Check my privilege? Check yours
The intersectionality movement has ignored an important oppressed minority.
TW: Real life
Have you spent a period of your life living below the top tax bracket? In fact, do you even pay tax in this country? Are you black/trans/disabled?
Then you need to check your social perspective privilege. A small oppressed minority group have, for a variety of reasons, never been exposed to anything much worse than the death of their sister’s goldfish. We are weak, contrived, and have been systematically oppressed by people who haven’t historically had their way. We need to be provided with a safe space where we can exist without constantly being reminded that people aren’t all largely fine. Up until recently, it used to be the British Empire, but now it has been eroded to the stage where we’re not even free from oppression in our ancestral home – the room upstairs at Curry King (see: here).
It’s not our fault that we always get what we want, or that this was also the case for all of our ancestors. We don’t feel that strongly about racism, and it isn’t particularly in our interest to do so. We’re like a spoilt 5-year-old at their birthday party: We get everything we want and cry if we don’t get it. But is there anything wrong with that? Telling us to express empathy is like telling that 5- year-old to stop crying when they get the wrong kind of tricycle – cruel and unnecessary. People should indulge us like they indulge them. Tell us more how much of a ‘big boy’ we’ve become, rather than pointing out how sexist we are. It is this kind of violence that blemishes our admirably care-free lifestyle.
We have also had enough of being culturally appropriated. People complaining about the themes of individual May Balls are so lucky. Every single one of them appropriates our culture by pettily insisting that our traditional tribal uniform of ‘black tie’ is worn. It’s as if there is some systemic hatred of everything we stand for and a deep-seated need to mock us. What did we ever do to anyone else? The worst thing I’ve ever done was send Tilly a dick pic in year 10.
You are privileged because you aren’t privileged, because you have the moral high ground. It makes us feel really uncomfortable when people talk about problems that people encounter in their lives in regular conversation and this represents a violent micro-aggression. Yeah, there are problems in the world and stuff; other people have feelings. Fine. But does everyone else have to keep reminding us?
Next time you’re talking to me, can you stop oppressing me for things I can’t control. Not everyone has been born in a public hospital. Not everyone can stomach a pint of Strongbow. Not everyone feels comfortable wearing non-collared shirts. Not everyone, believe it or not, finds flip-flops more comfortable than boat shoes. Remember that next time you mock someone, or use the word ‘posh’ as an insult.
Because you didn’t earn your empathy, because your ability to deal with real life was a gift and finally because I’ll call daddy if you don’t – check your social perspective privilege, and consider our feelings.