Dystopian worlds have become very popular lately. Whether it is Revolution, Falling Skies, The Walking Dead or Defiance, the one thing they all have in common is straight, cisgender, able bodied White male leadership. This suggests that at the end of the day, no matter the circumstance White masculinity represents authority, logic, safety, and intelligence. People of colour and women are often relegated to side characters who week after week submit to this authority and often times appear to be grateful for it. It is no accident that the White male is so revered in dystopians. It plays upon the idea that White straight masculinity is a declining power because of resistance by women, people of colour and of course GLBT people. It suggests that there will come a time when nature will correct itself and once again White men will rule the world, as though that is not the current situation and further; the world will be grateful for it.
“Do what you love” disguises the fact that being able to choose a career primarily for personal reward is a privilege, a sign of socioeconomic class. Even if a self-employed graphic designer had parents who could pay for art school and co-sign a lease for a slick Brooklyn apartment, she can bestow DWYL as career advice upon those covetous of her success.
If we believe that working as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur or a museum publicist or a think-tank acolyte is essential to being true to ourselves, what do we believe about the inner lives and hopes of those who clean hotel rooms and stock shelves at big-box stores? The answer is: nothing.
by Do what you love, love what you do: An omnipresent mantra that’s bad for work and workers.