One of my friends posted a result of a Facebook quiz about “your privilege.” He did it with acerbic comments – even though he’s a much nicer person than I – because he’s not stupid or a pudding head and the quiz made him almost as foamy at the mouth as I got. BUT—
I couldn’t resist taking it. First of all, it will surprise you that I got a 24 which makes me extremely under privileged and definitely in victimhood territory. I answered the questions honestly, btw. I just don’t think I answered them as the writer of the quiz intended.
For instance, I’m fairly sure when she (okay, might be an he, but if I had to bet. And I hate “they” as a singular pronoun. Yes, I know Elizabethans used it, but NOT for politically correct reasons) wrote the test and asked “Have you ever been derided and called names for your religion” what she was thinking of was some poor huddled Muslim female being called names by stereotypical white menTM, not an European high school student in the magnet school and the selective “advanced” form being called things because she refused to say she didn’t believe in G-d. Or, when she said “Did you ever have to hide your orientation” she probably didn’t mean at the Broad Universe tea at a convention. Or when she said “did you ever get called names because of your sexual orientation” she probably wasn’t thinking of “Breeder!” hurled from passing car as I pushed a baby carriage down the road. Nor… and this I’m absolutely sure of, did this precious flower ever think that “Did you ever have to hide who you are” could refer to my ten years of hiding my political beliefs, so I could earn a living in a liberal-dominated field.
In fact, what this very bizarre “quiz” revealed more than anything else was the quiz writers assumptions. I have no idea how someone could come by such an odd set of them, except that I think it’s a group thing – I think where she lives everyone repeats this, so, “if everyone believes it must be right.” And also, I think this person has never looked outside her position of extreme privilege, and therefore thinks that everyone’s lives must be BETTER than hers, because, surely, she can’t be privileged. I mean, she’s female. (And possibly gay or of color.)
I wanted to give her the wisdom I acquired circa ten “other people look carefree because they’re not me. Everyone has burdens.” I acquired this wisdom by finding that someone I thought was a precious snow flake was actually deathly ill – she just didn’t show it.
How do I intuit this from the quiz? Well, it’s the questions she didn’t know she was asking. Like… I don’t know ANYONE – not even atheists – who have never been derided for their religious opinions. The only way not to get that, is never to leave the echo chamber. BUT she thought that she was aiming it at a specific religious group, and that no one else EVER gets bullied for their fate or lack thereof. Thereby revealing that she DOES live in an echo chamber, and a protected one at that.
What makes me think she was aiming it at a religious group in particularly? Well, two lines down was “Have you ever been called a terrorist because of your beliefs?” This of course made me hit my head on the desk since the DHS thinks constitutionalists ARE terrorists. But this poor woman never heard of it.
And the line about “are you something other than white and male” was again jaw-droppingly solipsistic. At a guess, from terms used like cismale, the creature who wrote this was very well educated, and from some of the assumptions, well off. BUT she (if she’s a she) thinks someone growing up hungry somewhere in the Midwest, with parents barely scraping by has “privilege” because he tans with more difficulty and has a penis. Oh, please. This is like the old P.J. O’Rourke joke “will trade Moscow State Apartment for sleeping bag on the streets of NYC” – I bet most of us would rather be a person of vaginitude born with a silver spoon in her mouth and the connections to get decent jobs, than the son of a drug-addled couple somewhere in a remote area of West Virginia. No? I would. You know, in terms of going through life on an easy setting. Never mind that even the kid in the middle of West Virginia, with the meth cooking parents has a better shot at the big time than if he were born anywhere else in the world. AND that shot is much, much – infinitely – better if the child is black. Yes, we’re a better place to be black than most places in Africa.
In fact, what that entire quiz told me, from the beginning, was that this person lives in a rarified world, where she’s never met with the slightest set back, and yet she imagines other people must have it easier. She imagines this because by reasons of gender, orientation or race, she has been told her whole life that other people have privilege. And considering how good she has it, then those bastages out there must be living gold plated lives. How dare they?
And this is how we end up with people who have never had to sleep rough, have never had to patch their clothes so as not to go to school half naked, have never had to eat whatever there was, because it was all there was and the meat was starting to turn green, lecturing others about “checking their privilege” and imagining that they are downtrodden.
This is how we get the nonsense about “micro-aggressions” because someone looked at them – or they imagined they looked at them. Let’s not forget how the statue of the sleep walker threatened them – cross eyed.
They have been told all their lives they’re victims. Therefore they must be victims. And if nothing ever happens that can make them justifiably “bullied” or “victimized” they just turn up the gain on the receptor, so they can imagine themselves as heroic victims of terrible oppression.
And if they can’t even find that, then they lecture us on behalf of all of the oppressed.
Sometimes I think that everyone whining about “privilege” is in fact declaring their privilege. And the answer to it should be my mom’s answer when I cried for no reason “I’ll give you something to cry for.” Not that I’m threatening to hit them, of course, but I think they’d all be better for some real problems and, particularly, some real empathy, some understanding that in the world, in living, there are very few easy settings. Theirs is probably the easiest, and look what they do to it, creating all sorts of interesting guilt, neurosis and projection. (Can I revise my choice and be the boy with no opportunities somewhere in West Virginia? He has a better chance of being sane.)
Look, half the times when I was answering it was in circumstances this person couldn’t imagine.
And how does it feel to be “underpriviledged”? Darned if I know. Yes, I’ve been mocked for my accent. Yes, I’ve been denied a job for my gender (long ago; far away. Translator job. They were convinced I’d quit when I got pregnant. Weirdly, unknown to me, they were right. Eh.) I’ve been afraid of being out at night alone because of my gender But to be fair, I’d have been afraid because of my size if I were a small male. Look, it’s not prejudice that makes women more defenseless. It’s body mass and strength. Someone who doesn’t know that, has watched too many “kick ass girls” and is not aware it’s a fantasy. BTW the cure for that is concealed carry. (And sheesh, yes, will work towards a permit as soon as immediate situation lets up a little.) The point is that even assuming what makes a woman afraid to be out at night alone is PREJUDICE opens a whole can of crazy. I mean, does she think muggers only attack women? Does she think this is the organized “keeping women in their place” shock troop of the male conspiracy TM? There is no telling.
Again, it’s like the person who wrote this is Bubble Girl (or boy) and has never lived anywhere in the real world.
Which is probably true. This person has probably grown up in a world built by our media, our entertainment and our politicians’ cynical assumption of divide-and-conquer tactics.
Pray really hard that she/he/it/precious unicorn never has to face reality and find out how he/she/it has been privileged all along.
Meanwhile, when told to “check your privilege” tell them to “check your victimhood.” Contrary to advertisement, the only superpower it confers is the super-whine. And they don’t even give you crackers with that.
UPDATE: New cover and free on Amazon. Note, it’s a Kit Marlowe mystery, not musketeers. You’ve been warned.