Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Privilege

We are all given advantages and disadvantages. Some of us have a talent for playing sports, while others can to math problems with their eyes closed, but it seems that some advantages are valued more than others. I'm guessing that the kid who loves math was not as popular as the quarterback on the football team in High School. The quarterback, blessed with his size and throwing capabilities, was privileged as high school royalty. Privilege is the advantages people have over others based on their status or position in society. Because of his position as quarterback he was popular, or a member of high-high-school society. Let's sat that several years later the strange kid that loved math invented a new computer programing software, and the high school football star wrecked his knees, and is now working as a security guard in the mall of his home town. The kid with the math skills gained advantage through success, while the football players status lowered because of his physical injuries.
Everyone can be discriminated against based on their physical mobility, metal capacity, race, gender, sexuality, looks, and much more. Privilege is not something that can be earned, nor is it stable. Like in the example or the football player and the mathematician, both people experienced privilege, but at different times in their lives and for different reasons.
I have experienced privilege in many ways. I am a middle-class white American, and because of those three aspects I have had access to a private education, and expensive pastimes like horseback riding and boating. I am very lucky to have had these experiences and the opportunities that have been presented to me because of them. I do not expect to be privilege throughout my whole life, but there are certain aspects about me that will result in my continuous privileged state, like my race. I will always be white, and because of that privileged, but when I gradate from college I will be on my own financially, and will no longer hold the title of middle class. Privilege will come and go, but it is not often fair.


  1. Your example was perfect for illustrating this concept, great job! I think that it is important to realize that if we are a member of one or more privileged groups, we unfairly have a head up in some many situations. However, people's situations change as life changes. Hard work and struggle should be a part of everyone's agenda in life in order to achieve success.

  2. Even more than this, we must realize that being citizens of the United States is a huge privilege. Many people dream of living here. In the United States, if you make more than around a dollar a day you are wealthier than most humans around the world. The fact is, the poor in third world countries would sacrifice a lot to be "poor" in the United States. This is a view of the broader sense of privilege.