As a white m/c male, I am beginning to tire of race, class and gender-baiting

I have privilege, I have entitlement. I do not deny either.

I used that privilege a few weekends ago when an avuncularitis-ing muppet chose not to have a co-facilitator in a room of 30 people, even though he is – by his own admission – going deaf.  And guess what, he missed the fact that a woman who wanted to participate had her hand up for yonks. After he said “no more noticings” I brought that to his attention, and he “let her” speak.  I raise this not for kudos, but as an example of how he wasn’t quite the perfect fricking hero some people seem to need or want.

And throughout my time there (I left early) he got away with stuff that… no, I am not going to relive the full horror of it. What is remarkable, truly remarkable, is just how willing most people in the room were to let him keep on putting his needs first. Hats off, he played a blinder – and I mean that in every sense.

In the backwash, someone has managed to dismiss those who resisted his multiple and prolonged abuses of power with the immortal sentence. “I notice those people were mostly white men and/or had class privilege.”

R___e_ Irrelevant, in this instance. There is an equal and opposite interpretation that can be made – the people with power can spot someone else abusing it, because they know they would (rightly) never get away with that themselves, and are willing (because of their power, not just because of their “entitlement”) to speak up.

I can’t quite figure out whether I am the one who “came across how strongly one person is anti-authoritarian in his dislike of hierarchical working. It was clear that the other has expectations of how he thinks meetings should be conducted, and if processes don’t meet his standards, he leaves.”

Y’see, I work hierarchically all the fricking time. 37.5 hours a week, and then some. Nature of the beast.
Alternatively, maybe I have “expectations”?  Or, as some people call them, willingness to leave if I’m being used as ego-fodder. Funny how words work, isn’t it?  So it goes.

There’s this thing called Open Space. And within it there’s this thing called the Law of Two Feet.  I am glad it exists.  It’s a law I rarely break.


P.S.  I remain acutely aware that a hundred years of race/class/gender-baiting and the irritations that it inspires would add up to about, ooh, 5 minutes of the horrific crap that non-white middle-class men deal with every waking moment (and in their non-waking ones too).



About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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