April 30, 2014

"How privileged are you?"

A checklist. 

I'm 53% privileged. Meade is 32%, and unlike me, he had to check "I am a man." What's happening there? I pressured him about whether he was straining his interpretation of the questions to try to avoid having to check things.

Did he check "I have never gone to bed hungry"? I checked it, but I could have interpreted "going to bed hungry" to include the times I felt peckish but had already brushed my teeth and was too lazy to go through the rigamarole of finding something in the refrigerator and brushing my teeth again. Meade, who did not check that one, assures me that he interpreted the question in the spirit of the project, which purports to identify attributes of privilege, and in that spirit, "going to bed hungry" means going to bed hungry because of genuine financial constraints.

We got to that Buzzfeed quiz via David Blaska, whose blog post on the topic is called "White, middle-aged (plus), and male? I plead guilty as hell!"

Facts about Althouse's Buzzfeed-tested lack of privilege: I have been denied an opportunity because of my gender (I was excluded from the lighting crew in high school theater; I was excluded from mechanical drawing and shop in high school and required to take cooking and sewing). I have been called a racial slur ("albino").  And a stranger has asked me if my hair is real ("Is that a wig?").

163 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

This "privilege" thing seems to be hot right now. See this essay by a freshman at Princeton. He says "check your privilege" is a standard put-down in colleges these days.

When I was in college, political correctness was a new concept. It seems to have grown into a bigger monster than I could have imagined.

rhhardin said...

I used to shovel snow both ways to school.

rhhardin said...

I had to pay for my own flying lessons, as a kid.

Nichevo said...

Hahaha, professor funny. Albino a racial epithet! Girls don't do science. Science is hard. Albinism is a medical condition affecting blacks and whites alike. Any more would be mansplaining and of course death before mansplaining. Haha albino racist.

Virgil Hilts said...

Not a single question about baldness? If I could have a full head of hair back I would gladly convert to some horrible religion that other people don't like and then lie about it.

Virgil Hilts said...

Not a single question about baldness? If I could have a full head of hair back I would gladly convert to some horrible religion that other people don't like and then lie about it.

Virgil Hilts said...

Not a single question about baldness? If I could have a full head of hair back I would gladly convert to some horrible religion that other people don't like and then lie about it.

Nichevo said...

Hahaha, professor funny. Albino a racial epithet! Girls don't do science. Science is hard. Albinism is a medical condition affecting blacks and whites alike. Any more would be mansplaining and of course death before mansplaining. Haha albino racist.

Virgil Hilts said...

Not a single question about baldness? If I could have a full head of hair back I would gladly convert to some horrible religion that other people don't like and then lie about being a member of it.

Curious George said...

Pretty sure "albino" isn't a race.

Henry said...

When did the word "privilege" replace "lucky"?

Despite the disclaimer at the bottom of the survey, the word "privilege" is preferred because it implies condemnation. It's a purity ritual. This is exactly the same as fundamentalist religions that use of a word like "fornication" instead of "intercourse" (let alone "making love").

Unknown said...

Using the word "puckish" is a tell.

Unknown said...

sorry - peckish

AReasonableMan said...

I call BS on the 32 percent. As a heterosexual white male it would be hard to get less than 70 on that test.

SGT Ted said...

I scored 32. The test is PC bullshit.

Michael said...

I scored 75 and wonder why it was not 100%. I have been addicted to alcohol, as an example, but never considered that addiction or my acknowledgement of it, as subtracting from my priviledge in the least. There were several other questions I recognized as not being binary but that is the result of any of these non scientific games.

Recognization of priviledge in oneself does not subtract from nor add to the priviledge in another as I am sure the creators of th game believe.

Peter said...

Coming soon to a mandatory college orientation session near you.

Everyone with a high privilege score will then be required to publicly speak on the subject.

MadisonMan said...

How do you know if you've "never been denied an opportunity because of blah blah blah".

I haven't made a habit of going up to someone after they've turned me down and asked "Why?"

My parents aren't married -- one's dead. Does that mean I still check off the box?

Why do I think that a Queer Studies major created this survey?

Alan said...

27 out of 100. Yay Me!!!

This survey doesn't say much about me but it does say a lot about the mental, emotional, and spiritual state of the people who put it together. It's almost a cry for help.

Mark said...

Blaska's generous civil service pension that allowed him to retire comfortably is one heck of a privelege. My dollars.

Brando said...

Fairly worthless "test". Too many of those questions can be open for interpretation.

Actual "privilege" is relative anyway--basically every American is privileged compared to a Bengali rope farmer trainee, and when compared to multi-millionaires the daily struggles we all have to deal with make us feel less privileged.

What's more disturbing to me is the growing trend towards carrying a lack of privilege as some badge of honor, or an oppression Olympics. People ought to appreciate what they do have, and aim for better. Trying to "privilege-shame" others is pointlessly stupid, but all to popular these days.

Meade said...

I should write a nonfiction book: Unprivileged Like Me.

Tank said...

56%. Yep, I'm pretty lucky, like a lot of other people who've spent most of their lives working 10 hours a day 6 days + a week and more.

I WAS lucky to have two parents, one male and one female (can I say that?). Is that a privilege? I don't think there was a question about that.

Tibore said...

Wow. That quiz is some serious combination of Political Correctness, near-Soviet-heyday level slanting, and "Do you still beat your wife" type issue framing. It's Orwellian enough to appear in 1984 with very few changes.

Political correctness has been enamored of Kangaroo Court type questionnaires since the 80's, and probably earlier. I guess some things never change.

Meade said...

Of course, I am quite privileged (as well as honored and pleased) to be married to someone as privileged as you are. If the quiz had been better designed, that privilege alone would've bumped me up into the 99th percentile of privilege.

persiflage mahal said...

31% and I'm an affluent, white, middle-aged male. Unless you've lived a very sheltered life, you're likely to come in low on this one, probably because what constitutes privilege was determined by a very privileged, very sheltered white liberal.

Renee said...

"Are you parents still married"

I liked that one.

john said...

38%. I'm not from Indiana, so that could why.

Pretty lame bunch of questions, however. Oriented to homosexuality and bullying, of a pair nowadays. Victim or privilege.

Ann's high score seems to suggest a tendency to bully gays.

B said...

So not being raped is a marker of privilege?

Stan Smith said...

Excuse me, but how is "albino" a "racial slur"?

C R Krieger said...

Turns out, at 59 points, I am quite privileged, and that is including being pulled out of airport lines (e.g., Rome, Financial Police). To score near 100 points one must have to be young and Caucasian and the child of rich, progressive, Democrats from one of the Coasts.

Regards  —  Cliff

fivewheels said...

Why would you go through such a tedious exercise? It's a bludgeon, not a quiz. Somewhere about the 10th straight question that was just a proxy for "Are you gay?" with about 15 straight more to go, it was clear they were failing to make me feel guilty about being hetero, so I had enough.

The Drill SGT said...

47

I didn't get to score for the

Ever been spit on in an airport?
Ever been called profane things because of my job?
etc

Carol said...

I got a 21. Being raised by a single parent (the stupider one) will meet most those bullet points.

Lyssa said...

I got 53%, too. There were a lot of nevers in there that put me off - for example, I don't know of any specific time that I've specifically been denied an opportunity, any opportunity, because of my sex, but there've been a few times that it seemed enough of a possibility that I wouldn't say never.

I also answered the hair question affirmatively - as a redhead, you get all sorts of comments.

I wasn't 100% sure what they meant by all the "identity" questions towards the end - I decided that it meant something along the lines of personality, and answered based on that.

The Drill SGT said...

Stan Smith said...
Excuse me, but how is "albino" a "racial slur"?


In the world of vicitmization scoring, folks who achieve at least minimal victim status are allowed to create 'extra point' categories, to run up the score

Lyssa said...

Renee said: "Are you parents still married"

I liked that one.


Ditto. I've always thought that the fact that I had married, responsible, mentally healthy parents is the greatest privilege that I've had in life, by far.

AJ Lynch said...

Jeez I think that survey needed a few more gay oriented questions.

sane_voter said...

I scored a 50. And I think the quiz had too many questions about sexual orientation issues.

I think the biggest privilege advantage is having good parents, and that is does not depend on how much money they make. And it also shouldn't be function of race.

EMD said...

74 BITCHES!!!!

Ann Althouse said...

"Pretty sure "albino" isn't a race."

Here's a Wikipedia list of racial slurs. Are any of them "a race"?

Is "banana" a race? Is "ape" a race? Is "alligator bait" a race? Is "beaney" a race? Is "camel jockey" a race? Is "Christ killer" a race? Is "crow" a race? Is "dothead" a race? Is "greaseball" a race? Is "macaca" a race? Is "porch monkey" a race? Is "raghead" a race? Is "wetback" a race?

Racial slurs are not names of a race. They are words used to refer to the race of someone who is getting insulted.

"Albino" referring to a person with the medical condition "albino" is not a racial slur, just as "crow" referring to the familiar bird is not a racial slur.

"Albino" referring to someone with very light skin is like "whitey"… beyond "whitey." It's a way to exaggerate and pathologize great whiteness.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's the racial slur "albino" used against me at the popular blog Sadly, No!: "the besotted albino non-partisan blogatrix of [Matt Welch's] dreams, Ann Althouse."

sane_voter said...

I am interested in hearing more about this Althouse albino slur. Was the person obviously trying to denigrate you, and what race was the person who said it?

Brando said...

Plus, how completely shortsighted. Everyone knows having a good head of hair, being tall, and being generally good looking (or at least having symetrical features) counts a lot more than a lot of those other factors. What about weak vs. strong chins?

And whether you feel you were discriminated against due to your race does not actually mean you were discriminated against because of your race. Maybe the test should be titled "how underprivileged do you think you are, whiner?"

rhhardin said...

The neener neener song wasn't mentioned.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's a list of racial slurs against white people that includes "albino" (and an awful lot of other stuff that isn't always a reference to race like dried shit, dandruff, flat-ass, flour bag, ghost, milk, etc.).

Original Mike said...

I have been ridiculed for my Wisconsin accent. Fortunately, I can afford a therapist.

Patrick O said...

"As a heterosexual white male it would be hard to get less than 70 on that test."

In primarily heterosexual white male environments.

Other contexts prioritize other aspects, so that white male heterosexual is seen as suspect, the new "other." Which is not to dispute historical privilege of that category but to note particular contexts of different experiences.

This comment goes to what I was going to add, that how we self-report is different than if we filled it out for others. That's the danger of a lot of "privilege" conversations, there's assumptions abounding.

For instance, I'm a white male, but experienced significant poverty growing up. I also grew up in SoCal, which is very diverse, so one can have different racial experiences, even as a white male, among Asian, Hispanic, or Black populations.

Bruce Hayden said...

I got down into the gay stuff, and figured that this was aimed at promoting victimology. Apparently, voluntary conduct is grounds for losing points on being privileged. This was emphasized in the comments where the consensus on one threat was that graduating from high school was justified as being privileged, since sometimes things happen to people in high school that prevents them from graduating. What wasn't said, and I think was studiously ignored, is that, again, we are mostly talking voluntary actions here, since the things most likely keeping people from graduating are probably teenaged pregnancy or maybe incarceration due to crimes, or at least figuring that a life of crime is more lucrative than continuing in school. It is almost as if these people thought that the teenaged girls getting pregnant are innocent bystanders, and somehow, with divine intervention, are fertilized. Most often, however, the reality is more prosaic - they voluntarily had unprotected sex. And, in some of our subcultures, there seems to be societal pressure to do just that, in order to get their own checks. In short, perfect Obama voters - willing to vote for him and other Dems in order to be able to stay at home having kids, often out of wedlock.

I think that you also know that this is politically motivated when men are disadvantaged based on their sex (as are heterosexuals). Why not give the guys points (or take them away from the gals) when they have been drugged in grade school because they acted like boys and not girls? Or, where the grading system rewarded collaboration above personal achievement? Or were unjustly accused of rape or sexual attack by a woman who had day-after regrets? Or, indeed, who voluntarily (and repeatedly) got herself into the position that resulted in the charge against the guy? More women than men are now entering college, getting college degrees, and getting advanced degrees, and somehow it is the men who are privileged? The women also get better grades in high school, apparently also indicia of male privilege.

In honesty, I probably would have scored quite high on the test, so take whatever I say here with a grain of salt. I didn't go to a private high school, study abroad in college, or go to Europe for spring break. And, my partner constantly reminds me of my weight - supposedly because she does not want to be widowed again (I consider it micro-aggressions). And, I guess there was a winter 40 years ago when I was a ski bum, and so was skiing a lot more than working, so didn't always have a place to stay or even maybe enough food.

John Lynch said...

30.

There are major problems with this test. If you aren't gay, you get 20 or so points no matter what. Why not combine that into one question? It just pads the score of 95% of your participants. This can only be deliberate.

The test seems to be aimed at college-going young adults. Whoever wrote the test seems outraged that he or she was not born into a family that paid all of his or her bills.

The age bias leads to some funny results. I'm middle aged and have a house, a job, and a family. I'm pretty darn secure and "privileged" at this point. I lived a hard life when I was younger and that's reflected in my score. Since the test didn't put a time limit on any of the questions (e.g. "in the last five years...") then people like my millionaire grandfather who lived through the Depression would have had a low score.

The test was heavily weighted toward sex, which is another thing that gives away the age bias. The sex questions outnumbered the economic and race questions, it seemed to me.

Compare Charles Murray's test from "Coming Apart."

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Does getting turned down by a lesbian count as being denied an opportunity because of my sex?

Terry said...

The privilege that trumps all other privileges is the privilege of determining who is and who is not privileged.

In the early days after the October Revolution, the commies arrested, tried, and executed a few hundred of their own people. Later, by finding people guilty of being a type or class of person, rather than being guilty of a particular crime, they were able to imprison and kill millions.

Original Mike said...

"I also answered the hair question affirmatively - as a redhead, you get all sorts of comments."

Oh yeah. I forgot about "carrot top". Man, am I glad I can afford that therapist. (How much does one cost, anyways?)

jacksonjay said...

I noticed that THUG is not on the Wikipedia list of racial slurs! Cracked stands corrected!

cubanbob said...

Yes I'm white, middle-aged male and privileged and I don't apologize for being privileged. If someone is going to be privileged better me than than someone else.

Terry said...

Bruce Hayden-
Whether a feature of privilege is voluntary or involuntary doesn't matter. You are an object, being privileged (or its opposite). You don't privilege yourself. Society privileges you. As individual you have no ability to privilege yourself, but of course you are capable of privileging others.
That's the idea, anyhow. I know it's bat-shit crazy.

MrCharlie2 said...

I thought a privilege was a positive "a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others".

These questions were mostly concerned with bad things that you may have experienced, by implication because you are not among the privileged. Kind of a passive-aggressive survey, if you ask me.

I went to an "elite" university, and frequently went to sleep hungry. I am grateful for both of these experiences.

Henry said...

It would certainly not be advisable to use the word "karma" instead of "privilege".

As an atheist I found the statement "There is a place of worship for my religion in my town" somewhat comical. After some thought I checked yes. Yes, there is no there there.

holdfast said...

I am priveleged because I didn't decide to be a stoner loser like some of the guys I hung out with in high school!

Oh wait, I made a choice to study instead of getting high.

MrCharlie2 said...

BTW, I got 46, as heterosexual white male.

Ralph Hyatt said...

I got 50% cause I am a white heterosexual male and according to the quiz that is the epitome of privilege.

I did have some thoughts on some of the questions though.

"Are your parents still married."

What if they were never married? What if they stayed married but constantly fought making your home life miserable? I know a guy who married the same woman three times, what about their kids?

Also, I'm 50 so I don't see how my parents being dead adds to or decreases my privilege since they died well after I became an adult.

And what if you have epithets and violence directed at you because you don't go along with the racism of your peers?

SteveR said...

With most of these issues, allowing yourself to feel underprivileged is the problem. Get over it and stop feeling sorry for yourself and other people.

Brian said...

I checked both the "I am white" and "I have been in a room where I was the only person of my race" boxes. Why do I imagine that this combination of responses would blow the BuzzFeed writer's mind?

Also, he needs some lesson in the problem of double-counting.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
Here's the racial slur "albino" used against me at the popular blog Sadly, No!: "the besotted albino non-partisan blogatrix of [Matt Welch's] dreams, Ann Althouse."

Seriously? They are making fun of your appearance, not your race.

Michael E. Lopez said...

I find it fascinating that this test is at least as much (if not more) about subjective perceptions than objective conditions.

Privilege, we might conclude, is more of a state of mind than a state of affairs.

David said...

I do not have to take a test to know that I have been privileged. As are most Americans, resulting from our nationality. Some of my privileges I earned, but I was born with more of them. On a relative basis (privilege being a relative concept) being white was one of the unearned ones.

But beyond the very basic and meaningful advantage of whiteness, I would ask very different questions to identify privilege than this survey does. Many of the so called oppressed are among the most privileged in our society. And yes, I am looking at you, white girls.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

29 for a white hetero male.

Woohoo! Now I can play the victim card too.

Matthew Sablan said...

Some of these are set up to catch certain people. "Sound white" AND an "accent" question?

I had a kid ask to touch my hair once, so I didn't have to check that one. Then three points for being heterosexual, not lying about it and not having to come out?

Oddly enough, at one point, my parents thought I may be gay, so I had to leave that unchecked, since they doubted I was heterosexual -- and I've been called both of those slurs.

What's the point of having those two, followed by "any other slurs?" Since I have been called those, I clearly have to answer the same for that one.

If a guy thought I was hitting on his girlfriend in a bar and threatened to kick my ass, is that being violently threatened because of my sexuality?

I was denied an opportunity; I've been told plenty of times by my female friends "You're a guy, you just don't get it."

Since I don't share my salary with people, I can't tell if I make more than female editors with equal background, experience and performance.

How come waiter/barista get a privilege check but, the crap jobs I did growing up are not [that is, roofing, clearing dead trees, digging ditches]?

How is my parents being married "privilege?"

I've never been attacked for being Christian, but I've had Internet threats and shaming -- so do those count? As written, they do, so I answered that way.

I'm not nervous in airport security lines, even though I have a higher chance than average of being searched, because I am not doing anything wrong and airports are statistically very safe. Should I be given privilege points for being a law-abiding, rational thinker?

I've never heard that phrase because I don't travel internationally... seems kind of odd to gain privilege points for being too poor for international travel.

By putting "save" in quotation marks on the religious question is odd -- I've had people try to convert me AWAY from Christianity to atheism, but they didn't phrase it that way... so I'm not sure if that counts.

I got 41/100. Or something. It's a stupid test.

LYNNDH said...

No questions if I every wear shorts. Which I do, even being a male.
No questions if I have a beard or mustache. Which I have both.

EDH said...

As a white male, I was racially discriminated against in government employment by a black agency director who, I believe, thought he was protecting me from the rough and tumble of predominately black crew of urban youth I would have to supervise over the summer break.

I was called to his office for a special interview because he wanted to talk about the research listed on my resume about youth employment, but when I asked about the job he just laughed.

And I had accused my mother of being bigoted because she had cautioned me in the exact same way.

My reaction was like Ralphie's in the scenes from "A Christmas Story", mouth agape, when every body from his teacher to Santa issued the same warning as his mother, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

So, I scored 25.

Example of arbitrary questions: "I have never worked as a waiter, barista, bartender, or salesperson."

I guess I was privileged because I washed dishes/prep cooked and cleaned offices.

Jon K said...

72 out of 100. But I know I can do better.

Jon K said...

72 out of 100. But I know I can do better.

traditionalguy said...

I hit 55% but that is normal for the post WWII era established by the greatest generation's will to win and then go home and raise real live privileged children in the Pax Americana their family and friends gave lives to defend from imminent slaughter by The Empire of Japan and The Third Reich.

I suspect my privilege count suffered, if at all, from taking Christian scripture to be valuable. That is a habit which draws opposition even from privileged friends.

Unknown said...

The word "privileged" isn't really defined with any precision. Furthermore, there's no validation showing that this checklist formula accurately measures "privilege", whatever that is. This whole thing is just pathetic.

David in Cal

Stan Smith said...

"Albino" referring to someone with very light skin is like "whitey"… beyond "whitey." It's a way to exaggerate and pathologize great whiteness.

Only if YOU let it. It may just refer to your "very light skin." Words have power ONLY if YOU let them. It's why going crazy over "nigger" is so foolish. It's only a WORD.

Henry said...

I noticed that the list assumes you have parents, but not kids.

Privilege, apparently, is something that single people do.

Henry said...

Meade wrote: "I should write a nonfiction book: Unprivileged Like Me."

You need a really privileged person to disguise themselves as Meade. The privileged person gets to write the book for you.

Illuninati said...

I answered as honestly as possible and scored 35 on the test. The test put up a big red block that said "You're not Privileged". Perhaps that score has something to do about growing up in Rwanda.

That being said, in many ways that test is BS. One question should be, "Were you born in the United States?". If the answer is "yes" then you automatically go to the top of the list as one of the most privileged people in the world.


Conserve Liberty said...

87. Thank God. I'm normal.

Steve said...

He who determines the questions determines the outcome. Try some of these questions:

I have never worked a job with a shovel in my hand

I have never been injured on the job.

I have never worked overtime so my spouse could stay home with my children.

I have never been physically exhausted by my job.

I am not required to join a union to pursue my chosen profession.

I have never worn a uniform to work.

I have never shopped at Walmart.

I have purchased organic food.

I grind my own coffee beans.

I have been to the dentist in the last two years.

Emil Blatz said...

fiddy ate!

Ralph Hyatt said...

"I checked both the "I am white" and "I have been in a room where I was the only person of my race" boxes. "

Me too. Many times. Somebody has lived a very sheltered life.

"I have never worked as a waiter, barista, bartender, or salesperson."

I checked this because I did work, very briefly, as a waiter at one time and also delivered pizzas. But shouldn't I get extra non-privileged points for the summer I spent working as unskilled labor in construction, in Georgia, to pay for college, so I wouldn't have to take out any loans? What about when I was in high school and I worked in a tool and die shop as a janitor (where they milled graphite and my snot turned black) or when I was delivering newspapers before I was twelve? Or mowing neighbors lawns?

I've got news for whoever wrote this quiz, working as a waiter or barista or salesperson is indicative of privilege.

Trashhauler said...

I got a 45 and therefore am not privileged. However, many things are different between the kid growing up poor 50 years ago and being the man who is comfortably retired now.

This "who is privileged?" is a mug's game, intended to inject a little guilt into living a normal, comfortable life.

In any case, anyone who has traveled much overseas will tell you we are all privileged to live in the United States.

The Godfather said...

Being asked if "I've always had cable" was pretty funny -- I was born in 1943!

persiflage mahal said...



"Patrick O said...
"As a heterosexual white male it would be hard to get less than 70 on that test."

In primarily heterosexual white male environments."

Just so. A lot of what the survey defines as being unprivileged is a regular part of the banter and hurly-burly of being out in the world. A fact that the victim-hustlers and their enablers want desperately to deny.

AustinRoth said...

ha. By today's standards, there is only one question needed - are you white? If yes, you are privileged, sayeth the Left.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I frequently went to bed horny. Can I get points taken off my privilege for that?

The Godfather said...

This is all kind of amusing, but there's a serious threat lurking in the notion that certain people are "privileged". In the old "rights v. privileges" distinction, "privileges" are what "they" can take away from you -- "a driver's license is a privilege not a right". But here the idea is to declare that certain people don't just have certain "privileges", they are themselves "privileged", i.e., they don't really have a right to anything that they have. Therefore, by saying you are privileged, they are saying that anything you have, "they" can take away. When people start using the word "privileged" about you, it's time to check your ammo supply.

Patrick O said...

"you automatically go to the top of the list as one of the most privileged people in the world."

I tell this to my students (very diverse mix), that the very fact they're in the class in a university getting a higher education places is very unique thing, globally.

Privilege is always relative. That's why even in poor societies there are oppressors, and even among the oppressed there are relative degrees of privilege.

Revenant said...

Amusingly, it turns out that Martin Luther King, Jr, was more privileged than me.

From this I conclude that this is not a very good test. :)

Brando said...

The whiny nature of the questions--the very idea that someone "making fun of your accent" makes you underprivileged--just goes to show what a soft society we have become. Here are questions far more relevant for determining privilege:

1) Do you have access to running water and electricity?

2) Have you recently become violently ill due to eating garbage from a landfill?

3) Are you beaten with a bamboo cane on a regular basis because you didn't pick enough rice today?

If you answer "no" to all three, guess what, you're privileged and quit your whining!

Ralph Hyatt said...

I would just like to say that whoever wrote that quiz is full of privilege.

Also, if you have never been called "faq" then obviously you have never met Alec Baldwin.

' ' '

Tap, Tap. Is this thing on?

Brando said...

Or how about these questions:

1) Did your local organic grocery store run out of locally grown kale?

2) Have you suffered a "microagression" lately?

3) Did your sociology professor give a lecture that offended you because you weren't provided with a trigger warning ahead of time?

If you answer "yes" to any of these then you're a tool. It was a fake test, to weed out the tools!

kimsch said...

I got 37. The cable question tickled me too, I was born before color TV, my sister and I were Dad's remote control, and sometimes we had to stand in funny positions for quite some time to get that channel in clearly.

I've never been told I "sound white".

There was the question about whether your parents were heterosexual... I could check that, but not that they're both alive or still married. Although Mom was married to Dad until he died and he was her only husband.

Seeing Red said...

I have been specifically denied jobs because of my sex. I will never play in the NBA.

Bob Ellison said...

Are you heterosexual?
Are you heterosexual?
Are you heterosexual?
Are you white?
Are you male?
Are you heterosexual?


Is this a dating site?

jr565 said...

I got a 43. Clearly Althouse owes me some of her priviledge.

jr565 said...

Towards the end it got a little weird. Have I ever been bullied because of my identities (plural). Are they talking about my split personalities, or my secret identities?

AJ Lynch said...

I only got 42 even though I have no gay parts.

Fernandinande said...

I am white.

Questioner is racist to presume that some financially poor, mentally retarded - let's throw in crippled while we're at it - white kid is more privileged than a rich, functional black kid.

Around here, Indians are privileged: "free" Indian Health Service and property non-Indians can't buy/own/walk on without permission from Indians.

IOW, racial segregation.

I have never been discriminated against because of my skin color.

Nearly all whites and Asians are discriminated against. It's called "affirmative action".

I have never been the only person of my race in a room.

That has often happened, continues to happen, and I never thought much about it.

I have never been mocked for my accent.

People laughed at me in Wales and Switzerland - it was heartbreaking!

I have never been told I am attractive “for my race.”

Being unattractive is a privilege?

I have never been a victim of violence because of my race.

Not since high-school. Since then I've been the victim of violence (cop and ex-wife), not because of my race, and apparently that's fine and dandy.

I have never been called a racial slur.

Once some drunk Indians staggering along the sidewalk hostilely and repeatedly yelled "Hey Jew!" at me.

I have never been told I “sound white.”

I've never heard of anyone being told that.

A stranger has never asked to touch my hair, or asked if it is real.

Having boring hair is a privilege?

SGT Ted said...
The test is PC bullshit.

Correct.

jr565 said...

"I have never worked as a waiter, barista, bartender, or salesperson."

Do I get bonus negative points if I've worked two out of three?

Kristy Camas said...

How can good health not be mentioned? Interesting, the biases of the original survey; Steve’s privilege questions open some good possibilities to more accurately account for privilege. That is, if the world must be viewed through that prism.

“Privilege” seems to be a negative re-branding of “blessings”, which has connotations that are positive, humble, religious, grateful, and a sense that the blessing is unearned. That swapping of terms feels like a nasty way of looking at life.

Hymn for a new paradigm:
When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost
Count your many woes name them one-by-one
And it will surprise you what the privileged have done.

I mean, I suppose you can adopt that philosophy. Seems like cold comfort though.

Kristy Camas said...

How can good health not be mentioned? Interesting, the biases of the original survey; Steve’s privilege questions open some good possibilities to more accurately account for privilege. That is, if the world must be viewed through that prism.

“Privilege” seems to be a negative re-branding of “blessings”, which has connotations that are positive, humble, religious, grateful, and a sense that the blessing is unearned. That swapping of terms feels like a nasty way of looking at life.

Hymn for a new paradigm:
When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost
Count your many woes name them one-by-one
And it will surprise you what the privileged have done.

I mean, I suppose you can adopt that philosophy. Seems like cold comfort though.

Meade said...

David said...
"I do not have to take a test to know that I have been privileged."

This is a good point. And what a privilege it is to be able to know that.

I'm generally a pessimist in most things but my 32% score strikes me as still being embarrassingly high — close to a glass half-full of privilege!

Meade said...

"There was the question about whether your parents were heterosexual"

Heh. I enjoyed Mr. Blaska's quip — something like: But, of course, how could any of us really know? After all, who can't manage to be hetero enough... at least for the moment or two it takes?

The Crack Emcee said...

"You live with 27 out of 100 points of privilege.

You’re not privileged at all. You grew up with an intersectional, complicated identity, and life never let you forget it. You’ve had your fair share of struggles, and you’ve worked hard to overcome them. We do not live in an ideal world and you had to learn that the hard way. It is not your responsibility to educate those with more advantages than you, but if you decide you want to, go ahead and send them this quiz. Hopefully it will help."

ALP said...

I can answer "yes" on the accent question merely because I moved from the north east area of the US to the Pacific NW, where New York, Boston or Jersey accents tend to be rare.

The self flagellation of this exercise reminds me of the "carbon footprint" quizzes.

I bailed half way through. Good god, its worse than any of those carbon footprint quizzes.

Renee said...

I would say lucky over privileged in some of these questions.

As for are your parents still married, dealing with a parent's declining health must be difficult for adult children when parents are divorced.

If one parent declines health wise before the other, at least you are helping your other parent and you are not doing it all on your own as an adult children.

I couldn't imagine trying to help your dad, when your mom has moved on and has no interest or obligation to ensure his well being. (or vice-versa)

William said...

Apparently it's some kind of privilege to be just like the people around you. The test measures blandness not privilege....I worked my way through college. I didn't regard it as a privilege......Is being homeless the same as being on a diet. Only privileged, middle class people watch their weight and go to bed hungry.

Balfegor said...

I'm pretty sure a lot of these are knocking down my privilege score for entirely the wrong reason. For example, I've been mocked for my accent, but that's not because my accent is Southern or Ethnic or something. I've pretended a significant other was just a friend, but that's not because I'm homosexual (as the positioning in the sequence of questions seemed to assume), but because I'm Asian. I'm uncomfortable with public displays of affection but that's just because they're pretty much always inappropriate, not because I'm gay. I've also endured name-callings as a homosexual before, but it's just because I'm a particularly effete and unmanly heterosexual.

In fact, as an upper middle class Korean-American, it is hard for me to imagine anyone more privileged than I am, short of being a chaebol or something. But their children are always committing suicide and such, so I'm probably better off than them too.

This test is rubbish.

rhhardin said...

Don't tip the barista. She'll just use the money to buy more nose rings.

- Mike Munger

Christopher said...

Scored a 54%, woohoo!!!!

Anyway, I have something of a policy of refusing to take anybody seriously who uses the word "cis-gender" in a serious manner.

I also can't take anybody seriously who uses the word "bullying" when speaking about interactions between adults.

Anthony said...

I have a bit of a priblem with this because I am an Italian American. I have had people made fun of my accent, back when I had a strong NY-LI accent. Does that count?

I have been called a "dumb guinea" and a wop. Is that a racial slur? Or an ethnic slur. I have also been told as a Catholic I cannot be a good American (a liberal told me that in law school). Given that Catholicism is tied so much to the Italian American experience does that count?

I have never gone to bed hungry because let's face it, as an Italian Ameircan that is pretty much impossible (my parents grew up dirt poor and they always found a way to eat something).

For a long time there was a question if Italians were white or not. I have seen it argued that it was not until WWI that it was decided we were, mostly so we could get drafted into white units.

I will say that I see lots of people called "black" who are lighter than members of my family.

R. Chatt said...

I scored a 25, not privileged -- probably because of being "Twice Blessed," a euphemism coined by my temple to refer to being Jewish and LGBT! And being a low income artist. Thrice blessed?

Meanwhile because I am white I am always accused of being privileged by guilt tripping non-whites (Crack?) and pc privileged whites (rapid anti-Semites and anti-Zionists). That should be a question as well, Have you ever been accused of being privileged because of your race?

tim in vermont said...

Not privileged, but a lot of that was because I was dirt poor as a kid, did go to bed hungry in College not by my own choice and still remember waking up in the night hungry, and I hung around with a lot of gay people in college, and so I took some flack for that at the time, 70s, not like my actual gay friends though, I will acknowledge that.

I have also lied about being an atheist because I was sick of hearing about it from religious types, and there is no "atheist temple" in my town.

I have been called a terrorist for my Tea Party sympathies.

I have been cyber bullied for one of my identities, (not Tim in Vermont)

I always knew it was a privilege to be raise by a pair of heterosexual parents.

I gained privilege points too for having "never felt poor." Even though, by any measure, I have been poor, when I had to borrow $25 to fix my car, certainly compared to the way I live now.

Right now, I am majorly privileged, but it was not always so.

This was obviously written by young people.

Temujin said...

Check your racism. The entire concept of privilege is so basically ignorant of what most people and their families have had to do just to get to today.

The assertion is racist at its core. Selective collectivism. These people will make great Totalitarians some day.

But…let someone more in the middle of it have his say: www.thecollegefix.com/post/17230/

Ralph Hyatt said...

This link is very pertinent to this thread. It is unfortunate that at this point it will not be seen by anyone.

http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/17230/

Robert Cook said...

"I would say lucky over privileged in some of these questions."

Same thing. That's part of the point.

Robert Cook said...

"'I have never been told I “sound white.'

"I've never heard of anyone being told that."


You must be white.

Valentine Smith said...

Good test takers love taking tests.

Only an imbecile would take this test.

Ergo, good test takers can be imbeciles too.

Rusty said...

These people will make great Totalitarians some day.


Oh. They're being great totalitarians as we speak.
To assert that someone, because they are white, are privileged is racism and a totalitarian attempt to marginalize them.
The left once again controlling language to promote a narrative.

Revenant said...

Same thing. That's part of the point.

Actually, the word "privilege" refers to something most people don't get. Being an American is a privilege; most people aren't. Among Americans, being white is NOT a privilege, because most Americans are white. Ditto for being heterosexual, Christian, the child of married parents, being non-poor, speaking standard American English, etc.

If you were born American then congrats, you won the Earth jackpot. But looking just at Americans specifically, if you were born the heterosexual child of heterosexual middle-class parents who paid for your upbringing and at least part of your education then you aren't "lucky" or "privileged". You're "normal".

One of the more tiresome aspects of the "privilege" fad is its persistent attempts to redefine normal as something undeserved and exceptional. Barack Obama's kids are privileged. George Bush's kids are privileged. White middle-class heterosexual kids are not; they're right smack in the middle of bell curve.

Freeman Hunt said...

I got...

You’re not privileged at all. You grew up with an intersectional, complicated identity, and life never let you forget it. You’ve had your fair share of struggles, and you’ve worked hard to overcome them. We do not live in an ideal world and you had to learn that the hard way. It is not your responsibility to educate those with more advantages than you, but if you decide you want to, go ahead and send them this quiz. Hopefully it will help.

Ha ha ha!

Later today, "Look, guys, it's not my responsibility to educate you, but unlike me, you guys need to check your privilege with this quiz. I'll send you a link."

I especially liked this part of the description, "You grew up with an intersectional, complicated identity..." As the Internet-speak goes, "Wut?"

No so much so much as not.

Anyway, life here is comparatively easy. There are people in other parts of the world who get hacked up with machetes. There are people who watch their kids die of starvation or malaria. There are people who live as slaves.

Do you live in the United States?

You are privileged. Hugely.

How about statements like:
You have access to clean drinking water.
Your floor is not made of dirt.
You have a say in who you marry.
You will not be executed if you change your religious affiliation.
Where you live, it is illegal for someone else to physically assault you.
You have access to school.
You do not live in fear that a neighboring people group will massacre your community.
You have never seen anyone starve to death.
You have access to vaccines.
You are not owned by another person.

Michael K said...

I was 44. I guess I can call the Sterling feeding frenzy bullshit. Is that OK, Crack ?

hombre said...

I scored 68, was raised in a white, middle class neighborhood by white middle class parents. I paid for 60%, or more, of my college and law school education and expenses, I'm straight and only slightly overweight.

There is no one here right now but my wife. Where do I go to apologize

cubanbob said...

Robert Cook ought to move to Japan or Saudi Arabia and then get back to us on how white privilidge works for him over there.

tim in vermont said...

I have been thinking about this "reparations" thing. Here is how it would play out. The govt would never tax to get the money, it would simply print it, then give it away to whatever coalition is put together that is big enough to force the issue.

Inflation follows like night follows day. All the white people and others who own property see their values rise. The stock market rises. All the savers and other people holding cash watch its value disappear.

Kind of like what happened in Germany under the yoke of the reparations following the treaty of Versailles.

CStanley said...

The questions were so inane I couldn't finish it.

A much better read on the topic of privilege, IMO:
http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/17230/

AReasonableMan said...

I am still having trouble with heterosexual white men claiming to get less than 70 on this test.

You guys must be some sensitive flowers. Being told by your wife or doctor to lose weight does not count as body shaming.

I am an atheist. People fucking hate atheists and I still got over 70.

chickenlittle said...

I believe that privilege is what we take for granted -- whether we realize it or not. It is like the difference between unearned and earned reward.

Formulated mathematically,

Let P = U - E where "P" stands for privilege, "U" stands for unearned reward, and "E" stands for earned reward.

A person with high unearned reward relative to E has positive privilege; a person with E > U has negative privilege; a person with U = E has approximately zero privilege.

Anyone whose "U" is greater than their "E" is privileged and in this country can include the idle rich as well as the indigent "takers."

kcom said...

"But you should be aware of your advantages and work to help others who don’t have them."

Why? Based on what? Because you say so? Are you saying there are actual standards in life? Where do they come from? And show me the proof. And wouldn't that just make me more privileged?

Tari said...

Interesting thought (well, interesting to me): if you have kids, take this quiz for them. Now, do you want them to get any lower than, say, a 75? Of course you don't. Doesn't matter if you're black, white, gay, straight, etc - many of the things the quiz authors are calling "privilege" are, by and large, what all parents are trying to give their children. How can the authors assume there's something wrong with that? I know my GED-holding father thought it was his job to work hard enough so I could go to college (and not be a prison guard like him). He also made sure I knew it was my job to pass my blessings and more onto my kids. I guess we're supposed to look down on all of that now, and flog ourselves with our privilege points until we're sufficiently chastised. I think I'll pass.

Henry said...

Renee wrote: "I would say lucky over privileged in some of these questions."

Robert Cook wrote: "Same thing. That's part of the point."

Actually, they're not the same thing at all, which is exactly the point. "Privileged" implies condemnation. "Lucky" is condemnation-free. "Privileged" is "fornication". "Lucky" is "fucking".

SGT Ted said...

"White Skin Privilege" is one of the PC dogmas of the campus left. This test relies on that fabrication as its baseline.

The "privilege" notion comes directly from the anti-white Racist/Sexist Studies college courses and departments that are shot through with the idea that white skin grants defacto privilege, because all whites are racists. Victimology in action.

Marc said...

I got the same 'you're not privileged at all... we do not live in an ideal world and you had to learn that the hard way' message as Crack Emcee and Freeman Hunt did. Of course I am in fact immensely privileged.

Am going to start putting Privilege? on the day's Wunderlist right below Racism? and War on Women? but before Pellegrino and miso slaw.

Robert Cook said...

Henry,

You're expressing a defensive, not to say resentful, interpretation. Privilege is very often the result, in whole or in part, of luck...good luck. A lack of privilege is often the result of a lack of luck...or of bad luck.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that this article written by a Princeton freshman is a pretty good rebuttal to the cries of "privilege": Checking My Privilege: Character as the Basis of Privilege.

As a note, this guy writes better, at maybe 19 or so, than most people decades older than he. This isn't something that comes naturally to most people, but rather, is learned through a lot of hard work. And, that is part of his point, that he was privileged because his grandparents made it out of Hitler's Germany alive (though grandmother did so barely, having dropped to 80 lbs at the time the concentration camp she was incarcerated in was liberated). He was privileged because his grandparents, and his parents, worked long hours, well more than 40 hours a week, to make the lives of their children better than their own. And he is privileged by being taught to work hard to get where he wants to go in life. He ends with this:

Behind every success, large or small, there is a story, and it isn’t always told by sex or skin color. My appearance certainly doesn’t tell the whole story, and to assume that it does and that I should apologize for it is insulting. While I haven’t done everything for myself up to this point in my life, someone sacrificed themselves so that I can lead a better life. But that is a legacy I am proud of.

I have checked my privilege. And I apologize for nothing.

Paul Golba said...

Tried to do the quiz. Twice. Too stupid both in general and in detail. I suspect the author acts like an old woman trying to one-up other people's ailments.

If you are ugly, does that lose you points on the "attractive for your race" question?

Having your parents pay your bills may be "privileged" but it can also be a terrible long-term disadvantage if done wrong. See Paris Hilton.

The one that tips off the author as not being particularly well versed in reality is the salesperson line. I suspect the image was someone at the mall trying to sell cheap crap in those island carts for minimum wage. In the corporate sector, a sales job can be extremely lucrative. Rich lucrative with the right company and skills. For that matter, what's the deal with the "salaried" thing? I dunno. Does the fact that, oh, Jon Bon Jovi does not get a salary mean anything?

Rusty said...

AReasonableMan said...
I am still having trouble with heterosexual white men claiming to get less than 70 on this test.


Why is that not surprising.

tim in vermont said...

"I am still having trouble with heterosexual white men claiming to get less than 70 on this test."

The questions are formulated "have you ever even once." If you have lived a long time, almost everything has happened to you at least once.

Plus, believe it or not, there are lots of heterosexual white men who don't live in Manhattan but come from flyover country where, believe it or not, attending an "elite" school was not even on the radar, even if you had the SAT and ACT scores for it.

Maybe they have been called "fat tourists" for riding in one of those horse carts when they visited Manhattan once in their life to see how the 1% live?

I only knew one person when I was a kid who wasn't a teacher who worked for a salary, my uncle who married one of my father's sisters, not a blood relative. I did have blood relatives who lived in trailers.

If you can't see how any other heterosexual white man could score under 70, then it is very likely that you are far more privileged than many of us. Maybe you should "check your privilege" before commenting.

I may sound bitter about the above, reading it, but I am not. My life is my life and it has turned out pretty well. I wish I could live it again.

kcom said...

"I am still having trouble with heterosexual white men claiming to get less than 70 on this test."

Didn't your mama teach you not to judge a book by its cover?

Or are you saying the whole thing is rigged?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

AReasonableMan said...

I am an atheist. People fucking hate atheists and I still got over 70.

I am an atheist. I've never met anyone who hated atheists, as far as I could tell. ( Including the kids who teased me for being an atheist as a kid. )

Maybe the people who know you hate you for reasons other than your atheism.

Henry said...

Robert Cook wrote: Henry, You're expressing a defensive, not to say resentful, interpretation. Privilege is very often the result, in whole or in part, of luck...good luck. A lack of privilege is often the result of a lack of luck...or of bad luck.

Robert,

The evaluatory powers of this exercise are less interesting to me than its premise. Its premise is revealed by its semantics.

To the extent that "privilege" is a plain descriptive, your explanation is perfectly true. But the term isn't chosen because it is descriptive. It is chosen because it asserts judgement. It's a lazy placeholder for a preconceived moral hierarchy.

Given that the entire exercise is a sloppy cobbling together of biological determinism and proxy categorizations, I think a more neutral term would be advised. But a neutral term wouldn't advance the cause.

According to the quiz, when Lou Gehrig gave his "I'm the most white-privileged man on earth" speech, it wasn't an example of extraordinary grace and courage, but just a rank confession. The proxy categorizations miss a key data point: that all his gifts had been suddenly and catastrophically taken away.

And this is they way all such abstractions work. They always miss the key data point.

Wendell Berry wrote: No one who understands the history of justice or of the imagination (largely the same history) wants to be treated as a member of a category.

When I read upwards through these comments the ones I find most interesting are not those by the finger-waggers, nor the angry, nor those that, in seeming seriousness, report a score. What is most interesting are the people who laugh at their assigned category -- Balfegor, Freeman Hunt, and Meade, for starters.

Here's another Wendell Berry quote, one that explains the one above:

Statistical knowledge once was rare. It was a property of the minds of great rulers, conquerors, and generals, people who succeeded or failed by the manipulation of large quantities that remained, to them, unimagined because unimaginable: merely accountable quantities of land, treasure, people, soldiers, and workers. This is the sort of knowledge we now call “data” or “facts” or “information.” Or we call it “objective knowledge,” supposedly untainted by personal attachment, but nonetheless available for industrial and commercial exploitation. By means of such knowledge a category assumes dominion over its parts or members. (my emphasis)

The only thing Berry got wrong is that he failed to add "academic and government" to "industrial and commercial".

AReasonableMan said...

kcom said...
Didn't your mama teach you not to judge a book by its cover?

Or are you saying the whole thing is rigged?



Quite clearly the test is rigged so that heterosexual white males will get a high score.

Any heterosexual white male not getting a high score must be claiming a lot of fairly trivial grievances. And, for the record, I didn't go to a private school, I put myself through college without a cent from my parents, I have been without housing on occasion and I worked much tougher jobs than being a barista in an air conditioned coffee shop.

Apparently heterosexual white males have joined the grievance industry along with everyone else.

AReasonableMan said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
I am an atheist. I've never met anyone who hated atheists, as far as I could tell.


Atheists generally rank lower than muslims in surveys of who would be unacceptable as a president. By this measure they are the religious grouping towards whom the majority feel the strongest prejudice.

Maybe the people who know you hate you for reasons other than your atheism.

Let's keep in mind that I am the one with the high score here. If the world treated you bad maybe you deserved it.

Unknown said...

I am sick of the idea that being a victim is good. My father was an immigrant in 1920. No government program gave him anything extra,simply because he wasn't "privileged.' He worked hard and made himself a success. And, he transmitted a work ethic to his children that made us succeed.

So, if someone today isn't privileged, that's too bad for them. Let them work extra hard to succeed, just as millions of other "non-privileged" people have done.

tim in vermont said...

"Quite clearly the test is rigged so that heterosexual white males will get a high score.

Any heterosexual white male not getting a high score must be claiming a lot of fairly trivial grievances."

Sorry, just answering the questions as they were phrased. Maybe, after being unemployed for an extended period of time and showing up at CETA to look for a job and being told that CETA wasn't for "people like me"; I shouldn't have counted that. At the time, it was a pretty big blow to me.

I forgot about the time, for a few weeks, when I didn't have a permanent place to live and had no money and lived on my friend's couches, well in one case an easy chair. I guess I was privileged to have good friends.

Meade said...

chickenlittle said...
I believe that privilege is what we take for granted -- whether we realize it or not. It is like the difference between unearned and earned reward.

Formulated mathematically,

Let P = U - E where "P" stands for privilege, "U" stands for unearned reward, and "E" stands for earned reward.

A person with high unearned reward relative to E has positive privilege; a person with E > U has negative privilege; a person with U = E has approximately zero privilege.

Anyone whose "U" is greater than their "E" is privileged and in this country can include the idle rich as well as the indigent "takers."


The privilege of a mathematician — taking for granted (whether he realizes it or not) — who gets to write the formula... writing in the factor of Unearned Reward while leaving out the factor of Undeserved Punishment.

AReasonableMan said...

Well, you heard it first here on Althouse. The US is the first country in recorded history to not have any privileged groups - literally everyone is a victim. Congratulations.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

AReasonableMan said...

Atheists generally rank lower than muslims in surveys of who would be unacceptable as a president. By this measure they are the religious grouping towards whom the majority feel the strongest prejudice.

A preference for one is not the same as hatred toward another. And why would you label that a prejudice? Maybe they see a belief in God as an important measure of your world view, something that can be used to estimate how you will evaluate and respond to events. Just because they assess you ( and me ) negatively does not mean their assessment is unreasonable.

Let's keep in mind that I am the one with the high score here. If the world treated you bad maybe you deserved it.

I scored pretty high too. But I didn't need a test to tell me that I have been blessed*.


*Yes, I am an atheist, but I use the term blessed because I think it better captures my appreciation of my circumstances.

AReasonableMan said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
Maybe they see a belief in God as an important measure of your world view



Apparently they do desire that in a politician. Hey, if you can fake sanctimoniousness you can fake anything.

tim in vermont said...

" literally everyone is a victim. Congratulations."

The problem is with your faux precise class analysis. People move between classes. The questions were about ones whole life.

Lots of unpleasant crap happens to white people too. Maybe black people think about suicide more, IDK, but I do know that more white people actually kill themselves. What a waste of privilege! Maybe "have you ever committed suicide" should be a plus question on the privilege count.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
The problem is with your faux precise class analysis. People move between classes. The questions were about ones whole life.


No one is saying that white men can't have hard lives. They can get cancer, marry lunatics and suffer from clinical depression, just like any one else. It is the desperateness to prove that they are not at least somewhat privileged in life that I find odd.

Because I am a white heterosexual male I lead a somewhat privileged life. It's better than the alternative. Why are other WHM's unwilling to acknowledge this?

chickenlittle said...

Meade replied: The privilege of a mathematician — taking for granted (whether he realizes it or not) — who gets to write the formula... writing in the factor of Unearned Reward while leaving out the factor of Undeserved Punishment.

Meade, who assigned the numerical scores to the poll you took if not an ersatz "mathematician"?

And "undeserved punishment" is much rarer than you believe -- on the order of the number of wrongfully convicted.

tim in vermont said...

I guess my big problem is that I think that there are two classes that have legitimate claims on majority conscience: American Indians and descendants of those enslaved in America, which is going to include many rich people we call white today.

The rest of that survey is political log rolling. I know gay people and sure, many have suffered from annoying crap, but no amount of political doctrine applied like peanut butter is going to make them not far more privileged than a black kid growing up in East St Louis, for example, or a poor white kid growing up in some depressed area of Upstate New York (remember that it is a truism that there are more white families than black on Welfare) or some girl born on some remote Indian reservation out west.

It simply doesn't wash and most people reject the premise. I think that might explain your wonderment or why people would interpret the questions the way they do.

What if you loved a fat woman yet felt the disapproval and snark of those around you? Would that count?

There is a lot more to heaven and earth than is accounted for in your philosophies, ARM.

Meade said...

"Meade, who assigned the numerical scores to the poll you took if not an ersatz "mathematician"?"

Exactly. And 1 ersatz mathematician + 1 ersatz mathematician ≠ genius.

chickenlittle said...

I wrest my case on your laurels then.

TMink said...

Silly, silly test based on silly, silly presuppositions first posited by guilty white guys.

Trey

AReasonableMan said...

tim in vermont said...
I guess my big problem is that I think that there are two classes that have legitimate claims on majority conscience: American Indians and descendants of those enslaved in America,


On this we are in agreement.

chickenlittle said...

On this we are in agreement.

Who isn't? The devil is in the details of redressing the claim. It's not a black and white scenario.

SJ said...

"Below Poverty line": yes, while in graduate school. Similarly for "Felt poor."

"Student Loans" : sign of privilege, or not?

I had them, but paid them off. (Partly because loans were for less than 15% of the total cost of my college education.)

However, what about those who never made it to college? Privileged to not owe student loans, or un-privileged because they didn't attend college?

And I don't buy new clothes very often. So the "New clothes more than once a month" doesn't apply to me, even though I could afford to if I wished.

"Never been called a terrorist": what if a politician says something like the Tea Party is acting like a terrorist holding the nation hostage ? Because I usually side with the cause that spawned the Tea Party, I think I've been called a terrorist.

I got 49 points, but the definition of "lied about religion as self-defense" feels squishy. There are elements of my religious practice (which is from the spectrum of Protestant Christianity) that I know receive lots of antagonism in public. I've not lied overtly, but I've decided to stay out of some discussions in situations where I know my words might be repeated to HR.

"Unpaid Internship" sounds like slavery. Or indentured servitude. I've never had that; even as a Grad Assistant I received a stipend. Earlier, as an Engineering Intern, I got a good hourly rate.

Some of the questions are silly: I have had roommates since I was 3 years old. Because of the size of my family.

And I have worked behind the counter of an ice-cream store. It may not be mentioned directly among "barista/waitperson/salesperson" description.

"I have never been the only person of my skin color in a room." There was this one gun range near Detroit, which has almost-100%-Black clientele.

"Never done my taxes myself." Everyone should, at least once. I've done taxes without the aid of TurboTax, and with the aid of TurboTax. (How many people want to add Exceptions/benefits/costs to taxes, but would re-think if they had to do their own taxes? Would the average Ivy Leaguer want to can the Alternative Minimum Tax if they realized how much it could harm them? I think every politician and Cabinet-level appointee in Washington, DC should do their own taxes. On live camera.)

I got 49 points, but I don't feel privileged.

mikee said...

19%, hence underprivileged. Yet carrying on!