Privilege and Entitlement 101
Some time ago, Peggy McIntosh realized that she “was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group”, and as a result, wrote White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. Since then, various people have followed the same form to wrote other privilege checklists, including:
- Cis* Privilege
- Straight Privilege
- White Privilege
- Male Privilege
- Able-bodied Privilege
- Christian Privilege
Some people have responded with a list for Female Privilege (even though we would consider women not to be a dominant group), and others have not followed the McIntosh form, but provide a similar reminder of the privileges of wealth by talking about what it’s like to be poor.
These links are useful, but only if you’re ready to read them, and not everyone is. The blog ballastexistenz has an interesting post, People can be a bit like water, that talks about what happens when you try to talk to people about their sense of entitlement. In short, it often doesn’t go well, but what’s good about this post is that explains why.
If you want to know how “not going well” manifests itself, you have to check out Derailing for Dummies, which covers just about every way people try to deflect things so that they can ignore the points that marginalized people are raising.
As always, if you care about social justice, there is tons more stuff out there on all these topics, but these ones are a good start.