Stephen Fry's unexamined privilege


#1

So, perfect as Oscar Wilde then?


#2

Discourse claims this topic is similar to…

Banker implicated in one of history's biggest frauds says boss beat him with a tiny baseball bat


#3

Hmmm… I’m not as conversant with Wilde as perhaps I ought, but I think he examined his privileges at least somewhat here and there.


#4

#5

Stephen Fry most definitely examines his own privilege, at great exhaustive length, in the multiple volumes of his autobiography. He’s well aware of the advantages he’s had being a white male born into wealth (his father was an inventor who designed and built computer mainframes).

On the other hand, he’s a Jewish homosexual in Britain, prone to crippling bipolar disorder, so it’s not like he just sailed into his career without any problems.


#6

As I started this hare running, I should probably chip in.

I haven’t read Stephen’s books, and I don’t bear him any ill will. I think he’s probably a lovely chap in general.

But I do think that his politics are influenced by class/race/gender privilege to a significant degree.


#7

Absolutely, I think all of those things are very true. As self-critical as the man might be, his books make it clear how steeped in privilege he is and how defining class privilege, especially, is in Britain.


#8

With all of the ready, willing, and able targets for ridicule and scorn on the right, what benefit is there in eating one of our own? Stephen Fry is an eloquent and popular opinion leader. Do we really need to purge our ranks of all but the most holy of holies?


#9

Who’s eating anybody? It was an offhand comment in another discussion, referring to a partial aspect of Stephen’s apparent politics.

You can be critical of someone without condemning them.


#10

Well, whose politics aren’t influenced by their own class/race/gender privilege? There’s no need to examine him for the flaws that all of us carry.


#11

I think the point is that there is a need to examine every single one of us, and he’s a specific case that happens to be under discussion right now. I’ve personally gotten to the point that I avoid interviews with him because my eyes are tired of rolling. I don’t want to burn him at the stake.


#12

Where shall we make appointments for our struggle sessions?


#13

I’m just confused by his behaviour. He is currently criticising exactly the kind of thing he was doing (and I was supportive of) not that long ago.


#14

Honestly it’s enough to make me wonder if he’s started some new medication that has altered the way he thinks of the world.

The drug I’m on makes me care less. That’s helpful to me because my level of caring-about-things when I’m off the drug is downright crippling. But it’s also not great because I know if I wasn’t on it I’d be vegetarian (for instance). If I increase my dose I can quickly start jaywalking in heavy traffic and otherwise take not-caring-about-things to a dangerous level.

Medication might reduce the amount of empathy you feel. If you have bipolar it would also be pretty easy to report to your doctor that a drug is helping a lot when what it’s really doing is pushing you to low-level mania (since that feels good).

I’m not trying to diagnose him from afar or project my situation onto him. It just does seem like his behaviour is incongruous, and knowing lots of people with severe mental illnesses (thanks, group therapy), it makes me wonder if he’s okay.


#15

I must have missed something he’s said very recently. The most recent article I saw from him (18 May) was one talking about political correctness, which he sums up with: I am, you know, an old fashioned lefty. Not really a progressive, more a liberal hand-wringing, milksop, Milquetoast liberal who just wants everything to be nicer and better and wish people can be charming to each other. Which is obviously not really a polished political manifesto, but it’s a feeling. Which is pretty much what he’s been saying about himself for decades.


#16

This game is boring.


#17

This drug, I think I have heard of it :beers::wine_glass::beer:


#18

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