My fondness for Santa goes way back. In the days when I used to buy into the patriarchal God paradigm (touted at the Catholic school I attended), I thought of Santa as similar to God, or perhaps, maybe even God in disguise. After all, both were depicted as white bearded males…
After Catholic school put me off organized religion for life (which it achieved by the time I was in 4th grade), I didn’t give up my love for Santa even though I ultimately rejected the idea of the big white dude in the sky.
Santa has so many traits I love:
Santa wears red. My favorite color of all time.
Santa loves cookies. So do I.
Santa wants people to be good to each other, and Santa’s naughty list seems a lot more fair than that of god’s or GW Bush’s.
Santa lives by a Dionysian spirit – good food, good drink, celebration, and merriment are an important part of existence according to the Santa paradigm. I agree.
Notice that above I at no time refer to Santa as “he.” That is because I refuse to believe Santa is only male!
I think of Santa as a cross dresser, as transgender, or genderless. Like any deity worth their salt, I see Santa as beyond the gender binary – rather, Santa understands that we mortals view the world through tiny gendered boxes and would have a hard time accepting a gender-queer icon.
Well, Santa, I would like to inform you the time is ripe for you to reveal that the beard is false, that you sometimes wear a dress, that you have only been cross-dressing all these years so as not to freak out the parents (kids, or course, would accept a gender-queer Santa – it’s the closed minded parents that would need help accepting Santa’s ‘otherness.’)
On that note, you might as well admit that you have been passing as white all these years in fear your color would work against you. Heck, these past several years you have probably been afraid that your color might label you a terrorist or enemy combatant… You would come down the chimney to find ICE or FBI ready to haul your red-clad butt to Gitmo. (OK, so I know some out there will argue that as Santa comes from snow-zone, he would be white, but Eskimos are not white and they come from the land of snow. Plus, Santa’s whole give, give, give mantra is not in keeping with take, take, take white history…)
So, Santa, I can see why you might have deemed it necessary to PRETEND to be a “traditional male” of the white supremacist heteronormative patriarchy variety for all these years- but don’t you think it is high time to force society to realize that not all icons need be male or white or cis or heterosexual or able-bodied? And, what is up with the person known as “Mrs. Claus” – when does the s/he get to share the limelight?
Think of the mind expansion you could bring about by revealing that you (as well as “Mrs. C” and the elves) have been forced into normative boxes – that you, like god(s) have been limited by the small-mindedness of humans who refuse to see beyond gender/race/class binaries and INSIST on referring to deities in male terms (for a good post on this subject, go here).
Santa, if you came forward about your identity, perhaps people might begin to question the father/god set up of most religions and question why our belief systems are male-centric. Perhaps they might begin to shed the blinders of gender essentialism, cis privilege, and the Heteronormativity/marriage/family matrix.
Come on Santa – you know it’s time to give up the patriarchal shtick. When you visit my house this year, I hope you come sans the white hetero male drag… But please, keep the belly! I do not want to see “Hunky Santa” with six pack abs anywhere near my stocking…