What is Privilege? Big Question to Ponder

In the spirit of investigative journalism and non-fiction, I respect those who bravely volunteered their stories for the sake of beginning discourse and enhancing research. However, I also recognize completely that those who offer their anecdotes to journalists take a sort of risk. They lay themselves out to be judged by society. Although stimulating and interesting, I cannot help but think that our conversation today in class about Calapinto’s book As Nature Made Him, offers a simple microcosm of what we think of as “privileged.” We were all educated and intellectually curious students waiting to share our personal opinions and judgments about this story. We all had our input about the things we “would” have done if we were in the situation. However, the point is that we were not in that situation, and we take advantage of the luxury to treat this tragic situation as evidence for theoretical discussion. We are lucky that we can examine these people and their lives with an objective—even critical—eye.  It begs the question of us as students, is it considered a privilege to be comfortable with one’s own social identity? Should we never be comfortable? Should we constantly question this about ourselves?

Privilege is having the luxury of self-reflection and realizing that one is indeed privileged.  


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