|image of Britain's Kate Middleton and Prince William is from here|
With a tad under ninety years left to this century, I think it's rather presumptuous, and totally in service to corporate media ratings, to term this event the "wedding of the century". What about the weddings of Kate and William's culturally hoped-for and presumably heterosexual children and their children in turn? Those next two generations of royal weddings will all likely happen before 2100 ECD. So, for now, I'll call this the media wedding of the decade. And that's with nine years to go. I fully accept this is likely to be a "where were you when" non-tragic event remembered and reflected on many times over the next couple of decades. After that, corporate media--if it still exists--will need something else to make money off of.
What does that media tell me I am supposed to feel about the upcoming wedding of Prince William to Kate (Catherine) Middleton? Given the ubiquitous hype, at a fever pitch this week especially, I know for sure that I am supposed to feel happy for them, excited about the event, eager to watch the excessive coverage, and hope the day goes well and that they live happily ever after.
I'd have to say all of that is true. That is how I feel. (And some say media has no effect on people: where else would I have learned not only of the event, but how to feel about it?)
I will be among the billions watching very early Friday morning. Almost thirty years ago, I got up early to watch the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana Spencer, who would become the parents of two sons: William and Harry.
What I am most happy about is that Kate and William are friends, took time to get to know each other, have a solid foundation under them for a partnership, and seem to genuinely love each other. Charles was only really ever in love with Camilla, his current wife. And it is sad and ageist that the Royal Family would not have welcomed Charles to marry Camilla to begin with, instead picking some teenager he didn't love to call his wife. (Diana was all of sixteen when they met and was only weeks out of her teens when they wed.)
I feel sorry for what Diana had to endure being married to him, even with all the privileges afforded her. By most accounts it was a very unhappy life for her, in so many regards. And an obviously tragic and terribly premature death.
It is said their may be rain over London on Friday. I hope not. I want it to be sunny and not too hot or too cold. I want things to go well. I am also not supposed to think much about anything else--certainly not any other dimensions of the human event other than the fashion, perhaps.
Somewhere in my brain and body are buried the anti-woman lessons of fairy tales, which told me that heterosexist romance among white people was to be held as an ideal, and which resulted in plenty of self-loathing, shame, and disgust for being gay. They also taught me a lot about over-valuing non-Jewish European cultures, including some of the British Isles. I was not taught to admire and respect the traditions of any of the thousands of cultures of Africa, Asia, and Indigenous people. I was not taught that gayness and lesbianism exists. I was not taught that women do not have to exist in relation to men. I was not taught about the dangers of het romance as the West promotes and protects it.
There are obviously many issues available to be analysed here. This is, after all, presumed to become the largest viewed electronically broadcast event in human history: the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Piers Morgan is the sleazy, pasty, physically unmemorable middle-aged white het man with short brown hair who has a nightly chat show on CNN. Formerly one of three judges on America's Got Talent, he revealed himself, along with the far more sexist and sleazy David Hasselhoff, to be a big fan of young white women who strip on stage. Today he called the British monarchy "sexier" than the elected politicians in the US.
A recently added co-anchor on Entertainment Tonight, a very Aryan-looking thin, young-looking white woman named Nancy O'Dell, with long, flowy straight blond hair, made a remark I'll closely paraphrase shortly. She was reviewing the footage of the last 24 hours: the rehearsal of the royal cavalry's street route in London to and from Westminster Abbey and to Buckingham Palace: "And look at the bayonets on the ends of the rifles of the soldiers. Pretty sharp!" She unquestionably meant the men who comprise the cavalry, who she thought looked good in uniform with weaponry.
Why does the glimmering blade of an implement intended to stab people to death become a glamourising and sexualising accessory of men already trained to kill offensively as well as defensively? Is the cavalry's gun and knife the "sexy" equivalent of the female citizen's hat and shoes? Are women allowed to carry such weapons (not hats and shoes) and use them against men who attempt to assault them and have that violence be considered "sexy" and attractive? These bayonets are not symbols of pacifistic regal "British tradition". They really do get bloody from time to time. Not with blue blood, either.
|image is from here|
Please correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t “The Royal Family”
the DIRECT DESCENDANTS of the British imperialists who
colonized Africa, Asia, & the Caribbean? Aren’t these
the people who raped, robbed, enslaved, and converted the
so-called natives? Aren’t they of the blood line of folks
who are proud because the sun never sets on the British
Empire? Doesn’t their wealth come from white supremacy
and theft? Isn’t all the pomp and pageantry surrounding
the wedding about European superiority backed by its
domination of black and brown and even Irish folk?
And weren’t there royal families in Africa? Where are
those royal families now? Weren’t they made slaves and
subjects of the crown?
And if I’m correct why should I care about a royal
wedding? Does might make right all of a sudden? I mean,
dumb question, of course it does but I’m just trying to
get to the facts, the truth even if those things are
meaningless and powerless to the seductions of
domination: aren’t Prince William & Kate the direct
descendants of the Imperialists?
I must admit I enjoy British accents, humor, and I love
British rock and pop bands (and lately their Hip Hop too)
but I’ve never bothered to take the royal family
seriously. The time when monarchs mattered was a time
that should bring Brits collective and national shame
not pride! Blood defining ones destiny as either
colonizer or colonized, master or slave, royalty or
commoner, is hardly something we should circulate
globally as in our symbols of love and beauty. If you
are white like Kate at least you can escape one’s
class/stock and marry into a superior one. So maybe
that’s what the common working class white Brits holds
onto. But what of black Brits? All of whom are British
because at some point they belonged to a nationality
that made them colonial subjects of the British Crown.
Of course this all makes me very sad personally because
unfortunately I know that even those who share my rage
and confusion at how fucked and dangerous this
celebration of domination under a cloud of
heterosexual romance and European aesthetics of beauty
still refuse to get how a whole lot of other things we
applaud are just as harmful and fucked.
And let's not forget to mention this Nazi crap the
younger prince pulled off:http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/
It is Yom HaShoah, beginning on Sunday night at sundown. So for me it is an appropriate time to ask: what WAS Harry thinking? How funny is it to dress up as a Nazi when you, yourself, are a very public member of a family of racist colonisers and genocidalists? I mean it's one thing for Mel Brooks to attempt it, as a Jew of European descent trying to poke fun at something he knows damn well was an atrocity against his people. But when someone dresses up in a Nazi uniform who is not Jewish, is not of color, and is a royal white heir to fortunes made on the lives and labor of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian people, that's something else entirely.
Let's not forget Harry and William have both been trained as a soldier in the British military, and have each been taught to value and practice the acts which result in the mass murder of people of color in many parts of the world. You will not likely ever hear either fellow speak against a British war against various regions of Asia, or anywhere else. What follows is partially from Wikipedia:
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Blues and Royals of the Household Cavalry Regiment — serving temporarily with his brother — and completed his training as a tank commander. He served for 77 days on the front line in the ceaseless white man's war on Afghanistan, although he was pulled out following publication of the story in an Australian magazine.As for William, we have this from Wikipedia:
Prince William of Wales KG FRS (born William Arthur Philip Louis on 21 June 1982) is the elder son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, and third eldest grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is second in the line of succession, behind his father, to the thrones of 16 independent states, while he resides mostly in, and is more directly involved with, the United Kingdom, the oldest of these realms.Guards, police, and the armed forces; imperialism, colonialism, and militarism; white Christian, het, and male supremacy. How these are part of one another is not something dominant media will discuss. Each, instead, will be glorified more or less separately. But glorious or inglorious, these are the themes of the wedding days and of the British Royal Family. And the lives of royals exude the power and privilege they are born into.
He was educated at four schools in the United Kingdom and obtained a degree from the University of St Andrews. He spent parts of a gap year in Chile, Belize, and countries in Africa. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry—serving with his brother Prince Harry and, two years later, earned his wings by completing pilot training at Royal Air Force College Cranwell. In 2009, the Prince transferred to the Royal Air Force, was promoted to flight lieutenant and underwent helicopter flying training in order to become a full time pilot with the Search and Rescue Force. In Autumn 2010, he completed his generic and special-to-type helicopter training and he is now at RAF Valley on No. 22 Squadron performing co-pilot duties on the Sea King search and rescue helicopter. On 16 November 2010 it was announced by Clarence House that Prince William and his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton are going to marry, and it was subsequently confirmed that the wedding ceremony would take place at 11 am on 29 April 2011 in Westminster Abbey, London.
William is royal patron of an animal preserve and conservation project in sub-Saharan Africa, it is a recipient of his charitable help. Charity is the publicly "good" side of colonialism. The U.S. can be "charitable" to Haitians, for example. Or wealthy whites can be charitable to Black people living (and dying) in poverty in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. It's a way to promote the non-existent overall goodness of the ruling classes.
"Charity" implies one has economic and political power over the group or individuals being "helped". For much more on how this racist idea expresses itself in contexts of allegedly pro-feminist discussions, please see *here*. William's role maintains a colonial and imperial position over part of the African continent. He also proposed to Kate in Kenya, as "Africa" is very special to him. How does a continent get to be special to someone who only sees it in terms of being an over-privileged and tremendously entitled visitor and heir of the wealth acquired by pillaging so many regions of the world? This reminds me of how whites in the U.S. speak of the Caribbean, which is promoted only as a destination location for vacations, or as a place for very wealthy white people to purchase islands. Rendered invisible in all of this are the many people who live there, who are not white, whose ancestors were slaves, many of whom remain imprisoned in paradise by economic poverty made probable by the World Bank and IMF's policies and practices which are fully supported by the US and the UK.
This is the "sharp" militarised force of patriarchal, imperialistic, and racist Nation-States and of this British Empire in particular. This is what Nancy O'Dell and corporate media generally is sexualising, romanticising, and covering for profit. This is a central part of the history and function of England as an oppressively racist ruling G8 nation-state in the world; this must be centrally celebrated on Friday. If the Brits weren't involved in military actions designed to murder people of color as I type this, there would be less of a need to celebrate British militarism as a way of promoting social denial about what the military is for and what it exists to do. It would still be "tradition" if Britain were not at war. But we must always ask, as Celie's Revenge does above, what "traditions" are being honored and celebrated?
These officers and soldiers are the people who keep "order", meaning WHM supremacist order. Meaning: white, het, men ruling and determining the degrees to which they will exploit and loot the lives, cultures, and nations of everyone else.
For more, please see this post from Censored News:
Royal family's wealth is from the blood and genocide of Indigenous Peoples
Another obvious theme I'll focus more on is the not-so-covertly celebrated misogynist heterosexism of Friday morning's event. And the celebration of an institution--heterosexual marriage. This institution has been the political site and source of untold atrocities against women and girls for centuries, with the social, cultural, religious, and legal support of the nation-states in which the marriages have been occurring often due to the compulsory and coercive nature of both patriarchal heterosexuality and het marriage.
Women, until relatively recently, were considered the chattel property of their husband-owners, and this remains the case in some countries. Children who are born into such unions, if any, are "his" not "theirs". His rape of her is legally impossible, because he is said to have rights of access to her body, with our without her will and welcoming. Rape cannot happen, within this (un)ethical framework. What can happen is him having what he is awfully lallowed to have: full control and possession of her. The celebration of heterosexual marriage is a celebration of misogynist atrocity and het male domination. The making of het marriage into a fairy tale fantasy is steeped in male supremacist traditions, not ever equality or mutuality between women and men. I am grateful that Kate refuses to say she'll "obey" William. His mum Diana started the pro-woman change in Royal Wedding tradition. I'm glad Kate and William are continuing it.
Girls, not women, are still chattel brides of men, not boys. Internationally, white men from North America and Europe procure trafficked girls and women to be their brides, wives, and "lovers": which too often means men's objects of gross sexual exploitation, and slaves for rape and labor.
Classism and status of royalty is another theme: Kate arrives in a car as "a commoner" and returns in a carriage as a member of the Royal Family. He status is forever changed. She gets a title. She rises in importance and prominence as a role model and figurehead, as a setter of fashion trends, only because she is the spouse of the future King of England. She ceases to be her own person separate from him. This is what they mean when they say "man and wife": she exists as a thing who is gendered relative to him, a full human person whose own gender is assumed to be synonymous with humanity (mankind, or Man).
The heterosexism, racism, and classism combines to reinforce and romanticise both white male hetness, Christian white families, and white wealth: cornerstone values and ideals in the contemporary U.S. Empire.
The bride and groom will be socially required to kiss--wait and see--in front of millions or perhaps billions of people watching them greet the public at Buckingham Palace. They must prove they are heterosexually involved and active. When will a lesbian or gay couple's newlywed kiss be this demanded by the media and public as a source of celebration among millions or billions watching? When will lesbian romantic love or gay romantic love be this joyfully observed and validated with this much media and pageantry?
I'll leave you with this, to underscore the political parameters of the marriage: Can Kate or William object to British involvement in military wars? Can she or he call for an end to discrimination against lesbian women and gay men? Can she or he promote feminist causes? Can they adopt a child rather than bearing one or more from their own genes? I suspect she has already been carefully coercively "coached" not to speak out against any of the political matters discussed in this post. As, of course, has he. Her refusal to say "obey" will be about as feminist a statement as she'll be allowed to make, and that will be an act of omission.
Now, let's all wait and get a look at that dress! I am genuinely curious to know what she will wear. If you've been following the media hype, you already know what the groom will wear: his military uniform.