About Privilege

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This is a reply to a post on the This is Thin Privilege Tumblr.

The O.P. states:

I admit fat oppression is a real thing. But some of your posts I feel are harmful to all women. I don’t know how much control you have over what is posted, but posts that deny the oppression that thin women face as well scare me. I don’t want any woman to ever feel that the sexism that they face is lesser because they are thin So many of your posts are enlightening, and important. But others I fear perpetuate the idea that it is ok to harm thin women. No one should promote internal sexism.

I hope the OP takes some time to learn about privilege.

I used to be one of those white people who shrieked that “not all white people are like that” whenever a non-white person spoke angrily about the treatment of non-white people. I didn’t want to be seen as one of “those” white people. Well, since I’m not one of “those white people,” they weren’t talking about me, and I needed to STFU and listen.

I also believed in “reverse racism.”

Are there non-white people who are prejudiced against white people across the board? Of course there are. But in the U.S. at any rate, and I would venture to say in Western society, there is no such thing as racism against white people.

Prejudice is individual. Racism is institutionalized and socially sanctioned for a myriad of reasons that it would take too long to go into here.

Are all women oppressed in modern society? Of course we are. It does not matter our size or color. We are all oppressed.

Are there people who are prejudiced against thin people? Yes, there are.

However, thin people do not EVER experience the systematic prejudice and flat-out derision that fat people do in this society.

People, learn about privilege. It was hard for me to acknowledge that I had privilege in certain ways, because it’s an awful thing. But I in fact do have privilege. I have white privilege, straight privilege, and North American privilege. This does not mean I will never encounter prejudice, in fact I have encountered prejudice for my skin color. I have been beaten up for it.

What it means is that in Western society, my skin color does not prevent me from getting a job or being able to live where I want to live. When I walk into a store, nobody assumes that I’m going to shoplift. I am not thought of as a lesser being for the color of my skin.

When we have privilege, we need to not derail the conversation and make it about us. We need to stop and listen.

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