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Quantifying Privilege

tvellalott
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3/18/2016 4:13:45 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
So, I'm still thinking a lot about this concept of privilege and how to quantify it.

So, first I want to look at the traits of the privileged, as far as what I've read regarding those who claim social disadvantage.
Breaks down like this:
Race: The 'less-white' someone is, the less they enjoy racial privilege.
Sex: Woman are less privileged than men.
Gender: Cisgender people are more priviliged than transgender folk.
Sexuality: Straight people are more privileged than non-straight.
Ableness: Able people are more privileged than disabled people.
Class/Wealth: Rich people are more privileged than poor people.

I think this is fairly representative of the general consensus on privilege amongst those talking about it.

So, the big one is racial privilege. It undoubtedly exists. However, not all white people are more privileged than all non-white people. Some non-white people are far, far more privileged than some white people.
It occurs to me that perhaps being black is a negative more than being white is a positive. This definitely seems the case in some parts of America. Therefore, I'd argue that being black comes with anti-privilege, rather than that being white comes with privilege. The reason I specify blackness instead of broader non-whiteness is because Asians definitely don't possess the same sort of (if any) anti-privilege as African Americans.

Sexual privilege is far less complicated. In the Western world, men and woman possess the same basic human rights, gender specific issues aside (like reproductive rights and whatnot). However, what amazes me is that people think men and women should be treated 'the same'. Wot? That can literally never happen in a highly social, sexually dimorphic species like Humans. Men are going to treat other men differently to woman. Woman are going to treat other woman differently to how they treat men. Sure, let's continue the path towards everyone have common decency and manners, but expecting to change the sexual paradigm is just retarded.

Gender privilege is highly complicated. I don't know enough about transgender children (Loius Theroux has a documentary on the subject which I want to have a look at) to want to comment on it at all. Transgender adults on the other hand, are not so complicated. People are afraid of what they don't understand and transgenderism is often difficult to understand. Clearly if someone has successfully reached 'passing' stage, they will be (mostly) able to live as the gender they identify with. Up to that stage, one will likely suffer a lot of ignorance and jerkish behaviour. I think this is another case of negative-privilege for transfolk, rather than positive-privilege for cisgendered people.

Sexuality-based privilege is fairly clean-cut. We are making great steps towards equal rights for gay people and within another decade or two, this will hopefully be a non-issue. On a social level, gay people are discriminated against when they are identified by a homophobe; if you aren't obviously gay (wearing non-flamboyant clothes, not acting/speaking in a camp way), you're unlikely to be treated any differently from any other man. If you are, you may make people uncomfortable and they may treat you differently.

Next up is able privilege. The disabled suffer from negative-privilege. Able people, do not benefit from being able.

Finally we have class/wealth privilege. The rich have privilege over the poor.

What is the point I'm getting at here?
My point, is that being a white, straight, cisgender, able man doesn't make me privileged. Nope, sorry, it doesn't. My privilege is 0.
However, I would agree that a black, straight, cisgender able man is less privileged than me. His privilege is -1.

The analogy for all this I would use is a race.
Two twin brothers of equal fitness line up to race.
These would be two people of 'equal' privilege.
Add the factor of performance enhancing drugs to one of the brothers.
This is a positive privilege.
Add the factor of handicapping one of the brothers with a leg brace.
This is a negative privilege.
Add the factor of, instead of two brothers, it's a brother and a sister of equal fitness.
The brother wins the race, because sexual dimorphism. This is not privilege.

TL;DR: Not being disadvantaged is not the same as being advantaged.
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Maikuru
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3/18/2016 4:26:53 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 4:13:45 AM, tvellalott wrote:

Here's a brief introductory article on the differences between privilege and disadvantage, as well as the difference between being a member of a privileged group and personally experiencing privileged circumstances. I can offer more resources if you or anyone is interested. I don't have them at my fingertips right now.

https://justdessertsblog.wordpress.com...
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FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,240
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3/18/2016 12:54:27 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 3/18/2016 4:13:45 AM, tvellalott wrote:
So, I'm still thinking a lot about this concept of privilege and how to quantify it.

So, first I want to look at the traits of the privileged, as far as what I've read regarding those who claim social disadvantage.
Breaks down like this:
Race: The 'less-white' someone is, the less they enjoy racial privilege.
Sex: Woman are less privileged than men.
Gender: Cisgender people are more priviliged than transgender folk.
Sexuality: Straight people are more privileged than non-straight.
Ableness: Able people are more privileged than disabled people.
Class/Wealth: Rich people are more privileged than poor people.

I think this is fairly representative of the general consensus on privilege amongst those talking about it.

So, the big one is racial privilege. It undoubtedly exists. However, not all white people are more privileged than all non-white people. Some non-white people are far, far more privileged than some white people.
It occurs to me that perhaps being black is a negative more than being white is a positive. This definitely seems the case in some parts of America. Therefore, I'd argue that being black comes with anti-privilege, rather than that being white comes with privilege. The reason I specify blackness instead of broader non-whiteness is because Asians definitely don't possess the same sort of (if any) anti-privilege as African Americans.

Sexual privilege is far less complicated. In the Western world, men and woman possess the same basic human rights, gender specific issues aside (like reproductive rights and whatnot). However, what amazes me is that people think men and women should be treated 'the same'. Wot? That can literally never happen in a highly social, sexually dimorphic species like Humans. Men are going to treat other men differently to woman. Woman are going to treat other woman differently to how they treat men. Sure, let's continue the path towards everyone have common decency and manners, but expecting to change the sexual paradigm is just retarded.

Gender privilege is highly complicated. I don't know enough about transgender children (Loius Theroux has a documentary on the subject which I want to have a look at) to want to comment on it at all. Transgender adults on the other hand, are not so complicated. People are afraid of what they don't understand and transgenderism is often difficult to understand. Clearly if someone has successfully reached 'passing' stage, they will be (mostly) able to live as the gender they identify with. Up to that stage, one will likely suffer a lot of ignorance and jerkish behaviour. I think this is another case of negative-privilege for transfolk, rather than positive-privilege for cisgendered people.

Sexuality-based privilege is fairly clean-cut. We are making great steps towards equal rights for gay people and within another decade or two, this will hopefully be a non-issue. On a social level, gay people are discriminated against when they are identified by a homophobe; if you aren't obviously gay (wearing non-flamboyant clothes, not acting/speaking in a camp way), you're unlikely to be treated any differently from any other man. If you are, you may make people uncomfortable and they may treat you differently.

Next up is able privilege. The disabled suffer from negative-privilege. Able people, do not benefit from being able.

Finally we have class/wealth privilege. The rich have privilege over the poor.

What is the point I'm getting at here?
My point, is that being a white, straight, cisgender, able man doesn't make me privileged. Nope, sorry, it doesn't. My privilege is 0.
However, I would agree that a black, straight, cisgender able man is less privileged than me. His privilege is -1.

The analogy for all this I would use is a race.
Two twin brothers of equal fitness line up to race.
These would be two people of 'equal' privilege.
Add the factor of performance enhancing drugs to one of the brothers.
This is a positive privilege.
Add the factor of handicapping one of the brothers with a leg brace.
This is a negative privilege.
Add the factor of, instead of two brothers, it's a brother and a sister of equal fitness.
The brother wins the race, because sexual dimorphism. This is not privilege.

TL;DR: Not being disadvantaged is not the same as being advantaged.

The double think expressed in this variety of social construct, to me, is unhealthy.

Privilege: "a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people."

So, who grants it? A privilege can only be used if its given. What all this flap is about is really social and cultural stereotyping. Its like stating the captain of the school yard basketball team picks the black kids because the stereotype is that black kids are good at sports, then calling it black privilege. Its a crock. Calling it ______ privilege infers something is being taken when instead its being given.
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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someloser
Posts: 1,377
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3/20/2016 2:26:15 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
I'd be particularly interested in taking a more empirical approach when it comes to evaluating the "privilege"/associated CT-derived worldviews.

Particularly, why it seems to be the preferred "lens" for many.
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