Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Month: February 2020

White Logic

White Logic

 

On the hottest day in Cape Town I drove (of course I did)

Around the corner to the public swimming pool.

Two giant red cones blocked the driveway

To a small piece of parking lot

Designated for parkers coming to the pool.

I waved and made hand signals to the security man.

Yes.

I was, breaststroke hands, block nose and sink,

Coming to swim.

He moved a cone and I drove through.

 

One glorious, cool, R8 swim later

I left, still in costume and damp towel,

And climbed back into my steaming car.

The cones were firmly in place

And the security guard a solid line of tension.

 

A fashionable 4×4 was blocking the way

Waiting, like a shark, for the cone to be moved

So it could slip into the parking lot.

Standoff.

 

The security guard and I negotiated my exit.

I stopped to talk to the driver of the fashionable 4×4,

A long haired, boyishly handsome white man.

“These parking spaces are for people using the pool” I said

In a calm and friendly tone.

“It’s public parking,” he said. “I will pay the R8 entrance to the pool to park here.”

“But it’s for people who are coming to swim” I said. Again.

“But I will pay.”

“But you aren’t going to swim,” I said. “It’s for people who are using the pool.”

Behind him a row of cars had lined up. People wanting to park to use the pool.

“Please,” I said. “These people are waiting. They want to park. They are going to the pool.”

“I said I will pay!” He had just lost his cool.

 

I drove on. I stopped to chat to the man in the car behind the fashionable 4×4.

“You going to the pool?”

“Yes,” he said.

It was going to take him a while.

 

On this hottest day in Cape Town.

Word

Last night

Still skin sensitive (I have thin white skin)

After reading an article from Americaland or its cleaner cousin Canada

Where black theatre makers asked that white reviewers

refrain from reviewing their work – they don’t know what we are talking about –

I asked permission to write a review.

This was new.

Who the fuck am I, right? I had never thought about it before.

Oh the sneaky insidiousness of white privilege.

 

I sat in the close heat of the unairconditioned, semidecolonised, renamed and reframed

theatre.

I watched purity and purpose and word and movement

On stage, like a duet dance.

In the audience

We watched, heard, laughed, shivered and shook.

Women and GBV and #menaretrash and our worlds at war and words at work.

 

We rose and applauded. Such good, powerful, clever stuff.

And then a Q&A crept into the room

As I was getting ready to make my exit.

There were 7 white women in the room last night. Including me. I say it to make it clear.

And with the ease of a tide coming in, as we know it must, and does,

White women spoke. First, and loud, and freely.

Sitting at the back I got shy, and then frustrated

By the size of the demographic compared to the space it was comfortable to take up.

By the unconscious, unselfconscious, unilateral hierarchy of colour and gender

And come on. Racism.

Followed by.

There were no white men in the room last night. But, next on the list,

White women. Then black men. It was black men who spoke next.

And the black women on stage, at the Q&A, were the ones who were

Asked, interrogated, questioned, like the representatives of the whole wide west and east.

 

That’s quite a big burden.

To carry.

Out of the theatre

And into the world.

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