18 Things White People Seem To Not Understand (Because, White Privilege)

Also most of this applies to anyone who is Hearing Privilege. . .

Thought Catalog

I don’t wake up every morning with the intention of pissing you off, I swear, and whether or not you believe it, I’m here to help you. I want you to recognize that on a daily basis, you hold a set of advantages and immunities that are a direct result of the oppression of people of colour. That doesn’t sound nice, does it? Makes you squirm in your chair a bit and maybe feel a little uncomfortable, right?
But here’s the thing – I’m not here to make you feel comfortable, that’s not my job. I’m here to erase the invisibility of the privileges you have that continue to help maintain white supremacy. I’m here to show you what your…

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Love Yourself Today

love-yourself

les femmes

Choose to love yourself today.

Block out all of the pressure from society telling you that you aren’t good enough, you aren’t smart enough, you aren’t pretty enough.  Don’t let society tell you that you aren’t enough.  You are.

Stop hating your body and decide to love it for the incredibly complex, intricate and amazing creation that it is.  Your body is your home in this life.  It supports you, carries you and will always be there.  Give it some appreciation and love today.

Stop putting yourself down and start thinking positive thoughts.  Think about all of your positive characteristics today.  Are you kind? Curious? Creative? Do you have a great sense of humor? Can you always pick out the perfect gift for your friends? Remember all of the special and positive things about yourself today.  No matter how many weaknesses you may have (and we all have them!) you…

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Afghanistan’s New Anti-Women Bill

Afghanistan’s New Anti-Women Bill.

A new bill just passed through both houses of Parliament in Afghanistan that forbids all family members of accused criminals from testifying against them. President Hamid Karzai has yet to sign the bill, but it will automatically go into effect in 10 days if he does not veto it.

The proposed law would allow men to abuse their wives, children, and sisters without threat of judicial repercussion. It would quash any legal consequences for cases of honor killings, child marriage, and domestic violence—in a country where 87 percent of women have experienced some form of abuse. In family-centric Afghanistan, there would be few unrelated witnesses in such cases.

After 12 years of advancement, the past nine months have seen a series of setbacks for women’s rights. In July, parliament lowered its quota for female lawmakers on provincial councils from 25 percent to 20 percent. Lawmakers also blocked an effort to endorse the 2009 anti-violence law in May, and in November, a draft of a law that would reinstate public execution by stoning was scrapped after it leaked to the media. A current bill in front of parliament awaiting a vote would allow men more authority over children, including the right to marry an adopted female child.

The article notes that the only sign of American protest to this bill has come from the US Embassy in Kahbul. It has also been criticized by the UN’s policy chief. More international leaders need to speak out on this bill to show President Karzai that violence against women will not be tolerated by the international community.

Hearing Privilege

Hearing Privilege – link to original post

hearingprivilege

Hearing privilege is a concept that’s come up often in discussions in and around Deaf Echo posts that deserves to be called out and looked at in depth. I also find that it has personal relevance: some uncomfortable situations have come up with my family that made me think of this important concept.

Let me start with a story first.

I’m sitting down with a close hearing friend. A relative of mine calls my friend and asks her to relay a message to me. My relative had JUST met my friend for the first time the day before, and my relative uses text messaging with me all the time, and there was no reason my relative couldn’t have simply texted me.

So, in the space of one day, my relative was already ‘using’ my new friend to communicate with me. My relative was taking advantage of her hearing status (and advantages) to confer on my hearing friend the privilege of communication while simultaneously weakening me. I was denied the responsibility and control of handling communication.

To properly explain what I think of this I need to explain what exactly hearing privilege means and that will require a short journey through race relations.

Hearing privilege can be best explained quickly by saying it’s similar to the concept of white privilege. In a nutshell, white privilege is “a way of conceptualizing racial inequalities that focuses as much on the advantages that white people accrue from society as on the disadvantages that people of color experience.” (Wikipedia) It’s different than racism and prejudice; racism and prejudice are essentially when a dominant group actively seeks to oppress or suppress other racial groups for its own advantage. It is a privileged position; the possession of an advantage white persons enjoy over non-white persons.

White privilege is everywhere. As a white person, I am conscious that simply being white does grant me privileges that other races do not have (or only have to a limited degree). For example, a writer writes “Every time I walk into a store at the same time as a black man and the security guard follows him and leaves me alone to shop, I am benefiting from white privilege.” (source)

Similarly, hearing privilege is when hearing people view their social, cultural, and economic experiences as a norm that all deaf people should experience. It is a privileged position; hearing people possess an undeniable advantage over deaf persons. The quick reader will rightly point out that whites have an unearned advantage (skin color) while hearing people have a physical advantage (being able to hear), but the privilege itself remains.

Back to my story. Clearly, my relative extended the privilege to my hearing friend and skipped texting me because picking up the phone and speaking on the phone was more convenient.

When a boss decided not to schedule a meeting with me because it was too much of a hassle getting an interpreter, that was hearing privilege.

When I was told, “It wasn’t funny anyway” and that it wasn’t important to know what a person said, that was hearing privilege.

When hearing people around a dinner table had to be reminded to include me in conversations, that was hearing privilege.

When a hearing parent pushes a deaf person to wear a hearing aid or a cochlear implant, that is hearing privilege.

When an abusive hearing boyfriend or girlfriend controls the communication environment, that is hearing privilege.

When I am interpreted for behind my back, over my head, without me knowing, that is hearing privilege.

When the spoken word (in person or on the phone) is privileged and valued as important, and other communication (sign language, writing, cued, etc) is viewed as less important, a chore, or plain dismissed; that is hearing privilege.

What can be done? What does a self-aware hearing person look like? Here are some good examples from my experience:

  • When you visit their house and they turn on the captioning before you arrive.
  • When they ask your permission (or wait for you to ask) to interpret for you in a communication difficulty with another hearing person.
  • When asked to “tell him” or “tell her” something, they politely say, “tell him or her yourself.” They also do not do that themselves.
  • Extra credit: They learn sign language, cued speech, or some other visual means of communication so that they can communicate with you.

If we all become more aware of hearing privilege, it becomes much easier to take that power back for ourselves.  The other day, a hearing friend went with me to an auto parts store.  I began communicating (the best I could) with the guy behind the counter.  My hearing friend started to help me, behind me.

I started to get angry, but I realized… it’s all up to me.  So I told him, “I got this.”  And I did.

Hearing privilege is a concept that’s come up often in discussions in and around Deaf Echo posts that deserves to be called out and looked at in depth. I also find that it has personal relevance: some uncomfortable situations have come up with my family that made me think of this important concept.

Let me start with a story first.

I’m sitting down with a close hearing friend. A relative of mine calls my friend and asks her to relay a message to me. My relative had JUST met my friend for the first time the day before, and my relative uses text messaging with me all the time, and there was no reason my relative couldn’t have simply texted me.

So, in the space of one day, my relative was already ‘using’ my new friend to communicate with me. My relative was taking advantage of her hearing status (and advantages) to confer on my hearing friend the privilege of communication while simultaneously weakening me. I was denied the responsibility and control of handling communication.

To properly explain what I think of this I need to explain what exactly hearing privilege means and that will require a short journey through race relations.

Hearing privilege can be best explained quickly by saying it’s similar to the concept of white privilege. In a nutshell, white privilege is “a way of conceptualizing racial inequalities that focuses as much on the advantages that white people accrue from society as on the disadvantages that people of color experience.” (Wikipedia) It’s different than racism and prejudice; racism and prejudice are essentially when a dominant group actively seeks to oppress or suppress other racial groups for its own advantage. It is a privileged position; the possession of an advantage white persons enjoy over non-white persons.

White privilege is everywhere. As a white person, I am conscious that simply being white does grant me privileges that other races do not have (or only have to a limited degree). For example, a writer writes “Every time I walk into a store at the same time as a black man and the security guard follows him and leaves me alone to shop, I am benefiting from white privilege.” (source)

Similarly, hearing privilege is when hearing people view their social, cultural, and economic experiences as a norm that all deaf people should experience. It is a privileged position; hearing people possess an undeniable advantage over deaf persons. The quick reader will rightly point out that whites have an unearned advantage (skin color) while hearing people have a physical advantage (being able to hear), but the privilege itself remains.

Back to my story. Clearly, my relative extended the privilege to my hearing friend and skipped texting me because picking up the phone and speaking on the phone was more convenient.

When a boss decided not to schedule a meeting with me because it was too much of a hassle getting an interpreter, that was hearing privilege.

When I was told, “It wasn’t funny anyway” and that it wasn’t important to know what a person said, that was hearing privilege.

When hearing people around a dinner table had to be reminded to include me in conversations, that was hearing privilege.

When a hearing parent pushes a deaf person to wear a hearing aid or a cochlear implant, that is hearing privilege.

When an abusive hearing boyfriend or girlfriend controls the communication environment, that is hearing privilege.

When I am interpreted for behind my back, over my head, without me knowing, that is hearing privilege.

When the spoken word (in person or on the phone) is privileged and valued as important, and other communication (sign language, writing, cued, etc) is viewed as less important, a chore, or plain dismissed; that is hearing privilege.

What can be done? What does a self-aware hearing person look like? Here are some good examples from my experience:

  • When you visit their house and they turn on the captioning before you arrive.
  • When they ask your permission (or wait for you to ask) to interpret for you in a communication difficulty with another hearing person.
  • When asked to “tell him” or “tell her” something, they politely say, “tell him or her yourself.” They also do not do that themselves.
  • Extra credit: They learn sign language, cued speech, or some other visual means of communication so that they can communicate with you.

If we all become more aware of hearing privilege, it becomes much easier to take that power back for ourselves.  The other day, a hearing friend went with me to an auto parts store.  I began communicating (the best I could) with the guy behind the counter.  My hearing friend started to help me, behind me.

I started to get angry, but I realized… it’s all up to me.  So I told him, “I got this.”  And I did.

REFLECTION:

“You are hearing, because you are the “majority” of the population, you benefit from BEING hearing because the world is tailored to fit YOUR (the majority) needs. You simply being able to walk into a store and not having to worry whether or not the employee’s will be able to communicate with you is a privilege that you, as hearing people, have. Having someone interpreting for you isn’t a “deaf privilege”, interpreters are needed because we live in a hearing dominated world and therefore instead of sign language being accessible to everyone, we have interpreters to do that for the hearing world.

I don’t say this to victimize the deaf community, because they are not victims, but just like white privilege exists, hearing privilege does too. Just BEING hearing is the privilege in this world because you don’t have to work extra to be afforded basic rights as a person. ”

-Apollonia Marie (CODA)

I AGREE wholeheartedly. -esmichelesreflections