A friend of mine shared this video with me:
Later, we were talking about it, and my friend asked, “How much do you think it matters that the speaker is a young, white male?” If the poet were a woman, especially a woman of color or a woman with other non-normative physical features, would the message seem as powerful? Think of how many times women (white and of color) are dismissed for being “too sensitive” when they claim that they are being treated differently because of their gender or race. It seems like there’s a bizarre and twisted assumption that people who experience oppression themselves are not the most trustworthy sources to report on that oppression, perhaps because they have something to gain personally from that oppression ending. From there, it’s an easy step to assume that a privileged voice is actually the most trustworthy: “Even though he’s in a position of power, he thinks the situation is unjust, so he must be telling the truth.”
Does the power of male, white, and heterosexual voices mean that any movement, including the movement against harmful beauty standards, needs a strong group of privileged allies in order to succeed? How can a movement effectively convince people to care about an issue that doesn’t directly affect them?