Immediately, when reading the chapter “Differences”, I knew what I would write for this week’s blog post. I agree wholly with the idea that our attributes don’t define us, such as on page 174 when the authors write “having brown skin does not inherently mean anything”. But, of course, in history (and today), we see that having certain physical attributes do , in fact, mean quite a lot by social standards. There is no debate that white privilege is a prominent issue. However, I do have a problem with the way this this situation is handled. I come from a high school whose students are, for the most part, white and privileged. Thus saying, there was an immense amount of effort put into diversifying the school (which was awesome). However, they tended to be very scared of being “politically correct”. It seemed that there was vast discussion about throwing out certain texts from the high school cannon, merely because of its usage of racial slurs or sensitive subject matter. I couldn’t believe that such an educated faculty could even think of defiling literature in such a way. The authors in the Theory Toolbox state this entire problem perfectly on page 176: we should “not…dismiss Conrad or smugly celebrate out own enlightened understandings of gender and race but rather…add complexity to our understandings of the past and present”. There is no dispute that the societies of 19th century American and Britain were different from those of today. Racial slurs were thrown around freely and bigoted attitudes towards women and those of darker skin tone were rampant. This can especially be seen in Mark Twain’s Huck Finn, one of my favorite novels. Though he is combating racial standards, the n-word is used freely. Thus, this novel, for a while, was up for debate across the entire nation, my high school included. Though this craziness has calmed down, there are still certain people who dispute the printing of such novels. How can we learn from our mistakes if we block it out of our minds? I do not agree with Twain in his ethnic slurs, but those were the times in which he lived and I must respect history for its triumphs and mistakes. Such censorship makes me very heated, especially as an English major who focuses her attentions in Victorian Britain literature. Many, at that time, were highly conservative and homophobic, but that doesn’t mean that my interest in the era makes me like them. Rather, I have a historical respect for the time and an interest in why such tensions were so high. I am very glad that the Theory Toolbox brought up this sensitive subject. It’s a problem that must be addressed.