But what those folks didn’t consider is that I was also born a woman, and I learned the hard way that even though everyone said I was equal, and that I had the same opportunities, and that I was treated the same, and that the world was built for me, it was all a lie. I learned that the real world wasn’t going to treat me like it did the white male heroes on tv, however much I aspired to be like them. It was going to treat me like a woman, however much I learned to despise all the trappings of femininity from a deeply biased media that said women were emotional, weak, conceited; good only so long as they were wives who picked up after irresponsible husbands or whores with hearts of gold.

The lie I learned about what stories and media taught me about my place in the world also led me to interrogate what I’d been told about race, too. I heard “we’re all equal now” and “You can be whoever you want” but the reality was that none of us could outrun history. We all started where we were because of the systems that came before us. And we were continually reminded of our place in the hierarchy of things by stories, by media, by laws that will believe a man over a woman, and a white person over a black one.

–Kameron Hurley on interrogation.