"Popular privilege is the privileges entitled to those who are considered to be 'popular' or well liked," according to the mission statement
of a Tumblr called "This Is Popular Privilege
." The site's author says that she is 14, gay, a high school student, and an enthusiast of cats and anime.
Responses to the Tumblr range from gratitude
and examples of
privilege in action
in high schools to, more often, scorn
, which the author tackles quite aggressively. "While I do believe popular privilege is a thing, I need you to know that, for all your intentions, this blog isn't helping," wrote
one commenter, quite neatly representing one side in the ages-old "Is it our job to object or to educate?" debate. (See previously: Privilege-checking and callout culture
"I’m all for the eradication of all oppression, including white privilege, male privilege, ableism, homophobia, etc. Popular privilege is the war I’ve decided to start with first, though," the author recently explained
Does "popularity privilege," which the author points out often stems from innate or genetic characteristics ("like good looks, or jockishness
")... exist? Well, popular high school kids
make more money when they enter the workforce: "popularity pays because those who learn to play the game in high school are figuring out what they need to know to succeed when they enter the workplace," according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. And now, more than ever, high school is forever: "Before Facebook, there was a real discontinuity between our high-school selves and the rest of our lives," said Rutgers sociologist Keith Hampton
, after a 2011 study showed that 22 percent of our Facebook friends are from high school.
And if so, what can we do? "We should DESTROY the caste system and all be considered fucking equals," our author suggests
The author has returned to the site after what she says is a recent grounding for failing a class and continues to maintain that she is dead serious and not at all a troll.