Why are Americans so fixated on "privilege" and "entitlement?"


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. . . Such as? It is hard to imagine how rape-prevention measures could be dangerous, and not much easier to imagine how they could be unfair.

There was a thread in the Pit about a university shutting down all frat parties because of a false charge of rape supposedly committed at a frat party. That sounds unfair to me.


You are entirely wrong as to the intention, IME.

This is nonsense, nearly irrefutable because it’s nothing more than a fact-devoid assertion.

And unrecognized. Some of us start on first or second base (and I’m one of them) and some start at the batter’s box with one eye taped over. That some people in this latter group score anyway doesn’t make it fair. And some in the former group think they got their initial position out of their own labor. (If you make it to third or home, then you might deserve it.)

I think the problem is inequality, not consumerism. I don’t recall this “envy” of the rich in the '50s and '60s, but back then CEOs made a lot but not the kind of multiples of workers we see today. A guy who knows that if he screws up he’ll be canned immediately and his employer might try to prevent him from getting unemployment might resent the CEO who gets a $20 million severance package when he screw up worse.

I suspect most liberals would be thrilled if everyone could start at the place that privileged white males like me start. Affirmative action (as opposed to quotas) is all about this - all about looking for people in places other than where white males hang out.
But since there are limited opportunities, every additional new person who makes it means one of the old crowd does not. That is where the accusations of tearing the privileged group down come from.

This is what is meant by “white privilege.”

See also.

Unfortunately, so is this,which indicates that the terms privilege and entitlement are often used in such a way that makes one’s eyes roll.

Holy shit, that’s some ridiculous whining.

Which post/link are you referring to?

Maybe some of you are showing your age a little, but if you have walked onto a college campus in the past 10 years you would have seen “check your privilege” splattered about every which way.

It is, of course, useful to understand that we all have diverse backgrounds and experiences.

“Check your privilege,” as a turn-of-phrase, is almost universally used as a way to say “you’re white (and probably male) and therefore you’re unable to maintain objectivity. Your opinion is invalid now shut up and agree with us.”

The whole concept of “privilege” is a shameless attempt to impart guilt on a person simply for their color of skin, ethnicity, religion, etc.

Whoever above said that college-educated white women are overtly fond of this phrase was spot-on. It makes them feel like they can relate to the oppressed classes. :rolleyes:


In fairness, the author gives a great, if unintended, example of entitlement.

:confused: Every word she says is true and not one word is funny.

You mean the white man’s whining, of course.

Check your privilege is just a somewhat less obtuse way of saying the same thing you are saying here . It is pretty much the same exact sentiment.


It’s not “privilege” unless somebody else gets denied the same thing.

This may be such a big deal in the United States because we have so much demographic variety combined with so much history of oppression and current oppression.

“Check your privilege” is both a way to tell people to shut up, and a meaningful reminder about one’s personal experiences.

Yes, a lot of feminists, even on the internet, use it appropriately and with care. It can serve as a gentle reminder to not discount others experiences just because you’re not of that demographic. It’s an incredibly useful reminder once you take into account intersectionality, which maintains that everyone (including straight people, white people, and men) experience hardship and oppression because of some of their traits that are invisible to others. (Hence why many circles are moving from patriarchy to kyriarchy).

However, there are certainly loud, angry, obnoxious, or stupid contingents of people that use it as a means to shut down dissent, or make fun of people. Of course, internet comments sections are cesspools, but it’s fairly common in those areas. And some people, even good people who very well know it’s not a proper use, can abuse it if they’re backed into a corner in an argument. It’s unfortunate, but it is human. (And it’s not always, or even necessarily, the exact phrase “check your privilege”, but along those lines)

I maintain that it’s a useful notion, but it absolutely is abused sometimes.