White guys are so proud of their ability to be not offended. When one of them tells a rape joke or uses a racial slur, they wink and pat themselves on the back and give endless attaboys for their superior skills in being not offended. They decry the “politically correct” society they find themselves in and look down on anyone who has the lack of fortitude to be offended by anything.
Of course, what allows them to be not offended at rape jokes and racial slurs is that they are not targeted at them. For white guys, these are fun toys to play with; while for much of the rest of the world, they are tools of violence and oppression. Not just relics of the past, but very much alive and well today. So, then, the magical quality that allows these guys to remain so aloof and above-it-all is, quite simply, privilege.
And if you want to watch hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance in action, simply bring up privilege to these not offended white guys and see how fast and hard they become offended. Privilege is a concept so simple and obvious that most social scientists take it as axiomatic, but the mere mention of it gets these guys worked up into a rage. They’re so proud of their ability to be not offended by oppressive language and stereotypes, but they’ll be damned if you point out why. Funny. It’s almost as if they are the beneficiaries of systems of oppression and want to subtly encourage those systems so as to continue benefiting, while simultaneously stifling all mention of those systems, so as to mollify their fragile egos and underused consciences.
But by all means; continue to congratulate yourself on your superior ability to be not offended by oppression and cruelty.
Showing this post to someone right now, if only I was able to articulate this myself earlier.