Our story begins with a little girl. This little girl was born to amazing parents, who cared for their daughter deeply. They wanted the best for her in life, and were curious to see what career path she would choose later on in life.
The little girl was then enrolled into elementary school. Being young and still naive about the world, school was not a big deal for the girl. She gravitated towards traditionally feminine clothings and toys. But socially, she noticed she seemed to get along better with her male counterparts. She was indifferent about this, though. Or at least, she was indifferent about it until second grade. Her class was having a little election for two people to be president and vice president of the class. The girl could care less, but it was mandatory, so she sucked it up and went through with it. She had to write a small paragraph about why she would be a good president, which seemed simple enough. Before the teacher counted the votes, she mentioned something that struck the girl’s curiosity. The teacher had mentioned how there had never been a female president. Why had this struck the girl’s curiosity? Because it didn’t matter to her. It made her curious why her teacher had even bothered to mention it. After counting the votes, the little girl had become vice president of the class. She had lost by one vote to her male counterpart. She felt apprehensive about it, though. She didn’t want people voting for her solely because she was female. She didn’t want to receive extra praise, just because she’s female. The logic didn’t make sense to her. Shouldn’t they only praise her because she was doing a good job?
The older the girl got, the more aware she became of the world, and her surroundings. After all, it was the age of the internet and everybody seemed to be on social media. She decided to join a running program, just to get some exercise. However, this program highly embraced female empowerment. The girl did not care for this however, she just wanted the exercise. She didn’t think anything more of it.
The little girl started to become unsure of herself. All her peers seemed to know what career path they would choose as they got older. The girl didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life down the road. She didn’t have any particular field in mind, either. This worried her, but she attempted to shake it off.
Life went on, and the girl started middle school. She was much more aware of things going on in society, as she begun seeing various types of posts online about the current times. She again came to realize that she just simply got along better with guys than girls. She often didn’t like working with girls, as she would get shoved feminist values in her face. In general though, she did have female friends. She just didn’t like the fact that just because she was female, others assumed she must automatically be a feminist, like them. She didn’t like when women would tell her to support other women, just because they are female. Then race started getting involved, too. She was told to support other people of color, solely because she is a person of color herself. Again, she asked herself, why can’t I support someone, based on how good they are at their job, or their actual contribution to society? Why do I have to only support people that look like me? Why must we label them, and then give them extra praise for it? Why did it seem like supporting a white person, more specifically a white male was bad? Whenever she would do so, she got a confused stare from some of her peers, and they would suggest other people.
The girl eventually went on to start her journey in high school. Now, it seemed as though she was hyper aware of everything. She didn’t really like how everything nowadays seemed to have some sort political undertone to it, regardless of whether it actually involved politics or not. Or perhaps it had always been that way, and she never noticed. Now that she was older, she kept getting recruited by other people of color for minority-based programs. They always seemed so excited about it, but the girl just couldn’t bring herself to share that same enthusiasm. She understood the intended purpose of these minority-only programs, but she couldn’t bring herself to actually support it. The programs only accepted people who were deemed under-represented. She appreciated the fact that they were giving a minorities a chance to really go out and pursue what they wanted in the world, but she felt that the execution was poor. It felt as though they were fighting discrimination with even more discrimination. Does fighting fire with fire really work in this situation?
The girl looked over at a boy sitting seemingly by himself. He had what looked to be a gloomy look on his face, and he was spacing out. She went over to the boy, not saying anything but simply sitting next to him. Perhaps he needed comfort. When the boy had no reaction, her eyes gazed down to what was in his hand. An informative paper about one of the minority-only programs. The girl tilted her head in confusion. Why would he be gloomy because of that? She asked the boy what was wrong, and he looked at her expectantly, as if the answer was obvious. It took a moment for it to strike her. The boy was not under-represented, so he couldn’t join the program. She looked at his hand, with skin more pale than her own. He was a white male, that had average to high income, so he couldn’t join. But surely, there were other opportunities for him, right? She expressed this to him and said, “It’s exactly that. They looked at me and said, ‘White privilege, we know all about it’”.
The girl didn’t want to pity the boy, she wanted to genuinely listen to him. She listened to everything the boy had to say. He said how he always got the term “white privileged” thrown at his face, and how it made him uncomfortable. Was he supposed to feel guilty for simply just being white? Was he supposed to feel guilty just because he didn’t know what it was like to have low-income? Or be “under-represented”? He also told the girl how he got the term “male-privileged” thrown at him, too. He was constantly told how everything in life must be so easy for him, because he’s a guy. Was he supposed to feel guilty for that now, too? Something biological, that he couldn’t deicide?
He told the girl his story, because there are multiple sides to every story. He told her the story of how his parents worked extremely hard for what they had. He was grateful for all he had in his childhood and now, but was deeply wounded when his parents’ hard work would get casted off to the side as white privilege.
It was clear to the girl now, that fighting fire with fire, was not suitable in this situation. Again, time went on. The girl decided for herself that she wanted to pursue higher education, and thus, she went to college. She liked college life more than high school life, and had made some pretty cool friends. She went on to get her masters degree. Graduation day felt scary to her, but she was finally in the real world.
The girl worked her way up in life. She went into the corporate world, working her way up the business ladder. She worked for a big company, and had eventually become the CEO of it. Her life was going by so fast, it seemed as though she wasn’t even apart of it anymore. She felt like a spectator in her own life, and it felt as though she couldn’t do anything about it.
The more she looked out into the world, into society, the less and less content she felt with her life. The media, the media was the worst and she felt as though she couldn’t handle it. Everybody praised her for being the first female CEO of the company, as well as the first person of color CEO of the company. That was all everyone talked about. She rarely heard the media talk about how she was doing quality-wise, they only focused on the fact that she was a minority. She knew she was doing a terrible job running the company. She knew for a fact, yet nobody ever talked about it. She got endless praise. It made her feel terrible. A position so high in power was perhaps just not meant for her.
Her final straw was going to be if her theory turned out correct. She was going to have the company go private, which she knew would plummet the stocks. But she needed to prove a point.
And so, she did. The company went private, and as expected, stocks dropped tremendously. She looked in the media for something, anything, and yet again there was hardly any criticism. Feeling even more terrible than before, she wanted to quit her job and just run away from everything.
But then someone saved her. It was the same boy she had known in high school, that she had comforted when it felt like the world was against him. He told the girl his plans, and she immediately knew what she had to do. She resigned as CEO of the company, and had the boy take her place. She worked under the boy as the Vice President of the company.
There was an outrageous backlash in the media, saying it was the worst choice the company could ever make. But, the couple didn’t care. They worked together, and the boy brought the company back up into the world. He was amazing at his job. He guided the girl, and she was grateful. The media so desperately wanted a minority to have such a high position of power, that they forget what truly mattered. The girl cared for the company, that’s the exact reason why she resigned as CEO. She knew she couldn’t handle it. The boy was a much better fit, and they fit together like two peas in a pot. So she kept in mind for the rest of her life, there’s more than one side to every story.
The modern day issue that my short story was based around were social justice warriors. In doing my research, I was quite indecisive about which modern day issue I wanted to pursue further. I changed my topic multiple times. I then finally landed on social justice warriors. Social Justice Warrior is a term used to describe someone who is deemed as having overly-progressive views. SJW views generally revolve around feminism, multiculturalism, and such but can sometimes be taken to the extreme. After doing research revolving around these topics, I decided that the approach I wanted to take was a short story. I was originally going write an argumentative essay, but figured this was a good opportunity to shed some light onto a different perspective in a more creative way. My short story heavily revolves around feminism, but not exactly in support of it. Rather, the short follows a little girl through her childhood and adulthood and her experience when encountering these modern day issues like feminism and being “under-represented”. The little girl, despite being female herself, is not a feminist, nor does she support feminism. The short story goes through her mindset and conveys why she chooses to not support it. The little girl doesn’t see the logic behind giving someone extra praise just because they are female. She wants to judge/support people based on the quality of their work. I myself know from personal experience that it creates a very awkward atmosphere when you’re surrounded by females in life that are feminists, but you’re not a feminist yourself. Girls are often pushed at a young age towards feminist values, “girl-empowerment” and such. Why do I (and the little girl) not support feminism? Because it focuses on women’s rights only, and I don’t agree with that. I understand that their ultimate goal is gender equality, but if they want gender equality, then why only focus on women, and not men’s rights too? Men are given such high expectations by society as well, and they are suppressed in society too. Therefore, I’ve always cared about men’s rights strongly and do not support feminism. I modelled the little girl after this mindset, because I know there are other girls and people out there with this mindset. We’re expected to automatically be feminist by other females, just because we are female ourselves. Now, I’m not misogynistic in any way, and neither is the little girl. That is also something I was trying to express very strong in the story, that not supporting feminism does not automatically make the person misogynistic. Though I did model the little girl and some of her life experiences after myself, some of the boy’s experiences and mindset were modelled after myself as well. Being biracial, I have experienced both ends of the spectrum of people telling me either that I’m white privileged, or that I should join some minority-based program. I too, get extremely upset when I see how hard my father works, and it’s thrown off the side as “white privilege” by others. Therefore, I was trying to convey through the boy’s story that the term shouldn’t be so carelessly thrown around like it has in the recent years. I was also trying to convey that “male-privilege” shouldn’t be thrown around so carelessly too. It’s not right to tear people down, or discredit them just because they’re white or male. My ultimate goal of the short story was to shed a light on this, a perspective that not many people see, because there’s multiple sides to every story.