Tag Archive for privilege

30 Days of Social Justice 11: Privilege #30daysofsocialjustice #amwriting

Today, I’m going to do something a little different. There’s a piece by one of my favorite authors, John Scalzi, that I keep trying to remember to have on hand to talk to Straight, Cis-gender, white males specifically, especially when they say “I’m not privileged! My life sucks!” I also think this post is a […]

#30daysofsocialjustice 11: Privilege

CONTENT WARNING: LABELS, SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER

Few words can upset people like the word “privilege.” Persons who
have undoubtedly struggled in their lives will debate or reject the idea
that they’ve had privilege. In a way, they’re right. But at the same
time, they’re wrong.

For instance, let’s start with a group that is very privileged in
this country, a group that I myself am a member of: white persons. I can
turn to most media and find persons with outward appearances like my
own. The fact that I can talk about white privilege without being
accused of being racially biased
is a privilege in and of itself. But, being in a privileged group
doesn’t mean that I haven’t had struggles in my life. Becoming a teen
parent was one way in which I had been assigned to an underprivileged
group. It seems that even today, and even more so in the late 1980s and
early 1990s, persons who became parents at a young age will be reviled.
Without work experience or a college degree and at least one (possibly
unpaid) internship, getting work that provided a living wage was
extremely difficult. Yet, my co-parent and I were privileged to find a
daycare that had a sliding scale for its fees, and there was a time
during which we qualified for free childcare, allowing my co-parent and I
to be able to use our meager salaries to provide food, shelter,
clothing, and healthcare for our family.

I lived as a male till I was about 41-years-old, and between the ages
of 19 and 40 I was perceived as a (seemingly) straight, married man.
That’s three more forms of privilege in addition to being white: male,
straight, married. The reality is that I’m a queer trans woman. When I
transitioned I saw my male and straight privileges vanish. Being a
person who has undergone gender transition has given me the opportunity
to examine privilege in ways that many don’t because they always have
been either privileged or underprivileged. Many privileged persons still
don’t understand, and underprivileged (including at least one white
woman) have questioned why I would knowingly undertake any endeavor that
would decrease my privileges. In fact, the aforementioned white women
confessed to being angry with me for a time because of the privilege in
the employment world that I had given up by transitioning from male to
female.

The collection of movements that have often been called the LGBT movement often leave the B and T behind.
In fact, it can be difficult to determine which of these two are more
left behind. In spite of the history behind the liberation of persons marginalized
for their orientations and genders, it is the L and the G, and
primarily the G (especially white G), that have benefited the most. As a
result, gays and lesbians are among the most privileged of a group of
marginalized communities.

I could hold forth for quite a bit as to the problems with the
acronyms LGBT, LGBTQ, LGBTQIA+, and the like as these acronyms often
don’t fully encompass the truth about those who are marginalized for
their orientations, genders, and bodies (intersex persons, trans persons
of varying “op” status). I mention this here because it seems to me
that those who are most likely to say that adding more letters to
LGBTQIA+ or changing the acronym entirely is confusing, cacophonous, and
ludicrous have been in privileged groups among those under the rainbow
of persons Marginalized for their Orientations, Genders, And Bodies
(MOGAB).

30 Days of Writing about Social Justice. Who’s in? #amwriting #30daysofsocialjustice

Tuesday I’m going to start writing about this little list of social justice topics. I was inspired by the Month of Written Devotion (which I have now fixed to the proper link) and created 30 days (because 30 days have September). True, this isn’t everything and I know there could have been way more topics […]

30 Days of Social Justice Writing Prompts #amwriting #30daysofsocialjustice

I’ve been watching folks do the Month of Written Devotion the last couple of months which has been really cool. I thought, earlier today: “Huh…I wonder if there’s something similar for social justice?” My Google-fu and asking on Twitter has failed me, and my wife (not so subtly) suggested that I should do it. So […]

TWIH Episode 30: Paganism, Race, and Responsibility with Emily Carlin (@Pantheacon #pcon #pantheacon)

This week we are joined by Emily Carlin to talk about the intersectionality of paganism and race and how the modern witchcraft movement is just beginning to really address it’s “whiteness.” How do we navigate the intersections of religion and race? Is secrecy inhibiting the conversation? What is the difference between responsible use of another […]

TWIH Episode 30: Paganism, Race, and Responsibility with Emily Carlin (@Pantheacon #pcon #pantheacon)

This week we are joined by Emily Carlin to talk about the intersectionality of paganism and race and how the modern witchcraft movement is just beginning to really address it’s “whiteness.” How do we navigate the intersections of religion and race? Is secrecy inhibiting the conversation? What is the difference between responsible use of another…