American Privilege

American Privilege

Privilege is something that is so deeply ingrained in our society that we have become blind to how much it tears us apart.

Welcome to America! Please answer the following questions to determine your level of privilege. Race? Gender? Sexuality? Economic status? Education of your great-great-great grandparents? Make sure you answer correctly because this will be what determines if and how long you live in this country. Also, if your results are undesirable and you end up as one of America’s millions of disadvantaged, you can never mention the fact that you are disadvantaged because you will promptly be attacked by all advantaged members of society.

Privilege has recently become one of the most important topics of conversation in America lately, and mostly it is because so many *cough* privileged Americans have no idea what their privilege even entails. So, here I am, a heterosexual, middle-class, white, privileged American woman, to explain to others what privilege can and does mean in America today.

Privilege is never wondering whether or not your race, sexual orientation or gender will negatively affect how you are treated. Since I am a white woman, who attends a private university and dresses (at least I like to think) semi-fashionably, it is assumed that I come from a wealthy family with highly-educated parents. Because of this, I will never have an employer take a second look at my qualifications, or get a side-eye from a shop clerk. I am not, in fact, from a wealthy family with highly-educated parents, but it is privilege that those things are what is assumed about me.

Privilege is also not knowing what privilege is because you have never experienced anything less. It’s not having to know the story of every gay, black, poor, or disadvantaged person who has been attacked (verbally or physically), or died. Privilege is not having to know those stories because you will never have to worry if you will end up as one of them. When you have privilege, you never have to worry that hard work just won’t be enough. You get to live the American dream, thinking that even if you start at the bottom, you have a chance to get to the top, and things that you have no control over, like the color of your skin or who you love, will not keep you from that.

Privilege takes many forms in American society today, and has since the beginning of our history. The important thing is to recognize that privilege exists, and it is so deeply ingrained in us that we are blind to how much it tears us apart. We cannot be blind to the disadvantages that we as a society allow and continue to talk about unimportant things, like which celebrities are dating. We also cannot just talk about privilege and then not do anything to fix it. Privilege needs to be addressed, not only by the ones that don’t have it, but more importantly by those that do. It’s not a crime to be privileged, it is however, a crime to pretend that you aren’t. We can come together, address the gaps that we allow to grow between us and do our best to tear down the tower of privilege that is blocking out our bright future as a truly united nation.

Cover Image Credit: Human the Movie

Popular Right Now

I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.

Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.


Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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