The Personal is Political

This is a blog where I will be spouting out all of my personal political arguments, thoughts and beliefs. I encourage interaction and you're more than welcome to submit or ask questions. I identify as a feminist and most of my personal philosophies are built around social justice concepts. If you want to jump right to stuff I've written myself check the "the personal is politic" tag. Creative Commons License
The Personal is Political by Ragen Ashlie Roberts is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Posts tagged "privilege"




I’m having to explain to white, progressive friends on Facebook why it’s wrong for a white person to claim they’re Native American because of “family lore” that grandmom was a Cherokee princess, or whatever, and they don’t get it.

White people, please get your shit together.

Both of my parents have pulled this shit with me independently of one another.  However, I buy approximately none percent of it, and so this “my great-great-great-great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess” bullshit ends with me.

My family genealogy actually has record of Lenni Lenape, and my mother used to say she was part Native when I was young, but we didn’t have the cultural history, we didn’t practice any traditions, we looked white, we are white, and we enjoy white privilege, and that’s why it’s wrong. There are A LOT of families in the Americas with Native blood generations and generations ago, but that doesn’t make it okay to claim to be “part Native American” when they have no idea what it means to be indigenous. People who buy into exoticism of Native heritage need to spend some time on a rez because my god.

I have family that does that and it’s super fucking gross.  My grandmother’s grandmother was actually Native but nobody knew about it until about 10years ago.  She married a white d00d and claimed she was Italian.  She moved off the reservation and into his white neighborhood and ALL HER LIFE she told everyone including her children that she was an Italian immigrant straight from Italy, that she’d moved to the states as a teenager and that her parents had died in transit.  It wasn’t until my grandmother’s brother started poking around in the genealogy stuff that he happened to find her “real” records buried away in some of her stuff that apparently nobody looked at after she died.  

When I found out all I could think about was how horribly sad that must have been for her, to deny herself and her whole culture for a chance at whiteness and I wonder all the time just how much say she had in that decision.  Was her husband some asshole who raped her and forced her to marry him and then he forced her to lie to everyone so he wouldn’t have to admit his wife wasn’t white?  Did she come up with the idea herself because she was so desperate for all that white privilege for both herself AND her kids who wouldn’t get the stigma of being “half-breeds”?  Did the man she married do it as a “favor” for her and then lord it over her her entire life making her pay for it and suffer?  What was that like for her?  Was she miserable until the day she died?  Did she regret the decision?  Did the denial actually help her?  Was it worth it?  

This discovery by the family is definitely all about her and I damn sure don’t id as Native for obvious reasons but I have an uncle who thinks it’s all about him and his kids.  He goes around telling everyone we’re “Indians” and is working on getting us officially enrolled so he can get the government to pay for his kids to go to college, he thinks that he’s entitled to that because he’s a completely racist, completely sexist, completely oppressive white guy asshole.  He’s disgusting and so are his attitudes but not one person in the entire family stands up to him, they support him, they think it’s great and they fetishize and romanticize the whole story right down to him using funds set aside for people who are actually Native to be used for his completely white for at least 4 generations kids.

(via peechingtonmariejust)

Let’s be clear.  Your guilt is yours to deal with.  Your shame is yours to deal with. Your wants, needs, desires, all of it is yours to deal with.  None of that is anyone else’s responsibility, nobody owes you anything, and you are not entitled to have other people help you, care for you, coddle you, educate you, or anything else.  So if you find yourself in a place where you need help dealing with your guilt, your shame, your wants, needs, desires then you ask.  You ask people who you think you can trust with that stuff to help you out, you ask in a way that doesn’t burden them with your problems or force the responsibility on them all while keeping in mind that it’s still all on you, and if they say no (as is their absolute right) you respect that, drop it, and move on because that shit is not their responsibility.  The only person responsible for your shit is you.   

Creep shaming is probably one of the most insidious and anti-equality things you can do. The ability to label men as “creepy” is just one privilege that women enjoy, and a constant source of fear of ostracizing that all men must fear in our society.

AntiBigots, Reddit


(via cosmicnavel)

 “Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.” -Margaret Atwood

(via librariesandlemonade)

Reblogging for the Atwood quote, which is showing its truthiness right here.

(via blueandbluer)

so, women have privilege because we call men creepy. ok. that makes sense…in backwards land.

(via michelle-my-belle)


here’s teh thing, cis dudebros.

stop raping us in disproportionate numbers and stop assuming we’re your sexual property. also, stop cat-calling.

and we’ll magically stop ‘creep shaming’ you.

it’s funny how i don’t creep shame guys from my church as they are comfortable with the mode of physical contact i am and they treat me like (gosh) a human being, not a vagina. ( i realize thatn ot all churchdudes are like this, i’m just citing mine).

(via howtfoldlaundry)



(via southcarolinaboy)

Creep shaming

Creep shaming



(via cruelyouth)


(via mollypockette)

commentary is relevant as fuck

(via femmesandfamily)

“creep shaming”… that’s a good one.

(via thiscuntsays)

if you’re afraid of being labeled “creepy” then don’t be creepy.  it’s as simple as that.

see, people call people creepy AND share that information with everyone they know for, in general, 3 reasons: 1) to share their feelings with others in an attempt to deal with them, feelings of fear, feeling uncomfortable and unsafe, feelings of being objectified, any number of upleasant feelings that we are made to feel by creeps on a daily fucking basis that need to be processed and dealt with; 2) to let people know what’s going on in case things turn dangerous and the creepy person turns violent so that they can attempt to keep themselves a bit safer because if people know what’s going on they can be on the look out, be more protective, and potentially identify an attacker if it comes to that; and 3) to keep OTHER people safe, if someone is a known creeper other people need to know to stay away from that person to keep themselves safe and since most of us care about other people we share this information for the good of EVERYONE.

if you don’t like being called creepy stop being creepy, don’t ever be creepy, help people feel safer when they’re dealing with creepers, and fucking take a stand and call people out when they are being creepy.  that’s all you have to do, YOU have the power to avoid and even end what you call “creep-shaming” and we call doing our best to deal with living in an environment that is CONSTANTLY dangerous, scary, upsetting, and essentially miserable as fuck.

(via rapeculturerealities)

(via rapeculturerealities)

The other day I got this ask in response to a post about “vanilla privilege” and it really got me thinking about a conversation I recently had with a friend in which I tried to explain white privilege to her.  She was talking complaining about how she doesn’t really think white privilege is all that big a deal because her life “still sucks” and then she said something about how she “do[es]n’t really get anything good from being privileged, [she] just do[es]n’t get anything bad from it” and I was like YES, EXACTLY!  

The thing I think most people don’t get about the world we live in is that living a life free from constant negative backlash based on something completely outside of your control (like race, for instance) is such a HUGE fucking privilege that it literally affects EVERY single thing in your WHOLE entire life from birth until death.  Seriously, everything.  And then, of course, the flipside of it would be living under the constant bullshit of oppression (like race, for instance) is also a HUGE fucking deal that negatively impacts literally EVERY single thing in that person’s WHOLE entire life from birth til death.  I mean, seriously, if I could just stop suffering negative consequences from being a girl and start living in a world where I’m on a baseline with “everyone else” (the cis, het, white menz of the world) that’d be fucking fantastic and I’m willing to bet that the same goes for people of color, people with non-heteronormative sexual orientations, people with disabilities, trans people, and so on and so forth.   

So, no, privilege isn’t USUALLY about getting “special treatment” or about getting something more than people “deserve” or “should” get (though, of course, thanks to intersecting power structures that’s not always the case; some people use their extremely imbalanced power to give themselves extra special privileges that nobody should ever have ever ever ever - every rich white d00d who’s bought his way out of jail time for committing heinous crimes or who’s used his power to destroy the lives of innocent people would be a great example of this fact).  For most people having privilege just means that you don’t have to put up with a life full of bullshit that NOBODY should ever have to put up with ever for any reason.  

Like how a child of color is more likely to be ignored or treated harshly by a teacher than a white kid while a white kid is more likely to be treated “fairly,” to be treated with kindness, respect, and understanding, to be given positive attention, to be helped, etc.  We should all get that, everybody should have teachers that give us positive attention, respect, help, and encouragement but only the privileged among us get it and that’s just one of the many many many reasons our oppressive system of power and privilege is so fucking fucked up.  Being valued and respected and seen and treated like a human being, a person instead of a stereotype is a privilege in our society and it really really shouldn’t be.

Awhile back I posted the bioware article about gamer privilege in reference to DragonAge2 and it’s whole same-sex relationships option on my facebook page along with the Dr. Nerdlove post about straight male privilege in nerddom and had a discussion about it with a number of friends in the resultant threads.  The threads involved a number of male gamers who I personally like and respect and who generally like and respect me (at the very least we are friends who do game together or have gamed together in the past without incident).  These men are people who I would believe are not overtly sexist or misogynistic in any way and who are at least mildly aware of their own privilege so I was really bothered when they started arguing with me about the article - namely by defending the jerky male behavior many female gamers face with the excuse of “social awkwardness.”  I pointed out things like microagression and othering and the fact that while there are some people who are genuinely accepting of women in nerdery there are far more people who are outright shitty or at the very least unwelcoming and rude but I only just now, over a month after the fact, realized what the real problem with those threads actually was - victim blaming.  

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For those of you who seriously need a lesson in white privilege, ‘CAUSE HEY SOME OF YOU GOT IT.

Will never not reblog.



Fact: White students receive more scholarship money than non-white students


Do minority students get more than a fair share of college scholarships? That myth reared its head earlier this year after a Texas nonprofit, the Former Majority Association for Equality announced plans to give scholarships only to white males. The group claimed that white males are disadvantaged because they don’t “fit into certain categories or ethnic groups.” So Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of and, put that idea to the test, and found that white students actually “receive a disproportionately greater share of private scholarships and merit-based grants.”

Kantrowitz crunched data (PDF) from both the 2003-04 and 2007-08 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study, which showed that white students are 40 percent more likely to win private scholarships than non-white students. And Kantrowitz finds several college-specific scholarships only for white students, like UCLA’s 66-year-old Werner Scott Scholarship, worth $4,000, which is “restricted to Caucasian students from Hawaii who are not of Polynesian blood.”

Even when a scholarship doesn’t explicitly note a racial preference, white students are still at an advantage since scholarship sponsors “select for characteristics, activities and talents of interest to them.” Black students, for example, are much less likely to participate in equestrian, water, and winter sports than their white peers, which makes them ineligible for scholarships related to those areas.

White students, even those who “have no demonstrated financial need,” are also at an advantage when it comes to receiving funding directly from universities. Kantrowitz found that they get more than 76 percent “of all institutional merit-based scholarship and grant funding, even though they represent” less than 62 percent of the student population.

That last bit in bold, wow.

Where’s your fucking bake sale now?


(via stfuconservatives)

What we did is, we made up 5000 resumes: on half of them we put an African American name, on half of them we put a white name. Otherwise, the resumes were exactly the same. Then we sent them out. Which got called back more? What we found was that the same resume, when it had an African American name, was 33% less likely to get an interview than when it had a white name. So if a white person is searching for a job for ten weeks, an equivalently skilled African American person will be searching for fifteen weeks. Those are five long weeks if you’re unemployed.
Dr. Sendhil Mullainathan, Harvard University Professor of Economics, Freakonomics (via cocknbull)

(via face-down-asgard-up)

Studies find that with identical résumés, those with “white sounding” names have a 50 percent higher response rate from prospective employees than do those with “black sounding” names. Whites on average outearn Latinos and blacks, with or without controlling for education. Since the Great Recession, average white net wealth has increased to 18 times that of Latinos and 20 times that of African Americans. The Latino unemployment rate is about 40 percent that of whites, while the African-American rate is 100 percent higher. Whites and blacks consume illegal drugs at similar rates, but whites are less likely than blacks to be stopped by the police, arrested or convicted — or to receive prison time once convicted — even for first-time offenders of the same crime.

Leaning Right: How Conservative Myths Stoke Racial Fear (via robot-heart-politics)

THIS. IS. WHITE. PRIVILEGE. Straight up. No chaser. I dare a mothafucka to tell me otherwise. I DARE YOU.

(via sourcedumal)

(via karnythia)

The test of how racist you are is not how many people of color you can count as friends,” I recall someone telling me—I can’t remember who now. “It’s how many white people you’re willing to talk to about racism.


I can’t pretend I don’t have some rotting branches; we can’t pretend our privileges don’t exist just because we do not like them.   To relinquish the power they hold, we have to constantly expose them for what they are,” Grandma Willow concluded, and gave John a pat on the back with one of her drooping branches.

(via dion-thesocialist)

Having privilege isn’t something you can usually change, but that’s okay, because it’s not something you should be ashamed of, or feel bad about. Being told you have privilege, or that you’re privileged, isn’t an insult. It’s a reminder! The key to privilege isn’t worrying about having it, or trying to deny it, or apologize for it, or get rid of it. It’s just paying attention to it, and knowing what it means for you and the people around you. Having privilege is like having big feet. No one hates you for having big feet! They just want you to remember to be careful where you walk.

Sindeloke, on Privilege  (via rebel-grrrl)


(via drmeltron)

It’s just paying attention to it, and knowing what it means for you and the people around you.

(via newwavefeminism)

Excellent, excellent point!

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(via i-am-a-child-of-time)


So don’t tell me you’re an oppressed little white boy because your ass didn’t get offered any special scholarships for being white. OH WAIT. You did get a scholarship. In fact, you got a full ride which you PISSED AWAY because you didn’t feel like going to class. So explain to me why the fuck we were even having this conversation?

(via happyfeminist-deactivated201208)

I believe we have to judge our society not by how we treat the privileged and the empowered. We judge the civility and quality of our society by how we treat the silenced, the condemned, the undocumented, and all those whose views and rights are deemed inconvenient.

Olivia Wilde (via dailymurf)

Oh snap, Olivia Wilde dropping a truth bomb.

(via iamabutchsolo)

(via themythsaredead)

No matter Hollywood’s attempt to convey moral ambiguity, the viewer is obviously intended to side with Xavier when it all comes down. But the way most of the X-Men films have portrayed human aggression toward mutants resonates a little closely with, y’know, real life violence and oppression toward people of color, towards queer and gender non-conforming people, women. These are types of oppression which do not afford the privilege of a tolerant, “oh someday they’ll learn” attitude. As someone who supports the autonomy of communities to come together to defend themselves, ESPECIALLY against direct physical threats, it’s really hard to villanize someone like Magneto who, as portrayed in this most recent film, just wants the basic right to exist without conforming his identity or experience to a non-mutant expectation - someone who, as a Holocaust survivor, knows the extremes of human intolerance, someone who is expected to overlook his experience and try having faith in humanity again

A Tiny Valve


(via strengthofourlimbs)


(via inherkissitastetherevolution)

I miss my Marvel and DC comics.

(via soydulcedeleche)

My sole problem with Xmen

(via chauvinistsushi)

^^^  I really don’t understand why anyone would consider this to be a problem.  When X-Men was originally created Magneto was never intended to be a “villain” any more than Professor X was intended to be the “hero” in the traditional sense of either word.  If you do any research about the creation of X-Men (the comic by Stan Lee) you will find that he specifically intended for the plight of the X-Men to mirror that of marginalized people in society (people of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, the poor, the under-educated, etc).  Professor X was envisioned as a corollary to Dr. King while Magneto was envisioned as a corollary to Malcolm X.  

Anyone who would actually think that Prof. X is the hero and Magneto is the villain doesn’t have any knowledge of the comic outside of Hollywood and/or doesn’t have any legitimate understanding of race/LGBTQ/sex/gender/class/etc issues.  That’s not the fault of the X-Men or the amazing writers of that comic, it’s the fault of the society that produces ignorant privilege deniers.

(via chauvinistsushi)