Even with my problems (and I got some), I’m a straight white cisgendered male… and playing on the easiest difficulty level. Hell, thanks to the efforts of my parents, I was even insulated from most of the effects of being poor for part of my life… though I’ve been close enough since to understand this essay.
Where people really get screwed, though, is when these problems intersect. It’s called intersectionality (a nice primer here (PDF/QuickView). Don’t want to read that? Here’s the short form: the impact of being in a disadvantaged group is not additive… it’s multiplicative.1 Belong to one disadvantaged group? Difficulty level of “Normal”. Belong to a second group at the same time? You don’t just bump one level to “Hard” – but go straight to “SUPER-HARD”.
|These labels would be funny if they weren’t accurate in this context.|
So I ran across a site earlier today: Mock Girl. It’s a new webcomic. To be perfectly honest, it’s not really my thing as a webcomic goes. What struck me as impressive was why it exists.
The author (Terra Snover) is a transgendered person in the process of transition… and is poor. Terra has launched the comic as a way to use something she’s passionate about (art) as a way to be able to afford reassignment surgery… along with some nice crowdfunding incentives as rewards for donations.
Which is a kind of awesome way to adjust that difficulty level back down.
1 This is actually a problematic way of looking at it – if for no other reason than it runs the risk of framing being in certain groups as being “bad”. So I’ll say this: it’s only “bad” to be in one of these groups if you have bigoted people and bigoted systems.