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Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:22 PM

The Problem with Being Privileged

I am privileged to a large degree. As a white, straight, male, able-bodied, college-educated, married, man with no criminal convictions who also is a military veteran, financially solvent and over the age of 65, much privilege accrues to me automatically. Because of that privilege, I can:

Walk down the sidewalk without being looked at suspiciously.
Drive through any area without being stopped for no reason.
Shop in whatever stores I wish without being considered a potential thief.
Avoid being shunned or attacked for my sexuality.
Never worry about a potential employer or client wondering if I'll get pregnant or marry.
Never be told to smile by some moron who thinks he's irresistibly attractive.
Be taken seriously if I want to refinance my mortgage.
Be given great attention if I go into a car dealership or hardware store.
Enter buildings after climbing stairs and pulling open heavy doors.
Park away from crowded areas in parking lots and walk.
Receive single-payer healthcare from my government.
Receive a payment each month from Social Security.
Get special treatment for home mortgages.
Get care in a Veteran's hospital or nursing home if I'm destitute.
Avoid being treated like a criminal at traffic stops.
Go anywhere, do anything, and not be noticed unless I wish to be noticed.
Do, be, and get many more things than described above.


That is my privilege. Most of it accrues to me simply because I was born who I am, where I was born, and to whom I was born. Frankly, I often forget that I have a big bunch of privilege following me around wherever I go. But, then I see someone else who is not me, doesn't match my description, and who did not automatically start with that big pile of privilege. I see people every day for whom parts of the list above simply does not apply. For some, almost nothing in that list applies. Then I remember my privilege and am humbled by it. I didn't earn it, for the most part. It simple accrues to me by accident of birth, mostly. I try to remember that, but often forget. That's the problem with being privileged. I often forget.

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Arrow 85 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Problem with Being Privileged (Original post)
MineralMan Feb 2013 OP
pkdu Feb 2013 #1
Warpy Feb 2013 #2
MineralMan Feb 2013 #3
TheKentuckian Feb 2013 #23
PasadenaTrudy Feb 2013 #4
MineralMan Feb 2013 #5
pampango Feb 2013 #80
smirkymonkey Feb 2013 #6
FreeState Feb 2013 #7
MineralMan Feb 2013 #8
brush Feb 2013 #24
DollarBillHines Feb 2013 #9
greytdemocrat Feb 2013 #51
bettyellen Feb 2013 #10
MineralMan Feb 2013 #15
bettyellen Feb 2013 #20
patrice Feb 2013 #11
bigapple1963 Feb 2013 #12
MineralMan Feb 2013 #13
bigapple1963 Feb 2013 #25
bigapple1963 Feb 2013 #26
MineralMan Feb 2013 #27
bigapple1963 Feb 2013 #29
MineralMan Feb 2013 #32
geek tragedy Feb 2013 #62
DisgustipatedinCA Feb 2013 #18
bettyellen Feb 2013 #21
MineralMan Feb 2013 #30
bettyellen Feb 2013 #34
MineralMan Feb 2013 #36
bettyellen Feb 2013 #40
KansDem Feb 2013 #35
MineralMan Feb 2013 #37
bettyellen Feb 2013 #38
JI7 Feb 2013 #44
Blanks Feb 2013 #57
bigapple1963 Feb 2013 #39
JI7 Feb 2013 #46
MadrasT Feb 2013 #54
gollygee Feb 2013 #55
missingthebigdog Feb 2013 #56
Blanks Feb 2013 #58
treestar Feb 2013 #67
treestar Feb 2013 #66
SmileyRose Feb 2013 #70
raccoon Feb 2013 #73
MineralMan Feb 2013 #74
JI7 Feb 2013 #43
JI7 Feb 2013 #45
gollygee Feb 2013 #47
JI7 Feb 2013 #49
Raine Feb 2013 #53
treestar Feb 2013 #65
woofless Feb 2013 #14
bhikkhu Feb 2013 #16
MineralMan Feb 2013 #17
Confusious Feb 2013 #76
Curmudgeoness Feb 2013 #19
freshwest Feb 2013 #22
steve2470 Feb 2013 #28
MineralMan Feb 2013 #31
steve2470 Feb 2013 #33
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #41
bigapple1963 Feb 2013 #42
gollygee Feb 2013 #48
JI7 Feb 2013 #50
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #59
Nye Bevan Feb 2013 #60
gollygee Feb 2013 #61
Nye Bevan Feb 2013 #63
gollygee Feb 2013 #64
Nye Bevan Feb 2013 #68
gollygee Feb 2013 #69
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #84
JI7 Feb 2013 #71
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #85
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #83
unblock Feb 2013 #52
hfojvt Feb 2013 #72
MineralMan Feb 2013 #75
Confusious Feb 2013 #77
Puzzledtraveller Feb 2013 #82
hfojvt Feb 2013 #79
snooper2 Feb 2013 #78
MineralMan Feb 2013 #81

Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:26 PM

1. True that. Me too. Agree with very word . Nt.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:35 PM

2. Thank you for that post, too many people equate privilege with money

and were shocked by that test of overall privilege last week. I tried to point out to them that being able to walk down the street without being hooted at or targeted for one's gender was an enormous privilege, much greater than overall wealth, and people just didn't get it at all. They all wanted to whine about how low pay made them unprivileged and therefore the test was bogus.

The problem with privilege is that most privileged people don't see it, they feel they are entitled to their privilege and that every other person in the world shares it. That's so far from the truth as to be mind boggling to those of us who don't share it.

I'm old, white and financially solvent but other factors combined to make me extremely disprivileged according to that test, something I already knew from the way I have to live.

I'm glad somebody else got the point.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:36 PM

3. Lest we forget.

It's easy to forget, and that's the problem, I think.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:15 PM

23. Oh bullshit. Hootie hoot at me all day if it means I have resources for a safe home, good food,

reliable transportation, huge improvement in the power of my connections, secure retirement, the advantages of top quality education with unlimited do overs (see George W. Bush, solid C Ivy Leaguer), freedom from the stress of robbing Peter to pay Paul, never being a surprise away from ruin, not living in fear of losing a job and being weeks from homelessness, never having had to live on the streets, always having the best medical care, differential in potential for incarceration, never being in a position to extract one's own adult teeth or similar extremes, forced poor choices due to resource constraints, raw cost of goods and services due to limitations resources that allowed preferred status deals, and on and on.

A fucking hoot! Thems are hawd times! Gawd bless yer heart! Then white on top and still moaning! Holy fuck, yeah I think the test might be goofy unless you are also short for a hobbit, suffer from major two handicaps, and have to hang a porkchop around your neck to get the dog to play with you.

This is America, Jack. Money is king and white is a knight. Male is tops too but money is beyond trump, it is near everything in this culture and economy.

Just because someone can design a test that allows say Oprah to be less privileged than Billy Bob in the trailer park but it is silly. When we take it to a hypothetical next generation, I think it really blows up the difference in opportunity potential.

Deadeye Dick's daughter will have a higher ceiling and floor and much better odds than Joe average straight white male no matter how female and gay she is. I grant the straight one will have more but all privilege is not created equal and in this country a big ole pile of loot will fix a lot more ails than any other factors.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:37 PM

4. The saying goes...

choose your parents wisely

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #4)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:39 PM

5. Yes. That seems to be at the core of a lot

of privilege. "Accident of birth," I think it goes.

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 06:40 AM

80. "Choose your parents wisely". I like that better than "winning the birth lottery" which I use

sometimes.

If you choose the 'right' parents you are one of 'us'. If you choose the 'wrong' parents you are one of 'them'.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:51 PM

6. Very Interesting. Thank you for your thoughtful, interesting post.

It definitely makes one think about their privileges.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 01:58 PM

7. And when you compare that to a developing country

we are all privileged beyond belief. That does not mean we don't have massive amounts of work to do in the US, but it sure puts it in perspective.

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Response to FreeState (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:08 PM

8. Yes, where you were born is very important.

The US is a good place to be born, and much privilege accrues simply by being born here.

I was really only referring to the US, because that's where most DUers are. If you bring in much of the rest of the world, then the privilege is even greater here.

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Response to FreeState (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:18 PM

24. But if you don't have those priviledges here you may as well live in a developing country. nt

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:20 PM

9. It's funny, we take things for granted that others could never hope for.

I'm glad you posted this, MM.

In my case, it goes a bit further. I have long hair and a gray beard, dress like a farmer and have no particular schedule. While never persecuted, there is always this attitude that most people have when meeting me for the first time.

But when they find out where I live and realize that they have seen my property and house before, there is a quick about-face - almost every time. That is usually the moment when I decide not to continue with them.

We should all thank our lucky stars, every day.

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Response to DollarBillHines (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:49 PM

51. You're just so special!!!

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:21 PM

10. the car buying thing was a bit of a shocker, I wasted several afternoons at dealers

who blew me off while fawning over men who arrived later. I really needed the damned car, but no one wanted to acknowledge my existence. And you don't want to alienate someone you're supposed be negotiating with by being pegged as "aggressive" which is what it would have taken to get service.
I didn't think that would happen in the 20th century.
A salesman who had been emailing me almost daily suddenly forgot that and was "too busy right now", staring down at paperwork, mid afternoon. It took about 5-6 visits to dealers till someone treated me like a human being. Really dumb guys for walking away from an easy sale. It happens.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #10)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:42 PM

15. Sadly, that is still true, for sure, at least at some dealerships.

Other dealerships, though, have recognized that the buying decisions for autos are made by women in many cases. Those dealerships are doing well. When we bought our new car, I pretty much stayed silent, and my wife handled the dealings with the salesperson. My role was just a nod or two on some issues. Since then, she and her mother and sister have gone to the same dealership to buy cars. Nobody ignored them at all.

If I were ignored in a dealership for some reason, there's another just down the road that won't do that.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #15)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:02 PM

20. I was surprised it happened so close to NYC, because you get a bit spoiled there, LOL.

Usually your money looks just fine to everyone in NY. I actually had a very specific year (one year old) make and model in mind, and there weren't all that many dealers, so I had to take a train about 70 miles and pray I could drive it home. And I did.
By that time I had honed a phone script that *pleasantly* and *non-agressively* presented me as a serious, knowledgable buyer who needed their time. And having negotiated a firm price via email using a name that sounded like a man's helped too, LOL. Having that email in my pocket helped when he tried to clip me for almost 20% more for the exact same used car. I still smile when I think of the look on his face when I pulled that out.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:24 PM

11. I don't know how much you have been around some of the more conventional social justice

advocates, often coming out of universities and churches, but some of us out here are getting a little overly-sensitive, perhaps, to claiming privileges in order to fight the privileged. It doesn't work.

Paulo Freire says we must BEGIN, each one of us, by freeing ourselves from/recognizing our own dependencies, e.g. upon "authority" and privilege, because those are the means by which each one of us has internalized, and actually become, the oppressor, first of ourselves and then of others.

The Quakers say something about "I'm a work ((continually)) in process" and they are pretty much the opposite of evangelicals.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:24 PM

12. there are also other priviledges other people enjoy

 

people holding the door open for you
people giving up seats on the subway for you
not having to worry about asking someone out
being able to play with your kids at the playground without everyone looking at you suspiciously
my colleague leaves at 4pm because something to do with her kids
as a gender statistically doing better academically in high school, having a higher chance of getting into college, earning more advanced degrees, living longer, paying lower car insurance (never understood why unlike health insurance no one fought for banning discrimination by gender)




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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:38 PM

13. Uh-huh...OK.

I'm not seeing it. There are too many ways that women are not privileged. Most of the issues you raise in the last paragraph have to do with statistical things. Car insurance for men is more expensive because insurance companies have a long history of statistics that show that men have more accidents with more damage per 1000 driver miles than women do. Better grades? I don't know about that one. I was valedictorian in my class, tied with a girl. We both spoke at graduation. Advanced degrees? Perhaps. That is a matter of individual choice, though. Want an advanced degree? Stay in school until you get one. Want good grades? Study.

The rest of your list is insignificant things, many of them due to men feeling superior to women, like the door opening business. I've taken my nieces, nephews, and now grand nieces and nephews to the park and other places. I didn't notice anyone looking oddly at me.

Frankly, I don't notice much in your list that says much of anything about privilege. Sorry.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:19 PM

25. ok

 

Education arena has changed a lot since you've been in school. Women are now leading men at all levels from high school to PhDs.

Go to a park playground without any kids in tow and start watching the children play. Even better, take an SLR with a big-ass telephoto lens with you because you enjoy street/bird photography. See how long until you attract stares.

Health insurance companies have a long history of statistics that show women cost more in health care because (1) maternity (2) they go to the doctors' more often. Yet why was there a fight to equalize health premiums but not car insurance premiums? I think gender politics might have something to do with it.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:22 PM

26. added one more

 

being able to sweet-talk people especially if you are young and hot (e.g. speeding tickets "officer this was my first time" sure....)

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:27 PM

27. Nah. I've talked my way out of a ticket every time I have

been stopped, and I'm a guy. I've always found that if I openly admit that I wasn't paying attention and that was why I did an infraction, I've always gotten off with a warning, and that's whether the cop was a man or a woman. So, I've never had a ticket, and I've been driving since 1962. I don't screw up often, but have been stopped a few times. Each time, I just got a warning. It's attitude. That's all.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #27)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:30 PM

29. good for you

 

you're a safe driver.

Now how do you feel about paying more in car insurance than the average female simply because you're male?

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #29)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:35 PM

32. The policy's in my wife's name, and I'm listed as

the second driver. Which is pretty accurate. I drive on longer trips. She drives by herself mostly. We have just one car. Problem solved.

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #26)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:53 PM

62. Oh for fuck's sake! nt

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:57 PM

18. And women would rather have a door opened for them than to get equal pay

Please reconsider what you've posted. I'm sure you'll see that your list of perqs is pretty weak stuff.

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Response to DisgustipatedinCA (Reply #18)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:05 PM

21. the dating stuff, in particular, is weak. what backwater is this he speaks of?

where women can't ask men for dates?
and does this mitigate making 70% of your salary in any way?
stop holding doors open if you don't want to. no one wants you to martyr yourself because customs in the 1950's were different. Join us in the 21st century.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:31 PM

30. I've been asked on dates as often as I've asked.

And I date way back to the early 60s for my early dating experiences. Later, when I was single, I found that sitting quietly at a party or elsewhere and looking pleasant while observing the goings on generally brought someone over who wanted to chat me up. I met my wife of 21 years that way, in the press room at a computer trade show in 1991. She was all, "Hi! What are you doing just sitting over here?" Then, I went, "Waiting for you to show up." Six months later, we were married. She tells that story to everyone we meet for the first time, when they ask how we met. I don't think I used that lame line as an answer, but I could be wrong....

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #30)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:45 PM

34. I'm guessing it's because you are a pretty good listener, and generally engage people as

individuals. It's where a lot of guys get off track- wondering what "works with girls" or what "chicks dig" instead of realizing each person is unique and there is no magic formula to get what you want from them.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #34)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:50 PM

36. Could be. I think it's because I'm an introvert in social situations

who has always liked women who were extroverts. But, I do like listening to people, and the people I like best like to talk. So, that strategy of sitting quietly in a busy room has always managed to bring the nice extroverts over to draw me out. It has worked a treat all my life, I think.

All of that has nothing to do with how I am with the written word or in business settings. There, I'm pretty talkative, it seems, and that seems to work, too.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #36)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:11 PM

40. I'm really good at drawing people out for some reason. For no other reason than to hear their

stories. I've had a lot of total strangers unload on me abut huge things going on in their lives in a way they can't with people they know. (mostly in waiting rooms or airport bars) It's interesting because a lot of people assume that you only talk to people when you want something. I just don't understand that.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #21)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:47 PM

35. When I was in high school...

...holding the door open for gals was fine. But not for other guys.

But then I graduated and went on to a community college and I noticed the guys held doors open for both men and women. And a lot of these guys were Vietnam vets in their early 20s. I sensed that the student population was a mix of 18-year-old high school graduates, like myself, and returning early 20-something vets who were caught up in the draft and had to put their college education on hold for 3 to 5 years.

I must admit, I was a little flummoxed at first, but then I began to realize that these guys had seen a lot more in life than I ever would. I imagined they saw death and destruction the likes we American civilians would never see. I sensed they were witnesses to man's inhumanity to man. Perhaps this experience led them to value humanity a bit more than the rest of us who were currently wrapped up in who we do and don't hold doors for.

Whenever I arrive at the same time at a door with someone else, I hold open the door and let them go first. It doesn't matter who it is, I just do it. And I stand if someone needs to sit; and I stand when introduced to either a woman or a man. I just do it.

And I think about those vets of 40 years ago who held the door for me. It's a matter of courtesy and respect; it's a matter of humanity.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #35)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:52 PM

37. Yup. That's the polite thing to do. Holding doors and the like

is simple courtesy, and should be extended to everyone. Now that I'm older, people sometimes try to give up seats for me. I decline, but appreciate the offer very much. If my arthritic hips continue to get worse, I'll start accepting.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #35)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:02 PM

38. it's a fine gesture as long as it's done freely and you don't get upset if someone tells you

they don't need you to. I think maybe you respect others to bounce back from offhand remarks without a grudge.

A DUer once told me he hates feminists because someone said "no thanks" to having the door opened for her- many years before. Really sad to be walking around with a bruised ego and anger for so long- over one person daring to state their preferences. Really kind of sad.

I say give as freely as you can without bringing your ego into it.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #35)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:19 PM

44. even little kids have held the door open for me at times

it's just a matter of respect. someone is close behind you and coming the same way so you wait a few seconds to let them through. doesn't/shouldn't matter whether it's a male, female etc.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:30 PM

57. That's right.

I don't believe there is any standard in this day and age. It's just what you do when people are going through the door at the same time; let them go first.

It's what I've learned from the others that have let me go through the door first. It's just neighborly.

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:08 PM

39. thought of a couple more

 

child support

have you ever seen a woman change a flat tyre by the side of the road by herself?

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:22 PM

46. what the fuck does changing a flat tire have to do with the op ?

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:23 PM

54. Of course.

I have changed every flat tire I ever had myself.

Just in December I changed one. Not only that, I had to kick them damn thing for 10 minutes while lying down in the driveway wearing combat boots because the wheel was fused to the bolts.

I've also done it wearing a dress and high heels. In the snow. A man came over and asked me if I needed help and I said, "Nah, I got this, thanks!"

To reference one of your earlier comments, I have never, ever gotten out of a ticket with just a warning. Not even when I was young and "hot" and performed femininity.

You seem to have some strange ideas about women.

"Privilege" does not mean what you think it means.

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:23 PM

55. Being helpless when there's trouble isn't a privilege

Hopefully people would teach their daughters how to change tires so they aren't helpless. I know my daughters will know how to change a tire.

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:27 PM

56. Seriously? Child support?

Men who are custodial parents also enjoy the "privilege" of the noncustodial parent contributing to the care and upkeep of the children they helped bring into the world.

How is it that people see child support as some kind of windfall to a custodial parent instead of the obligation to their children that it actually is?

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Response to missingthebigdog (Reply #56)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:34 PM

58. Did you just snap at that dude?

You're probably some kind of a blood sucking lawyer.

Aren't you... Dear?

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Response to missingthebigdog (Reply #56)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:04 PM

67. Kids cost nothing

Their food, clothing and shelter are free. Therefore, the recipient spends it all on her self.

Some men want custody so as not to have to pay child support. Which is really stupid. The kid will be in his house. So he thinks it will cost him nothing? That he won't be paying "child support."

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:02 PM

66. Child support laws are gender neutral in the US

The question that women more often have custody is a different one. If a father has custody, he has the same right to child support from the mother.

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:08 PM

70. I have...... crutch and all. MY DAD was in the car with me.

His arm was in a sling at the time and I was his driver. Thankfully he was not a man who expected less of his disabled 4'10" daughter than he did his sons. Can't change the tire or can't make good decisions behind the wheel to get to safety if something happens then can't get the license.

If the men who run every damn thing expect something different from me because I am a petite disabled 60 yr old female then they'll be disappointed. I can open my own damn door, change my own tire, swing my own sledge hammer, chop my own wood or kick your butt if I so desire without chipping a nail.



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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:34 PM

73. This woman has done it. nt

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:31 PM

74. Sure. My wife has done it twice that I know of.

So?

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:14 PM

43. sorry, but the first 3 are not privileges

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:21 PM

45. because you have a colleague that leaves at 4 for kids you think all women have that

privilege ?

i see men playing with kids in the playground all the time and was never suspicious of it.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #45)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:24 PM

47. I think this isn't such a privilege

Women in our society are expected to be in charge of children, so we're the ones who are responsible for picking them up. That's no great privilege. And it can limit advancement opportunities. People look at stuff like that when they're considering whom to promote. Again, not really a privilege.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #47)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:34 PM

49. yeah, i know many single guys with kids who leave

their kids with their mother(kid's grandmother) , aunt or some other female relative.

some women do this also but i think with women they are expected to be there more than the guy so there is the whole feeling of guilt and whatever. even though the reason the woman is away is to make money to support her and the child.

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:21 PM

53. "holding the door open" I'm a woman and I hold the door open for men and for other women. It would

rude to not hold it for others.

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #12)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:00 PM

65. asking someone out

that's the power of choice. In the old fashioned method, the man has the power of choice and the woman only the power of refusal.

The power of choice is a much greater thing. Think about it.

Nowadays we hold doors for everybody.

Fathers could leave at 4 p.m. regarding things to do with their kids if they asked the employer. Doesn't the Parental Leave Act apply regardless of gender?

I can't imagine that many people being suspicious of a father with his kids anywhere.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:40 PM

14. I resemble your remarks.

Thanks.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:52 PM

16. Very well put, and I'd add a couple:

get pulled over for speeding or some other foolishness, but probably just get a warning.

if a ticket is issued, probably be able to ask for a court date and get it reduced or dismissed.

Work in a place where employee theft is a problem, but be confided in and asked for advice by the boss, rather than be a suspect.

Introduce myself and shake anyone's hand, in any company anywhere, and be pretty much welcome and accepted.

...and so on. All those have happened to me more than once, though the traffic and court stuff was my younger days. It was a big privilege to be able to grow up and do a bunch of stupid things with essentially zero consequences. Fortunately I took them as learning experiences, and appreciated the opportunities I had that many or most don't.

What do you do if you have a bunch of privilege you didn't do anything to deserve? You try to deserve it, you try to be the one that stands up for people who don't have it, you don't look down your nose at anyone, and remember that wealth (of any sort) without generosity is empty.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 02:54 PM

17. Good additions, and good advice.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #16)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:08 PM

76. As a white male

get pulled over for speeding or some other foolishness, but probably just get a warning.


Never, ever have I "just gotten a warning." Even had my car searched for three hours in Texas at 2:00 am in the morning.

if a ticket is issued, probably be able to ask for a court date and get it reduced or dismissed.


Got a ticket reduced ONCE, but only because I had the tag, but hadn't put it on. Still had to pay 1/2 the fine. Never was able to get anything "dismissed"

Work in a place where employee theft is a problem, but be confided in and asked for advice by the boss, rather than be a suspect.


Shit like this happens to me, not stealing, but being blamed for things going wrong in more then one place. Starts out as a joke, then they get serious about it. Eventually, even though I've left the job months before, they're still blaming me for things that can obviously not be my fault.

Introduce myself and shake anyone's hand, in any company anywhere, and be pretty much welcome and accepted.


Yea, if you got people skills. I don't. So no dice there.

Some things happen to some people, but it doesn't apply to everyone. Not white, not black, not men, not women. It just serves to drive people farther apart, not bring them together.

As they say, if you deny your privilege, you have it. It's a nice circular logic fail.

More akin to a religion then anything else. No proof, just belief.

The greatest sin in this church is to be white and male, no matter how fucked up your life was.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:01 PM

19. My mother often said

that she was so lucky to have been born white and in the USA. She drummed that into us. She was born very poor, but she knew that there were so many more prejudices against others here, and that so many other places in the world were much harder places to survive. She taught me that some people, no matter how hard they work, will never have the opportunities that I have, just because of the accident of birth.

The only thing she said that would have been luckier would have been if she was born male.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:08 PM

22. Thank you

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:27 PM

28. Great post

It's too bad more people don't realize their privilege. It would make for a better world.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #28)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:33 PM

31. I think that people recognize it when they think about it.

Trouble is, it's easy to forget when you're not thinking about it. I'm guilty of that sometimes, too. More often that I'd like to think, I suspect.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #31)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 03:36 PM

33. I agree nt

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:38 PM

41. I'm about the same

demographic as you. I am also a veteran and public servant. I work my ass off to make a living. Men far more privileged than me want to reduce my income, eliminate my health insurance and take my pension. They would put me in the street faster than you can say "privilege" and laugh at me for it, just so they can be even more privileged. I have a son who goes to a major university. He's a math and science major, but he may graduate with limited employment options because other more privileged men can import foreign professionals cheaper and destroy his future in his own country. He can also go to prison for smoking pot, where he could generate profits for privileged men greater than the cost of his college education, which in itself appears increasingly to exist for the benefits of parasitic bankers. Privilege is a relative term. Those more privileged want to deprive my children of a meaningful future so they can have cheaper labor, more money, less accountability and more power. You're not the problem. They are. It really is past time to declare war on those who are.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 04:42 PM

42. he could also

 

not break the law, even if he/you think it is an unjust/dumb/racist law.

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Response to bigapple1963 (Reply #42)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:25 PM

48. Irrelevant

Whether he could simply choose to not break the law is irrelevant as far as whether there is privilege involved with what is legal or illegal, how strenuously those laws are enforced, and how strong the penalties are.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #41)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:37 PM

50. not sure what this has to do with the OP , women are not going to be affected by the issue of cheap

labor ?

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Response to JI7 (Reply #50)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:34 PM

59. The reply was to the poster,

who is also a white male, I believe. Most of the power dynamic is held by white males. I have a son in college who is also a white male, not my daughter as yet (who is not white). The people getting the dirtiest deal are not white either, but I do not feel obliged to always state the obvious when it is implied.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #59)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:41 PM

60. With the exception of the President of the United States. (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #60)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:49 PM

61. What about Beyonce!?

The Obama Defense is to suggest there is no privilege because you can name one person who is not a white male who is wealthy and/or in a position of power. I've usually seen it here as The Beyonce Defense, but this is the same thing with a different specific person.

I will ask you the question I always wonder when I see it. Do you think that if you can name one person of color and/or woman who is in a position of wealth/power, that it means privilege doesn't exist? Because the suggestion there is that every single white male should be wealthier and more powerful than every single person of color and/or woman in order for you to see that there is any discrimination and privilege.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #61)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 06:59 PM

63. When a guy who would have been born into slavery not so long ago,

and who even more recently would have had to use a separate water fountain, can be overwhelmingly not just elected but re-elected to the Presidency of the United States, that's a pretty encouraging sign of the way things are going.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #63)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:00 PM

64. True

But privilege still exists, and the racism and disrespect he's had to face despite being our president is an example of his lack of privilege.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #64)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:04 PM

68. They treated Clinton worse by impeaching him (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #68)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:06 PM

69. I've heard talk from Republicans about impeaching Obama

They have four years left, you know.

But Clinton didn't have to deal with stuff like the Obama trap - have you seen that? Google "obama trap watermelon". There is a lot of ugly racist shit out there directed at Obama.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #64)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:35 PM

84. The fact that the President

has been treated disrespectfully is an inevitable behavior of ignorant whites and a less than effective political tactic of his opponents. I don't think it has much if anything to do with his privilege. There is possibly no one more privileged than the President of the United States.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #63)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:10 PM

71. would a black guy as stupid as Bush have been able to become President ?

also things like having a teenage daughter who was pregnant would have put an end to his presidency. if Michelle had been involved in a crime or even a car accident where someone died but she was not found at fault i think it would have put an end to his presidency.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #71)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:38 PM

85. No,

but he isn't and she wasn't, and he's the President.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #63)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:31 PM

83. Changing the color

of the status quo is not progress. It's just misdirection.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 05:59 PM

52. perhaps the most telling privilege is being able to forget about the whole concept.

those who aren't privileged don't have the luxury of being able to forget it.

it's good for those who have privilege to be very aware of it.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 07:29 PM

72. so veteran's benefits accrue to people by accident of birth?

Who knew?


and let's look at your silly list closely

*Walk down the sidewalk without being looked at suspiciously.

Does not apply to white people in general. Maybe to older people and to well dressed people, but try being young or in a scruffy coat or dirty jeans and see if people don't cast a wary eye at you.

*Drive through any area without being stopped for no reason.

Some people apparently have the privilege of never having been stopped for "driving while poor". One cop tailgated me through a construction zone hoping I would speed up so he could give me a "double fine" ticket. Pulled me over anyway after I didn't, and when all I saw was headlights behind me, I did not know I was being followed by a cop. Another cop followed me for about a mile coming home from Wal-mart about 2 am. When I made a left and a right and a right to get on the right side of my street, he pulled me over 100 yards from home for not signalling (actually unbeknownst to me, my signals were not working, because I always signal). And so on and so forth. The law, you see, in all its majesty prohibits both poor and rich from driving old cars.

*Shop in whatever stores I wish without being considered a potential thief.

Uh no. Not if you happen to be either a bicyclist or a pedestrian who carries a backpack to takes his goods home in. Then you are a suspect, even if you shop there regularly. And 7-11, they consider every customer to be a potential thief.

*Avoid being shunned or attacked for my sexuality.

Nobody in this society is free from the threat of attack. That's the sad, sad truth, the dirty lowdown. People are often shunned for a variety of reasons. I have been an outcast and felt the threat of attack, Is it supposed to be comfort that such things were independent of my sexuality? And these things are becoming less and less true. In my sister's church in Nebraska (that hotbed of liberalism) the pastor who asked the gay guy to stop volunteering, was himself fired.

*Never worry about a potential employer or client wondering if I'll get pregnant or marry.

Again, a person can lose out on a job or a customer for any number of reasons. Further, it seems to me in my thirty years of looking for work that very, very often, the HR person making the hiring decision - is a woman. Am I supposed to believe that these women are biased against other women?

*Never be told to smile by some moron who thinks he's irresistibly attractive.

Okay you may have a point there. That does sound like one of the worst things that can happen to a person. That's gotta be worse than being asked "what are you looking at?" by some attractive person who clearly thinks you are pond scum.

*Be taken seriously if I want to refinance my mortgage.

You know, I bet all the white people who are homeless are thinking that tonight, Realising that they have the privilege of being taken seriously if they want to refinance their mortgage. Same with all the working poor who are renters. They must just enjoy the hell out of that privilege that comes from being white.

*Be given great attention if I go into a car dealership or hardware store.

Well the car dealership thing must be a huge daily concern for everybody. Considering that most people buy cars almost every day. As for attention, my typical shopping is done at DG or wal-mart where it is kinda hard to get attention, except when you walk in the door with a backpack, of course. Then there was the time at Nebraska Furniture Mart where the place was crawling with employees and I could not get one of them to help me buy an ipod.

*Enter buildings after climbing stairs and pulling open heavy doors.

A 'privilege' enjoyed by the vast majority of the population.

*Park away from crowded areas in parking lots and walk.

Next it will be a privilege that you are able to tie your own shoes, because not everybody can you know. Some people are bedridden too, either temporarily or chronically, but that really doesn't make being able to get out of bed a huge 'privilege'. I mean, I am all for a little perspective of the sense that "I was unhappy because I had no shoes, and then I met a man who sells them." to realize that some are less fortunate than even me, and to be more positive and hopeful. But if I am supposed to be "humbled" rather than grateful and generous and helpful. Does a man who cleans toilets for a living after getting two college degrees really need to be more humbled?

*Receive single-payer healthcare from my government.

A veteran's benefit, not shared by most of this country, but I would say that the typical veteran has earned that benefit.

*Receive a payment each month from Social Security.

Again, this looks mostly earned to me. In fact, I expect to pay far, far more IN to SS than I will ever get OUT of it. I did the math.

*Get special treatment for home mortgages.

Again a Veteran's benefit - a VA loan.

*Get care in a Veteran's hospital or nursing home if I'm destitute.

Is being destitute one of the privileges too? Did you ever mention why you think you didn't earn your Veteran's benefits?

*Avoid being treated like a criminal at traffic stops.

My "welcome wagon" to the state of Iowa was basically four weeks after I bought property and moved there - there I was on the side of the road after a ten hour exhausting night shift, hand-cuffed and sitting on a police car surrounded by about five cop cars and a detective, while the police searched my car. My crime? Failure to wear a seatbelt. So I can tell you that in my experience this supposed privilege does not come from white epidermis.

*Go anywhere, do anything, and not be noticed unless I wish to be noticed.

I am not sure. Last night I was at the Black History Month celebration and I think I stuck out like a sore thumb. I was working there and the only white boy there. And you know, they didn't offer me any food either, in spite of the fact that I sponsored their "Jazz by the River" last year.

*Do, be, and get many more things than described above.

Many things are possible, but this sounds Horatio Algerish, and even with Horatio a person had to be lucky and hard-working and diligent. He did not get the brass ring just by being born male, white and straight, and some white males never even make it to first base. Mark Frank, Doug Mills, Brad Schlimm, Curtis Kittinger. All white males that I went to school with who did not live to see their 20th birthday, and I may have forgotten a few, and certainly do not want to neglect Kim Jorgenson or Sandi Schaeffer, white females who died before the age of 20. They were so lucky to be born white.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #72)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 08:40 PM

75. I wrote that MOST of those were accidents of birth.

You appear to be angry. Sorry. I am not responsible for any of that.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #75)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:17 PM

77. What about being beaten and shunned for being a geek?

Some things happen to some people on your list, but it doesn't apply to everyone, and not in the same way. Not white, not black, not men, not women. It just serves to drive people farther apart, not bring them together.

If you deny your privilege, you have it. It's a nice circular logic. and a fail.

More akin to a religion then anything else. No proof, just belief.

The greatest sin in this church is to be white and male, no matter how fucked up your life was.

Personally, I think your post belongs on this site. It sounds a lot like the fail they highlight.

http://socialjusticefail.tumblr.com/

PS. The previous poster didn't sound angry to me. He sounded quite rational.

I guess that's what passes for discourse. "you don't agree so you must be angry, etc." You'll probably find a whole bunch more ways to avoid the argument on the socialjusticefail site. I hear "go drink bleach" is a favorite of the the social justice warriors.

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Response to Confusious (Reply #77)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:03 AM

82. I couldn't agree with you more

The OP is very disingenuous. I am not quite sure what would motivated such a post.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #75)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:47 PM

79. oh you might be responsible for some of it

it's kinda annoying to have people who are richer than you trying to tell you that you are privileged to clean toilets for a living.

But really, I don't know why we can't discuss this idea of privilege rather than my mental state.

Truly, I find it to be a silly, harmful idea, although it seems to be loved and devoutly believed by most of the left, and even some on the right. I remember way way back, reading about the "gender wage gap" in Johnny Hart's BC of all places.

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Response to MineralMan (Original post)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 09:22 PM

78. But you can't post in Meta without being called a freeper

LOL..

I crack us up

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #78)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:58 AM

81. And yet, I do post in Meta.

I am privileged to do that. Others are privileged to call me whatever they wish.

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