Am I privileged? Probably.
But do I care? Now that's the real question.
I'm never one to be scared of confrontation. I never fear talking about the controversial hot topics everyone's whispering about. Feel free to pick my brain about sexual assault, abortions, and LGBTQ rights and don't even get me started on "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces."
Privilege is the one thing I'm scared to touch.
When I start thinking about this topic I think, why is this so scary and taboo? Why, when I speak the word privilege does it seems like the whole world stops and stares? Maybe because it does. When I told a few friends and family members my topic for this week, they instantly got uncomfortable, and many of them informed me that I have no right to talk about privilege at all.
Maybe I don't, but I'm not sure why.
The formal definition of privilege is, "A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people."
Sure, I have my share of advantages, and yes, sometimes I can be ignorant about how I demonstrate that. But I'm learning, and I'm not trying to upset anyone.
Having these advantages in life almost makes it impossible to truly accomplish anything. Nothing I do, and no matter how hard I work, I still can't take credit for it. Because I'm white from an upper-class family. I cringe at myself for even putting it out there like that to be misconstrued. That's not the foot I like to enter with. When I walk in a room, I want people to judge me on my intelligence and competence.
But they don't. All they see a spoiled girl.
I know, poor me. I have to deal with being hated on for my privilege. God, I would hate me too. It sounds so ironic and pathetic especially compared to the problems a lot of people deal with.
I'm defined by a definition of a life I haven't lived, and I live under the weight of assumptions about me and my life. My appearance and possessions tell a version of my childhood that didn't exist.
The first ten years of my life were hard. Like actually a lot of it sucked, but looking at me now you assume I'm where I am because of a privileged life that lacked any form of struggle. And yes I might be privileged, but it doesn't mean everything has always been easy for me. Sometimes I just feel like I'm being put in a box.
The (sometimes warranted) shaming and aggression towards and around privilege is often unnecessary. I try and "check my privilege." Maybe I'm doing a lousy job, but I'm trying. Me existing and living my life was not meant to offend anyone.
So I'm sorry. I think the main point I'm trying to make is that I am scared of my privilege and what it says about me. It leaves an unsightly cast over my accomplishments, but I'm not mad about that. Maybe just confused.
This is me just saying I want to educate myself and learn more about what makes privilege so controversial so I can partake in conversations without sounding like a prick. I believe knowledge can help take away the stigma and eventually, that's what I hope is accomplished.