Sunday, October 2, 2011

Under, Yet Over, Privileged

I was raised by a white, single woman.
My class status was always under the "poverty" category.

I was taught to believe and live in the Mormon religion.

I live in Utah.

I am white.

I am female.

I am lesbian.

My shoe size is women's 7-8.

Each of these things has some sort of privilege or disprivilege attached to it.

According to Mormons (and perhaps many other religions and persons who make up society) a child is entitled to be reared by a mother and a father.

My family lived off the government all my life. I still live off of the government because with the disprivilege of being in poverty (stigma, pointed comments, judgments and opinions) I get the privilege of qualifying for certain programs, grants, and scholarships. (Perhaps the fact that I work for the Department of the Interior, which is part of the government, also contributes to the fact that I still live off the government, but I'm not sure what to say about that one...).

As a Mormon, one who can fit in and play the part within Mormon culture, I get the privilege of people who believe in me and compliment me, saying "you're so strong," which in turn has led me to become quite successful in many ways. It has also left me with a lot of things I need to figure out how to reject, release, and move away from (such as shame or mask-wearing).

I'm accepted by a large number of people who also live in Utah just because I am Mormon.

People assume a lot of things about me because I'm from Utah (for instance that I'm Mormon).

I'm white. I don't know what that means anymore. It means I'm not qualified for a lot of things because I'm not part of the "minority", but it also means that I dont' have to feel like "second class" (apparently "colored" people do) in terms of race, and I don't feel conflicted over my heritage or my skin color or whatever else.

I am second class, because this society is largely patriarchal. Men are "number one" and I still make less money than the average man of my same age and education. However, as a "minority" I am given a certain priority in work opportunities because of this attempt to create diverse work environments.

Being lesbian has little impact on my position in society from my experiences thus far. The only thing that has disprivileged me in some way is that when people (particulary Mormons) hear the word "lesbian" they think it means sexually active with women, which takes time to explain. I've been told many times that I shouldn't use that term for myself. Maybe I shouldn't. Another thing that I think about how there's a greater chance of getting egged or something were I to walk down the street holding hands with another woman. I already have the fear of someone doing stupid things like that to me just for being lesbian--and that's without holding another woman's hand.

Certain shoes seem to always be "out of stock" because my feet are average and lots of people apparently want the shoes I want. Consequently, used shoes are very easy to find in my size :)

I can also wear little boy shoes.

What are your privileges or disprivileges?

~live your own truth~

1 comment:

  1. Crazy! I just remembered when one time my freshmen (female) roommate and I got egged walking down the street. We're both straight, but we had an arm over each other's shoulder because we love each other and were feeling all happy about being friends. I dunno, we must have looked hungry or something, because a car flew by spewing eggs at us. We decided to laugh about it because it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime event :)