Some of Cher’s greatest hits on Twitter.
dont worry kiddo, when tumblr is telling you youre a piece of shit for existing as who you are, you can just log off and go back to your life of luxury
come here, i need to talk to you for a second
being white, cisgendered, and heterosexual does not mean you have never struggled or suffered or known hardship. obviously that’s not true, and obviously you can have a pretty shitty life and still be white, cisgendered, and heterosexual.
but here’s the thing: even if you have struggled or suffered or known hardship, you have never struggled or suffered or known hardship on the basis of your race, gender identity or sexual orientation. that doesn’t mean you’ve had it better or worse (though i would hazard you have had it better, since there are very few people who will outright murder you for being a fiscally challenged white kid). the word “privileged” doesn’t mean “materially wealthy” and it doesn’t apply universally. example: i’m white, and i’m cis, but im also queer and a woman and not that materially wealthy. this doesn’t mean i’m not privileged by my cis-ness and my whiteness. it also doesn’t mean that i don’t know the hardships that come along with being a queer woman without a lot of money. what it means is that i know certain hardships but i don’t know others — some of who i am entitles me to things that others do not or can not have, based on institutionalized systems of oppression of which i am inevitably a part.
i understand that the word “privileged” carries certain connotations with it — material wealth, a carefree, happy-go-lucky lifestyle filled with candy and unicorns. but that’s not what privilege looks like. privilege is being able to go through life with the assumption that you will not be discriminated against for your race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. it’s being able to call the police or approach an authority figure without fear for your own safety. it’s being able to expect representation in all forms of media, and respect and understanding from your peers. “privilege” manifests in many, many ways, just as hardship does.
privilege doesn’t mean you have an easy life. it means you have certain attributes that give you an advantage over people who don’t. that isn’t your fault, and it isn’t something you need to feel guilty about having, but you need to be aware of it so that you aren’t ignorant to its affect on other people, and so that you’re aware of the fact that it is something special that you got and other people didn’t. your privilege comes at the cost of someone else. you didn’t ask for it, but that’s how it goes. you didn’t ask to be poor either, but that’s where you’re at — and do you think that someone with more money than you doesn’t have more power? more representation? more privilege?
being poor and living in an abusive household and being white, cis, and hetero are not things that are mutually exclusive. you can be all of those things. very few people are purely privileged. but thinking that you can’t be poor and possibly have advantages over someone who is a person of color, or trans, or queer is a mistake. that doesn’t mean you don’t have hard times. it doesn’t mean your struggles aren’t valid. but it does mean that they are not the struggles that other people have.
and that? is a privilege.
This is the finest of examples of why tumblr is so fucked up.
You’re right, how dare someone who feels that they are in a bad way compare to other folks that are in a bad way for different reasons.
You know what would be infinitely easier? If we stopped aggressively comparing ourselves to other people and just made it a point to reach out to anyone having a shit time.
Maybe I’m just hopelessly pragmatic, but getting people like me and my peers to acknowledge our own privileges still does very little to help the people disadvantaged by a lack of it; it’s not like it’s some kind of commodity that can be actively traded for.
I have it easy; I get that. I have the luxury of being able to walk into a bar full of drunken “rednecks” without having to be afraid for my life. The concept of ‘privilege’ is clear as day in this example, but that still doesn’t nudge us toward a solution, if there even is one.
Discussions like these, more often than not, simply end up looking like a blame-shifting, finger-pointing session, and there is nothing constructive about that.
Awareness alone is not going to immediately rectify this disparity. Acting like anyone with ‘privilege’ has the power (if not the obligation) to suddenly begin working to dismantle it is naive, at least in my opinion… and if I’m wrong about that, I’d like to see some concrete, real-world examples of ways in which single individuals can undermine the system.
All awareness will do is create a slow evolution toward a better system in the future, and unfortunately that means the sweeping systemic changes desired are going to take time, a lot of it.
P much. Identifying priveldge doesn’t do much to actually solve anything.
#5561: very dismayed