To redesign social systems, we need first to acknowledge their colossal unseen dimensions. After I realized, through faculty development work in Women's Studies, the extent to which men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, I understood that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious.
I have met very few men who are truly distressed about systemic, unearned male advantage and conferred dominance. Some, like the expectation that neighbors will be decent to you, or that your race will not count against you in court, should be the norm in a just society and should be considered as the entitlement of everyone.
Poverty colors nearly everything about your perspective on opportunities for advancement in life. Because of this discomfort, reluctance, and fear—and as many of the Difficult Dialogues projects nationwide have recognized—racism and white privilege are among the most pervasive, charged, and under-addressed difficult dialogues on campuses, in the country, and in the world.
For example, I am advantaged as a male. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in "flesh" color and have them more or less match my skin. It is about unearned advantage, which can also be described as exemption from discrimination.
But thankfully, Intersectionality allows us to examine these varying dimensions and degrees of discrimination while raising awareness of the results of multiple systems of oppression at work.
I could measure up to the cultural standards and take advantage of the many options I saw around me to make what the culture would call a success of my life. They simply have the power to decide whether to commit themselves to more equitable distributions of power.
I want, then, to distinguish between earned strength and unearned power conferred systemically. If we could change our practices enough so that students no longer experience us as reproducing, reinforcing, or representing an often oppressive society in the classroom, the effort would pay off hugely and in immeasurable ways.
We need more down-to-earth writing by people about these taboo subjects. My schooling followed the pattern which Elizabeth Minnich has pointed out: Most talk by whites about equal opportunity seems to me now to be about equal opportunity to try to get into a position of dominance while denying that systems of dominance exist.
Her work is a critical resource in the development of racial awareness for many of us.
We might at least start by distinguishing between positive advantages, which we can work to spread, and negative types of advantage, which unless rejected will always reinforce our present hierarchies.
Nearly two decades later, these two pieces remain among the most easily accessible learning tools to help European Americans quickly begin to grasp the realities of institutional racism and white privilege and their own roles within those systems. The silences and denials surrounding privilege are the key political tool here.
This essay introduces the concept of white privilege, using the seminal work of feminist scholar Peggy McIntosh as a basis for exercises designed to help white faculty members quickly grasp the existence and mechanics of institutionalized racism, and their unaware participation within that system.
If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live. I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of race.
I can be reasonably sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me.
In other words, people of color often cannot find housing in areas that they can otherwise financially afford. Men need to join us in this work. In addition, since race and sex are not the only advantaging systems at work, we need to similarly examine the daily experience of having age advantage, or ethnic advantage, or physical ability, or advantage related to nationality, religion, or sexual orientation.
The entire idea of a privilege is based on possessing a special status that is somehow deserved. Race discrimination is not equal to Sex Discrimination and so forth. I was given cultural permission not to hear voices of people of other races or a tepid cultural tolerance for hearing or acting on such voices.
In any case, we need to do more work in identifying how they actually affect our daily lives. One of those ways would be fewer, but more productive, difficult dialogues. No one wants to give up privileges. The discussions were animated.
I am Privileged as a natural born white citizen. I can be reasonably sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me. What about a wealthy high school student who scored well on their SAT.
Co-presentations and panels of people speaking about their experiences one after another can be very effective. When participants move from experiential testimony to opinion, bring them back, knowing that most schooling discourages testimony.
While white privilege does give us advantages over people of color, it does not confer advantages in relation to other whites. For example, the positive "privilege" of belonging, the feeling that one belongs within the human circle, as Native Americans say, fosters development and should not be seen as privilege for a few.
Peggy McIntosh is associate director of the Wellesley Collage Center for Research on Women. This essay is excerpted from Working Paper "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming To See Correspondences through Work in. As you can see, belonging to one or more category of Privilege, especially being a Straight White Middle Class Able-Bodied Male, can be like winning a lottery you didn't even know you were playing.
But this is not to imply that any form of privilege is exactly the same as another or that people lacking in one area of privilege understand what. Essay on The Educational Benefits of White Male Privilege - The Educational Benefits of White Male Privilege What is learned in school, be it public or private, determines, for the most part, what position an individual will find themselves in - in the future.
Apr 04, · Scroll down to read the full essay. The black year-old winner of an essay contest about white privilege says older residents of the well-to. White Privilege White Privilege: Reflection Paper Northeastern State University Abstract This paper is about my reflection of White Privilege in the United States I got my information from four resources.
The first resource was the handout provided for this assignment; White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh. It’s not a matter of white or black, male or female or any other division which we seek, but a matter of the values we pass along, the legacy we leave, that perpetuates “privilege.” And.White male privilege essay