Thread: Privilege
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Old 12-30-2011, 05:46 PM
seebs seebs is offline
God Made Me A Skeptic
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Minnesota
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Default Re: Return to Gender 101

Okay, that makes sense to me.

Hmm. This implies a sort of meta-privilege: A distinction between people who are essentially guaranteed to pass, and people who have to work at it. Being able to take being invisible for granted is a separate question from whether or not you are currently being invisible.

I read a book called Black Like Me about a white guy who, with skin dye and the like, went around in the South for a while Looking Black. What was really interesting was that, when the dye had started to fade, and he looked interracial, he could switch dress and mannerisms and go into the same building twice in one day, and get treated totally differently depending on whether they read him as black or white.

So, next up: Does it have to be a social construct that's creating the privilege? Do I have "sighted" privilege? Does sighted privilege, if it exists, cover all aspects of being able to see, or only the cases where our society assumes that you can see and builds things that could be accessible to the blind, but aren't because no one thought of it?

It seems to me that the intended boundary is mostly in terms of social constructs and responses. Thus, there's no such thing as "can do complex math in your head" privilege. It may be an advantage, it may let you take success at some things for granted, but it's not a social construct. But if you had a culture where nearly everyone could do that, and tended to assume that other people could, it could become one.

Come to think of it, $dayjob's culture almost certainly has a "programmer" privilege, because in addition to the people who are paid to program, we have a handful of managers who have the ability, and the people who don't understand computers as well tend to get viewed-as-other.
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