Editorial on Brock Turner’s White Male Privilege

why-its-important-to-think-about-privilege-and-why__1500x670_q85_crop_subsampling-2

One night in China, Papa Tiffany and Mama Tiffany got together and conceived a sexy, beautiful, funny and perfect baby (I can write whatever I want, this is my blog), me. Nine months later, I exited Mama Tiffany’s body and began my life as a girl of Han descendants. A few years later, I immigrated to the United States of America, to New York, where concrete jungle and dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do, and became a U.S. Citizen.

We made eye contacts with each other. He ran parallel to me. I kicked the soccer ball from the right side of the field to the left side. I aimed for a shot and kicked the ball; then I watched his defense team kick it back into the field. I chased after it; he ran along with me, slower than his usual pace. Again, I kicked the ball towards the defense line and again, they kicked it back into the field. But because of this, two players shifted leftward and left a gap on the right side. I aimed for the gap, made a kick and watched the ball speed past the defense line. I scored. My team roared and his team teased him.

“You got beat by a girl!” they yelled.

That girl was me, a nine-year-old sweetie pie in the third grade.

We were washing our cups at my kindergarten’s sink area. He was my best friend’s cousin. She told me that he often bullied her. The mafia on the streets told me that their grandparents always took his side because he was their favorite grandkid. That day, he was teasing my friend. I filled up my cup with water and splashed it at him. He was soaked in cold water and we were in below 30 degrees weather. He screamed, cried and ran towards the teacher while shouting, “I’m going to tell on you!” My other classmates stared at me. My face turned turquoise as my ears lobes dropped. I couldn’t say a word. I knew I was going to get in trouble. What happened later, I don’t remember. I wasn’t too proud of the water retaliation but I felt like a Samaritan by protecting my good friend.

A male cannot and will not make me feel or be of a lesser person because of our difference in gender. I don’t believe that my sex would prohibit me from accomplishing things that a male could. Nor do I believe that males have privileges that I do not have. I do though have trouble opening a jar and would hand it to someone stronger than me, sometimes a male. When the plane lands and my 15 pound luggage in the cabinet suddenly becomes 510 pounds due to gravity or some other evil thing that will eventually make my breasts sag, I don’t mind it when a person, sometimes a male, takes it out and puts it on the ground for me. I also really do not mind it when people, sometimes a male, hold the door for me even though I may be lagging five feet behind and must then speed walk like a maniac to accept the gesture.

“It’s true. There is a glass ceiling. Men earn a lot more than women for the same job,” my male friends would tell me. My White, female peers, would add, “Oh yeah, it’s so much better to be a White male in this country.”

Whenever I hear these statements, and I’ve heard them many times, I would roll my eyes. Then, I tell the person telling me this to STFU which stands for “Say, Thanks for Understanding,” not the other acronym that you were thinking of. And I rolled my eyes because sand happened to get into my eyes while I am in an indoor setting, even though I am neither close to a beach nor a desert. I react in such ways because I dislike what they say to me. While what they say could be true, I refuse to accept them and will do something, and so should people who also have a problem with them.  

Earlier this year, a leader from a media conglomerate company shared with me that she got a new boss, a female boss. One of the first things her new boss did was give her a huge raise. Her boss reviewed her salary and noticed that it was significantly lower than male colleagues’ salary, who held the positions as her. So, she gave her a raise to close that gap.

Are there privileges for certain people? Yes. Does that bother you? If so, do something. Folks commented that the sentence of Brock Turner, a former Stanford swimmer who was convicted of sexual assault, reflected “white male privilege.” I am not sure if I agree that he received a 6-months sentence because of white male privilege. I see Judge Persky’s reasoning that Turner has potential, does not have a criminal record (although he lied about not doing any illegal drugs) and anything longer than that sentence would be detrimental to his life. Things are not so black and white and simple. Any prison sentence has consequences on the criminal’s life, his or her family, and on our society. Do criminals deserve second chances? When should we give them second chances? And how do we give second chances if they have been convicted of a crime? If people think that the 6-months prison sentence is too short, look at how Turner and Persky are serving another type of sentence. Jurors have refused to serve on a case in which Persky was handling, one juror from Brock Turner’s case wrote a letter to Persky to express his disgust towards the sentencing, which was nationally published, and a petition is in progress to remove Persky from the Bench. Turner’s reputation has been and will be forever damaged; he must also live with a conscience of how he ruined a person’s life.

But my friends, if you had a choice, would you prefer to be born a White male in this country? If not, will you practice what the female boss practiced? And if you do, do you plan to be like Brock Turner?

Leave a Reply