What is Privilege?

Privilege can only be recognized through the absence of privilege. If everyone has a privilege, then no one truly does. A privilege, in the most straightforward sense of the word, is a right or advantage given to a certain individual or group of individuals. The ability to make your own choices, to do what you want without judgment or restraint, to be who you want to be regardless of your race or gender, to live without fear. These are the most important privileges, but they should be rights. But society has turned these rights into privileges—privileges that are not granted to everyone. Black men cannot do what they want without being discriminated against. Women cannot live without being judged by their appearance or live completely without the fear for their safety lingering in the back of their minds. Homosexual and transgender people cannot be who they want to be without judgment. These are all examples of a lack of privilege. The disparity between rights and advantages given to different people is what makes them privileges.


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