Tag Archives: privilege

Blog Post the First

15 Jun

Hi internet! How are you? Your hair looks nice today. I’m a little nervous – it’s always daunting trying to start a new blog. But I think I’ve found the fail-safe formula to bring traffic! Are you ready? Here it is:

  • Pretend to be a lesbian.

You may have heard of the recent kerfuffle regarding the individuals that ran the blogs ‘Gay Girl in Damascus’ and ‘Lez Get Real.’ Both were posing as lesbian bloggers, both were heterosexual married middle-aged white men. Earlier this year Peter Coffin, another white dude, was in the spotlight for pretending to be his own fictional Japanese girlfriend. But hey, what’s wrong with any of that?

Oh well actually it’s fucking gross.

And if anyone can’t see why, allow me to quote Autostraddle for a moment:

CHECK YOUR MOTHERFUCKING PRIVILEGE.

How dare you, Tom MacMaster, write about being an out lesbian of color in Syria when you are a privileged MARRIED white man who can travel and study wherever you damn well please and are a citizen of America, a country where you, as a straight cisgender white man, have more privilege then we’ll likely obtain in our lifetimes.

How dare you, Bill Graber, write about our struggles for gay marriage as if they were your own when you’re happily married to a woman. How dare you write about DADT as if it was your own struggle when you’ve had a storied, unprejudiced career in the military. How fucking dare you.

Basically, blogging is not like writing a novel. You don’t get to ‘try on’ the identity of the socially marginalised. Doing so is incredibly privileged, not to mention patronising and in the case of Gay Girl in Damascus, faking a high-profile kidnapping in a country where real people have been jailed or killed for trying to implement democracy is disgusting.

You don’t have to be a lesbian to be an LGBT activist. You don’t have to be Syrian to highlight the struggles of those fighting for freedom of speech. Don’t feel okay creating an alter ego and using it to write about experiences you’ve never had and can never understand. (This goes for you too, Peter Coffin, even though you weren’t trying to highlight issues among the oppressed and are in fact just lonely and ever so slightly racist.)

I can’t really put the issue of privilege any better than Megan in this blog post, which you should read in its entirety. No matter how much you can ’empathise’ with a certain group, you can never escape how well you have it yourself. So own your privilege, Tom MacMaster. Own your privilege, Bill Graber. Own it Peter Coffin, you dick. And I’ll try to do the same.

I will never post here with the intention of representing anyone else. Sometimes I might try to use my background, education, and the fact I am privileged with the ability to speak freely to blog about Important Things. Sometimes I will just blog about Jedward and cupcakes. But I will never lie to you, internet. I will never lie to you.

Your hair still looks great, by the way.