Monday, March 5, 2012

Reader-Respons: "Something to Hitch Meat To"

I think this story has to do with dealing with and accepting peoples’ differences. The first part of the story that caught my attention was the part when one of the little children at the beginning said, “the purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat to” (Hopkinson 839). Since this line essentially contains the title, I kept it in mind as I read the story. Immediately after this part, one of the nannies leading the aforementioned children remarks to her coworker, “God Latino me are jus so hot, don’t you think” (Hopkinson 839). After saying this, both women giggled. I don’t know if this comment was supposed to be sarcastic or not, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure of what to make of it. I then took note of when Artho was observing the woman on the bus, how he temporarily “made her into something it wasn’t” in his mind (Hopkinson 840). Hopkinson’s intentions for this line seemed clearer to me while Artho was in the store near his apartment to buy avocados. Though he was a regular customer, the clerk assumed that Artho’s $50 bill was a counterfeit, despite making change for bills that large for elderly women and business men. I think the clerk was thinking, “What the hell is a black man doing with this much money? There’s no way; no way this bill can be real. Either that or he stole it. Black men do that shit all the time.” After Hopkinson presented this stereotypical relationship between ‘black men’ and ‘stealing’ I found it interesting that she then moved to the other stereotypical relationship of ‘black men’ and drugs with Aziman’s story of his encounter with the white guy. What caught my attention were Aziman’s own stereotypes (the ones made by the white guy were obvious). During the story, Aziman referred to the white guy as a “cornfed kid” with a “polo shit on” and then says he’s “probably an MBA” (Hopkinson 841) I thought to myself, “I didn’t know all white guy’s in polo shirts had MBA’s?” I like this part because Hopkinson illustrates how our societies stereotypes and assumptions are cyclical. One side will say or assume something about the other side that pisses that other side offer, causing them to return the favor. At this point, I completely understood what the title of the story meant. We’re all the same. We all have skeleton’s that essentially look the same, but our appearances are nothing more than superficial differences that are as insignificant was a lump of meat. 


  1. Good! I agree, the story is really clever in that it points out that racism is totally systemic: everyone's caught in it, and even "nice" stereotypes like "Latinos are hot" are equally problematic. I will say that I think that Artho at least seems to recognize that he does it too, at least more so than others in the story--we know he's frustrated at his inability to find a working solution to this kind of problem.

    I also think the skeleton concept plays well with your cyclical theory--because of course in order to see the skeleton, you've got to be dead. We'll stop judging each other based on appearance when we're pushing daisies. Does that undermine the idea that Anansi's gift to Artho actually has power?