So two things happened to me recently, first, a whole lot of rain came down on Queensland and my share house lost power for about a day. Second, I read this post by Nathan Lentern at AusVotes2013.com about the Death/Estate Tax, noting that this election is the first in many years to not include a major party who has a tax of this sort in their policy.

I myself was incredibly disappointed in the Greens when they removed this particular piece of policy from their platform, but let’s talk about how all this relates to S.C.U.M.

During the blackout my housemates and I played a game sometimes called Presidents, sometimes called Asshole, sometimes, actually, called Scum(I’m going to call it Presidents and Assholes to avoid confusion). The true nature of Presidents and Assholes is revealed over the course of multiple games. This is because the winner of the previous game (the President) gets to exchange their two worst cards for the two best cards of the loser of the last game (the Asshole) when the next hand is dealt. An important factor of this game is the role the two’s play, these are immensely powerful trump cards and automatically win a hand for whoever holds them, as they are the best cards, the Asshole almost never has them, and the President almost always does. I think you are starting to see where I am going.

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I’ll let my readers decide which role the picture is meant to represent, but the crux of the game is that it is really really difficult to move from Asshole to President. The more people playing the game the more likely you are to have changes in positions (with three people you have a “Citizen” who receives no handicaps or advantages, and with four you have a Vice-President and a Vice-Asshole, who trade only one card, not two). Changes of position however are gradual, and take place over multiple games, a Asshole may become a Vice-Asshole, and then a Citizen, and only then a President with a good hand, a President barely ever moves from top position to bottom rung in one go, but rather has enough good cards to land softly.

It’s a very quick and easy example of inter-generational inequality.

Even better, it’s a great way to test the impact of that inequality. In a game with five people changes happen much more frequently than in a game of three, because the differences between the rungs are smaller, and skill(as well as luck) plays a larger part than the inherent advantage or disadvantage you got from the previous game.

The “U” in S.C.U.M. stands for Upper-middle class, and money is is one of the areas of privilege that I have yet to comment on. Simply put, just like in the game Presidents and Assholes, everyone knows that your social status in life is very much dependent on the social status of those who came before you. If your parents won their game, you are likely to win yours, and yes it is possible to lose your game, or to get even higher than your parents, but you have to work that much harder and be that much luckier.

Does the Death/Estate Tax change that?

Not a whole lot, no, but we have heard calls again and again to raise the Newstart allowance or pay for the Gonski review to better support lower income schools without suggestion of where to get the money from- here is a least some part of that pot. No-one is talking about taking all of your assets once you have died, nor even taking from the majority of the estates that exist (proposals are for million or two million dollar estates only, and only a portion of them). So why have a Death/Estate tax then? So that the advantages and disadvantages are just a little less powerful, so that the rungs are just a little closer together and so that hard work and merit, that favorite word of the free marketeer, is more accurately represented in the lifestyle of the individual, whilst still providing a safety net.

So go play Presidents and Assholes sometime, it’s a great game, but remember that real world inequality isn’t exactly like the card game, in the card game you really can take your advantages with you.

scum out

P.S. Anyone who has information on how much an Australian Inheritance Tax would take in PLEASE tell me in the comments below.

The answer is of course yes. Is he such a sexist that he deserves to be sacked? The answer is probably no.

This past week has been defined by both sides of politics trying to claim the moral high ground in a battle for women voters and the feminist perspective. It’s been brewing for a while now, and as the Prime Minister’s approval rating rose it was inevitable that the kind of claims being made about her would stop being acceptable.

Then it happened.

Newspoll hit 50-50 (in what I think everyone considers an outlier) and Alan Jones, unswayed by Mitt Romney, made the decision to cast aspersions on a sitting Prime Ministers father. Not on. At last we were talking about entrenched sexism, both in political debate and elsewhere. Combined with a drop in approval ratings, the Opposition Leader launched a charm offensive by doing numerous interviews with his wife. These events, as the fantastic Jane Caro points out in Crikey, are signs that the feminist movement (of which I consider myself a member) is winning this particular fight. It is not yet won however, and as the equally fantastic Clementine Ford over at the The Daily Life writes, there is some confusion as to what exactly constitutes feminism.

Whilst I am not going to compete with those two, the context is important for what happened next; Peter Slipper’s messages were leaked to The Australian. The problem with The Australian’s story is that it conflates two separate issues. The first issue is the text about Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella in which Peter Slipper calls her an ‘ignorant botch[sic]’ in reference to his throwing her out of parliament. Let me be clear on this, it is a sexist comment, it has no place in any professionals discourse, and the Labor Party should indeed condemn him for it. Moreover, Peter Slipper should unreservedly apologise, and that should be the end of it.

Sexism is a strong word to throw around, and we have to be careful about it. That isn’t to say that it is overused, quite the opposite; It is however misapplied. A sexist comment is one in which a person’s remark explicitly or implicitly asserts that women, as a gender, are less than men. It can be a remark about a single person, such as Peter Slipper’s remark about Sophie Mirabella, which, by using the word ‘bitch’- a strictly gendered term- asserts that she has a negative quality that a man could never have (‘shrill’ is a similar word in this vein). It can also be a remark about all women, such as Alan Jones remark that ‘these women are destroying the joint’- which I feel is self explanatory.

There are a couple of things that are not sexist, even though they are often thought to be. The first is criticizing a woman full stop. This is allowed. You do not have to agree with the Prime Minister on her policies simply because she is a woman, you can even disagree vehemently, as the Opposition Leader has done. What ticks this sort of criticism over into the sexist camp, and what senior Labor members have critisized the Opposition Leader for, is using gendered terms to make that point (ie that an election will make an honest woman of her).

The next thing that is not sexist, and this is where The Australian’s article runs afoul for me, is saying something that is offensive to women. Offense does not necessarily stem from sexism. It can stem from sexism. It should stem from sexism when sexism occurs. It does not necessarily do so. Thus Alan Jones was not being sexist merely because his remarks about the Prime Ministers father were incredibly offensive, but because he explicitly referred to Prime Minister’s sex, and indeed even claimed that the federal Coalition were going easy on her because of this factor, as a defense to his comments about her deceased father.

Thus when Peter Slipper sent James Ashby fairly disgusting texts describing women’s genitalia, these are not sexist remarks. They are gross, they are immature, they are offensive and they are incredibly inappropriate in a work context, or really any context- But they are not sexist. Is Peter Slipper sexist? Sure. I think most people are. It’s something we have to be conscious of and constantly keep in check as a society and as individuals.

The real work of feminism should not be to generate outrage however, but to foster equality, thus when feminists use outrage against sexism as a tool (as we should), we should be sure to point it towards deserving targets. We should be able to say this is bad because it is sexist, and it is sexist because it says this about gender roles or abilities. If we can’t do that, we are wasting our energy. This I think, is what the Australian article does, the descriptions are shocking, and they make a good story, but if we are truly concerned about sexism, let us be concerned about the things that are sexist, place them in order of how bad they are, and react accordingly. As it is, and not taking into account what may or may not happen as a result of his trial, Peter Slipper should remain Speaker, but he should apologise, to Sophie Mirabella and the public, and yes, Labor should demand he do so. While they do that however, can we go back to focusing on the much more egregious acts and statements of sexism in society?

scum out
UPDATE:
4:45pm 9/10/2012
Peter Slipper has now unreservedly apologised for all the remarks made in his text messages.

This is a hard post to write because the wounds are so fresh. I think the temptation for many people is to make Jill Meagher a poster girl for a cause. That’s easier. If she is a cause, if she is a wake-up call or a cautionary tale then her rape and murder meant something. If she is the means to put away a man who may or may not have a history, then her rape and murder meant something.

But it doesn’t. It’s senseless and stupid and horrible. It’s crude, and it’s violent and it is the end of a person who I did not know, but who had people who care for her. Those people have to live with the fact that she was raped and murdered. That someone did that to her and that they don’t even have the comfort of knowing her last hours on earth were peaceful, or that she wasn’t scared and in pain.

I don’t want to trivialize it, just the opposite, I want to stop us from sheltering ourselves, and to realise exactly how disgusting it was. So I’m not going to use this thing that happened as a warning, because that’s facile, I’m not going to use it as ammunition for feminism, because feminism is strong enough on its own, and I’m not going to use it to vilify an accused man, because justice will run its course and our system is fair.

But I do feel I need to make one point, while our attention is on the issue. SCUM are wrong. They are wrong when they say if you just don’t lead a man on, you will be safe, they are wrong when they say if you just dress appropriately, you will be safe, they are wrong when they say if you just don’t get into cars, you will be safe, and they are wrong when they say that if you just don’t overdo the alcohol and guard your drinks, you will be safe.

The victims of rape are not slack, they are not careless and they do not deserve it. The victims of rape are like Jill Meagher. They are regular people like you and me and they just want to take a five minute walk home at a not unreasonable hour in a crowded city and not be attacked.

Rape can happen even if a woman is careful. This is proof.

There is only one situation in which rape cannot happen. When a person chooses not to rape. And yes, it is a choice. I leave you with this infographic from @catherinedeveny and urge you to check out @clementineford’s twitter for more on the ridiculousness of safety tips for women.

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SCUM OUT

P.S. I did not address woman on man rape, man on man rape, or woman on woman rape specifically. They happen, they are equally as terrible, I just do not have the fortitude to explore and research that too.

P.P.S. This post should not be read as saying that rape is inevitable or that the streets are not safe, it is not and we are incredibly lucky both that our police force is so skilled and that these occurrences are so rare. To live in fear is not the solution, to shame rapists is.

Words have power.

We tell children that sticks and stones can break our bones, but words can never hurt us. It’s possibly our biggest lie. At some point between when children are playing on the playground with sticks and stones, and when that becomes lame and sitting around talking is the thing to do, the lie disappears. No-one who has been on the other end of a particularly vicious rumour or a vitriolic description of exactly what someone thinks of them can pretend otherwise.

Words alone are meaningless sounds or scribbles on a piece of paper; and of course sounds and scribbles don’t cause pain or injury or fear. So why the pain? The reason that words hurt and scare (and even cause elation) is that they are never ‘alone’ in the sense referred to before. If words were just sounds and scribbles on paper they would be useless to us for communication. Words come with baggage. They come with a standard dictionary meaning, which implies something about reality, they come with a tone, which implies something about their user’s mood, and, most importantly for this post, they come with historical and contextual usage, which often implies something about their user’s thoughts in relation to the subject.

An example? I thought you would never ask.

When talking to a baby, we might repeat the phrase “who’s a cute little boy/girl?”
The standard dictionary definition is that we are asking the baby a question about who happens to be a cute little boy or girl, that questions obviously has quite a number of plausible answers. The tone we often use saying something like this is a ridiculously cutesy one, reserved for small children and pets mostly. The historical and contextual usage is that this has been done by people for years and years, and it says to an outside observer that no, this person isn’t crazy and no, this person does not expect a response.
These distinctions are important; If you use the same tone to say “who’s a cute little boy/girl?” and “who’s got the Henderson report?” you are either going to scare a baby or really insult a work colleague.

Tone is not always so obvious as that though, and standard dictionary definitions can be unhelpful. Such is the case for this post in which we examine the asshattery of the following comments:

Representative Akin’s “legitimate rape” debacle;
David Farley’s “unproductive old cow” insult;
Grahame Morris’ “bit of a cow” moment;
Alan Jones’ “women are destroying the joint” tirade.

Put aside for the moment the veracity of these claims, for they have been hashed and rehashed. What I’m interested in is whether these comments are indicative of misogyny or whether they can be considered mere criticisms with a particular truth value.

For this, let’s focus on the two ‘cow’ comments, although I think it applies to them all. These are not criticisms that have been traditionally levelled at a man, nor ones that would be. This is the ‘historical and contextual’ factor at work. When a man -and let’s face it all of the men listed above are perfect S.C.U.M. examples- levels a criticism like ‘cow’ at a woman, he is not merely criticising her with the weight of the definition of a cow, an animal slow, annoying and somewhat stupid (apologies to my bovine readers). When such a criticism is levelled it carries with it the full weight of the societal construct and historical sexism.

The criticism is not: “You, as a person, are slow, annoying and stupid.”

It is: “You, as a woman, are an example of the traits of women that really we all know about, don’t we guys? Additionally you are unattractive, which is the only trait which would provide a woman with value.”

It’s the difference between calling a white person a nigger and a black person a nigger.

As a fellow S.C.U.M. said to me when I made this point, that insult doesn’t make any sense to a white person. Of course not. That’s because insults of these kind don’t rely on denigrating the capabilities of the person your insulting, but rather their inherent characteristics.

Sara Haghdoosti made very good point in a very good article that the fact we are calling these men out shows we have indeed come some of the way. To call this rhetoric just regular rough and tumble criticism does nothing but set us back. Just like you should be able to make a choerent criticism of someone without swearing, so too you be able to make a coherent criticism of someone without relying on historical biases. The latter is a lot harder, but it has the advantage of being the right way of doing things.

SCUM OUT

P.S. The historical and contextual basis for Alan Jones and Rep. Akin’s comments are that all women are the same and that women make illegitimate claims of rape often, respectively, but the post is a little too long to go into those in full.

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When I started this blog (like six whole days ago now) the very first comments were by David Brent, I don’t know this mystery man, but I always appreciate comments, and especially those that ask questions getting to the crux of the issues S.C.U.M. is trying to address. He put into words a question I think a lot of people asked themselves upon reading this blog;

“But don’t all (sane) straight people realise that they are less likely to be discriminated against on the basis of sexuality? Don’t whites realise that blacks and other minorities are more likely to be discriminated against in Western society? Don’t rich people realise that, hey, at least we’re not destitute? All of the above groups are guilty of complacency, sure, but few would outright deny these facts when confronted.”

That very day the Queensland Liberal National Party, or LNP, voted to scrap the Abstudy program.

If it wasn’t such a terrible decision I would have celebrated how perfectly it encompasses the privileges that S.C.U.M. live with.

For those who don’t know, Australia has a twofold tertiary education support system, first, access to HECS which gives loans to pay for tuition fees to all Australians interest free. The second system the Australian government has in place is the Austudy and Abstudy programs. These allow students with low incomes to actually study instead of working all the times, supplementing income with payments from Centrelink. Austudy provides a little more than $400 a fortnight to students plus a small amount for rent assistance and depending on how much you earn. Everyone on a certain income level has access to this.

Abstudy is the same program but for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. It works very similarly to Austudy, providing slightly more assistance a fortnight but still conditional on having low income. Where it differs from Austudy is the allowances it has for things like travel and housing expenses, and an Indigenous student can access a significant amount of money if they meet certain requirements- college can be paid up front in return for reduced fortnightly payments and allowances can be made for travel from remote areas to universities.

Now back to that question from David Brent;

“Don’t whites realise that blacks and other minorities are more likely to be discriminated against in Western society?”

To which I respond with a quote from Young LNP state secretary Luke Barnes, which he repeated on Hack the next day;

“Disadvantage is not and should never be linked to skin colour. There are people who are disadvantaged of all colours – black, white, orange, whatever.”
(links here and here)

Disadvantage is not linked to skin colour. Disadvantage. Is. Not. Linked. To. Skin. Colour.

This is what S.C.U.M. is about. It would be great to live in a world where this was true. It’s a fantastic idea for a world we *could* live in. It’s not true in terms of correlation, because on 2011 Census data the median household income for an Indigenous household is 38% less than that of a Non-Indigenous household, it’s not true in terms of causation, because there are many people in this country who still react viscerally to the sight of those different from them. More importantly to this issue, it’s simply not true in terms of attaining tertiary education. The latest Census data for tertiary qualifications is not out, but in terms of those currently studying for tertiary qualifications close to 8% of Non-Indigenous people are currently studying at a tertiary education institution or for a certificate whilst only 5% of Indigenous people are. (I am fairly certain of these stats but I am using base Census datapacks so I may be interpreting wrong) For more information on why Abstudy is important see here.

What I really want to talk about is the classic mistake that Luke Barnes and all the other people at the LNP convention who voted for this motion made, that affirmative action (as this is) creates inequal results. An Indigenous student gets x dollars more than a Non-Indigenous student from the government per year, therefore, in the minds of certain S.C.U.M. it is obvious that the Indigenous person is better off by x amount of dollars. The mistake is to see this in a vacuum. Take this humorous picture of two dogs;

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Imagine you gave the Chihuahua a dictionary to stand on. A big one. Whose taller? That’s privilege. What is insulting is when people like Luke Barnes and the LNP claim Chihuahua status because of programs like these, with Barnes even going so far as to say that Abstudy encouraged segregation. No Barnes. You are doing it wrong. Currently all manner of societal and economic pressures create a segregation that is sometimes invisible to those on the good side of the fence. Abstudy helps break down that fence.

Special shout-out to Nigel Scullion who protested against this move and defended Abstudy at the conference, letting it be known the Coalition won’t support this policy at the federal level (which is really the only place it can be changed from my understanding). Even more special shout-out to the other two major parties, for not considering something so ridiculously insulting in the first place.

SCUM OUT

Full disclosure: I moved out of home after high school and am able to access Austudy, although I usually earn too much in a fortnight. At the time I applied the requirements for independence from your family were a bit more lax, and you only had to make $18,000 in 18 months, recent changes mean you have to work 30 hours a week for an extended period of time, whereas I earned most of my money as a dishy in the break between high school and university.

Alright so the history of this one is fairly long, but just as an example we can see some of the arguments made against porn here: http://overland.org.au/previous-issues/issue-207/feature-gail-dines-sharon-smith/. Why this is of interest to SCUM is that we are looking at porn through a feminist lens- Is porn, in sum, good or bad for women? In the linked article Sharon Smith largely ignores this, preferring instead to combat Gail Dines (who is the antagonist of this particular post) on whether porn is the single most dangerous threat to feminism and women’s rights generally. What I plan to do is give a quick run-down of the Dines argument, and then try and elucidate why, for my money, the amount of porn we consume is actually good for feminism (of which I am an avid proponent).

Dines and other anti-porn activists make a couple of arguments;

1. That most porn is violent and demeaning to women. This argument is based on what can only be described as an interesting view of what sex should be. In the linked article and previously Dines has said that 90 percent of mainstream porn involves some act of aggression towards the female performed. 

Interestingly, there is no stat for aggression against the male performer/performers. Now you may think this is a glib response (and normally the but wait men are discriminated against too what about ladies night arguments are), but let’s review the things that are included in this category of ‘violent’- hair pulling of any kind, spanking, saying ‘bitch’ with reference to the female performer. This level of ‘violence’ would mean calling a male performer ‘bastard’ or scratching his back during sex or biting his ears/neck. These aren’t violent in the way that Dines wants us to read that word. They can be playful, aggressive even, and they can also be legitimate ways of communicating desire and even love between two people. I’m not saying there isn’t really violent, really demeaning porn out there! The internet is a scary place! But there is also clown porn out there, and I’m not worried about children getting strange feelings about clowns.

2. That the increase and widespread consumption of porn is changing our culture for the worse, that we are ‘pornifying’ young women. This argument focuses on examples cited by Dines of young women sending naked photos, wearing shirts proclaiming “slut” or “bitch” and the waxing their pubises with increasing frequency.

Yes, the media we consume affects our preferences. Of course it does. This is why someone with eighties hair and clothing who went out clubbing next Saturday night would most likely not be viewed as attractive by the majority of the people there. Let’s be honest; they probably wouldn’t get in. The question is whether or not this is a bad thing. It is different to the way we used to dress and groom sure, is wearing a shorter skirt or getting a wax any less or more demeaning an act for a woman to do than always keeping your hemlines below your knees or covering your shoulders? One is a societal expectation from our age, one from another; that Dines prefers the other age, or even one closer to our own like the seventies does not make it inherently better.

The real sexism that exists is that there are societal expectations AT ALL and that those not conforming with those preferences are ridiculed rather than accepted as not particularly wanting to wear that thing other people are in that way. This is not a problem of porn, it is a problem of society at large, deal with it there and it will disappear in porn. (The other point to make here is that as a whole the porn industry does a better job than magazines, tv and movies at selling different body types as ‘hot’ or ‘desirable’- I’ve never seen a movie play large women or even hairy women as anything other than punchlines, not so with porn.)

3. Young people are being exposed to dangerous and unhealthy sexual acts at younger and younger ages and they are recreating those sexual acts at home, the men often, according to Dines, pressuring the women into fulfilling these porn-only acts. Studies do show an exposure to porn at a very young age, especially amongst young men/boys, and there has also been an uptick in differing sexual activities, although it is still pretty slight, and a lot less kids are having sex in high school than you thought when you were there. Dines claims young men get their sexual education through porn, and they then accept what they are shown in porn as normal, which leads them to educate women this way also.

You may have noticed this overview of Dines’ argument is longer than the others, this is because I have OPINIONS on this topic and I am about to let them be known. This is probably what I disagree with most about Dines’ arguments, and it is the reason that I feel comfortable putting this post in S.C.U.M.- society (yes that includes Dines) for some reason cannot comprehend the idea of women desiring sex. Not ‘lovemaking’, but sex. Physical, intense, sweaty sex. Yet despite society’s disbelief, it happens. Women like sex too. I say this because as S.C.U.M. raised in the Catholic school system and on sitcoms, I actually had no idea that this could be the case until I was at university.

You think our sexual education is bad Gail Dines? You’re damn right it is. That’s not because of porn though. I always assumed porn actresses were, you know, acting. That porn was kind of like a James Bond film, yes there are spies out there, but it doesn’t really happen like that. Women have to be cajoled, tricked, married, swept off their feet, in a word- CONVINCED to have sex with men. As a FAVOUR. I think it’s bad porn is the main form of sex education for young men, and I agree that this is partially the case (there is a lot of informative stuff on the web for inquiring minds too), but the sex ed you get in schools by itself? Without porn? That would be worse.

What porn does, and why I think it advances the feminist cause is that it is one of the only places that a woman with sexual desire- not marriage desire ala Pride and Prejudice- but sexual desire, actually exists outside of a punch line. Think about the movies that you have watched recently- even Bridesmaids, which is largely touted as a tour de force for women empowerment (and man, Kristen Wig is hilarious and I am so jealous of her talent) plays this up as something to be laughed at. We used to live in a world where women’s involvement in sex was passive (lie back and think of England), as an enjoyment tool for men or as a womb to be impregnated- this is no longer the case. I think porn can claim some credit for that.

4. Final thoughts.

At the very least if men are being taught that porn is how you should do sex we should have a lot more guys trying to please their partners, so there is that.

The other great advantage of porn is an increasing awareness of sexuality for those who aren’t women, to mention the ‘S’ in S.C.U.M. for a while, how many gay men have figured out their sexuality on the basis of porn? Dines doesn’t seem to acknowledge that gay porn exists most of the time, so there wasn’t much room for me to discuss it here, but it applies not just to queer sexual preference- porn is a safe way for someone to explore the sexual preferences they may have be it clowns, men, women or just Twilight fanfiction with the names changed.

There is some truly sexist porn out there. It is terrible. My point is not that it doesn’t exist, but that *on the whole* porn is a plus to society, and that most of the negatives Gail Dines and other anti-porn campaigners ascribe to it are problems in larger society as well.

The privilege we are talking about here, in case anyone questions its place on S.C.U.M. is that men are allowed by society to be whoever they want to be when it comes to sex, are they bugging a women to have sex with them. Whelp, can’t help it, they have all that porn in their heads, plus, they are only men, they always want sex, it’s just a natural desire, whatever, and if they aren’t? Well then they are paragons of virtue, fighting against almost impossible odds and winning. Not so for women, who, upon expressing desires or wearing short skirts or heaven forbid enjoying a bit of porn now and then, are in the clutches of the evil porn industry! They must be saved.

Perhaps it goes without saying but this whole post is prefaced on CONSENSUAL sex, sex-positivism does not apply to nonconsensual acts, whether or not they are depicted in porn.

Hopefully all the mentions of porn and sex drive up my site views 😛

SCUM OUT

Continuing the titles theme of losing readers through use of latin, this post is neatly summed up by the words of Aelius Donatus: “Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerent” or in English; “Perish those who said our good things before us.” (and yes I love the irony of this quote)

I’ve been directed to a fantastic description of what it is to be S.C.U.M. that existed before I thought of the concept myself. However, never fear dear readers, I shall blog on regardless!

In any case, enjoy another description of the purpose of this blog by a guy named John Scalzi who I have decided I like! Just click his picture!

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

SCUM OUT

So, what is S.C.U.M.?

You have probably heard about WASP which stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, these were the privileged few in previous years, so what is S.C.U.M.? It’ the next generation of that. Straight Caucasian Upper-middle-class Men. Sure it is a bit laborious in the middle there- but I needed the vowel! In many ways it’s a positive thing, many people who were once discriminated against now aren’t, there are no more ‘catholics need not apply’ signs, you probably can’t remember the last time you heard a joke about polish people being stupid. More than that, where WASP just assumed the descriptors straight and male, S.C.U.M. does not. So what is S.C.U.M.? Put simply, the current paradigm.

So, what does it mean to be S.C.U.M.?

Well as the vast majority of you will know, being a straight caucasian upper-middle-class male is pretty tough; Absolutely no-one discrimiates against you. Seriously. Everyone else gets  cards, gender cards, race cards- whatever. Meanwhile we have to sit here at the card table with NOTHING. Sure, we have more chips then everyone else, and the rules mean we win no matter what hand anyone else plays, but still…

So, what else?

This is a blog about privilege. It’s about the casual way we accept the things we have as things we SHOULD have. Things we DESERVE to have. It’s about how anyone with *any* of the four descriptors in the title basically won the lottery.

I’ll keep this brief because I have two ideas for pots to write *TONIGHT* and that will probably help you understand better, but a few things:-

1. Yes the title is tongue in cheek, hopefully I can make the blog entertaining as well as thought provoking, but we’ll see.

2. No you don’t have to feel guilty about being privileged, but you should  AWARE.

3. Please comment!! I will try my best to reply! I don’t always get things right (shock horror) but I like to think I am willing to change. I wil remove comments that are like threats and stuff though- don’t be a dick.

4. The privileges I have in writing this blog is that a) I can and will write about what I want, and b) I might do so in a NSFW way wi ADULT WORDS. Be warned.

5. Here is a perfect example of S.C.U.M.

SCUM OUT