“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell

10 Jun

The dictionary defines the word privilege as so; a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most. While I do agree with some of this statement, what I do not agree with is that it is a right, because I feel as if a right should be earned and privilege is not. My definition of privilege is something that is given to you or has made your life easier, that you did not earn. Privilege can be coming from a good family, it can be coming from a family who is well off, and it can even mean being a certain race or gender.

Whether you are male or female, black or white, there is no denying that there are people in this world who have been given privileges, and in today’s society there is no denying that peoples gender and race does not have a certain effect on that privilege. There is such a thing as white privilege and for many people it is hard to admit, it is hard for me to sit here and tell you all that there are many things in my life that I do not deserve, especially when it comes down to something as touchy as race. I would like to think that I deserve everything I get but when I think of how being a white female has played into many of the opportunities I have been given there is no way I can deny the presence of white privilege.

Looking back in history you have to ask yourself, what made white people think that they deserved to be superior to all other races? Race and privilege and closely related due to this fact, because at that point when this superficial hierarchy came about there were going to be people who were given more privilege.

As far as gender is concerned it is the same, at some point males decided that they were superior to women, and because of this there was an artificial hierarchy put in place that would forever change our world. For centuries males have been given a leg up on many things that are undeserved, they were able to live knowing that they were superior. Though times have changed and our society has made a huge shift it is still true to this day that there is such thing as male privilege, and white privilege. These two tings still exist because not many people are willing to admit that they do not deserve everything they have in their lives, and the media does little to point that out to them.

Privilege just like race was a socially constructed term. But then again if you look at it most anything that has to do with race was socially constructed and when it comes to social construction we have to turn to the media. The media is one of the most influential things in a person life, more so than their family and friends, the media sucks people in and puts ideas and notions in people heads that may or may not be true. Privilege is just another thing that the media has built up but then does not address. They will talk about racism and sexism and all the “ism’s” out there but it is uncommon to see the media stop and instead of talking about all the ways people are discriminated against and take a look at how we blessed.

To me being blessed and privileged is one in the same, both ways you are getting things that you do not deserve.

Honestly there is very little that I do deserve in my life, I work hard at school and I am a productive member of society and a well behaved child. I feel that at times my contribution to society and my efforts  is my way of making up for the things that were just given to me. Lets face it, as humans we do not deserve anything more than our own bodies, we get what we have because society has built it up to be the expectation that when you are born you will be provided for, but for many people that is not the case. So as far as I am concerned there is very little in my life that has not been a privilege.

I am privileged to ….

  1. Have a supportive family
  2. Have an education
  3. Be free to express myself and my religion
  4. Have a house to call my own
  5. Have food on the table every time I am hungry
  6. For the most part tot be discriminated again on the basis of race

I can go on and on about all the things I am privileged to have, but the real privilege is not my skin color or my gender it is the fact that at the end of every day I have a family who loves me, a bed to sleep in, and food to eat. It is all that simple, because privilege is being given things that not everyone has.

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2 Responses to ““The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell”

  1. nader824 June 11, 2010 at 3:26 am #

    “Lets face it, as humans we do not deserve anything more than our own bodies…” I really enjoyed this part of your post because I agree with it 100%.

    We were born into the privileges we have and it’s kind of crazy to think that that is how life works. I appreciate your post on my blog. I really enjoy reading your opinion on things and I really appreciate how open-minded you are in our discussions. You’re never one to judge or look strangely to someone who shares a different opinion than yours, but you ARE willing to voice your opinion on the topic in a polite and civil manner.

    I can’t wait to have more discussions and see what you think on everything we talk about in class.

    -Nader

  2. gettingitdonemyway June 17, 2010 at 2:02 am #

    The constant in your blogs has been you go there. Each and every time. No superficial answers. That is the clue, is the breaking open the layers to find the answers that will work with your perspective. Your second privilege response is deeper, but you really peel away in that post. Thank you.

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