When Peggy McIntosh wrote her ground-breaking treatise on white privilege her beginning statements outlined that the impetus for her ability to notice these privileges was born out of her research on male privilege in general. It was this inception which allowed her to extend her understanding of a hierarchical society to include white privilege as a whole. Meaning that, while men in general have intrinsic privileges that women do not, white women are also intrinsically over-privileged, with relation to black women and men because of their color.
Her premise in “Unpacking the Invisible Backpack” mentions a school-mate and colleague, who puts it quite succinctly,
“Whites are taught to think of their lives as a morally neutral, normative, and average, also ideal, so that when we work to benefit others, this is seen as work which will allow “them” to be more like ‘us’.”
While she was referring to the on-going problem of racial privilege, it also quite aptly describes the innate problem with the emergence of women’s rights with in a man’s world.
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