History = White Male Entitlement

10-green-01History is too often seen through the eyes of the historian – or as I now think of it – The History of White Entitlement. The facts shift as lookers change. I’ve been watching documentaries about ancient cultures, not so ancient cultures, even my own culture. I watch documentaries about the art of China, Lost Kingdoms of Africa, Women in Art. This month is Black History, as if that is separate from human history.

10-green-02I’ve realized that much of what is purported to be history is merely an accounting of white cis-male Christian heterosexual accomplishments. I asked a friend of mine recently if he could name one female classical composer or one female Impressionist painter or one black classical composer – it’s not as if those people didn’t exist. I know of some of those but I’m not going to do your research for you. Share your answers in the comments section here 🙂

Information erased, suppressed or deemed not as worthy as the accomplishments of white cis-male Christian heterosexual much of the history I’ve been exposed to tells me only what it wants me to know and implies that that is all I need to know. Hidden Figures tells a suppressed story – in history of science texts hundred of pages talk about male accomplishments – women, if they are lucky, get a five page special section. It’s almost as if they are freaks & not fully women anyway for being so intelligent. Thanks to Hollywood everyone knows women are only fulfilled by marriage & motherhood. Successful women are all too often depicted as bitter until they find the right man to teach them how to be a real woman.

10-green-03I’m grateful that the Catholic church didn’t get the chance to obliterate the Egyptian hieroglyphics the way it did the Toltec records. The fact that hot climate natives didn’t feel body shame (or need to be over dressed anyway) resulted in them being deemed uncivilized savages & were promptly wiped out by direct slaughter & cultural genocide – their Satanic, non-christian relics devalued, destroyed, discarded as they died of imported diseases. That’s a history one has to search for – I’d like to see a series on how colonization destroyed viable civilizations as opposed to those that show how it tamed the world for the betterment of all.

10-green-04The thing about suppressed history is that we lose context. It’s not as if lgbtq people were invented in the early 1900’s – they weren’t acknowledged in written history until they were labelled. One assumes that all, say, the signers of the Declaration of Independence were heterosexual but where they? Where is my queer history? Usually I have to read between the lines, infer, speculate, see it through the eyes of the historian. It seems that history is more about erasure as it as about recording.

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Table Manners

this is it

if it isn’t what you expect

make the most of what there is

before you make up your mind

before your expectations

keep you from making the most of what is

because what is

will surpass those expectations

your preconceived notions

of what is ideal

best

desirable

needs to be changed

 

a chance for you

to get free of cultural impositions

you’ve adopted without realizing

or rather

that have inculcated themselves in you

when you weren’t thinking

because they fit so readily

into your comfort zone

if you want to grow

you better step out of that zone

stop being so protective

you’ve got nothing to lose

 

well I guess

you have to lose everything

that holds you back

this is what there is

this is all I’m bringing to this table

take it or leave it

 

by the way

the table’s mine too

Like my pictures? I post lots on Tumblr

21-greenpainting-01

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/topoet

 

2 thoughts on “History = White Male Entitlement

  1. Mary Cassat impressionist painter, although my book about the impressionists only has one of her works in it. P.s. I have had this poem of yours hung up in my studio since I first read it! Love it!

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