Is privilege based on identity?

Still Living In A World Where Privilege Is Based On Our Identity

I'm not bashing anyone, I'm just stating the truth.

Still Living In A World Where Privilege Is Based On Our Identity
Jessica Tran

For a homework assignment, I had to read an article called "What Privilege Really Means (And Doesn't Mean)" that I highly recommend. The simple definition of privilege is "a set of unearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group." However, the word privilege is often misinterpreted because it is thought that a group of people hates another group. That's just not the case.

As Maisha Z. Johnson, the writer of the article would put it, "If you get upset when someone points out that you have privilege, that probably means you don't fully understand what privilege is."

My own understanding of privilege is completely different compared to others. Everyone has a different experience with it. No one is able to understand the other side of the wall of each others' privilege, even me. I grew up, not worrying about where my next meal is going to come from. Losing my dad and I had things paid for me so I could focus on my education.

I wouldn't ever understand if someone couldn't eat for days, worked multiple jobs to pay for everything or have both parents. However, I could have some similarities with others but the understanding of each others' privilege is not the same.

The concept of privilege is correlated with one's identity. I'm Vietnamese, Buddhist, and a female college student. I feel like the majority of the things that I identify as being considered as a minority and targeted by society. It may be the 21st century but nothing has really changed. Women may be able to vote and African Americans can do what they want but honestly thinking about, this wouldn't even happen if we didn't have laws. I mean, this should be given as a right, not a privilege. If it happened to the dominant population, they would think the same way but they would never experience it because it's never going to happen. So for you to experience what a minority goes through, here's how the world is through my eyes.

Since I live in the United States, Christianity is dominant in this country. I went to a preschool where I learned everything about Christianity. However, I was never truly taught of Buddhism until I started going to temple. It seemed that I was battling my idea of what religion I wanted to implicate in my life. If I chose Christianity, then I would fit into society but wouldn't feel like myself but if I didn't, I felt as if people would view me in a way that I was going against Christians. I mean, a few days ago, there was an organization that went up to people and asked a question: do you believe in Jesus? Why or why not? If you said you don't because you believe in a different religion, it felt like you were being judged. Here's the truth: EVERY religion is the same, the messages that it is presented but the way it is taught and developed is different.

Growing up Asian, I feel like the majority of other populations view me as a target for them to take down. There are many times where I see in the news of people being attacked because of the language are speaking. Thankfully, I never had this experience but I think that having this hatred causes regret for those who grew up in speaking two different languages.

In my personal experience, I grew up speaking English and Vietnamese. When I was younger, it was easier for me to understand and speak Vietnamese because my parents speak Vietnamese as their first language. Going through this experience, it made it difficult for me to comprehend what was happening in school. Oftentimes, I was made fun of or told by a teacher that I need to work harder in school, implying that I should just speak more English. These reasons caused me to shut my mouth. However, having the privilege of speaking a different language is something that should be celebrated not attacked but I never really recognized it at a young age because I just wanted to fit in. I rarely spoke Vietnamese, afraid that someone will throw hatred towards my way or makes comments about my communication skills.

Now, I realize that I have regrets about that because it's difficult to communicate with my non-English speaking relatives and my understanding of Vietnamese is slowly slipping away. Now, all I can think about is having a society that I was born in, push this idea of being a "perfect" American.

Let me be real for a second: We may not notice anything because we are immune to it and it's heartbreaking to think that minorities can sometimes be ashamed of who they are. However, embracing ourselves and others can allow for everyone to flourish and stop this cycle of madness.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Things You Need To Know About Our NEW Bachelorette, Tayshia Adams

Could THIS be the most dramatic season in "Bachelorette" history?

Bombshell news coming from Bachelor Nation today, Tayshia Adams is replacing Clare Crawley as the bachelorette!

Rumor has it that Clare found her person early on in the process and did not want to continue with the process of leading other men on throughout the season.

Keep Reading... Show less

The NBA is back, and for basketball fans, like myself, it has been the BEST news we have heard since COVID-19 shutdown play indefinitely. I mean, come on, we need to see if James Harden can once again perform so well he has back-to-back 50 point games, Kawhi can lead another team to the championship title, and whether Giannis is going to be back-to-back MVP... among like 500 other things running through our heads!

In the midst of all of the amazing statistics and records that these players are breaking, though, we also just love the NBA because well, there are some pretty good looking guys out there. Here are the 19 hottest NBA players (in no particular order) you would totally let slam dunk on you now that the NBA has returned.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About Macronutrients, Because A Diet Should Be More Than Calories

Pay attention to what you're eating, not just how much you're eating.

Plenty of people are familiar with the "calories in, calories out" (CICO) method of dieting which can be used for losing, gaining, or maintaining weight. This method relies on calculating a person's total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) to ensure that they are not overeating or undereating to achieve their desired weight. TDEE considers a person's height, weight, age, gender, and level of activity to determine what their caloric intake should be — some calculators can factor in body fat percentage as well. When I used a TDEE calculator online, it said that my TDEE would be 1,990 calories if I was trying to maintain my weight, but are all calories created equal? I'd argue that they're not.

It might seem obvious to some of you that 1,990 calories of macaroni and cheese are not healthy at all compared to 1,990 calories of varied foods (fruit, veggies, meat, bread, etc.).

Keep Reading... Show less

Just Because You're Asked To Be In A Wedding, Doesn't Always Mean You Should Say Yes

If you can't invest time, money, and YOURSELF, maybe say no to the offer for the bride's sake!

Being in a wedding is a really big commitment. I personally think if you've never been in one before, you don't understand the time, money, and energy that goes into being a part of it.

Keep Reading... Show less

- Though as a little girl, I had the silkiest, softest hair that would get compliments everywhere I went, since I turned about thirteen I've since had coarse, dry hair no amount of deep conditioning masks or sulfate-free shampoo could fix.

- I started using the Raincry's Condition Boar Bristle Brush several months ago, and while I noticed that my hair had been softer, silkier, and shinier than it had ever been, I didn't make the connection because I never thought a simple hairbrush could make any difference in my hair texture.

- I will be the first to admit that I thought it was ridiculous to spend nearly a hundred dollars on a hairbrush, but this one eliminates the need for me to use any heat tools or styling products on it.

- I put some oil or a serum in my hair when it's wet, brush my hair with the boar bristle brush once it's dry, and end up with the lowest maintenance, shiniest hair I've had since I was 8 years old.


Keep Reading... Show less

Bingeing a romantic comedy is always a good idea, and during this pandemic, these movies bring us one of the only elements of romance we can get. Through all the break-ups, obstacles, and struggles in our love lives, romantic comedies have always been there to make us laugh and keep us company while we cry.

While we love these movies for the beyond gorgeous male love interests, the female protagonists are still the ones we always remember. Although rom-coms are far from reality, it is always fun to imagine what our life would be like if a cinematic studio was behind our love life. So what does your favorite romantic comedies say about your dream guy?

Keep Reading... Show less

Whether you're in an unhealthy relationship currently, you know someone who is, or you just want to have these numbers saved just in case it could one day save someone's life (if not your own), this article is for you. Here are three numbers to save in your contacts ASAP so you can always be safe, both physically and mentally, in every relationship.

Keep Reading... Show less

As any poor college student, a little kick of caffeine for less than a dollar has always sounded great to me. So, naturally, AriZona Iced Tea has been a go-to for as long as I can remember.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Dear Closeted Latina,

You were never alone.

Remember how the Latin world got rocked when Ricky Martin came out?

Keep Reading... Show less

If you're anything like me, you're probably anxious about going back to college. The uncertainty of nearly everything is stressful and makes it difficult to prepare for going back to campus. Take it one step at a time and remain calm! If nothing else, take a look at this list of six essentials for living on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic! You got this!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments