Posts by Tarana Gupta
Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is
A brilliantly metaphor used to explain the word “privileged” by John Scalzi. Probably even universal to people who have never played a computer game.
Having said that I would like to add, this blog post isn’t easy to comment on. I had a big 2 day discussion with my friends over this topic. A lot of my friends find it hard to believe that white males have any outright advantage over African americans, women, etc. There strong laws to ensure that workplace equality is adhered to.
It is not surprising that white males have a easier time fitting into a society that is pre-dominantly white. I don’t think this relates to Racism, but it surely does speak to basic human nature which is more open to (or, less threatened by) somebody who exhibits similar looks and language.
The author has not specified what exact advantage in life does a white males have and has left it open to interpretation. The topic, therefore, lends itself to a very broad discussion leading into Racism, discrimination, xenophobia, male supremacy, etc as is obvious from the comments section of the blog.
In my view, author is simply pointing out a fact that is true across the world in general. I doubt that his aim is to surface any sort of discrimination or stir up a revolution. I don’t think that anyone will argue with the fact that a child born white is likely to be born in the first world economy and hence will be exposed to lot more opportunities and will in general have a “easier setting” in game of life (as compared to say a child who is born brown/black and is most likely be born in a third world economy).
From a personal story standpoint, I was born ( brown) in India and had very limited choices in terms of career paths. When I compare that to knowledge and opportunities my American friends were exposed to at an early age, it leaves me a bit surprised (to put it mildly). Even when India’s GDP is growing 8% per year and it is hailed as next super power together with China, the ground truth is that there are only a handful of business opportunities (which are present is couple of soul crushingly crowded cities). These so called business opportunities are outsourced jobs from US/Europe and primarily involve back office horse work which usually leads to dead-end careers and uninspiring workplaces. Even if you are the rat who got out of the well and ended up in first world economy, you will be constantly limited by the visa/immigration rules and burden. Just to re-emphasize, my rant is just to state the reality and aim is not to call immigration laws unfair. Of course every country has right to protect the interest of its citizens and impose reasonable immigration/visa rules.
So do white guys have it easy is life? Yes absolutely. It is a statistical fact and facts are not up debate (I hope).