Peggy McIntosh is an American feminist and she is also an anti-racist activist of The United States of America. Peggy McIntosh is also the associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women, a speaker and the founder and co-director of the National S.E.E.D. Project on Inclusive Curriculum which is basically the seeking of educational equity and diversity. Peggy McIntosh’s area of expertise is feminism and racism. She deals with equality in society and political world for women. She fights for the equal rights of women as the same rights as men. She also expertizes in the field of racism. According to Peggy McIntosh, whites are taught not to recognize the white privileges and that is why she started to ask what it was like to have these white privileges in life and then she started to write this article on her personal observations and experiences. The article, “White privilege and male privilege” is based on Peggy McIntosh’s daily experience within a particular circumstance.
White Privilege means that the advantages that white people enjoy in society that people of other color cannot enjoy. It is bound to only the white people and it is beyond the people of color in the same society, politics or economic places. It sometimes said to be the advantages that white people have but they do not realize that they have it. According to Peggy McIntosh, she says in her article, “White Privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks, passports, visas, clothes compass, emergency gear and blank checks” (White Privilege and Male Privilege, Peggy McIntosh, 95). Basically, white privilege is the privilege that white people have only not people of other race or color. Peggy McIntosh says that white privilege is an indivisible knapsack. She tries to imply that these privileges are not equally distributed among people of different race and color and to be more specific these are such privileges that sometimes even the white people are unaware of it just as if these privileges were invisible to them.
On this topic, Minnich said that white people are taught to think that their life is morally neutral, normal and average and that people work to benefit others. This is what Minnich said about this topic in Peggy’s article that white people think that they work to benefit others. Peggy McIntosh, in her article talked about the white privileges of people in daily circumstances. She wrote about some of her own experiences. According to me, the most striking ones among all of the effects emphasized by Peggy are that white people can go shopping anytime anywhere without having the fear of being followed and harassed by some detectives, white people can turn on the television or turn the papers of the newspaper and proudly see their race being represented with positive attitudes, white people can be casual if they want to or not want to listen to the speech of the person of another race. White people may use either checks, credit card or cash but in the counters, no one will tell them anything about their financial background. Some of the other daily effects that were most striking to me were that white people can swear, dress up as they want, and also even if they did not answer any letters, they would not be called illiterate or that they have bad morals.
White people can criticize the government whenever they want to without being said anything to them or even the white people can attend the meetings late without anyone telling them anything about their race. Basically, white people have a lot of privilege and they can do almost anything they want to do. Peggy McIntosh says in her article that white people and also male controls almost everything. She says that they have control over the daily life and they dominate the world. She tells us that being privileged may mean something that almost everything in this world want and I agree with Peggy McIntosh because everyone in this world want to be privileged. But, sometimes privilege might mean the power that someone has to do something which people from other sex are not allowed to do. And also at times, because of the race and sex of people, they are empowered and Peggy McIntosh refers to this as conferred dominance in her article.
Peggy also talks about unearned entitlement and this basically means that people may be because of their race or sex are entitled to something and they earn it by birth. They do not have to work to earn it because it is already theirs. They do not need to earn it since it is already belonged to them. According to me, after reading this article by Peggy McIntosh, white people have a lot of power in the United States of America. White people and also males dominate the society and people from other races or sex cannot do anything about it. It is how the things were and it is how it will go on. People tells us that racism is over but it is there in America maybe not shown but it is there hidden. White people still have hatred for other races in themselves but they just learnt a way to hide it and deal with it. White people enjoy a lot of benefits that people that belong to other races or sex or color do not enjoy. Some of these benefits are not even known to the whites. They may not even know about it but still enjoy it.
Kleiner, A. (2003). Who really matters: the core group theory of power, privilege, and success. Doubleday, Random House Inc. Sergiovanni, T. (1999). Building community in schools. Jossey-Bass Inc. McIntosh, Peggy (1988). White Privilege and Male Privilege, A personal account of coming to see Correspondences through work in women’s studies.