Scaachi Koul: White men tell me to be 'kinder' | KUOW News and Information

Scaachi Koul: White men tell me to be 'kinder'

Jun 3, 2017

Scaachi Koul, a Toronto-based writer, didn’t hold back when speaking in Seattle recently.

For starters, she thinks all non-savory pies are gross — especially America’s beloved apple pie.

“Hot stewed fruit? Bad. Bad. I don’t get it,” Koul said.

Koul spoke with writer Lindy West during the event at Seattle Public Library’s Central Library. West didn’t agree with her about apple pie, but she did commiserate about the high cost of being an outspoken woman in the Internet age.

Koul was harassed on Twitter two years ago after soliciting writing from non-white writers for a publication. It was an experience she’s still asked about often.

“So, white men,” West said. “What are we going to do? Like, what do we do with them? It sounds like a joke question but, I mean, everything’s broken. White male mediocrity has seized the throat of Earth and is just ripping it out.”

“I feel like it’s evolving into this new kind of monstrosity now,” Koul said. “First they’re just bad. Like, they’re just bad. And then they go to like, this fake wokeness where they think that they have all the answers, and they start condescending to you. That’s where I live now.

"I got a lot of white dudes who want to be like, ‘You know what? I just think people would appreciate your message if you were kinder.’ And it’s like, 'you know what? I also agree. Please climb up my butthole.'”

Koul’s first book is a collection of essays titled "One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter." In it she transforms stories of her life experiences — about family, cross-cultural issues, gender, sexism, racism, rape culture and body image — into a funny and pointed commentary on western culture.

Earlier this year, Koul wrote a piece for Buzzfeed about a group of editors who announced on Twitter that they were pooling funds to award an “Appropriation Prize” for writing about cultures outside of a writer’s own identity.

“Promoting the work of white writers who use another culture for profit isn’t trying,” Koul wrote. “It’s meeting the laziest kind of diversity metric, one that doesn’t actually shift power balances or change the status quo.”

“It’s like you don’t know who to trust,” West said. “Because people like to talk a big game about being progressive and being 'one of the good white people' and being woke or whatever. Or being one of the good men."

Koul added: “And then you find out because they actually have such a low-level comprehension of the issue, that they feel just fine doing that in public on Twitter where it can be screen-grabbed forever.”

Koul said her work is often frustrating.

“I don’t know how to make people examine their own garbage,” Koul said. “I feel like it’s going to be my life’s work. I’m really not sure. I’m really not sure. I feel like I convert one dum-dum every five months.”

Please note: This recording contains unedited language of an adult nature.

Listen to the full version below:

Produced for the web by Amy Rolph.