Taipei Discussion of Privilege

Privilege. If someone has privilege, it means they have more rights than average people. When I see the word privilege, I think of two kinds of people. Politicians, and the other one businessmen. They are privileged. I also think privilege means maybe they are VIP in the world, they have some license to do what they want.

Privilege is a special entitlement or immunity granted by a gvt or other authority to a restricted group.

So you’re saying privilege is given. Is it given from the top only, or can it be given from the bottom.

I don’t know, but they’re talking about a special advantage. But in many fields, there’s a special advantage. Talk about a man, they have a special privilege or advantage.

I think it’s taking the advantage to let things become smoothly. It’s just like the air, we take it for granted, and we don’t feel of it. Just like people take advantage of water resources every day, more than other animals and plants, but we don’t feel it, we aren’t aware of it.

I think privilege is an advantage and a benefit and a dispensation.

Opening statements
Team A:
Awareness of Privilege is a kind of awareness of other people situations or circumstances. Usually we take most things we can do or we have for granted, and ignore other people’s situations or what they thin. If you have to figure things out for yourself to understand their circumstances, usually people have to lots of works about thinking. You have to think deeply to discover this fact.

Team B:
Privilege if you have define it you have to have comparison first, then you can tell do people have privilege or not. I think somehow Privilege exists because people compare themselves with each other, their status, to define themselves as different. You have to have poor people to know you are a rich person. This a human trait or quality.

I absolutely agree with Mary’s opinion.

Who confers privilege, is a good place to begin.

It’s transmitted by birth. If someone is born in a rich family, they have privilege.

But why is rich privileged?

Because money talks.. because you have to have those skills to keep things going and get what you want. I don’t know how these things begin, but very long ago, people pick out things fro exchange, and money was invented to make exchange simple. if you have more money, you can get more of what you want. And those guys who have more things are more powerful. Because they can also hire people. I think that’s the main problem. Because they can give money to others to ask them to do what they want, kind of hierarchy stuff, that’s where privilege comes from.

Very great point!

Power, people have power if they got money, people become your boss. So sometimes if they ask you to do things, they got the privilege to ask the kinds of things you’re maybe not really interested in doing, so maybe that’s a privilege.

So where does the privilege come from, from the actual pieces of metal.
Privilege is a social construct, right?

So do you mean from consensus? Agreement of …

Who is agreeing that this person is powerful?

Society? Society gives the advantage.

Why do you need their money? What if you could grow your own food?

So it’s kind of an economical problem.

I think that maybe the media deliver the message to all of us, that rich men can own many things and the media emphasize all things belong to the rich man, gives us a good impression. And in our mind we will always think, you can solve any problem if you are rich. So I just think the image usually given by maybe the media or the tv.

But I think it’s true, because you have the money. The rich men they want to do something different, so they will go to the shop during off hours, behind closed doors, because they have more power. And I think it is difficult to avoid the situation. Because in company, in school, in Taipei or Taiwan, it always happen. And I also think if we are poor, that’s okay, we have another way to get privilege, by becoming politicians, we don’t need to follow some rules, maybe we can argue with someone or say some dirty language without fear, because we are a legislator.

The qualities that people has, the personalities, the things that cannot be measured by money.

But can just anyone get rich or be a politician?

Maybe we can sort of give examples of the kinds of privilege of people being privileged and being aware of it or not.

Male privilege, is it true?

Yes, it’s true.

I think it’s been the case since ancient times. Males always have privilege.

Maybe a company, if there are female staff and male staff, and they are all good at their work, but if there’s only one superior position, they always pick the male. They have more opportunity to be the manager.

And many people if their boss is female, they will feel,.,,


They will think they can’t do it. Just like the example.

I think in this example the major reason is that she’s black, not a man.

Top designers are males.

But they’re mostly gay, because they have sensitive, so they understand men and women.

So why aren’t there a lot more lesbian designers?

Well why do women always sell cosmetics?

But I think white privilege is a very popular topic in America. I found his website with many opinions and discussions to talk about white privilege. I think it’s very serious in America.

For example?

It’s very difficult to find a black president in America. It’s seems so difficult for the people to accept a black president. So I heard about Hillary and Obama, but Obama may be the vice president, just because he is an African America.

I think the main problem of Obama is he’s lacking political experience. Those commentators like to talk about his political experience, because sometimes he’s saying stuff which is politically incorrect.

But they’re being deliberately ignorant of the issue that he’s black.

I read an opinion piece comparing Obama and Hilary, and saying that Hilary was better. I’m not quite sure if it’s the privilege things that’s happening here.

So can the us accept a woman or a black in power.

Recently in Hollywood, it’s all black men in power, so based on that, I think Obama will win.

Lately, I’ve noticed that we call bush and Obama by their last names, and Hilary by her first name.

So will you vote for her?

Well, I’d like to just because she’s a woman, but I’m not sure she’s going to act with women’s interests in mind. Because she is put in power by other people by supporters, who are mostly men. So she has to act with their interests first in mind. which brings us back to the first point, where does power come from, is it given from above, or given by below? We actually give other people power and privilege.

These people have power, have something you don’t have, so they can give you things.

Yes, but my point is why should we support them, instead of envy them?

Because you have people confronting those people, probably there are people who try to confront those people with money and something we don’t have and those people who don’t have things are the losers in the confrontations, so we don’t want to support them.

So you’re saying we don’t want to support the losers?

Yes. Because we are kind of selfish from an economical viewpoint. Because we want to gain our own benefit, after evaluating, if we support people with money, or those white people will be good for us. It’s a benefit exchange. It’s not just giving them power, it’s also gaining something. even if it’s a little, it’s more than you had before. Just like businessmen who donate money to those who have more probability to win the election.

So let’s put it in Taiwan terms. Would you support Annette Lu for president, as a woman?

She doesn’t talk much, so I don’t know what her real opinions are.


Because as the vice president, President Chen asks her to keep silent. So when Chen Shuibien flies to another country, maybe she hopes that his plane will crash.

I would not vote for her, not because she is a woman, because of her personality. She always like to everyone knows her thinking way is better than the president. I think she is not a team player.

No, I think she is too, I can’t find the word, tough!

But don’t presidents need to be tough?

I think Hilary and Annette Lu are too tough for men.

Wait, are you saying other people wouldn’t vote for her, or you wouldn’t.

She’s not the proper president for Taiwan. Because the political situation is very complicated and her style may increase the tension.

It depends who’s running against her?

Why, who do you like better? Ma Yingjieu?

Because he his handsome, and strong.

Yeah, kind of, because he has a better public image.

But if it were her and him, id vote for her! Because I’d like a real woman!

Oh, you want a real woman, not a man like a woman!

Yes, but also, she has a solid status for her policy. But Ma Yingjieu has a soft

He’s squishy on the issues.

Yes! So I’d rather vote for her.

Are we evaluating them on being men or women, or are we evaluating them on leadership capabilities?

It think it’s 40/60, or more like 20/80, 40 or 20 is sex, and 60 and 80 are individuals.

Closing statements
30 seconds;
I think today’s class is interesting, both the article and the discussion.

30 sec
I think this class we talk about the privilege. Its an advantage, a right, a dispensation, a benefit. It comes from society recognition.

from this article and the discussion, I think privilege is a kind of circle problem. Some people provide it, some people accept it, and it happen. And there’s the example of some branded bank freely provide their bags to the movie star, and the journalist take the photo and put in the magazine, and all of us buy it, because we want to be the same as the star and purchase the bag. And that branded bag become popular. So branded companies have successful, and continue to provide free bags to movies stars, giving them the privilege. Some people provide it and some people accept.

30 sec
I think privilege is kind of benefit exchanging thing, after this class. Before I thought it was a psychological or social issue. But now I think it’s because of economic issues, and exchange of benefits.

30 seconds.
I think everyone made a good definition of privilege I think it means we can use special way to make things smooth for us. In the past we always needed to just accept it, but today we can use the media to expose or change the situation. And during the class I just think: if you had the chance at privilege, would you take it? The answer is yes.



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