A favorite question for people resistant to criticism of their acceptance of privilege and how it contributes to a less-equal world is “What about reverse racism? Why is it okay for people to make jokes about white men?” In answer to this I have the following to say: In a perfect world it wouldn’t be okay, but in our world – yeah, it kind of is okay. Why do I think that’s true? Because of privilege. (No wonder anti-feminists and racists hate that word, it keeps coming up!)
Noted anti-racist writer (and decidedly white white-guy) Tim Wise has an excellent piece about the myth of “reverse racism”, and I encourage you to read the whole thing. My favorite paragraph, though, is this one:
I don’t care about reverse racism, jokes at the expense of the straight, the male, and the able-bodied because right now, in our world it has no power. None. It might make some guy feel bad for a minute, but it doesn’t contribute to a vile systemic problem the same way that attacks and slurs against women and minorities do. It simply doesn’t.
Does making fun of anyone, ever, make you a great person? No. (And I don’t claim to be a great person. Comedy often hurts someone’s feelings.) But making fun of men, white people, able-bodied people, straight people, etc is simply not the same as someone from those groups making fun of a minority. It really isn’t.
– Sasha Pixlee