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White Privilege and Male Privilege

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Outline

McIntosh reviews the presence of privileges based on both gender and race The color of the skin is a major factor in the development of privileges associated with white people. The first point of denial of the presence of male privilege takes place in the form of discussions that men assumed a delicate and vital role in the development of distinction, in terms of the roles of men and women, in civilization. Gender and race are equally restricting measures, which put some individuals in society at a disadvantage whereas putting others at advantage. Other privileges are also evident in society such as religious privileges, age privileges, ethnic privileges and advantages, advantages and privileges associated with physical capabilities, sexual orientation and nationalities.

Summary

Peggy McIntosh points out that the presence of over-privileges experienced by men is merely because of the disadvantages experienced and posed to women. Essentially, she views white privilege as an ability to accrue benefits or “unearned assets” on a daily basis, which remain oblivious to an individual. She points the presence of layers or stages of denial present in acknowledgment of the presence of privileges in terms of race and gender. She describes that there are numerous aspects of social discrimination based on gender and race which results in exercise of the privileges she describes in the forty six events she has experienced either forms of privileges in society. She assumes that the word “privilege” is a term that does not fit the societal injustices, which were present because of privileges accrued to specific racial groupings. Conclusively, she states that the “obliviousness associated with white and male privileges” is embedded in the United States culture to maintain what she terms as “myth of meritocracy” (McIntosh, n.d).

White Privilege and Male Privilege

Peggy McIntosh in her article White Privilege and Male Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack reviews the presence of privileges based on both gender and race. She points out that the presence of over-privileges experienced by men is merely because of the disadvantages experienced and posed to women. In addition, she points out race as another aspect, which puts others at a disadvantage. Hence gender and race are equally restricting measures, which put some individuals in society at a disadvantage whereas putting others at advantage. Moreover, white individuals are taught to ignore the presence of white privilege whereas males are equally taught to ignore the presence of male privilege (McIntosh, n.d).

Essentially, she views white privilege as an ability to accrue benefits or “unearned assets” on a daily basis, which remain oblivious to an individual (McIntosh, n.d). It is a weightless knapsack, about which an individual is oblivious. This is also evidenced by the inability and reluctance of individuals, either experiencing white privilege or male privilege, to acknowledge the presence of benefits accrued for such situations or privileges based on gender and race. She points the presence of layers or stages of denial present in acknowledgment of the presence of privileges in terms of race and gender (McIntosh, n.d).

The first point of denial of the presence of male privilege takes place in the form of discussions that men assumed a delicate and vital role in the development of distinction, in terms of the roles of men and women, in civilization. Hence, male privilege according to McIntosh has become institutionalized. This is also strengthened by the various societal, religious, and psychobiology that the presence of male privileges are necessary and justified by such elements. She describes that there are numerous aspects of social discrimination based on gender and race which results in exercise of the privileges she describes in the forty six events she has experienced either forms of privileges in society (McIntosh, n.d).

In essence, the color of the skin is a major factor in the development of privileges associated with white people. In addition, white privilege is an automatic notion inculcated in the society because of the need for the presence of superiority of one race over other races. In addition, this was evidenced by the fight for equality in terms of access to the various resources and societal privileges, which were only accrued to individuals of a specific racial grouping. In addition, she provides that there was a presence of cultural intolerance between the various communities and culture, which were all formed based on race.

She assumes that the word “privilege” is a term that does not fit the societal injustices, which were present because of privileges accrued to specific racial groupings (McIntosh, n.d). Fundamentally, she assumes that the term “privilege” is associated with the need for people in society to become certain ideal individuals. In addition, the term “privilege” according to the author confers power but fails to confer moral authority to a specific racial grouping as well as any gender grouping, which assumes such privileges (McIntosh, n.d).

Furthermore, other privileges are also evident in society such as religious privileges, age privileges, ethnic privileges and advantages, advantages and privileges associated with physical capabilities, sexual orientation and nationalities. She emphasizes that all these forms of privileges, advantages and oppression assume the presence of such conditions. This is because individuals belonging to groupings, which assume privileges, exist in oblivion in relation to the presence of such advantages, which they accrue simply because they consist of majority and are able to command such benefits. Conclusively, she states that the “obliviousness associated with white and male privileges” is embedded in the United States culture to maintain what she terms as “myth of meritocracy” (McIntosh, n.d). Hence, there is a dire need for the establishment of democracy of equality to ensure the arousal of sense of society to the presence of the existent privileges, which have resulted in injustices to minor groupings either based on race, gender, sexual orientation and religion.

Reference

Chapter 22: McIntosh, P. “White Privilege and Male Privilege” Race Ethnicity, and the Melting Pot.

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