Privilege

A shared reality, if not shared in the same way, is privilege.

The word bothered me for some time. It seemed like the one who accused others of a type of privilege forgot that they too benefit from a type. She who blames a white man for his privilege forgets her own privilege of money. He who blames a woman for her privilege of money forgets his privilege of a strong build. One who blames a man for his privilege of a strong build forgets their own privilege of sight. Of family. Of a slender figure. Of no shortage of food. Of the ability to hear. Of a higher education. Of both of their arms and both of their legs. Of a home.

Why is it that we pay so much attention to what we can see and completely forget that there are things about the person in front of us that we can’t see? There are, in fact, things that we do not know.

I may piss people off with what may seem like an oversimplification of privilege. But when it comes to this particular topic, I often see the same problem that stems from looking only at what others have that you lack. It’s a common trope of social media as well. This practice of ours is, in my opinion, such a major aspect of what propels us into mental agony, stress, and anxiety.

While I acknowledge the more severe types of privilege that I, too, would support positive change for, I think we should try and focus a little less on what we don’t have and a little more on what we do have. Because whoever you are, I guarantee you there’s someone out there who would kill for the life that you have.

 

3 thoughts on “Privilege

  1. Rafia

    I SO agree with you on this, Sumaya. Everyone has some kind of privilege, at least those who harp on it on social media (you have access to the internet – THAT too is a privilege). Honestly, when I hear the phrases white or male privilege, I often times find that it is just a way to vent about frustrations without any attempt to make positive changes. I’m not saying they haven’t and still don’t exist, but we all know this. Be a little more nuanced in your responses. You’re not going to make any progress when you blame an entire subset of people, many of whom are inheritors of such privilege through no fault of their own. I think the privilege of wealth is more apt and yet, we never talk about that… at least not in any real critical way. I understand that I may be guilty of what I am complaining about right here in this comment. But I do feel the word privilege is now used in a way that a judge would bang on the gavel in a caricature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. chasingsakina

    This really made me re-think the way I understood the word and I loved that! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and addressing such an important topic that, as you said, is often the cause of much mental agony, stress and anxiety, without many of us realising 🙌🏽

    Liked by 1 person

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