The element of privilege in the society

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The Issue of Privilege

The issue of privilege in society is one that is often overlooked, but is extremely important to a certain individual. Privilege is an exclusive right, immunity, and feature of exemption that is granted to one to free them from particular obligations or liabilities. Personally, I was unaware of the concept of privilege until much later in my development. Ideally, I became aware of the concept of privilege in a societal context in the recent past.when I had the opportunity of getting to learn about the various forms of oppression while doing a study of the element of social justice. While for a good number of individuals such facts of social life are daily occurrences, in my case, I consider myself lucky and indeed privileged as for an extended period I remained ignored of such phenomena and thus, less disturbed of the different occurrences.

Awareness of Privilege

For an extended period, I had my focus on seeing the openly existing forms of oppression in the manner in which one group significantly impacted the other, despite not realizing the particular role I played in the whole scenario and how particularly I gained from such a system. When I became aware of the privileges I had, it happened to me like having known an underlying secret that penetrated to the core of the society. From then, I began seeing privileges in its various examples from every place that I looked.

Various Forms of Privilege

As stated above, privileges stand as the ideal tools of advantage and their manifestation, places those considered to be in the disadvantaged position as those without the luck of being born in the right place of the society. One most common aspects of privilege in the American culture, for example, is that of white privilege, where individuals with white skin tend to get certain advantages while in a specific nation, where non-white never enjoy such benefits, despite the similarities in the social, economic, and political perspectives in the society. However, there also exist various forms of oppression such as in sexual orientation, physical attributes as well as religion, which ideally point out to the existence of privileges to specific individuals. Religion in specific areas may be taken lightly, however, in others; it is one critical aspect that many consider fundamental to their existence. As an individual, I had not known that there are certain regions that I could be denied entry simply because of my religion while in others; making entry would be such an easy task. In the recent past, Islam has continuously been associated with terrorism and thus, certain nations making restrictions to Muslims as a precaution to being terrorized.

As a Catholic, the privilege of religion became manifest when I visited a professing protestant nation and experienced a treatment of a kind in comparing to that which the Muslims in the same country experienced. Despite the fact that every religion dictates certain values and ideologies, Muslims had to undergo certain limitations only because their faith was not the privileged one. In matters of prayers, they had the number of times they could visit the mosques reduced while those of other religions had the full freedom of assembly for worship at any time of day. Based on such an experienced, it hit me up that indeed I am privileged, and while it has taken me longer to make such a realization, privilege creates numerous advantages to the concerned individuals in opening up more opportunities and freedom than those disadvantaged and less privileged.

May 17, 2023


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