Parul Sehgal's Privilege Sharer?

842 Words 4 Pages
What benefits does privilege provide? Why do people seem to hate the word? Literary critic, Parul Sehgal, in her informative paper, “How ‘privilege’ became a provocation”, argues “Privilege blinds, because it’s in its nature to blind”(Sehgal 1). Sehgal explains how the definition for ‘privilege’ has changed over time and how it affects people today. People view privilege as an undeserved success; one simply attains privilege by birth or luck, rather than working for it. This thought process results in an association between privilege and shame. As such, many feel shame when one addresses them as privileged, thus causing them to dislike the title ‘privileged. Due to their unjustified success, the privileged may not understand the trials the …show more content…
In her article, Sehgal shifts to providing examples to further her thesis. She focuses on a new meme on Twitter where “white men… [are] lying face down on the ground… in mock apology for their white privilege”(Sehgal 2). Such use of social media illustrates the privileged individuals’ blindness. They fail to understand others difficulties and they do not attempt to, instead they mock them, thus widening the chasm between them. By displaying such vulgar acts, Sehgal emphasizes the effects privilege has and how it affects society. This results from their ignorance of their own privilege. Sehgal analyzes a scene in “The argonauts” with similar themes as the mock apology above. Didion, a character, believes “privilege and pain are mutually exclusive”(Sehgal 3). Similar to the mock apology above, Didion’s ignorance generates the idea the privileged do not understand the difference between their lives and others. Didion feels his own trials completely balance the benefits given to him at birth. When the privileged openly mock and attack the underprivileged, how long until the underprivileged begin to retaliate. One can infer from these pieces of evidence, the white privileged do not relate to those below them and their privilege blinds them, causing potential conflict and proving privilege does not have any merits for …show more content…
However, this idealism results merely in a fantasy, an impossible utopia. Time and time again people have attempted this. And while it has resulted in notable progress, such as reducing racism. The privileged learn privilege as “something that puts others at a disadvantage”(Sehgal 2) rather than giving themselves an advantage. Also, as previously stated, privilege involves a state of mind, so it can no truly disappear. Therefore, one can not erase privilege’s blindness or privilege itself. In addition, many also believe America helps third world countries, so this must mean the privileged help the unprivileged, so equality seems closer. In contrast to their opinions, these programs help third world countries do nothing to provide a prolonged state of privilege. These programs create a system with the purpose to benefit these countries, however, those countries do not gain any strength due to their reliance on these programs. In fact, these programs reinforce the chains of privilege and force the unprivileged to abide its rules. For the most part, while these programs do support the underprivileged, they do nothing to move towards equality and instead distances the privileged from other people to an even greater extent. To summarize, privilege has changed over time, resulting in bigger consequences. Privilege causes a chasm between the privileged and underprivileged,

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