The Problem with Slurs

CN: In-depth discussion of the usage and purpose of slurs and the common defenses for using slurs; discussion of racism, sexism, anti-gay bias, and classism. Warning: There will be a couple of slurs written out in full in this article. They are written this way to maintain clarity in a purely educational piece. I made a point to limit how many slurs I used and to avoid using any slurs that would be particularly egregious …Read More

What Does It Mean When a Group Has Power?

CN: sexual assault, racism, chattel slavery, ableism, trans-antagonism, mention of suicide and murder rate statistics. When discussing oppressed and privileged groups, you’ll frequently hear me talk about who in the interaction has the most power. But why is identifying the power in an interaction so important and what do I mean when I say a group has power? For a person or a group to have power refers to the ability to make certain choices …Read More

Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist, and Sexist, and…

CN: sexism, racism, trans-antagonism, Caitlyn Jenner, use of “phobia” terms to mean bigotry. In the fight for social justice, it’s not just sexism and racism you need to worry about. There are new isms and phobias popping up every day: transphobia, ableism, homophobia, classism, fat-phobia, and Islamophobia. Each of these terms refers to a different form of institutional bias. Unlike individual instances of everyday rudeness or disrespect, institutional bias is different in that it is …Read More

Explaining Privilege Part 2: The Cycle of Reinforcement

CN: ableism, racism, abuse of minorities, Trump, bullying, poverty, chronic pain In Part 1: WHAT is Privilege, I give a basic definition of privilege, review examples of benefits privileged groups receive and obstacles privileged groups avoid, and talk about how blindspots work and why we have them. Once you know that privilege exists and that you have blindspots, it seems like it should be simple to just stop participating in that system and fix it, …Read More

Explaining Privilege Part 1: WHAT Is Privilege?

CN: discussion of consequences of oppression Let’s talk about “privilege.” It’s a big concept and a word that’s used so frequently, to many people it’s meaningless. It’s often misinterpreted to mean “out of touch,” “your life is perfect,” or sometimes, just “you suck.” But it actually means none of those things. What Is Privilege? Privilege is the ability to receive social, financial, and institutional benefits based on a trait you have that society considers desireable. …Read More