That last thing was generally a shitty piece that linked to much better pieces on the treatment of women in predominantly male realms like technology. It’s a major, serious, and growing example of not just patriarchy but outright misogyny. But wait–there’s more.
There are a couple of other pieces I read today that, along with the caffeine that I perhaps unwisely just drank at 5:30 in the evening, have me pumped up with intellectual determination to spread voices and understanding. First, an account of how perceived race affects the job search. Author Yolanda Spivy spread her resume around but only got responses when she applied with an identical CV with the name Bianca White – yes, both first and last name literally being white. In her story she refers to her name as “ethnic”, but it’s only described that way because white anglophones are the (North) American default by which to contrast others. You’re probably more likely to find the first name “Yolanda” in the United States than anywhere else in the world (feel free to correct me) yet it’s considered “ethnic” because it paints a non-white race on a face unseen. I came across this article through a high school friend on Facebook, who was probably thinking of all the times people have told her that her “normal” name made them assume she was white.
Then a friend shared this on Twitter: Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person. It’s a pretty good summary of how the word “privilege” turns people defensive but why it shouldn’t. This applies to all of the facets of identity listed at the bottom: citizenship, class, sexual orientation, sex, ability, and gender.
Human rights laws list various criteria that cannot be the basis for decisions in society. All of these criteria need to be listed because it’s the means by which some people have a privilege over the others. These laws, or at least the ones I live under, don’t exclude white/male/wealthy/hetero as bases to discriminate but rather the categories as a whole. People with privilege are not open targets. Our privilege is not taken away by these laws. Our privilege is the reason why they must exist, and the reason there are so many different categories that need to be protected. There are so many factors that may advantage or disadvantage us that intersectionality is required to enlighten us all.
This is why I get excited to read from people who aren’t me. It’s not just the caffeine.