"The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck"

Sorry for the huge quote but I was so struck by the truth and power of this piece. Long but worth the read.

"I don't hate men.

It would, however, be fair to say that I don't easily trust them.

My mistrust is not, as one might expect, primarily a result of the violent acts done on my body, nor the vicious humiliations done to my dignity. It is, instead, born of the multitude of mundane betrayals
that mark my every relationship with a man—the casual rape joke, the use of a female slur, the careless demonization of the feminine in everyday conversation, the accusations of overreaction, the eyerolling
and exasperated sighs in response to polite requests to please not use misogynist epithets in my presence or to please use non-gendered language ("humankind").

....This, then, is the terrible bargain we have regretfully struck: Men are allowed the easy comfort of their unexamined privilege, but my regard will always be shot through with a steely, anxious bolt of

A shitty bargain all around, really. But there it is.

There are men who will read this post and think, huffily, dismissively, that a person of color could write a post very much like this one about white people, about me. That's absolutely right. So could a lesbian, a gay man, a bisexual, an asexual. So could a trans or intersex person (which hardly makes a comprehensive list). I'm okay with that. I don't feel hated. I feel mistrusted—and I understand it; I respect it. It means, for me, I must be vigilant, must make myself trustworthy. Every day."


Amelia said...

I very much like the idea of trying to make myself trustworthy. It's a good thing to strive for.

Brigid said...

Thank you for posting this! It struck me -- as true, powerful, personal -- the first time I read it, and it still strikes me every time I see it. I'm thankful for the reminder.

Shorty said...

Amelia, yes - I do think that's a good way to look at it. It doesn't do anyone any good for me to wallow in my guilt about privilege, or expect perfection from others (impossible), but it does seem like a slight more achievable and an honorable goal to make myself trustworthy...

Brigid, agreed, it's one of those pieces I feel like I should re-read every month or so....