Thursday, September 9, 2010

Privilege, Part 2

I discussed the subject of being privileged in a previous post.  This post is going to look at privilege from the other side.  Apologies for the delay in following up!  A conversation between @mymilkspilt@noxceptions@TheDiscourse on Twitter a while ago about how there is no opposite to feminism or fat acceptance got me thinking.  Of course, there are men who are feminists and who write about gender issues in general (such as Michael Kimmel, about whom this post at Feministing was written, which also influenced my "Privilege" posts).  But generally, if you're a part of the dominant culture, it can be hard for you to notice and acknowledge your privilege.

I've been lucky in that I haven't been exposed to too much bigotry, but there have been moments that my fatness or my femaleness or some other aspects of "otherness" have been an issue for someone.  Part of my fat acceptance journey has been learning to notice that more and to not accept it.  Privilege is one of those things that you don't really notice until it's gone.  When I got fat enough that I could no longer shop at most straight-sized stores, I realised what a privilege it was to be able to see something in a store window and walk in and buy it without getting strange or hostile looks or comments from the store staff.  When I moved to Oz, my Kiwiness became a defining part of me, and I was mocked for it.

I guess my point is that everyone has situations in which they lose their privilege, and that the more people are exposed to these situations, the more they will understand other people who are less privileged than they.  Fatshionista recently did a great post on appearance-based privilege.

I've been stewing over this post for a while and I'm still not totally happy with it, however, I want to get it out there.  I think the problem is that when I start talking about losing privilege I feel like a spoiled brat.

No comments:

Post a Comment