I recently attended a Masters defense entitled (deep breath) “An Analysis of White-Supremacist-Capitalist-Heteronormative-Patriarchy in the Graphics of Burton and Capita Snowboards” (by Kascindra Shewan) and while I found some holes in the authors arguments there is no question that the emerging discourse was vigorous and vivacious.
Some of you readers may indeed play a big part in the snowboard industry, many of whom are my dearest friends and colleagues. It is therefore imperative that you understand: Any investigation into the role of women in contemporary society should not be immediately deemed as femi-nazi bullshit. Rather, try to appreciate that ‘everything happens for a reason’ – the words in our language, the symbols, the conventions, the attitudes – all these exist because of the relations (past and present) between genders, classes, ethnicities and religions. For example, the term “Paddywagon”, although seeming relatively harmless, is actually deeply imbedded in the ethnic violence incurred against Irish people at the turn of the century. “That sucks” is an example of hetero-normative language, as it implies that being gay and ‘sucking dick’ is somehow unnatural and gross. I’m not arguing for the eradication of “you suck” in our everyday language (well, maybe)– I’m suggesting that while I explore the quiet violence of stereotypes against women in the snowboard industry, you should not feel offended, hopefully it should spring some healthy reflection and discourse.