I have never been asked to “check my privilege”. That is by no means indicative of my actual status in life, one that’s already vastly higher than most by virtue of being born in a First World country. Not only do I come from a middle class family in a wealthy nation, but I also happen to be both male and straight. Those two facets of my person alone have freed me from a world of verbal [and potentially physical] abuse. It’s no mystery to me how good I have it going.
Taking all of that into account, and I really do dwell on the reality of how much better off I am than others on an almost daily basis, I can say with confidence that I would not enjoy hearing those three words. I acknowledge that they would feel like not only an admonishment for not thinking through whatever I had just said or written, but an outright dismissal of my viewpoints.
I want to state this as clearly as possible: no part of me supports the usage of any phrase to “strike down opinions” or otherwise silence others. I am a strong proponent of discussion and this activity flies in the very face of that. My issue is that the purpose of the article I’m responding to appears to be the throwing out of these three words completely, and generally appears to completely miss the point. Continue reading