A.) Yes, everyone possesses SOME amount of privilege.
B.) White privilege, male privilege, and heterosexual privilege are the three most powerful/valuable privileges in the world, certainly in Western culture (I’d add class/wealth privilege, but it’s held by only a very small amount of people whereas there are a lot more people who are straight, white and male or all of the above). Again, we are seen as the default face of humanity, because we dominate the cultural landscape. Seriously, this applies even in places where the majority ISN’T white.
C.) Straight white men are also the MOST privileged group. Apex privilege, if you will; we will not experience any oppression because of how we were born. A cis straight black man has male, cisgender, straight privilege but experiences racism. A white woman has white privilege but experiences sexism. It is easiest for straight white men – who, I might add, are the vast majority of people in powerful positions around the world – to completely tune out oppression exists and ignore it, because we never face it ourselves.
Nobody is bad because they have privilege, I did not ask to be born white or male. But the fact that privilege exists – that the world and our cultures heavily favor some intrinsic, valueless qualities like “whiteness” or “maleness” over others – is bad.
It’s true that my forefathers laid the foundation for the civilization in which I live. I’m sure that personally, many of them were great folks, kind and funny and like you said, the products of their time. But the civilization they’ve left us is one that is patriarchal and white supremacist, and I mean to create a more just world.
And I say you do not understand what it means to check one’s privilege. It does not mean to suffer guilt for the sins of your forefathers. It means to acknowledge the realities of the present day REGARDLESS of who caused them centuries ago, to be aware that YOU have advantages that others lack, that YOUR opinion on matters of oppression that you have never suffered is going to matter less than the opinion of those who face it daily, and that YOU must be very, very careful indeed to never abuse that privilege.
A white woman who is an ardent feminist can fuck up with racism in the feminist movement, she needs to check her white privilege. A black anti-sexist atheist can fuck up with sexism in his atheist movement and needs to check his privilege. A cisgender straight black woman can fuck up with LGBT rights and needs to check her privilege. It’s not just white straight men.
Again, that you seem to think it’s masochistic self-flagellating shows that you do not remotely understand the concept. It is not guilt. It is not bemoaning your poor luck to be born white and male. It is simply acknowledging realities and making sure you are aware of how what you say and do can affect others by simple accident of your birth.
No, it’s checking one’s privilege. not self-flagellation. That you phrase it like that betrays a gross misunderstanding of… everything.
And “ceasing to elevate above all others” is not wronging straight white men.
So you were too clean-cut. If I were fired from a corporate job because of all of my tattoos, that wouldn’t be race but simply image. Not discrimination.
Yes, because over the last five or so centuries the “Anglosphere” raped, pillaged and colonized its way into ensuring the wealth of non-white peoples flowed directly into its coffers, setting itself up as the economic and military powerhouse of the world. Is it any wonder people want to live in an economic powerhouse despite being disadvantaged?
The purpose of the thought experiment is simply to demonstrate the concept of privilege to those who have trouble grasping it. That’s all. Don’t be pedantic.
Atheists are currently a marginalized minority in the country, though obviously that one also is affected by other privileges. A straight white male atheist and a gay black male atheist experience things very differently.
What are you talking about? We’re centered far more than anyone else. The only place people don’t talk about straight white men ad nauseum is in liberation movements for marginalized minorities. We’re the centers of fiction, we’re the centers of nonfiction, we’re the de facto face of humanity.
Besides, like I said, everyone has a bit of privilege. Are you a gay white man? You have white male cisgender privilege. Are you a straight black man? Straight male privilege. A gay black woman who has a lot of money? Wealthy and cisgender privilege. It’s just more egregious for straight white men because we lucked out to have some of the biggest privileges in the universe.
And that is the most insidious property of privilege: That it affords those who have it the ability to be blind to its realities.
Think back to your first post. “I simply do not have the energy to be offended by everything that could possibly offend someone else.” That is the essence of privilege – that you don’t HAVE to care about it.
You’re right, you don’t have to care. It doesn’t effect you. It doesn’t effect me, either; if I get tired or drained from trying to advocate for social justice, I could give up, shrug and stop and never have to care about it. Those who actually face marginalization and oppression don’t have that luxury.
Equality is the end goal, though, not the strategy. Nobody ever solved an inequality by adding the same thing to both sides.
The anger of the oppressed is never equal to the violence of the oppressors. In other words, economical, political and justice bias is in no way equal to some people on Tumblr going “I hate white guys.”
Here’s the thing: The reason that people are angry at straight white men is because A.) our ancestors DID do most of it – men like us wrote the laws, created the economic systems, and so on B.) we benefit the most from the systems that have been created, to the point where we’re free to not even admit they exist.
You don’t understand privilege. All it means is that, by virtue of your race/gender/sexuality/class/etc etc, you have advantages and benefits that others do not. EVERYONE has some sort of societal privilege (unless you’re a disabled transgender lesbian Native American) – male privilege, white privilege, straight privilege, cisgender privilege, class (wealth) privilege, abled privilege, so on and so forth.
Nobody says that your possession of privilege means you’re instantly handed life on a silver platter. Everyone faces hardship – depression, job loss, stress, and so on. What they ARE saying is that, if all else were equal – if you had your exact same life but if you were gay, black, a woman, transgender, etc etc – you would have had a harder time.
If you have the time, I suggest you read this full piece about sympathy, pain, and marginalized groups “hating” the privileged. It’s very worthwhile.
It means that while you may not be directly responsible for the conditions that lead to systematic social inequality, and you are in no way at fault for being born in your skin, you need to be aware that A.) it exists B.) you benefit from it C.) and what you can do to help liberate those who are marginalized.
Why not just have more female protagonists and have both? I mean, how many queer female protagonists can you think of that the relationship is outright stated rather than just “close friendship”?
…or, it could be that the writers found the Lara/Sam relationship intriguing? Rhianna Pratchett, who wrote it, seemed completely open to queer readings of that relationship.
Well, yes. This comes down to a few things:
A.) there aren’t many female protagonists – that is, canon female protagonists as opposed to Mass Effect/Skyrim/Fallout-esque “player created” characters.
B.) the assumption is probably that, given that most gamers are straight men, they are more comfortable with their in-game avatar expressing closeness with a female character than a male one. Shitty, but true.