With four kids, planning can be a little hectic. We’re not exactly ‘soccer parents’ shuttling our kids from one expensive after school activity to another, but enough goes on to need a large calendar to keep track of it all. So I went to a bookstore and browsed their stationery section, looking for a large wall calendar we could use.
I was so excited when I saw this ‘family calendar’ that was just the size I was thinking of and had all sorts of stupid little stickers the girls would love to use. I flipped it over to get a peek at the graphics and saw the 12 month lay-out.
Every month featured a different family. A different white family. Cartoons, mind you, but still. This calendar was designed by some woman here in Quebec who apparently understands the need for a large planning calendar, but does not understand that Quebec is not populated solely by white families.
I can’t buy this calendar. It’s going to annoy the fuck out of me. Our kids are going to pick up on it and they’re going to be annoyed. It’s going to become ‘that stupid calendar’ and what good is that?
How difficult would it have been to feature even a little diversity? I’m not talking anything revolutionary here. A fucking Haitian family (we have a HUGE population of Haitians in Montreal!), maybe some (gosh) natives or latinos or Koreans or freaking whatever….and I’m sure I’d be branded an activist to suggest that perhaps some of the families could feature same sex parents or single parents? Unrealistic? I’m just tossing out ideas off the top of my head based on the families that live on my block.
In the minds of the woman who designed this, and in the minds of all the people who will read this and honestly not get why I’m annoyed, the default is white. The default is okay. Questioning the default is radical and unnecessary and foolish. After all the intent wasn’t to be racist.
Except the only people who are going to feel okay about having this calendar in their homes…are white families. And I bet even some of them are going to look at it like…seriously?
It’s 2012, folks. I shouldn’t be considered edgy just because I want a calendar that is more realistic in its portrayals of families in Quebec.
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