The radically liberal comedian Chelsea Handler spoke out this week to claim that it is necessary for everyone to “give a little bit away who has too much” in the pursuit of equality.
During a virtual conversation with actor-comedian Amy Schumer and actor Jameela Jamil, Handler gave a firsthand account of what she described as white male privilege, something she encountered, ironically, while spending a day backcountry skiing in Canada.
“This is not just white privilege. It’s male privilege. You know it’s any privilege really, but this is a good example, I think,” Handler said while talking about how she spent a day skiing with a “bad***” female skiing guide.
“You know, I was rappelling down mountains. I was doing things I thought I was never capable of but because I was in a woman’s hands. I knew that she was looking after me in a way that sometimes men aren’t aware of,” Handler added as she talked about the conversation her group, four women and a man, had as they stopped on a mountaintop, discussing privilege.
“She was talking about …. how that explains privilege and what it’s like to grow up as a person of color and that really a white person never will understand what it’s like to be different,” she added, concluding that white people will never understand just as “a man will never understand what it’s like to be a woman and walk home at night alone in the dark and worry that there’s a possibility of you getting assaulted or attacked.”
Not stopping there, Handler said that she asked the man how he felt about the conversation centering around white male privilege and the patriarchy, to which she recalled him saying, “I feel like there’s a lot of reverse discrimination.”
That triggered Handler, who said she had to “bite her tongue” as she has “no patience for that kind of bullshit.” She added that she later confronted him in the car and explained to him that “everyone has to give a little bit away who has too much.”
“I said, reverse discrimination, I said let’s talk about — you can’t just make things equal,” Handler said. “You have to go back and make up for the past just like we have to go back and make up for the past of what we did to black people even though it was our ancestors and we weren’t around. We are s till responsible just like men are still responsible for moving over for women.”
“During this adjustment period everyone has to give a little bit away who has too much,” she continued. “We’re not asking for people that don’t have anything to give anything away, but we’re asking for the people who have a lot to step aside and give a place to a person of color to a woman, you know, give it away.”
Handler claimed that what she had to say resonated with the man, who said he had never thought about it in that light.
“He said wow, I didn’t even think about that. I thought we could just make sure everything was equal moving forward. I go, wouldn’t that be great but we can’t, so you have to acknowledge the past to move forward, so that’s how I feel you know with regard to sexism and racism,” she concluded.