FFS Friday: Quit Being An Asshole

IMG_4242.JPG[TRIGGER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE WILL PROBABLY PISS YOU OFF. THAT’S WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT.]

I am often identified as a member of perhaps the most hated group on this planet: straight, white males. For all it’s said that my “kind” have the greatest privileges in the world (I certainly won’t deny that), I have been told I cannot comment on things like systemic sexism, rape culture, discrimination, oppression, racism, violence… the list really goes on. The thinking is that straight, white males have essentially been responsible for every bad thing in human history. Therefor, they have no right to make comments on the problems they cause.

This is not a post meant for me to stand up and say, “I matter! Straight, white males have an opinion, too!” I already know I have a voice, and I understand that my voice does matter. I’m a person, just like you. And basically—no offense—fuck you if you think otherwiseI mean that with respect, and I don’t mean that sarcastically. Really.

I certainly do experience racism. I certainly am avoided in public. I certainly am labeled, and there are certainly negative expectations placed on me by vast portions of society.

I face unique struggles for: having a penis, having tattoos, wearing facial hair, being white, living in a van. The list goes on. As a unique person, I face unique challenges. Everybody does.

We all suffer discrimination. We all suffer bigotry. That’s the point. We already share common bonds, but we ignore them because we want to say “our” pain is greater than “theirs”. In reality, those things can’t be judged equally. Pain is not an objective experience. Our similar experiences should be bringing us closer together.

I’m not here to say your pain doesn’t matter. It absolutely, most certainly does. You have the right to feel it. I’m saying your pain does not delegitimize someone else’s pain.

The purpose of this post is to make clear that we all suffer discrimination because—in one way or another—we proliferate it. Everybody’s a bigot somehow. Most bigots are bigots because they don’t understand, and their actions appear to the informed as purposeful evil. Truthfully, most people are causing infractions against a subset of the population without any mind to the harm they cause. Many people don’t even do this intentionally.

People who say “ladies and gentlemen” probably aren’t doing it to offend the sensibilities of agendered citizens. Rich white people that donate to golf clubs but not homelessness causes are not self-centered pieces of shit—they’re supporting what they know. Fathers that beat their sons for homosexual tendencies might be expressing deep-seated child abuse in the only way they know how. Straight people that go to gay clubs might want to avoid the predation they experience at “straight” clubs. (Although, to be fair, I know plenty of straight girls that have been just as preyed upon by lesbians, and I have personally been violently accosted by gay men at gay clubs.)

Some women literally pick up their children when I walk near, y’know? People avoid parking next to me because I’m a bearded white guy hanging out in a big, white van. You should see the looks I get when I walk through a Macy’s—as though I’m only there to fuck people up and sexually assault all the women. Funny thing is, I’m actually a really nice guy with a ton of perspective and broad life experience. But, people act on instinct. They discriminate without even realizing they do it.

But, those are easy examples. What about the things we don’t do?

How many of us are practicing the same bigotry and discrimination that we preach against… without even knowing it?

For example: people who think homophobes are disgusting creatures. Have you gone to a rural American community and scheduled an information seminar on your sexuality and preferences? No? Why? Is it because you are afraid of being beaten for your beliefs by super-conservative rednecks? Is it because other communities have done abhorrent things to homosexuals and LGBTQ citizens? Okay, that’s fair. But is every rural community that way, or do you just assume as much? You’re afraid of what you don’t understand, so you don’t teach. They’re afraid too. Isn’t it possible that because they don’t have open examples in their communities, they have no gauge for the actual truth?

How many African Americans are visiting schools in rural Kentucky to discuss the tribulations of black youth in inner cities? How many transsexuals are scheduling speaking time at Republican conventions?

How much can we do as a peaceful and informed people to bring the message rather than scream the message? How much are the educated and inclusive actually divisive and hateful?

Remember when known white nationalist Richard Spencer got sucker punched on the street just for speaking his mind? Is he an asshole? Yeah, I think so. And so is the person that attacked him for his beliefs. True warriors of peace fight with information and education, not fists. And yet, so many have called for neo-Nazis to be hung, set on fire, shot. White nationalists have been violently confronted by counter-protesters that seek to harm rather than listen. Their words are delegitimized before they even speak. They’re scared for their lives, and they’re protesting because they think white people are being hated into extinction. (Which isn’t totally inaccurate, in all fairness.)

  • [Screenshot taken from my personal Facebook when reading the comments following the assault on Richard Spencer. This was in the comment thread on a very liberal media page that shared the video.]
    Echoes of the Civil Rights movement, no? There’s got to be something in those words that we can identify with. There’s gotta be something they’re saying that we can hear, so that we can try to help heal.

    I’ve seen the same kind of thing happening against cis straight people. “Straightees”, “cishets”, “breeders”, etc. These words are slurs. They are meant to be hateful and hurtful. Some people on Tumblr actually call for violence against straight people. Some call for poison condoms, for a cull of “the straights”. Go ahead and search for “heterophobia” on your dashboard. Really read the words you see. I was actually afraid to post this article at first because of the incredible harshness I’ve seen thrown at straight people asking heterophobes to ease up. The truth is, heterophobia is real, and it does cause violence. No, straights don’t suffer the same discrimination as the LGBTQ. No one suffers the same discrimination as anyone else. But it is possible for both straights and gays to experience violence and discrimination for their lifestyle choices. Straight people are mocked for coming out as straight, for appropriating gay culture, for not understanding gay culture terminology that might seem alien or foreign to them, and for standing up when they ask for equal treatment in discrimination discussions.

    This is unapologetic, violent lunacy. The hate-filled words come out of a place of legitimate concern: we’ve done a horrible job defending the rights and safety of our LGBTQ citizens. No doubt. But that does not mean violence is the answer. It does not mean being LGBTQ is being anti-straight.

    We are all individuals, y’all. We all deserve to be treated as such. If we want equity among all peoples, we need to treat all people equally. These divisive means of thought are products of nature and deep psychology, but they don’t have to command us. They don’t have to just “be a part of being human”. We are amazing, beautiful creatures because we have the capability to transcend natural programming. Many argue that this very same ability has brought us to where we are.

    I believe that we can overcome these tensions among us, and I believe the answer is deep inside us all.

    We all need to learn how to live unapologetically as ourselves—even if that might invite a certain level of danger. We also need to give people the benefit of the doubt. Don’t just assume the hooded black guy in Walmart is there to rob the place—maybe he got an embarrassing haircut. The white girl sipping on Starbucks and saying “like” every five words might also be the trained nurse saving your ass one day. And the racist asshole spewing slurs on the corner just might not fucking know any better. (Yes, that is entirely possible.) Hell, he might even be a phenomenal educator or mentor aside from his ignorant beliefs.

    We have got to learn to love one another, at a glance and after. We can only do that by digging into our own bad behaviors and attempting to correct them. In the same light, we’re gonna do things that upset other people. Rather than calling them little bitches for whining, just stop and listen. You might just hear a little of yourself in their words. Once we learnthen we have the right to say, “I understand where you’re coming from, but I’m not with it. I still think you’re awesome, though! Keep on keeping on!”

    We can all learn to love each other and not agree. We’re a big ol’ family, and families never just get along. Sure, there are shouting matches and slamming doors once in a while, but everyone’s got each other’s back. That’s how it should be, y’all. It’ll be a better world when we can get to that point.

    Things to consider…

    I love you all. I really do. No matter your age, sex, gender identity, personal preferences, desires, malfunctions, or aberrant behaviors. (You’re on Tumblr… so I know you’re a degenerate. Right!?) Just kidding, y’all.

    Happy Friday. Go do you.

    – R.

    (This post was updated to fix typos, grammatical errors, and add images on 2 February 2018.)

    What do you think about discrimination in today’s society? Are you guilty of it, or have you experienced it? Share your experiences with everyone else by re-blogging or commenting! Inform others so that they can come to understand! Feel free to have debates, but DO IT RESPECTFULLY. Ronin is not responsible for any violent or hate-filled comments. And… honestly… he really dislikes that shit. Be nice to other people. //This blog does not condone violence, hatred, bigotry, or discrimination of any kind.//

    Ronin writes FFS Friday on the first, second, and third week of every month. Be sure to like and follow so you don’t miss a beat! See writings, musings, and travel pictures every day by checking out his InstagramFacebookTumblrTwitter, and WordPress. Subscribe to his YouTube channel for a neat video every last Friday of the month!

    Like, comment, and share to support this artist!

    Teach peace.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s