white privilege through the eyes of a white female

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Hello! I wrote this for my Intercultural class at TAMUCC. I am extremely intrigued by this topic and would love other people's insight and comments! :)

Submitted: November 05, 2017

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Submitted: November 05, 2017

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I have never truly considered what it meant to be privileged. I suppose I carried the idea that people with privilege live on the Upper East Side of New York or carry a trust fund under their bag and the image that derived from that came from nothing but hypothetical situations Netflix shows consisted of.  I now realize how I have always been privileged because I am white, but I am also female so I know how it feels to be out of one of the most important categories in society. I was born into money and I never went without. I got a paid off car at sixteen, clothes of expensive brands, family vacations every summer, and a free ride to college. Although, I have also been called a bad driver, never had a president of the same gender, and given that I marry a man of my same color, I would most likely never be more then just a trophy wife to compliment his own color and the size of his wallet.

My identity development of my privilege for most of my life was unexamined. I did not know what the color of my skin handed me in life that others had to fight for simply for their own physical appearance.  I was taught to see everyone as equals, while society was teaching everyone to recognize their power or lack of power in the world. I learned to accept that this who I am as a person and I can’t control it or stop it so the only thing to do was embrace it. I continued to treat my friends of all colors with all the respect I had, and I did not resist my identity until my Hispanic friend questioned my morals due to my color. My friend envied the fact that I did not need any financial aid to go to college or a job to pay for housing because my father gave that to me. She would often make me feel bad about our cultural differences and the power we did not share in the world. I sympathized with her as much as a could, but she only separated herself more from me because she could not tolerate how we moved through life differently. This experience with my friend made me see the world for what it truly was and the world is separated. You are categorized and you are given certain opportunities for who you are and what you looked like and the only thing I could do was appreciate the diversity between me and my friend.

Being female has always been something that has blocked me from seeing my privilege due to the negative stereotypes being a woman has. Women tend to be seen as weaker, more fragile, and more dependent on others then of a man. I may be a white person in society, but being female has shown me the side of a minority identity. Although, I do not feel that this identity affects me greatly, it is still something that has blocked my insight to my privileged lifestyle. My boyfriend of four years once came over to my house to fix my sink because I did not know the first thing about fixing appliances and while that may conveniently fit the weaker stereotype towards women, it had more to do with my lack of knowledge in fixing the faucet. He made a condescending remark about how I am lucky to have had him around to fix my sink, but if I truly was alone and did not have access to anyone else’s help (male or female) I would have researched or videoed ways to fix it and eventually it would have been fixed. Although, being a female means that I am a damsel in distress instead a woman who has the knowledge to call over someone who has experience with fixing appliances. Society gives things an ulterior meaning and fixing a sink can never just be that anymore because as soon as a woman is dependent she is weak, and when she is weak that is what society projected to be the case anyways.

I have never considered the way that I communicated my identity. I reviewed old messages, emails, and recalled earlier conversations with my friends and family and realized that I am a very blunt person and I do not censor my feelings or things I choose to say. I tend to restrain on my loose tongue when I am in the presence of strangers but with people I am comfortable with I tend to be a loud mouth at times, and although I am kind and sincere, I am entitled to speak freely and not expect any negative reactions by my peers no matter what I say. I feel that the way I feel entitled about my language and how I do not monitor what I say is an example of my privilege that I have never considered before. I never considered what the outcome would be if a Black of Hispanic woman spoke the way I did and the reactions they might receive even from their peers. Society has made me feel protected in a sense where I do not have to walk a thin line and I do not have to be as careful of the things I say. Granted I am not rude or racist because I truly do feel to have a kind heart, but if I have an opinion on something and it has the potential to be offensive, that will not stop me from expressing it if I feel that is what is right at the moment or in a conversation. I have never worried about being challenged, threatened, or risked getting talked down to. I feel this is something my white privilege gives me.

The disadvantages I get from being female and the advancements I get from being white were something that I never tied to opportunities, advancement in society, or just how you are treated on a day to day basis and the things you have to worry or don’t have to worry about. I feel that having a majority identity and being aware of my influence on society can be impactful if I am also conscience and respectful of other groups. I have never treated my white friend any better then my black friend and I will never treat a white man harshly because of his born privilege or inclination in the world. The way society is constructed is something no majority or minority group made up or can control. The way different groups walk through society is a symbolism for diversity and despite the advantages that I have or how I might walk through the world more freely, I will continue to treat everyone as equals because that is the way I was taught and that is what I believe is right. 


© Copyright 2018 Katelyn Rae. All rights reserved.

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