In Defense of Privilege, Part 1

A couple of years ago my employment required that I and several of my colleagues attend a training seminar; upon arrival we were surprised to learn it would be about “privilege.” Privilege is a term much bandied about today, and when confronted its proponents generally have one of two responses. If they are in a “blue” area, especially a blue area of a blue state, they are apt to tell the truth about the meaning of the word as they see it; if in a “red” area they immediately obfuscate, and insist it is only a tool to “facilitate understanding between groups.”

Normally I would not quote from Wikipedia; however I wanted to explain what the transgressive left means by the term “privilege” when they talk about such things as “white, male, Christian, CIS, etc.” privilege. As Wikipedia is prima facia a left wing knowledge repository, it is a good place to find out what they really think. Wikipedia defines “social privilege” as: Social privilege is a theory of special advantage or entitlement, used to one’s own benefit and/or to the detriment of others. The first thing to notice is that privilege is a zero-sum game in the leftist mind; any advantage you receive must necessarily harm someone else. This zero-sum mentality is, of course, part and parcel of leftist politics in general, but I expect nowhere is it more pronounced than in the idea of privilege.

Hence, if as a man I have no particular fear of being sexually assaulted, I have privilege; yet that privilege must needs be a detriment to someone, in this case women as a group. Now, as to why my lack of fear that I personally will be raped should be a detriment to women is a bit convoluted, but to the leftist mind this makes perfect sense.

Another important factor in the left’s theory of privilege is that it is “unearned,” and thus illegitimate; once again from Wikipedia: Heterosexual privilege can be defined as “the rights and unearned advantages bestowed on heterosexuals in society.Now we see that any advantage you possess over others is “unearned” and thus illegitimate, for the mere possession of your privilege dispossesses the un(der)privileged. My, this gets exhausting.

Privilege theory is, therefore, ultra-moralistic. Those who possess privilege are simply by dint of their existence oppressing those who lack it; your mere existence as a heterosexual is a “detriment” to sodomites and other assorted perverts. Hence the “privileged” are an immoral and unclean group, who, through a sort of inverse original sin, disenfranchise the morally superior BIPOC transsexual. Even to deny one’s supposed privilege is violence; once again from Wikipedia: Some academics, such as Peggy McIntosh, highlight a pattern where those who benefit from a type of privilege are unwilling to acknowledge it.] The argument may follow that such a denial constitutes a further injustice against those who do not benefit from the same form of privilege. So if you deny that you have unearned privilege over one of the alphabet people, you have already de facto (and perhaps, in some jurisdictions, de jure) committed and act of aggression.

Areas where one may be ascribed privilege include: Privilege, as understood and described by researchers, is a function of multiple variables of varying importance, such as raceagegendersexual orientationgender identityneurologycitizenshipreligionphysical ability, health, level of education, and others. Race and gender tend to have the highest impacts given that one is born with these characteristics and they are immediately visible. However, religion, sexuality and physical ability are also highly relevant. This is where “intersectionality” comes into play. Rather like bingo, each time you hear something on the list you get to stamp your card. The more stamps you have, the more virtuous you are; conversely the more you conform to traditional Biblical norms, the more of an evil oppressor you become. To be a Transsexual BIPOC undocumented immigrant practitioner of Santeria and confined to a wheelchair would elevate you to sainthood, such as it is, within this paradigm.

Now, as a Christian male of the caucasian persuasion, being quite comfortable with the plumbing I was born with and a healthy attraction to the opposite sex, of sound mind and body, gainfully employed and a natural born U.S. citizen, I am by this standard highly privileged. Now, as it would constitute a perception of aggression to do so, I will not deny my privilege, I will embrace it, I will advertise it, I will flaunt it in their faces.

Now, wait a minute… Who was it that popularized this whole idea of “privilege” to begin with…. Early concepts that would lead to the term White Privilege were developed by the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Well of course, what did you really expect?

In following articles on this subject I am going to examine the areas of privilege laid out by the “trainer” tasked by my employer with enlightening my blinded eyes. There are, in toto, 35 areas of privilege I was advised to beware of AND be aware of; I am thinking of breaking those down to three articles to parse each one out, but we’ll just have to see how that goes.

In the meantime, please enjoy the privilege of enjoying the splendid reading at the following links:

Oh, Hilary, why do you vex us so?
Privilege at its finest.


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13 responses to “In Defense of Privilege, Part 1

  1. If you work hard in order to develop a skill, is that privilege?

  2. The more stamps you have, the more virtuous you are

    Is it really virtue, or just oppression points?

  3. Do people have the inability to understand that everything is not a zero-sum game, or is it that they don’t want to understand?

    • Losers blame their situation on your unfair privilege. This paradigm requires a zero sum game for the theory to work.

    • Now we see that any advantage you possess over others is “unearned” and thus illegitimate, for the mere possession of your privilege dispossesses the un(der)privileged.

      It sure sounds like Communism/Socialism, or whatever you want to call that worldview founded on envy that generally seeks to enforce equality of outcome. Envy is an evil and irrational emotion. It isn’t rational to base your perceived “needs” on the current status of your peers, instead of on some legitimate measures of health, flourishing, personal autonomy, and the ability to independently benefit from your own hard work or good fortune. Envy based systems seeks to deny God the ability to bless anybody else more than you. They arrogantly presume to correct God’s earthly inequity. They judge God as a great offender against the sameness of all men whom God created.

      After a failed experiment with communism William Bradford wrote this in his Journal of Plymouth Plantation about the communal living: The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s & other ancients, applauded by some of later times;—that the taking away of property, and bringing in community into a common wealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God. For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion & discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young-men that were most able and fit for labor & service did repine that they should spend their time & strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals & clothes, than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors, and victuals, clothes, & Etc., with the meaner & younger sort, thought it some indignity & disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, & Etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. Upon the point all beginning to have alike, and all to do alike, they thought themselves in the like condition, and one as good as another; and so, if it did not cut off those relations that God hath set amongst men, yet it did at least much diminish and take of the mutual respects that should be preserved amongst them.

  4. It seems like with the amount of privilege points you have, you could just walk out of the training or just tell the trainer they’re fired and everyone can just have the rest of the day off.

  5. I would suggest that “privilege” is a deeply theological issue.
    I think there are two realms of privilege; transient [ this life ] and eternal [ forever life ].
    In this life, LeBron James is immensely privileged – by God -who determined his DNA size/athleticism/ and his mental drive desiring to succeed which requires a great deal of self discipline.
    So LeBron is immensely privileged in his temporal existence. But is he happy? Probably not any happier than a lot of average people who don’t make 35 million a year.
    Does his temporal privilege weigh in on his eternal prospects? No; in fact being rich and famous might weigh against your eternal joy.
    I truly am deeply privileged by God.
    a] born into a truly devout family where Dad worked and Mom was at home; attended good churches every Sunday and Wednesday at a minimum.
    b] Born into middle class America; pretty decent suburban education that was free.
    In other words; a very stable background. Economically, lower middle class.
    Then looking at young men born into the ghetto with no consistent male influence, reared in a toxic culture, and for some of them a Godless culture. If they are not a 1 percenter in terms of athleticism, their chance of being financially stable are pretty bleak. If you’re in the ghetto, you are not surrounded by men who found employment, hung in there for 30 years and achieved a middle class economic lifestyle. From a transient perspective, your prospects for a productive, stable adult existence are not good.
    Can I gift my privilege to a young man in the ghetto? No I can’t

    So is there any hope for those born without privilege?
    Absolutely. A Sovereign God who can take people from the worst of life circumstances here in the temporal plane and makes them kings and queens for eternity. That privilege is available to all.
    Should I be understanding of those less privileged than me? Absolutely;
    Should I be humble about my privilege? Absolutely.
    Is 26:12
    LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished YOU HAVE DONE FOR US.
    FINAL THOUGHT; Ultimately; all true privilege comes from God.
    I actually can’t take a whole lot of credit for my temporal accomplishments and none for my salvation – which is the great and final privilege.

  6. Pingback: In Defense of Privilege: Part 2 | okrahead

  7. Pingback: In Defense of Privilege, Part 3 | okrahead

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