Privilege Essay

Topics: Discrimination, Racism, Racial discrimination Pages: 6 (1142 words) Published: November 14, 2013


Benefits of Being Privileged

Sarah Emonts


Karen McEwen

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

PRIVILEGE 2 Benefits of Being Privileged

Privilege can be defined as a specific right or advantage given or available to only one person or a group of people. Privilege can not be taken but can be given. It is something you are born with and

carry throughout your life but usually reflects on social inequality. Having privilege is not how much

you earn, or where you live or how you live because you already know that you have enough. Instead

privilege is often seen as being based on your: class, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, etc.

Dominant groups of society with lots of privilege do not see this problem because they one; do not face those difficulties and secondly they like to ignore the problem and call it something else. People with

more privilege are powerful and successful because they posses more opportunities. However, we need

to bring awareness to privilege and the major discrimination it comes with so we can further social

change. Diversity should be welcomed with all of its benefits to society. We need to recognize and

value people's differences amongst our own. Having self-reflection can help you to identify and perfect

certain behaviours and attitudes towards society and prevent being oppressive. Fortunately enough, I

live a life where I am very privileged. I am a white heterosexual female with no disabilities, which is

seen as unearned privilege.

Unearned privilege is very similar to privilege except unearned privilege is seen as some of the

smallest things, so you would normally not view it as a privilege. For example: It is much easier for

people who are right handed to write, open a can, use scissors, etc. (Hadhazy, 2011). Although these are small ideas to some people, it seen as an unearned privilege. In class we had a presentation on the

story Unpacking our Knapsacks of Invisible Privilege and it really opened my eyes to know how

privileged I am. “I can choose blemish cover or bandages in 'flesh' colour that more or less matches my skin.” (Mullaly, 2010, slide. 9). This is seen as white privilege but would never really occur to me as an unearned privilege. Another example was “...into a supermarket and find the staples food that fit with

my cultural traditions...” (Mullaly, 2010, slide. 9). This example of white privilege made me realize,

Benefits of Being Privileged

especially since I worked in a grocery store for four years that, there really were a lot of times when

people would come in of a different race or ethnicity and they were not able to find their “basic foods”.

It definitely made me recognize that I am privileged in some of the smallest but necessary things in life.

Heterosexual means being sexually attracted to the opposite sex. I am a heterosexual female and therefore I am privileged. In class we also had a presentation on Inverting Racism's Distortions and

there was an experimental video shown on how having a certain eye colour meant that you were better

and had special treatment and benefits compared to those who had a different eye colour. (Margles,

2010). This experiment on trying to show kids at a young age not to discriminate, for me related to how people who are not heterosexual are constantly fighting being discriminated against, therefore not being able to have such benefits and accepted by society. “I can take a job with almost any employer and be

assured that my partner will be included in the benefits package.”...

References: Hadhazy, A. (2011). Life 's Extremes: Left vs. Right Handed. Live Science: n.p.
Margles, S. (2010). Inverting Racism 's Distortions: Our Schools/Our Selves. n.p.
Mullaly, B. (2010). Unpacking our Knapsacks of Invisible Privilege: Challenging Oppression and
Confronting Privilege. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.
Mullaly, P. R. (2010). Unpacking our Knapsacks of Invisible Privilege: Challenging Oppression and
Confronting Privilege: A critical Social Work Approach. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University
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