“The Distress of the Privileged”

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” — Margaret Atwood

I came across a helpful, objective, step by step analysis of “Reverse [Fill in the blank]ism” complaints and the fallacy in those complaints. Often in the call for “compassion”, for understanding, for listening to the other side, these writings fall into the category of apologist-ic argument which, imo, set us back to the starting point – “So, you are saying that nobody sets out to hate anybody. Case closed. Business as usual then?”

Read “The Distress of the Privileged” on The Weekly Sift if you’ve been frustrated with the recent public discourse of invisible privileges and the commandeering of it by the privileged: Ferguson & all the future and past police shootings of unarmed black men, white privilege, Jon Stewart’s now famous intense schooling of Bill O’Reilly, G-A-M-E-R-G-A-T-E, sexism everywhere you look, etc. etc. If you are ever tongued-tied when confronted with “we should listen to the other side”. If you ever experience, with acute pang in your chest, l‘esprit de l’escalier. If you ever want to scream but you can’t really because “what difference then are we from the other side.”

“As the culture evolves, people who benefitted from the old ways invariably see themselves as victims of change. The world used to fit them like a glove, but it no longer does. Increasingly, they find themselves in unfamiliar situations that feel unfair or even unsafe. Their concerns used to take center stage, but now they must compete with the formerly invisible concerns of others.”

“Confronting this distress is tricky, because neither acceptance nor rejection is quite right. The distress is usually very real, so rejecting it outright just marks you as closed-minded and unsympathetic. It never works to ask others for empathy without offering it back to them.”

“[F]irmness together with understanding”, the author suggests, may be the middle path that will move us forward.

“… my straight-white-male sunburn can’t be allowed to compete on equal terms with your heart attack. To me, it may seem fair to flip a coin for the first available ambulance, but it really isn’t. Don’t try to tell me my burn doesn’t hurt, but don’t consent to the coin-flip.” [Emphasis mine]

 

 

 

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