Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What privileges are yours?

On Privilege

I found this interesting meme at Missy's Big Fish Stories. From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.

Bold the true statements.

1. Father went to college.

2. Father finished college.

3. Mother went to college.

4. Mother finished college.

5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.

6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.

7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.

8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.

9. Were read children's books by a parent.

10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18.

11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18.

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively.

13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18.

14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs.

15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs.

16. Went to a private high school.

17. Went to summer camp.

18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.

19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels.

20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18.

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child.

23. You and your family lived in a single-family house.

24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home.

25. You had your own room as a child.

26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18.

27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.

28. Had your own TV in your room in high school.

29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college.

30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16.

31. Went on a cruise with your family.

32. Went on more than one cruise with your family.

33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up.

34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family.

What opportunities did you have growing up?

What's not included in this is privilege resulting from race, gender, sexual orientation, even wealth later in life. I came from a relatively poor background, but I have many privileges. The first one in the South, still today, is that I am white. The second is that I speak English and do it well. The third is that I have learned not to be submissive. The fourth is that I am "churched"; I have an automatic support system for most problems. The fifth is that I belong to a 12-step group; I have an automatic support system of people experienced in almost any problem I encounter. These are not only blessings but privileges not open to everyone. Churches reject. 12-step groups are not available everywhere at times when the people are in need...even though they try.

And, I can read, understand metaphor, look back at history and how we are relating the same manner or not, make financial judgments that aren't based on where the handouts are available.

Thanks, Missy. I know blessings and I know privileges, and I have both.

1 comment:

Janis Bland said...

Interesting meme! I'll be posting my answers to my blog.