Image acquired from the Internet Hive Mind via ebay.com
Many people recently have been talking about Privilege. I ran into two very good examples which helped me grasped the topic better.
One in visual form, “What is Privilege?” , a YouTube video available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5f8GuNuGQ
And the other a blog by Liana Brooks, which she basically broke it down into gamer card game rules like Magic the Gathering, Pokemon, or Munchkin: http://www.lianabrooks.com/playing-the-privilege-game/.
And if you have spent anytime on the Internet, you likely have run into this example of how to teach privilege in a classroom setting: http://www.buzzfeed.com/nathanwpyle/this-teacher-taught-his-class-a-powerful-lesson-about-privil#.bkJvG22VK.
I think what I liked most about Ms. Brooks example is it meets the last instruction of the classroom setting – to use your privileges to achieve all you are capable of while still advocating for those behind you. The challenge, of course, is doing it in a constructive manner.
WRITING & READING CHALLENGE
I often leave writer and reader exercises. Today I have a different challenge.
First, write down your privilege cards. For example: Internet Access, Ability to Read, etc. Use the above links to get a feel for them. Maybe include bonuses you have worked on (read above middle school level). Then sometime this upcoming weekend consciously use one of your privilege cards (as described by Ms. Brooks here) to help someone whose deck is stacked against them in a situation. (Basically a “one good deed” challenge on steroids.)
ACTUAL WRITING EXERCISE
Take you present work-in-progress main character and create a list of the character’s privilege and bonus cards. Then create a situation where his/her privileges would make them fail to win the “hand” (situation) being played.
… If you are unable to do so, you character may be too powerful. Just something to think about. You may need to switch genres to get this to work – for example your character is a superhero, but you put them in a urban noir situation.