The Injustice of Enforced Equivalence

I realized after I published my last post that I didn't flesh out a particular thought about the enforcing equivilance. Rather than edit the initial post, I'll just expand on that here.

The whole idea of enforcing equivalence without regard to the dynamics of social oppression is an inequity itself. Its an especially vile one as it tries to dress itself up in the attire of justice while setting out to enforce injustice. Fat people and thin people are not treated equally in our society. Same goes for POC and white people, women and men, queer and straight, trans and cis, etc. To insist that slights against both groups be seen as "the same thing" would be to ignore the essential truth of that unequal treatment. It would deny the oppression, deny the disenfranchisement, and lift up the privileged further still. "Equal time" is a myth constructed to give the privileged further advantage.

As a fat person, I can speak to my community about resisting and responding to resent of thin people. However, as a man, it is not my place to consider myself with "misandry" as if it were a valid thing to be upset about it. Women are welcome to advocate against resentment and hostility of men, but it would be manifestly unjust for me to do so as a man. Not because resentment is right, but because whatever extent such slights might exist pale in comparison to oppression of women. I have to take responsibility for my privilege as a man first and foremost. I have to respect that any resentment I experience as a man is a consequence of that oppression. It would be incomprehensible to blame feminists for such a consequence when the true culprit is my male privilege. If "misandry" exists, its hardly worth discussing in the face of misogyny and is itself a product of misogyny.

This extends to all forms of privilege. There has been "outrage" over a pro-trans slogan "Die Cis Scum", for instance. As a cis man, I have no right to judge that, to police the anger felt by a community under oppression. White people have proven especially adept at seeing themselves as the true victims of racism, denying all oppression and discrimination of persons of color while lamenting their suffering from "reverse racism". Well, guess what, white people? We don't have the right to scold POC for being upset about white supremacy. We just don't.

Accepting this as a person with privilege is not endorsing "hate." It is acknowledging privilege. It doesn't matter if I didn't ask for it. I still have it and I still have to respect the consequences of that. It is no surprise that the privileged want to write the rules for how the disenfranchised can respond to oppression. That's what the privileged do. They seek to enforce and perpetuate their privilege by restricting the opportunities of the oppressed. Well, we don't get to do that. Hating men or whites or cis people or het people or thin people is probably not productive or useful, but that doesn't mean its unreasonable. People with privilege need to recognize this distrust and resentment and they need respect it. People in those disenfranchised communities can certainly argue for a different path, but persons with privilege can't. We are owed NOTHING by oppressed communities. Least of all kindness and patience.

1 comment:

JoGeek said...

"As a cis man, I have no right to judge that, to police the anger felt by a community under oppression."

That is beautifully succinct! Thank you for putting it into words.

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