Drawing extensively from personal experience, the author explores what it is like to experience patriarchy from the perspective of a person of privilege. He tracks his journey as a young white man coming to terms with the undue privilege that he is afforded on the basis of his race and gender.
The article also explores the flaws the author finds in rigid identity politics that hinder collaboration, and attempts to illustrate how people lose and the system wins when activists engage in in-fighting and cling tightly to narrow definitions of identity. Ultimately, the article makes the case for how shared humanity is a key component in making significant progress in social change efforts and in society as a whole.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 45.1 (2014) Reflecting on the Oppressor in the Mirror