” …even though I get accused of “privilege” for writing things on my blog, even though there’s no possible way that could be “interrupting” or “in a women only safe space”. We know this because there is a song called “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist” and it is very cute. And racist people deserve to lose everything they have and be hated by everyone. Unless of course you plan to be the person who gets to decide which racists lose everything and get hated by everyone, and which racists are okay for now as long as they never cross you in any way. Someone will argue I am equivocating between two different uses of “racist”.
When you bring this up, people just deny they’re doing it and call you paranoid. Also because most people score poorly on implicit association tests, because a lot of white people will get anxious if they see a black man on a deserted street late at night, and because if you prime people with traditionally white versus traditionally black names they will answer questions differently in psychology experiments. We know this because he made a racist comment in the privacy of his own home. To which I would respond that this is exactly the point.
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I know a lot of men who are scared of being Forever Alone but terrified to ask women out, and I feel their pain and most of my male friends feel their pain.
Yet a lot of the feminists I talk to have this feeling that this is entirely about how they think they own women’s bodies and are entitled to sex, and from their experience as attractive women it’s easy to get dates and if you can’t it’s probably because you’re a creep or not trying hard enough.
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As long as nobody’s challenging you, you spend time in the bailey reaping the rewards of occupying such useful territory. So let me point out something I think the standard theory fails to explain, but my theory explains pretty well.
As soon as someone challenges you, you retreat to the impregnable motte and glare at them until they get annoyed and go away. This is a metaphor that only historians of medieval warfare could love, so maybe we can just call the whole thing “strategic equivocation”, which is perfectly clear without the digression into feudal fortifications. Why can’t social justice terms apply to oppressed groups? There is no way to get a quicker reaction from someone in social justice than to apply a social justice term like “privilege” or “racist” to a group that isn’t straight/white/male. If “privilege” just means “interjecting yourself into other people’s conversations”, this seems like something that women could do as well as men.
Like, let’s say that a feminist woman posts a thoughtful comment to this post, and I say “Thanks for your input, but I was actually just trying to explain things to my non-feminist male friends, I’d prefer you not interject here.” Isn’t it possible she might continue to argue, and so be interjecting herself into another person’s conversation?
Or suppose “privilege” instead just means a cute story about a dog and a lizard, in which different people have trouble understanding each other’s experiences and appreciating the amount of pain they can be causing.
I think I speak for all straight white men when I say that sounds really bad and if I was doing it I’m sorry and will try to avoid ever doing it again. Can’t believe that took us however many centuries to sort out.
All it means is that you’re interjecting yourself into other people’s conversations and demanding their pain be about you.
In the comments section of the last disaster of a social justice post on my blog, someone started talking about how much they hated the term “mansplaining”, and someone else popped in to – ironically – explain what “mansplaining” was and why it was a valuable concept that couldn’t be dismissed so easily. At this point I jumped in and commented: I feel like every single term in social justice terminology has a totally unobjectionable and obviously important meaning – and then is actually used a completely different way.