Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is

We had to read this for class, and I found it highly interesting and a good debate topic (which is why we were reading it for class in the first place). First thing to be re-blogged to AB&AB, and I promise that I will post later!


I’ve been thinking of a way to explain to straight white men how life works for them, without invoking the dreaded word “privilege,” to which they react like vampires being fed a garlic tart at high noon. It’s not that the word “privilege” is incorrect, it’s that it’s not their word. When confronted with “privilege,” they fiddle with the word itself, and haul out the dictionaries and find every possible way to talk about the word but not any of the things the word signifies.

So, the challenge: how to get across the ideas bound up in the word “privilege,” in a way that your average straight white man will get, without freaking out about it?

Being a white guy who likes women, here’s how I would do it:

Dudes. Imagine life here in the US — or indeed, pretty much anywhere in the Western world — is a…

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One thought on “Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is

  1. I do like the part where it says life isn’t *easy* – just easier on a relative basis and statistical basis versus other population groups. So yes, it can be easier for some men. And it’s not easier for all men, and all Caucasion men. This is something I think a lot about as a woman who is often very much the minority in the world that I work in. But wonder if it’s even harder for minority men than for a white woman. But knowing it’s not a contest – either way, you can often feel like you have to earn a seat at the proverbial table. Thanks for sharing this interesting and thought-provoking post.

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