Thinking About Isms and Ignorance

I read this tweet and the following comments by the person who posted it and it reminded me of a thing I read some time ago about how trans women and people raised as boys eventually learn and see the institutionalized sexism that happens to women all the time. 

I kind of get it though, not noticing or not thinking about something as critically as you could until you experience it, and for a second I lamented there's no way this could be done for race. I can't think of a "this could happen to me" type of 'ah ha' moment that can happen to make racism better understood. I see instances of racism, modern and historic and I'm not surprised. 

I'm not surprised at proud white people posed beside a dead, lynched black person. Not in 18-whatever, not in 1957. It's like seeing groups of white people with shit eating grins in black face, I'm not surprised, just saddened each and every time that people aren't better. Seeing a color, instagram photo of dumbass white people in black, yellow, red face and other colored-face makes me angry but also sad that there's no way these people can ever really feel compassion for the people they're mocking and insulting. 

The closest is if we make it about them and that's not the same. 

I mean, I've heard people get so snitty and so pissed because someone's wearing a band shirt and they're "not a real fan" or about the concept of "fake geek girls" and "fake gamer girls". Titles of being a geek, a gamer, a fan of something are things you willingly put on and add to what you already were. And people get so defensive of the perceived "wrong person" giving themself attributes of something they like. But these selfsame people can't understand that when you dress up like something that a person can't change about themself and you're being insulting about it that it actually is harmful. 

I think I was also thinking about this because of that shitty Time article from this weekend when a college freshman went on and on about how he won't apologize for white privilege. He said some truly ignorant things but mostly addressed the hardships his grandparents had to overcome but never really addressed the aspects of his life that he had easy. His grandparents escaped Nazi-fied Europe and made it in America, made a business and started a family. His father worked too many hours and was barely around to see him as he grew up and he's not white privileged to be able to go to Princeton. I look at that and think about the loans his family was able to take out easier and with lower interest than what naturalized black Americans would have had access to. I look at the fact that he had both parents in the home and never made any mention of how much or little he saw his mother. Not that single parentness is a POC issue, but there'd be a different situation if there weren't a parent in the home when the other was at work. I also wonder how often he was a shitty kid in school and was never punished and what he himself accomplished with his own two hands and his brain to get into Princeton. I wonder if he was ever told "you speak good English" by people in his community, as if he shouldn't be able to. How often people ask and assume he's from a specific location because of his race and how he presents himself. He has lived a privileged life and it's disrespectful to just ignore it, it's disrespectful for the hell his grandparents lived through if he doesn't acknowledge that when they got to America they were playing the Game of Life with different handicaps than they had been playing with in Europe.

Crossdressers, trans people and I think even fe/male impersonators fall into a different category, they're not ridiculing and they can change who they are to a certain degree. You can't change your genetics or what ever biologic sex based medical diseases you may get. I don't know what it's like but I'm sure we need more trans positive doctors to help with pre-change health conditions that someone is still susceptible to. 

It's just maddening how difficult it is to educate someone who has never had to think about how complex the life of an Other is. Sex based discrimination can be seen and learned when someone changes who they are outwardly and society acts in kind. Race can't be learned as simply. Even going to a different country won't be the same because of old colonialism and Western domination. 

The Morality of Opinion

I'm sitting in my drawing studio class, I had been working with my headphones but the teacher was in the room talking for a moment and that was long enough to get me into the most irritating conversation.

I don't use Macs, I don't like Apple and I don't really care. I've never been one to follow fads and I guess it's still biting me on the ass that I don't care about having to prove I'm an artist by having the same type of computer as every else.

I mostly don't fucking care, but I shouldn't have to defend my opinion. I don't care if you use a Mac, I'm not going to. Just like how I don't care if you wear high heels, wear a dress, a tie, boots, vest, cummerbund, use Dove, Dial, Gain, Tide, Shout. Whatever. You personal opinions don't affect me in the least so why do you care so much that I don't use the same thing as you. 

I'm not directly arguing with you the reader, it's more the idea of people who get mad that i don't like the things they like.

I made my opinion, I shouldn't have to defend it because I don't care about what you use. I hate the morality or self-identification that goes on with people who do or don't use something. Does my choice of computer ever affect you? Most likely it never will so why do I have to defend the statement 'I don't like Apple'. If I said 'I don't like beef' or 'I don't like dresses' would people be so defensively aggressive to force me to explain that opinion? I don't like a lot of things, I absolutely adore a lot of other things. 

Who cares. I'm not telling you you have to like what I like, you ought to do you. If you want to like something I don't like, do it up. Computer OS seems to be one of the few things that people feel so strongly about that they must know why other people don't feel the same as them. What does it matter? I use my computer to dick around on the Internet, listen to music and watch stuff. Not much else to be honest. I write stuff as necessary and a few other things. 

I say I don't care, and i really don't. I write this because i'm annoyed at the idea that I should have to defend my opinions on things that don't affect other people. Yes, I put forward the information that I don't like Apple but what does me opinion have to to with you? Because I don't follow the grain does that offend you? Does my not liking the exact same things as you make you feel like you're less of a person? Do you think you're better than me and you want to have an itemized list of reasons why you're better? Why does my opinion on a fucking OS affect you that much?

This same fucking thing happens when I share that I don't like beer. It doesn't taste good, oh, I haven't had the right beer.

Fuck that.

Does it really matter? If I want to get drunk and I like my methods for inebriation doesn't it matter how I get drunk? How does my choice for my life affect you? It doesn't. I like whiskey and rum as my main libations, I have plenty of friends who can't drink them without a chaser or only if it's in a mixed drink. I just like them to be iced/watered and I'm good to go. But who cares? Or are these people trying to make a connection and they want to understand why I'm not on board to make these same connections? There are other more pertinent things than what type of computer I use to decide if we're similar enough or if we're the type of people who'd be good friends. 

I'm just tired of feeling like someone judging me just because I don't live like them. I have no problem with what people do with their lives that affect them. 

My insistence that I don't care reminds me of a few months ago when I met this dude and he said he was impressed by me and not caring about stuff. I care, I'm a fucking bleeding heart liberal, butt the things I care about are more than transient. I care about the underlying morality of a person, if they're a good person, do they help others? I care things that are at someone's core, not if they're wearing or using the most popular toy of the day. That's transient, that's a detail, are they valuable to society and how is far more important to me than just the outer layers. 

I think that's why i'm so mad about this, and I am, I'm mad that people seem to be judging me as a person for something as dumb as the computer I use.

Since I don't consider my computer that big a deal, why not get a Mac and shut people up? That would feel like I'm giving into the pressure of conformity. I also don't need what a Mac can do to do what I want or need to. I just feel like people need to stop judging people for stupid things like where they shop and judge them for more important things like how they treat their fellow man.