“Not being racist is not some default starting position. You don’t simply get to say you’re not a racist; not being racist — or a sexist or a homophobe — is a constant, arduous process of unlearning, of being uncomfortable, of eating crow and being humbled and re-evaluating. It’s probably hard to start that process if you’ve been told that every thought you have is golden and should be given voice, and that people who are offended by what you say are hypersensitive simpletons.”—
This. The difference between a racist and a non-racist (or non-sexist or non-heterosexist or whatever) is not whether or not they say problematic things, but how they react when they are told what they say is problematic.
“Most people find it difficult to grasp that whatever they like to do sexually will be thoroughly repulsive to someone else, and that whatever repels them sexually will be the most treasured delight of someone, somewhere. One need not like or perform a particular sex act in order to recognize that someone else will, and that this difference does not indicate a lack of good taste, mental health, or intelligence in either party. Most people mistake their sexual preferences for a universal system that will or should work for everyone.”—Gayle Rubin, “Theory of the Politics of Sexuality” (via croatoan)
“When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’ It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions?”—Sandi Toksvig (via fuzzyfroot, learninglog) (via cheyneromero)