illness and privilege

PSA white people

Your mental illness does not change your privilege as a white person

Your sexual orientation does not change your privilege as a white person

Your gender does not change your privilege as a white person

Your income does not change your privilege as a white person

Your disability does not change your privilege as a white person

Your age does not change your privilege as a white person.

Your political affiliation does not change your privilege as a white person

Your religion does not change your privilege as a white person

Your privilege as a white person will stick with you, whatever your other identities are. You may face oppression in other ways, which, YES means there are other social structures that work against you. But they do not diminish your white privilege

De-”person”-ization in Guardians of the Galaxy.

I deliberately didn’t use “dehumanize” because only one of the characters in question is even truly human (and even then only half-human :P). The only “lineup scene” I could find is a video of someone pointing a camera at their screen. The sound is terrible, you’ll have to turn up your volume to hear it. The captions are the typical Youtube crap too.

I want you to watch the scene and tell me if you notice what I’m pointing out before I even start to blather about it.

Did you see it?

Gamora and Quill are referred to as people with pronouns: “She / her / hers, he / him / his.”

Rocket and Groot are referred to objects without pronouns: “It / its / itself.”

They refer to Rocket by his experimental code, “Subject 89P13, it calls itself Rocket” and talk about how he is the result of illegal genetic and surgical modifications on “a lower life-form.”

When they get to Groot, he’s described as “they call it Groot” and say he’s “Subject 89P13′s houseplant / muscle.”

The characters who have the most “human” appearances are talked about like people, and the ones who don’t are treated like objects.

Do you see it now? Do you understand?

Marginalized people are treated like Rocket and Groot. Rocket is mentally ill. It’s obvious in the movie. He’s marginalized and treated as less because he’s an ‘unnatural’ person. 

Groot’s intelligence works a different way than usual– I turned that into an autistic headcanon. But there’s a running gag where he’s left out of the group when splitting money is discussed until he indignantly reminds everyone of his presence. He’s left out because he can’t talk the usual way.

It’s a feeling marginalized people are very familiar with.

Society ignores us, or it forgets us. Then it gets annoyed when we speak up and go “hey, what about us? What about what we want?” because I guess society expects us to be grateful for the little crumbs it throws us every so often.

Some of us are Groot– we try to be kind despite being looked down on because we want to believe everyone has good in them.

Others are angrier. They’re Rocket– we yell, shout and take no shit because we took enough and are tired of taking it. 

Some of us are both Rocket and Groot. Some of us have been torn apart and put back together over and over because of the nature of why we’re marginalized. 

Every time a slur is thrown at us, it’s like Rocket going under the knife again on Halfworld. Then people try to tell us we’re looking for offense like we want attention for being insulted. They throw “SJW” around like a joke instead of looking deeper into why something is hurtful. (TW: Drunk Rocket rant.)

Quill is quick to say, “Rocket, no one’s calling you a monster.”

Listen to the pain in Rocket’s voice, watch the tears well in his eyes and watch his lips quiver as he yells, “He called me vermin! She called me rodent!” 

You see how deeply those words affect him. They are insults to him, and they HURT him. 

“Vermin” and “rodent” are just words. Slurs are just words, too. Pick any out of the many you know. They’re just words to you.

But they hurt the people they were invented to hurt.

Look how deeply Rocket is hurt by the implication that he is nothing more than some animal who doesn’t matter. Slurs hurt the marginalized people affected by them because it reduces their entire life’s experience to an insult.

If someone tells you a word you’re using hurts them, you don’t get to decide it doesn’t. You apologize, do your best to stop using the hurtful word and ask what the right word is.

Some privileged people see marginalized people as problems to silence and ignore because we’re inconvenient. It’s easier to laugh at the stereotypes people come up with about us like we’re stupid little things. It’s easier to scoff and use slurs to insult us. 


Because listening to us would mean admitting to being wrong, and some privileged people aren’t brave or humble enough to admit they’re wrong and do the work necessary to fix the broken systems of society. 

We didn’t ask to get made, but here we are.

anonymous asked:

I literally just found someone on Tumblr arguing that even if a white person has suffered lots of trauma and depression, they are still privileged compared to an African American who has lived a happy, healthy life. I know that white people generally have more privileges in the west, but complaining that someone that suffered through depression and trauma has more privileges than a happy, healthy person is just wrong and disrespectful.


“passing privilege” isnt really privilege because its based in erasure. once you reveal who you are, bigots will hate you no matter how cis/white/straight they thought you were before. and living with that knowledge is not a privilege. watching your community go through hell and having to make a choice between personal safety and solidarity is not a privilege. having your “privilege” hinge on something as inconsistent and subjective as how people perceive you at any given moment is not privilege.

anonymous asked:

I've had multiple SJWs tell me to "check my privilege" when I'm disabled and nobody will hire me because of my disability. Meanwhile, the people who say this stuff to me either have jobs, families or are in college. I really want to know what privilege I have when disabled people are pretty much at the bottom of their non-existent totem pole.


anonymous asked:

We all know why she wasn't killed but you'll never hear the bluelivesmatter folk admit it. If her skin had been darker, she'd be dead. The only she did was have the privilege of being born white. Also if you notice, everyone is trying to pin her as the poor sweet mentally ill girl instead of dragging her through the mud and finding every bad thing she/her family has ever done.

White privilege is fucking wild. I’m honestly so angry I don’t know what else to say


She may very well be mentally ill for all that is known about her so far, but you’re right that POC are rarely given such consideration.

Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.
—  Oliver Sacks (a professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine, and the author of many books, including “Awakenings” and “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.”)

As chronically ill humans, we experience this as ablism. “You can’t be sick because I’ve never been sick that way.” “Stop whining and complaining…it can’t be THAT bad.” “You’re just imagining the pain.” “You’re just pretending to be sick because you want attention.” All these kinds of things people say, they are projections…the projections of people who have the privilege of health.


I jumped into traffic and banged on a cops car because he told me to pull over when my car was broke down. I beat my uncle because he said gay people have a mental illness. I bit a hole through my ex’s ear because he told me he gave me back half the money I gave him when we both knew he had given me $15, nowhere near the amount I gave him. I dislike all white people, I don’t care to give them a chance to prove they aren’t racist. I react very extremely to things, to the point where I sometimes completely lose control. I watch myself do what I’m doing but am unable to stop myself. Even as I watch it happen, even as I’m doing it I’m always shocked by it. And despite of all this, EVERYBODY assumes that I’m the nice safe bet. White people feel more comfortable around me, EVERYbody will assume that I’m the “good” nice Black girl because I am pale, have racially ambiguous features, rarely if ever speak aave, and listen to music that isn’t usually considered black (even though I only listen to Black artists.) People trust me more than they trust my friends, who are way more trustworthy than me. It’s like, everybody wants to flock to me but I’M the motherfucker though. I’m the one you need to be wary of. I’m the violent one. I’m the agressive one. I can’t even trust my damn self not to hurt my damn self. What you think I’ll do to y'all ? And I wonder how often this happens. How often do the toxic lightskined girls get treated like innocent angels despite being the opposite? How many people get themselves fucked up ignoring signs of an abuser for being dazzled by pale skin? I even warn people when I first get to know them that I’m not safe to be around. Women listen. Men think it’s cute. And they’ll end up saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and be in a fucked up situation because they wouldn’t believe that I’m not the delicate image they created for me and I couldn’t control myself again.
(On a side note I’m aware that I need help. But I can’t afford it. Until I can I’ll keep doing the best I can do which isn’t good enough but that’s all I have.)

Just a reminder to white people, or actually- any privileged person: I cried so much when I found out trump was president because I was (and still am) in fear my basic rights would be stripped, as a lgbt afab disabled mentally ill poc. So many other minorities did too. We are terrified. This won’t affect you like it will us. So don’t be mean to us about refusing trump as president. Even better- protect us. There’s gonna be violence. Muslims are stopping wearing their hijabs out of fear. Gay people are going back in the closet, and trans people are conforming, mentally ill are hiding their health- because there will be violence. Use your privilege and protect us.

Unfortunately, an accurate professional mental diagnosis is often a benefit of privilege.

Unfortunately, being able to change therapists when the one you are seeing is unsuitable is often a benefit of privilege.

Unfortunately, being able to see a therapist, counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist once a month is often a benefit of privilege.

Acknowledge and call out the intersectionality of race and mental illness, 2k15

Talk about white privilege and mental illness.

Stop acting like all people with mental illness suffer the same way, and can access the same resources.

Stop acting like white people with mental illness are just as victimized as PoC with mental illness. We aren’t. 

Concept: Explaining what living with a chronic mental/physical illness is like to create greater understanding

Ideal response from non-ill person: I understand now! I see you as human! You shouldn’t have to put up with such discrimination! I will support you! I will fight beside you for justice!

Too common response from non-ill people in reality: I can’t relate to it so I’m just going to discard/discredit your information or maybe I’ll appropriate aspects of it for entertainment. :) Good luck with that. Shoo. Go away. Go get better. If you need someone to talk to, you have a doctor, right?

Many of us travel, so we claim, to broaden our understanding of the lives of others. That was certainly my line, before the dengue. But it wasn’t until this moment that I started to really accept how abbreviated my perspective had been, how convenient and self-excusing. In a decade of swooping in and out of impoverished regions, I’d been exposed to crushing poverty. And I’d frowned, offered sympathy and a few coins, then moved along and forgot.

Enthralled by foreign cultures, often disdaining the shortcomings of my own, I’d never fully digested what it must be like to live and raise a family in a place where health, that most precious possession of all, is so easily compromised. A place where something so ubiquitous as a bloodthirsty mosquito momentarily settled on a bare patch of skin can leave you hospitalized and weeping for home.

Cute self care has its place. When I feel raw with emotion and small and vulnerable and I can’t be responsible because my brain simply won’t allow me to, then I need to soothe the screaming child with things meant to soothe a child.

But self care is so much more than that. Self care is not holding on to pee until it hurts because I’m too listless to move, it’s making sure I maintain personal hygiene, making sure I wash my clothes and put them away, making sure I empty my bin to avoid one corner of my room filling up with a pile of rubbish, decluttering my bed so that I don’t wake up with food wrappers stuck to my thighs and a crochet hook tangled in my hair. It’s also trying really fucking hard to keep on top of finances and keeping to a budget and making sure I’m hydrated and nourished, it’s also reaching out to other people to help me carry out responsibilities that I am not capable of instead of avoiding those things and ending up owing HMRC thousands of pounds in overpaid tax credits (I don’t even understand how that happened, I was so unwell I just signed a piece of paper when my ex asked me to and then somehow ended we up with debt?)

Sometimes all I can manage in terms of self care is rubbing my face with a wipe and changing my underpants. But I congratulate myself for this as much as I would for putting on my favourite jammies, getting a sensible sized portion of ice cream and watching totoro.

I think it’s important to see self care as a spectrum and to bring some balance into what we consider as self care. It’s true that this cutesy safe mental illness thing is happening, and it could be a symptom of the wider stigma against mental illnesses. It could be people trying to prove that we are mostly gentle and vulnerable without realising that they are erasing identities of people with “scary” disorders. It could be people so terrified of their own minds that they *have* to saturate their world in cutesy self care tips to make themselves feel safe and unafraid. It could be people with mild mental illnesses who cope best with gentle self care not realising that they are only one place on the spectrum of neurodivergence and not realising they are erasing identities of people with “scary” disorders when they amplify the cutesy face of mental illness on tumblr by reblogging something which is not representative of all people with mental health problems.

Erasure is shitty and needs to be addressed but not by putting down other mentally unwell people and their coping methods. While there may be some weird privilege attributed to people with milder versions of better understood mental disorders, they are still part of our community.