The Problem With Little White Girls (and Boys): Why I Stopped Being a Voluntourist
It turns out that I, a little white girl, am good at a lot of things. I am good at raising money, training volunteers, collecting items, coordinating programs, and telling stories. I am flexible, creative, and able to think on my feet. On paper I am, by most people’s standards, highly qualified to do international aid. But I shouldn’t be.
[...] I don’t want a little girl in Ghana, or Sri Lanka, or Indonesia to think of me when she wakes up each morning. I don’t want her to thank me for her education or medical care or new clothes. Even if I am providing the funds to get the ball rolling, I want her to think about her teacher, community leader, or mother. I want her to have a hero who she can relate to – who looks like her, is part of her culture, speaks her language, and who she might bump into on the way to school one morning.
posted by spiderskull
on Feb 26, 2014 -
Silent Technical Privilege.
"Even though I didn't grow up in a tech-savvy household and couldn't code my way out of a paper bag, I had one big thing going for me: I looked
like I was good at programming."
posted by Memo
on Jan 9, 2014 -
"I wanted to address the issue of people who associate, either online or in real life, or both with BDSM and their surrounding issues. It is the happy couple who find their sexual tastes intersect. People who lived steeped in the language and the subculture of BDSM often forget that they are, in fact, a subculture. It is a non-normative form of sexuality. And I feel that, in attempting to validate our own desires, we forget that.
" Remittance Girl
writes succinctly about privilege, power dynamics and how sometimes those in to BDSM forget that perhaps it is not for everyone:
"Just that while we are all busy congratulating ourselves on our openmindedness and adventurism, our liberating demands to have our ‘needs met,’ it is worth recalling that our current circumstances are born of having immense scope in our choices. And that is not everyone’s reality."
posted by Megami
on Sep 26, 2013 -
John Scalzi responds to a troll
Cheezburgering "This is what a feminist looks like" on a photo of him in a regency-era gown.
Over the weekend, some dudebro with a history of shitting on women took this picture of me and meme-ized it, with the intent, given his personal history and predilections, of mocking me — both for my views as regards women, and for wearing a dress.
Dudebro: Let me detail for you the various ways this picture has utterly failed you as an attempt to ridicule me.
posted by modernserf
on Aug 26, 2013 -
"The logics of privilege rest on an individualized self that relies on the raw material of other beings to constitute itself. Although the confessing of privilege is understood to be an anti-racist practice, it is ultimately a project premised on white supremacy."
Andrea Smith on The Problem with 'Privilege'
posted by downing street memo
on Aug 20, 2013 -
Metafilter's own Anil Dash defends
talking in movies. Metafilter's own Jesse Thorn agrees
, and extends the point to the world of menswear blogging.
posted by bzbb
on Aug 8, 2013 -
Ariel Meadow Stallings (creator of Offbeat Mama and Offbeat Bride) on liberal bullying
: "...what's the biggest challenge we deal with every day? The challenge that has my editors second-guessing every post and quaking in fear, just waiting for the awfulness to begin? It's attacks from our fellow progressives... Increasingly, I've started recognizing this kind of behavior for what it is: privilege-checking as a form of internet sport. It's a kind of trolling, with all the politics I agree with, but motivations and execution that turns my stomach. It's well-intended (SO
well-intended), but when the motivations seem to be less about opening dialogue about the issues, and more about performance, righteousness, and intolerance for those who don't agree with you… well, I'm not on-board." [more inside]
posted by flex
on Dec 2, 2012 -
Why Teaching Equality Hurts Men
: "It hurts them by making them unconsciously perpetrate biases they’ve been actively taught to despise. It hurts them by making them complicit in the distress of others. It hurts them by shoehorning them into a restrictive definition masculinity from which any and all deviation is harshly punished... It hurts them through a process of indoctrination so subtle and pervasive that they never even knew it was happening, and when you’ve been raised to hate inequality, discovering that you’ve actually been its primary beneficiary is horrifying – like learning that the family fortune comes from blood money." (via nooneyouknow)
posted by flex
on May 18, 2012 -
Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is...
As the game progresses, your goal is to gain points, apportion them wisely, and level up. If you start with fewer points and fewer of them in critical stat categories, or choose poorly regarding the skills you decide to level up on, then the game will still be difficult for you. But because you’re playing on the “Straight White Male” setting, gaining points and leveling up will still by default be easier, all other things being equal, than for another player using a higher difficulty setting.
Likewise, it’s certainly possible someone playing at a higher difficulty setting is progressing more quickly than you are, because they had more points initially given to them by the computer and/or their highest stats are wealth, intelligence and constitution and/or simply because they play the game better than you do. It doesn’t change the fact you are still playing on the lowest difficulty setting.
MeFi's own John Scalzi
provides an excellent, relatable metaphor for explaining the realities of race and gender without invoking the dreaded word "privilege". [more inside]
posted by Jon_Evil
on May 15, 2012 -
Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk Awkwardly About Race. 'Once I realized I was racist, it was, well, what am I going to do about it?' says Winn, a mild-mannered white guy in his 30s. 'That shifts the defensiveness.' [...] 'The test of how racist you are is not how many people of color you can count as friends,' I recall someone telling me—I can't remember who now. 'It's how many white people you're willing to talk to about racism.'
posted by shakespeherian
on Sep 7, 2011 -
Toronto's new alt-weekly The Grid has kicked up a storm of controversy this week with their cover story Dawn of a New Gay
, which focuses on a new breed of "post-mos" who sneer at the traditional trappings of homosexuality and gay activism. Torontoist responds
, and one of the subjects of the article has denounced
his involvement in the piece.
posted by yellowbinder
on Jun 10, 2011 -
Monica Potts on Louis CK and privilege:
"For the most part, people of color are the ones who initiate serious discussions about race and privilege in the public sphere -- and in the world of comedy ... Some white comedians, like Sarah Silverman, tend to joke about
racism, making fun of white people and their ignorance in ways that shock and offend. ... But Louis' comedy is about being a white man -- and about how others view white men. He doesn't accept ignorance as a point of view. Moreover, this isn't the occasional stand-up bit; a significant number of his jokes are about race, class, and gender." [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk
on Oct 15, 2010 -
Beyond even the outrageously broad "state secrets" privilege invented by the Bush administration and now embraced fully by the Obama administration, the Obama DOJ has now invented a brand new claim of government immunity, one which literally asserts that the U.S. Government is free to intercept all of your communications (calls, emails and the like) and -- even if what they're doing is blatantly illegal and they know it's illegal -- you are barred from suing them unless they "willfully disclose" to the public what they have learned.
- Glenn Greenwald
. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Apr 7, 2009 -
Privileges: Gender: 10 things only men can do
(Askmen.com), male privilege (wiki)
, 21 Things Women Can Do That Guys Can't
(Cosmo), female privilege (2 3 4 5)
. Race: white privilege (wiki)
. Sexual orientation: straight privilege (2) (wiki)
, cisgendered privilege
. Body: able-bodied privilege
, non-fat privilege
. Money: non-poor privilege (2)
, class privilege (PDF)
. Demographics: Christian privilege
, American privilege
, adult privilege
, black male privilege
, Muslim male privilege
. Combo: gamer privilege
, male programmer privilege
. Criticism and essays: victim privilege
, "Point of Privilege
", "We can't be equal while ...
", "Where's My Extra Piece of the Pie?
". And, lest this become too serious: pirate privilege
and lolcat privilege (the latter via)
. (Covered in smaller scope previously.)
posted by WCityMike
on Aug 15, 2008 -
"If feminism is about social change, white feminism
-- a feminism of assimilation, of gentle reform and/or strengthening of institutions that are instrumental to economic exploitation and white supremacy, of ignorance and/or appropriation of the work of feminists of color -- is an oxymoron. And it is not a thing of some bygone era before everyone read bell hooks in college. It is happening now; you might be part of it."
posted by nasreddin
on Apr 6, 2008 -
Dr. Peggy McIntosh
wrote a paper
in 1989 titled White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women’s Studies
(later released as White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
), which she wrote because, "...have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets which I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was 'meant' to remain oblivious." Since then the lesson she sought to teach has inspired other lists, such as The Male Privilege
and now The Daily Effect of Straight Privilege
posted by FunkyHelix
on Jul 10, 2006 -
Next in the "America slowly slipping toward fascism" saga: Reporter Convicted for Refusing to Give Identity of a Source.
Mr. Taricani would be one of only a handful of journalists to go to jail for refusing to identify a source. Mr. Taricani was convicted in connection with a long-running federal investigation called Operation Plunderdome, which resulted in the conviction of at least nine city officials,
including Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr., who was sentenced to 64 months for racketeering conspiracy.
His bad: refusing to identify the person who leaked him an F.B.I. videotape in 2001 related to an investigation of government corruption in Providence.
posted by acrobat
on Nov 19, 2004 -
Despite her boarding-school education and a personal tutor, Maude Bunn's SAT scores weren't high enough for a typical student to earn admission to Duke University.
But Ms. Bunn had something else going for her -- coffeemakers. Her Bunn forebears built a fortune on them and, with Duke hoping to woo her wealthy parents as donors, she was admitted.
Afterward, her parents promptly became co-chairmen of a Duke fund-raising effort aimed at other Duke parents. "My child was given a gift, she got in, and now I'm giving back," says Maude's mother, Cissy Bunn, who declines to say how much the family has contributed to the university.
posted by orange swan
on Apr 11, 2003 -
The Global Privileges of Whiteness.
"The average White American's attitudes about race and racism are a mixture of self-congratulation and defensiveness -- 'Yes, America has had some episodes of racism and racial bias, but that's all clearly in the past.'"
posted by queequeg
on Jun 29, 2001 -
Janna Bush's homework
is funny on so many levels:
posted by nicwolff
on Dec 21, 2000 -
- This is college-level work in Texas?
- People in Texas think that people in Harlem attend dances at the VFW?
- Dubya's daughter, having been sent to a state school to bolster dad's political image as a down-home Texan even though she could surely have legacy'd at Yale as he did (and Skull & Bones admits women now!), is getting just the sort of politically correct education that her father's cohort reviles.