I have thoughts, but don’t have anything useful to say publicly about this. So instead I’m going to just link to another article by Tim Bray who is himself a middle-aged cis white guy. It would seem that we, collectively, need to step back and STFU.
The reason I am so annoyed is because ingrained male privilege should, really, be a solved problem by now. After all, dealing with men who take up space costs time and money and gets in the way of doing other, more important work. And it is also very, very boring. There is so much other change — so much productive activity — that is stopped because so many people are working around men who are not only comfortable standing in the way but are blithely bringing along their friends to stand next to them.
Anyone who follows me on any social media platform will know I’m currently kneedeep in producing a conference. Because we’re doing it quickly and want to give a platform to as many voices as possible, we’re doing an open call for proposals. We’ve tried (and perhaps we’ve failed, but we’ve tried) to position this event as one aimed at campaigners and activists in the digital rights and social sector. The reason we’re doing that is because those voices are being actively minimised by the UK government (this is a topic for another post/long walk in the park while shouting), and rather than just complaining about it, we’re working round the clock to try and make a platform where some other voices can be heard.
Now, perhaps we should have also put PRIVILEGED WHITE MEN WITH INSTITUTIONAL AND CORPORATE JOBS, PLEASE HOLD BACK in bold caps at the top of the open call page, but we didn’t, so that’s my bad, so I’m going to say it here instead. And I’m going to go one further and say, that if you’re a privileged white man, then the next time you see a great opportunity, don’t just hold back, take the time to pass it on.
So, if you’ve got to the end of this, perhaps you can spend 10 minutes today passing an opportunity on to someone else. And, in case you were wondering, you definitely don’t need to email me to tell me you’ve done it.