Part 1 - The Memoir/Rant of a Hyper-Privileged Obnoxiously Lucky White Cis American Woman’s Trip Down River with 80yr Old Mother and 78yr Old Aunt
I’m on a faux paddle boat. It’s not a ship. A ship’s something that floats and can carry other middle sized things. This was one of the only things I saw, heard or learned during my eight day Lower Mississippi River cruise that didn’t enrage me.
Let me make this perfectly clear. I met a lot of people I really liked. Cool people. Example of how cool: It’s dinner time and I’m sitting at a table with three couples enjoying small talk. The woman across from me asks what I do. I say I lead an international collective of badass feminists who give a fuck.
I went on to explain what VERVE is all about. They asked open minded thoughtful questions. They didn’t ask what feminism is because they get it. Equality. When the conversation turned to another topic the woman next to me told me that the two gentlemen were retired Methodist pastors. Typical. If they were “offended” by my “language” they masked it well. As pastors I figure they’ve heard just about everything during the course of their careers and not a lot can shock them. We went on to have a lovely evening with a lot of laughs and warm feelings.
Over the course of six days each of those pastors and their wives approached me separately and asked me to further explain what VERVE is trying to do, then they both asked for my contact details for a niece/daughter who’d be interested in learning about us. Like I said. Cool.
Later I’m telling mom and Auntie the story to pass the time. My only other source of amusement aside from doing laundry. Laundry. On a ship! When I wrap it up Auntie explains to me that people of her generation - she’s 78 - are offended by the words badass and fuck. I tried to explain to her that I had stopped giving a fuck whether I offended white people. Especially male ones. That I could give a rat’s ass if they felt my behavior inappropriate. I could give two shits if I’d offended them. If I have? Then they are the problem.
I said this in a very kind funny light hearted loving way because that’s how I try to explain my politics to people I love. We were all having a terrific time. Who wants to spoil that?
I’d never been to the South before. I’m prejudiced against the south. The same kinda feeling I used to have about Germany before Angela Merkel said she wouldn’t turn a single refugee away. So I was already pissed off and sad. While simultaneously hoping it wouldn’t be exactly like what I was expecting.
It was. We’re at a plantation and the tour guide’s leading us through the house. Everyone’s oohing and ahhing while the guide explains how the architect came down from Philadelphia with the specs and then how the “workers” built it. I raised my hand and asked if when he says “workers” he’s referring to slaves.
Yes, he says. That’s what he meant. Only 1 out of the 7 plantations we visited had a section or exhibit dedicated to the life and conditions of the slaves who toiled there. Are you fucking kidding me?
To be continued….
*More from “The Memoir/Rant of a Hyper-Privileged Obnoxiously Lucky White Cis American Woman’s Trip Down River with 80yr Old Mother and 78yr Old Aunt” coming soon. Please be patient. It’s still raw……
Article by Anna Quick-Palmer