Originally Posted by PajamaMama
Everyone posting on this poll has an enormous amount of privilege. We speak English, live in first world countries, have internet access, and think that $20k is the *bottom* of the income poll. If people don't recognize that I hope there is some enlightenment in their futures. Is there anyone here who's never had the opportunity to learn to read, to eat a steak, to ride in a privately owned vehicle? Now I probably do sound preachy but my intent is just to point out that if you're able to have an intelligent discussion on quantifying privilege, then you've got a healthy helping of it yourself.
This is kinda shifting focus.
I don't think anyone is really putting down their privilege they have now. (Though for my income, it still doesn't stop people from looking at my skin colour and thinking I'm uneducated or the lady in Costco demanding to see my membership card, after letting 20 white people in front of me go without so much as a blink) I do see people saying that money doesn't stretch as far as one may think in their area, but no where do I see people saying how poorly off they are. However people are saying, myself included, that we haven't always had that place of privilege and we've had to struggle to get to it. Yes I grew up in Canada, and am very lucky, but people need to realise that not everywhere in North America is this great big well of opportunity set out the same for everyone.
I live in a city where many people come from countries, some have been tortured, some have fled war, famine, tyranny etc. Many came to this country as refugees and have, despite a lot of odds, gotten to the point where they can eat steak, have internet access etc. I think it would do nothing but devalue their accomplishments to dismiss even a large part to privilege. Yes, there is that privilege of coming to this country, but there are still a heck of a lot of barriers to people who are non-white, not native english speakers, etc. It's ignoring their experiences and struggles in a society that has barriers set up for for many people based on their identities.
I think that a one size fits all glove in ascribing privilege in North American society is not taking into account, or valuing the experiences of countless people and their paths. I think it is the source of a fracture I see in feminism (and believe me, I have been educated/"enlightened" to the nines about privilege formally and informally since I was about 14, I just see it from a different POV than yourself. *G*) because women aren't recognising or valuing other women's experiences. A book I read a few years ago "Colonize This" I think might help to shed some light. But now I'm getting offtrack so I'll digress.