What White Privilege? What Male Privilege? 

This is a simple, clear story about how racism and sexism work, white male privilege specifically, and the kinds of subtle perks that pale men constantly get in life without having a clue. Poignant and informative without being hair-raising — just a bit of exasperating prejudice in customer service:

He looked over directly at the man and said, “I can help you over here.” The man looked over to me and said, “She was here first.” To which the rep awkwardly replied, “Well, I can help either of you,” still looking at the man. I walked up to him and said, “Yep, you can help me, thanks.”

If I had to regularly tolerate the kind of treatment that Pearl Lam describes here, I think my head would asplode. Which is the point.

It’s an absurd and trivial analogy, but I will try to respectfully relate to Pearl’s experience by reporting I’ve been seeing examples of “tall privelege” all my life, because I am extremely short. I’m so short that I roll my eyes when I hear 5'6" men complain about being short, which they do surprisingly often: 5'6" would feel downright normal to me. People overlook and underestimate and disrespect short men in many subtle ways. And sometimes not-so-subtle ways, of course — like some serious bullying when I was a kid, for example, because what better target than someone small? Hell, it’s practically an invitation!

I’m still an affluent white middle-aged dude in Canada, so I’m hardly suffering, but I definitely do have some idea what it’s like, and it’s probably one of the main reasons I can empathize so easily with people who have to endure much nastier prejudices.