Category Archives: Social Justice

Ways To Be, and Not To Be

Regarding certain responses to issues of racism, sexism, cissexism, other prejudice-with-power problems, rape culture examples, and privilege:

I am tired of people saying that it’s “up to each individual to decide whether or not they’re offended”. That is essentially saying “It’s your problem if you are offended by this shitty thing I or someone else did that hurts you”, rather than “Wow, I or that person/group said/did an offensive/terrible thing, that sucks, how can I help?” Saying that it’s “up to each individual”, in this manner, is a non-answer, a “this isn’t my problem so I’m not dealing with it, la la la” answer.

No. Just no.

Wake up. It is EVERYONE’S problem when society and individuals treat certain people as less-than, less deserving of kindness, dignity, rights, and more. It is EVERYONE’S problem when someone gets denied their rights, raped, assaulted, murdered, attacked, harassed, and more. It is EVERYONE’S problem that there are people with no where to go and nothing to eat.

Let’s not be shitty to each other, shall we? The world is bettered when there’s less of this garbage going around.

On Privilege, and Learning How To Avoid Using It To Step On Others

(This post began on Twitter.)

This post is for anyone who has privilege and interacts with people who have a lower level of privilege than them.

A thought: when raised in privilege w/ things mostly being fair, it can be easy to get defensive, and even angry, when people for whom things aren’t fair get angry about it and treat you unfairly. “After all,” you may think, “it wasn’t *me* that oppressed them.” Whether or not this is true is irrelevant. The best thing I can say is this: Get through it, stop talking, and listen to what they are saying. You’ve had the luxury of not having to think of the things your level of  privilege entails. They haven’t. Feel what you feel, sure, but don’t make your defensiveness and anger their problem.  The unfairness they are experiencing may not be your personal fault, but that doesn’t mean their anger is allowed to be erased by that.

Something I learned in the last couple of days is that I’m still not very good at this, which is hard to admit. I’m trying to take it one conversation/opportunity to listen at a time.