Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Privilege Meme

Privilege Meme
I saw this over here at Chick with PhizzleDizzle and how she reflected on the current trials she's going through... when you look back on your whole life it helps you realize how much you've had it easy and makes the rough spots seem more manageable and way less dramatic/important. So I thought it would be a good exercise for me too. So here goes. I should start out by saying that my family was not rich by any means, but we were also not the worst off in our community either. Actually I think that challenges faced growing up helped make me a stronger person (albeit one who is rather paranoid about not having enough money to make ends meet, like we might be facing in the next year or so.)

The items that apply to me are BOLD

1. Father went to college

2. Father finished college

3. Mother went to college

4. Mother finished college (I'm the only one in my immediate family who went to 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 (books were very important to us growing up and we were frequent library goers)

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 (swimming, piano and one summer with a canoe/kayak boat club)

12. The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively (? no idea, I guess so)

13. Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 (my parents didn't even have a credit card - I got my first when I went to college)

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 (I paid every penny with scholarships and student loans - all of which I paid back just before defending my PhD thesis)

16. Went to a private high school

17. Went to summer camp (I was in guides/scouts and spent a few weeks over the years at few geek camps that I won scholarships to)

18. Had a private tutor before you turned 18 (I worked as a private tutor for others...)

19. Family vacations involved staying at hotels (never! We went to grandma's house)

20. Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 (I was the hand me down and second hand clothes store queen!)

21. Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them (I've still never owned a car)

22. There was original art in your house when you were a child (my aunt and uncle were art dealers and gave my parents a painting)

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 college entrance exam (eg. SAT/ACT) prep course

28. Had your own TV in your room

29. Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College (I still don't own anything like this!)

30. Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 (To go to the aforementioned summer camps)

31. Went on a cruise with your family (never been on a cruise)

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 (no way, that we all knew, and I helped pile the wood for the winter!)

From "What Privileges Do You Have?", based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you please acknowledge their copyright.

So nearly a third were true for me. I don't think I was really so bad off though. We managed to have a lot of fun without a lot to live off. Still, I think a lot of my drive to get an education etc comes from wanting to be more financially secure than my parents. I'm already there so I think I have a lot to be thankful for, and I feel privileged.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I am feeling like a huge privileged snot, with mine mostly bolded!! I've always known I am lucky but to have it quantified this way is another way to remember.

    But I know what you mean about focusing on financial family background involves wars, fleeing countries, and etc. so my family lived super frugally when it came to anything but our education/potential-life-betterment. I am a super money saver, because I always fear total disaster and not having enough to save my family. I try to shove some of the fear away, but some habits die hard - I feel soooooo wasteful if I order a drink at a restaurant...I think the first time I ordered something other than water I was in college, and I felt so rich!!