issue of intersectionality and the weird ways celebrity culture can become a perfect nexus of race, gender, class, and certain levels of rape culture. It’s meant to draw attention to the fact that the intersectionality exists.
Fundamentally, no person is better or worse by virtue of any privilege and no one is entitled to more from someone than they’re willing to give, by virtue of having an institutional or cultural privilege over someone else.
i.e., a white heteronormative male has no intrinsic value or right to entitlement over a PoC, woman, LGBTQIA individual. A famous person has no more inherent worth than a non-famous person, and the public and media are not entitled to do whatever they want to a famous person simply because they have a public persona.
The incident with Will Smith can be characterized in many ways, but the privileged and assumptive narrative some people have painted it with, is only one narrative.
It is a narrative that not only smacks of the victim-blaming that occurs in rape culture constantly, but which leads to the kinds of, “How not to be raped,” instructions that women are bombarded with. “If you didn’t want to deal with the press, you shouldn’t be in this business,” is something I’m sure is being bandied about.
Pursuit of one’s interests and ambitions does not equal a waiver of one’s human rights. It is astounding to me, that there is even any question about the reporter’s intent (to create a photo-op/sound bite and raise their own name recognition) with Mr. Smith, via an invasion of his physical space and a sexually-provocative action that would guarantee some reaction.
My thoughts, which exist in a set of intersections of their own, are my thoughts. I don’t claim to speak for anyone else, and I certainly can’t address some of the intersections beyond observation. It’s simply that if we don’t think of these things at all, if we don’t talk about them, then they spiral out of control.
How far we’ve come, how far we have yet to travel.