May I present to you the latest nominee for The Root’s annual Wypipo Awards, in the category of Becky of the Year: Emilia Clarke.
Please don’t hate me for reducing a human being to the title of “white woman.” This story is about the woman who plays Daenerys Targaryen. Even though I am the biggest Game of Thrones fan in the world, it’s hard for me to differentiate among white actresses. Charlize Theron and Scarlett Johannson are the exact-same person to me. You’re telling me there are people who can tell the difference between Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett? Amy Adams is every white woman I’ve stood behind in the checkout line at Target.
Anyway, Daenerys—I mean Emilia Clark—gave an interview to Rolling Stone recently, and one excerpt stood out among the bland white-woman stuff about going to a private boarding school and backpacking through Asia before college, and how she is such a wise, intelligent 30-year-old.
I don’t want to leave this what-the-fuck-is-this-Becky-talmbout moment up for interpretation, so I will quote the relevant part in full:
Like, for example, her views on being one of the few women on any given set. Or the fact that women consistently have fewer lines than their male counterparts, even when they’re playing the “lead.” Or that actresses must arrive for hair and makeup hours before most of the male stars.
“I feel so naive for saying it, but it’s like dealing with racism,” she says. “You’re aware of it, and you’re aware of it, but one day, you go, ‘Oh, my God, it’s everywhere!’ Like you suddenly wake up to it and you go, ‘Wait a fucking second, are you ... are you treating me different because I’ve got a pair of tits? Is that actually happening?’ It took me a really long time to see that I do get treated differently. But I look around, and that’s my daily life.”
I’ve seen this before. Every other day, there is a Caucasian princess seeking to endear herself and garner sympathy by conflating racism with sexism. Just a few days ago, some white woman slid in my DMs to chastise me for using misogynistic language in calling America a “lying, murdering whore,” because—in her words—we are both fighting against the same thing. While there is an intersection of the two, please, white women, don’t get it twisted: Racism and sexism are not the same.
Emilia Beckystein is just like many other white women whose paths have so been littered with roses that when they encounter any personal hurdle, they cannot fathom anyone having experienced anything worse. That is the ultimate privilege.
There is nothing wrong with a beautiful millionaire who grew up on the shores of England traipsing through private schools thinking that she knows anything about racism. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman complaining about the world treating her differently because she has tits—even after she displays her titties to the world on TV. There isn’t even anything wrong with a white woman lecturing me on how to express my anger over racism as if white women weren’t complicit in slavery, Jim Crow, the history of lynching and every other aspect of black people’s oppression.
The privilege is that they feel comfortable enough to say it out loud.
So, no, Unburnt Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons (see, I gave her all her titles)—when you have to go to work early to have people wait on you hand and foot so that you can bank another six figures for pretending you can ride a dragon, that is definitely not like dealing with racism.
I think you’re confusing it with privilege.
Read the entire profile at Rolling Stone.