Priviledge Has It’s Advantages

CancunCanuck tagged me with this meme. I often like memes but sometimes don’t remember to do them when I’ve been tagged (so sorry). This one seems to me to be very biased towards the western notion of what it means to be privileged, but I’ll go for it anyway and will include commentary.

The premise is that you bold all the statements that are true. The more bold lines one has, the more privileged one’s formative years were.

Father went to college – And he wrecked his knee playing on the college basketball team too.

Father finished college

Mother went to college

Mother finished college – Couldn’t keep her out of college, she completed a Master’s degree and a Doctoral degree, she almost finished another Master’s. She finished her Bachelor’s degree in 3 years with honors. A regular brainiac she is.

Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor – Mom has a Doctoral degree in divinity.

Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers – Well I went to high school for only two years, cut lots of classes and can’t remember a single teacher other than my 9th grade science teacher, who reminded me of my father, only with thicker glasses. I’m going to say yes since this is a stupid question. Teachers routinely do not share a whole lot about their lives with their students so how would you know this anyway.

Had more than 50 books in your childhood home

Had more than 500 books in your childhood home – My mother is a book addict, my father would read and watch tv at the same time, when I moved to Mexico fully 50% of the boxes we dragged here contained books.

Were read children’s books by a parent – And adult books and cookbooks and poetry and art books.

Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 – I had private art lessons for years. And I had private flute lessons from a drunk who showed up for them drunk! I remember hating swimming lessons. And I hated gymnastics lessons too. Probably there were other classes I don’t remember. I went to college when I was 15 so this seems like a silly question.

Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18 – Yes dear.

The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively – This is a stupid question! If they weren’t, would I be aware of it? What do people who dress and talk like me look and sound like? I wear shorts and t-shirts and flip-flops except when I don’t! I talk like a normal, if opinionated, person except when I don’t. I don’t dress like a junkie hooker homeless person and I don’t smell bad, so I’m taking this one.

Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18 – And a checking account too, and a couple of savings accounts, can I bold it twice? This has nothing to do with privilege, this has to do with it being easier on my mom if I was responsible for my own purchases.

Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs – My mom worked her butt off to send me to college. And I got several grants because I’m so cute and lovable, and I had several scholarships because I’m a nerdy brain and was a good student. I also had some student loans, which I paid off by the time I was 26.

Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs – Finally one I don’t have to make bold! The students that I knew who were studying solely on daddy’s dime were the ones most likely to blow off class, not study and drop out. I felt sorry for many of them because they didn’t understand how fortunate they were to be in such a great college.

Went to a private high school – Went to a crappy public high school, then switched to the best public high school in the state, which was also crappy. Then went to college.

Went to summer camp – Yes, and I hated every minute of it. Summer vacation not about being up at the crack of dawn and living for weeks on someone else’s schedule. Summer camp was torture.

Had a private tutor before you turned 18 – How does this line up with having private lessons? I didn’t need a tutor. I had private study partners in college. And I tutored other students in Art History.

Family vacations involved staying at hotels – Another stupid question. Yes, they did. Sometimes. But the better ones involved staying at Grandma’s house! Or going camping in Acadia National Park! Yes family let’s go sit in a hotel room, what a great vacation.

Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18 – Most was. My mom used to sew lots of clothes for us too.

Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them – Mom gave me a car when I turned 18. It was a lemon but I fell in love anyway. And I drove it to about 50 Grateful Dead concerts.

There was original art in your house when you were a child – Another dumb one. Do you want me to admit that we had black velvet posters of big hair bands in my house? Is it a privilege to have painters in the family? My grandmother didn’t have running water in her home until after I was born, yet she painted non-stop for 40 years. My other grandmother was also a painter, and my mom painted a little, and my dad would draw cartoons on napkins, and my sister is an artist. I even have some of my own work on the walls. I swim in original artwork.

Had a phone in your room before you turned 18 – Yes, had my own apartment too, so I had my own kitchen, and my own bathroom, and my own rent to pay, and my own cobwebs to clean and my own icy walk to shovel. Helloooo!

You and your family lived in a single family house – Yes.

Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home – Yes we always owned a nice house.

Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course – I don’t frickin’ remember. I think so, because I remember taking the ACT test to get into college early.

Had your own TV in your room in High School – Oh so now it’s a sign of privilege that your parents are stupid enough to allow you to rot your brain in the privacy of your own room. No I did not have a tv in my room during the 2 years I went to high school and I’m glad.

Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College – Opened my first IRA when I was 25 I think.

Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 – Yes I flew on flying crowd killers lots of times before I was 16.

Went on a cruise with your family – Did not, did not want to, can’t imagine that my mom would like a cruise. She’s more of a go out in the woods kind of vacationer.

Went on more than one cruise with your family – Duh.

Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up – Of course.

You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family – My mother owned a chain saw and cut and split and stacked all our firewood herself. I can say I was not aware of how much she spent on buying firewood. But I was aware of the effort. I was not aware of how much we spent on heating oil (to supplement the wood stove) either.

Whomever came up with this list of questions has some fairly limited ideas about what privilege means. I grew up lower middle class, yet look at how many questions I bolded. It’s true that I had a very privileged childhood in many ways. Still, I always wanted tennis lessons and we could never afford them.

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5 Responses to “Priviledge Has It’s Advantages”

  1. Steve
    March 22nd, 2008 23:46

    You made me so laugh with this!

    Don’t you dare tag me! but posting it on the forum might be a laugh!?

  2. Fned
    March 23rd, 2008 01:13

    You went to college at 15????

    Forget privileged! You are a genius!!! ;))


  3. RiverGirl
    March 23rd, 2008 11:31

    Steve – I’m glad to make you laugh. It was fun to fill out, even though I was kind of mad by the end. And I didn’t tag anyone, this meme should die a slow painful death.

    Fned – I don’t think so, but I was glad to go and glad to be able to survive there.

  4. RiverGirl: A Gringa Writes About Life in Cancun, Mexico
    March 26th, 2008 15:54

    […] you may have noticed, I have a problem with memes that ask dumb questions. I suspect that my irritation with them may improve my writing, but I still don’t like […]

  5. Overcast, Overwhelmed, and Weepy « ¡Órale, pues!
    March 27th, 2008 16:19

    […] of dovetails with my feelings about the privilege meme that some lovely bloggers have been doing (here, here, and here) lately.  I think what we all have in common is that we all grew up loved, cared […]

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