Wetback American

I'm educated but brown so no matter where I go I'm a Wetback American.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Hey lady, check your privilege!

So I wrote a post over on Wheatless Mama about doing the work of becoming "woke" so this post is a little bit different. You know I don't post here too often. Actually, the things that really get under my skin tend to end up on Twitter as rants but anyways. Checking your privilege is like not easy. While I do know that I have many privileges in my life, it wasn't until I took the Buzzfeed Privilege Quiz that I even thought about some of my privileges so here goes.

 My privileges: 

 1 - I am cis-gendered. I was born and looked like a girl. I feel like a girl. I present as a "traditional" female. I have gone through my tom-boy phases but by and large, my tits and ass put me strongly in the female category. 

 2 - I am heterosexual. I am a female who is sexually attracted to men. No parts of me are into having a sexual or romantic relationship with a female. 

 3 - I have children. I procreated and therefore I am not harassed about my decisions in relation to my "womanhood" or fertility. It took me a long time to finally get pregnant with DD1; I was 30 when I had her. Then a miscarriage about 2 years later left me seemingly unable to have more children. I was constantly tortured about when would I have another baby while longing in my heart for another child and mourning in secret the I had lost. Then by some miracle, DD2 came along 7 years after DD1. I am so privileged. While people ask about me having a son, for the most part, they leave my uterus status alone now. 

4 - I am educated, like very highly educated.  As I have stated before, I hold several degrees: BA - History, MLIS - Library and Information Studies, MEd - Curriculum and Instruction, EdD - Educational Leadership.  So many doors are open for me because of my degrees.  My degrees mean that during all of this Covid stuff, I haven't missed a paycheck.

5 - I am fluent in English with only a Texas accent. My parents came to this country during a time when learning English and using it without an accent was paramount.  Over the phone, you cannot tell I'm Mexican or that English is actually my second language.  

6 - I have an "American" last name.  This goes hand in hand with #5.  My last name does not give away my ethnicity.  There have been a few studies that show people with foreign-sounding names get different opportunities from those with "American" or "White" names.  I actually use both of my last names professions because I do not appreciate people's reactions to a Brown face showing up when they were expecting a "Doctor."

7 - I have a job with a salary.  Like many people in higher education, I have a salary.  Now, most weeks, I work well over 40 hours but even if I don't hit 40, my paycheck is still the same.

8 - My parents are both alive, relatively healthy, and live with me.  I have 24/7 childcare.  My girls love my parents and they love having the girls all the time.  In fact, this partly the reason I commute almost 2 hours each way to work.  My parents don't want to move and my girls refuse to live without their grandparents.

9 - My look is a bit more racially ambiguous.  I feel that I look very Mexican, especially in the summer when I am quite brown but I have more than once been told I was lying about being Mexican.  I don't look Mexican, they say.  I think they think this is a compliment.  So it takes people a while to decipher my background which means I am usually treated as a tan White lady or pretty Indian lady.

10 - I have a working car.  I have had ex-friends leave the country for political reasons.  While I understand their reasons, it is 100% privilege.  A privilege that I to can indulge in.  More than once I have toyed with the idea of moving back to Mexico or going north to Canada.  This is something I can do because I can just hop in my car and go.  I am not dependent on public transportation.  I can get a wild hair and just go.  

11 - I do not have any visible or invisible disabilities and am quite healthy.  If you look at me I'm just normal.  I stand straight.  I walk on two feet.  I do not have any major health issues.  

These are just 11 off the top of my head, with the help of Buzzfeed.  Now I'm a 41-year-old Mexican woman married to a Black man raising biracial children in deep East Texas so I have a lot of issues that I deal with on a daily basis but y'all I'm so lucky.  Yes, I have a ton of student loan debt.  Yes, I am underpaid by comparison to most people with my level of education and experience but am fully employed at a job I love.  I live such a privileged life in comparison to so many people.  If I can make a list of my privileges and know I still have even more that I could list then you can too.  Privilege is real.  Many of the things I listed I didn't do anything to get.  Some of them are the result of a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I survive and I fight.  I advocate and I try to be an ally.  I'm so far from the perfect BLM advocate or LGBTQIA ally but I am willing to say I have benefitted from being "normal" and I'm going to use that privilege for good.

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