I just read some articles on the internet about a campaign against reading books written by straight white males. It confirms a feeling that I have had lately that it is quite fashionable at the moment in the literary world, to prejudge the writing, and therefore the writers themselves, who happen to find themselves born with one particular skin colour, gender and sexual inclination as deluded privileged tyrants who deserve to be ignored, even punished.
The issue of white privilege is a hot topic in other arenas as well. Politics, the environment, employment, health, and so on, are all realms of human experience that are coming under the spotlight. And so it should be. The current state of the world is testament to a paradigm that has been racist, sexist, homophobic and a whole host of other negativisms. A correction is well overdue. But as a straight white male, is my only option to slink away, disappear, cower, confess and accept a conviction of guilty and a sentence of banishment? Because I have been born into the wrong skin, with wrong gender and wrong sexual inclination, have I no rights to pursue happiness, fulfilment, equality and justice for myself and for others – even the non-straight non-white non-male folk? Am I by default invalid, a non-entity?
This is my opinion – people who are promoting this point of view, people who are screaming at white people, especially white males, and especially straight white males to be silent, to be ashamed, to accept a judgement that our every thought is a delusion, and our every action is a crime, those people who demand our submission, are only further damaging their own efforts for justice and equality. Can’t you see that your arbitrary discrimination is exactly what you are rejecting in the first place? I assume many of you folk that I am talking about would be of the anti-war persuasion, but aren’t you declaring war – a racist, sexist, heterophobic war?
There is a claim that it is impossible to be racist against white people or sexist against men? Can you please explain that? The recent western history of white male domination doesn’t validate a future of white male oppression. Everyone suffers at the hands of ignorance, fear, ego, greed and hatred – the brand of human perpetrator afflicted by such dysfunction is irrelevant.
Am I inferior or a monster, genetically or otherwise, because my skin is fair? Or because I am sexually attracted to the opposite sex? Or because I have a penis? Should I save you a lot of effort and time and simply suicide now?
The non-white, non-straight, non-males, that despise their fellow humans of the opposite ilk, may end up winning the war that they have declared, and in their minds that will be justified. The world that they will inherit via this pernicious and ignorant venture will simply be a mirror image of what exists right here right now.
I am a straight white male. If I was a dedicated follower of fashion, with those three fanciful strikes against my being, I would be forced to accept that I was out of the game. I would give up writing, and everything else, because I am obsolete. But if you could see what I am wearing, what I am reading, eating, watching and doing, you will know I am no sheep nor game player. And if you could ever bring yourself to read what I am writing, and yes I am pounding away at it regardless, you will hear my story and it will be just like your story. A story of a consciousness dwelling inside an organic form possessing skin, genitals and libido, that evolved on this wondrous and benevolent planet.
We can all listen to each other.