For some reason I was talking a lot about racism and sexism recently. It’s not the only thing on my mind, but for some reason it’s the easiest to write about. In writing about the topics (mainly sexism and gender issues because I feel like I’m not “allowed” to talk much about race issues) I have been reading other peoples blogs and articles on the topics.
Everyone has their own opinions, many of which are divided; one thing, however, seems to be pretty consistent among the majority of people of identify as part of a minority group: you can’t have reverse prejudice. Apparently it doesn’t work.
While it’s kind of sexist to say something derogatory about men, it doesn’t count. The same with white people, straight people, and any other “majority” category you choose. Yes, maybe it’s technically prejudice, but it doesn’t count because everyone in these majority groups has privilege that they were born into.
I don’t get it. I don’t get it as part of a “majority” (white) and I don’t get it as part of a “minority” (women). Prejudice is prejudice pure and simple. Could it be more socially harmful for there to be prejudice against a minority group? I assume so. A smaller group of people, who are often already downtrodden are more likely to “feel” the repercussions of this prejudice. But does this mean that reverse prejudice is not real? That a person of a majority group cannot feel prejudiced against? No.
Even moving away from the emotional effects, there are still so many reasons why this shouldn’t happen just as much as “real” prejudice shouldn’t happen. I explained this a little in my blog on sexism (https://inkyspider.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/men-and-women-are-not-equal-and-we-are-all-sexist/). If you are constantly attacking another group whether they be the larger group or not they are: 1. More likely to attack back, and 2. More likely to start behaving as “badly” as you say they already do.
These are all feelings and behaviors that may result from a person being subjected to “reverse prejudice”, but here’s the thing that really bothers me: if as a minority we/you are fighting against prejudice in whatever form towards our/your own group, why the is it okay to support it against another group? If someone punches you and you punch back, a fight ensues, but if someone punches you and you walk away then things can maybe begin to stop. Not always. But if you punch back there will always be a fight. If you walk away, there often won’t be.
What I’m trying to say is that I don’t care if “reverse prejudice” isn’t as harmful socially. It is still harmful in some ways and it is still prejudice. What are we saying if we behave that way? You can’t treat me that way but I can treat you as badly as I like? How is that going to fix things?