Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

White Privilege and Male Privilege/Peggy McIntosh

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In “White Privilege and Male Privilege,” Peggy McIntosh is frustrated that men fail to see that they have special treatment that women do not receive. By examining her life she finds that she also indulges in privileges for being white. Being white myself I never stopped to consider all the privileges that white people experience in their daily lives.

McIntosh states that “I will give here a list of special circumstances and conditions I experience that I did not earn but that I have been made to feel are mine by birth, by citizenship, and by virtue of being a conscientious law-abiding ‘normal’ person of goodwill,” and then precedes to list white privileges she experiences. This particular sentence struck me because I had never thought about how much society looks at white people as the “norm” and therefore receive special privileges. This article has definitely  served its purpose by making me review my life and what I take for granted everyday.


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