Psych professor says Beatles fans have 'powers and privilege'
Professor Adam Rodriguez of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, Calif. published an op-ed in the Huffington Post directed at a friend of his who “found it impossible [he] would not love the Beatles.”
According to Rodriguez, his friend “has enjoyed the privilege of not having to consider that there are people in the world that don’t have the same relationship to music.” In response, Rodriguez took to the keyboard to type out his frustrations in a three-part series on social justice, addressing important social issues like gender, race, and Beatles-mania.
“For him, there was a given,” Rodriguez wrote in reference to his Beatles-crazed friend. “The given was that everybody would love the Beatles. My lack of interest in their music could only be understood by him as psychopathy.”
Rodriguez likened his friend’s presumptuousness to the bigoted views of heteronormative families.
“For example, at the playground, heteronormative parents playfully ask my 3-year-old if he ‘has a girlfriend yet’ despite the fact that I truly do not know what my son’s sexual orientation, or gender identification for that matter, is and will be,” he wrote in an effort to explain how “the non-dominant culture is knowledgeable in dominant culture ideals and values, but the person from the dominant culture is not conversant in aspects of the non-dominant culture.”
According to Prof. Rodriguez, his friend was blind to any perspective but his own and unjustly presumed people of other cultures would necessarily appreciate the Beatles.
“My friend did not stop with curiosity to ask what about the Beatles did not appeal to me,” Rodriguez said. “Instead, because he could not consider a different perspective, he had to dismiss that other perspective as faulty. As a result, he made a reductive comment about my character.”
Rodriguez said he considers affiliation with the dominant culture a social privilege in which people do not have to consider the traditions of other cultures.
“When one is a member of the dominant culture, that person enjoys particular powers and privileges, including the freedom to not have to consider other perspectives,” Rodriguez continued. “He has the privilege of not being forced to consider perspectives that are not his own,” including the privilege of not considering that people of other cultures may not like the Beatles.
Prof. Rodriguez is a professor of clinical psychology and practices in San Francisco.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski