Belenen (belenen) wrote,

discussing privilege with my bioparent / effects of pinnacle privilege / prebuilding social justice

Last week my bioparent M came in town and we spent an evening together. I don't remember how I got on the subject but I started talking about privilege, and trying to explain how it worked. At first M just straight up denied it, then moved sideways with the "but I don't discriminate" bit and then agreed that it existed and that ze benefited unfairly but said that ze didn't think there was anything wrong with it, that God gave people power and riches and those things were signs of God's favor. I then said, "well God is really bad at picking 'stewards' then." We went on for a while and eventually M asked why bother? I couldn't remember the start of the topic by that point so I said that I don't know why I started, but I continued because I can't just leave it be when someone is saying things that are wrong, that hurt people. We talked for probably about an hour and a half on this. M later commented that ze enjoyed talking with me. I didn't say anything because I did not enjoy chipping away at a mountain of privilege with a spoon. I already spend every day in critical thought -- it was not refreshing for me, it was the same old thing, with extra logic loops in that ze kept trying to use God to back up zir thought. Jesus wouldn't have stood for this bullshit. Things that pissed Jesus off: religious bullies, religious profiteers, and the selfish rich. People that Jesus enjoyed the company of: the poor, the socially-shunned (modern equivalents would be queers and convicts), the generous-spirited non-religious folk. If only so-called Christians would actually try to be like zir. I know WWJD is cliched at this point but that's pretty much the entire point. If you act like Jesus, you'll be a real Christian -- a pretty awesome person. If you act like the Pharisees, you're the average fundamentalist churchian.

Other things I mentioned were the wage gap (which ze disbelieved) the rape rate of women (ditto) false convictions of people of color proven false by DNA (ditto). I said that the US government admitted these things, asked if ze thought that they would have some reason to lie and ze said ze doesn't know, but it can't be true. That's one thing that infuriates me about privilege-pinnacle people: they feel that by sheer fact that they believe it, it's true. They don't hear a shocking statistic and think "well I should look into this" they think, "that contradicts my opinion therefore it cannot possibly be true (because I am The Authority)."

JUST ONCE I'd like to talk to a privilege-pinnacle person who actually responds with, "people MIGHT be hurting? I must look into this and see how I can help." Seriously, how hard is that? This massive, destructive selfishness is what happens when you train a group of people to equate adult behavior with a sociopathic (that's ableist) an inhuman (that's rude to animals!) a ??super-wrong??? lack of empathy. I don't even know. Many, many non-human animals show empathy and instinct to be helpful. This unlove training is horrific. Privilege-pinnacle people might not experience structural oppression but the kyriarchy wounds them psychologically -- having society train your empathy out is deeply abusive. Remembering that people are TRAINED to be this kind of evil is what keeps me trying, even with people like M.

Which reminds me, I was thinking of ways to pre-build social justice consciousness. You can't take most people from their ruts straight into the good stuff, so what are some rut-reducers? I think creativity is one, and genuinely serving people is another -- but they only work if you do them genuinely; if you get any kind of kickback (money, accolades) they are just as rutty as the rest of life. And being asked questions and pushed to think also works, but only if it's fairly constant and done by someone you respect.

Worlds Within Worlds
Worlds Within Worlds
(click to see larger pls!)
Tags: biofamily, christianity, money, social justice / feminism

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