The Resilience Project I want to start this thing called The Resilience Project. If you have ever been bullied, oppressed, or put down If you have ever been through depression, suicidal, or felt entirely alone If you have ever battled through abuse, addiction, or anything, I want to hear your story. You are alive. You are resilient. And you have a story to share. Sharing our stories and listening to the stories of others allows us to feel empathy and to have a better understanding of how we, as a society, impact the lives of others.
Please continue this message and share your story. Thank you.
Privilege Speaks! (trigger warning for discussion of rape, violence, and talking to a privilege denying dick)
Me: The amount of race-fail I have encountered today is astounding. I mean come on, straight cis white guys really shouldn't be trying to write novels about the experience of racism... because they suck at it
Him: Is it perhaps a little ironic that you reference the gender, orientation, and race of someone to justify their ability to do something?
Me: Privilege matters (unfortunately) if you have no experience of discrimination based upon immutable qualities you'll probably end up with a mighty whitey saves the day case of bullshit.
Him: Privilege is a blanket term to throw over any entire gender, race, orientation, or any other group of people; it doesn't really do anything to resolve a specific point of contention and I don't think it adds a whole lot to any debate. It comes off more as a way to disqualify someone's opinion on the basis of things that should have nothing to do with it's validity.
Me: No, that's not what privilege is. Privilege is a way of describing the fact that there are certain things certain groups just don't experience the same way others do (due to systemic oppression) cisgender men for example will never experience street harassment the same way women and people socially coded female do. So when some douchebag guy says "I'd love it if some girl yelled vulgarities at me from across the street" it fails to take into account the fear and threat inherently associated with being catcalled for women (and people read as women)
Him: What privilege is depends on who I'm talking to and what point they're trying to make. In any case - let's use the example of fear of sexual assault - using the word "privilege" adds nothing to the point and risks alienating the group of people it's directed against.
Saying that a "cisgender man will never experience harassment the way women do" excludes the experience (or potential experience) of someone on nothing other than the typical experiences of members of their social group. It stops treating them like a person and starts treating them a representation of their group, which is what I think we'd want to get around in the first place.
Me: No, privilege is a defined piece of academic jargon that often gets misused, and you know what? I have never met a cisgender man who got street harassed the way women do. It's a big picture term, because in order to combat systemic oppression (systemic is when it's ingrained in the culture so deeply you can barely tease it out from what's inherent) you have to look at the big picture. Treating individuals as individuals on an... individual basis is all well and good, but we're not talking about that. We're talking about the fact that I earn .75 cents on a cisgender man's dollar, we're talking about the fact that thousands of women die from eating disorders every year, we're talking about how many times more likely it is I'll be raped than you, we're talking about how the average lifespan of a transgender person worldwide is 22 years, we're talking about the fact that you have a statistical advantage at pretty much everything. This doesn't make you a bad person, this doesn't mean you're not allowed to talk in debates about this shit, but you have to think before you speak and educate yourself because YOU DON'T FUCKING KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE. You have to take the time to imagine what it must be like to know X about the way the culture treats your group, and the way that effects your behavior and perception of things.