Everyone knows that the key is to engage members of dominant groups with issues of privilege as an ongoing, permanent part of their lives. Privilege has to be as much an issue for them as it is for those who bear the brunt of the oppression it causes in everyday life.
In other words, if dominant groups really saw privilege and oppression as unacceptable - if white people saw race as their issue, if nondisabled people saw ableism as their problem - privilege and oppression wouldn’t have much of a future. But this isn’t what’s happening. Dominant groups don’t engage with these issues, and when they do, it’s not for long or with much effect.
… women make gender visible, but most men do not know they are gendered beings. Courses on gender are still populated mostly by women. Most men don’t see that gender is as central to their lives as it is to women’s. The privilege of privilege is that its terms are rendered invisible. It’s a luxury not to have to think about race, class, or gender. Only those marginalized by some category understand how powerful that category is when deployed against them.
[racist police murder]
Last night in my hometown a man named Lucas Dane Stevens fled police in his vehicle leading to a high-speed chase in which he rammed a patrol car, then pulled a knife on officers after fleeing his car on foot.
He was on methamphetamine and had 5.2 grams of the drug on him. And he had a knife. The cops didn’t think he had one, he had one, and he tried to hurt them with it. Nonetheless, he’s alive and well and sitting in an air-conditioned jail on a $173,000 bond.
Unlike Michael Laney of Charlotte, North Carolina, Stevens was arrested. Stevens was not handcuffed and shot in the back of the head and written off as a “suspect” simply because he was riding a red scooter.
One of these men had a weapon. One did not. One was on drugs. One was sober. One is alive. One is dead. One was the suspect. One was the victim.
One is white. One is—was—black. That’s all it takes, folks. That’s white privilege. Check yours, fellow white people. Seriously. We call 911 for help all the time and don’t get shot execution style. This shit has to stop!!
White privilege is vilifying Chris Brown (And rightly so, what he did was shitty) while completely ignoring Eminem, Axl Rose, Mel Gibson, Sean Connery, Sean Penn, Gary Oldman, Charlie Sheen, Michael Fassbender, among others (receipts in links. TW for domestic abuse).
Mod note: We’ve done this one before, but I like that this one comes with links.
White privilege is feminism. It is when white suburban middle-class women criticize you and question your intelligence for not wanting to define yourself as a feminist. I believe in women’s rights, not cis-gendered white women’s rights.
no such thing as an individual
man, do you have any clue how hard it is to have one person in a crowd represent you to all white people, for all Black people?
how can you deny having white privilege if not for the very real fact that YOU get to be an individual before you represent anything else?
You cry foul on being judged for your ~tatoos~, for having dyed hair, for not being filthy rich, or for being vegan, feminist,whatever…all superficial shit that won’t ruin your life if someone judges you based on those things.
but the other day, a woman leaving my store was on her phone, screaming loudly and cursing, around children and families andlotsof white people. You know what a guy in front of me said?
“Thanks for taking our race back 400 years! Ratchet ass bitch.” Oh. Really? I let him know quickly that NO, she did not set our race back, and how could you even let HER be the representative of our WHOLE damn race?! I have a huge issue with that. You should know better. Stop letting that internalized racism out — to me that’s like apologizing to white folks and non-Black POC on her behalf, when we should not have to. Judge her for being rude, disrespectful of the space and our store, but not for being another loud angry negress that’s gon’ give them another reason to hate us negroes. Hell no.
I am tired of anything we do, in the eyes of whites and non-Black POC’s, becoming a feast of nitpicking at our individuals to justify hating our whole. How come I can’t judge all white people by:
- trailer/white trash people
- serial killers
- biker gangs
- rick santorum
- feminists that eat their menstruation
- vegans that compare animal rights to slavery
or I don’t know, a whole lot of shit that each of us have witnessed y’all doing that was down right crazy and yet do we assume all white folks are like that or do that? No. Guess why? Nevermind, I’ll tell you —because you are automatically granted humanity and individuality just for being a white person.If you think this is false, if you think this is a dramatic overstatement, and you feel attacked, you need to look fucking inward and address some issues. Honestly, why is it you think a Black person can speak for everyone?
Y’all keep doing this shit with MLK, Morgan Freeman, Bill Cosby, Dave Chappelle, your teacher, that guy you saw on t.v., your imaginary best Black friend… like, cut that out. That isn’t how it works for the rest of the world so stop doing it to us.
THAT FUCKING BOLD OH MY GOD SERIOUSLY
YES YES YES.
Degrees of Fatness
I absolutely love you all and have no problem with you identifying as fat (as you are fat and it’s hella awesome) but please, for the love of all that is holy, stop acting as if your size 12/14/16 body has the same mental, physical, spatial, and societal issues as my size 32 does. You don’t understand. And it’s fine that you don’t understand! It doesn’t make you a bad person! As long as you treat me with respect and dignity and get that this world is fucked up in varying ways, I still think you’re awesome!
You not being able to understand or feel what it’s like to live in a 300/400/500 pound body doesn’t reflect on you as a person. But you not taking into consideration that someone in a 300/400/500 pound body has different issues and difficulties than you…well that kinda does make you a bad person. Because you’re not stepping outside of yourself long enough to examine how different degrees of otherness exist and work.
We’re all fighting our own battles. And while our battles are both on the field of Living as Fat…you have more ammunition than I do. In this society, in this world, you have advantages that I don’t. Your degree of fatness is more accepted by society than mine is. And, again, I stress that it doesn’t make you a bad person or a fatphobic person or a bad fatty. It just means you have privileges that I don’t.
You’re more likely to receive a job and make more money. You’re more likely to be treated well by doctors. You’re more likely to fit into desks and be able to squeeze through tight spaces. It’s easier for you to find clothes that you can fit into, like, and afford. You’re more likely to be able to adopt children and less likely to have your food choices watched and judged. You’re less likely to be insulted, mocked, harassed, or attacked. Hell, you’re even more likely to be taken seriously when you talk about fat/body acceptance!
I love you. And the privileges you have are based on nothing that you’ve done or gained intentionally. It’s just the way the cards were dealt. Again, your privilege doesn’t make you a bad person. But if you read these words and your response is to tell me how NONONOIHAVEITBADTOOLETMETELLYOUHOW… Well. Then you might consider rereading this and thinking about what you need to do differently in order to further the cause of acceptance and the ending of oppression.
Your privilege doesn’t make you a bad person. Refusing to acknowledge it does.
ETA: I’m sorry but I have to add this.
A 200 pound person is treated differently than a 500 pound person. It honestly never occurred to me that that would be argued. If a 300 pound weight difference didn’t impact how someone was treated? Fatphobia wouldn’t even exist, now would it?
The way society treats and judges and shits on 200 pound people is bullshit. If you’re towards the smaller side of fat, your struggles are real and they suck and they need to stop! And I will yell and scream for your right to own and control your body and to be treated with dignity and respect with my dying breath. But our struggles in this world are different. And acknowledging that doesn’t diminish your pain or your feelings. It just fucking validates mine.
YES. YES. YES. YES.
At my lowest I was a size 14/16 and let me tell you the difference in how I was treated back then was ridiculous. I was actually treated like a human being, for one thing. Now at a size 26 I can’t stand that fat acceptance is so dominated by smaller bodies, when our experiences aren’t comparable. Yes, we’re both fat, but no, our experiences are not comparable. And I stay mindful of people even larger me who struggle even more with living in spaces constructed for small bodies, in a society constructed to dehumanize all fatties but at very, very different degrees.
to my activist friends: let’s make an effort not to talk about trans people, people of colour, indigenous people, sex workers, people with disabilities, queer people (etc) like there are none of these people in the room with us while we are talking about them. part of privilege is this assumption that we can ‘tell’ what someone’s identity is. we can’t tell and in many cases it’s none of our business. i get sick of being talked about like i’m not here and i’m sure others do too. <3
edit: thanks to a bud for pointing this out, but this post does the same thing…