Thread: Privilege
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:02 PM
seebs seebs is offline
God Made Me A Skeptic
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Minnesota
Default Re: Return to Gender 101

Well, now I'm re-confused.

On the one hand, privilege is a social construct. On the other hand, there are ways in which some of those could be denied that aren't social constructs.

Being able to walk through a store without arousing revulsion is clearly at least moderately socially dependent. Being able to put clothes on yourself depends at least in part on physical characteristics. If someone has certain physical limitations, it becomes impossible no matter what anyone or any society thinks.

So there's a sort of fuzzy boundary here where a thing that some people can do and some can't doesn't seem to be affected by society's choices at all, but still seems to be privilege. Except sometimes it's not, and I can't tell what the distinction is.

Okay, I have a tentative notion. What if the rule there is a question of how you can or can't react to a circumstance, and the fuzziness comes from distinctions between "things you are" and "things that are true of the environment you're in". So for instance, a store that's not wheelchair-accessible rings bells because there are people who always need a wheelchair.

And "normal" is the dividing line. "People who can't do exceptional math" aren't "other" in general because most people can't. "People who can't see color" are "other" because most people can. "People who can't see color because they are wearing colored sunglasses" don't count because that's a changeable state.

Hear me / and if I close my mind in fear / please pry it open
See me / and if my face becomes sincere / beware
Hold me / and when I start to come undone / stitch me together
Save me / and when you see me strut / remind me of what left this outlaw torn
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Goliath (01-04-2012)
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