In the last couple years general awareness of the fact that misogyny and racism and homophobia are still rampant has increased exponentially, or so it seems to me. My awareness certainly has increased. The thing is, I fear that a large part of this is due to my girlfriend, who is a feminist, who grew up with a gay best friend, and who has an amazingly open mind compared to everyone else from our small middle class white town. She has opened my eyes to problems that were right in front of my face, and I love her for that and I support everything that she is for. The problem is, though, despite my genuine support, I still cringe and get annoyed when she mentions things that are truly important to feminism that most white males (me) would vehemently detest. I still try to prove to her that she has racist thoughts and says racist things, but she doesn’t. I would say that I don’t know why I continue to do this, but I know that it’s because I’m a privileged, white, middle class, male. People like me — people who get some sick sense of comfort out of thinking that there are problems but they’re not really that bad and they’re based on accurate things — people like me are the reason that we seem so close to where we need to be to have equality and yet we’re so, so very far away from that goal. It makes me sick to know how sick I am, and how sick it is that people like me are the biggest problem, and yet I just can’t bring myself to not think like a privileged, white, middle class, male. Equality is a learned habit for me, not an instinct, and I hate it.