This started when I began to feel uncomfortable about going to a park alone. I don’t feel like that when in Spain or Croatia; only in Britain.
Men, alone, in a park, are considered potentially dangerous in Britain.
Or, at least, that’s how I feel men are seen these days. If you’re walking out with a spouse, it makes no blind bit of difference, of course. No one is afraid of (say) a husband dutifully connected to a wife. And women, in fact, can go for walks by themselves without parents feeling children may be threatened.
But men – God forbid.
That’s how I see it anyhow.
Does anyone else feel the same about how men are seen in Britain – or is that only, sadly, me?
The reaction, or the behaviour, appears to be expanding further now.
When an avatar on Twitter appears to be of a woman (so leading one naturally to assume that the person behind it is a woman) or is self-asserted transgender or is demonstrably religious or is anything but white, privileged, mostly secular myself, I feel I am without any real right to intervene and communicate back. This is partly because my privilege has made me unable to understand another’s plight, reality, situation or joy. Also, I am part of a wider threat to a more equal humanity.
In particular this happens when the person in question is saying quite sad things about their life.
Sad things I’d like to support them on.
Sad things I think (I think we can fairly assume) they’re asking quite publicly to be supported on.
I still do exchange info and tweets with all sorts of people, of course; but on what I consider relatively neutral topics. Or perhaps that’s actually clearly neutral topics.
The emotional ones, the ones which I as a writer and human being am bound to be interested in, I feel are out of bounds for someone as white and clearly privileged as I am.
I’ve begun to feel online communication is so easily a spark away from tinder-box reactions that
discretion cowardice is the better part of valour.
So, instead, I now feel that people will think I am simply looking to wear politically correct badges of courage, when in reality I’ve always thought I was trying humanely to reach out.
And maybe if I now feel that, then it’s going to kinda be true.
What do you think?
Are these the blatherings of confused – maybe gradually auto-anxiety provoking – privilege?
Or is there a real human need for equal communication being lost to what’s becoming an ether of righteousness?