Amanda’s Invisible Knapsack

Here is my list of 15 privileges. For context, I have composed this list as a college-educated, white, non-disabled, cisgendered woman who is married to a man and who falls into the working- to middle-class (depending on whether you define class by strictly household income or from a cultural/educational perspective).

1. My marriage is recognized by all state governments in addition to the federal government.

2. I can show physical affection to my partner in public without fear of ridicule or for our safety.

3. Because of easy access to birth control, I was able to become a parent at the time of my own choosing.

4. I was able to become a parent without medical intervention or other forms of assistance.

5. I have a secure place to live with a private bedroom and bathroom. I know where I will sleep and shower each day.

6. I know where my next meal will come from.

7. People tend to show respect to my opinion or the information I share because of my level of education.

8. If I get pulled over while driving or if I call the police, I do not worry that I will be treated with suspicion because of my race.

9. The language of my childhood home is spoken at government and educational institutions and in public spaces.

10. I am able to access both public buildings and private homes without worry about getting to the door, through the door, or moving around the space once I’m inside.

11. As my son grows older, I will not have to educate him on systemic racism in order to protect him from it, but I will choose to educate him on it so that he can help work to change it. The fact that I can choose whether or not to educate my son on systemic racism is a privilege of my race.

12. If I or my partner is hospitalized, we are both assured of access to each other and information from medical staff.

13. I have no difficulty finding forms of entertainment – movies, televisions, books, comic books – that focus on the stories of people of my own race. The stories of people of my own race tends to be the default for entertainment in my culture.

14. People do not ask me inappropriate and uncomfortable questions about my sex life.

15. I can use public restrooms without fear of verbal or physical abuse.


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