Ode To The People Of Walmart
NOTE FROM PAM: I was offline most of the weekend save the coverage of Dan Choi in Moscow (and even that I bailed on because of my ongoing battle with whatever the F is going on with my kidney), but I did hear from several readers via email about this post. After reading it, I have to agree that highlighting this video definitely goes down a road I wouldn’t have traveled. The reason – it touches upon things we’ve opposed on the blog — classism, sexism, racism, and fatphobia, to name a few.
That said, I’m not for taking it down – sometimes one needs to be reminded of negative attitudes that don’t lie far from the surface; erasing examples only serves to deny the existence; they need to be owned and examined out in the open. That’s my two cents; Autumn is aware of the overwhelming negative response to the post and can certainly speak for herself on the matter.
Note from Autumn: Hey all,
I was offline during the weekend, and didn’t see the negative commentary until after noon today.
I didn’t have evil intent here, and I wasn’t aiming to mock anyone in the video by posting the video. I was attempting to point out that the people in the video would be unsettling to the narrow-minded folk on the religious right. Since equality legislation for LGBT people is argued against by the religious right because we deviate from their idea of the moral norm — and are scary in the public spaces, such as restrooms — my thought was that shopping at Walmart by the “family values” crowd should probably be as scary for the kids as seeing a trans woman. And I would argue that these diverse folk aren’t scary at all, but are wonderful people that should be celebrated in their free expression.
And frankly, I loved viewing the People of Walmart video because I love seeing the diversity of the people in the video. It never dawned on me that people would find what I saw as a wonderful, eclectic bunch of diverse people in an attack on these folk. And too, I didn’t assume any attempt to demean the subjects of the video by the song and video creator. I thought she also found the People of Walmart interesting and worthy of celebration too.
Apparently, that’s not what other people here saw in the video.
Maybe my take on the video as a celebration of interesting and diverse peoples was pretty naive of me, but that’s really how I saw the video — a collection of fun and wonderful, perhaps a bit quirky people. I instantly connected dots between the “scary” Walmart shoppers and “scary” trans women, and making commentary that none of these folk really all that scary at all.
Apparently, I didn’t make that point clearly. Apparently, people here didn’t like the video because they saw mocking intent by the song’s and video’s creator — I didn’t see the classism, sexism, racism, and fatphobia that others here are seeing in the video other that those evils were there as tools to point to the opposite — diversity should be celebrated, not mocked or presumed to be scary. I’m genuinely sorry I offended people here by posting that video — I’ll not be posting up a video of that sort again.
Okay, it’s Saturday — time for some weekend fun!
This is an ode to the People Of Walmart by Jessica Frech. It catalogs every known species of Walmart shopper. It’s an anthropological marvel.
After watching this video, I can’t help thinking how funny it is that the religious right’s Homophobia Industrial Complex is ever concerned about the possibility of trans kindergartener teachers — Y’know, because trans women so gosh darn scary!
Perhaps these Homophobia Industrial Complex folk should save their sanctimonious confabulations for those gosh darn free-expression infused, real world shoppers that their kids may see when shopping at their local Walmarts!