Tag Archives: privilege

The Problem with #FirstWorldProblems

I’ve occasionally found First World Problems funny, but it always felt a little odd to me. When I came across Alexis Madrigal’s post “What’s Wrong With #FirstWorldProblems,” which links to Teju Cole’s analysis of the hashtag #firstworldproblems, it nicely articulated half of why I find the First World Problems website and hashtag #firstworldproblems problematic. Continue reading

Yay for Glitterbombing Dan Savage?

Dan Savage got glitterbombed for being transphobic: it’s all over (my) Facebook. For the most part, I think that’s great. He’s said a lot of transphobic things, and to my knowledge, he’s never truly apologized or shown that he realizes why they was problematic and hurtful. I know: I called him on it when he spoke at Bryn Mawr my senior year, and he basically side-stepped the question.
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Continuing Thoughts about Abusive Language at Work

As a queer, trans person of color, when I think of someone aiming abusive language at me, I immediately think of deeply hateful racist, homophobic, transphobic language. Words of sexual violence, people telling me that the world would be better off if I were dead, being told that I am less than human. I have not personally experienced that, but I know that others like me have, and so the potential for that is always in the back of my mind.

As irrational as it is, when I was told that I’ll just have to deal with abusive language at work, that’s what I thought of. Being called an idiot, or being yelled at because the person is frustrated with the company is one thing — something that will probably upset me, but something that I can deal with. But emotionally, it felt as though I were being told that I must deal with the rest, and that was unacceptable. Continue reading

The Kind of Politics I Value

When I think of role models, activists I respect, and new organizations with which I want to be involved, it’s important that their politics are in line with mine. But when I say “politics,” I mean it in a very particular way. I’m not talking about politicians or Democrats versus Republicans. I don’t mean politics in the sense of “playing the game.” For me, the real kind of politics involves how we live our lives, how we treat others, and how we approach the world. CrimethInc calls it “the politics of our everyday lives.”

Are you aware of your privilege? If so, what do you do about it, and how do you react when someone brings it up? (And don’t deny that it exists because we pretty much all have some form of privilege or another, even if it doesn’t play out in the same way.) Do you believe in the status quo? What are your thoughts about policing, capitalism, sex work, the prison industrial complex, marriage, the government, sexuality, the criminal legal system, academia, immigration, poverty, prisoners? How about socio-economic class, monogamy, power, gender, the existence of racism and sexism in U.S. society, kink, ability, education, body size, the role of religion, sex? What do you consider to be mainstream, radical, conservative, or liberal? What do you think is your purpose in the world? Continue reading

What’s Really Going On In Boystown

There has been a great deal of anger, controversy, and discussion regarding recent events in Boystown. Waves of racism have flooded Facebook’s “Take Back Boystown,” often under the pretense of concern about safety, labeling youth of color as a danger to Boystown. Avi Rudnick, project attorney at the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois (TJLP), has writtten an excellent and insightful article for Windy City Times that views these debates in a new light. He writes, “Instead of focusing on making only Boystown safe for residents, the focus should be on creating communities free from violence.” Continue reading

Don’t Call Me Woman: The Ups and Downs of Privilege

EXPLORING TRANS — TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2010, 11:31 PM

Although I self-identify as trans, people very rarely read me as anything other than a woman. I suppose I can’t really blame them: I’m barely over five feet tall; I have child-sized hands; my shoe size is that of the average 8-12-year-old (according to Converse.com); and I’ve never had what anyone would call a boyish figure. I look distinctly female, no matter how much I’d like to pretend otherwise. Continue reading

The Ugly Side of SlutWalk

I have a few friends who are really excited about SlutWalk. I didn’t know much about it; I just assumed that it had to do with sex-positivity and the fact that wearing “provocative” clothing doesn’t mean that someone is “asking for it.” Those are good messages, and so I didn’t give it much thought. And then another friend posted a link on Facebook to Aura Blogando’s “SlutWalk: A Stroll Through White Supremacy,” and everything changed.  Continue reading

Checking My Privilege

One of the biggest things I’ve been dealing with since coming to Chicago — particularly since starting my internship with TJLP — has been learning to see, and check, my own privilege. Continue reading

Don’t Tell Me You “Don’t See Race”

Originally posted at 5:52 PM, February 11, 2010

I’ve heard several people say that they “don’t see race” or “don’t see color.” Without exception, these people have all been white. All of them meant well, certainly; I assume that what they meant was that they do not consider themselves prejudiced against people of color. Still, a statement that one “doesn’t see race” — in this society, at least — reeks of white privilege. Allan G. Johnson quotes James Baldwin in Privilege, Power, and Difference: “To be white in America means not having to think about it” (22). Continue reading