The other day I filled in a quiz/questionnaire on privileges to see how privileged I am. I scored 40 out of 100. At first I didn’t know what to do with it, whether to accept it or not. I don’t think I’m privileged. I don’t think I am not either.
However most of the questions are related to situations I don’t consider to be a privilege. Nobody should consider them to be a privilege. They are basic human rights, like not to be discriminated based on your gender, your religion, your race, your weight and your sexual orientation. If we treat these like privileges they will not become basic human rights and standard living circumstances.
Privilege usually means wealth for me and things you can do with more money. Like better schools, private schools, better healthcare, more expensive shoes or clothes or cosmetics. But being able to walk proudly on the street as straight/gay/bi/transgender or Jewish/Muslim/Christian/any other religion or woman/man or obese/very skinny or Caucasian/Asian/African/Hispanic/wherever else I want to put myself is not a privilege.
Based on the quiz I’m immediately privileged because I was born heterosexual. Bi-curious though so I had experience how society treats homosexual people. To be honest, I might just be a unique case but my friends and family and my whole environment was opened to the idea and they didn’t even give me one negative thought. My fear to tell them was far bigger because that’s all I heard how judgemental people are. I told them I might have fallen for a woman and they were fine.
I told them I started attending services in the synagogue and one day I’d like to convert and be Jewish. No problems.
I think there was one key thing though: acceptance. If one thing I’m privileged for is the circle of my friends.
They accepted what I am and what I’m willing to become and I accepted they’re not willing to take my paths. I’m not forcing them to become anything I am. They’re not forcing their thoughts on me. We discuss matters, we either agree or not, we may argue about it but we eventually accept we’re not the same.
I’ve been called stupid because I was a woman or I was a foreigner. I’m constantly mocked by accent or grammar. Also many times recognised as being fluent in a second language.
And I think this makes the world more colourful. Life is not just rainbows and unicorns. There are clouds and storms and pretty dark places. That’s part of life. It’s not privilege. As long as you live and let others live, not harming them, not suppressing them, not judging them we’re fine. At the of the day, we’re not the one to judge. It’s God or Allah or karma or fate or whoever/whatever you believe in. Just accept not everybody thinks the same.
And please don’t take basic human rights, standard living circumstances as privileges. They’re not.
Living free from threats, living a decent, honest and open life is your right and not a privilege.