I’ve been thinking about things I want to write more about, and one of those things is privilege, and how people who have it need to get more involved in helping spread it around.
One of the things I’ve learned is that it’s not enough for minority or underdog or other marginalized group to fight the fight for acceptance. It’s a start, but it’s not enough.
You don’t really start to make strides forward until the privileged groups begin to say, You know what? These people deserve to have what we have.
It’s not enough for those with privilege to say, I’m not overtly sexist/racist/homophobic/discriminatory, therefore I’m not causing the problem.
You don’t really start to make strides forward until you realize that non-participation doesn’t let you off the hook. Not speaking up for others, not calling out injustices, means you’re being complicit in those injustices.
I have privilege, in that I’m white. I have privilege, in that I’m thin.
I lack privilege in that I’m a woman.
I have privilege in that I had access to higher education, and still do.
I lack privilege in that, despite my education, I am in a lower income tax bracket.
I used to lack privilege when I was fat. As I lost weight, I gained privilege.
This swirling cauldron of having and lacking has enabled me to see things from both sides. It’s made me more self-aware, and it’s also made me ask a lot of questions that I’ve never asked before.
Since my personal platform is fat acceptance, and a lot of the most vocal people in fat acceptance are fat women, how do we start to get more men involved? More thin people?
That’s the question I want to ask myself, and others, this year.
If anyone has any thoughts, please feel free to share. Because while writing is great, it feels very passive. What I’m interested in is figuring out how I can be more active. And what I really want to do is start to get more people involved in actively questioning the messages we get about fat, actively questioning their own perceptions, and actively questioning others.