When talking about privilege in society, we’re not talking about having a lot more than the people next door, or never worrying about money, or not having to work for the things you have – we’re talking about the daily things in our lives that we never have to question that others do.
If you’re not sure what this might mean in reality, here are 15 people’s suggestions of everyday things that are for the privileged only.
15. It’s definitely not.
I’m glad therapy is becoming less stigmatized, but the “everyone should go to therapy” crowd acts like it’s free.
I am a therapist and the more common thought that everyone should go to therapy to get “fixed” is just insane. Therapy is not for everyone, and there are so many different types and approaches to therapy,its not a catch all solution.
I have seen more and more “I don’t really wanna be here but my (insert person in life) told me I should. You’re going to get as much out of therapy as you put into it.
14. Don’t take your toilet for granted.
Being able to flush your own waste without another thought or going when you need to is a big one. Sometimes I think about how terrible it’d be to have to encounter that shit you took the other day in the road (like in a slum with no plumbing) and I can’t.
There people who poop in plastic bags and fling the bags outside (I read that they’re called ‘flying toilets’ in Zimbabwe). Or having to go out in the elements in the middle of the night.
I’ve heard women are more vulnerable to assault in areas where they have to go out in the fields. They’ll wait until dark/dusk for privacy but it’s more dangerous.
13. Food on the table.
So many people go hungry for a variety of reasons from the food just isn’t there to drought to lack of money.
If there was an embargo and food could not get to the stores, there would be a HUGE freakout. For those who deal with it all the time, not a big deal.
12. First world problems.
I was watching a Nat Geo documentary and these people in Madagascar have to get water from these (baobab) trees, which basically act as water towers. During droughts, they’re empty inside and they have to ration water.
In the documentary, they’re wearing Nike and Adidas, all the clothes that are made for the losing teams in the Super Bowl and whatnot and praying because they had a good rice harvest.
I’ve had a breakdown because the store was out of something I needed and, watching this documentary, I truly realized how incredibly privileged I really was, in and out of America.
11. Newer versions.
Being able to just replace anything that breaks.
10. A simple thing.
Having people assume you are telling the truth.
If I call out sick from my current job, my boss says, “okay, feel better!” At Toxic Old Job, I’d get a guilt trip and the third degree. TOJ also had us on timers for every single activity because they did not believe we would do our work without them. We were also forced to come into the office on Saturdays because they didn’t believe we could handle working from home.
No matter what you did or how well you performed, they always believed you were lying to get out of work somehow. It was stressful trying to constantly prove myself and manage their paranoia.
9. It costs money, and you have to have access.
Learning how to swim. Still surprises me lots of people never knew how to swim, which is basic skill for most. It may save your life someday.
8. For free, even, in some places.
Sanitary products for women! It’s different in different parts of the world + economic backgrounds.
Not to mention access to birth control.
7. At the curb.
Having a garbage truck that picks up your trash and being able flush toilet paper.
Having your own room to sleep in, stable internet connection or access at all, and new non-hand-me-down clothes.
6. Feeling generally safe.
Going about your daily life without seriously worrying about your physical safety. Sleeping at night without worrying about whether a bomb is going to come through your roof.
5. Emergency services.
Knowing a fire truck is on its way when there is a fire. Having a public library.
4. Without fear.
Criticizing your own government.
More and more countries are banning protests. Hell, just last week(?) an Australian journalist was locked up by a politicians “counter terrorism” goon squad.
3. For example.
“Hi mom, hi dad, thanks for coming to my 40th birthday”
2. Your own strong body.
Being able-bodied. So many people are one accident away from being unemployed and don’t realize that. Your job will ruin your body – be aware and fight it.
1. Cold winters.
Having a heated home.
My mom grew up in a tobacco sharecropping family and said said as a girl she wanted a house where all the rooms had heat and they didn’t have packed dirt floors.
It’s weird to think about, isn’t it? I wish everyone had the basic necessities of life (and also great parents).
What would you add to this list? Drop it in the comments!