5 thoughts on “Of privilege in progressive circles.

  1. Thanks for this! It gets to the heart of well-meaning people in positions of privilege. Often, we feel we’re owed a spotlight for being so progressive in areas where our peers are ignorant. But looking back at my own short journey into social consciousness, I have been stumbling all over the place and have made ignorant errors and said ignorant things. The real test of one’s desire to see change vs. appear enlightened, is how we respond to gentle or not so gentle prods from the oppressed when we hear that we are off course. A simple “Crap! I’m sorry! I didn’t think about that.” goes a long way to keep us on the path to being good allies vs. “Oh, you people are just looking for more things to whine about! I’m so awesome! Look at me! I’m nothing like those racist/homophobic etc people! You’re lucky to have me on your team!” type-attitude.

    • Absolutely. A huge part of knowing how to respond when you screw up comes from listening. I’m learning that a lot lately, and repeating the mantra to myself, “I do not deserve cookies for being a decent human being.”

  2. Great post. Good thoughts on checking the blind spot. I know that I’ve started to notice how easily I forget about my privilege as a cis-woman. I’m trying to rectify that, but it’s a slow, uncomfortable journey. I’ve seen the stuff about Miley going around, and I haven’t really said much about it. I see valid points on both sides and think there’s room for more than one discusssion–one on sexuality and one on racism and white privilege. The two discussions aren’t exclusive, but there are serious problems if one gets overlooked in favor of the other (e.g. overlooking the racism in favor of arguing for sexual freedom). Human rights groups definitely need to work on addressing the areas where they contribute to oppression. It accomplishes very little to fight for gay rights if, in the process, a group denigrates women or oppresses trans or bi people. I’ve had to withdraw my support from some organizations because as a woman I didn’t feel welcome even though as a Queer person I was supposed to be welcome. It takes alot of courage to publicly analyse your own privilege. I hope that it inspires people to take a look at theirs. Hopefully, we can all become more aware, more sensitive supporters of human rights.

  3. Pingback: Why Won’t You Stay on the Damn Pedestal? | sometimesmagical

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