What is Privilege?
In this bulletin, we will be discussing the topic of Privilege. You’ll be able to find sections including definitions involving privilege, history, videos, articles/handouts, statistics, and questions to ponder.
Privilege: Unearned access to resources (social power) that are only readily available to some people because of their social group membership; an advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by one societal group above and beyond the common advantage of all other groups. Privilege is often invisible to those who have it.
Social Power: Access to resources that enhance one’s chances of getting what one needs in order to lead a comfortable, productive and safe life.
Target or Oppressed Identities: Social groups that are negatively valued, considered to be inferior, abnormal, or dependent and given limited access to resources and social power.
Agent or Privileged Identities: Social groups that are positively valued considered superior, independent, or “normal” and have access to resources and power.
Christian Privilege: The unearned access, resources and social status systematically given to Christians at the expense of other religious and nonreligious individuals, cultures and institutions.
Class Privilege: The unearned access, resources and social status systematically given to upper-middle, upper, rich and owning class individuals at the expense of working and poor class individuals.
Heterosexual/Straight Privilege: The unearned access, resources and social status systematically given heterosexual/straight individuals at the expense of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and pansexual people.
Male Privilege: The unearned access, resources and social status systematically given to men at the expense of women.
White Privilege: The unearned access, resources and social status systematically given to white people at the expense of people of color.
Adult Privilege: The unearned access, resources and social status systematically given to adults (between age 25 – 55).
Temporarily Able: The unearned access, resources and social status systematically given to people who are physically, psychologically, cogitatively and intellectually able at the expense of people with a disability (physical, psychological, cognitive or learning).
Cis Privilege: The unearned access, resources and social status systematically given to cisgender people at the expense of trans* people.
Cisgender: An individual’s self-perception and expression of gender is the same as their biological sex they were assigned at birth.
Dear White People- Racism Insurance Coverage for White Privilege (White Privilege)
'White Boy Privilege'
A Tale of Two Schools (Class Privilege)
Imagine A World Where Being "Gay" The Norm & Being "Straight" Would Be The Minority! (Heterosexual Privilege)
33 Reasons Why It is GREAT to be Christian in the US (Christian Privilege)
Your Privilege as an Able-Bodied Person
STRAIGHT PEOPLE PRIVILEGES
What is Thin Privilege?
Cisgender and Straight Privilege
- 35 states have no laws against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
- 26% of the United States employers would not promote a qualified gay individual
- 83% of all transgender people report verbal abuse because of their identity or gender presentation
- In New York City, 80% of the police stops were made towards Blacks and Latinos, and 85% were frisked, compared to the 8% of Whites
- African Americans are 33% more likely to be detained than Whites and being faced with felony charges
- 1 in 2.5 women are victims of sexual assault in their lifetime
- Two-thirds of all income growth that occurred between 2001-2007 went to the wealthy class
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
- What social identities (race, class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion) of yours hold privilege in the United States?
- How do you currently use your privilege? Who benefits?
- Are you willing to use your privilege to educate others who ALSO have your privilege but are unaware of it?
- What’s your first memory of your privilege? Is it easy for you to recognize your privilege in everyday situations?