Privilege is defined as having unearned entitlements which are “things of value that no one should have to earn, they should be universal to all.” However, when only certain groups are alotted such unearned entitlements, it gives way to becoming an unearned advantage. [referencing Braden’s lecture on the subject matter]
I chose the photo below as it depicts a man who knows that he is privileged through circumstance of having the persona of an elderly white male. He is the epitomy of what is considered privileged in the eyes of society and he knows it. The sign he is holding which reads “defend rights for women and girls” is, yes, inspiring and commendable however it is sad that in our society when women want to speak up against men, men must still speak for them in order that their voice will really be heard by the majority(how does that make any sense?!)
Now privilege does also dig a little deeper than whether one is a man or woman. Privilege can be based upon one’s race, financial situation, education level, sexuality, style of dress, etc.etc.etc.
It’s true a white woman has privilege over a minority woman. It’s true a white man has privilege over a minority man, a minority woman, and a white woman. While this is, horrifyingly, true this does not make it right. This system of privilege persists because it is not challenged. Yes, there are exceptions- for instance if one is a queen, king, innovative mind, etc. then perhaps they become the privileged ones. However, even that does not make it “okay”. There should be no ranking system- why should anybody be placed higher on the scale of importance above anybody else? Are we not all human? This man in the picture shows just through his actions and few words that he understands there is injustice, and he understands he is a part of the system that is allowing it to continue- but he is not standing for it, he is standing against it. He’s decided to take his advantage and use it to make it so that the oppressed will be heard (at least by those who walk by him on the street or come across the image as I did).
Privilege exists, it persists, and will only continue as long as the oppressed continue to play into what society believes that “their place” is- below those deemed “privileged”.