On Amy Glass and Privilege

So the interwebs seem to have largely moved on from Amy Glass and her incendiary opinion post about stay at home moms, etc.  While I think it can be great that the Internet provides 24/7 news/articles and rapid responses to it all, I also find the effects of it on our individual and collective attention spans to be exhausting and discouraging.  Anyways, while Amy Glass may have fallen off the radar of Twitter and the rest of the online universe, her post and opinions remain on my mind.

Mainly because of a comment I read to her above-referenced post.  The commenter made the very good point that this might be quasi-true but only for privileged women.  One aspect of privilege that is not accurately addressed by Amy Glass in this article is male privilege.  If you’re a guy, your choices and options are likely not very limited, this is especially true for white, straight men.  For women, our choices have historically been made for us and at present, they continue to be limited and I wrote about that here.

So women in general have a disadvantage in terms of having a career and having a family.  The more privileged women contend with traditional gender norms and a patriarchal society that limits their options and traditional role in life, which again is why this is true.  But male privilege is only one type of privilege (obviously). Other privileges include white privilege, cisgender privilege, straight privilege, middle class and upper class privileges, etc.

So how does Amy Glass’ opinion article sound to less privileged women?  For women who are of color, poor, immigrants, transgender and/or disabled… how must/would they feel if they have heard or were to hear her thoughts on successful women?  What would a mother who is also a refugee from Southeast Asia think about Amy Glass’ reference to the oh-so-successful, shower-deserving woman who backpacks through Asia on her own, especially considering the fact this woman is likely resourced and white?  What would a woman who grew up in an abusive home and had to run away and subsequently drop out of high school and as a result is now impoverished but is successfully raising two children?  Children who, mind you, may not have been her choice to have but are still a source of pride, joy, tremendous work and success to her?

It’s clear Amy Glass is resentful of the traditional womanhood path.  But my best guess is that her resentment is evidence of her privilege and the many resources and options she’s had as, yes a woman, but a privileged woman (again that’s my guess, I know nothing about her upbringing).

And maybe I’m taking her opinion out of context, maybe she did mean this only for privileged women… But then why didn’t she just say so?  Because right now it looks like she’s just lumping all women together with no acknowledgment that some women are incredibly more privileged than others.

Oh and for the record, bridal and baby showers are absolutely linked to sexism and patriarchy, in my opinion (though yes I did myself have a bridal shower.. But hey, that was my choice!).  Anyways Amy Glass doesn’t even seem to get that nor does she get that she (likely) has minimal discriminations against her and that for many people the fact that her biggest gripe is that no one will throw her a shower after landing her dream job is nothing more than a privileged person’s rant.

And end to my own privileged person’s rant.  But at least I recognize that I’m (horrendously) privileged.

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