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The Old Man Balls And The Sea

« January 2015 »

Memo to Privilege-Deniers: WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING?

Privilege! It's an idea that's been around since the primitive man with two spears told the primitive man with one spear he was lazy and looking for a handout. But in recent years, the prominence of identity politics has led to privilege being decried as a bad thing - something that might even need to be checked - which has led the people who have it to deny that it even exists, lest they be seen as bad people.

Consider the following first paragraph of a news story, carefully and subtly modified by me to conceal any indication of when the events described took place:

"AIN'T SAYIN' just wanted to swim. It was late I'M NOT TELLING YOU, and the Democrat was newly arrived on Capitol Hill as North Carolina’s junior senator-elect. But YOU CAN'T MAKE ME was told that the Senate pool was males-only. Why? Because some of the male senators liked to swim naked."

Now, there have been Senatrixes since the 30s, although not many. So, having eliminated key identifying details, and ignoring the fact that I'm setting you up for a SHOCKING SURPRISE, when would you think this tale of wrinkly, chlorinated wangs flapping gently in the currents of the Senate pool stems from? Even given the SHOCKING SURPRISE, would you have said about six years ago? Because it was about six years ago and it happened to Senator Kay Hagan, who got to swim in the pool, but not without a lengthy fight.

That's privilege. The dudes had mostly had the place to themselves. They took advantage of that in a way that I am still trying hard not to think too much about, and given a choice between putting on a pair of goddamned swim trunks or excluding an entire gender from an amenity of the job, they chose the latter.

They didn't think about it in those terms, of course. If they had, they'd be sexist bastards, not examples of privilege. They were just used to things being a certain way because their power and dominance let things be that way, and then, when things changed, they didn't want to give up their tradition.

And I get it. It's tough to give up stuff you've had for a long time, even if the thing you're giving up is the caress of the outflow valve against your bare scrotum. But it's the right thing to do, and if you don't do it, you're an asshole. And you can try to deny the entire sociopolitical structure that points out your assholery, but that just makes you a bigger asshole. So, you know. Counterproductive. Cut it out.

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