McIntosh's "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack"
Peggy McIntosh's article on White Privilege takes an in-depth look at how the matters of race and gender have a major effect on the culture and society in modern-day America. McIntosh wrote this piece in 1989, a time of great animosity in the world, with the conflicts in what was the Soviet Union, a Presidential shift in the United States, and the increasing struggle of various races throughout the world. McIntosh has identified herself, as posted in the hyperlink above, as a feminist. This proves useful in her article, as she points out the various disadvantages the female gender has in this world as opposed to the males. She mentions on the first page of her article that "males are taught not to recognize male privilege." I found this statement interesting, because it is something that I had never actually given thought to. The male population in the world was, and in many ways still is the presiding gender in most subjects, including governmental leadership, business and organizational leadership and management, among other things. An incomplete list of women who hold an executive position was put together here, showing how only 5% of major corporations in the United States are or were under the leadership of a female. Ursula Burns, who is the President and CEO of Xerox, is listed as Forbes 2014 22nd most powerful woman in the world. She is also regarded as one of the first African-American CEO's in the world. She gained in this position in 2010. This is a major achievement, not just for females but for African-Americans as well. This shows the direction in which the world is turning, and while I understand what McIntosh's thought process is with this subject, I disagree now when she states that women are at a severe disadvantage. Women are slowly and surely gaining all the power and glory that men currently have, and while I cannot argue that the male race is still ahead, the female race is not far behind. If anything, the American population seems to be behind. With female heads-of-state in Brazil, Chile, Germany and more, America seems to slowly be falling to the category of being one of the few only countries to yet have a female president. Furthermore, we must look at other statistics and facts that America seems to have trouble in, and many of these we could attribute to inequality of gender. (Please be aware this video contains strong language) I think this video, while a dramatization, provides factual based evidence as to why America is so far behind. This may seem slightly off topic, but in actuality, it ties directly into gender and racial inequality in America. This can be seen on pages two, three and four of McIntosh's article where she lists various reasons why she believes racial inequality is so prevalent, and what she can be guaranteed based on her skin color. The most prominent one for me is number 15: "I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group." This is something that I believe can be tied to Jonathan Kozol's "Amazing Grace" article, where he visits the struggling community of Mott Haven, and attempts to shed light on the dangerous and destitute situations that are ensuing there. I think by Kozol's presence there, he speaks on behalf of a percentage of the population that has not forgotten about areas such as Mott Haven. He is representing the white race by being there and spending time with those children. I truly believe it ties into McIntosh's article and main point, the gender and racial inequality is prevalent, and needs to be changed. I also believe that we are still working toward that today, and by doing this, we are on the path to a more peaceful and successful America.