White, straight, male privilege

Chapter 1


I remember the first time we talked about privilege.
You pulled a face, told me you didn't believe in it.
I looked at you and asked you why.
You said that according to the world, you had all the privilege, and you didn't believe that was true, you didn't want to be burdened with this.
I remember looking at you and thinking;
"you poor boy - don't you know that this life is not a quest to become the most oppressed?"

I think your main issue here is that you do not understand what I mean when I say that you are privileged, you do not understand what your privilege is.
I sleep every night with constant twisting thoughts of rapists, of my friends being raped, of not being able to fight back.
Your privilege is that you have a 9% chance of being raped and I have a 74.9% chance of it.
Your privilege is that you don't see your body scrutinized across every magazine stand to the point where maybe you can employ body positivity in terms of other people's bodies,
But you will always be disgusting,
You will always be too much.
Your privilege is how you are overrepresented in government,
Your privilege is seeing your face throughout history textbooks as though the pages were mirrors,
Privilege is how seldom the rapists name makes it to the papers,
Privilege is simple.
Privilege is someone else's pain,
Privilege is the complaint that "they're just overreacting, it's just a word" or
"If they use it why can't we?" or
"Gender pronouns are too confusing, I'm not using different ones depending on how people feel."
Privilege is feigned ignorance, it's pretending the problems aren't there because they don't affect you,
Privilege is being willing to be silent but unwilling to listen,
Privilege is not being able to shut up for long enough to hear,
Privilege is not realizing that there's a difference between appreciating other cultures and holding them hostage.

You are not the villain here,
That is true;
I know you didn't ask for this,
I know you never wanted to be labelled as the bad guy.
But I didn't want this either-
I didn't ask to be labelled as public property,
Just accept that you have it
And we pay for it
And you have it.

I know that you do not come out of this fire unscathed,
I know that people label you with "white, straight, male privilege" and that it fills your lungs like smoke
And I know that that is not who you are
And I know that it hurts.
But this is something that burned inside of me for too long,
Forest fires dancing along my veins,
A collar fashioned out of glass and wrapped around my neck until the bleeding was all I had left,
And I know that people look at me and assume I am something I'm not,
Or they write off what I am altogether,
Tell me that I'm wrong,
Tell me that I don't get to decide who I am,
Branding me with a perceived identity like I am one of many in a herd of cattle,
And it's like my entire home has been burned to the ground.


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