The people who assume that I have advantages because I am white and male wouldn’t have been able to survive what I have gone through to get as far as I have. I lived most of my life up to adulthood in a single-parent household, dirt-poor, barely surviving on welfare, etc. etc. And on top of that, I was not athletic or interested in fishing or hunting (three more cardinal sins in the area we were living). It took me 7 years to go from high school graduation to starting college, because financial aid took my father’s income into account, even though I didn’t live with him (and he had stopped talking to me when I was a junior in high school). I now have over $100K in defaulted student loans, because that was the only way I could get through college.
Instead, I have restrictions on what I can do and say, specifically since I am white and male. I have to watch what I say at all times, to an insane degree; a few months ago, I was accused of being insensitive and denigrating to Hispanics because I used the phrase “spic and span” (an Americanism that means clean and neat). If I object to a black man pushing past me in line at the grocery store, I’m racist. If I defend myself from the psycho down the hall, I’m perpetuating violence against women. If I use the word “fallacy”, I’m perpetuating rape culture.
I wish I was joking.
I was accused of being sexist, because one of my novels didn’t have any female villains. When I did use female villains, even though there were still more male villains, I was demonizing women. And gawd forbid I have gay characters, because I don’t understand what it’s like being part of an oppressed group, and if I do, I’m just throwing it in out of cold-blooded greed, and I still won’t know what it’s like, and I never will.
It’s like Alice-in-Wonderland, populated by Bizarro dopplegangers.
I left the hackerspace here two years ago, when they accused one of my friends of being racist, and then anyone who defended him was also racist. The accusers? White, middle-classed techies. Who wasn’t allowed to refute the accusation? Three blacks, two Latinas, two lesbians, three gay guys, two Asians, and a bunch of homeless activists. Verdict? Guilty as charged.
I am going to be damned no matter what I do, so I am just going to do what I would have anyway. And anybody who decides to throw a hissy-fit over the minutae… will probably net me more sales anyway (I’ve seriously thought about having Westboro “boycott” my books; Shirley is easily manipulated like that).
Anyway, the moral of the story is, between the haves and the have-nots, most of the screaming is done by the haves who think the have-nots have to be told when they (the have-nots) are being disrespected. And the haves doing so are more out-of-touch than the people the haves are screaming about.
It’s good thing none of these asshats can get hold of the Marvel comic books from the late 70s, when Marvel was addressing racism and those who were stirring up the tensions deliberately.