Worried about your privilege? Want to be treated like an abused underclass? Start a business!

John Scalzi tries to explain privilege to non-SJW-types by saying that being a white male is like playing life on "easy" difficulty.

I'll grant I benefited from a lot of things growing up others may not have had.  I had parents that set high standards, taught me a work ethic, taught me the value of education, had money, and helped send me to Ivy League schools (though the performance there, I would argue, was all my own).

Well, for those of you concerned about living down a similar life of privilege, I have a solution for you: start a business.  Doing so instantly converted me into a hated abused underclass.  Every government agency I work with treats me with a presumption of guilt -- when I get called by the California Department of Labor, I am suddenly the young black man in St. Louis called out on the street by an angry and unaccountable cop**.  Every movie and TV show and media outlet portrays me as a villain.  Every failing in the economy is somehow my fault.   When politicians make a proposal, it almost always depends on extracting something by force from me -- more wages for certain employees, more health care premiums, more hours of paperwork to comply with arcane laws, and always more taxes.

Postscript:  I will add an alternative for younger readers -- there is also a way to play college on a higher difficulty:  Try to be a vocal male libertarian there.  Write editorials for the paper that never get published.  Sit through hours of mindless sensitivity training explaining all the speech limitations you must live with on campus.  Learn how you can be charged with rape if your sex partner regrets the sex months later.  Wonder every time you honestly answer a question in class from a libertarian point of view if you are killing any chance of getting a good grade in that course.  Live every moment in a stew of intellectual opinion meant mainly to strip you of your individual liberties, while the self-same authoritarians weep and cry that your observation that minimum wage laws hurt low-skilled workers somehow is an aggression against them.


** OK, this is an exaggeration.  I won't likely get shot.  I don't want to understate how badly abused a lot of blacks and Hispanics are by the justice system.   I would much rather be in front of the DOL than be a Mexican ziptied by Sheriff Joe.  But it does give one the same feeling of helplessness, of inherent unfairness, of the unreasoning presumption of guilt and built-in bias.


  1. Matthew Slyfield:

    "more hours of paperwork to comply with arcane laws"

    You exaggerate, the law is not nearly rational or consistent enough to be considered arcane.

  2. Mercury:

    Privilege Scmivilege.

    Which 23 yr. old is more employable in 2015:

    the white male from Connecticut with a ‘Global Studies’ major or the telephone-black (as my grandmother would say) Indian chick with proficiency in Java, C++ and Ruby?
    As if "straight white male" earns you extra points on an Ivy League application these days. What planet is this role playing game on anyway?

  3. Zach:

    Not directly on topic, but it's telling that universities force their students to sit through all that stuff, but they won't take 2 steps that could easily reduce the rape problem on campuses: eliminate fraternities and eliminate sports.

  4. esoxlucius:

    Hollywood needs to make sure the villain they choose won't kill their sales overseas. That means China & Russia can't be villains. You can't have cowboys shooting indians, it's gotta be aliens. You can't shoot people anymore, it has to be zombies. There's only two groups that you can still villainize in Hollywood and get away with it, businessmen and North Koreans. You can only dump on the North Koreans because they don't have the money to buy your movie anyway.

    So essentially yes, start a business and you are instantly the villain of every hollywood trope.

  5. ErikTheRed:

    Or, if you're a real glutton for punishment, have multiple small businesses.

  6. billyoblivion:

    You're *not even wrong*.

  7. Mark Dietzler:

    Or allow and encourage women to carry concealed weapons on campus, and tell all of their students that acting irresponsible (drinking yourself into a drunken stupor) leads to irresponsible behavior and puts them at risk of sexual assault, or worse.

  8. Misanthrope:

    Or spend 60-70 hour workweeks as a member of the professional class. You'll get the added benefit of having family and intellectual inferiors bytch at you for not providing them free services.

  9. Misanthrope:

    Please provide the statistics indicating the percentage of campus rape committed by fraternities and athletes.

  10. TC_LeatherPenguin:

    THIS! A friend has 5 MickeyD franchises; when NYC passed the $15 minimum for fast food workers he immediately closed the 2 lowest earning outlets even before the wage hikes kicked in, and is looking to sell the remaining outlets.

  11. Dantes:

    There isn't a rape problem on campus.

  12. ss396:

    I've been wondering why there are so d**n many movies and shows with zombies. I'm a "life happens" sort; it never occurred to me that victimology had been raised to such a sensitive level.

  13. richard mcenroe:

    Mr. Scalzi writes science fiction and can imagine many impossible things.

  14. John Pryce:

    The Department of Justice's own numbers tell us that campus rape isn't an actual problem, and can't easily be made into one even when you intentionally expand the definition of "sex crime" to make the numbers bigger.
    But you are clearly not arguing in good faith here. So the correct response to you is to say "F*** you and f*** the horse you rode in in."

  15. Arrian:

    So, the minimum wage hike didn't affect employment: Those two franchises closed long before the wage change took effect! amiright?

  16. Zach:

    Sorry, I should have said "alleged rape problem".

    There are studies out there that say that for colleges' definition of rape, being in a fraternity makes a man 3x more likely to rape, and being in a sorority makes a woman 3x more likely to be raped. If colleges were truly convinced they had a rape problem, and if they were truly serious about solving that problem, they would abolish the Greek system. They can't, of course, because lots of Greek alumni donate huge amounts of money. But, while colleges love to act like they're the hubs of progressive thinking, they're still all about the money (which is a typical progressive complaint against anything successful).

    I think you guys misunderstood me. I don't like all the "check your privilege" and "shut up white boy" attitudes coming out of modern universities any more than you. But I also don't see the educational value of the Greek system and big money sports (regardless of the existence of a rape problem). You can be an educational institution with educational values, or you can be a place where young people get wasted every night with their buddies and watch your minor league sports franchises every week or so. You can't be both.

  17. bannedforselfcensorship:

    For those who don't play video games, on the "Easy" level, the computer might give the human player bonuses to make success easier. Yes, a good corollary would be easier admission to colleges or having advantages when competing for contracts.

  18. Rich K:

    Knowing what you know of Cali's arcane and overzealous regulatory nightmare I am honestly amazed you would even bother there. And that goes for Every Single Other business entity in the state. If you don't like that mess LEAVE, and please don't use the "I'm stuck here and can't get out" trope.You all watched over the decades as Cali became "Moscow on the Sacramento" and yet voted for the D party in lockstep. So cry me a river but please, don't expect any sympathy from here.Have a Nice Day.

  19. John Pryce:

    Fair enough.

  20. TC_LeatherPenguin:

    He kept them running because he had a bleeding heart and didn't want to tell the kids--and they were ALL kids; the managers were 22&24--working for him they were gonna have to go find a paycheck from somewhere else.

  21. vikingvista:

    To be fair, movies and TV do frequently depict government as being bad as well. It's just that the depictions of bad businessmen is way overblown compared to reality. I mean, there aren't too many businessmen who murder hundreds of thousands of civilians, or who routinely assault and kidnap peaceful individuals. Those are things we've come to expect from even the best national governments, not from businesses.

  22. HoratiusZappa:

    >being a white male is like playing life on "easy" difficulty.

    The default setting (social expectation) for "white male" is to support himself and provide resources for others from the day he leaves home. More doors may be available, but he has to open them and walk the paths.

    All the SJW crowd has discovered is "majority privilege", which exists everywhere and is therefore not the exclusive domain of "white males" except in countries where people are mostly white and men traditionally have done most of the fighting and working.

  23. John the River:

    Got a problem with the blog? None of my or other sites links worked and even typing in https://www.coyoteblog.com did the same thing. Your banner with a single line "Sorry, no posts matched your criteria." Nothing else.
    I got here by clicking on archives.

  24. SamWah:

    Can someone provide a link to where "John Scalzi tries to explain privilege to non-SJW-types by saying that
    being a white male is like playing life on "easy" difficulty."? I'm not finding it. And I'd like to.

  25. Solomon Foster:

    Dunno the link, but I can confirm it's a real thing and not just something Coyote imagined.

    Err, dude, it was literally the first link on the first Google search I tried: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

    (Though I feel kind of guilty posting the link, as I think Scalzi's metaphor is BS.)

  26. herdgadfly:

    Fairness is a liberal concept not a libertarian principle. The anti-Arpaio bias of our host raises its ugly head yet again. But I have never read a single word about the social and economic disadvantages experienced daily by "white, Anglo-Saxon" (fill-in the applicable adjective - fat, disabled, poor, old, ugly, senile, cancer-ridden, schizophrenic) people here. Why is that?

    The evidence invoked against Sheriff Joe is the skin color of the group who most commonly break the law in Arizona. By similar association, we can conclude that our host is anti-Italian because he won't get off the back of one of the few policemen who enforces our immigration laws and whose ancestors just happen to be Italian.

  27. thesafesurfer:

    We've lost track of the basics, "what do we know" and "how do we know it." We claim to "know" so much now, like raising the minimum wage creates jobs, but how we "know" this is laughable.

    We just can't admit anymore that we don't "know" much. Government claims to "know" everything.

  28. Don:

    Song it, brother!

  29. SamWah:

    Thanks! I just went to his website, presuming it was something recent.

  30. markm:

    That _is_ a good test for whether the college administrations really believe what they profess to believe, and most of them failed.

    However, eliminating fraternities will do little to eliminate the real problem of wild parties fueled by an excess of alcohol and other drugs, let alone the alleged problem of women students regretting having sex. If you really want to stop those problems, only admit students over 30.

    Otherwise, eliminating all official fraternities won't even stop students from living together in Animal House-like conditions. The community college where my father taught has no fraternities, of course, but I knew a group of guys who went in together to get a house off-campus. (I don't know if this was a rental, or someone signed a mortgage.) That gave them better living conditions than the dorms at a lower price, so I doubt this was the only such place. The core group were veterans and older than most college students, so the parties were not out of control and the housekeeping would keep any reasonable person happy (but not a DI, Leona Helmsley, or my Mom). If there were other such groups that were out to re-enact Animal House - they were people I didn't want to know.

    The first 4-year college I went to had no fraternities or sororities and no sports teams anyone would care about. But it did have out-of-control parties where student got utterly blotto, and perhaps had sex and regretted it - if they even remembered it. The morning after one of those parties, at a farmhouse off-campus, a girl was found dead with a broken neck at the bottom of the stairs, and no one could remember anything relevant.

  31. BillyOblivion:

    Responding to a 3 year old comment with a obscure google link?

    Not f*king likely mate.