A Nerd Girl's Perspective

My Thoughts on News, Politics, Food, Crafting, Geek Culture, Sociology, and Much More —— Courtney C Horne

Tag: privilege

“Pretty Privilege”

If you asked the average person, they would say that being “pretty” – conventionally attractive – was a big advantage for a woman to have. And indeed in many ways, prettiness can be a source of benefits. It also can be as significant of a source of problems. Despite this, most women would certainly chose to be conventionally attractive if possible. Our society places such an emphasis on the physical appearance that the privilege of being “pretty”‘s complications are often overlooked. This emphasis reduces women, both those with the “pretty privilege” and those without, down to a sum of their looks. And it makes a lot of people a lot of money.

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Privilege in Small Talk

How many times have you heard (or been part of an exchange like this)?

“White” person: So where are you from?

Not-”white” looking person: (name of american city)

“White” person: Where are your parents from?

Not-”white” looking person: (name of american city)

“White” person: No – like before.

A friend who doesn’t look “white” was talking about how when she goes through this she feels like they are basically saying “why are you brown??” For her, this is particularly frustrating because the bit of genetics that makes her look less white is not something she has any connection with culturally.

Listening to her talk about it made me realize that most of the time this demand to explain one’s ethnic background isn’t one we make of people we think of as “white.” (I say most of the time because when people assume my dyed red hair is real they demand an explanation of my families country of origin.)

This sort of small thing is part of how privilege informs even small talk. People don’t feel the need to investigate your background if you are perceived as white.

In interest of full disclosure, I do ask people about their ethnic background sometimes in small talk at times. After noticing this privilege issue, I am trying to ask people I think of as “white” as well.

From Facebook



I came across this exchange on facebook.


A) They seem to be unaware that historically higher turnout is better for Democrats than the GOP.

B) So I guess single mothers aren’t allowed to vote in their minds unless they can afford a sitter? I found that leave your kid at home thing to reek of privilege. They seem completely unconcerned with the fact that for many women that is not an option.