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Spread this around to anyone you know who doesn't quite get the idea of white, male, heterosexual privilege:

"Things I Don't Have To Think About Today" by John Scalzi.

"Today I don’t have to think about those who hear “terrorist” when I speak my faith.
Today I don’t have to think about men who don’t believe no means no.
Today I don’t have to think about how the world is made for people who move differently than I do.
Today I don’t have to think about whether I’m married, depending on what state I’m in.
Today I don’t have to think about how I’m going to hail a cab past midnight.
Today I don’t have to think about whether store security is tailing me.
Today I don’t have to think about the look on the face of the person about to sit next to me on a plane.
Today I don’t have to think about eyes going to my chest first.
Today I don’t have to think about what people might think if they knew the medicines I took.
Today I don’t have to think about getting kicked out of a mall when I kiss my beloved hello.
Today I don’t have to think about if it’s safe to hold my beloved’s hand.
Today I don’t have to think about whether I’m being pulled over for anything other than speeding.
Today I don’t have to think about being classified as one of “those people.”
Today I don’t have to think about making less than someone else for the same job at the same place.
Today I don’t have to think about the people who stare, or the people who pretend I don’t exist.
Today I don’t have to think about managing pain that never goes away.
Today I don’t have to think about whether a stranger’s opinion of me would change if I showed them a picture of who I love.
Today I don’t have to think about the chance a store salesmen will ignore me to help someone else.
Today I don’t have to think about the people who’d consider torching my house of prayer a patriotic act.
Today I don’t have to think about a pharmacist telling me his conscience keeps him from filling my prescription.
Today I don’t have to think about being asked if I’m bleeding when I’m just having a bad day.
Today I don’t have to think about whether the one drug that lets me live my life will be taken off the market.
Today I don’t have to think about the odds of getting jumped at the bar I like to go to.
Today I don’t have to think about “vote fraud” theater showing up at my poll station.
Today I don’t have to think about turning on the news to see people planning to burn my holy book.
Today I don’t have to think about others demanding I apologize for hateful people who have nothing to do with me.
Today I don’t have to think about my child being seen as a detriment to my career.
Today I don’t have to think about the irony of people thinking I’m lucky because I can park close to the door.
Today I don’t have to think about memories of being bullied in high school.
Today I don’t have to think about being told to relax, it was just a joke.
Today I don’t have to think about whether someone thinks I’m in this country illegally.
Today I don’t have to think about those who believe that freedom of religion ends with mine.
Today I don’t have to think about how a half-starved 23-year-old being a cultural ideal affects my life.
Today I don’t have to think about how much my life is circumscribed by my body.
Today I don’t have to think about people wanting me cured of loving who I love.
Today I don’t have to think about those who view me an unfit parent because of who I love.
Today I don’t have to think about being told my kind don’t assimilate.
Today I don’t have to think about people blind to the intolerance of their belief lecturing me about my own.
Today I don’t have to think about my body as a political football.
Today I don’t have to think about how much my own needs wear on those I love.
Today I don’t have to think about explaining to others “what happened to me.”
Today I don’t have to think about politicians saying bigoted things about me to win votes.
Today I don’t have to think about those worried that one day people like me will be the majority.
Today I don’t have to think about someone using the name of my religion as a slur.
Today I don’t have to think about so many of the words for me controlling my own life being negatives.
Today I don’t have to think about still not being equal.
Today I don’t have to think about what it takes to keep going.
Today I don’t have to think about how much I still have to hide.
Today I don’t have to think about how much prejudice keeps hold.
Today I don’t have to think about how I’m meant to be grateful that people tolerate my kind.
Today I don’t have to think about all the things I don’t have to think about.
But today I will."


(Thanks for posting this, both hughcasey and caprine.)

Comments

( 21 comments — Comment )
lookingaround17
Oct. 18th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
I am roaming around in the friends' list of sca and found this here and reposted it. Thank you!
esprix
Oct. 18th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
Yes, please do!
lookingaround17
Oct. 18th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
I just did. I wander around on lj reading the friends' lists of different communities and it gets so that I am familiar with the nicknames of some of the people but not the people themselves. It's nice to see people doing stuff that I have done, like making costuming and stuff, and I am glad to see when people stick up for rights ans social awareness and all--
esprix
Oct. 19th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
Yay for social awareness. :)
fabricdragon
Oct. 18th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
as stated to hugh.. i dont think i know anyone who doesnt have to thik about at least some of this.
moonpuppy61
Oct. 18th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
I recently added people who I went to high school with on Facebook. I do know people who don't realize that they don't think... They take attempts to show them the inequities as attacks. So very sad.
esprix
Oct. 19th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
It would be nice if something as simple as this list would get them to stop and think for a change.
esprix
Oct. 19th, 2010 12:11 am (UTC)
Agreed - even I had a bunch that it's good to be reminded of. There are those, however, who have never given the majority of this list a first thought, let alone a second, so those were the "that don't get it" I was referring to.
akirashima
Oct. 18th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
MAy i ask who is this really aimed at. cause i know a LOT OF HETERO "HEALTHY" PEOPLE that still have these things to think on. Nerds and Goths and Long haired freaks and gamers and so many others that are normal white heteros otherwise along with of course pagans and such. i mean this is AWFULLY encompassing of just being a human being to where there is like maybe 1 person out of a hundred that this would apply to.

Ones that can apply to the people above would be thing like
Today I don’t have to think about how I’m going to hail a cab past midnight.
Today I don’t have to think about whether store security is tailing me.
Today I don’t have to think about the look on the face of the person about to sit next to me on a plane.
Today I don’t have to think about what people might think if they knew the medicines I took.
Today I don’t have to think about whether I’m being pulled over for anything other than speeding.
Today I don’t have to think about being classified as one of “those people.”
Today I don’t have to think about making less than someone else for the same job at the same place.
Today I don’t have to think about the people who stare, or the people who pretend I don’t exist.
Today I don’t have to think about the chance a store salesmen will ignore me to help someone else.
Today I don’t have to think about turning on the news to see people planning to burn my holy book.
Today I don’t have to think about others demanding I apologize for hateful people who have nothing to do with me. <-- this one mostly applies to open pagans and goths
Today I don’t have to think about memories of being bullied in high school.
Today I don’t have to think about being told my kind don’t assimilate.
Today I don’t have to think about people blind to the intolerance of their belief lecturing me about my own.
Today I don’t have to think about someone using the name of my religion as a slur.
Today I don’t have to think about how much I still have to hide.
Today I don’t have to think about how much prejudice keeps hold. <--- these last two mostly at straight white pagans
Today I don’t have to think about how I’m meant to be grateful that people tolerate my kind.<--- anyone who is different in any way knows this one


this would be better aimed at White Christian Mainstream Male Privilege.
esprix
Oct. 19th, 2010 12:09 am (UTC)
Well, yes, that was kind of the point - to make someone think about something they *wouldn't* normally think about. I don't think the author intended that 100% of it applies to every white heterosexual male in the U.s.
akirashima
Oct. 20th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
Unfortunately that was not the way it was presented...
esprix
Oct. 20th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure how - Scalzi wrote it from his own perspective, and I posited it might apply to those who don't understand the concept of white male heterosexual privilege. How did you see it presented?
akirashima
Oct. 21st, 2010 05:30 pm (UTC)
i see that it overlaps a lot on people i know that are hetero and white and male saying that they do not have to think about or put up with a lot of this and yet as i pointed out the ones i know do have to put up with shit. Really unless you are White, Well off, Christian or at least APPEARING as one or non threatening to it, clean cut, and probably republican this list does not apply to you. thats the only group i know that does not suffer from the stuff up there. Hell my friend Kelson gets fucked with for i guess Looking gay. though he is straight. and for being a goth and being pale. he has to put up with a lot of shit. and so do a lot of other white male heteros. in fact i am coming to believe that the concept of that privilege is a lie. Yeah that group can get away with a lot of shit but at the same time even the clean cut ones who are not batshit crazy have to worry about things like

Are people going to assume i am racist today
Is this woman going to file a lawsuit if i say she is attractive
Can i go to the bar down the street without having my head smashed in by the bikers
can i walk though or drive through this ethnic neighborhood without being the victim of a crime because of something crazy fuckers do or did in the past
and the list goes on. most white males get this smear of privilege thrown on them because of the actions of a very few rich white guys and their boys club. MOST white male heteros have the same worries and joys as the rest of us and if we only concentrated on on things like what do we have in common and what is universal (what would bring us together) instead of constantly drawing lines in the sand then maybe this world would work.

Hell i remember getting shit when i was a KID from feminists about having a dick and how horrible i treated women. without them knowing a damn thing about me or even letting me hit puberty to go HEY LOOK BOOBS! (which of course did not happen since i was all like YUMMY CHEST HAIR!)
esprix
Oct. 21st, 2010 07:18 pm (UTC)
OK, let me repeat this again:

John Scalzi wrote this piece from his own, personal perspective. I don't think he needs to justify that something written from his own, personal perspective doesn't encompass every white person, every male, or ever heterosexual.

I read the piece as being a very good way to encourage someone to think from outside their own perspective, specifically those people who don't do so; i.e., PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT AWARE (emphasizing the NOT AWARE part) that being a white male heterosexual does, indeed, carry inherent privileges, a lot of which were listed by Mr. Scalzi.

What I don't think either I nor Mr. Scalzi are saying is that that list 100% encompasses EVERY white male heterosexual. It cannot by its very nature.

I think it does, however, remind us all that there are society norms we sometimes take for granted, and it's sometimes helpful if we pause to consider other people's perspectives, and how those societal norms affect them.

THIS INCLUDES YOU. As a person of size, and as a queer, and as someone who does not, as you say, fit the model of straight white maleness, you have first-hand experience with what society does and does not grant you based on your looks, feelings, orientation, etc. If someone else is ignorant of your point of view, I think it's helpful to remind them of it from time to time (as I, too, need to be reminded - I have zero experience with being a woman, a person of color, a non-American, etc.).

Given all that, are we still in disagreement in some way?
akirashima
Dec. 15th, 2010 05:22 am (UTC)
Yeah i have a lot of first hand experience with such things except that i got it from women, men, gays, transgendered, and others. not just one group. also not white here. very much a mixed breed mutt. very mixed breed.
jbriggs
Oct. 18th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
You know, I'm a "White Male Heterosexual," and I've been dicked on my whole life. This isn't about WMH privilege, its about discrimination, by everyone, against everyone.
esprix
Oct. 19th, 2010 12:10 am (UTC)
True, but there are those who have simply never stopped to think of even 1/10th of that list, and I think it's fairly poignant. I've also taken a lot of crap in my day, but there were quite a few on that list I still need to be reminded of once in a while (for example, anything that would apply to someone of color, or women).

Besides, you're not a person to take what privileges in this society you actually do have for granted, so I wasn't really aiming it at you (hence the "who don't get it" part).
jbriggs
Oct. 19th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
It appears, Alan, that you wish to impart your own "spin" to this discussion. So be it. As others have pointed out, this is a non-specific list; it applies to all readers. As for "Privileges [I] actually do have," personal experience makes me find the assertion laughable.
esprix
Oct. 19th, 2010 04:24 am (UTC)
Perhaps I'm missing your point, then, because I thought I was agreeing with the jist of what you were saying.
wasabi
Oct. 21st, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Google images of "privilege bingo card" and you'll see why these discussions sadly often go off the rails. And for intersectioned folks, unless you're either young and energetic or specifically have devoted your life to addressing these issues professionally, you just give up. I always applaud the effort, however.
esprix
Oct. 21st, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
Indeed, but at least *thinking* about what it's like to walk in those shoes is enough to keep me sensitive.
( 21 comments — Comment )

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