All Posts Tagged With: "privilege"
Prof. Pettigrew reacts to study on white male academics
When I was an undergraduate, I was, as we all were back in arts programs in those days, told repeatedly about the notion of “privilege.”
It was explained to me that as a man, and a white man at that, I carried with me an “invisible backpack” filled with resources others did not have. It wasn’t that others had it bad—I had it too good.
It would be nice if this term had faded, as such faddish academic terms often do. These days, sad to say, this troubling notion of privilege is even more entrenched than ever.
The problem I have long had with the notion of “privilege” in this sense is that it suggests that those who are treated justly should feel bad for their lack of abuse or oppression. But this is backwards. The problem with oppression is that the oppressed are being treated unfairly, not that others are being treated decently.
The word privilege implies a special favour or status that one does not necessarily deserve. But the right to compete for a job without being judged by one’s race, the right not to be spurned by one’s neighbours because of one’s race—these things are not privileges – they are rights deserved by all.
I did fine without teachers who ‘looked’ exactly like me
An internal memo circulated earlier this week within the Toronto District School Board explicitly states: “The first round of TDSB interviews will be granted to teachers candidates that meet one or more of the following criteria in addition to being an outstanding teacher: Male, racial minority, French, Music, Aboriginal.”
Although the school board is taking the stance that the hiring criteria outlined above is not meant to actively exclude other groups, I can’t help but think that if I sent in a resume after graduating from York University’s education program this spring, as a female, I’d be rejected.
I’ve been constantly reminded that, as an Asian female, there are special scholarships available to me—that I enjoy a special kind of privilege offered to women of colour. A representative at a job fair stand once told me that if I ever considered applying for a position with the Toronto Police Service, I’d be a shoo-in. The TPS was running low on Asian female police officers—their words, not mine. Some would call this affirmative action. Others would cry reverse racism.
I say: why should any of this matter? Shouldn’t merit, skill and experience be what really counts?
A $250,000 settlement has students talking
U.S. television host and journalist Charlie Rose recently settled a class-action lawsuit after his production company was accused of failing to pay its former college interns. The settlement will set his production company back about $250,000, with each of the 189 interns walking away with $1,100 each for 10 weeks’ worth of work.
“$1,100? Not that bad,” I thought to myself.
Media executive turned law school graduate Steve Cohen disagreed. In the Wall Street Journal he called the lawsuit “dumb” and the settlement “worse.” He says that companies will now be hesitant to take on interns because it invites the possibility of meddling from labour activists rallying against the notion of unpaid work.
Anti-Movember editorial is offensive and just plain wrong
I rarely have trouble distinguishing seriousness from mirth when it comes to a piece of writing, but I had to read this post by Alex Manley more than once. Despite multiple, brow-furrowing reads, I’m still hesitant to say I think the Concordia student journalist is being genuine. But, no he can’t be! Surely he just forgot to write “PSYCH!” at the end.
If only. In his column entitled “No to Movember,” Manley lambastes all you dirty bigots who donated your money and mustaches to prostate cancer. The Movember campaign to which he refers sees men from all over the world grow their mustaches during the month of November to raise money for prostate cancer research.