As a privileged person who is pro-diversity I write and talk a lot about things to advocate on behalf of those without privilege. I hope I’m doing a good job of it and I really to try to think things through so I don’t say or do something stupidly patronizing or ridiculously privileged. The thing is, I know I screw up sometimes and when I do it is usually because as much as sympathetic and supportive as I try to be I just don’t have the perspective needed to really understand what it’s like to not be me. None of us do. We only really have our own experiences to go on when drawing conclusions and when we belong to groups that are culturally designated as the “default” we have a hard time understanding the nuances of what it’s like to not be that “default”. I need and appreciate reminders of what I’m missing. It helps me be less of a jerk.
From the start there has been a lot of internal and external discussion of whether or not a project like More Than Men with it’s country-club style membership can really serve a purpose in the movement for greater equality and diversity. Obviously I think it can, if only because there are some people who are receptive to the message but because of how society trains them they have a harder time hearing and understanding a minority voice. But straight, white, cis, able-bodied men can’t be all there is anywhere. Now that we’ve got almost two months behind us here it’s time to get closer to where I’ve wanted us to be all along.
Consider this the official announcement of and your invitation to contribute to “What I Wish You Knew About Me“. If you’re not the “default” in one of our cultural categories, here’s where we need you. We need to you give us the perspective we’re missing. We want to give you the mic for a minute and tell us about something that most people miss about what life is like for you that you really want us to know about. Or respond to something someone here has written and tell us what we got wrong or overlooked. We want to learn from you so that we can be less jerky. Please give us a hand?
– Sasha Pixlee