Invisible Children Assignment

Invisible Children Assignment Words: 2096

I was lucky to come from a well-off family so I was automatically placed above other students. This is a prime example of an invisible privilege based on economical class because was given a leg up based on something that was given to me not something I accomplished. This is called an ascribed status, meaning it was given to me upon birth. I am given the most invisible privileges of virtually any other group being that am a white, straight, male. My family is middle upper class as well, giving me even more invisible privileges based on my parents and their social status. Have benefited a lot room these unseen advantages.

Teachers respect me and help me whenever I need it, I am rarely ever questioned in anything I do. When I am at my job I am not worried about being sexually harassed in any way. If watch the news or read the paper I see people than for the most part look like me or are primarily males. John Scalia compares life to a first person game of life and states that if there were difficult settings the easiest one would be the white straight male. Have the easiest difficult setting there is. This is a great analogy and states, “the default behaviors for almost all the non-player harassers in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise.

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The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get” (Scalia). This really makes sense to me and compares to what goes on in the real world very well. African American children have a higher difficult setting than me and if I was born from an African American family my life would be very different.

It would most likely be harder for my parents to find a home and jobs. At school, may not be helped as much due to discrimination. When looking for a job may be sent somewhere else and it may be harder to get hired. When a crime or violation occurs around me I may be more likely to be questioned than my fellow white counterparts for no apparent reason besides the color of my skin. In general people may be less likely to assist me, denied or not offered things that people in other groups are given, and my personal opinions and feelings are more likely to be overlooked or poorly represented.

Peggy McIntosh compares privileges to an invisible knapsack and states, “privileges are like an invisible knapsack full of provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks”(McIntosh). In this analogy I have a large invisible knapsack with lots of helpful things inside. She calls it invisible because we are not meant to even recognize these privileges because we are so used to having them and because they have been with us our entire lives. Our social structure and society is set up to place wealthy white men at the top and everyone else falling in underneath hem.

Our cultural system is damaged in this way. If people were created equal each man, and every woman should have equal privileges starting from birth. Nobody should start off with a larger knapsack than someone else. This is not the case at all. From a young age we are taught to recognize discrimination and racism as disadvantages for others but we are not taught to recognize the advantages or privileges we are given. Discovering these privileges are difficult because you are so used to having them you do not even think about it unless you put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

Thinking room a different perspective, you begin to see all the hardships some people must face. This is when you can begin to realize all the advantages and handicaps you are given. For example, never have to worry about representing my race as a whole. Furthermore, I do not always have to prove anything to anyone. Women and minorities are often looked down upon in the workplace and may be judged and have to worry about representing their entire race or sex. When paying for something the price should not vary depending on race or sex.

When someone talks about heritage or the founding of the country minorities will be discussed. Ever really noticed the extreme number of privileges am given. When seeing how others struggle and have to work for things am given, the feeling get is unjust. It is not fair that am treated better based only on an ascribed status. This is an extreme problem with our culture. I have come to recognize that I am lucky not to have to worry as much about being raped or sexually assaulted as my female counterparts. Also do not have to deal with discrimination or racism.

One specific example that really connects with my life is representing my race as a whole. Do not have to worry about people judging my race by the way I act, r by the things I do. Recently witnessed this happening to an exchange student. He was being questioned by other students about the food he eats and they were poking fun at the student by saying things like “You people” and making assumptions that all people Of this race are the same. Another pure advantage I have is that I can pursuit any career I would like. Although there are some predominantly female careers most are available to men. Eel bad for my advantages and know our entire system is unfair. Culture, social structure, and social institutions all are set up unfairly. There re varying attitudes and thoughts behind how different people are treated. Social institutions bestow privileges for some groups of people and not for others, based only on ascribed statuses. This occurs based on split-second judgments that are made by people with hardly any basis. Sometimes someone may not even realize they are being unfair because it is so natural to them.

If you are not looking for it it can easily be played off in a way that is invisible and appears neutral to everyone (McIntosh). This is the embedded form. There are two types of interlocking oppression. One is seen and one is embedded into our cultural system. These dynamics of social institutional privilege are interlocking because their effects combine and form a very unfair system. Examples of privileges based on social or economic class, ethnicity, and race are often intertwined making it difficult to distinguish the reasoning behind ones invisible privileges.

To members of subcultures points of view the groups in these privileged social institutions appear unfairly advantaged, oblivious to what going on and often stuck up. Going beyond surface stereotypes I have come to notice minority groups as well as people f the lower economical class work harder and have stronger outlooks on people even when they start at a disadvantage. This makes sense because if you have to work hard to catch up to the pack your pace is faster so not only can you catch up but if you continue to work hard you can pass them.

This is also true with females in high-powered, male oriented positions. They are being watched and everything they do is put under a microscope. This makes them focus and often accomplish better work because they are representing their sex and with more attention they are less likely to make mistakes. Social institutions are what keep certain majority groups, ethnicities, and races above the subculture or minorities. Privileges do not have to be relates to disadvantages others have. Many times there are advantages some people are given that others are not.

One example of invisible privilege in a social institution is when I apply for a job. Due to the fact am a male certain jobs will be easier to come by than others. I have worked on orchards and vineyards the past two summers and I have not seen one female worker. Was hired because my friend vouched for me and said was a solid male worker. When he vouched for a girl she was not hired. We later asked if girls were ever hired and he said no. This advantage due to my sex makes sense in this case. I do not see it as being that wrong of my boss not to hire girls.

There are plenty of hard working young men that will most likely get more work done than girls would. It is easy for my boss to only hire men because there is not a short demand for workers and it is an easy way to quickly eliminate applicants. Only hiring men is a way that my boss keeps his farm running smoothly and productively. Often this can be a problem with people in other sections not hiring entire races of people. That is when it begins to turn to discrimination, which is not just. Another example is for applying to colleges. Colleges look for parents job history, income, and education.

When determining this the college is looking for your economical class. Decisions are often made based on this information. Also specific scholarships may be offered to students in higher social class compared to students who come from a lower class. Another privilege that is often overlooked is suspicion from the public. Can walk into a store and not have to worry about being allowed around due to my innocent appearance. Can shop freely and privately without being monitored by employees or the public eye. This also applies in airports or other sensitive, secure areas. An normally get through security quickly and for the most part painlessly without being profiled in any way. This is an invisible privilege I have based solely on perception. All in all invisible privileges are advantages given to people based on ascribed statuses. These privileges are often hidden due to our cultures focus on racism and discrimination. Nobody ever looks deeply into their lives to sake the time to notice all the advantages they are given. This is because we are never told to do so. Before this assignment I was never told to do so. Pond looking into my social and economical class, race, and sex I learned that am a member of the lowest difficulty setting. Was born with the most free tools and advantages in my invisible knapsack than any other group. Had no idea until did this assignment and I am in the top group. This goes to show that many people are unaware of their advantages even existing. Upon looking at the other side of stratification I have come to learn that social institutions ruin our cultural balance and equality. There is still discrimination and unfair treatment everywhere you look.

If people were all treated more equal and everyone was given an equal amount of invisible privileges or none at all upon birth, the world would be a better place. If people started off the same there would be no reason for people to have billions Of dollars while some children can not even get clean water. I know it is improbable to think everyone can start as equal, but the gap should be much smaller than it is now. If the gap was smaller people would choose for themselves if they want o become successful or not, it would be based off hard work and perseverance not what type of family you were born into.

In a perfect utopia each person would be born on the same difficulty level with the same sized invisible knapsack. Privileges come from the way our culture thinks and acts. We judge people and treat them accordingly to their judgment. I believe that a responsibility of people with more privileges to try not to judge others because they have less than you started off with. I believe it is my responsibility to help people that are not as well off and show them the utmost respect. If you have more invisible privileges than someone else they should not be looked down on.

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Invisible Children Assignment. (2022, Feb 04). Retrieved April 14, 2024, from