Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ain't I a Canadian too?

I was actually kinda excited to see this video/listen to the song because... well I'm a Canadian girl right? I wanna know why I'm so awesome! :D

Then I was like "um... why are all the nameless, faceless dancers women of colour, and all the "Canadian Girls" white? And get names and ages and jobs?"

Apparently I don't count as a Canadian girl. >_>

Also, the lyrics. e_e Apparently being a "Canadian girl" is a very specific experience. It presupposes that your family is white and lived here several generations (i.e. you're not First Nations), that you grew up in a small town and that your family had two parents around and weren't poor. Plus some combination of femmeness + hockeyness (which I have! But it's usually framed as being a very specific thing. After all, butch large hockey playing women aren't attractive.)

Plus, the subtext, whether intentional or not that Canadian girls are good wholesome white girls, with responsibilities and families, while the dancers (at least two of which, from my viewing are WoC) are sexual, and background dressing.

*SIGH* >_< It really bugs me because aren't I a Canadian girl!? You'd think a music video that specifically shows IMAGES OF REAL CANADIAN WOMEN in a montage that implies empowerment/visibility would show Canadian women other than white (mostly thin) abled, cis Canadian women. As usual, while Canadian TECHNICALLY means just the country you live in, that's not what it really means in our societal consciousness. Whether it's the politician's dogwhistle for "white born citizens" or this music video... "Canadian" (or "real Canadian") means a very specific kind of person, and usually it has less to do with the country than other things.

Some of the white women in the video might not even be Canadians, and they'd still be considered and assumed more "real" Canadian on appearance than me, the Canadian born girl asked constantly "where are you from?" and "no where are you REALLY from?" when I answer "Canada." And that's not to say that it matters where you're born (or even your nationality matters honestly) but to a lot of people it does matter, and to those people, it's less about where you're born, what you like, than what your skin colour is.

I'm Ami Angelwings, and I'm a Canadian Girl. >:O


  1. They went to the trouble of finding a few women with unusual (for a woman) jobs, but they couldn't find some women of color to include? The middle class-ness of the lyrics would still be a problem (though, again, it seems like it'd be fairly simple to throw in a few more lines to give a broader range of experience), but if they'd done a more inclusive video...


    I guess it just seems to me that so often just the tiniest bit more thought is all that stands between WTF and awesome. But that little bit of thought so rarely happens. :(

  2. Oh no! Not Canada, too! I guess I don't get to be anything... Sigh...