Check Your Privilege

  • Learn to Listen Rather Than Speak


    This one is a lot harder than it sounds, and I say this as someone who loves speaking and voicing her opinion on things. One of the greatest things we, as privileged people, can bring to a discussion being held by non-privileged groups is our closed mouths and open ears/minds. When you enter a minority space, you need to realize that this is their soapbox, not yours. Your privilege gives you many other soapboxes that you can take advantage of, so when participating in a discussion held by a non-privileged group or individual your primary goal is to pay attention to what they say about their issues, lives, and oppressions.
  • You Aren’t Bad for Having Privilege
    You don’t have any control over the privilege you were given, and we get that. It’s important for you to get that, and get that we aren’t saying that, and then realize what that means when combined with your privilege to pretend that you aren’t privileged. Confused? Simply put: you aren’t bad for having privilege, but not being able to give up your privilege is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card for bad behaviour. So, what, then, to do about it? Well, finding a balance between accepting your privilege and fighting against it is not easy. I still struggle with it on a daily basis. But, one way to start is to listen to and take feedback from non-privileged groups. They are a good judge of how your actions come across to them. Not everyone’s opinions will be the same, but eventually you’ll come out with some semblance of balance that works for you and those around you.

Revisiting “Politically Correct”

Your first instinct might be to dismiss words like “womyn” and being asked not to use “gay” as an insult as “that PC crap”. If so, sit back and think about that. Your privilege gives you the power to dismiss the decisions of non-privileged groups, and further deride them by turning “politically correct” into a slur. Part of engaging in a language of respect and equality is in recognizing the validity of a person’s choice to use language, and “politically correct” terms, even if you may not understand or agree with them.


From the article that inspired the use of this term in debate.

Folksonomies: minorities discriminiation political correctness

/finance/personal finance/insurance (0.543645)
/society/racism (0.515892)
/business and industrial (0.470556)

privilege (0.964750 (negative:-0.018425)), non-privileged groups (0.814736 (positive:0.141232)), free’ card for bad behaviour. So, what, then, to do about it? (0.628476 (negative:-0.571935)), privileged people (0.519226 (positive:0.429521)), closed mouths (0.506476 (negative:-0.244201)), minority space (0.496069 (neutral:0.000000)), open ears/minds (0.494061 (negative:-0.244201)), primary goal (0.489884 (positive:0.280840)), greatest things (0.484077 (positive:0.648023)), daily basis (0.482681 (negative:-0.520763)), PC crap (0.482659 (negative:-0.760128)), good judge (0.478774 (positive:0.330700)), bad behaviour. (0.478213 (negative:-0.557412)), non-privileged group (0.477027 (positive:0.280840)), balance (0.380547 (positive:0.397328)), discussion (0.377300 (positive:0.036638)), language (0.360283 (positive:0.655926)), oppressions (0.354485 (negative:-0.409031)), semblance (0.350880 (positive:0.397328)), soapbox (0.347021 (negative:-0.385684)), Speak (0.343349 (positive:0.433136)), womyn (0.342417 (neutral:0.000000)), insult (0.341332 (negative:-0.715019)), article (0.340881 (positive:0.736954)), term (0.340812 (positive:0.736954)), Listen (0.339722 (positive:0.433136)), debate (0.339161 (positive:0.736954)), opinion (0.339055 (positive:0.269889)), instinct (0.338945 (positive:0.307999)), control (0.337578 (neutral:0.000000))

Political correctness (0.932431): dbpedia | freebase
Language (0.865674): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
All That You Can't Leave Behind (0.610029): dbpedia | freebase | yago | musicBrainz

 "Check my what?" On privilege and what we can do about it
Electronic/World Wide Web>Blog:  tekanji, (March 8, 2006), "Check my what?" On privilege and what we can do about it, Official Blog, Retrieved on 2013-06-06
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: society social relations minorities privilege