Q&A#7 – Follow up on privilege 

Q&A#7 – Follow up on privilege 

Follow up on Privilege

I had a very supportive and encouraging friend offer some feedback regarding my post on male privilege. What specifically caught her eye was my acknowledgement that I may have benefited from other “privileges” such as “white-privilege”. Her comments were very much appreciated and thought provoking. I wanted to take a moment to clarify my statement and my perspective on privilege.

First of all, I don’t feel entitled to any privilege – my only reason for acknowledging it in my prior post was my attempt to not be naive about the world around me. The only privilege I would ever cling to is the unearned grace God gives me every day – and that is something I believe is here for anyone and everyone. Second, from a sociological and anthropological sense, I don’t believe “race” exists. Ethnicity may define us biologically and culture may create differences between us socially, but “race” (much like “gender”) is a social construct based primarily on appearance. As such it can – and should – be deconstructed. Neither fortune or suffering has eyes – we are all susceptible to both.

The irony is that by even mentioning it’s existence in my previous post and despite my good intentions, I unwittingly contributed to keeping the distinctions alive. I don’t intend to write in an effort to “keep everyone happy”, but if we are not willing to learn from the conversation, then the conversation is really pointless.

As an African-American woman, my friend say she sees her life as very privileged. She says she is surrounded by well educated, intelligent and successful people. I hope (in an extremely non-people pleasing way) she considers me one of them and I am very privileged to know her.

2 thoughts on “Q&A#7 – Follow up on privilege 

  1. Laura Beth, I am enjoying reading your blog! You have caused several chuckles and smiles. I really enjoy your humor. So far, I have been feeling WAY TOO not deep enough or educated enough to comment but wanted to throw out a “privilege” I never really thought about until you stirred my brain to thinking… Pregnancy Privilege. It’s been a LONG time since I was pregnant, but I remember several times being treated differently than I would have expected then realizing it was because I was pregnant. One never receives more smiles, doors held, offered seats, cuts in line…. than when one is expecting. I’m sure Jesus would be happy if we could treat one another, regardless of gender, heritage or religion,,, as if a precious life was growing inside of the other person– because really, THERE IS!

    1. Linda – I am sure you are more than qualified to give your two cents worth here! This is a great point about pregnancy – especially when we consider all the women who desire this but are unable for any number of reasons. We really do just need to treat people well – period!

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