3 Big Questions on Awareness

I’m dealing with some heavy themes this month. Awareness has many different shades to it. I am specifically addressing awareness of social justice issues. This is not a primer. If you are not sure what such words as “privilege” and “oppression” mean in the context of a social justice discussion, I urge you to find books and articles addressing them. That said, come on in.

1. When was the last time you were oppressed?
2. When was the last time you acted in the interest of the socially dominant group (when you oppressed others)?
3. What does privilege look like for the group you belong to that you’ve thought about the least? For example, I rarely think about my privilege as an able-bodied person. What does able-bodied privilege look like?

Keep your eyes peeled! My latest m/m erotica story Packbond is coming out this month.

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About Melissa ra Karit

I'm a queer, poly, genderqueer Witch. I'm a sex-positive feminist, an activist, and a writer. I believe that when we attend to our individual good, we approach the world with good in our hearts and change the world for the better. Opinions expressed here are solely my personal opinions, and do not represent the views of any organization with which I am affiliated.
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One Response to 3 Big Questions on Awareness

  1. Sunsmith says:

    This is a “tough one” for me, because in general I am not at all oppressed. Over the years, I have tried to not be part of oppression, and I continually find that as a straight white male I am often reacted TO as part of a “privilege” group. I vividly remember as a child (1950’s) getting into serious trouble when my family discovered that I went to “play” with other kids who were not “acceptable” because they were African American kids (of course that was NOT the word used at the time); worse, I had been biking over there, eating and playing with them all summer. I resolved at the time that I would not obey family when I thought they were wrong. I went back many times until some of the mothers had a talk with me. They explained racial violence. If my family discovered that I was still playing there, I’d get punished, but they would get killed. Sadly, I waited until I was older.

    I tired SO hard to behave with more equality. But when the lawnmower broke and I had to hire the lawn cut (just 3 years ago) I explained to the guy I paid to do the work that Melissa was actually carrying out a good argument with the manufacturer that it WAS a defect in manufacturing. (two?) months later, they sent the new part. The guy who had been cutting the lawn was so sad that the part came. I just remember the slump of his back as he walked away. Maybe that was not my “fault” maybe, maybe, maybe…..it just felt like an oppression to me….60 some years and I still did not have that beat, even with the work in Chicago, and and and. My point is that it is very difficult to even know at times what “oppression” means in one’s life — from the oppressing side.

    When am I acting in or with the socially dominant group? Small things that the oppressed just socially KNOW and are taught socially to do: Who gets on the bus first? Who gets what seat? Who moves when someone else with kids or a disability get on? I learned by observation to NOT be 1st to get on the bus. I now get out of the seat 1st when a wheel chair or stroller gets on. Does that mean I am not part of white male privilege? Nah…just that I am trying to let equality flow.

    I am part of the over privileged group. I try to let equality flow, for obviously MAKING it happen in the small ways is again enacting privilege. I am learning. Perhaps more important, I am enjoying the process.
    — Sunsmith

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