I came across an interesting site recently. It’s called “Stuff White People Like” and, well, it’s a list of things that white people are supposed to all be into.
There are several different ways to approach such a list, many of them resulting in indignant offense. I think, though, that the blog is meant to be approached as observational comedy, and with that in mind it’s very entertaining (and sometimes cringeworthy) reading.
One thing I noticed is that the site is written from a very specific angle – that of a white North American male. The list is therefore an interesting mix of racial, cultural and gender-based stereotypes. But is it accurate? I am the daughter of the Whitest Man in EnglandTM, so let’s give it a shot and see how many of the items on the list I can relate to.
I’ve colour coded the list – green for yes, red for no, blue for partial credit, and black when I got confused.
Coffee makes me way too jittery. I drink the occasional decaf, but I’m really more of a tea drinker.
Atheism is not a religion, so I’m claiming a no.
I’ve been to the occasional festival screening, but not for years and I’m much more likely to watch a DVD than go to the cinema anyway.
Alien concept in European sports, in which assists are not tracked unless you play in some kind of fantasy league. Which I don’t. I do like hockey, but don’t care about stats. Just results. (Not too many of those in Vancouver at the moment).
Love the idea, don’t go as often as I would like, which is something I plan to change this summer.
Yes. Homogeneity is boring, and I should know! I went to a school of about 1500 students, of whom around 1496 were white.
Yes we can.
Lots of Vancouverites are very outdoorsy and will make you feel like shite if you didn’t spend the weekend fending off bears and cougars. I am outdoorsy-lite. I do like skiing, kayaking and camping, but I enjoy lots of other things too and besides, I’m too lazy to get out there very often. So I will never ever rip on someone who’d rather stay in the city at the weekend.
Yup. Just watched the Darjeeling Limited. Not as good as the others, but I still enjoyed it!
I think this might be one for the boys.
Work for one, volunteer for a couple more!
Ooh yes please. Don’t forget to warm the pot and put the milk in the cup before the tea. My home and office tea stashes are the stuff of legend and I have my own kettle on my desk at work. I am English after all.
I love having friends, period. I’ve never had the opportunity to have black friends (in real life anyway, I have no idea about the ethnicity of most of my blog buddies), having lived in predominantly white and / or Asian areas my whole life. But my friends do reflect the ethnic make-ups of the places I’ve lived in. I guess this is a partial…?!
Loved it when I did it, haven’t done it for years. Planning to start again.
Don’t know really, I don’t have kids and don’t plan to have any, so I don’t really have an opinion on gifted children programmes, having never encountered one in the UK.
I have some issues with my parents (doesn’t everyone?), but nothing major and I certainly don’t hate them.
I’m more into direct fundraising and research than awareness.
I like going abroad, but I’m not a hard-core traveller. I’ve done my fair share of backpacking around Europe and North America, and I have a long list of wish-list destinations, but you’re more likely to find me hanging out in Prague or Madrid than seeking enlightenment in Tibet.
Not unless YOU are British or Canadian, which doesn’t seem to be the point of this entry!
I’ve never done one, but it does actually sound like something I’d enjoy.
Nope. I changed my name when I got married and never even considered hyphenating. (Dunn is a very difficult name to hyphenate anyway – it sounds dodgy whether you put it first or last).
Yesh, what’sh yer point? *hic*
Ditto, but I’m not too snobby about it. I’m still a student at heart, I’ll drink anything if it’s free…
Yep, he’s represented in my book case.
Fun for a few days, but NYC scares the bejebus out of me and I always come back completely exhausted.
Dear god no. Running was considered a punishment for misbehaviour at my school, and I’ve never seen a reason to change that mindset. I only run if chasing (e.g. a football) or being chased (e.g. someone who wants to tickle my feet).
Yeah right. I LOVE my TV. I would never have made it through my PhD without Friends and the Simpsons.
I went to many an 80s night in University. Hopefully the photos have been destroyed.
Huh? (Another one for the white American male).
Skis all the way, baby. I tried snowboarding once and couldn’t even stand up. It’s not natural to not be able to move your feet independently of each other.
I like it in principle, just not enough to, y’know, actually do it or anything. I have cut down on my red meat intake and started to cook more meat-free meals though.
Um, no officer, never ever ever. (OK, maybe once or twice a year. Fun while kayaking).
I know what I like, but I don’t really know the first thing about it.
I wasn’t too keen on the Colbert Report when it first started, but now it’s actually my favourite of the two. There’s hope for America yet 😉
Ooh yeah. My favourites being the Cuban place near our old apartment and the Caribbean place near our house. A regular feature of our weekends.
It’s coming… at the moment we’re just constantly patching up the raccoon-inflicted damage to our roof.
…was indeed awesome. Sadly missed.
Who what? This is something to do with movie downloads, right?
I don’t own a single one. I went for a Sony MP3 player just to be different (it’s crap, but Mr E Man likes his higher-end Sony), and I almost, but not quite, went for the Mac instead of the PC last year. So this No is really a Not Yet, Maybe When This One Dies.
Of the British variety, yes. I’m a wee bit out of date these days though.
It’s a Sunday night fixture at our place! Japanese tourists apparently rave about the quality and price of Vancouver’s sushi. Yum.
Meh, I can take them or leave them. I usually go if invited, but I never instigate a trip to the theatre (the one exception was when I won some tickets to the Reduced Shakespeare Company, which was fun). I prefer opera actually, if I can say that without sounding too, well, white or anything!
No, unless you count BBC radio when I’m in the UK, but the context is very different to that of public radio in the US.
Probably. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had it, but I do like most Asian food.
Our local paper runs the Sunday New York Times crossword on Saturdays, which we do religiously, but that’s the only part of it I’ve ever read.
BSc Genetics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1998.
The site says, “But what about the white people who study Science, Engineering or Business? Unless they become doctors, they essentially lose white person status (and can only be regained by working at a non-profit)”.
So that’s OK then.
Only when I’m not being lazy and going to Safeway, or virtuous and going to farmers’ markets.
Not so much any more, although there is a genuine 1960s top lurking at the back of my closet. I bought it for a themed band concert in high school and couldn’t bear to throw it away.
Best definition ever: Mr E Man was hanging out with some drunk British girls in Mexico (before he met me I hasten to add) and they accused all North Americans of not understanding irony.
Mr E Man: “Gee, you’re right, I’ve never really understood the concept. Please could you explain it to me?”
Drunk Brit: “Well, it’s sarcasm”
MEM: “No, it’s not the same thing”
DB: “Yes it is”
MEM: “No, they’re different”
DB: “Well what’s the difference?”
MEM: “Sarcasm was me pretending not to know what irony is. Irony is you actually not knowing what irony is”.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Why is this A White Thing?
She’s pretty damn funny all right.
Who’s a good boy? I will have a dog one day. When I’m working from home or something. In the mean time, the adoption of a cat has been successfully negotiated and the search will begin after Easter. Photos will be posted when available.
Come to momma. Populating the registry was my favourite part of the whole wedding planning thing (I didn’t get to sample caterers’ goods, Mr E Man did that part).
I’m English. And I live in Canada. Apologising is a way of life.
WTF? No. Unless they happen to be my brother-in-law and work for the UN.
Haven’t seen it yet.
Erm, I like sushi… Actually I would quite like to visit rural Japan, but it’s not all that high on my list. Maybe I can get sent to a conference or something.
No, I’m a scientist. Besides, whoever developed Ibuprofen made those days bearable. Before that I was incapacitated, curled up on the sofa with a hot water bottle and moaning softly, for at least 2 days each month. Big Pharma is OK by me.
They are soooo cool. A lot of Vancouver taxis are switching to hybrids, and all the drivers I’ve talked to just love them. Mr E Man’s car is only 6 years old and still running well, but when it’s been run into the ground we’re definitely going to get a hybrid, or whatever greener technology is best at that time.
Extensively documented on this blog!
Knowing what’s best for poor people
Erm, a social welfare system? Is this another one with an American bias?
Yes, that would be my first choice on the days when I don’t bring my own lunch.
And composting too, for extra points no doubt.
I really, really suck at team sports. Drunken football or cricket on the beach is the only post-school exception to my self-imposed ban.
Yikes, let’s hope not!
Not totally still. I sway a bit. But only if the band’s good.
Who? (Seriously. No idea).
The only people to emerge from the Hitchhiker movie with any credit were Douglas Adams and Stephen Fry.
Oh yeah, I just loved those months of crying in the toilets at work and feeling like my personality had been removed and replaced with that of a complete stranger. Awesome.
It’s certainly a rare and interesting experience for a girl from York!
I actually made a conscious decision not to move away from the UK, where an undergraduate degree takes 3 years and a PhD no more than 4. There’s a whole other post in there somewhere.
It would be really really nice if this happened in our neighbourhood!
I don’t even watch the ceremony.
Threatening to move to Canada
I have no idea what colour this one should be – I mean, I did move to Canada, but not for the reasons implied by this entry. I just really really liked Vancouver.
Bottles of water
I do indeed have two Sigg metal bottles – one for work and one for the gym.
When it’s good, it’s very very good!
Again, no plans to have kids. But if I did they would definitely be bilingual. You can’t get above a certain level in some careers here if you don’t speak both official languages – e.g. the civil service, the military etc. Plus it opens up careers with the European Union, which requires at least 2 different languages in all employees. I’d be daft not to teach my kids French. Besides, both my parents are French teachers and they’d kill me if their grandchildren turned out unilingual.
I’m a fan, Mr E Man is not. He’s a carpenter and has very high standards – it took us forever to find an acceptable dining table. Other rooms are full of donated Ikea furniture. The house will probably be a mish-mash for many years to come.
The idea of soccer
I don’t like the idea of soccer, I just love football (as I will always insist on calling it). I grew up watching it and will always be a fan. I think this is another North American idiosyncrasy.
Been there, done that, got the thesis. Not an arts degree though.
Nope. Most of my wardrobe comes from the Gap, and I don’t even have any serious beefs with Microsoft or Starbucks.
Bad memories of high school
I’ve got ’em. Do I like them? I guess it is a bonding opportunity when conversing with other geeks!
There’s nothing I like more than freshly laundered dark denim jeans and a nice well-fitted long sleeved t-shirt.
Not my cup of tea.
Only for cycling in in summer.
Outdoor performance clothes
C’mon, this is Vancouver. It’s practically compulsory to wear fleece and Gore-tex in the pub.
So how did I do?
43 Yes, 24 No, 13 Partial and 7 Don’t Know / Not Applicable.
I would say that my nationality, education, gender and class influenced my answers more than my race. I really don’t see why t-shirts and sushi are supposed to be “White Things”. Maybe even the definition of a racial stereotype is different in different cultures? Would a white North American female see this list differently? How about a straight black male Canadian? Or a gay Asian-American man?
Anyway, the list makes me laugh and I’ll continue to read it. Wearing a t-shirt. With a cup of tea in hand, Gomez playing in the background, and maybe even some sushi.