June 3, 2015

WHITE MEN? NO. THIS PARTICULAR WHITE MAN? QUITE POSSIBLY. Should White Men Stop Writing? The Blunt Instrument on Publishing and Privilege. “I am a white, male poet—a white, male poet who is aware of his privilege and sensitive to inequalities facing women, POC, and LGBTQ individuals in and out of the writing community—but despite this awareness and sensitivity, I am still white and still male. Sometimes I feel like the time to write from my experience has passed, that the need for poems from a white, male perspective just isn’t there anymore, and that the torch has passed to writers of other communities whose voices have too long been silenced or suppressed. I feel terrible about feeling terrible about this, since I also know that for so long, white men made other people feel terrible about who they were. Sometimes I write from other perspectives via persona poems in order to understand and empathize with the so-called ‘other’; but I fear that this could be construed as yet another example of my privilege—that I am appropriating another person’s experience, violating that person by telling his or her story. It feels like a Catch-22.”

It feels like a Catch-22 because the whole concept of “white privilege” was designed to be a Catch-22 that would ensnare gullible white guys like this.

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