yeloson: (Oh NOES)
[personal profile] yeloson
The last couple of days have been pretty demonstrative of privilege.

Writer, Jay Lake, complains that he is afraid to go to WisCon, you know, because someone might criticize him.

Or: A writer complains that he is afraid to go to a convention because he might be criticized for his words.

Or: A Man is afraid to go to a convention for Women in Science Fiction, because he won't receive a free pass to not be criticized on privilege.

Or: A Man is afraid because he might be held to the same standards as every other human being.

I haven't even gotten to the racial angle of his statement, or it's mirroring the same "ZOMG, Brown = violent!" dog whistles of previous writers and privilege that seems to come up whenever people of color write more lucidly, logically and intelligently than the writers criticized, but I'm sure you get the picture...

In the bigger picture, this is just an example to the real phenomenon.

That fear tells us a lot about how privilege thinks. The level of narcissism that completely ignores the context of why women would organize a convention in the first place, that you get a free pass to do what you want without criticism, that your feelings matter more than anyone else's.

All the issues of why women build these spaces "doesn't matter", because in the mind of privilege, everyone else's problems are fictional. They're not real, not important, mostly the victim's fault anyway. Not like the special privileged snowflake - those things ARE real, those things MATTER.

Privilege doesn't understand what hate looks like- so being held to normal standards is "threatening", since they keep acting out and keep getting checked. They don't see what they did as wrong, but everyone telling them so, somehow is. So now it's time to claim victimhood, how everyone is unreasonable for failing to obey massa not listening, and how you have friends of the offended group and how much you've done for them.

Poor white man's burden!

The ignorance of privilege is a facet of denial, subconsciously the person knows there's a power issue, which is why they're quick to claim victimhood - to try to deflect the power issues involved. Obviously, this just a slight modification of White Women's Tears and the terrible injustice that the world is not all yours to have. One need only look through history and current media to find examples of how privilege reframes itself as the victim ("Those savage Indians keep forcing us to use violence!"/"Why did you make me have to hit you?/Your Political Correctness is impinging my right to insult you with genocidal slurs!" etc.)

Because this is a denial thing, the rationalizations are self-contradictory. It works one way when it benefits, then it works the opposite way, whichever way is most convenient to the moment. (Ex: "I get to demand people provide evidence without providing any of my own. I get to tell other people about things I have no background or study in, but dismiss their statements, even when backed up by accepted sources and authorities.")

See also: a small child throwing a tantrum about not getting to have their cake and eat it too.

Privilege understands "hate" as anything that doesn't let it get it's way and nothing else, in classic narcissistic fashion.

Which is why there's no point in talking to most of these people - the only value in engaging is to hopefully display to the rest of the world what kind of person this is, and to highlight the behavior as an educational example- much in the same way you might dissect the rantings of Charles Manson or the Timecube author.

(frozen)

Date: 2010-06-01 12:35 pm (UTC)
jaylake: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jaylake
Oddly enough, you bring no attempt to understand my point of view to your analysis of it. That's a bit of a logic fail, as I am sure you understand. Rhetorical win, yes, as it's very easy to make a white man look bad in any race/gender discussion, and likely quite satisfying. I grant you the honors for winning a fight I wasn't participating in.

I have close to a million words in print and that much more in bloggery, and great deal of it would stand counter to your facile analysis of me. Have you read any of what I have to say? Really, if you want to hang me out to dry, learn something besides my gender, skin color, and one or two isolated statements of mine. I'm quite certain you're opposed to judgment of people based on gender and skin color in other contexts.

Most ironic to me is your summation:

Which is why there's no point in talking to most of these people - the only value in engaging is to hopefully display to the rest of the world what kind of person this is, and to highlight the behavior as an educational example- much in the same way you might dissect the rantings of Charles Manson or the Timecube author.

That's pretty much exactly been my experience of dealing with the anger and frustrations of the RaceFail movement. I wouldn't have put it that way myself because I place a high value on both politeness, and respect for your point of view, which believe it or not I actually share and have done so for the past 25 years or so, since I first learned about the concept of white privilege and came to understand even a little of it. I've had some time to think about this, you see, and raising a daughter who's a POC has given me a lot more to think about viz race, gender and privilege.

Thank you for your kindness and understanding.

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