Thursday, March 26, 2015


I read about discussions of "privilege" on college campuses and I think:  to be young, to be healthy, to be attractive - this is privilege. People like you, pay attention to you, and give you things on this basis. What are these other privilege things you are talking about?

There is much to be said on the subject, and I don't deny that there are many other types of privilege, which some have and some don't. We could talk about that. Heck, I could discuss this at length: pros and cons, nuances, history, tradeoffs.

Don't be silly.

I have a bit of data from my Underground DSM.  When a woman with Borderline Personality Disorder comes in to initial staffing, she is likely to look around the room and say "Oh, there are a lot of people here."  Anyone might notice this and think this of course, but only the borderlines say it out loud. (Not even the PTSD ladies, despite their overlap with BPD. I am toying with the idea that this provides some differential diagnosis.)

In the same way, any number of people might consider and agree that racism and sexism and whatever are structural rather than individual in America society. There's considerable truth in that, after all.  But somehow, the only people who actually say or write that for public consumption are those who are avoid their own personal responsibility and are trying to shift the blame for their unhappiness to others.

Youth, Beauty, Health.  Ask those who don't have them about glass ceilings. While you are at it, add in societal compensations for previous ills. Those are privileges you received because your ancestors didn't.

Knowing this, read slowly across the accusations of other privilege.


Grim said...

Good piece, AVI.

Sam L. said...

It seems most of the protestations of "privilege" come from the young at expensive colleges (which so many are, these days), who cannot see or imagine that they themselves are privileged.