chaiya: (thoughtful)
[personal profile] chaiya
This discussion of privilege made me think.

Also, it took me entirely too long to get to reading it.

Date: 2012-07-05 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks, that was really well encapsulated.

Date: 2012-07-05 06:31 am (UTC)
siderea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] siderea
Hmm. The author's heart is in the right place, but I think it's incorrect about several things:

1) Not all privilege is something everyone should get to have. Some privilege is something nobody should get to have. For instance, nobody should be above the law. Nobody, by virtue of their race, class, wealth, etc should be able to get away with murder, rape, or theft.

2) Privilege isn't power, and that's kinda the point of having a separate word: to differentiate between pervasive unfairnesses of our social systems and individual conduct.

3) The author then goes on to confuse and conflate simply being privileged with perpetuating systems of privilege and devolves into a fantasy of white guilt that mostly only succeeds in antagonizing half her audience and which is pretty headdesky. ETA: If you simultaneously assert "When we talk about 'privilege', we're [...] talking about 'things everyone should have as a matter of course'" and then speak of privilege as something that "sucks" which "you can't just divest yourself of", your definition of privilege is not the same in both, and you are probably doing Social Justice 101 rong.
Edited Date: 2012-07-05 06:38 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-07-05 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That is quite interesting. Thanks for posting the link!

Date: 2012-07-06 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Reminds me of Audre Lorde's saying that "unused privilege becomes a weapon in the hand of our enemies." This writer is, I think, cannily following Lorde's advice. Privilege should be used to deconstruct privilege.

In context: "Those of us who have benefited from class privilege or white-skin privilege are often reluctant to look at [it]... lest we find ourselves morally or socially obligated to give them up or share them. We are therefore also reluctant to use those benefits and privileges in the service of what we believe needs being done, because to use privilege requires admitting to privilege, requires moving beyond guilt and accusation into creative action. And, of course, unused privilege becomes a weapon in the hand of our enemies."


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