The year is 2018, and you, a straight, white male in a middle-class household does not understand exactly how it is possible that there are marginalized groups of people who struggle more than you. Shocking, I know!
Believe it or not, there are people who will struggle more than you. Until you are discriminated against based on your race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, you cannot pretend that you belong to a marginalized group. That is not to say that if you do not fall within those lines that you are incapable of struggling or of being discriminated against; it means that your race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, and sexual orientation do not make your life harder simply by existing outside of the constructive societal norm in the area of which you preside. Now it is time for you to check your privilege!
Are you complaining about not getting a job because a company believes it needs more women represented? Check your privilege, women have only had the right to vote for less than 100 years and still experience gender-specific discrimination.
Are you upset that the school you've applied to has rejected you, but has accepted someone who has similar test scores and is a different nationality than you? Check your privilege, the majority of collegians are either of white American or Asian descent.
Are you frustrated that you have to pay more money for health insurance because healthcare is now available to more people across the United States? Check your privilege. United State citizens are dying due to lack of affordable healthcare.
Are you angry that a student who celebrates a different holiday than you gets exempt from an activity because of their religious beliefs? Check your privilege. 30% of Americans practice a non-christian religion, and based on the free exercise principle of the US Constitution, it is within their rights to observe their respective holidays.
Are you angry that your neighbors get to be married? And adopt children who would otherwise be in the foster care system? And have the same rights as two straight people getting married? Check your privilege. A child in a home to gay parents is safer and far more stable than a child living in or aging out of the foster care system.
It is 1978360497% acceptable to find yourself frustrated when you do not succeed at something you want. It is acceptable to feel downtrodden by this dilemma. It is acceptable to reevaluate what could have caused someone else to be more successful than you in a field that you wanted to obtain. It is NOT acceptable to blame the wear down of institutionalized discrimination on the lack of your success. No one is arguing that you cannot struggle. No one is arguing that you were fairly treated. No one is arguing that life cannot suck for you for a while. But life for you as a nonmember of a marginalized minority will never be as difficult as it is for those who are actively discriminated against for their race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. You cannot change who you are, but you can always think introspectively and check your privilege to understand that yes, it can suck for you, but that your blame cannot be on the fact that minority groups now have the same rights that straight, white, middle-class men have had in the United States since before the Revolutionary War. That's not how it works.
Check out the hyperlinks above to educate yourself on events happening in the United States for individuals that belong to different racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and LGBTQ+ communities. Also, thank you to anyone who read this, acknowledged that this is not an attack on all straight, white, middle-class men, and understood that socioeconomic struggle is relative to those who experience it. Have an enlightened day!