despite America’s narrow fixation on that particular subset of diversity.
Your subconscious, that monster
Lea Verou
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I’m not sure it’s just America, but this fixation is here for a reason: it happens that statistically, straight white males are part of the most provileged category of people. It’s a fact. And we have to accept it, wether we are part of this group or not. Because accepting facts like “straight white males are the most privileged group” and “women are discriminated against” is instrumental. If we don’t accept to see that something like sexism is systemic, we are just avoiding to see it is a problem and blaming it on individuals rather than society. So yes, there are straight white dudes who suffer from discriminations. But so much less than women of color. By trying to make everyone feel comfortable, we end up leaving things be the way they are: unbalanced and unfair for the most discriminated against.

So yes, I use “straight white male” and I use words that make men uncomfortable. Because wether they like it or not, and wether they made their way through their own individual introspection or not, they are part of the dominant class and they have to deal with it. It’s not only subconscious, it’s also about understanding HOW they benefited from being part of this dominant class even if they never asked for anything like this privilege. Acknowledging the white male privilege is the first step to fighting its consequences. Luckily enough, I have white male friends around who made this way towards putting their privilege into question. And they succeeded. And the most important consequence of this individual acknowledgement is that they started to modify their behaviour, be it stop interrupting women so much or calling out sexist jokes that their dudebros throw in the workplace.

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