Acknowledge Your Privilege

Acknowledge Your Privilege

Raise Up the Oppressed

In the wake of the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, there has been an outpouring of discussion about human privilege in the United States. Most conversations have turned into arguments affirming or denying the existence of white privilege. White privilege is a Westernized societal privilege that benefits people who racially identify as white. While is is unfair and unjust for one individual to have privilege over another just because of the way they were born- is an unfair and unjust phenomenon, denying it is far worse. As a white person, I fully acknowledge my privilege. I have never feared I would be victim of violence due to my race. I have never been the only white person in a room. I have never been called a racial slur. This fear and isolation leads to racial oppression. My privilege keeps me from ever experiencing an injustice of this magnitude.

Historically, straight, white, wealthy, anglo-saxon, Protestant men have made up the majority of Congress. They are the political elites running our country. It should be no surprise why society normalizes identities of gender, sexuality, race, religion, economic opportunity, and disabilities to coincide with that of the majority. If you do not fit within what is socially acceptable, you are put at a disadvantage.

Privilege expands beyond race. If you are a man, you experience privilege. Society allows you to take up more space. You are likely to never experience slut shaming, cat calling, or sexual harassment. You are less likely to be victim of revenge pornography, sexual assault, or stalking. If you are raped, if is unlikely that you will experience victim blaming because of what you were wearing. It is unlikely that you will be told you were "asking for it". It is unlikely that you will ever feel unsafe because of your gender. You will never be paid less than your opposite gender counterpart for doing the same job.

If you have never been discriminated against because of your gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, income, or mental or physical disability- you experience great privilege. With privilege comes responsibility. You must not overshadow the voices of marginalized groups. You must acknowledge your opportunities and societal benefits and use them to raise up those who are oppressed.

BuzzFeed recently created a quiz to measure your level of privilege on a scale of 0/100. I encourage you to take the quiz and use your results to determine how you should alter the space you occupy in society to coincide with the privilege you maintain simply by living.

Take the Quiz: https://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/how-privileged-ar...



Cover Image Credit: Ambivalently Yours

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The Bests and the Worsts of Trump's First Year In Office

Hard to believe it's been a year....

After about a year of our new president, there is definitely much to be said. There have been highs, and there have been lows (in my opinion, quite a few more), but we are ultimately all still here a year later; this is truly an accomplishment.

Best Moments

1. Calling attention to the integrity of the media

With many fabricated news stories coming out throughout the election cycle and then afterward, it is important to maintain journalistic integrity because this is a vehicle to the truth. Trump has done a good job of bringing this to the forefront of the public mind and reminding us to question everything that we read.

2. Trying to work with Democrats

As America has become more and more polarized lately, it is genuinely positive that he has made SOME effort to bridge the gap and work together.

3. Lowered unemployment

Unemployment is at a 17-year low, and the market is growing. This is part of the natural cycle of the economy, but still -- we need to give him one.

4. Made it easier for military veterans to access therapy

Because we all know they need it after these unnecessary wars.

5. Counterterrorism

Trump has killed militants in Afghanistan without hurting any other civilians.

6. Got us out of school Monday!

Yeah, I felt that traffic from the presidential motorcade here for the CFP Championship...


Worst Moments

1. Like, every tweet.

Uh... has someone told him that the president of the United States of America shouldn't be insulting other countries?

2. Pulled out of the Paris Agreement

Our environment... sustainability... we are now the only country that hasn't signed it.

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This has contributed wildly to stereotyping and Islamophobia within the U.S. We cannot blindly feed prejudice like this and then also claim democracy has a place here.

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Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

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Hey, Do You Even Know What The Feminist Movement Is About?

If you don't think you need feminism – you are entitled to that opinion, but I will keep fighting for us both.

I keep seeing a lot of articles from women claiming that they don’t need feminism. If you think that, fine.

You are entitled to your own opinion no matter how wrong I think it is, but so am I. You may not see all the ways that feminism has touched your life, but I do.

I can use my vote to have a voice in my government. I can choose what’s best for my future in terms of education and career. I have rights over what happens to my body. All outcomes of the fights feminists have fought for women in our country. If you choose not to honor those fights, that is up to you. All choices, however, come with consequences.

What we conceive as our rights have not always been so, and could cease to be so at any time. The last year has proven that the unimaginable can in fact happen and that there are individuals in high stakeholding positions of our country that can make unconstitutional decisions at the drop of a dime.

I need feminism because there are people out there who want to defund health institutions focused on providing necessary services to low-income women, who would otherwise suffer without.

I need feminism because there are people out there who think that a woman still has a certain role to be filled based on their own preconceived notions of what it means to be a woman, rather than an individual woman’s hopes and dreams. I need feminism because there are people out there who think women have an obligation to abide by certain rules that have no standing in the lives of men.

I need feminism because there are people out there who are offended by women using their breasts for their natural, biological intentions but find it perfectly acceptable to use breasts to sell their products by sexualizing the female body in advertisements.

I need feminism because my little brother is six and already thinks there are certain toys he can’t play with because they are “not for little boys”. I need feminism because our criminal justice system cares more about the future of sexual assailants than their victims. I need feminism because there are people out there who find it appropriate to scream out profanities to women on the street and find no issue with making women feel uncomfortable as they go about an average day. I need feminism because when I bring up any of these issues or even claim myself as a feminist I am responded to with rolled eyes and tightened facial features. People are literally rolling their eyes at the idea of equality.

Oh, you don’t like feminists because you think they are extremists? There are extremists in literally any identifiable group of people you look at. There are conservatives, and then there are alt-right neo-Nazi white supremacists. There are Muslims, and then there is ISIS. There are Christians, and then there are Westboro Baptists. None of these groups are defined by those who take their definitions and doctrines into their own hands and mold them into identities to hide behind while they fulfill their own agendas. The same is true for feminists.

Feminism is about equality of all people (regardless of their gender, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, race, religion, or whatever other categories by which we can further define people). Feminism looks to alleviate inequality as it relates to and is caused by patriarchal norms and misogynistic attitudes. If that sounds anything like hating men or just being too lazy to shave or whatever other stereotypes you can think of, then you are grossly missing the point.

This is why I need feminism. I need it for myself, my mother, my grandma, my brother, my niece, my nephew, my neighbor, my community.

So if you don’t think you need feminism I am truly happy for you that you haven’t yet felt the oppression that women all over the country are facing, but I strongly urge you to really re-evaluate what you think feminism is and why you don’t think you need it. If you still feel the same way – you are entitled to that opinion, but I will keep fighting for us both.

Cover Image Credit: The Anti Feminist Bank//Facebook

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