privilege

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last week i shared an article on facebook about white male privilege. some people were offended by the article and the quote i highlighted, and respectfully disagreed. some disagreed less respectfully, but one person actually said that i had no right to speak on privilege because of the privilege i have as a white woman from an affluent community. i think people hear “you have privilege” and understand it to be an insult. they are offended because they think that being accused of having privilege is a condemnation, an indictment. it is uncomfortable to acknowledge the power differential in our society, and no one wants to think of themselves as oppressors. but i don’t believe that having privilege means you are a bad person necessarily – it depends what you do with it. none of us chose our class, race, or gender. none of us created the power structure that gives privilege to some and not others. but we can choose to spread awareness about the inequality in our society. we can choose to not be complicit. we can start conversations with our peers and encourage them to see the advantages they have. i believe starting a conversation about privilege is the least i can do to begin to dismantle these structures and encourage change. but maybe people don’t want things to change. change in the power structure, true equality would inevitably mean they would lose the advantages they are so used to having that they have become invisible. it’s sad to see that fear cause someone to cite the fact that i “want teach yoga as a life calling” (not sure when i said it was a life calling) as evidence that my voice is invalid. i don’t know if his mention of that was meant to point out that i’m appropriating, which i have and continue to acknowledge. but i have a feeling it was just meant to hurt and invalidate me. thankfully, i know that my voice is valid. and i have a lot of amazing friends who understood my intent in sharing the article. i don’t regret starting the conversation. it helped me shine a light on some people who clearly don’t really support me and don’t deserve to be on my “friends” list. i’m gonna keep talking about the uncomfortable things. join me.