To be clear, Great White Males most certainly benefit from this system, and participate without even intending, but every time we slam the cell door on a behavior or way of being we attribute to a group, we cut ourselves off from the behavior or way of being. We may be the prison guards, but we're still in the prison! DUH! THIS IS A SHITTY, NO WIN SYSTEM!
|The Abhu Graib abuse illustrates the dangers of the Guard/Prisoner dynamic|
This is the problem with bigotry. Great White Males benefit from the many -isms that collude with our culture, and at the same time, are imprisoned by it. Not imprisoned the same way everyone else is, but nonetheless made to serve this system by constantly being taught that we will lose everything if we disobey it.
This is why the 30 days in a skirt project is important to me. The skirt is simply a symbol that can be used to start a larger discussion about privilege. I have something at stake in every single struggle for justice. Even though I benefit every day from our system of -isms, I also am cut off from really important things like how I relate to my kids. That's not a cost I am willing to pay.
Ok. I lied. I'll tell you where the school was. It was in Berkeley, California. That's how strong the binary gender messages are in this country. Even in a place like Berkeley, kids clearly receive the message of how males are allowed to relate to each other.