If there’s one thing most privileged people will do when engaged in a conversation concerning marginalized groups, it’s that they usually bring up their emotional pain. They believe that just as the marginalized are hurting inside, then they should share their hurt as well. However, usually privileged people bring up their pain to equalize or cancel out the pain felt by those not so privileged. The privileged folk are likely unaware or uncaring that what they are doing is a huge mistake.
Those with certain advantages living in a society created for their sake don’t know or care about that truth. (Sometimes they are both ignorant and careless.) So, when the marginalized express their feelings about dealing with the reality that they are considered “different”, the privileged people will bring up the pain they’ve experienced, and usually, they will explain how the pain was caused by–you guessed it –the marginalized.
How many times have you heard a man complain about how he was hurt by women in a setting where women vent their stories concerning their aggravating, terrible, and even traumatic experiences with men? Did the male participant do this to make a genuine point, or did he do it as an attempt to minimize the suffering of others while maximizing his own?
How many times have you heard a white person scream out how he(she) was harmed or attacked by people of color (POC) in a forum where POC go to express their frustrations and misery living in a white dominated society? As a POC myself, usually this is a tactic racists use to derail conversations for their own self-serving needs. Sometimes it’s an inevitable response regarding a topic illuminating white racism.
But I’m suspicious about both examples. For the first case involving women, has the guy ever done anything to contribute to his mistreatment by women? In other words how did he treat them? Did he treat them like human beings or did he abuse him in some way?
As for the second scenario did that horrible encounter with the POC as mentioned in the story actually happen? If so, why should the white person hold an entire race accountable? In fact, why should that white person bring it up in a conversation not created for their comfort? And like the male in the first example, did the white person provoke the POC?
Sometimes the privileged people either conveniently leave out certain important details or they create stories to prove their points and shift the blame back on the marginalized. If the male did treat women like crap, then he has no reason to complain. If the story about being attacked by POC isn’t true, then the white person should stay quiet. If either party has caused such pain to happen in the first place, they simply need to shut the fuck up.
Those who are marginalized experience a kind of pain those with advantages could never fully understand even if they try. It is the kind of pain of being treated less than a human being because you weren’t born with certain attributes society considers as normal. Such societies were created to put sin and disgrace on those born outside the paradigm, mute their voices, and portray them as a threat to the natural order. But, the reality is that most privileges are born from sin and disgrace.
The kind of pain that the privilege experienced as shown in the examples is likely the side-effect of living a life of convenience. One may not have contributed to its creation, but one does reap the benefits to living as a “normal human being.” The drawback is that privileged people can not express their pain within a setting made for the marginalized without being suspected of being a troll. Nine times out of ten, they turn out to be trolls, self-serving, morally warped trolls who possibly have too much time on their hands.
So, for all the privileged individuals out there who get so hurt after being shunned in conversations that are not about them, instead of complaining how we don’t feel sorry for you like you don’t feel sorry for us, why don’t you learn why it is you’re mindset is not welcomed? Yes. We all suffer to some degree, but just because you don’t or won’t understand our agony, doesn’t mean that it means little compared to yours.