WGST 2P98 Chapter : WGST 2P98, Week 4, Utt, reading Note

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True Solidarity: Moving Past Privilege Guilt
Jamie Utt Week Four Reading
Page | 1
Page 1
o Many aspects of certain identities that afford certain groups privilege.
o Race.
o Gender.
o Religious upbringing.
o Intergenerational wealth.
o Ability.
o Still, despite advantages, it is difficult for some to “hear.”
o Guilt.
o Depression because of guilt.
o Struggling to understand.
o Feeling as if a bad person simply for being who you are.
o Trapped in shame.
Page 2
“Guilt is a profoundly conservative emotion and as such is not a particularly use ful for bringing about
change. From a position of insecurity and guilt, people do not change or inspire other to change.”
o Michael Kaufman
“If privilege guilt prevents me from acting against oppression, then it is simply another tool of
oppression, and sitting in guilt means further colluding with the system that is making me feel
shame.
Have to find a way to move through/past guilt toward action against oppression.
Approaches to Moving Through or Past Privilege Guilt
1. Self-Reflect
2. (page 3) Understand and accept your role in oppression.
3. (page 4) Recognize that knowledge of privilege is not enough.
4. (page 5) Participate in and/or create community acting for justice.
5. (page 6) Stay in touch with why you feel guilty.
a. Important to make sure actions aren’t paternalistic.
b. Not acting just to relieve feelings of guilt.
c. “By knowing, understanding, and holding onto the why of our guilt, we are better able to
remember that we have a responsibility act.
d. “”Guilt is a luxury we can no longer afford.”” (James Baldwin)
“If you’ve come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. But if you’ve come because your liberation is
bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
o Aboriginal Elder Lila Watson
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Document Summary

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