You carry your privilege around
like I carrry the world
Except it’s more like wings than a weight.
It lifts you up above the rest of us, placing you on your pedestal
From where you’d presume to rule the world.
The stuff that swings between your legs
gives you automatic rights to privacy and “equality”.
The way you want to dress and who you want to fuck
fall in line with The Man’s expectations
(I bet you’re friends. Do you work out together?)
And that creamy skin certainly doesn’t hurt.
You’ve never felt the gnaw of hunger or the sting of a slap
You grew up in plenty.
It’s easy to ignore the problems around you
from inside your bubble on top of your pedestal.
You’ve never been questioned, so you assume you’re right
I don’t understand how you can feign to claim so much intelligence
While finding contentment in your ignorance.
The information is there, at your fingertips
But you’d rather use word-of-mouth or your poor judgment
To come to your conclusions.
It’s easy to cry “hypocrite” when you don’t understand the discussion
and it’s easy to be a literalist when you’re frozen in time.
Look up the words
Learn the new definitions
Zoom out and take a look at the culture.
When you watch the suffering and injustice, then ask me
Why I care?
When you deny participation and claim innocence?
It boggles my mind that you defend the atrocious
or brush it off as “irrelevant”
But I’m sure it’s easy not to care when you’ve never been challenged
Since no one can reach you
on your pedestal.

2 thoughts on “Privilege

  1. I like the poem. The aspect I find most frustrating in addressing privilege Is that you aren't addressing or reasoning with an individual. You are challenging their membership in their clan. They aren't alone on that pedestal, and many of their friends and family are in that bubble with them. Sometimes you get a glimpse of understanding in their eye, but it quickly clouds over when they calculate the cost of accepting the truth. (At the risk of sounding too self righteous, I am quite privileged by most measures.) I came here via Skepchick, and I find this is a theme in skepticism: People too vested in a belief system to accept reality.


  2. Thanks for commenting, and I'm glad you like it. =] I understand what you're saying about reasoning–actually the point of this poem is that I've had many conversations with a person, and some of what they say really confuses me. I realized as a result of interaction that they behave the way they do because of their privilege.You're absolutely right that people are too vested in their beliefs. What's really interesting is that a lot of these beliefs aren't religious in nature. A lot of the contention I feel with privileged individuals is that they don't seem to acknowledge that there is such a thing as homophobia, gender inequality, etc. The culture is so firmly saturated with misogyny and anti-scienceism (for example) that people don't even see that it's happening. And, when you challenge their beliefs, they go firmly into denial.


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