Sunday, March 15, 2009

What's Your "Whiteness" Score?

OK. So as Ethnic Studies scholars we think a lot about 'whiteness' as a political practice and as a modality of power. And that's all well and fine, but there's a lighter side to all this too. How often do you observe someone's habits/lifestyle and go, "dude, that's super white!" Well, I do; often in fact I find myself surrounded by whiteness that is snicker-worthy. Actually, I tend to think of it more as middle-classness, but that's not particularly distinct from cultural whiteness anyway.

Anyway, so there's this book and website called Stuff White People Like that's apparently all the rage. It takes a look at the fun/funny/stereotypical side of whiteness. I was at a professor's place recently and we started talking about the book, and I decided I wanted to know what my whiteness score was. So I logged onto the website, and here's the stuff I thought was laughter-worthy. Make sure to read the descriptions; that's really what makes it all so funny.

Funny (In most cases you have to read the descriptions to get the humor)
2 Religions their parent's don't belong to
9 Making you feel bad about not going outside
16 Gifted Children
21 Writer's Workshop
62 Knowing What's Best for Poor People
69 Mos Def
71 Being the only white person around
72 Study Abroad
75 Threatening to Move to Canada
80 The Idea of Soccer
87 Outdoor Performance Clothes
100 Bumper Stickers
102 Children's Games as Adults
105 Unpaid Internships
115 Frisbee Sports
116 Black Music that Black People Don't Listen to Anymore
117 Political Prisoners
118 Ugly Sweater Parties

Creepy (especially when people of color like them too. And by 'like,' I'm referring more to fetishization, which really is what it generally is anyway... a fetish)
58 Japan
11 Asian Girls (especially creepy)
I'm surprised there's no listing for Anime. hunh?!

My whiteness score (I've been as honest as I can) = 20/123 = 16.3%
(read the descriptions, if you will, but don't impute all that you read onto me. I have my own reasons, too.)

1 Coffee
5 Farmer's Markets
6 Organic Food
15 Yoga
19 Traveling
24 Wine (not in a pretentious way; $3-5 Trader Joe's stuff will do fine for me)
26 Manhattan (can't help it...)
29 80s Night
32 Vegan/Vegetarianism (been a vegetarian all my life)
35 The Daily Show/Colbert Report
36 Breakfast Places (come on now, who doesn't?!)
48 Whole Goods and Grocery Co-ops (yea, yea, I know...)
59 Natural Medicine
64 Recycling
81 Graduate School
82 Hating Corporations
90 Dinner Parties
94 Free Health Care
112 Hummus
115 Frisbee Sports (it's not like I play it all the time, but when I do I enjoy it, so I guess it goes here)

What's your score?

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