It used to be if you wanted to shut down the opposition, you shouted racism, sexism or any other -ism designed to marginalize their words and them as a person. Now instead of simply crying “(Fill-In-The-Blank)ISM!!” whenever someone wants to shut the other person up, there is a smug, smarmy little phrase being uttered all over the place: “Check your privilege.” This means for example, that if you are white you cannot comment on racism, becuse by default you can’t have experienced it and therefore, your input has no value. Allow me to address this “Check your privilege” thing right now. You’ve not seen what I’ve seen or been where I’ve been. You have no idea what my privilege would be. You are making a snap judgment based on what I look like and nothing else. If that’s not bullshit, I just don’t know what is.
I’m white, so I can’t have experienced racism.
I have certain things, so I can’t have experienced poverty.
I’m not a drug addict, so I can’t have experienced addiction.
I’m not overweight, so I can’t have experienced body shaming.
I’m not gay, so I can’t have experienced discrimination because of who I am.
Here’s a newsflash: Every single one of these things is wrong. You have no idea where I come from or what I’ve been through. Check your privilege before you tell me to check mine. Not everyone fits into your prescribed boxes of how “victims” are supposed to act. I mean, I get it. I’m a jerk. I’m opinionated. I say things that most people will not say. I’m brash. I laugh at things that aren’t funny. I make inappropriate jokes that people find offensive. I laugh at other people’s jokes that are offensive. I will laugh at jokes about almost anything if they are funny enough. You know why? Because I’m an asshole and because I’ve been through enough that I think I can laugh at whatever the hell I want to laugh at. If you don’t like it, go find someone who gives a shit and tell them how to run their life. “Check your privilege, honey.” Oh no, sweetheart. Check yours. You labor under the incorrect assumption that you have the privilege of judging me based on what you can see. Well, here’s a little thing you can’t see: You don’t know me like that and I will make you feel stupid. Not that you shouldn’t already, talking some insane, presumptuous shit like that.
Racism, gender inequality, discrimination because of sexuality, rape, domestic violence or anything else that has happened – or will happen – to me doesn’t define me, and it doesn’t have to define YOU.