How to Acknowledge Your Privilege and Use It for Good

You might not realize this, but some people out there are really born with privileges.

So what is a privilege? The Oxford Dictionary defined ‘privilege’ as

A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

So how can people earn this privilege? In so many ways. It could be from your race, wealth, education, gender, sexual orientation etc. Privileges are affecting our everyday social life because, with privileges, there are things that we can do or have, while others are not necessarily can have the same thing we have and vice versa. For example, someone might be able to buy an Apple phone because they come from middle-high class family, while the lower class might not be able to afford the same Apple phone, that’s the example of privilege from fortune/wealth point of view, but right now let’s focus on 2 points of views, privileges from Race and Gender points of views.

If you’re born as a white person then congratulations! you’re basically privileged in life. No matter what your other social status is, being a white person is giving you so many privileges than any other race. So what are the privileges of being white? Well, first of all, people will rarely judge you for how you dressed up. Don’t believe me? let’s talk about cultural appropriation cases that have been done by white people. White people would’ve been reckless to appropriate any culture and use it for the trend, Cornrows are a classic example. While white people are praised for wearing that hairstyle, black people who own that hairstyle are still being mocked, and discriminated against when wearing that hairstyle. This shows how white people somehow could get away with any problematic things just because they’re white.

As it’s been said before white people could get away easily from any problematic things just because they’re white, this becomes the second of the privileges of being white. For example, the case of Brock Turner. He sexually assaulted and raped some college women, but the judges only sentenced him to 6 months confinements and 3 years probation. Meanwhile, black people out there literally being stopped in the street just because they’re black and even jailed for crimes they didn’t commit.

While from gender point of view, cisgender males win everything because they still have more privilege than any gender. Proven by how the society still have the idea that men are still superior to women proven by how men are still getting paid higher than women in some countries even though they have the same positions. Another example such as how men are less likely to be the victim of sexual assault, women are more likely to be the victim because men are still objectifying women and still think they are weak and helpless.

So check your privileges! Reflect on how your social status might have given you an advantage – even if you didn’t ask for it – while others social status might have given them a disadvantage. There are people out there who don’t have the same opportunity just because they are not: 1. white 2. a cisgender male. So what can you do if you are privileged with those statuses? all you have to do is acknowledge it by educating others around you about how privilege is disadvantaging people who don’t have those certain privileges and also not being problematic by offending other social groups just because you are privileged.

Privilege will never go away until the systems in our society that cause discrimination go away. In your own daily life, work to make those systems visible and call them into question when you can so that someday we all enjoy the benefits of being on equal footing with each other.

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Christopher Immanuel
A thespian who really love musicals and international issues. You would find me either reading books, writing, or reenacting scenes from broadway musicals in my spare time

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