Check your privilege

It’s a phrase thrown around by social justice types, but it’s also a fun game. My contention is that everyone has a set of privileges and while you might think someone else has a better set than you, it is often the case that they’re looking at you and thinking the same thing. Just like people with straight hair who want curly hair and vice versa.

Here are my privileges in no particular order

Privileges of small breasts

  • Bras are for decoration only, and cheap. Can find them for $2.50 on clearance because no one buys my size.
  • No back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, strap pain, constriction pain. No pain at all.
  • No one stares at my chest.
  • I never have to wonder if someone only likes me for my breasts.
  • Every clothing item my size fits and looks “professional”

Privileges of being Asian

  • Anywhere I go, people assume I belong there because Asians are “rule-following.”
  • I am assumed to be competent, especially at subjects like math.
  • If security screening is discretionary, I am never chosen for additional screening.
  • I am never suspected of shoplifting.
  • Even when I haven’t washed my hair in a month or changed clothes in a week (and look utterly homeless) strangers treat me with respect. Sales clerks especially.
  • When I look at a stranger, they smile at me. (Maybe I smile first. I don’t know.)

Privileges of being short

  • I can buy clothes from the children’s section. Usually about 50% less expensive.
  • I am comfortable in economy class and can sleep during long haul flights.
  • I never, ever hit my head on fixtures, doorways, or anything hanging from ceilings.
  • I can outsource all tasks requiring height.

Anyway, this game works for any category you can think of. If you’ve decided that privilege is something only certain categories of people have, you’re wrong. No matter what category you fall into, you have your own set of privileges and you may as well make the most of them instead of being bitter about the privileges others have that you don’t.

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