Invisible Privilege

                Privilege is often invisible to people because when someone is used to a certain lifestyle they are less likely to realize what they are experiencing is a privilege. People who are born into money would be a category of people who may not be aware of privileges that they have. These people who already have money from a family business or simply a family fortune often just replace their parents at the business. They do not have the experience of working hard towards a certain lifestyle. They do not worry about how their children will grow up or if their children are attending a bad school due to a bad community. People who have more privileges have fewer worries and therefore do not often realize these privileges.

                In the reading it was very clear that Andrea was very uncomfortable in Jewel’s Newark house. To Andrea, simply having two or more bathrooms was not a privilege or a luxury it was just the way their house was. When Jewel showed Andrea the second bathroom which was located in the middle of the basement made of four pieces of wood Andrea just didn’t understand, as the authors says,  “Jewel’s pride was my daughter’s terror.” Another example was that when Andrea first entered the house she couldn’t understand why, on such a dark day, only one light bulb in the house was on. To many people lighting has moved from having a functional use to be used more for decoration, and in many houses lighting is very abundant. I think that in some cases social differences as described in this reading can be overcome. If the friendship was merely between the mothers in this situation I feel that the friendship could have gone on because they were two grown women that were able to appreciate and recognize the differences in their lifestyles. But in this case the two young girls were the close friends. As the author says, “It was unreasonable for two eight-year-old girls to be able to negotiate each other’s worlds.”  I think that because the two young girls were so young and their lifestyles were so different that many aspects of each other’s lives would make the other girl uncomfortable.

                An element of privilege in my own life was attending a private school throughout middle school. While in the school I hated that I did not attend a public school like many of my friends. But now I understand that it was a privilege to attend the school because of the smaller class size. When I went to a public school in high school I found that it wasn’t as easy to get one on one help by the teachers because of the amount of students they were teaching. This did affect my relationship with others because transitioning from a small private school to a public school was in many ways difficult. Most of the student in the school had already established “clicks” and there seemed to be little room for new people.

One thought on “Invisible Privilege

  1. I agree that those who are born unto a privileged life tend to overlook why it is privilege in comparison to someone from another class. They might not know until they actually change their perspective by being in an unfamiliar situation or by mingling with someone from a lower class. The invisibility of privilege is something that would be unveiled if the majority would try to think beyond themselves. Coming from a less privileged life in the case of not having attended a private school, I must say that attending public schools has been a privilege in the aspect of having been able to be educated at all while being constantly reminded that there are many who do not even have that. Of course, a private education would have been more desirable and beneficial in many more ways. Also, to briefly comment on your observations of the established cliques, I might add that it is for the best that there was no room for new people as they only cause trouble anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *