Like in mathematics and philosophy, and as I teacher, I find it very useful to push argument to their logical extremes in order to try to make sense of them. So let’s consider the whole gender/race apologetics captured recently by #notallmen and the counterpart #yesallwomen
Specifically in this short post I want to consider the resistance to the idea of white-supremacy and patriarchy/male-supremacy. So many well-meaning (and others) white people and/or men, refuse to see the obvious fact of white-supremacy as it is clearly evidenced by history and data. They generally resort to complaints about how things are better and how the others (blacks, women, etc) are just as racist/sexist as whites/males. I try to explain this (after taking deep breaths) by saying that the context is different! When a white man talks about black men seducing white women, there is a context of mass rape of slaves and thousands of lynchings in the early 20th century for example. There is no similar history from the other side is there? When rich white males complain that THEY are looked down upon, there is a context of 500 years brutal colonization and enslavement–not the other way around.
So how would extremes help? Consider a Nazi guard at a concentration camp complaining that the jews hate him and don’t appreciate that he only took this job because the other option would be to go fight in the Eastern front and the SS. “I’m just doing what Aryan youth are expected to do; these jews are just as racist while I’m actually trying to treat them relatively well”