Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Acknowledging my privilege.

Privilege, in this context, essentially is being treated a certain way because of inborn/outward characteristics. This is something I've been meaning to do for a while- get all of it down, on paper (so to speak). So, here it is: The List of Zoe's privilege:
I'm white.
I'm from a middle-class to upper middle class background
I'm straight.
I'm naturally thin.
I look "normal"- I look like a woman "should."
I'm not disabled.
I suffer from no disease that would make it hard to get health insurance (well, except for asthma).
I'm currently middle class.
I went to college.
My background is Christian, even though I'm not.

What does all this mean? Well, since I'm white, I'm less likely to be targeted by the police or security agencies than someone who is African-American or Hispanic or Asian. My middle class, vaguely Christian upbringing assured me that the people I saw on TV looked like me, acted like me, dressed like me- society is centered on people like me. Well, the male version of me, anyway. Since I'm straight, my relationships can be legally recognized, and I can hold hands or kiss my partner in public without fear. I'm thin (NOT petite- I hate that word!) in a fat-phobic society, and because I look conventionally female, I don’t have to worry about transphobia. I'm fairly healthy- no crippling medical bills for me! My education assures that doors will open for me.

I won't say I'm not happy about all the benefits that I get simply for being who I am, but I wish more people got to share in them simply for being human.


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