85 posts tagged with privilege.
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a crime not of lust, but of violence and power

Scholars and activists, poets and playwrights have been writing about rape for centuries. What would the conversation around sexual assault, police bias, and the legal system look like if investigators, police officers, and judges read deeply into the literature on sexuality, racial justice, violence, and power? It is in view of this question that the following syllabus is offered as a scholarly resource—and object of critical discussion and debate—on "rape culture" in the 21st century. Public Books presents a 13-week Rape Culture Syllabus. [more inside]
posted by amnesia and magnets on Oct 19, 2016 - 2 comments

The Queer Poor Aesthetic

There’s a viral and ironic trend that i’ve been lately noticing in and beyond my TQPOC community: my wealthier friends own everything but their class privilege. I couldn’t “be myself” in a space built for people like me. I couldn’t identify with people I shared identities with. The identity that significantly affects my daily life was erased in a culture that consumes identity politics. The only times my anti-capitalist housemates mentioned class was when it was theoretical and not about them personally, as if being marginalized makes you entitled to know how every kind of oppression feels. It’s easy to hide behind your oppression.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood on Sep 28, 2016 - 53 comments

Symbols matter

What I Pledge Allegiance To. "I am a black Mississippian. I am a black American. I pledge to never be passive, patriotic, or grateful in the face of American abuse. I pledge to always thoughtfully bite the self-righteous American hand that thinks it’s feeding us. I pledge to perpetually reckon with the possibility that there will never be any liberty, peace, and justice for all unless we accept that America, like Mississippi, is not clean. Nor is it great. Nor is it innocent." -- Author Kiese Laymon, Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 21, 2016 - 19 comments

"There's a lot about privilege in Singapore, that's not said."

What is your privilege? (Singapore edition) On the occasion of Singapore's 51st Independence this month, UNSAID -- a youth-led arts collective -- staged their country's own version of checking their privilege [original Buzzfeed video] [more inside]
posted by cendawanita on Aug 9, 2016 - 8 comments

The Privilege of Longer Working Hours

We used to think that as living standards improved, less work would deliver more income and thus more leisure time. But now, more and more work hours are what everyone's after. Because in today's economy, the alternative to working more isn't enjoying quality time with friends and family. The alternative is nothing. The American workplace has basically become a Thunderdome where the victors are rewarded with long hours. How insane work hours became a mark of American privilege by Jeff Spross in The Week [via NextDraft]
posted by chavenet on Jun 16, 2016 - 90 comments

A Question of Privilege

Writer Marti Leimbach explores how her personal circumstances make it difficult for her to define privilege. [more inside]
posted by snickerdoodle on Apr 15, 2016 - 89 comments

Grieving the white void

"I was a conscious, left-leaning, intelligent, and compassionate White person. How could I allow the casual racism going on around me to continue unchecked? How could I, too, be host to that parasitic racism?" (SL medium, by Abe Lateiner)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 21, 2016 - 50 comments

"When You're Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression"

A guy walks into another guy, and examines privilege ... and the rage when it is denied. All this anger we see from people screaming “All Lives Matter” in response to black protesters at rallies… All this anger we see from people insisting that THEIR “religious freedom” is being infringed because a gay couple wants to get married… All these people angry about immigrants, angry about Muslims, angry about “Happy Holidays,” angry about not being able to say bigoted things without being called a bigot… [more inside]
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet on Mar 13, 2016 - 101 comments

What's changed and changing about (American) politics?

The three party system - "There are three major political forces in contemporary politics in developed countries: tribalism, neoliberalism and leftism (defined in more detail below). Until recently, the party system involved competition between different versions of neoliberalism. Since the Global Financial Crisis, neoliberals have remained in power almost everywhere, but can no longer command the electoral support needed to marginalise both tribalists and leftists at the same time. So, we are seeing the emergence of a three-party system, which is inherently unstable because of the Condorcet problem and for other reasons." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 4, 2016 - 77 comments

Cumulative and Compounding Opportunity Costs

How do you quantify the effects of things that don't happen to you? "The whole point of living in a culture is that much of the labor of perception and judgment is done for you, spread through media, and absorbed through an imperceptible process that has no single author." (previously; via)
posted by kliuless on Feb 27, 2016 - 2 comments

I’ve become irrationally dedicated to rational living

"Mr. Money Mustache is the alias of a forty-one-year-old Canadian expatriate named Peter Adeney, who made or, more to the point, saved enough money in his twenties, working as a software engineer, to retire at age thirty. We’re not talking millions. More like tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands, which he and his wife diligently salted away at a time of life when most people are piling on debt and living beyond their means. He calculated a way to make these early paychecks last using a strategy of sensible investment and a rigorous, idiosyncratic, but relatively agreeable frugality." [more inside]
posted by missmerrymack on Feb 24, 2016 - 210 comments

Reparations, One Meal at a Time

What's the fairest way to split a check? No, really. What's the fairest way? Equipay. [more inside]
posted by Betelgeuse on Feb 10, 2016 - 22 comments

So what’s your solution?

Professor of Mathematics Izabella Laba's "A Response to … " Scott Aaronson's "Words Will Do". An exchange between a mathematician and a computer scientist, on the use of terms including: privilege, hegemony, false consciousness, mansplaining, etc., and the general problem of clear communication, when the social sciences are applied towards political causes. [more inside]
posted by polymodus on Nov 21, 2015 - 111 comments

Chivalry has fuck all to do with women, and everything to do with horses

"That’s all chivalry is: basic guidelines for how not to be a sack of shit. And as long as a sack of shit is not a good thing to be, chivalry will never die." Myths Retold (previously) clears up a few errors about chivalry. It's a handy guide to privilege, human decency, history, and Arthurian legend ("It turns out you’re not even allowed to see the grail if you thought about a boob once"). [more inside]
posted by babelfish on Oct 16, 2015 - 39 comments

"You and I are in fact unequal."

Male engineering student Jared Mauldin, a senior at Eastern Washington University, wrote a letter to the editor of The Easterner expounding on the differences between him and the women entering his program. [more inside]
posted by headnsouth on Oct 7, 2015 - 49 comments

"Women like me are very lucky and exceedingly rare."

"I've collected the suffering that men so recklessly visited on myself and other women and fashioned it into a livelihood. It is not a fortune but it is a tasteful empire of pain. I might be unlovable but I am not unsellable. I know some women who drink from mugs labeled 'Male Tears.' That's what I've labeled my checking account." Alana Massey for Medium: The Monetized Man.
posted by divined by radio on Sep 30, 2015 - 59 comments

In Hebrew, the word is “Ivri,” which translates as “the other”

Jews in America struggled for decades to become white. Now we must give up whiteness to fight racism.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 22, 2015 - 63 comments

Coming from bad circumstances will kill you, even if you escape them.

Advantaged people with high levels of self-control and resilience age slower. Disadvantaged people with high levels of self-control and resilience age faster.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick on Jul 18, 2015 - 35 comments

Once you let yourself see it, it’s there all the time.

I, Racist "Here’s what I want to say to you: Racism is so deeply embedded in this country not because of the racist right-wing radicals who practice it openly, it exists because of the silence and hurt feelings of liberal America."
posted by scaryblackdeath on Jul 13, 2015 - 68 comments

This is Richard. His parents are doing OK.

A pretty great comic that clearly lays out how (some) privilege works.
posted by Shepherd on May 23, 2015 - 57 comments

Class of 2015

via NYT: "Each year, we put out a call for college application essays about money, work and social class. This year, we picked seven -- about pizza, parental sacrifice, prep school students, discrimination and deprivation."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 21, 2015 - 3 comments

Breaking Ranks with the Unexamined Silences of Their Parents

"To all these ends, the third- , fourth- , and fifth-graders at Lower were to be divided once a week for five weeks into small groups according to their race. In 45-minute sessions, children would talk about what it was like to be a member of that race; they would discuss what they had in common with each other and how they were different, how other people perceived them, rightly or wrongly, based on appearance. Disinhibited by the company of racially different peers, the children would, the school hoped, feel free to raise questions and make observations that in mixed company might be considered impolite. The bigger goal was to initiate a cultural upheaval, one that would finally give students of color a sense of equal owner­ship in the community. Once the smaller race groups had broken up, the children would gather in a mixed-race setting to share, and discuss, the insights they had gained."

The story of one private school's attempt to teach children about race and the reactions of the parents and children involved in the pilot year.
posted by Eyebrows McGee on May 20, 2015 - 26 comments

On My Mom, The Sex She Had, and The Adoption She Didn’t Plan

"For my mother and women like her, now in the final chapters of their lives, people crave a narrative that forces adoption as the only possible solution." "Overwhelmingly then, adoptive parents, like myself, decide how the mothers who birthed our children should be perceived." [more inside]
posted by xarnop on May 9, 2015 - 39 comments

Where There Ain’t No Pain, Ain’t No Sorrow

"Negrotown" In the last forty-eight hours, American television comedy may have just delivered the greatest one-two punch of satire ever. First, we had Amy Shumer's brilliant sketch, "I2 Angry Men Inside Amy Shumer" on Tuesday night (previously, on Metafilter). And now, Key and Peele bring "Negrotown". [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on May 7, 2015 - 42 comments

Looking for Proof of Male Privilege in Your Daily Life?

Here Are 7 Undeniable Examples • By Jon Greenberg @citizenshipsj [more inside]
posted by wonton endangerment on May 7, 2015 - 137 comments

Let Them Eat Privilege

The one percent isn’t some amorphous boogeyman inside all of us... It’s a very real class. And we don’t need a list of cultural “symptoms” of one-percent-style privilege to figure out who they are. Just run the numbers. If your household — or to be generous, the one you grew up in — makes an adjusted gross income of at least $343,000, you are, in fact, the one percent. Even if you smoke meth, went to boot camp, and are on your third marriage. Yes, even if most of your friends didn’t finish college and live kinda far from a Whole Foods. Now, if you or the household you grew up in make an adjusted gross income of less than $340,000, you are, technically, the 99 percent.
Let Them Eat Privilege
posted by y2karl on Apr 22, 2015 - 62 comments

When you have gatekeepers the stories are obviously much more controlled

Oh, honey, food is ALL about power! [more inside]
posted by Lexica on Mar 30, 2015 - 12 comments

Leftist Concepts: Trust (x) vs. Agency (y)

Je ne suis pas liberal: Entering the quagmire of online leftism "Classifying leftist ideology in a framework of agency and trust, I find a buried contradiction at the heart of anti-oppressive activism, one in which practitioners pathologically self-position themselves in a space of chronic moral jeopardy."
posted by lalochezia on Mar 27, 2015 - 115 comments

It's your privilege, and you're entitled to every cent of that sale.

WellDeserved: A Marketplace for Privilege [SLYT]
posted by annekate on Mar 11, 2015 - 25 comments

let it go?

Who Farts? And Who Cares? "Sociologists Martin Weinberg and Colin Williams wanted to know. They and their team interviewed 172 college students about their habits and concerns about farting and pooping. They published their results in an article called Fecal Matters. They discovered that everybody farts and everybody cares, but not everyone cares all the time or equally." [more inside]
posted by flex on Mar 9, 2015 - 78 comments

The Myth of the Gay Community

"I am the gay community that many people think of, that gets to have its voice heard, who considers the prospect of marriage. But it certainly doesn’t end with me." (SL Atlantic)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 30, 2015 - 19 comments

America's Angriest White Men

"A longtime feminist, Kimmel maintains a delicate balance when handling his sources. He wants to be sympathetic to the people he interviews and yet loyal to his academic principles. After a series of humbling recessions and other economic shifts, men like Rick feel emasculated and humiliated, he writes, 'betrayed by the country they love, discarded like trash on the side of the information superhighway.' Their sin, according to Kimmel, is a failure to adjust. These guys refuse to admit they’ve been handed privilege all these years by a world that puts white men on top. White men, he writes, 'have been running with the wind at our backs all these years,' and 'what we think of as ‘fairness’ to us has been built on the backs of others.' The New York Times reviews sociologist Michael Kimmel's 2013 book Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era. [more inside]
posted by quiet earth on Jan 24, 2015 - 70 comments

The failure to reclaim the word "slut"

"For them it was an amazing feminist experience, but it didn’t last." Feminist blogger Jessica Valenti questions the attempt to turn "slut" into something positive:
Tanenbaum told me that, when women are in closed circle or close-knit community – like a protest with like-minded people, or among friends who understand the cheeky appropriation of the word – identifying as a “slut” can be empowering. But what inevitably happens, especially in today’s digital culture where revenge porn, stolen pictures and cyber harassment is the norm, is that “it always spills outwards.”
[more inside] posted by Librarypt on Jan 20, 2015 - 56 comments

How can I learn? How can I help?

"I want first to thank you, watching/reading you advocate is an inspiration. I hope to one day be as articulate and hard-working as you. If you're able, could you point me to some favorite writings on privilege/intersectionality/feminism? I'm interested to see what's inspired/informed you. Thank you!" Writer, feminist (and crafter) Ijeoma Oluo provides ten solid links to educational resources online (caveat: she does state, though, that these links barely scratch the surface.) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jan 13, 2015 - 3 comments

Why is this white man so angry?

White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable. A 2011 paper by Robin DiAngelo, author, Associate Professor of Multicultural Education, and workplace diversity trainer, explores the challenges of confronting racism which result from the inability of white people to accept that they are beneficiaries of a racist system. (PDF)
posted by emjaybee on Jan 10, 2015 - 126 comments

Privilege doesn't mean you don't suffer

On Nerd Entitlement: an essay by Laurie Penny in the New Statesman, responding to a discussion on Scott Aaronson's blog about sexism in STEM fields and nerd culture.
posted by prize bull octorok on Dec 29, 2014 - 670 comments

It's a White Industry

It's a white industry, writes Chris Rock on show biz, from the lowliest focus-group testing gig to being a film executive. [more inside]
posted by aydeejones on Dec 26, 2014 - 220 comments

I don’t think I was born white. I think white children are manufactured.

Quinn Norton: The White Problem & How White People Got Made [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 5, 2014 - 24 comments

sex work: fantasies as commodities, consent, and emotional labor

"In my experience, the reminder that the sexual fantasy isn’t real, that the women who perform availability aren’t ACTUALLY available, that we aren’t ACTUALLY clamouring to be sexualized by men, that we control when the fantasy starts and stops, and that our performance is just that, a performance that requires compensation… well, some men find that hard to swallow." [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 6, 2014 - 127 comments

"A beautiful, obviously mixed race little girl"

"What happens, exactly, when a white family that wants a white sperm donor gets a half-black child instead? In the case of a lesbian couple from Ohio, it means a "wrongful birth" lawsuit against the sperm bank — two years after the fact. " [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 3, 2014 - 280 comments

Take that, Keanu Reeves.

Privilege and oppression explained through math - specifically, matrices and Venn diagrams.
posted by divabat on Oct 1, 2014 - 89 comments

The Cost of Becoming White

"The cost of becoming white is hard to measure. It is ethical rather than material. By passively accepting the privileges of whiteness, Asian-Americans become complicit in America’s present system of hierarchy, a system in which the nation’s institutions inflict ongoing injustices on a racial underclass. Highly paid Asian-American Google employees do not bear more responsibility to combat racial injustice than similarly positioned white people, but they don’t bear less either. Silence and inaction on the part of those receiving privilege only makes it harder for those who are not so lucky to change the status quo." The Complicity Cost of Racial Inclusion.
posted by sunset in snow country on Sep 9, 2014 - 69 comments

"The difference between knowing and understanding"

Matt Zoller Seitz writes about his personal experience with coming to understand his own white privilege, in particular with interactions with police. [more inside]
posted by Librarypt on Sep 3, 2014 - 7 comments


Balls to the Wall: Inside New York City's Thriving Lacrosse Culture
posted by josher71 on Aug 12, 2014 - 14 comments

Fashion Solutions for Hiding from SkyNet

In Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face, technology reporter Robinson Meyer details an experiment in which he tried actually going about his day to day life in downtown Washington DC while wearing CV Dazzle, (previously on MeFi) makeup and hairstyles to confuse facial recognition software. The technique is inspired by the old naval technique of dazzle camouflage, which sought not to conceal a ship, but to confuse viewers as to its size and heading. Similarly, CV Dazzle aims to confuse software by making your face look less like a face and more like a confusing collection of shapes. This proves to have unanticipated effects on how Robinson is perceived by humans as well, leading to insights about how our appearance signals our privilege and place in the social hierarchy, and how that can overlap or conflict with the digital wakes we leave.
posted by Naberius on Jul 24, 2014 - 78 comments

"So, like, what are you?"

A microaggression is defined as "a question, a comment, even an intended compliment, sometimes, that nevertheless suggests something demeaning." (More from NPR.) The Microaggressions Tumblr publishes experiences with all kinds of microaggressions. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Jul 9, 2014 - 98 comments


In March, Lawrenceville School Student Body President Maya Peterson, the first Black woman to be elected to that position, posted a photo to her Instagram account where she depicted what she described to be a “Lawrenceville boi”: white, Republican, and cockily holding a hockey stick. She used the hashtags “#romney2016,” “#confederate,” and “#peakedinhighschool." In response to the backlash from the photo, Maya, who is headed to Wesleyan in the fall, chose to step down. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 7, 2014 - 314 comments

"Maybe I’ll start a fly and broke tumblr or something."

Fat-Booty Butch Buys A Suit On A Budget.
I’m a brown dyke living in the Bronx, working 40 hours a week at an non-profit arts center. I’m finally with it enough to pay all my bills on time, if at all. I’ve got a roof over my head and some change in my savings account. I’m not complaining. It’s been worse for me but fuck, just having a job feels like a blessing sometimes. Living in this city makes it feel like I’m scraping by with every penny just to live. My play money is tight and I don’t know how to sew. I wear clothes until they’ve given up on life and I’m not ashamed. I often wonder how regular people buy new clothes all the time. Clothes in the hood and at super-low discount shops never seem to last very long. Fancy clothes cost so much, like why isn’t everyone just running around in cloth diapers? What is someone like me supposed to do when they need to look good in real life?
[more inside] posted by Lexica on Jul 3, 2014 - 26 comments

"descends recklessly, like an Obama-sanctioned drone"

In the past month since publishing his essay, "Checking My Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege," Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang has become a hero of many in right-wing politics for his refusal to believe that he enjoys privilege. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 3, 2014 - 283 comments

...not a neutral exercise.

"Why Do Chinese People Have Slanted Eyes?" By Amanda Lee Koe (Text essay, possibly nsfw)
posted by zarq on Apr 16, 2014 - 23 comments

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