‘Pride’ is one of those annoying words which can have multiple connotations leading to entirely different understandings.
‘Gay Pride? Those gay people are proud of themselves? They think they’re better than us? I thought they were ‘born this way’! What’s for them to be so proud of? They clearly know it’s really a choice, and are proud of what they’ve chosen.’
The same rhetoric is repeated frequently, not just with regards to gay pride but also forms of ethnic pride or disability pride or… any pride, really.
‘Black Pride? Do you think blacks are better than whites or something? That’s so racist.’
‘Deaf Pride? You’re proud to be deaf? Why would you be proud of a disability?’
‘Feminist Pride? You know, gender equality means men and women are equal, not women are better.’
There’s people who go even further:
‘If gay people can have Gay Pride, why can’t we have Straight Pride?’
‘We’re not racist white supremacists; we just want the equal right to be proud our heritage!’
This seems to be at least partly an issue of misunderstanding (admittedly, in a good many instances the ‘misunderstanding’ seems to be intentional, or at least rooted in wilful ignorance).
The anti-[marginalised group]-pride people hear ‘[Marginalised Group] Pride’ as ‘My people are better than the your people’, whereas the individuals in question usually mean ‘My life has built-in hardships, and I am proud of myself for how I am managing to deal with it.’
Who isn’t proud of themselves when they accomplish something difficult? For working up the courage to have a difficult, but necessary, conversation with their parents? For standing up to a bigoted boss – even knowing they could be accused of ‘poor office attitude’ and fired? For mastering a new skill? For accomplishing something everyone said they couldn’t do?
Able-bodied heteronormative white men do all these things on a regular basis, too, and have every right to be proud of themselves when they do. But for them, such accomplishments are far less likely to be tied into ability/sexual orientation/race/gender, and thus there’s no reason to attach their privilege to their pride.
It’s worth noting I have yet to see a single ‘[Privilege] Pride’ movement which wasn’t clearly influenced by the desire to have ‘equality’ with other Pride movements, rather than genuine pride. I dread to think what the answer would be if these people were asked why they are proud to be white.
Resist Racism: Why education is sorely needed in the schools – ‘I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: When privilege is attacked, those with privilege do not view it as a move towards equality. Instead they view it as a threat to their very lives. It supports my assertion that privileged people use their Free Speech Rights! to reinforce their delusional belief in a right to harass.’