There's a meme floating around on the Internet looking at privilege. It comes from an exercise developed by Will Barratt et al. at Indiana State University. On Barratt's website, the original exercise is there, with an explanation that its designed to look at social class on campus and get students talking as part of a group activity and how to run the activity.
I decided to do the meme, just to see how it goes.
Bold the true statements.
1. Father went to college
2. Father finished college
3. Mother went to college
4. Mother finished college
5. Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.
6. Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
7. Had more than 50 books in your childhood home.
8. Had more than 500 books in your childhood home.
9. Were read children's books by a parent.
10. Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18
11. Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18.
14. Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs.
15. Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
16. Went to a private high school
17. Went to summer camp
18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18.
19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels.
20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18.
21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.
22. There was original art in your house when you were a child.
23. You and your family lived in a single-family house.
24. Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home.
25. You had your own room as a child
26. You had a phone in your room before you turned 18.
27. Participated in a SAT/ACT prep course.
28. Had your own TV in your room in high school.
29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in high school or college.
30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16.
31. Went on a cruise with your family.
32. Went on more than one cruise with your family.
33. Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up.
34. You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family.
I bolded 22 of the 34 items. I guess that means I was privileged, but I think this just shows how subjectively people look at privilege. I would say privilege means having those things that I didn't bold (ie, going on cruises) but then I have to think about the people who can't bold the things I did.
Privilege, Barratt's exercise goes on to say is not about working harder than anybody else. It means, he says, that people with privilege had a head start... somebody else did some of the hard work for you.
Makes you think, certainly.