Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hitting The Wall

No, we're not running a marathon. But it does feel like there's a long road ahead of us. And it would be ever so much easier to traverse if we got rid of some obstacles that are blocking our way. This is where the rant starts, so if you're looking for a tasty recipe or home organization hack, you won't find it in this post. The obstacle I refer to is White Male Privilege. Which isn't on its own a bad thing. Not recognizing that your life's path has been made smoother because you have benefited from it is where I have a problem. I ran smack dab into that wall called WMP earlier this week in the form of a whiny diatribe from, you guessed it, a white male. Who happens to live in a very red state. He's quite worried about not being able to keep his guns. He no longer gets to voice an opinion concerning a woman's right to choose without getting some blowback from women he knows. Because, I expect, he doesn't have a uterus. He's fearful of bringing up who he voted for in November's election due to the fact that there might be those within earshot who would ask him why he did it. He's a married, college educated, father of two who has for the most part lived among people who look just like him. Did I mention that he's a white guy who has lived his entire life in a red state? And suddenly he has some awareness that not everyone else has it as good as he has? And this, rather than making him realize that a good part of the reason he's had it pretty good is because he's a heterosexual white guy in America, makes him pout because his position at the top of the heap is being questioned. By women. By people of color. By people who aren't, gasp, straight. By people who think that road to success ought to be made smooth for all of the people who live here. Particularly for those who are marginalized or don't have a voice. My totally unsolicited advice to him is a flat-out get over it. Good for him that he has a pretty nice life with a job, home, access to health care, family, and decent schools for his kids. But it takes nothing away from him if others achieve that, too. It takes nothing away from him if others need some help on their way to these accomplishments. And, yes, I'm one of those damn bleeding heart, socialist progressives who think the government ought to give a hand up to those who need a little extra help getting there. He may think he did it all on his own, but in my experience nobody manages success in anything without some assistance from others. That's a vital component to living behind the veil of WMP, thinking you did it all by yourself. And not recognizing that in reality, you didn't. That's what keeps the facade of WMP, or any other position of privilege, intact. Ignorance that you have benefited from it. Once you are aware you are privileged, the only decent thing to do is own up to it and stop laboring under the illusion that you're a better, smarter, harder-working person than those who aren't doing so well. Show a little gratitude for where you are in life. And for the Goddess's sake, stop whining.

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