That’s privilege.

This. This this this.

This is what people who #notallmen everything they can get their hands on are intentionally distracting you from when they do this.

Of course it isn’t all men. It’s never all of anything. Humans are complex and messy and complicated, and when people talk about privilege, if you’ve never acted like an ass in public, well.

Good for you.

But you don’t get, nor do you need, special congratulations for that – which is, of course, what you’re demanding when you do this.

You want to take any discussion of the larger issue and make it about you.

Well, muffin, that’s not a good look on you.

If it ain’t you, then don’t make it about you. But we’re never going to fix this crap if we have to make everything about you, all the time.

And I don’t think that being white or a man means you behave in a certain way. But it does allow you to behave in a certain way, if you chose, generally without consequences. In public, in the classroom, throughout your life. That’s privilege.

So, this happened.

Archiving this from a Facebook post.

Okay, so.

I was really hesitant to even post about this because… oh, lordy. Reasons.

So I get done with my therapy session yesterday and I get a Lyft home.

The driver was nice enough, pretty personable… offered to help me into his car (he was driving a delivery van, of all things, so quite a step up for my gimp behind to work my way into. Anyway.) He’s rather chatty, as a certain set of Lyft and Uber drivers tend to be, which is generally great. They’re usually quite nice.

Except.

He was around my age (for some reason, he needed to tell me he was born in the late sixties), and really needed me to know he dated “a couple of cute girls” in my housing development, a few years back; that Terrestria is known for “great looking girls,” and how he’s been in several local heavy metal bands.

Something, just something, ticked a warning switch in the back of my head that said, “um. Straight dude, be careful.”

Which, honestly, I haven’t really felt – at least to that degree, that sense of “is this paranoia, or do I have a reason to actually feel unsafe?” – in a while.

Maybe there was something about being a hundred percent vulnerable. I’m in a complete stranger’s car, and who knows what may happen if he decides he’s not dealing with fags today… my best-case scenario is that he pulls over, kicks me out, and I get another car home.

Best case.

Worst case? I dunno what happens. I am a moderately disabled gay man who’s been jumped before. Granted, it was years ago, but… that’s not exactly an experience that you really get over. If he decided to get physical, there’d be very little I could do to actually defend myself. I’ll fall over if you look at me sideways.

I decide – because I’m instantly 19 again and it’s suddenly 1989 and I’m hanging out in the parking lot across from the Cellar (Bakersfield will relate) – that I’m just going to try and keep things light, but I’ll scrupulously avoid disclosing a thing about me personally.

So, of course, his next question is, “do you have any kids?”

“Ooooohhh, no.” (If he’d been gay and pushing 50, he’d easily have read between the lines, because he’d have been here before, himself.)

At least he didn’t really push that particular line of questioning any further.

So, the tough bits:

  • Yes, gay folks half my age, I’m totally stereotyping this guy, and no, under ideal conditions, that’s not defensible.

  • But, folks half my age, if you haven’t had the shit beaten out of you by nazis (not even kidding, nazis), y’know… stfu, okay?

  • I’m fully aware of how problematic my reaction was. It’s entirely likely that I could have just come out to him when he first assumed I was straight and he was attempting his dudebro bonding exercise; I could have told him I have a husband, instead of the wife he assumed I was married to. I could have told him that I don’t have any kids, don’t want my own kids, but my husband has a grown daughter we both adore.

I could have done any number of things that weren’t me – at this fucking age, having been out this long – intentionally closeting myself, or making shitty assumptions about this person.

Yeah, they weren’t great. I know that. I accept that.

I was also scared shitless.

Please try to see that, too.

I dunno what the right choice should have been. I dunno that there even is one.

But I do know that I feel exhausted, that in 2019, that this shit is still happening.

Red Lobster Drops Tucker Carlson

After getting publicly shamed on Twitter by Judd Legum, it looks like they’re dropping advertising on Tucker Carlson. So much for Salli Setta’s membership on the Women’s Foodservice Forum; Tucker was and is an enthusiastic supporter of gender inequality, and this couldn’t possibly have escaped Setta’s attention. 

Corporations like @redlobster want to develop a reputation for being socially conscious. Its president is devoted to gender equality. Kudos. But the power of corporations comes from how they use their resources.

Thanks to Rashida Tlaib, Palestinians Finally Have a Voice in Washington

For decades, Palestinian-Americans have been demonized and targeted simply for who they are. Our heritage was a liability in public office—not something to celebrate. Policy is made about us without us, furthering our invisibility in American society. It’s surreal that one of our own is now a sitting member of Congress, sworn in wearing a thobe and unapologetically speaking up for Palestinian rights and equality.

 

Call or Email your Senators TODAY – Anti-BDS bill in the Senate

Anti-BDS legislation is both unconstitutional, and morally wrong in the first place, but the idea that the Senate is dithering with this while Trump’s government shutdown drags on is unconscionable.

The Senate overview of the bill is here:

https://www.rpc.senate.gov/legislative-notices/s-1_strengthening-americas-security-in-the-middle-east

You can track progress on the bill at Congress.gov, here:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/1

The bill passed cloture last week, and will be voted on by the full senate TODAY, Tue Jan 8.


HAPPENING TODAY! Please take a few minutes and let your senators know that we all have the right to boycott and it is a cynical move to try and sneak in anti-BDS legislation while government funding is at a standstill and workers aren’t getting paid.

https://twitter.com/jvplive/status/1082657628650725376
https://secure.everyaction.com/18feDKZHV0SNq81eNA3mTQ2

 Update (Jan 9): The bill failed a cloture vote in committee yesterday, but of course McConnell moved to reconsider the bill anyway, and it’s on the schedule to be presented to the full senate in the next few days. There’s another tracker on the bill at Govtrack, here: 

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/s1#