My new favorite thing

April 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

Is the hilarious (and heartbreakingly realistic) Derailing For Dummies website.

Just follow this step-by-step guide to Conversing with Marginalised People™ and in no time at all you will have a fool-proof method of derailing every challenging conversation you may get into, thus reaping the full benefits of every privilege that you have.

JUST what I’ve been looking for. Amen. My personal favorite piece of advice is You’re Being Overemotional, a derailing method that’s been used on me just seven trillion too many times. Angry about that rape joke I just made? You must be on your period, Miranda. Lighten up.

The author touches on a particular point that’s been dominating my thoughts recently…

The best part is, you don’t even have to be a white, heterosexual, cisgendered, cissexual, upper-class male to enjoy the full benefits of derailing conversation! Nope, you can utilise the lesser-recognised tactic of Horizontal Hostility to make sure that, despite being a member of a Marginalised Group™ yourself, you can exercise a privilege another Marginalised Group™ doesn’t have in order not to heed their experience!

We’ve been talking about this issue in my school’s Gay-Straight Alliance for a few weeks; big post on that in the works. I’m continually fascinated by the shortcomings of progressive movements – like the historical failure of the mainstream feminist movement to include anyone but elite white women and what the queer justice crowd is willing to get loud about (hint: yes to Prop 8, no to the horrifyingly commonplace murders of trans women of color).  It is profoundly disappointing when marginalized groups act oppressively towards other groups. Call me idealistic – I am idealistic.

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