Privilege vs. Forces

by MugaSofer

Thing of Things

I’ve been thinking about alternatives to privilege-based models of oppression.

For the unfamiliar: the privilege-based model essentially divides the world into the privileged and the oppressed. For instance, white people are privileged and people of color are marginalized; straight people are privileged and LGBA people are marginalized; thin people are privileged and fat people are marginalized. The privileged group has negative opinions about the oppressed group. In addition, various institutional things screw over the oppressed (for instance, redlining, the illegality of gay marriage, and too-small airline seats).

However, I think there are some serious problems with this sort of model.

First, there’s the problem I wrote about in this post. Privilege models fail when the intersection of a privileged identity and a marginalized identity ends up giving you worse outcomes than the intersection of two marginalized identities. For instance, men of color are far more likely than women of…

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