Privilege Denying Dude is great. He says all the things you have heard a million times. Things that have already been proven wrong so many times, in so many forums. And PDD allows you to let it go—to laugh instead of engaging his argument. It’s a relief, because sometimes, man, you just want to eat your peanut butter sandwich.
But some people worry that maybe we should engage with the statements of the many privilege denying dudes we encounter, and have a meaningful discussion to debunk their ramblings, every single time. They say making fun of these dudes without explaining why they are wrong will not further our goals as social justice activists.
I disagree. Sometimes, it is necessary for the preservation of your mental health to laugh when someone says,
We need a space to laugh. Laughing is important. Yay laughter!
And the great thing is, we can do both! Through the wonders of science, we can laugh at Privilege Denying Dude, AND have nuanced discussions about complex issues. We can have radical grassroots movements AND large nonprofit organizations that lean more to the mainstream. We can develop the best pedagogy for people just beginning to learn how to recognize oppression AND do challenging scholarship for those who have invested their lives in ending it. We can engage in direct action to change the root causes of suffering, AND make the best possible personal choices about the things we buy. Yay complexity!
So, as a fan of complexity, I will be adding a regular feature to this blog. Privilege Denying Dude and I will be having some conversations. I will respond to his statements with well-reasoned arguments to the very best of my (admittedly limited) ability. And reader, whenever a real live privilege denying dude repeats the statement in question, you can just send them my response! I’ll even promise to keep the thread open and engage any privilege denying dudes who would like to discuss these posts, as long as they are respectful to me and don’t use threats or slurs. You don’t have to spend any of your time in an inevitably irritating discussion. YOU CAN EAT YOUR PEANUT BUTTER SANDWICH!
I will be starting with this one:
The first installment will appear tomorrow!