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A Study of The Privileges Given to Males, Whites, Binary Gender and Middle-class in America

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Privilege is everywhere, observable and, with how the world is, unavoidable. You’ll see the “benefits” in Donald Trump, consequences in a Planned Parenthood. With human nature it is inevitable that somebody will see someone who looks different and begin a conflict, ending in a winner who would then declare themself naturally better, or that somebody will gain some advantage and do everything in their power to keep and/or increase said advantage. Though while this is inevitable, I believe that as humans it is our responsibility to improve ourselves and society, which includes learning about privilege and use that knowledge to help and educate others. I personally know and have experienced many kinds of privilege, but here I will keep to reflecting on white, male, heterosexual, middle-class, and binary-gender privileges.

White privilege is the most talked about, most easily noticed, most prominent privilege. Throughout history, white people have had many privileges in america, mainly because of the enslavement or conquering of people of color. Even with steps toward equality in recent times, this incredible level of racism has not been overcome, and due to the presence of racism in our society, not only are people of color thought less of by some people, but those people also tend to think better of white people simply because of their race, greatly impacting peoples’ chances of being hired for many jobs. Another fact that is also white privilege is being safe in many areas of the country. People of color are still harassed in many places, sometimes even physically harmed or worse, and sometimes even by police officers. This is something that many white people don’t worry about, because of racism. If you think about it even a little, all white privilege is simply racism.

Male privilege, while based on a system of oppression like white privilege, is instead one against other genders. While other privileges are less questions, male privilege is a near-conscious thing we are taught is normal. Male privilege is male-presenting people being encouraged to enter “masculine” areas of study (The fact that this statement is a thing and wrong could be a whole other essay unto itself…) and people presenting as other genders being discouraged to enter those fields. Male privilege is being safer around male-presenting people than other genders are, because we are taught that to be male is to be dominant. Thankfully, as time progresses and equality grows, male privilege (while still a very huge thing) is lessening, and people of other genders are being more accepted as equal.

Heterosexual privilege isn’t generally a thing that many people think about. Since I personally am not heterosexual, I am very aware of what this entails. Heterosexual privilege is being more accepted, because you fit a part of society’s definition of “normal”, though gay and lesbian people are slowly becoming more accepted. The biggest part of heterosexual privilege to me is not having to publicly “come out”, because for most people heterosexuality is expected.

Middle-class privilege is one that I will admit I know that least about. Having been raised in a lower middle-class household, any noticeable privilege was more noticeable by my parents, because as far as I knew we were always one bad accident away from losing our home for a long time. I think the biggest privilege of the middle class is how large it is, making up a huge amount of the people in america. The middle class is often the target audience for political campaigns, and is widely represented in media. Though not often well off, those in the middle class more commonly than the lower class have disposable income, and can buy things that they want.

Binary-gender privilege refers to privilege possessed by being or presenting as a binary gender (i.e. male or female). In the past I had identified as female and now identify as non-binary, so I am very familiar with this, and though I wouldn’t call it a hugely recognized privilege, this is quite prominent to non-binary trans people. The largest part of binary-gender privilege in my opinion is that it’s easier to explain your trans-ness. In the past you had presented as male/female, but you identify and now present as female/male. Everyone knows your gender exists, and most people understand this concept.

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A study of the privileges given to males, whites, binary gender and middle-class in America. (2019, January 03). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from
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