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Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is

This is a really interesting analogy article. Also, the author talks about three different issue in one time, but not use a boring way. He makes a fun of it. He uses video game to describe a real thing happen everyday. As a filmmaker, I believe most of great works done by the people who can face the truth. Some ugly truth or the place we never see. Possibly, we don’t see the things on purpose. Than I started to think, if we can make a game or some video to make people accept the things happen in our daily life that will be help. Some people on the Internet said it’s a discrimination article. I believe, it is. The question is where is the discrimination come from? Education. Education makes people understand things but also makes people have a concept about class, race, and gender. There is word say” Discrimination come from the misunderstand.” If we can make people understand each other more, or push them into each other’s world. One day the racist or sexist maybe vanish. I am imagine I can make a game just like a article. People can feel other people’s feeling by chose different gender, race, and sexual orientation. Make us get more feeling to other, and wish the world without discrimination will come.

62 comments to Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is

  • prz202

    I think that this article, as opposed to being a discrimination article, was more of a simple telling-it-like-it-is piece. I can say as a mexican female in New York City that a lot of the stuff written in this article is true. Exaggerated, maybe, to bring more attention to the issue but still, true.
    Maybe your game would do a lot to move us towards a society where we all have more empathy towards each other- by literally allowing everyone to experience the other’s reality, even if it is just a virtual reality.

  • Nancy

    I am imagine I can make a game just like a article. People can feel other people’s feeling by chose different gender, race, and sexual orientation. Make us get more feeling to other, and wish the world without discrimination will come….
    Interesting idea.. how would you go about it, I wonder?

  • tkh242

    I have to agree that this piece is more of a “tell it like it is” story as opposed to a discriminatory article. I also thought it was very interesting how some individuals responded to the article by pointing out how they felt that the author was wrong. For example, one reader responded that they felt as though affirmative action was an example of how white males didn’t have it easy. As an individual growing up in the US as a female minority, I have to agree with the author’s response to this claim from one of his readers. Unfortunately affirmative action is often viewed as only helping racial minorities when in reality it’s meant even the playing field and it can help many individuals in a number of ways depending on the situation (ie males applying to nursing school, females applying for school in engineering, legacies etc.). I also emphasize the word help. Affirmative action may not be the ultimate decider in determining one’s eligibility for a job or school application but a small part of a number of things to consider such as grades, test scores, previous experience etc. I bring up the idea of affirmative action because there’s often a perception that as a female minority that Myself and others like me were accepted into certain schools because of his/her minority status. What I find interesting about the article is that it forces straight white males to become aware of their status as such which is partly why i think there was a great deal of disagreement by readers commenting on the article. While I’m obviously not a white male, I imagine that one does not often feel it necessary to take their race, sexual preference or sex into consideration when entering into most life situations but I am curious to know how others feel about this.

  • ms6699

    You can include me in the category of belief that this article is simply telling it how it is. Some people may not agree, but I am pretty certain that straight white males not only have it the easiest, but also have more advantages and opportunities than others. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. But overall, I am in agreeance with the author. Of course, class can factor into this argument to a degree, because in many cases, upper class straight white males have it better off than lower income straight white males.
    As a straight middle-eastern male, I have lived in two countries, and six vastly different cities. I was born in London, and lived in Albuquerque, Chicago, Indianapolis, Johnson City, Tennessee and New York City. These different places have exposed me to every type of human being you can think of, and I would like to think that I am culturally sound. As far as my own race, I am a middle-eastern, however due to the complexion of my skin, I am often thought of as white. So I have been afforded many of these so-called advantages that the author is speaking of. Over the years, one thing I have noticed is that most people who meet me for the first time, especially without knowing my name, would never be able to guess my ethnicity. I have been mistaken for all kinds of ethnicities: Italian, Greek, Russian, Romanian, Spanish, Indian, Pakistani, Argentinian, Chilean, White American, and every other Middle Eastern, Eastern European country you can think of. Again, there are exceptions to every rule, and some people have guessed correctly and identified me as Iranian aka Persian. So I think I fall into a strange category. There are certain situations where I can be identified as a straight White male, and other times, I will be identified as Middle Eastern. And as I stated earlier, I have been fortunate to receive some of these privileges due to this fact. That being said, I have also, experienced a “higher difficulty setting” due to my ethnicity. Particularly after 9/11, I began to experience more racism, directed not only towards myself, but also to other middle-easterners all across the United States. Living in Indiana for 17 years, you get used to experiencing racism, whether it be first or second hand. I am not saying that it was rampant, and I lived an uncomfortable life because of it, but we are talking about the birthplace of the Ku-Klux Klan. There is a history of racism embedded deep within Indiana. Regardless of that, I loved my time living in Indiana, and realize that even though the state has some ugly history, racism is a worldwide problem, and it always has been, and always will be. I have heard people say that this country is moving past racism, because of our current president. That is laughable. People who say this are either racist themselves, or are icing life with blinders on. I could easily argue that racism is more rampant now in the United States than it was in the 90’s and 2000’s, but that is for another day.
    But back to the article, I believe the author was simply stating what he believes, using a clever yet comedic analogy to get his point across. The analogy of a video game and humorous tone to the piece, help convey his message in a relatively lighthearted manner. I am pretty sure that this author is not the first person who has wrote about this topic, but his analogous method makes for an interesting and lighthearted read, on a serious topic.

  • ms6699

    Meant to say “living life with blinders on” not “icing life with blinders on”…..

  • Wajma "Mohseni"

    I first read that as “binders” not blinders! Been reading too many Romney memes…
    I didnt really feel as moved as some readers did when i first read this article. It obviously touched a raw nerve with many, but it is a sensitive issue at its core. The analogy (and i believe it was just that) was simple and tried to express the concept of discrimination and privilege in layman’s terms. Obviously the reality is much more complicated. I have experienced both racism and sexism in the workplace and outside and jumped different economic conditions and countries and I have to say each experience was different and unique to the place / time / culture. Really the best way for people to understand discrimination is to empathize, and empathy is created through experience. Times have changed to some extent particularly as the world gets smaller and there is definitely a lot more mixed marriages, more people who are open with their sexuality etc. I think on some level just about everyone has been affected by it and when it reaches a personal level, people’s perceptions can change. For example, a racist (white) father whose daughter marries a black guy (or girl!). It doesnt always happen but I think it’s definitely becoming more common. On the other hand, people can become more defensive and active in protecting the status quo, which can breed greater distrust and discrimination. A game seems like a really interesting concept to work with in terms of generating a level of experience. But not sure how much impact it would have in changing behaviour. There was a really good reality show on Australia’s SBS channel called “Go back to where you came from” which put a few average Aussies (all anti immigration) in the place of refugees or “boat people”. So they went from living with refugees, to traveling on a leaky boat, staying at detention centres etc…..A very different type of reality show and topical as the issue of asylum seekers was being hotly debated around Australia. Unfortunately it was shown on Australia’s multicultural channel and not the commercial stations which most Australians watch, so was seen by an already empathetic (and ethnic) audience. Worth the watch though if anyone is interested!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_Back_To_Where_You_Came_From

  • I just want to endorse Wajma’s recommendation. “Go Back To Where You Came From” is really good, a disruptive reality show that I think we all should take a look.

  • Fang-Yu

    This content lets me think about the gender and racial discrimination

    At first, in Asian society, most of family put more attention on their son than their daughter. If I am born 30 years ago, I can not go to school, I can not talk about my opinions, even I can not eat together with male. Parents give all of resources to their son not their daughter. Because they believe that their son will take care of them when they get old. And daughter will marry other person. She doesn’t have any responsibility on her parents. ”Daughter is the spilled water” ,this means daughter can not go back after she married. If she divorced, her parents will feel embarrassed. Sometimes her parents will try to cut off relations. On the other hand, their son gains a lot of resource. This situation leads to the social status of the male is always higher than women.

    The other thing I want to talk about is racial discrimination. According to the wiki’s definition: “Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races….it is often used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis…”. For me, as a foreigner in the United State I can always easily tell the difference between races, religions and convention, however, I tend to appreciate these diverse cultural impacts brought to me. For example, as I am a gourmet lover, if we don’t have diverse and rich different cultures in the world, how could we enjoy those delicious foods that brought by the diverse cultures. Moreover, I also had a very terrible experience that when I visited UC Berkeley last summer, my friend and I was shouted by a white guy with a rude language. (He said Fxxx Asia). I didn’t know what was wrong with us but felt very sad at that moment. However, I am actually not mad at those rude people, I would like to treat they are only radical outliers try to say something, that’s it. On the other hand, as a foreigner, although I’m stilling struggling on the language barrel, I still keep improving my English in order to gradually immerse into this beautiful western country. Indeed, I know sometimes because of language barrel may make misunderstanding among people, we should always try to do our best to communicate with diverse background people by any means. Because I always believe that any discriminations are caused by the misunderstandings.

  • Joseph Lim

    This article actually made me think about how power is constructed, rather than what current power/privilege rules are in place.

    Erin Finnegan (in another comment) said that she thought that SWM was the ‘default’ setting rather than the easiest and I want to throw in with that idea. People are surprised when the protagonist turns out to be ‘other.’ It is almost as surprising as when the scissors are left-handed (almost).

    But power and privilege are constructed, not natural. Where did these structures come from and how can we work with them to create a more level playing field in the future? When I look at Mitt Romney, I don’t see a straight white man. I see privilege and anxiety about the loss of privilege. I feel like we are seeing this with so many of our financial institutions, the “taste makers” and cultural curators. Traditional media no longer has a (complete) strangehold over what we consume. Technology is democratizing the way that we share information and giving the means of production to the masses in a way that wasn’t possible before. How do we leverage this to change the face of privilege (to use another bad metaphor)?