Thursday, June 2, 2011

Quick rant: Stop saying "X is the last acceptable form of bigotry"

There are several turns of phrase and lines of thinking that make my skin crawl every time I hear them. Here's one:
"[insert pet 'ism' of speaker] is the last acceptable form of bigotry"
No. No it isn't.

And no, it doesn't matter what oppression you are talking about. (The claim is made about nearly everything.)

Despite the gains made against things like racism, sexism and homophobia, people of color, women, trans people and gay people are still treated unequally. People of color still get paid less for doing the same jobs that white people do. Gay men and women still can't get married in the United States. Nobel Prize-winning male writers still feel comfortable asserting in the media that women writers are crap. Disabelism, fat phobia, Islamophobia, classism, xenophobia...All that shit still happens, too.

You win no one to your side by pretending yours is the only oppression that still exists. (Especially if your "oppression" is really a petty grievance, but that's another rant.) More than that, you offend everyone who labors under other oppressions every day. "X is the last acceptable form of bigotry" is a thoughtless, self-centered and privileged thing to say. More than that, it carries it's own form of bigotry. Inherent in the phrase is the idea that all that civil rights activism on behalf, for instance, gays and POCs is really just whining. X has been solved. The REAL issue is Y.

In most cases, the better assertion to make about little-discussed oppressions is that they are...well...little-discussed or often-ignored NOT that they are the only forms of real bigotry left.

Is anyone feeling me on this?

Photo Credit: MiakoSamuio


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