Faced With Privilege
Privilege isn't something we're supposed to talk about. America isn't supposed to have the classism that the Old World does - we're supposed to be a meritocracy. When we talk about incredible opportunities we get, the most polite comment is to say "I'm blessed," whether you're religious or not. But it's all a load of crap.
Because there's nothing like that moment you first have your privilege revealed to you in all its incredibly unforgettable uncomfortableness.
As an only child, countless people over the years have expressed huge surprise - "Oh! But you don't act spoiled at all!" So I thought this meant I was ok - you know, a good, considerate person, and that would be enough.
Then through some intense projects and workshops, I learned about white privilege, and began to understand what it means for me to be the recipient of the growing privileges that began when my Austro-Hungarian great-grandparents all immigrated to America, and compounded when my parents made it through college, eventually leading to me earning my master's and living in the super expensive, super liberal city of Seattle. I learned the difference between not being “spoiled” and benefiting from white privilege. And immediately felt the injustice of it.
Ever since I had that experience and coming to terms with it over the course of other provocative experiences through tough conversations and traveling to a developing country for the first time, I knew I needed to do more. Be a more active citizen. A vocal ally. A more considerate human being. One who is skilled and trained in communications and who can use that to have a positive effect on the world. I plan to work on that right here by writing about issues women in the 21st-century care about.