Well, it happened. The round-table meeting between Canadian and US businesswomen and our nations’ male leaders (and one First Daughter) took place on Monday, looking very much gender-balance-wise like humanities graduate seminars. The goals of the round-table itself — “a cross-border council to advance women into executive roles, and to encourage entrepreneurship” — seemed designed to elicit think-pieces about the shallow hypocrisy of elite, corporate, or otherwise insufficiently radical feminism. But that was, in a way, the least of it.
Lauren Michele Jackson’s excellent Buzzfeed story, “Why A New Mixed Race Generation Will Not Solve Racism,” makes the following case: “[C]ontrary to popular narratives, interracial heterosexual relationships and their result, multiracial children, are not the antithesis of white supremacy, but can be easily co-opted as the glittery mask behind which racism and antiblackness continue to thrive.” Jackson points both to interracial love stories promoted as anti-racist triumph, and to the preference, in advertising, for light-skinned or ethnically ambiguous people of color only.
A version of this article originally appeared in New Voices.
When I moved to a new, Midwestern city to attend graduate school, I did what many young, single people do: I joined a dating website. After a few weeks, I began to notice that the men who messaged me tended to fit a certain type: bookish, serious, and strongly invested in being seen as intellectual and cultured. They wore glasses, liked foreign films and cooked vegetarian food. They were, in short, a lot like me.
Justin Trudeau is two things at once: a real Canadian politician and a dreamboat.* Americans, at least according to the Canadians I know (and I think they’re right about this) are familiar mainly with the dreamboat qualities. Qualities including: a) he is very beautiful, and b) he is not Donald Trump. A Canadian Liberal politician may not be as far left as things go in Canada, if that’s your preferred barometer, but for the US, he’s like some sort of fantasy Democrat, as well as really good-looking. His flaws are, from that vantage point, easily forgotten.