Note: A number of blogs and articles have been included on Leap21 to provide a glimpse into important ideas and discussions taking place with respect to sexual violence. In this essay Nathan Palmer provides some helpful suggestions for how to deal with personal social privilege and strategies for reducing social inequality in general.
Have you recently been told that you need to, “check your privilege”? Has someone just told you that they experienced something you said or did as a micro-aggression? Did you have a conversation about race, sexuality, religion, etc. go horribly wrong? Are people upset with you? Are you trying unsuccessfully to convince everyone that, “that’s not what I meant”?
I feel you. I’ve been there myself more times than I care to admit. As a white, heterosexual, middle-class, able-bodied man I have most if not all of the social privileges a person can have. Getting “called out” about your social privilege is not fun, but it can be a learning experience, if you let it be. Here are some strategies for how to make the best out of these uncomfortable moments.