Saturday, May 24, 2014

Actual Caring is Better Than Abstract Theories

by TaraElla

Abstract theories are good for winning arguments. For example, there's the theory of 'privilege', with its subsets of gender privilege, race privilege and class privilege, which I am sure most people do not know anything about. Some of my friends are very much into arguments about who has more privilege - or how would being gay, female, black, disabled or transgender rank in terms of who has the least privilege. Some days I would get so tired of it. There's a major lack of social justice out there, who cares who is more 'privileged' than who else?

I would rather prefer actually caring about what people want and need in their lives. For example, everyone needs access to food, shelter, health care and education. These things are under attack from fundamentalist pro-business politicians right now. Besides economic injustice, society needs to also correct its remaining social injustices, the chief one being marriage inequality I think. Caring about all of this is something everyone can do, simply because they do not wish to see others suffer, simply because they would not tolerate blatant injustice in the society around them. It is both simpler to understand and simpler to act upon, and much more effective in improving people's lives, than abstract arguments about 'privilege'.

I know being simple about my social ideals sometimes makes me look 'less intelligent' than some other commentators, but then, who cares? I certainly don't. (Especially when I probably have more postgraduate degrees than those who are saying I'm being simplistic).