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[personal profile] deoridhe
Recently, lists of priviledges were tossed around in various forums that I read and participate in. For those not familiar with them, priviledge lists are lists of things that people who have X characteristic don't have to deal with. X characteristic is usually something where there is systemic discrimination against people with N characteristic, for example blacks, or women, where N characteristic is viewed as opposite X characteristic. The common responses I've seen on the people who come out with advantages from the systemic discrimination vary widely, from "yeah, part of the only group that's not discriminated against, let me explain how my life really sucks" to "But it mixes the petty with the major; that's lame!" to "But what can I DO??? I just feel guilty and it sucks!!!" For the record, I tend to fall on the latter side of things. Some examples are: the White Privilege Checklist and the Male Privilege Checklist

I was in a situation once where I said something ('could you please move to the back,' when I was driving a vehicle for multiple people) which was interpreted as racist (I considered the time of picking the person up - e.g. the last people should have the seats closest to the door because they moved very slowly and we were on a time schedule - over the respective skin color of the people involved). This was an example of white priviledge rearing it's ugly head; while I had heard about discrimination on buses, it never occured to me that that interpretation could be given to my words - and that was a privilege. I could never make it up to the gentleman I offended, for he would have rebuffed any attempt and perhaps rightly so. He avoided me from that day onward; he was a dignified man, and I think the shame of the memories and acknowledging them to me in my ignorance would have been too much for him. I did, however, in my way attempt to make resistution. I still didn't want to wait ten minutes for the last two, extremely slow passangers to laboriously move beyond a crowd of people, but I did choose to explain that was the reason why when asking people to move backwards. I don't know if it helped, but with my new knowledge it was what I chose to do.

Privilege lists are a window into a world one can never really experience firsthand, and should be honored as such. Personally, my choice when presented to them is to change my behavior insofar as it resonates with my values. I am unlikely to discuss reproductive rights without mentioning forced sterilization, given the knowledge I've gained from others. I am likely to be explicit in why I ask people to do things. I'll make posts like this. ;) I look for diversity in opinions and knowledge. When I'm wrong, I try to make what resitution I can, accepting that sometimes there is no restitution which can be made.

I refuse, however, to become bitter in my privilege; it was not sought by me, but it was given to me, and that is the fate I have to deal with.

Date: 2006-07-24 08:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bibliotech.livejournal.com
I refuse, however, to become bitter in my priviledge; it was not sought by me, but it was given to me, and that is the fate I have to deal with.

I love all of this, but that last bit really hit home. I don't think any of us should carry around guilt, or apologise on behalf of all the _____ of the world.

Date: 2006-07-24 08:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deoridhe.livejournal.com
Really, I think all anyone can do is be the best us we can be, y'know? It sounds lame, new-agey, and incredibly abstract, but I like it anyway. ;)

Date: 2006-07-24 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bibliotech.livejournal.com
Hey, things like this exist, and they suck, and it bothers me when someone holds a door open for me and lets it slam in my brother's face simply because you hold doors open for helpless little girls and the big tough guys can go screw themselves, but life is full of the suck.

Date: 2006-07-24 09:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deoridhe.livejournal.com
I will never forget the guy who physically fought me for the door because I dared to open it for him.

Never.

Date: 2006-07-24 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bibliotech.livejournal.com
...what the hell?? There's never going to be a day where people make sense to me, is there? I still can't understand the guy that told me that holding doors open for other guys is one of those things that can turn you gay.

Date: 2006-07-24 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deoridhe.livejournal.com
Nah. As Anne McCaffry has shown us, tenpegs ftw! 8)

Date: 2006-07-24 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bibliotech.livejournal.com
They should block off the camping section of Wal-Mart with "Warning: May Cause Teh Ghey."

Date: 2006-07-24 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deoridhe.livejournal.com
Warning lables on all tents sold in the US!!!

Date: 2006-07-24 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skybreak-seeker.livejournal.com
The hell? So now holding open a door for a guy turns you gay?! I was thought that, if you are the first to the door, you hold it open for others.

Why is it that (what should be) common courtesy has become so indicator of such a stigmatized and overall irrelevent thing?

*goes about being the courteous throwback he is*

Date: 2006-07-25 12:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bibliotech.livejournal.com
Nope, I've seen a lot of instances where guys will hold the door for me and let it slam in my brother/father/husband's face. Every guy I've asked about it (that does something that ridiculous) said that some guys don't feel comfortable holding the door for other guys because it's weird/creepy/gay. The world has just lost any sense it ever had.

Date: 2006-07-25 02:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skybreak-seeker.livejournal.com
How is it possible for people to be so moronic and still be able to draw breath without mechanical help?

Holding a door for another person, male or female, isn't gay, it is respectful and indictative of good manners. What happened to social manners in this country? Have we all become so homophobic that we won't extend a common courtesy for fear of seeming gay?

Ye gods, it makes me want to take up a sword and show them what chivalry is about.

*starts mumbling and looking at his grandfather's Katana wistfully*

Date: 2006-07-25 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bibliotech.livejournal.com
Courtesy = the new contagious homosexuality? I got nothin'.

Date: 2006-07-25 12:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alliancesjr.livejournal.com
Gay, nothing. If you're the first to the door, you hold it open. And then Murphy dictates that there will be about fifteen more people behind you than you originally thought, and none of them will offer to take the door from you, and you'll have to run to catch up with your family when they're all through, but you hold the door, damn it.

's what I was raised to believe. Especially when there are old people around.

Date: 2006-07-25 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bubosquared.livejournal.com
I've seen that one from the other end, too, actually. Apparently, if you're a guy, having another guy holding a door open for you can also turn you gay, or something, to a large enough degree that it's worth arguing with and ,em>yelling at some guy holding a door open for you.

People. I just don't know, man.

Date: 2006-07-25 12:56 am (UTC)
ext_50: Amrita Rao (All Your Base...)
From: [identity profile] plazmah.livejournal.com
Wow, now that's just craziness.

I don't mind at all when men open doors for me. Or women. In fact, I open doors for everyone, ever person who happens to be walking behind me or passing by. It's supposed to be common courtesy.

Date: 2006-07-24 10:52 pm (UTC)
thene: Happy Ponyo looking up from the seabed (Default)
From: [personal profile] thene
This is your very own Livejournal, so you have the privelige of deciding how we spell privilege. :)

Lovely, lovely post. These things are really interesting to think about.

Date: 2006-07-25 12:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deoridhe.livejournal.com
*whistles innocently and swats extra /d/s from her lj*

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