Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pride and Prejudice and People
Unfortunately, I've only got time for a very brief post today as I'm heading off to see Pride and Prejudice at the Guthrie (and am extraordinarily excited as A) I love Pride and Prejudice and B) my acting teacher plays Charlotte in the production - and I have a new love for Charlotte thanks to The Lizzie Bennett Diaries). Perhaps it's for the better that I am crunched for time, as I had an extremely strange week and feel compelled to talk about it instead of the more interesting fandom stuff, but I haven't quite figured out what to say about the week's weirdness.

Instead, I've been recalling the whole idea of bad first impressions in Pride and Prejudice because it is so relevant to my life. Remember back in the winter when I caused a fuss because I was upset with something one of my friend's boyfriends whom I had only just met said? Six months later and I'd like to think I'm pretty good friends with this guy. Yeah, sure, his comment was out of line, but that doesn't make him a terrible person. One of the many complicated things about being human is that we all have the tendency to say relatively stupid or terrible things from time to time. However, what matters is our capabilities to recognize that we do this and understand why it's wrong. Some people are oblivious - the Westboro Baptist Church is continually blind to the fact that saying gay slurs is utterly inappropriate, guys who catcall girls on the street likely don't understand what it feels like to be the recipient of such remarks, people who continue to say racist things and happen to be from the Southern US just make things... sad (I mean, really, Paula Dean? Really?) This doesn't make any of the people doing these things terrible (though what they are doing may be so). But what is frustrating and makes it difficult not to be angry at them and believe they are terrible is their inability to see why they are wrong. One needs to put aside their pride and their preconceived prejudices in order see from a different perspective and accept that perhaps what you said or what you believe may not be right, just as Lizzie and Darcy do in Jane Austen's book. This doesn't make it easy, it just makes it worth doing (though in this context it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to marry the love of your life :P).
The reason I'm friends with this guy is because I believe that he understands that sometimes he says inappropriate things and he is apologetic about it. Though I've never confronted him about the remark that made me irate (which seems so ridiculously miniscule in retrospect that I want to punch myself - but then again, different time, different place, I shouldn't be so hard on the reaction; I felt that way for a reason) he's come to terms with other things he's said and shown that he doesn't actively believe in any sort of prejudicial or hurtful concepts, as far as I can tell. Getting to know him has shown a different perspective that a bad introduction late at night in a car could never have given. But here I had to put aside my pride as well and get over anger - because it's hard to be constructive when you're angry. And so, I have successfully made a new friend despite all of this - and also just turned Pride and Prejudice into a means of discussing social justice-y things. What is my life.

Also, briefly, since this is all distance rooted in my thoughts on feminism, I encourage you to check out this article in case you do want to get angry and try to work through it, as the writer has completely missed the point about everything in regards to feminism, masculinity, and gender in the 21st century (many thanks to Sarah for finding this. I considered writing a blog post about the article but decided against it - it's utterly pointless because it's so self-explanatory what is entirely wrong with this piece).

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