Check your privilege!

I generally hate the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” but I do agree with the sentiment behind it. Snap judgements aren’t very helpful. Judging someone or something without knowing much about them leads to unfair and often incorrect conclusions. Facts are important in all situations in life, especially when it comes to judging people.

Everyone faces challenges in life and it seems it has become very popular, among some people, to decide that if you are a certain colour or gender well then your life must be easy. These same people are the ones who scream “misogyny” or “bigotry” or even just plain hatred if you so much as attempt to disagree with them. The entire world has gone “privilege” mad and it needs to stop.

I’ve been told, and seen others told, several times that my life is easy because I’m a “straight, white, cis, male”. And while I freely admit these factors prevent me from having had to deal with the same situations as others have, that still doesn’t mean my life or anyone elses life is easy. If you are one of those people who feels a person’s life is automatically easy because of a few arbitrary factors in their life which they had no control over I’d like to say a hearty fuck you! You don’t know much, if anything, about me or what has/hasn’t happened in my life.

I grew up just outside a relatively small town, though it has grown larger in recent years, where it seemed as if everyone knew everyone else. They certainly knew my extended family anyway. I’m not going to give you guys my real last name, cause I don’t wanna so suck it ;P, but let’s say it’s “Murphy”( cause ya know, Irish and all that). In my town the “Murphy’s” have a, frankly deserved, reputation as scumbags and criminals. I won’t deny that members of my extended are less than desirable people. Growing up here, with my last name, people automatically assumed you were a trouble maker. As such, my parents kept me out of the town as much as possible so I wouldn’t have to deal with the reputation my cousins had built. I even traveled 30 minutes each way to attend a secondary school where, when I attended the entrance exam, the first words said to me by a staff member(the principal no less) were “oh, you’re one of them?”. Hell, I barely even apply for work in my town anymore because as soon as they read my last name on a CV it’s dumped.

I don’t claim, or pretend, for a second that my life is as bad as it could be or that it’s comparable to anyone else’s. Especially not to those who suffer oppression based on race or gender. But if you try to tell me my life is easy, or my opinions don’t matter, because I’m a straight white guy when you don’t know anything about my life I’m just gonna say fuck you! Pull your head out of your ass and actually realise that your perceptions of what a persons life is like based on their race, gender and sexuality are rarely going to be 100% accurate.

Remember, an idea stands on it’s merits regardless of who comes up with it. It’s not racism or sexism to disagree with someone of another race or gender because their idea is flawed. However it is racist or sexist to outright disregard an idea or opinion just because a person is a certain race or gender, regardless of what that race or gender is.

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