The Privilege Checklist

BuzzFeed recently created the “How Privileged Are You?” quiz, and it looked like one of the most hard-hitting BuzzFeed quizzes I’ve seen yet. So I took it.

My result:

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I didn’t really like the end result, and I talked to a few friends about the ways the well-intentioned quiz falls short.

Privilege isn’t something that can be calculated on a list, but I don’t think that’s reason enough not to make one. The process of reflecting on each point was pretty enlightening, and I think the idea of a viral quiz that get’s people to reflect on their perspectives is great! I’m a fan.

My issue is with the ultimate conclusion that—because I have less than 50 points of privilege—I’m “Not Privileged.” Of course, because I checked off 48 of the aspects of privilege on the list (I’m white, I went to an elite college, etc.), I am privileged in those regards. It’s important to recognize the ways you have an inherent societal advantage alongside the ways that you don’t.

Also, some of the questions didn’t quite measure accurately the points they were aiming for. For instance: I did not check the box that said “I have traveled internationally” because I haven’t. But at one point, that was surely a financial option for my family that they had but did not take because of preference, not lack of financial ability.

Ultimately, I found the quiz worthwhile and definitely worth taking, for the experience of checking each box more than for the end result.


Pope calls Internet “a gift from God”

I think it’s safe to add this declaration  to the long list of outrageously unexpected (in papal terms, anyway) things the pope has said lately. Of course, outside of the context of the Catholic church, referring to the internet as a wonderful  tool that has changed the way the world at large is able to communicate is no revolutionary statement.

But when the pope says it, context is important. As one of the most prominent world figures with international influence and as the leader of an organization steeped in strict tradition, his positive reception of the technological/cyber-centric world we live in (or of LGBTQ people and reproductive health) is a big deal. Because he is a respected public figure, he has the unique ability to influence the mindsets of others, even from a spiritual perspective–a perspective from which few other people in the world are able to reason with others, especially within extreme religious communities.

And how telling that so many of those receiving news of his statements are receiving it on the Internet.