Let me now introduce you to my privilege

I feel like publicly acknowledging some of my privilege in today’s post. Why? Because it’s really important to be aware of one’s privilege, help make other’s aware of theirs, and have a productive response to privilege in general. Also, I’m having some writer’s block. Here’s this mess.

stick figure diagram identifying areas of privilege
Is my Canadian-ness in my feet? I guess.

I’m white.

Fun fact: There is a Saultaux person somewhere in my ancestry. I saw her photo and concluded that I do not look like her, and I am still white.

I’m tall.

Possibly so tall that it loops around to being not a privilege, hard to say. At 6’2″ I’m pretty above average for my sex, leading to my next privilege.

I’m cisgender.

Both my gender identity and my assigned sex are female. Sharing a life with a trans woman makes me extra aware of how privileged I am in this regard. She’s got natural beauty privilege though so who really lucked out in the end hmmm? Me, I did, the world’s not nearly trans-friendly enough.

I’m Canadian.

I was born in a developed and relatively prosperous country where my first language is an official language, my healthcare is publicly funded, my relationship is recognized and protected from discrimination (technically…). Hell, first time I saw my Prime Minister in person was at a Pride Parade. Canada’s alright.

I have inner strength.

Not everyone is born with this, or able to get through childhood without losing it, yet few people see it as a privilege. Yes, you can build it, make it great, but you have to have it to begin with in order to fuel that fire. And when we work hard at something using our inner strength, that’s when we should be proud of what we achieved. It’s tough to consider who else might have achieved the same thing if they’d started out with the same power.

I have mental wellness.

Innocent until proven guilty.

I am physically able.

I have Marfan syndrome and many of its colourful complications, but I’m able to work, socialize, and go about my daily life without accommodation.

I have family.

I was born to a family that has supported me through all my ups and downs. It’s not something I’ve always seen as a privilege (I’d deem it a messy childhood to be sure), but it is a privilege to have had that kind of social support all my life.

Those are just a few things that I was born with or came naturally to me, traits that are attributed strength and value in society whether or not a person worked for them. I don’t believe anyone should be seriously praised for having them by default. Neither should anyone feel ashamed; everyone has privilege in some way. It can and should be used as a tool to empower those without.

Pass it on.

 

PS, I’ve been listening to “Life on Earth” by Snow Patrol.

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