For those of us who have privilege but refuse to remain oblivious to it, here are some resources with which we can educate ourselves:
I posted this link in Food for Thought earlier this week, but I just can’t stop thinking about “When the Shit Hits the Fan: On the ‘Shit [People] Say’ meme and why it matters.”
The the author cites the video “Shit Girls Say” as the unexceptional inspiration for exceptional cultural criticism:
I realized what didn’t make these funny to me was exactly what made the ones that came after them work so well: Privilege, or rather the lack there of. The power differential in “Shit Girls Say” is skewed. Men dragging women and parodying what they believe to be their words as marginalized people in society has significant limits. In contrast, the videos that have marginalized folks speaking for themselves and back to the power structure by simply repeating the privilege denying questions and statements they field, are solid gold!
The author provides some great links:
If you share a cultural identity with any of these Shit Speakers (e.g., you are a white or cis person), I encourage you to take the time to watch these videos and learn what our privilege sounds like.
Another awesome resource for privileged people: Microaggressions. I love Microagressions because I am a very privileged person, and the tumblr teaches me how not to be an asshole to those with lives unlike my own. For instance, fellow American white people: Do you know that lots of not-white American people get asked where they are really from all the time? Have you ever thought about the fact that, as an American white person, strangers don’t inquire about your nationality? If you spend some time over at Microagressions, you’ll be thinking about it.
There are myriad ways to use the internet to explore privilege and power. How Not To Harass An Asian Girl forces the viewer to watch a marginalized individual experience racialized harassment and oblivious male privilege. Privilege Checking Resource aggregates essays on how to keep a wide array of different types of privilege in check.
Listening to and learning from minority voices is the first step toward combating systemic marginalization and oppression. Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to access and amplify the voices of marginalized speakers. Let’s educate ourselves.