The Last Road

Living every day like it's the last… because one day, it will be.

Posts Tagged ‘Learning’

On Privilege

Posted by Rystefn on July 9, 2011

To begin: I do not deny that this is a real thing. To follow, people mostly need to shut the fuck up about it. I do not think I’ve heard it more than two, maybe three, times being used as anything except a means of dismissing a valid opinion from someone who is making a valid but disliked point. Privilege doesn’t prevent a person from having valid views on poverty, sexism, abuse, rape, violence, or the level of threat presented by these or anything. Everyone has privilege over someone else, but most people also have privilege over each other.

You know how male privilege lists usually prompt a bunch of guys posting women’s privilege lists? Well, there’s some validity to that. Mostly it’s crap, but here’s the big two: I can’t present a personal problem as a gender problem to gain legitimacy, and I can’t present a universal problem as a gender problem because it never occurred to me that everyone has to deal with it.

Both of these have been coming up a lot lately. Does this look familiar? “You don’t know what it’s like, all women live in fear of potential rape at all times!” How many times do women have to say “I don’t!” before it goes away? I would guess a shit-ton more. How about this one: “You don’t know what it’s like to never leave your drink unattended, so you either take it with you or leave it and then get a new one.” News flash – most men don’t leave our drinks then come back and keep drinking them either. This isn’t new. We don’t make a big deal out of it, though, because it’s a stupid thing to bitch about. It’s a universal human concern with a simple fix, so we go about our business.

Worse, the ever-present threat of violence. Men are more at risk then women in pretty much all situations. Somehow this means that women should be more afraid… Quick, what’s the least reported crime? If you said rape, you’re stupid. It’s insane on the face of it. Vandalism. How much graffiti do you see around you? Think about the desks in your high school. Think about street signs and playground equipment with names written on it. Think about the infamous mens room wall. How many of those do you think are reported? Really? Do you actually think rape is more common than that? If you do, then you’re stupid.

Quick, which do you think is unreported more often, rape of men or rape of women? Which do you think gets taken more seriously by people in general or by law-enforcement specifically? Before you start saying that it doesn’t happen or doesn’t happen enough to be important, ask yourself what you have to go on when you come up with ideas like that. The numbers? Of reported crimes? For a crime that you have to admit is very near the top of unreported crimes? A crime that even you, progressive that you are, probably think is funny. A crime the culture we live in suggests only happens to weak and effeminate men – you know, victim blaming… but rape is a women’s problem.

So please, please, before you tell someone to check their privilege – fucking check your own.

Posted in Privelege | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »


Posted by Rystefn on July 6, 2008

It happened early this morning. At around 4:20am CST, my Darling Jenny passed away. I’ve seen people die before, but never someone so close to me… there aren’t many so close to me in the first place. At the end, she touched my face and smiled, a memory I’ll treasure forever. She was many things to me, both teacher and student, friend and lover. She knew things about me no one else knew. Probably not even me.

She was one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and could easily have made me feel stupid – but she never did. She found a pure and overwhelming joy in knowledge, and loved both to teach and to learn. She soaked up information from everyone around her, and radiated it like a star. Alone of my close friends, she put all the pieces together. She first met me as I am now, but she figured out who I was before… likely from the very beginning.

Her voice was like a choir of angels. People have told me that when I sing, I affect people’s emotions, but Jenny could draw tears from a stone. She says it was me who first drew her to the music, but I know it was always in her soul. Maybe I was in the right place at the right time, but it was always in her, and nothing could have stopped it from coming out.

I have never in my life met a kinder or a gentler person. Jenny didn’t even know how to raise her voice in anger. She genuinely loved everyone she met, and I like to think they all loved her back. I know I do.

She never knew why, but this song always reminded me of her… she couldn’t see that it was about her.

Farewell, sweet earth and northern sky,
Forever blessed since here did lie,
And here with lissom limb did run,
Beneath the moon, beneath the sun,
Luthein Tinuviel,
More fair than mortal tongue can tell.

Though all to ruin fell the world,
And were dissolved and backward hurled,
Unmade, into the old abyss;
Yet were it’s making good for this:
The dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea,
That Luthein, for a time, should be.

The world is a darker, sadder place now, and it pains me that I ever lived long enough to see a world without her in it.

Posted in love | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »