A bit of this, a bit of that... sorta good at a lot of things. ... We try.

brutereason:

The hardest thing about explaining privilege to members of dominant groups is that, usually, the fact that you’re advantaged in certain ways doesn’t mean you’re not disadvantaged in many other ways. So when we’re talking about gender and a man is told that he’s privileged–or when we’re talking about race and a white person is told that they’re privileged, or whatever–their immediate response is often, “What privilege? Look at all the ways my life has been unfair!”

To be clear, this argument is not always made in good faith*. However, for the sake of this post, I’m going to pretend that it is, because there are important points to be made about this.

Privilege is best understood as a system of interacting benefits (or disadvantages). When people in a feminist space talk about “privilege,” they often just mean male privilege. All other things being equal–this is the important part–if you are a man, you are at an advantage relative to a woman.

Of course, that’s only useful theoretically. In practice, gender isn’t the only thing that matters. Race, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, (dis)ability, religion, skin color (within race), class, weight, attractiveness, immigration status–all these things make a difference. (This is what feminists refer to as “intersectionality.”)

Say you’re a man but you lack privilege in another area–say you’re a man of color. Are you more privileged than a white, upper-class, straight, able-bodied, Christian woman? Probably not. Are you more privileged than a lower-middle-class, queer Latina woman? Probably. And your being male is only one of many ways in which you are more privileged than this hypothetical woman.

Many men have trouble understanding or accepting the concept of privilege because they do not feel that they have much of it. On one hand, this is true–men can be poor, men can be disabled, men can be non-white, men can be queer. On the other hand, privilege often remains unchallenged because it is invisible. If you are white, you don’t spend much time thinking about the fact that you never (or almost never) get stopped by the cops for absolutely no reason, searched, and subjected to harsh questions. If you are a man of color, this is something that’s almost certainly happened to you, and a problem of which you are very much aware. Likewise, if you’re a man–unless you’re very visibly gender-nonconforming–you don’t have to worry every time you go out alone at night that someone will harass you, that someone will rub up against you on the subway platform and make disgusting sounds, that someone will follow you down the street yelling at you to come back to him. All of these things have happened to me and most other women.

But this probably isn’t something you think about all the time. It’s natural that you’d think more about the ways your life can be challenging, not about how lucky you are to not get followed down the street by strange men all the time. The injustices in your life are probably more salient to you than all the myriad ways in which things work as they should. So it would make sense that, overall, you feel like you lack privilege rather than feeling like you have it.

Another way of looking at it is that a man can very much have a really difficult life that’s almost devoid of any privileges. But if, hypothetically, this same man with these same circumstances had instead been born a woman, her life would be even more difficult and even more devoid of privilege.

This is why privilege is best used as a theoretical concept and not taken too literally. It’s impossible to “measure” it. It’s impossible to know, for instance, whether a hypothetical man necessarily has more total privilege than me, or whether I have more than him.

This is also why, when discussing privilege with folks who aren’t very familiar with intersectionality, it’s best to be as specific as possible. “You just don’t get this because you’re privileged” or “Check your privilege” is never going to work if the person you’re talking to actually lacks privilege along every axis other than the one you’re talking about (well, or if they don’t know what the hell privilege even means). If I–a white, able-bodied, cisgender, middle-class woman–yell at a poor, queer man of color to “check his privilege” because he said something sexist, he would (and should) laugh in my face. Because he’ll probably immediately think of his class, race, and sexual orientation and wonder how, exactly, he’s so privileged.

When this comes up, it’s vital to remind people that the disadvantages they face in life are not a product of the fact that they’re male (or white, or whatever). If I tell you that being a woman means I have to worry about people harassing me on the street and you tell me that, well, being a queer man means you get harassed on the street too, you’re missing the point a little. It’s not being a man that gets you harassed. It’s being queer, because we have a society that’s unjust toward queer people.

Some have tried to get around this hurdle when educating about privilege by creating metaphors in which you get a certain number of “points” in different domains. If you’re white, you get more “points” than if you’re not white. If you’re male, you get more points than if you’re not male. If you’re straight…you get the idea. Then the total points you have is your privilege, and you can see that getting few points in one category doesn’t mean you can’t get many points in another category. (John Scalzi made a similar metaphor brilliantly here.)

Such metaphors are fraught with complications (should being male give you more points than being white?), they’re useful for showing that you can’t just look at one axis. It’s not just about being male. It’s not just about being white. It’s everything.

Privilege is a theory, a framework that can be used to explain how our social world works. Like all theories, it has weaknesses and blind spots. Some try to make up for these by continually inventing new forms of privilege–vanilla privilege and couple privilege are a few that I’ve heard relatively recently–but in reality, the problem with taking privilege too literally is that there are just too damn many variables that shape our circumstances and what we are able to achieve. It is completely possible to be a straight white cis able-bodied middle-class Christian mentally/physically healthy English-speaking American plain-ol-vanilla-white-bread man and still have your life completely destroyed and fucked over by circumstances beyond your control.

That does not mean that you do not have privilege.

All it means is that privilege is just a theory, useful for explaining many but not all things, and that you, my friend, were really unlucky and that legitimately sucks.

~~~

*Examples: “Male privilege? But women never answer my OkCupid messages!” and “White privilege? But [insert story about how you got rejected from a job/college because some Totally Unqualified Black Person got it instead].”

visualpantheon:

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on SNL

We are tired of being analyzed, defined and represented by people other than ourselves, or worse yet, not considered at all. We are frustrated by the imposed isolation and invisibility that comes from being told or expected to choose either a homosexual or heterosexual identity.

Monosexuality is a heterosexist dictate used to oppress homosexuals and to negate the validity of bisexuality.

Bisexuality is a whole, fluid identity. Do not assume that bisexuality is binary or duogamous in nature: that we have "two" sides or that we must be involved simultaneously with both genders to be fulfilled human beings. In fact, don’t assume that there are only two genders. Do not mistake our fluidity for confusion, irresponsibility, or an inability to commit. Do not equate promiscuity, infidelity, or unsafe sexual behavior with bisexuality. Those are human traits that cross all sexual orientations. Nothing should be assumed about anyone’s sexuality, including your own.

We are angered by those who refuse to accept our existence; our issues; our contributions; our alliances; our voice. It is time for the bisexual voice to be heard.

Bisexual Manifesto (1990) historic declaration about what it means to be bisexual as defined by members of the bisexual community themselves from the magazine Anything That Moves, a literary, journalistic, and topical magazine published in the USA from 1990 to 2002. (via alchemy)

(Source: bialogue-group)

thetrevorproject:

gaywrites:

A former Miss Kentucky winner came forward as queer this past week as a response to a court ruling striking down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. She was Miss Kentucky in 2010 and finished in the top 10 in the Miss America pageant the next year. 

I can’t do justice to her words with a summary, so here’s the best of it:

“I am queer,” wrote Djuan Trent on in a recent post on her blog, Life in 27. She then reported hearing many antigay comments in the wake of the federal judge’s ruling.

“What has prompted my writing today has been my questioning people’s constant assumption that a) I am hetero and b) I concur with their views,” she said.

It’s obvious to people who meet her that she’s black and a woman, she commented, “but sometimes, I forget to put the ‘QUEER’ stamp on my forehead on my way out the door in the mornings. So, on the mornings that I forget my stamp, I have realized that there is really no way for people to know that I disagree with their views or, even more so, to know that they are talking about me, unless I actually open my mouth and say it.”

She went on, “Ideally, I would love to one day live in a society where coming out is no longer necessary because we don’t make assumptions about one another’s sexuality and homophobia is laid to rest.” But society is not there yet, so she calls on others to make their presence known: “People can’t know that their best friend, brother, sister, co-worker, neighbor, news anchor, favorite singer, or local coffee shop barista is being oppressed and denied the rights [of] their heterosexual counterparts … unless you open your mouth and say it.”

You know what my favorite part of this is? “I am queer.” How often does anyone say that so bravely in the public eye? Congratulations to her! 

Congrats on being true to yourself, Djuan!

Xavier Dolan. Candy Magazine (2013)

(Source: its-blee)

radiumcandy:

joannablackhart:

yamino:

tristifere:

himteckerjam:

intersectionalfeminism:

Acephobia in the LGBT+ Community from the documentary (A)sexuality. 

It is just…so fucking weird how threatened people feel when it comes to Asexuality.  I still can’t wrap my mind around it.

I’m so happy this post is being reblogged by LBGT+ people who aren’t asexual. I keep on reading posts by non-ace LGBT+ people of support to the ace community, and of being stunned by this reaction by a movement which should know better than to judge. AND THAT MAKES THIS ACE SO FREAKING HAPPY. The woman in the first photo expresses my sentiment. I know I belong in the queer/LGBTQIA movement. I want to belong. But I just don’t know if I’m welcome. I’m so happy that there are so many people on Tumblr who do not fall into the catagory of outright refusal of asexuality.

I know not a lot of people understand asexuality. And I know there’s confusion about it, about our experiences, and about how we fit in the movement. But let’s talk about this. Let’s have this conversation.

I mostly don’t delve into the ace tags, but I hear there’s a lot of ace-hate that and I really don’t get it.  I don’t understand how asexuality is threatening.

You know what I (as a queer ace-spectrum person) find most threatening?  Getting unwanted sexual unwanted advances from both queer and straight people. I’ve gotten them from people of all spectrums and it always makes me profoundly uncomfortable, and often unsafe.  It just boggles my mind how people are upset by the concept of asexuality.  That’s like getting really mad at someone who isn’t hungry.  What’s the point?  Just shut up eat your own sandwich. (And stop chewing on me.)

Wow, the fuck the people in those images.

Nobody has the right to disrespect anybody else’s sense of self. It may not be for, you but that does not give you the right to be an asshole.

We really need to push more for LGBTQIA+ to be a standard, instead of just LGBT, especially considering that even the B and T are already invisible in much of the community.

Not supporting some of us = not supporting all of us.

Who does asexuality threaten? 

What’s your damage if someone is asexual? Is that some kind of shattering blow to your ego, that someone may not want to have sex with you? Do you need reinforcement for your sexuality so badly that you feel the need to shun someone just because they don’t share it?

Pathetic and hypocritical.

deadonrevival:

bnaz:

carol1st:

astrodidact:

Yay?….
It’s alive! Buried deep in the Siberian permafrost scientists found a ‘giant virus’ that has been asleep for 30,000 years. Named Pithovirus sibericum, it contains 500 genes and was revived in the lab. The researchers are now trying to assess if ancient viruses such as this one could pose a threat for humans. via Science Alert/fb
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140303-giant-virus-permafrost-siberia-pithovirus-pandoravirus-science/

Let’s hope this wasn’t the stupidest thing we’ve ever done.

there are about 16046540210 movies that explain exactly why this could be the stupidest thing we’ve ever done

Yay! Zombies!

deadonrevival:

bnaz:

carol1st:

astrodidact:

Yay?….

It’s alive! Buried deep in the Siberian permafrost scientists found a ‘giant virus’ that has been asleep for 30,000 years. Named Pithovirus sibericum, it contains 500 genes and was revived in the lab. The researchers are now trying to assess if ancient viruses such as this one could pose a threat for humans. via Science Alert/fb

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140303-giant-virus-permafrost-siberia-pithovirus-pandoravirus-science/

Let’s hope this wasn’t the stupidest thing we’ve ever done.

there are about 16046540210 movies that explain exactly why this could be the stupidest thing we’ve ever done

Yay! Zombies!

lawa7di:

Western onlookers have a very firm notion of the trajectory along which LGBTQ rights should advance. That trajectory places trans rights as a clear “next step,” something that can only be achieved once the groundwork has been laid by the advancement of the “L,” “G,” and perhaps “B” contingencies (representing lesbian, gay, and bisexual, respectively). But the Lebanese courts are not following that trajectory. The same ruling that decriminalized homosexuality also formally recognized gender variation and codified principles of self-identification. This nuanced view of the interplay between sexuality and gender identification doesn’t fit with the traditional (Western) “gay rights” narrative, and has resulted in Western media coverage that almost completely silences the critical role a transwoman played in achieving this landmark ruling.

Proclaiming Lebanon’s ruling as merely a “victory for gays” is not only an insult to the trans issues underpinning the ruling, but also whitewashes the Lebanese LGBTQ movement, painting it with strokes more easily digestible by Western consumers. The Lebanese case was not and is not merely a “victories for gays” – it is a nuanced and praise-worthy assessment of gender variance. While critics have commented that the ruling falls short of tangible “rights” for gays, in many ways it also far surpasses mainstream Western understandings of gender identity. And this deserves some press.

(Source: waja3-ras)

hestmord:

"as someone who is not upset or panicked by content, trigger warnings personally offend me, because i see them with increasing frequency, and yet they do not serve any of my needs in a direct capacity. i strongly suspect they cater to the needs of people who are not me, and thus i am compelled to shriek about them in the loudest, whiniest way possible inbetween gnawing furiously on the lids of my neighbors’ trash cans"

actuallyclintbarton:

vaspider:

notalwaysweak:

joannablackhart:

yamino:

tristifere:

himteckerjam:

intersectionalfeminism:

Acephobia in the LGBT+ Community from the documentary (A)sexuality. 

It is just…so fucking weird how threatened people feel when it comes to Asexuality.  I still can’t wrap my mind around it.

I’m so happy this post is being reblogged by LBGT+ people who aren’t asexual. I keep on reading posts by non-ace LGBT+ people of support to the ace community, and of being stunned by this reaction by a movement which should know better than to judge. AND THAT MAKES THIS ACE SO FREAKING HAPPY. The woman in the first photo expresses my sentiment. I know I belong in the queer/LGBTQIA movement. I want to belong. But I just don’t know if I’m welcome. I’m so happy that there are so many people on Tumblr who do not fall into the catagory of outright refusal of asexuality.

I know not a lot of people understand asexuality. And I know there’s confusion about it, about our experiences, and about how we fit in the movement. But let’s talk about this. Let’s have this conversation.

I mostly don’t delve into the ace tags, but I hear there’s a lot of ace-hate that and I really don’t get it.  I don’t understand how asexuality is threatening.

You know what I (as a queer ace-spectrum person) find most threatening?  Getting unwanted sexual unwanted advances from both queer and straight people. I’ve gotten them from people of all spectrums and it always makes me profoundly uncomfortable, and often unsafe.  It just boggles my mind how people are upset by the concept of asexuality.  That’s like getting really mad at someone who isn’t hungry.  What’s the point?  Just shut up eat your own sandwich. (And stop chewing on me.)

Wow, the fuck the people in those images.

Nobody has the right to disrespect anybody else’s sense of self. It may not be for, you but that does not give you the right to be an asshole.

We really need to push more for LGBTQIA+ to be a standard, instead of just LGBT, especially considering that even the B and T are already invisible in much of the community.

Not supporting some of us = not supporting all of us.

Not supporting some of us = not supporting all of us.

It really, really does bear repeating.

I couldn’t be further from ace, but for serious.

If we’re not in this together, we’re not in this at all.

I have watched this documentary (last I checked it was still available on Netflix and it’s definitely worth a watch) and some of the way the queer community reacted… it literally sickens me.

THERE IS NOTHING THREATENING ABOUT A PERSON WHO DOESN’T WANT TO HAVE SEX.  Like… on the sexuality spectrum, that’s like the LEAST THREATENING THING THERE IS.  I think the guy on the bottom right is really telling - “I don’t stand for what you stand for”?  Really?  So dude, is it that you don’t stand for people having the right to choose not to have sex if they don’t want to, or is that you’re turning the rhetoric used against gay people (the idea that we try to “recruit” anyone and change a straight person into a gay person) against someone weaker than you?

NOT SUPPORTING SOME OF US = NOT SUPPORTING ANY OF US.

I SAY IT WHEN IT COMES TO TRANS PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY TRANS LADIES, ESPECIALLY TRANS LADIES OF COLOR.  I SAY IT WHEN IT COMES TO ANY QUEER PEOPLE OF COLOR.  I SAY IT WHEN IT COMES TO BISEXUALS.  AND I SAY IT WHEN IT COMES TO ACE PEOPLE OF ALL STRIPES.

YOU CANNOT PICK AND CHOOSE.  

EVEN IF YOU ARE QUEER, YOU CANNOT PICK AND FUCKING CHOOSE.

YOU EITHER SUPPORT ALL OF US, OR YOU DON’T REALLY SUPPORT ANY OF US.

soetzufit:

arcadiasilver:

azurewhelp:

I am 50 shades done with basic gamer dudes (even who are “professionals”) trying this stupid troll, or at worst, asking this with sincerity. It’s indistinguishable as satire since men ask this ALL THE TIME. If Husky wanted to know what women played, why not ask them directly? Why call them females? Why ask other people about what they like, like we are some alien species that cannot use words? Why is it a mystery
don’t you live with a woman who plays games
don’t you shoutcast for Starcraft
who is phone

female make clicky noise like me with phone with computer
female…make…noise i make??!
is female me? MYSTERY!

In what should be a surprise to no one, this is the individual whose Heroes of the Storm stream I was watching the other night when he started making gross jokes about the noises Tyrande makes when you spin her character on the character selection screen.  So glad this is someone Blizzard picks to represent their new game with alpha access.

soetzufit:

arcadiasilver:

azurewhelp:

I am 50 shades done with basic gamer dudes (even who are “professionals”) trying this stupid troll, or at worst, asking this with sincerity. It’s indistinguishable as satire since men ask this ALL THE TIME. If Husky wanted to know what women played, why not ask them directly? Why call them females? Why ask other people about what they like, like we are some alien species that cannot use words? Why is it a mystery

don’t you live with a woman who plays games

don’t you shoutcast for Starcraft

who is phone

female make clicky noise like me with phone with computer

female…make…noise i make??!

is female me? MYSTERY!

In what should be a surprise to no one, this is the individual whose Heroes of the Storm stream I was watching the other night when he started making gross jokes about the noises Tyrande makes when you spin her character on the character selection screen.  So glad this is someone Blizzard picks to represent their new game with alpha access.