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The Myth of the Gay Community

"I am the gay community that many people think of, that gets to have its voice heard, who considers the prospect of marriage. But it certainly doesn’t end with me." (SL Atlantic)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 30, 2015 - 19 comments

America's Angriest White Men

"A longtime feminist, Kimmel maintains a delicate balance when handling his sources. He wants to be sympathetic to the people he interviews and yet loyal to his academic principles. After a series of humbling recessions and other economic shifts, men like Rick feel emasculated and humiliated, he writes, 'betrayed by the country they love, discarded like trash on the side of the information superhighway.' Their sin, according to Kimmel, is a failure to adjust. These guys refuse to admit they’ve been handed privilege all these years by a world that puts white men on top. White men, he writes, 'have been running with the wind at our backs all these years,' and 'what we think of as ‘fairness’ to us has been built on the backs of others.' The New York Times reviews sociologist Michael Kimmel's 2013 book Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era. [more inside]
posted by quiet earth on Jan 24, 2015 - 70 comments

The failure to reclaim the word "slut"

"For them it was an amazing feminist experience, but it didn’t last." Feminist blogger Jessica Valenti questions the attempt to turn "slut" into something positive:
Tanenbaum told me that, when women are in closed circle or close-knit community – like a protest with like-minded people, or among friends who understand the cheeky appropriation of the word – identifying as a “slut” can be empowering. But what inevitably happens, especially in today’s digital culture where revenge porn, stolen pictures and cyber harassment is the norm, is that “it always spills outwards.”
[more inside]
posted by Librarypt on Jan 20, 2015 - 56 comments

How can I learn? How can I help?

"I want first to thank you, watching/reading you advocate is an inspiration. I hope to one day be as articulate and hard-working as you. If you're able, could you point me to some favorite writings on privilege/intersectionality/feminism? I'm interested to see what's inspired/informed you. Thank you!" Writer, feminist (and crafter) Ijeoma Oluo provides ten solid links to educational resources online (caveat: she does state, though, that these links barely scratch the surface.) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 13, 2015 - 3 comments

Why is this white man so angry?

White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable. A 2011 paper by Robin DiAngelo, author, Associate Professor of Multicultural Education, and workplace diversity trainer, explores the challenges of confronting racism which result from the inability of white people to accept that they are beneficiaries of a racist system. (PDF)
posted by emjaybee on Jan 10, 2015 - 126 comments

Privilege doesn't mean you don't suffer

On Nerd Entitlement: an essay by Laurie Penny in the New Statesman, responding to a discussion on Scott Aaronson's blog about sexism in STEM fields and nerd culture.
posted by prize bull octorok on Dec 29, 2014 - 670 comments

It's a White Industry

It's a white industry, writes Chris Rock on show biz, from the lowliest focus-group testing gig to being a film executive. [more inside]
posted by aydeejones on Dec 26, 2014 - 220 comments

I don’t think I was born white. I think white children are manufactured.

Quinn Norton: The White Problem & How White People Got Made [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 5, 2014 - 24 comments

sex work: fantasies as commodities, consent, and emotional labor

"In my experience, the reminder that the sexual fantasy isn’t real, that the women who perform availability aren’t ACTUALLY available, that we aren’t ACTUALLY clamouring to be sexualized by men, that we control when the fantasy starts and stops, and that our performance is just that, a performance that requires compensation… well, some men find that hard to swallow." [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 6, 2014 - 127 comments

"A beautiful, obviously mixed race little girl"

"What happens, exactly, when a white family that wants a white sperm donor gets a half-black child instead? In the case of a lesbian couple from Ohio, it means a "wrongful birth" lawsuit against the sperm bank — two years after the fact. " [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 3, 2014 - 280 comments

Take that, Keanu Reeves.

Privilege and oppression explained through math - specifically, matrices and Venn diagrams.
posted by divabat on Oct 1, 2014 - 89 comments

The Cost of Becoming White

"The cost of becoming white is hard to measure. It is ethical rather than material. By passively accepting the privileges of whiteness, Asian-Americans become complicit in America’s present system of hierarchy, a system in which the nation’s institutions inflict ongoing injustices on a racial underclass. Highly paid Asian-American Google employees do not bear more responsibility to combat racial injustice than similarly positioned white people, but they don’t bear less either. Silence and inaction on the part of those receiving privilege only makes it harder for those who are not so lucky to change the status quo." The Complicity Cost of Racial Inclusion.
posted by sunset in snow country on Sep 9, 2014 - 69 comments

"The difference between knowing and understanding"

Matt Zoller Seitz writes about his personal experience with coming to understand his own white privilege, in particular with interactions with police. [more inside]
posted by Librarypt on Sep 3, 2014 - 7 comments

Chillax

Balls to the Wall: Inside New York City's Thriving Lacrosse Culture
posted by josher71 on Aug 12, 2014 - 14 comments

Fashion Solutions for Hiding from SkyNet

In Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face, technology reporter Robinson Meyer details an experiment in which he tried actually going about his day to day life in downtown Washington DC while wearing CV Dazzle, (previously on MeFi) makeup and hairstyles to confuse facial recognition software. The technique is inspired by the old naval technique of dazzle camouflage, which sought not to conceal a ship, but to confuse viewers as to its size and heading. Similarly, CV Dazzle aims to confuse software by making your face look less like a face and more like a confusing collection of shapes. This proves to have unanticipated effects on how Robinson is perceived by humans as well, leading to insights about how our appearance signals our privilege and place in the social hierarchy, and how that can overlap or conflict with the digital wakes we leave.
posted by Naberius on Jul 24, 2014 - 78 comments

"So, like, what are you?"

A microaggression is defined as "a question, a comment, even an intended compliment, sometimes, that nevertheless suggests something demeaning." (More from NPR.) The Microaggressions Tumblr publishes experiences with all kinds of microaggressions. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Jul 9, 2014 - 98 comments

#peakedinhighschool

In March, Lawrenceville School Student Body President Maya Peterson, the first Black woman to be elected to that position, posted a photo to her Instagram account where she depicted what she described to be a “Lawrenceville boi”: white, Republican, and cockily holding a hockey stick. She used the hashtags “#romney2016,” “#confederate,” and “#peakedinhighschool." In response to the backlash from the photo, Maya, who is headed to Wesleyan in the fall, chose to step down. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 7, 2014 - 314 comments

"Maybe I’ll start a fly and broke tumblr or something."

Fat-Booty Butch Buys A Suit On A Budget.
I’m a brown dyke living in the Bronx, working 40 hours a week at an non-profit arts center. I’m finally with it enough to pay all my bills on time, if at all. I’ve got a roof over my head and some change in my savings account. I’m not complaining. It’s been worse for me but fuck, just having a job feels like a blessing sometimes. Living in this city makes it feel like I’m scraping by with every penny just to live. My play money is tight and I don’t know how to sew. I wear clothes until they’ve given up on life and I’m not ashamed. I often wonder how regular people buy new clothes all the time. Clothes in the hood and at super-low discount shops never seem to last very long. Fancy clothes cost so much, like why isn’t everyone just running around in cloth diapers? What is someone like me supposed to do when they need to look good in real life?
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Jul 3, 2014 - 26 comments

"descends recklessly, like an Obama-sanctioned drone"

In the past month since publishing his essay, "Checking My Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege," Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang has become a hero of many in right-wing politics for his refusal to believe that he enjoys privilege. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 3, 2014 - 283 comments

...not a neutral exercise.

"Why Do Chinese People Have Slanted Eyes?" By Amanda Lee Koe (Text essay, possibly nsfw)
posted by zarq on Apr 16, 2014 - 23 comments

Involuntourist Reflex

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 - 108 comments

No Broads Allowed

On Gay Male Privilege
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 26, 2014 - 147 comments

"Are you sure you know how to do this?"

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 - 38 comments

What's in your invisible fanny pack?

What's in your invisible fanny pack? [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by aniola on Oct 22, 2013 - 154 comments

The Privilege of Choice

"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." NSFW
posted by Megami on Sep 26, 2013 - 78 comments

To The Dudebro Who Thinks He’s Insulting Me by Calling Me a Feminist

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.
[more inside]
posted by modernserf on Aug 26, 2013 - 309 comments

The Problem with Privilege

"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 - 79 comments

Talking at the Movies, Cultural Hegemony, and Menswear Blogging

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 - 348 comments

Who gets to speak, where, in front of whom, and about what  

Why the controversial (and somewhat backfired) Lauren Green interview of Reza Aslan is is about more than just Fox News idiocy.  
posted by Artw on Jul 31, 2013 - 162 comments

Heather's Lunchtime Poll: "What Is Popular Privilege?"

"Popular privilege is the privileges entitled to those who are considered to be 'popular' or well liked," according to the mission statement of a Tumblr called "This Is Popular Privilege." The site's author says that she is 14, gay, a high school student, and an enthusiast of cats and anime. [more inside]
posted by RJ Reynolds on Jun 2, 2013 - 102 comments

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible is an interesting documentary that features the experiences of white women and men who have worked to gain insight into what it means to challenge notions of racism and white supremacy in the United States. [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 23, 2013 - 30 comments

Enough with the ad homonyms

Literacy Privilege: How I Learned to Check Mine Instead of Making Fun of People’s Grammar on the Internet. Also Part 2 and Part 3.
posted by divabat on Dec 12, 2012 - 130 comments

privilege-checking and call-out culture

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 - 180 comments

Oxbridge dominates list of leading UK people

A third of the UK's leading people went to Oxford or Cambridge universities and four out of every 10 of them attended private schools, a report suggests. [BBC] [more inside]
posted by marienbad on Nov 20, 2012 - 46 comments

why teaching equality hurts men

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 - 134 comments

In the MMORPG of life, straight white male is the easiest setting

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 - 368 comments

"SO GHETTO!"

Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls (SLYT)
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jan 4, 2012 - 251 comments

I come late, and I mean to come humbly.

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 - 256 comments

"What a choice: Acknowledged but harassed, or ignored and denied recognition of one's womanhood."

On Harassment and the Marking of Visible Womanhood [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 31, 2011 - 212 comments

Post-Mos and Privilege

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 - 126 comments

I'm not ____, but...

I'm not racist, but... / I'm not sexist, but.... Via the magic of public facebook searching (previously) [more inside]
posted by naju on Jun 1, 2011 - 139 comments

Nobody calls me monogamous with malice.

Monogamous Privilege Checklist. Cory Davis, who is polyamorous, wrote a checklist in the style of Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Davis interviews with Cunning Minx of Polyamory Weekly podcast (3:00-28:00ish Site header NSFW) and discusses the nature of privileged relationships and her pushback from monogamous and polyamorous alike.
posted by jenlovesponies on May 11, 2011 - 268 comments

GAY PRIDE? WHAT ABOUT STRAIGHT PRIDE

Privilege Denying Dude is an Advice Dog/Courage Wolf/Pokeparents style meme that has enraptured Sady Doyle. Make your own on memegenerator.
posted by NoraReed on Nov 15, 2010 - 138 comments

Things I don't have to think about

Scalzi's at it again with another great post. "Things I don't have to think about" - thoughtful piece of writing from John Scalzi about privilege and how it impacts us all. The comments are worth the read as well.
posted by leslies on Oct 19, 2010 - 99 comments

I'm Saying Being White is Way Better

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 - 75 comments

Holy Knapsacks

Christian Privilege: Breaking a Sacred Taboo discusses the dominance of Christianity in America, including a privilege checklist, and a longer standalone list was previously linked. More writing focuses on secular college campuses. In American jurisprudence, such as in the case of Sheri Klouda, fired as a language instructor from a Baptist seminary when a new president decided she should not be teaching men, religious freedom often supersedes other rights. Moving away from the specific case of Christianity, some articles from a British secularist viewpoint criticize the special consideration given to religious views and practices. When the last article was reprinted by Kolkata newspaper The Statesman, there were riots and the editor was arrested under a law against "deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on May 31, 2009 - 148 comments

IOKIYO

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 - 102 comments

An Anthology of Privilege Checklists

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 - 156 comments

i can has privilij?

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack as illustrated by lolcats. Also, White Liberal Bingo.
posted by streetdreams on Apr 17, 2008 - 197 comments

Feminism, Whiteness, and the Prison System

"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 - 182 comments

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