The Mirror of Egelivirp

May 06 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

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In one of the Harry Potter books, the protagonist (I won't say hero; I felt Hermione should have had top billing) finds a mirror. In it, he sees himself and his family. His friends do not see the same image, though. They see other things of their dreams.

Later, he finds out that he has found the Mirror of Erised, one that shows what the viewer most desires.

Desire, backwards as in a mirror, would be erised.

I believe we need a different mirror, The Mirror of Egelivirp.

(I will give you a minute to spell it out)

This mirror shows nothing like what you desire. It will show you things that you get through your privilege of birth, race, ethnicity, gender, etc.

One of my current frustrations involves explaining to white males how much they take for granted. Others in the world do not get the same respect or even the benefit of the doubt in many situations.

Being a lowly muggle, I cannot make this happen. I just hope someone at Hogwart's reads my blog. We could really use a whole bunch of these Mirrors of Egelivirp.

2 responses so far

  • qaz says:

    Privilege is the wrong word here. Privilege is (by definition) something that only a few people can have. Thus, the solution to privilege is to bring the people who had these opportunities down to the level of those who didn't. (Or to shift who gets the privilege when.) Instead, we need a word to say that non-white males are not getting what they should have. We need a way to bring them up.

    It is not a privilege to be respected by police, to have the assumption of innocence first. This is the way it is supposed to be. It is not a privilege to have educational opportunities. This is the way it is supposed to be. It is not a privilege to go through life with safety and sufficient food. This is the way it is supposed to be.

    We need a way to say "look what you have, wouldn't it be great for everyone to have that". Not a way to say "look how much better you had it than everybody else - you need to recognize that you had those special things". Because if we talk about privilege, the solution to privilege is to take it away. And we're left with everyone hungry, limited, and under the gun.

    • whizbang says:

      My issues have come mostly in discussions of implicit bias and sexism. Getting men to see that they have a certain amount of advantage by being "the default mode" is extremely difficult. After all, they worked hard and earned their position; why should they assume that any part of that achievement was due to bias toward them?

      Right now, these white dudes rule the world. We need them to realize that they had a huge advantage from the cradle before we can get their help (and yes, we will need it) to correct the disadvantages the rest of us face.

      I agree that I don't want everyone to be oppressed. I'm thinking more about workplace issues than police interactions here, but I agree that it's all interrelated and it all needs fixing.

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