The Reality of Privilege

The Reality Of Privilege

You win some, you lose some.

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Privilege is not an easy thing to acknowledge because of the fact that it undermines others. We all have privilege one way or another and unfortunately, many of us do not realize it which does not lead towards a positive change in society.

Society has segregated us with the creation of social constructs and have made humanity a competition of survival of the fittest.

It wasn't until I got into college that I thoroughly learned about privilege. In community college I took a course titled 'Sociology of Gender' in which we dove into intersectional feminism and discussed the topic of privilege in relation to it. I learned that intersectional feminism allows for privilege to be acknowledged and promotes it to be used as advantage to help those who lack it.

This class really had me thinking about my own privilege and how I can use it to help those who lack the privilege that I have and fight to receive more resources even when I am not fully privileged.

In this Westernized society, the most privileged individual is a white, attractive, fit, straight, able-bodied, and wealthy, Christian male. I lack most of those privileges as a white-passing, relatively attractive, not quite fit, straight, able-bodied, poor, Catholic female. Even though I am not the most privileged person in this world, I am aware that others have it worse than me. Being aware of my own privilege has allowed me to take initiative and be open minded.

In this political era that exists currently in the United States, I am sometimes get scared say I am Mexican since I lack the privilege of being a citizen but I am white-passing so I have never gotten yelled at by a racist twat telling me "to go back to my country". Those who have gotten harassed by those racist remarks are most likely citizens of this country and do not deserve to feel unwanted nor less of a human because they have darker melanin or speak another language. Instances like these have made me feel like I deserve those comments more because I am privileged to be white passing and am able to speak perfect English.

Privilege has made me realize that I need to step up to the plate to the social issues that affect my livelihood and my community. I never want to ever again feel harassed and be undermined because of my status in this country, my gender, my religion, my physical appearance, my economic status but it is impossible to dodge those bullets with this political era.

Go vote and use your privilege to become educated and help those around you.

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What Does Equality Mean To America?

Does America truly have the equality it preaches?
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Equality is a right given to all the citizens of the United States of America, and the quote “all men are created equal” was a central idea in the Declaration of Independence, one of the most influential documents in our country’s history. Equality is everyone having the same fundamental rights, no matter the circumstance. Equality is everyone having the same worth. Although equality is a key tenet dating back to the founding of our country, it is not fully honored, even to this day. Many minority groups do not receive complete equality, both economically and socially. Equality is a lofty goal our country still strives toward.

We must keep continue to strive toward equality in this day in age. Already, our nation has progressed. We have given all citizens the right to vote, the rights to many basic freedoms citizens of other countries simply do not possess. We have the right to free speech, more freedom than 40% of the planet. We have the right to bear arms, the right to fair trial, among numerous other freedoms.

Yet, the United States is not perfect. Social equality still has not arrived for many African Americans and Latinos, with arrest and conviction rates much higher than their white counterparts still prevalent. These minorities suffer social injustice and prejudice. Muslim Americans have oft been falsely accused and derided because of their religion. Economic equality has not been realized either, and a wage gap of 20% persists.

But, we can change this. Us as a nation must stand for equality and strive for the ideal world where everyone is equal.

Cover Image Credit: Surge

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You Shouldn't Be Ashamed Of Your Black Hair, Don't Let Anyone Tell You Differently

Growing up in predominantly white schools changed the way I felt about myself, including embracing my hair, but other people's opinion shouldn't stop you from embracing the beauty of your culture.

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Throughout my entire life, something I struggled with was my hair, even though I never really talked about it. I had never been very confident in it, and as I started to do it on my own, I struggled with keeping it healthy and eventually had to keep cutting it short to hide how damaged it was (still is).

I was constantly straightening it and got to a point where I was relaxing it every 3-4 weeks instead of the minimum point of 2-3 months. Every time it looked frizzy in the slightest, I'd text my mom and ask if she'd be able to lather on the chemicals that night. I thought what I was doing was okay and that my hair would somehow manage to become healthy again on its own, but it took me a really long time to admit to myself that I was damaging my hair because of my own insecurities.

This is the first time I'm being completely honest about all of these thoughts.

My first encounter with negative opinions about my hair was when I was in preschool, K4 to be exact, at a predominantly white school. I don't even remember much of it myself, but my mom would tell me how I would come home crying about kids calling me names such as "poodle" and would just constantly pick on me. All because of my hair. Sure, it may not seem that much now, but I was 4 years old. So, my mom decided to relax my hair, thinking that it'd make everything better.

But here comes the third grade. I was new at school and my only close friend was the only other black girl in my class. When my hair had gotten a bit wet during a relay race on field day, a kid in my class touched it and proceeded to ask why it felt like wheat grass.

That's when I stopped letting people touch my hair.

Constantly throughout middle school, I'd get told I had "white girl hair" and black girls would thrust their hand up my scalp to feel for weave tracks. This just encouraged me to do even more damage. But during the summer in-between grades, I would get my hair braided, and friends would text me asking "Why would you get a weave?" Just a few months ago, I had friends saying "I'm glad you never get a weave. I hope you never do that to your hair." This discouraged me from taking the precautions I should have been using to keep my hair protected, its fragile state not being made for being chemically straightened but to bounce freely as natural curls.

It had been almost 5 years since the last time I have braided my hair or done any protective styling in general because these things and the negative way my "friends" talked about me for it were sticking with me, making me think it was wrong to protect my hair. But now I plan on embracing the beauty of my hair and doing whatever I want, and whatever I think is necessary to help it while looking absolutely gorgeous while doing it, no matter what these "friends" think about it.

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