The first female executive editor of The New York Times, Jill Abramson, was rather unceremoniously fired in a way that showed a marked lack of respect for her or concern for her dignity, or, in fact, for the paper’s own reputation. I wasn’t there. I have no inside information. I am just reading EVERYTHING about it linked from Twitter including this by Rebecca Traister from The New Republic [CLICK HERE].
I’m ridiculously invested in this story for any number of reasons, but, shallow and selfish fellow that I am, my primary concern is that if Jill Abramson was fired as executive editor because of some WASP-male-hetero privilege discriminatory mindset and culture still in place (and it is looking like that played at least some part in all this) then I am going to have to stop reading The New York Times, by which I mean, I will no longer be able to read the Sunday New York Times and its Arts, Style, Op-Ed, and, oh please say it isn’t so, BOOK SECTION.
Now, here’s the thing — and I KNOW the thing — the book section has LONG been criticized for its lack of serious attention to anyone BUT white male (mostly hetero) writers ANYWAY … and I have long been following other sources for information about books from a wider variety of writers, and, even, occasionally, you know, someone who isn’t a post-modern, bearded, tortured hetero-male MFA who went to the Iowa Workshop and now drunk/drug teaches at some university, fucking worshipful co-eds until he offs himself or disappears after being unable to complete a second novel.
Still, I guess, I’m brainwashed enough by the WASP-hetero-male cultural zeitgeist that I want my Sunday New York Times. Proof that we all need to check our privilege, every day. Speaking of which, the fact that this is such a huge story — and that Michael Sam’s kissing his boyfriend has caused such a ridiculous uproar — just further PROVES that we have very, very far to go to achieve any sort of equality.
What GETS me is that the haters are now keening and wailing that they are being discriminated against when they are called on their hate, that they are now, somehow, being victimized. Okay, let me explain AGAIN — centuries of institutional and cultural bias against groups (i.e. Women, Racial Minorities, Gays) resulting in un-equal status in the world — i.e. abrogated rights, assault, inability to work/live/love with the same freedom as WASP-hetero-males in power, denied access to power and privilege — are NOT equivalent with someone saying to you (hater); “If you Tweet that Michael Sam is a disgusting fag for kissing his boyfriend, you are fired.” And EVEN if you say, “God made you do it. That’s my religious belief.” Uhm … no. First of all, religion is a myth used to control little people like you forever — so, not only are you a hater, you’re an idiot and a sheep. But what you are NOT is someone who gets beaten up for who they are, tied to a fence, and left to die; what your are NOT is someone in a class who is paid less for doing the same work white men do, or who has to be twice as competent as a straight white male to get half the jobs and promotions; what you are NOT is someone whose voting rights are being eaten away at AGAIN after having died to win them.
When you are or have been a part of any of the groups to whom that happened, get back to me. Until then, please stop talking about how you’ve suffered because other people want to be treated fairly.