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White Privilege by Peggy McIntosh

White Privilege by Peggy McIntosh

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Published by JennyRuben

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: JennyRuben on Apr 04, 2012
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01/03/2013

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WHITEPRIVILEGE
AN!'
MALEPRIVILEGE:APERSONALACCOUNTOFCOMING
TO
SEECORRESPONDENCESTHROUGHWORKINWOMEN'SSTUDIESPeggyMcIntosh1988
This
paperwasfunded
by
the
Anna
WilderPhelpsFundthroughthegenerosityof
Anna
EmeryHansonWORKINGPAPERNO.189WellesleyCollegeCenterforResearchonWomenWellesley,MA02181
 
ThroughworktobringmaterialsandperspectivesfromWomen'sStudiesintotherestofthecurriculum,Ihaveoftennoticedmen'sunwillingnesstograntthattheyareover-privilegedinthecurriculum,eventhoughtheymaygrantthatwomenaredisadvantaged.Denialswhichamounttotaboossurroundthesubjectofadvantageswhichmengainfromwomen'sdisadvantages.Thesedenialsprotectmaleprivilegefrombeingfullyrecognized,acknowledged,lessened,orended.Thinkingthroughunacknowledgedmaleprivilp.geasaphenomenonwithalifeofitsown,Irealizedthatsincehierarchiesinoursocietyareinterlocking,therewasmostlikelyaphenomenonofwhiteprivilegewhichwassimilarlydeniedandprotected,butaliveandrealinitseffects.Asawhiteperson,IrealizedIhadbeentaughtaboutracismassomethingwhichputsothersatadisadvantage,buthadbeentaughtnottoseeoneofitscorollaryaspects,whiteprivilege,whichputsmeatanadvantage.Ithinkwhitesarecarefullytaughtnottorecognizewhiteprivilege,asmalesaretaughtnottorecognizemaleprivilege.SoIhavebeguninanuntucoredwaytoaskwhatitisliketohavewhiteprivilege.Thispaperisapartialrecordof
my
personalobservations,andnotascholarlyanalysis.Itisbasedonmydailyexperienceswithinmyparticularcircumstances.IhavecometoseewhiteprivilegeasaninvisiblepackageofunearnedassetswhichIcancountoncashingineachday,butaboutwhichIwas"meant"toremainoblivious.Whiteprivilegeislikeaninvisible
Copyright
to
1988byPeggyMcIntosh,CenterforResearchonWomen,WellesleyCollege,Wellesley,MA02181
 
2
weightlessknapsackofspecialprovisions,assurances,tools,maps,guides,codebooks,passports,visas,clothes,compass,emergencygear,andblankchecks.SinceIhavehadtroublefacingwhiteprivilege,anddescribingitsresultsinmylife,
I
sawparallelsherewithmen'sreluctancetoacknowledgemaleprivilege.Onlyrarelywillamangobeyondacknowledgingthatwomenaredisadvantagedtoacknowledgingthatmenhaveanunearnedadvantage,orthat:unearned
p
rLvd.Legehasnotbeengoodformen'sdevelopmentashumanbeings,orforsociety'sdevelopment,orthatprivilegesystemsmighteverbechallengedandchanged.
I
willreviewhereseveraltypesorlayersofdenialwhich
I
seeatworkprotecting,andpreventingawarenessabout,entrenchedmaleprivilege.Then
I
willdrawparallels,frommyownexperience,withthedenialswhichveilthefactsofwhiteprivilege.Finally,
I
willlist
46
ordinaryanddailywaysinwhich
I
experiencehavingwhiteprivilege,withinmylifesituationanditsparticularsocialandpoliticalframeworks.Writingthispaperhasbeendifficult,despitewarmreceptionsforthetalksonwhichitisbased.
1
Fordescribingwhiteprivilegemakesonenewlyaccountable.AsweinWomen'sStudiesworkrevealmaleprivilegeandaskmentogiveupsomeoftheirpower,sOdOnewhowritesabouthavingwhiteprivilegemustask,"Havingdescribedit,whatwill
I
dotolessen
1
ThispaperwaspresenteaattheVirginiaWomen'sStudiesAssociationconferenceinRichmondinApril,1986andtheAmericanEducationalResearchAssociationconferenceinBostoninOctober,1986anddiscussedwithtwogroupsofparticipantsintheDodgeSeminarsforSecondarySchoolTeachersinNewYorkandBostoninthespringof1987.
126

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