Richard Dawkins tweeted something yesterday (cue foreboding music, cawing of ravens, the rumble of distant thunder):
Oh NO. Just checked my privilege. Turns out I'm a white heterosexual male. http://t.co/3I1J1dWRrq How can I atone? Hair shirt? Flagellation?
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) November 8, 2014
It was enlightening. Why are there people who are so totally hung up on the idea that maybe they’ve received some lifelong benefits from being male, and white, and heterosexual? I’m perfectly comfortable with the fact that I’ve been fortunate to be a member of a socially dominant class, and I have no desire to change my whiteness, maleness, or heterosexuality, nor do I feel any pressure to “atone” for who I am. It seems natural to me to accept the existence of structural patterns of advantage and disadvantage within society. This can’t be so hard for Dawkins to grasp, can i?
And then I looked at the source: this is raw right-wing propaganda put out by a conservative think-tank. Why is Richard Dawkins reading and citing such trash? And the article — University professors attack white, heterosexual, Christian males for being “privileged” — consists of mindless quotes which do not support the thesis of the title, but then, I’m beginning to see that some people regard pointing out reality to them to be an “attack”.
Three professors have launched a “Check Your Privilege” campaign suggesting that if you are white, heterosexual, able-bodied, Christian, or male you are privileged
Yes? Is this at all controversial? Of course you are! It sounds like a campaign to raise awareness of our advantages, and to appreciate that others may not have them. It’s straightforward social consciousness 101.
The “Check Your Privilege” campaign defines privilege as “unearned access to social power based on membership in a dominant social group.”
They write that like it’s weird, rather than obviously true.
So I just made one short reply.
.@RichardDawkins Nothing to atone for. Recognize your advantages, & use them to help less privileged. This shouldn't be hard to figure out
— PZ Myers (@pzmyers) November 9, 2014
We’re atheists. We’re supposed to recognize reality, not take offense at it.