Tag Archives: Male privilege

I was listening to this popular song

I was listening to this popular song, maybe you’ve heard of it?

I’m all about the bass by Meghan Trainor.

I am all about people loving themselves and being at least tolerant of, if not just accepting and appreciative of others in all the many ways we are.

At first, I really liked this song. It has a cute catchy beat and what seems to be a positive message.


It, along with countless other agendas out there, claims to be about accepting self and others, BUT only if you’re not in a different category.

A few years back, one of the teachers I worked with was pretty famous for being a civil rights activist and teacher, on both sides of the coin. She claimed civil rights, others claimed racism.

I believe it was both; for the same reason that Meghan Trainor thinks she’s supporting loving yourself.

For the same reason that feminists are seen as both good and bad.

Because they put down, shame, and trivialize the groups that have been doing the same to them.

I want to state loud and clear that we cannot build up one group by bringing another down.

A while ago, a long while perhaps, I was having a discussion with a friend. She stated that chivalry was gone, that men don’t open car or building doors anymore, and that feminism had ruined manners.

I said I wasn’t sure that was so true, and she then stated that I must be one of those feminists that think no one should open doors for anyone anymore.

Not true. I am a feminist that believes that we should all be equal in how treat others and expect to be treated. I.e. whoever gets to the door first should open the door for the rest. Whoever is driving should open the passenger door. Whoever gets home first should start dinner. Whoever opens the trash lid to see it full, should take it out. If you make the mess, clean it up. If you lose your temper, apologize. If you have your heart set on something, mention it. If someone mentions “it”, pay attention and do what you can. etc.

You don’t get equality by everyone being rude, impolite, apathetic, or distant.

Men have long held a high powerful ranking in most societies. Yes, men have long abused that rank. And, yes, women have tried to use what they have to manipulate into positions of power. But this ever present male dominated society still dictates that even women with a powerful position are seen as inferior.

But here’s the thing, Equality means no one is abusing or manipulating. No one is more or less. We’re all just letting each other be and being good people to each other. If you’re good at something, you get to do it and you get to get paid the same as someone else doing the same thing. Plain and simple. There are no prejudices about who’s taking care of babies, bills, laundry, cars, or opening doors.

You can’t raise women up by putting men down. If you lower the position that men are on, you can only hope to raise women to the new, lower mark. Why make the meeting place of equality lower than the original position of high regard? Men need to stop hoarding the ranks through abuse, women need to stop whoring their worth. And I don’t necessarily mean sex here. I mean many women are willing to give up valuable parts of themselves, ie their personal worth, to gain position, instead of being able to gain position based on their actual worth.

We all need to be allowed to be the unique individuals we are, supported in doing the jobs we’re good at, educated without prejudice, and advanced through merit. That’s what equality is.

This teacher I knew would put a lot of emphasis and passion into teaching students about how awful white people were. Her reasoning was to help her minority students feel better about themselves because “their” people hadn’t done such awful things.

Ok, I can see her point and her reasoning. BUT, you don’t get equality by putting one group down to make the other feel better. YEP, that’s how the minorities got to be so left out, because the people of power shoved them down. But equality doesn’t mean lowering to raise, it means making everyone Equal. Why make the equal place lower?

White privilege needs to stop, it’s completely totally true. But that means removing the invisibility and treating everyone equally, not trapping everyone into the blanket. Look at South Africa right now, it’s just a topsy turvy of what it was before. That’s not equality.

And all this train of thought started with a song.

I see the magazine workin’ that Photoshop
We know that shit ain’t real
C’mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise ’em up
‘Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top

Ok, that’s great, but then there’s this:

You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that’s what you’re into then go ahead and move along

Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
No I’m just playing. I know you think you’re fat

It’s just skinny shaming instead of fat shaming. WHEN THERE SHOULD BE NO SHAMING AT ALL. If every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top, then that should include everyone, the people in the middle, the skinny people, the fat people, everyone. You don’t create equality in who is seen as pretty by trying to make the current attractive the new ugly, you let everyone be attractive as they are.

What do you think?


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White Privilege, what do I do?

Once upon a time I didn’t understand white privilege, it’s specifically meant to be unnoticed.

Then I had to make a decision, a decision that would ultimately confront me with my own personal racism‘s nurtured into me by a world that affords me unseen privileges just because I look the way I do.  I had to confront and battle the idea that because I look a certain way, those with more privilege and less privilege can take what they want from me without my choice taken into account.  I had to decide if I really can like/dislike each person for who they are and not base those choices on blanketed grouping by color or race.

As a white woman I am in the upper middle of a multi-layered, difficult and terrible truth. I, without intention or often knowledge, create racist scenarios in which those with less privilege than me are subjected to.  I, without any other reason than being white, can walk through the world differently than non-white people. AND I HATE THAT.  I am truly one of the least racist people you could encounter.  I truly do not take a persons skin color into account when I interact.  It was a conscious choice I made that has become simply part of who I am.

But I forget that the world takes my skin color into account in everything I do.  I am able to “not care” about color BECAUSE of my color.  If I were not white, I would not likely be able to be as “free thinking” as I am about race.

I have encountered racism all my life – not directed at me usually, but its always present existence has been known to me all my life.  Living in so many military bases throughout my life, living in glorious cities that boast people from every country, I have seen how racism can tear people down.

My country that brags that it is “FREE”, whose sacred lady claims that all are welcome on our shores, drapes invisible blankets of racism over everything. It is not free for everyone, it is not a land of opportunity for everyone.  It is a land of elite privilege for the elite, a land of gifts for the select gifted, a land of honor for the “accepted as honorable”, a land of “you can get this much if you’re a little more like the elite than the others”,and a land of hand-outs for those that are choking in the invisible blankets.

My own personal encounters with ism is more specifically in the realm of sexism.  White male privilege dominates all the isms, with the class structure being its only divider.  The higher the class, the more privilege.  But even the lowest class of heterosexual white male dominates all the other sexes, races, and genders.

White male privilege is dominant and excruciatingly destructive all while being “invisible” to those who have it.  But as a white woman, I am still covered by a myriad of privileges that I have to work hard to see.  I still have less worries than men of color and even less than women of color and often even less then any color of gender different.

I used to think it was an American phenomenon but I was wrong.  It is a global disparage.  I am more often now encountering remarks and lifestyles that display white privilege with such extreme that it seems to scream and yet it is still invisible to those that have it.

My students color their pictures with blonde hair and blue eyes, because they want to see themselves that way.  My friends and their friends openly make racist, sexist, religion bashing, and gender bashing comments without a thought that these comments are simply an invisible cloak that helps them remain in a non-earned status of privilege.

What can I do?  I can’t help what I look like any more than any one of color can.  And for the first time in close to 30 years I have made a blanket racial decision.  (I am just not into Asian men…..I have tried to find the beauty that so many talk about, but as a whole, Asian features do not move me in any way)

I acknowledge that I live in a world in which I have far more privilege than I should based simply on my color. But I also feel that I have worked really hard to be who I am and I deserve many of the privileges I have based on that.  However, I don’t get them because of my work, I get them because I’m white.  So what do I do?

My children, of mixed races, are also given and not given basic privileges based solely on how white they appear.  As they walk down the street, they are faced with fully different things to worry about and need to make decisions on how to carry themselves as they walk down that street, based solely on how the world perceives them as being more or less white and whether they are male or female.  I spent far too long not understanding just how little I educated my son about how to deal with the racial confrontations he would have to deal with, the blankets that covered the world and smothered him.  As a woman, I was more aware of educating my daughter about the sexisms of the world.  But I can never know what it is like to be feared simply for being, for existing the way my son can be.  Nor did I educate my other son in understanding his white privilege as a white male with some affluence.

So what do I do?  As a human, as a woman, as a mother?

Now I understand that white privilege exists and I pay attention to my own behaviors to try to avoid creating the scenarios in which I contribute to the negativity of white privilege.  There is so much more to understand, and far more to learn about how to help change the standards and remove the blankets.

Now what do I do with this knowledge?


Update:  Well, I have been surprised at the number of responses and comments waiting in my inbox to be approved.  I have decided that most do not need to be approved.  I wrote this for the purpose of trying to continue my own education about how to do my part in creating the change needed for the world to stop seeing color and race as a way to treat people.

It is only through awareness, through discovering the invisible blankets and shedding light on them, that we can find ways to create true equality.


I watched this UpWorthy video and thought it was a good example.  Please watch it.



Posted by on 15/08/2013 in Expat, Rant, teaching, travel, Uncategorized


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