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Dec. 29th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
Re: definitions?
Agreed -- even though breaking out the word "privilege" makes me twitch a little (because I have seen it used in an accusatory fashion), it's a word with a defined meaning and it enables all of us to have a discussion while using commonly-recognized terms. If I called it *foo* instead of "privilege", the people I'm engaging with aren't necessarily going to have any idea what I'm talking about.

Privilege exists, intersectionality exists, and the kyriarchy exists, and we have to acknowledge that.

But, yes -- while I believe that you didn't mean it that way, agent139, complaining about the language used is a REALLY common derailing tactic when people want to change the subject and turn the discussion away from something they're uncomfortable with, usually examining/unpacking/acknowledging the areas in which they have privilege.

It doesn't have to be accusatory at all -- but it is something that is important to be aware of, and there's no shame in admitting that you have certain kinds of societal privileges which may advantage you in some ways over others.

F'rex, here are a few that describe me -- the first word is the category that applies to me:

Female < Male > Transgender
Invisibly Disabled > Disabled < Able-bodied
Caucasian-appearing > People of Color
Native English Speaker > ESL

So, as you can see, I have some advantages and some disadvantages, but there's nothing for me to apologize for -- however, I do need to be aware of these things and mindfully tailor my behavior so that my actions don't result in being crappy towards other people I share this world with.

Make sense?

-- A <3