Pride and Privilege

January 20, 2012 § 2 Comments

In my opinion a major issue when anyone, myself included, sits down to unpack their backpack and take inventory is being able to decouple their pride from what they have accomplished.  From the time they are children most people are taught to be proud of their accomplishments and to embrace their strengths.  This helps them to develop into self confident adults that have a strong sense of self worth and a good concept of their strengths.  When we look back at our lives the default perspective is one that tells us to be proud of what we have accomplished.

It is a difficult task to look back at all your proudest accomplishments and wonder if you truly did accomplish them only on your own merit.  The task becomes even more difficult when you push past the initial layer of success.  For example I was admitted to Purdue and have done quite well academically.  Would I have been admitted to Purdue if I was of a different group?  I would say more likely than not yes.  Would I still have been able to meet Purdue’s admission requirements if because of being in that different group I went to a less privileged high school?  Would I still have even been motivated to apply if my primary education was not as good?  The easiest and most comfortable answer is yes but that does not mean it is the right one and I cannot honestly say I know the answer.  Of course I would like to assume that I would still have grown into the same adult but that may not have been the case.

This can apply to anything that feels like an accomplishment.  It is hard to take something you are proud of and look at it a again from the perspective of “Have I worked hard enough to deserve this.” instead of “I deserved this because I have worked hard.”.

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§ 2 Responses to Pride and Privilege

  • boilerup0924 says:

    I love the quote at the end “I deserved this because I have worked hard” vs “Have I worked hard enough to deserve this?” It is a question we should all ask ourselves before we began to boast about another accomplishment. I believe with a question like this, it will help to humble ourselves and allow us to realize the privileges we have and the oppression we may have overcome.

  • taryngerson says:

    Until you really sit down to look at your situation and the many privileges that comes along with just the color of your skin, its true that you can overlook what advantage you have over other people. I would like to think that everyone has an equal opportunity to things but until you take off your backpack and see how things really are this is not always the case. I think when I was younger I always had felt that everyone had an equal opportunity to do whatever they wanted… but it wasn’t until I started to look more in depth at why I felt this way, and it was because I am white and come from a privileged background, and this is why I felt this way. I think if I was born with a different colored skin tone or from a different social status I wouldn’t feel the same way I did when I was younger.

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