Posts Tagged privilege

An open letter to privileged people who play devil’s advocate

You know who you are. You are that white guy in an Ethnic Studies class who’s exploring the idea that poor people might have babies to stay on welfare. Or some person arguing over drinks that maybe a lot of women do fake rape for attention. Or, recently, someone insisting that I consider the idea that Elliot Rodger could have been a madman and an anomaly, not at all a product of a white supremacist and misogynistic society.

Most of the time, it’s clear that you actually believe the arguments you claim to have just for the heck of it. However, you know that these beliefs are unpopular, largely because they make you sound selfish and privileged, so you blame them on the ...

You know who you are. You are that white guy in an Ethnic Studies class who’s exploring the idea that poor people might have babies to stay on welfare. Or some person arguing over drinks that maybe ...

“No one cares if you never apologize for your white male privilege.”

Here’s a story:

A 20-year-old college freshman wrote an essay for one of his college publications and was subsequently interviewed on Fox News, written about in the New York Times, and had the essay republished by TIME. Yet, he doesn’t understand why anyone thinks he benefits from white male privilege.

Honestly, that right there is all I have to say about Princeton student Tal Fortgang’s exercise in point-missing “Why I’ll Never Apologize for My White Male Privilege.” 

Here’s a story:

A 20-year-old college freshman wrote an essay for one of his college publications and was subsequently interviewed on Fox News, written about in the New York Times, and had the essay ...

Charts of the Day: This is what cisprivilege looks like

The Transadvocate has put together a few illuminating if disheartening charts showing that  trans folks are too frequently the subject of employer discrimination and unemployment, despite having more education than their cis counterparts.

Chart one, from a survey performed by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, shows that transgender adults have consistently higher levels of education than the general population.

Yet, as you can see in the next two charts, this doesn’t translate into better employment opportunity or higher earnings, as transgender people face disproportionately high levels of workplace discrimination. More charts after the jump. 

The Transadvocate has put together a few illuminating if disheartening charts showing that  trans folks are too frequently the subject of employer discrimination and unemployment, despite having more education than their cis counterparts.

Chart one, from a survey ...

Why can’t I be both?: Questions on binaries, privilege and activism

“Where are you from?”

I turn to the man at the bus station. Wearing mismatched army pants and an African Kufi hat, he looks like some of the other lost souls that usually try to talk to me.

I sigh, and decide to be difficult.

“I’m from San Francisco,” I tell him, smiling innocently.

“Oh,” he says, but doesn’t give up. “But what is your heritage?”

“Oh you mean, what is my ethnicity? My mother is Brazilian, my dad is white American.”

“Brasileria, huh? Bailas samba?”

The man then starts on the usual spiel about how he thinks Brazilian women are so sexy and I have beautiful eyes. I begin to tune him out. I decide it’s not worth giving him a speech about the exotification of ...

“Where are you from?”

I turn to the man at the bus station. Wearing mismatched army pants and an African Kufi hat, he looks like some of the other lost souls that usually try to talk to me.

I ...

Guest Post: Femme Privilege Does Not Exist

Editor’s note: OK, I’ll admit it. When I was in college there was a secret underground society of lefty organizers bent on taking over the world. It was basically exactly like the Skull and Bones, except we were a bunch of pinko queers who wanted to smash patriarchy, white supremacy, capitalism, and the state. Today you can find us running the social justice internets and leading worldwide anticolonial and anticapitalist movements. Cyree Jarelle Johnson is one of us. This is a cross-post from Femme Dreamboat. Cyree’s bio is at the end of the post.

I’m (not) sorry to inform you that femme privilege does not exist. Not in the queer community. Not in the world at large. Does. Not. Exist. ...

Editor’s note: OK, I’ll admit it. When I was in college there was a secret underground society of lefty organizers bent on taking over the world. It was basically exactly like the Skull and Bones, except we ...

There is no right way to hate your body

This weekend, I had the great honour of speaking on a panel with the incredible Hanne Blank and the estimable Therese Shechter.

We were there – at Momentum – to talk about sex and body image online, and our panel was what Hanne called a confetti conversation: we threw a bunch of bright and diverse but related ideas up in the air and watched them float around the room.

Therese spoke about how online spaces are often the only place where you can  find fat bodies being publicly sexual in a way that is depicted as good and desirable and sexy. I spoke about the privilege that I enjoy when I write about body image, and how I ...

This weekend, I had the great honour of speaking on a panel with the incredible Hanne Blank and the estimable Therese Shechter.

We were there – at Momentum – to talk about sex and body ...

RGheygirl

White savior complexes, hurt feelings and the undue pressure put on writers of color

Teju Cole has a deeply nuanced and informative piece at the Atlantic Monthly about a phenomenon that now finally has a name: the White Savior Industrial Complex. According to Cole, the specific type of activism where white and/or other privileged people enter communities, countries and cultural contexts that are not their own, is still a site rife with misunderstanding, assumptions, faulty generalizations and ultimately, misguided “do-gooding.” His piece was in response to Kony 2012 and in defense of a series of poignant tweets, including:

@tejucole 5- The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.

I suppose you could see how these tweets were controversial–except that they are totally correct. So, really the only people ...

Teju Cole has a deeply nuanced and informative piece at the Atlantic Monthly about a phenomenon that now finally has a name: the White Savior Industrial Complex. According to Cole, the specific type of activism where white and/or ...

Wednesday Weigh In: ‘White Male Nerd Culture’ Edition

Over at Salon, Irin Carmon examines the “white nerd male culture” after this week’s #SXSW attempt to diversify led to sometimes awkward results:

On Monday, an enthusiastic white man congratulated film blogger and software development manager Malaika Paquiot-Mose for how well she’d done on the South by Southwest panel that had just ended.

Inconveniently, Paquiot-Mose hadn’t been on it.

Still, the gentlemen insisted that she had, despite the fact that Paquiot-Mose and Latoya Peterson, the panel’s moderator, honestly couldn’t figure out which of the black female panelists she had even been mistaken for. It didn’t help that the panel was called “Race: Know When to Hold It and When to Fold It” – on diversity and representation in technology – and by ...

Over at Salon, Irin Carmon examines the “white nerd male culture” after this week’s #SXSW attempt to diversify led to sometimes awkward results:

On Monday, an enthusiastic white man congratulated film blogger and software development manager Malaika ...

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