“If you as a privileged person expect to feel safe and unchallenged around those oppressed under you, you are approaching activism with the wrong mindset.”
— (via amydentata)
how do I feel about this
I think safe and unchallenged are two very different ideas.
people should definitely expected to feel challenged and uncomfortable, and a lot of negative things. but “safety” is different from that.
like, your mindset and viewpoints and opinions won’t necessarily be safe, but you, a person, should be.
FEELING safe and BEING safe are two different things. Most privileged people are really good at FEELING unsafe in situations where they are not in any danger—the feeling of not being safe comes from one’s privileged status being exposed and critiqued, and often from stereotypes defining the oppressed group as dangerous. Privilege works its way into one’s identity, and the process of challenging that socialization will lead to one feeling unsafe even though there is no actual danger. Coming to terms with privilege involves a form of ego death, which can feel terrifying but does not constitute an actual threat to personal safety.
Achieving equality means raising others up but it also means bringing people down who have unfair advantages, and this is the part most with privilege struggle with. In a situation where one has excess power compared to others, equality means losing power. For example, equal hiring in engineering means less men in total will get hired in that field. Equality in social interactions and media representation means men and white people will be given the floor to speak less often, as both are currently given an unfair share of representation. (For example, a conversation where 30% of the input is given by women is perceived by men as “woman-dominated”.) This is a quantifiable loss that, while fairer on the whole, may feel like an attack on the privileged person, leading them to feel unsafe.
Learn to distinguish the difference between feeling unsafe and actually being in danger. In the places we are privileged, we need this sense recalibrated.