Oprah Winfrey: Ego/Affluenza


 is the drive to maintain and enhance favorable views of oneself, and generally features an inflated opinion of one’s personal features and importance. It often includes intellectual, physical, social and other overestimations.

The egotist has an overwhelming sense of the centrality of the ‘Me’, that is to say of their personal qualities. Egotism means placing oneself at the core of one’s world with no concern for others, including those “loved” or considered as “close,” in any other terms except those subjectively set by the egotist.


Egotism is closely related to “loving one’s self” or narcissism – indeed some would say “by egotism we may envisage a kind of socialized narcissism”.[3] Egotists have a strong tendency to talk about themselves in a self-promoting fashion, and they may well be arrogant and boastful with a grandiose sense of their own importance.[4]Their inability to recognise the accomplishments of others[5] leaves them profoundly self-promoting; while sensitivity to criticism may lead on the egotist’s part to narcissistic rage at a sense of insult.[6]

Egotism differs from both altruism – or acting to gain fewer values than are being given– and from egoism, the unremitting pursuit of one’s own self-interest. Various forms of “empirical egoism” can be consistent with egotism, but do not necessitate having an inflated sense of self.[7]


In developmental terms, two rather different trajectories can be distinguished with respect to egotism – the one individual, the other cultural.

With respect to the developing individual, a movement takes place from egocentricity to sociality during the process of growing up. It is normal for an infant to have an inflated – almost a majestic – sense of egotism. The over-evaluation of one’s own ego regularly appears in childish forms of love – in large part because the baby is to himself everything, omnipotent to the best of their own knowledge.

Optimal development allows a gradual reconciliation to a more realistic view of one’s own place in the world – a lessening of the egotistical swollen head. Less adequate adjustment may later lead to what has been called defensive egotism, serving to overcompensate for the fragility of the underlying concept of self. Robin Skynner however considered that in the main growing up leads to a state where “your ego is still there, but it’s taking its proper limited place among all the other egos”.

However, alongside such a positive trajectory of diminishing individual egotism, a rather different arc of development can be noted in cultural terms, linked to what has been seen as the increasing infantilism of (post)modern society. Whereas in the nineteenth century egotism was still widely regarded as a traditional vice – for Nathaniel Hawthorne egotism was a sort of diseased self-contemplation – Romanticism had already set in motion a countervailing current, what Richard Eldridgedescribed as a kind of “cultural egotism, substituting the individual imagination for vanishing social tradition”. The romantic idea of the self-creating individual – of a self-authorizing, artistic egotism – then took on broader social dimensions in the following century. Keats might still attack Wordsworth for the regressive nature of his retreat into the egotistical sublime; but by the close of the twentieth century egotism had been naturalized much more widely by the Me generation into the Culture of Narcissism.

In the 21st century, romantic egotism has been seen as feeding into techno-capitalism in two complementary ways: on the one hand, through the self-centred consumer, focused on their own self-fashioning through brand ‘identity’; on the other through the equally egotistical voices of ‘authentic’ protest, as they rage against the machine, only to produce new commodity forms that serve to fuel the system for further consumption.


There is a question mark over the relationship between sex and egotism. The claim has been made that love can transform the egotist, giving him or her a new sense of humility in relation to others.

But at the same time, it is very apparent that egotism can readily show itself in sexual ways, and indeed arguably one’s whole sexuality may function in the service of egotistical needs.


The term egotism is derived from the Greek (“εγώ”) and subsequently its Latinised ego (ego), meaning “self” or “I,” and -ism, used to denote a system of belief. As such, the term is etymologically similar to egoism.

Cultural examples

  • A. A. Milne has been praised for his clear-eyed vision of the ruthless, open, unashamed egotism of the young child.



portmanteau of affluence and influenza, is a term used by critics of consumerism. It is thought to have been first used in 1954 but it gained legs as a concept with a 1997 PBS documentary of the same name and the subsequent book, Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic (2001, revised in 2005, 2014). These works define affluenza as “a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debtanxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.” The term “affluenza” has also been used to refer to an inability to understand the consequences of one’s actions because of financial privilege, notably in the case of Ethan Couch


In 2007, British psychologist Oliver James asserted that there was a correlation between the increasing nature of affluenza and the resulting increase in material inequality: the more unequal a society, the greater the unhappiness of its citizens. Referring to Vance Packard‘s thesis The Hidden Persuaders on the manipulativemethods used by the advertising industry, James related the stimulation of artificial needs to the rise in affluenza. To highlight the spread of affluenza in societies with varied levels of inequality, James interviewed people in several cities including SydneySingaporeAucklandMoscowShanghaiCopenhagen and New York.

In 2008 James wrote that higher rates of mental disorders were the consequence of excessive wealth-seeking in consumerist nations. In a graph created from multiple data sources, James plotted “Prevalence of any emotional distress” and “Income inequality,” attempting to show that English-speaking nations have nearly twice as much emotional distress as mainland Europe and Japan: 21.6 percent vs 11.5 percent. James defined affluenza as “placing a high value on money, possessions, appearances (physical and social) and fame”, which was the rationale behind the increasing mental illness in English-speaking societies. He explained the greater incidence of affluenza as the result of ‘selfish capitalism’, the market liberal political governance found in English-speaking nations as compared to the less selfish capitalism pursued in mainland Europe. James asserted that societies can remove the negative consumerist effects by pursuing real needs over perceived wants, and by defining themselves as having value independent of their material possessions.

In Australia

Clive Hamilton and Richard Denniss‘s book, Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough, poses the question: “If the economy has been doing so well, why are we not becoming happier?” They argue that affluenza causes overconsumption, “luxury fever,” consumer debt, overwork, waste, and harm to the environment. These pressures lead to “psychological disorders, alienation and distress,” causing people to “self-medicate with mood-altering drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.”

They note that a number of Australians have reacted by “downshifting” — they decided to “reduce their incomes and place family, friends and contentment above money in determining their life goals.” Their critique leads them to identify the need for an “alternative political philosophy,” and the book concludes with a “political manifesto for wellbeing.”

Notable incidents

In December 2013, State District Judge Jean Boyd sentenced a North Texas teenager, Ethan Couch, to 10 years’ probation for driving under the influence and killing four pedestrians and injuring 11 after his attorneys successfully argued that the teen suffered from affluenza and needed rehabilitation, and not prison. The lawyers had argued that Couch was unable to understand the consequences of his actions because of his financial privilege. The defendant had been witnessed on surveillance video stealing beer from a store, driving with seven passengers in a Ford F-350 stolen from his father, and speeding (70 miles per hour (110 km/h) in a 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) zone). Couch was also driving while under the influence of alcohol (with a blood alcohol content of 0.24%, three times the legal limit for an adult in Texas) and the tranquilizer Valium. At a February 5, 2014, hearing, Eric Boyles — whose wife and daughter were killed in the crash — said, “Had he not had money to have the defense there, to also have the experts testify, and also offer to pay for the treatment, I think the results would have been different.”


White Racism vs. Black Racism


She defined racism to this audience of white and black people the best I’ve ever seen. What do you think of her definition?

She defined racism to this audience of white people the best I've ever seen. My hat's off to her.

Posted by Not A Religion Organization for the Non-Religious on Thursday, November 5, 2015




Conservatism as a political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries, oppose modernism and seek a return to “the way things were”. The first established use of the term in a political context originated with François-René de Chateaubriand in 1818, during the period of Bourbon restoration that sought to roll back the policies of the French Revolution. The term, historically associated with right-wing politics, has since been used to describe a wide range of views. There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative, because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues. Edmund Burke, an 18th-century politician who opposed the French Revolution but supported the American Revolution, is credited as one of the main theorists of conservatism in Great Britain in the 1790s.[4] According to Quintin Hogg, the chairman of the British Conservative Party in 1959, “Conservatism is not so much a philosophy as an attitude, a constant force, performing a timeless function in the development of a free society, and corresponding to a deep and permanent requirement of human nature itself.” (SOURCE)


Anti-abortion movements are involved in the abortion debate advocating against the practice of abortion and its legality. Many anti-abortion movements began as countermovements in response to legalization of elective abortions. The Anti-abortion movement helps to educate the general public on the topic of abortion. The Anti-abortion movement has also helped women that have had abortions find help if they need it. Sometimes organizations within the anti-abortion movement support adoption instead of abortion. (SOURCE)

“Pro-Life” Is A Lie, Here Are 10 More Accurate Descriptions They Won’t Like

There’s a lot of terms floating around that people use to describe themselves when they want to make their position sound more appealing, even if those terms are a completely (and very deliberately) misleading. One such lie term is “pro-life.”

John Fugelsang said it best: “Only in America can you be pro-death penalty, pro-war, pro-unmanned drone bombs, pro-nuclear weapons, pro-guns, pro-torture, pro-land mines, and still call yourself ‘pro-life.’” Indeed, the term “pro-life” has come to represent a group of people whose values have nothing to do with protecting life, and living people, and more to do with protecting unborn fetuses to the exclusion of all other considerations.

The only way to effectively kill a misnomer, such as “pro-life,” is to replace it with a more accurate description. I would encourage everyone to pick one of these terms, and start using it in place of the words “pro-life,” when discussing abortion.

10 more accurate terms for the “pro-life” movement.

1. Anti-Abortion: People who call themselves “pro-life” oppose abortion. Since that’s the only argument the “pro-life’ moniker is applied to we should just call their position what it is: opposition to a woman’s right to get an abortion, or anti-abortion for brevity.

2. Anti-Choice: This term works because the people who proclaim that they are “pro-life” are using that term to describe their position in regards to whether or not a woman can choose to have an abortion and absolutely nothing else. See the Fugelsang quote above. Therefore they are anti-choice. “Life” does not even enter the equation.

3. Pro-Fetus: This term works because a large swathe of the “pro-life” movement are the same people who support cutting funding to programs like WIC, food stamps, and other programs which generally help mothers and children. If they were really concerned with “life,” and not just the fetus, then they would aggressively commit themselves to make sure children have enough food to eat, a proper education, and a place to live. Since their concern for the fetus ends as soon as it is born, they are clearly pro-fetus.

4. Pro-Birth: Same reasoning as “pro fetus,” this term works because so many people who consider themselves “pro-life” stop caring about whether or not the baby is adequately taken care of the instant it’s born.

5. Pro-Controlling Women: It’s irrefutable that the people who would deny women the right to have an abortion are trying to control women. If someone thinks they’re more qualified than a pregnant woman to decide what she does with her body, without her input, that’s control, pure and simple.

6: Pro-Abuse: Attempting to dominate or control another person in a relationship is considered domestic abuse, so how is attempting to control women whom you’ve never met not considered abuse? A woman in Ireland died last year because she was denied a lifesaving abortion for a pregnancy that was already ending in an unavoidable miscarrage. How are the doctors who denied her that life saving procedure any better than a man who tells a woman how to dress, or what to do? If controlling what a woman does with her time is considered abuse then denying that same woman a medical procedure should be considered equally abhorrent.

7. Anti-Sex: My friend Justin insisted for a long time that the people who oppose abortion do so because they think that a baby should be punishment for premarital sex, and I was admittedly skeptical, but he actually proved it, here. I’ll let his words on this topic speak for themselves, he makes an excellent argument.

8. Pro-Religious Control: A lot of the arguments that fuel the anti-abortion debate are religious in nature. Since not everyone follows the same religion, trying to assert your religious beliefs over other people can be considered nothing less than pro-religious control. Not all of the “pro-life” movement is opposed to abortion, necessarily, but they are in favor of controlling people on the basis of religion. Rick Santorum, for example, who strongly opposes abortion for religious reasons, had no problem with his own wife having a life saving abortion. Despite the fact that his own wife needed one, because of his religion, he continues to insist that it should be denied to other women. What’s more controlling than that?

9. Misogynist: Misogyny is defined as the hatred of women, and what’s more hateful to women than treating them like they’re too stupid to decide what to do with their bodies, by denying them a procedure which could be life saving, medically necessary or, in many cases, the responsible choice to make? I can’t think of many things more hateful than letting women die, or forcing them to carry a rapist’s baby to term, because you think you’re more qualified to make their medical decisions than they are.

10. Hypocrite: I thought I’d end with this one, because after the previous examples it should be glaringly obvious that this isn’t a debate about “life,” it’s a debate about abortion and what women are capable of deciding in regards to their own bodies. History, and extensive studies, have shown that making abortion illegal doesn’t get rid of abortion; it only makes the procedure more dangerous and unregulated, which causes more women to die from complications. According to the World Health Organization, “illegal abortion is usually unsafe abortion.” Anyone who would call themselves “pro-life,” while simultaneously trying to outlaw abortions, making them more deadly, is a hypocrite.

I consider myself pro-life because I support programs and policies which help people to thrive, including abortion. There’s nothing “pro-life,” or noble, about forcing a woman to carry an unwanted fetus to term, especially when that fetus could put her life in danger, was conceived through rape or incest, or would be subjected to a life of difficulty and poverty because the mother is unable to provide for a child.

We can’t continue to allow people to pretend that they support life, on the basis that they oppose abortion. We have to be willing to say, “No, that’s not what you are, and I’m not going to let you lie about your position in order to make it sound more appealing. You are not pro-life. If you were, you would be fundraising for orphanages instead of protesting at abortion clinics.”

Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments below.

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In social theory and philosophyantihumanism (or anti-humanism) is a theory that is critical of traditional humanism and traditional ideas about humanity and the human condition. Central to antihumanism is the view that concepts of “human nature“, “man”, or “humanity”, should be rejected as historically relative or metaphysical. (SOURCE)



Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex. Sexist attitudes may stem from traditional stereotypes of gender roles, [full citation needed] and may include the belief that a person of one sex is intrinsically superior to a person of the other. A job applicant may face discriminatory hiring practices, or (if hired) receive unequal compensation or treatment compared to that of their opposite-sex peers. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape and other forms of sexual violence.

Origin of the term
According to Fred R. Shapiro in American Speech, Vol. 60, No. 1 (Spring 1985), the term “sexism” was most likely coined on November 18th, 1965, by Pauline M. Leet during the “Student-Faculty Forum” at Franklin and Marshall College. The term appears in Pauline M. Leet’s forum contribution titled, “Women and the Undergraduate”, where she defines it by comparing it to racism, saying in part, “When you argue…that since fewer women write good poetry this justifies their total exclusion, you are taking a position analogous to that of the racist — I might call you in this case a “sexist”… Both the racist and the sexist are acting as if all that has happened had never happened, and both of them are making decisions and coming to conclusions about someone’s value by referring to factors which are in both cases irrelevant.” 
Also according to Shapiro, the first time the term “sexism” appeared in print was in Caroline Bird’s speech “On Being Born Female”, which was published on November 15th, 1968 in Vital Speeches of the Day (p. 6). In this speech she said in part, “There is recognition abroad that we are in many ways a sexist country. Sexism is judging people by their sex when sex doesn’t matter. Sexism is intended to rhyme with racism. Both have used to keep the powers that be in power.”
Sheldon Vanauken is sometimes falsely claimed to have coined the term “sexism” in his pamphlet “Freedom for Movement Girls – Now.” In this pamphlet the term “sexism” appears without any citation of Leet or Bird, thus leading to the false idea that Vanauken coined it himself. 


Certain forms of sex discrimination are illegal in some countries; in others, discrimination may be legally sanctioned under a variety of circumstances.

Ancient world

According to Peter Sterns, women in pre-agricultural societies held equal positions with men; it was only after the adoption of agriculture and sedentary cultures that men began to institutionalize the concept that women were inferior to men. Definitive examples of sexism in the ancient world included written laws preventing women from participating in the political process; for example, Roman women could not vote or hold political office.


Main article: Coverture
Until the 20th century U.S. and English law observed the system of coverture, where “by marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law; that is the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage”. U.S. women were not legally defined as “persons” until 1875 (Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162).

In many countries, women still lose significant legal rights at marriage. For example, Yemeni marriage regulations state that a wife must obey her husband and must not leave home without his permission.

In Iraq husbands have a legal right to “punish” their wives. The criminal code states at Paragraph 41 that there is no crime if an act is committed while exercising a legal right; examples of legal rights include: “The punishment of a wife by her husband, the disciplining by parents and teachers of children under their authority within certain limits prescribed by law or by custom”.

Gender stereotypes

1952 magazine feature stereotypical women drivers.
Gender stereotypes are widely-held beliefs about the characteristics and behavior of women and men.[19]Empirical studies have found widely-shared cultural beliefs that men are more socially valued and more competent than women in a number of activities.[20][21] For example, Susan Fiske and her colleagues surveyed nine diverse samples from different regions of the United States. Fiske found that members of these samples, regardless of age, consistently rated the category of “men” higher than the category of “women” on a multidimensional scale of competence.[22] Dustin B. Thoman and others (2008) hypothesize that “The socio-cultural salience of ability versus other components of the gender-math stereotype may impact women pursing math”. Through the experiment comparing the math outcomes of women under two various gender-math stereotype components, which are the ability of math and the effort on math respectively, Thoman and others found that women’s math performance is more likely to be affected by the negative ability stereotype, which is influenced by socio-cultural beliefs in the United States, rather than the effort component. As a result of this experiment and the socio-cultural beliefs in the United States, Thoman and others concluded that individuals’ academic outcomes can be affected by the gender-math stereotype component that is influenced by the socio-cultural beliefs (Thoman et al. 2008).

There are huge areal differences in attitudes towards appropriate gender roles. For example, in the World Values Survey, responders were asked if they thought that wage work should be restricted to only men in the case of shortage in jobs. While in Iceland the proportion that agreed was 3.6%, in Egypt it was 94.9%.

A phenomenon known as stereotype threat can lower women’s performance on mathematics tests, creating a self-fulfilling stereotype of women having inferior quantitative skills compared to men. Stereotypes can also affect self-assessment; studies found that specific stereotypes (e.g., women have lower mathematical abilities) affect women’s and men’s perceptions of those abilities, and men assess their own task ability higher than women who perform at the same level. These “biased self-assessments” have far-reaching effects, because they can shape men and women’s educational and career decisions.

In language
Sexist and gender-neutral language
Research indicates that the use of “he” in the English language as a generic pronoun evokes a disproportionate number of male images, excluding women in non gender-specific instances. Results also suggest that while the plural “they” functions as a generic pronoun for both males and females, males may comprehend “he/she” in a manner similar to “he”, since “he” is usually placed before the slash and “she” after it. This is seen by some as a linguistic convention, not driven by gender roles.

In the late 20th century there was a rise in gender-neutral language in the western world, often attributed to the rise of feminism. Gender-neutral language is the avoidance of gender-specific job titles, non-parallel usage and other usage considered sexist. Supporters claim that gender-specific language may imply a systemic bias to exclude individuals based on gender, or is as unnecessary as language based on (for example) race, religion or height.

Anthropological linguistics and gender-specific language

This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2012)

Unlike the Indo-European languages, gender-specific pronouns in many other languages are a relatively recent phenomenon (occurring during the early 20th century). Cultural revolution resulted from colonialism in many parts of the world, with attempts to modernize and westernize local languages with gender-specific and animate-inanimate pronouns. As a result, gender-neutral pronouns became gender-specific (see, for example, gender-neutrality in languages without grammatical gender: Turkish).

Gender-specific pejorative terms

Gender-specific pejorative terms intimidate or harm another person because of their gender. Sexism can be expressed in language with negative gender-oriented implications, such as condescension. Other examples include obscene language. Some words are offensive to transgender people, including “tranny”, “she-male”, or “he-she”. Intentional misgendering (assigning the wrong gender to someone) and the pronoun “it” are also considered pejorative.

Occupational sexism

Main article: Occupational sexism
Occupational sexism refers to discriminatory practices, statements or actions, based on a person’s sex, occurring in the workplace. One form of occupational sexism is wage discrimination.

In 2008 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that while female employment rates have expanded and gender employment and wage gaps have narrowed nearly everywhere, on average women still have 20% less chance to have a job and are paid 17% less than men.  The report stated:

[In] many countries, labour market discrimination – i.e. the unequal treatment of equally productive individuals only because they belong to a specific group – is still a crucial factor inflating disparities in employment and the quality of job opportunities […] Evidence presented in this edition of the Employment Outlook suggests that about 8% of the variation in gender employment gaps and 30% of the variation in gender wage gaps across OECD countries can be explained by discriminatory practices in the labour market.

It also found that despite the fact that almost all OECD countries, including the U.S.,[37] have established anti-discrimination laws, these laws are difficult to enforce.

Gender stereotypes
Gender roles are behaviors and tasks which society associates with each gender. In the United States, men are typically expected to be stoic, decisive, direct, athletic, strong, driven, and brave; women are expected to be emotional, nurturing, weak, affectionate, home-oriented and forgiving.

According to the OECD, women’s labor-market behavior “is influenced by learned cultural and social values that may be thought to discriminate against women (and sometimes against men) by stereotyping certain work and life styles as ‘male’ or ‘female'”. The organization contends that women’s educational choices “may be dictated, at least in part, by their expectations that [certain] types of employment opportunities are not available to them, as well as by gender stereotypes that are prevalent in society”.

Professional discrimination against women in the workplace continues. One study found that 50 percent of women in government jobs reported that they had experienced discrimination while performing a work-related task, and 20 percent of female government employees reported that they experienced gender discrimination at work. Women do not receive equal pay for equal work, and are less likely to be promoted.

In 1833, women working in factories earned one-quarter of what men earned; in 2007, women’s median annual paychecks were $0.78 for every $1.00 earned by men. A study showed that women comprised 87% of workers in the child-care industry, and 86 percent of the health-aide industry. Others contest the wage gap, saying the difference in pay primarily reflects different career and work-hours choices by men and women rather than sexism.

Some experts[who?] believe that parents play an important role in creating the values and perceptions of their children. The fact that many girls help their mothers with housework, and many boys perform technical tasks with their fathers, seems to influence their behavior and may discourage girls from undertaking technical tasks. Children may then think that each gender should have different roles and behavior.

A 2009 study found that being overweight harms women’s career advancement, but presents no barrier for men. Overweight or obese women were significantly underrepresented among company bosses; however, a significant proportion of male executives were overweight or obese. The author of the study stated that the results suggest that “the ‘glass ceiling effect’ on women’s advancement may reflect not only general negative stereotypes about the competencies of women, but also weight bias that results in the application of stricter appearance standards to women. Overweight women are evaluated more negatively than overweight men. There is a tendency to hold women to harsher weight standards.”

Transgender people also experience workplace discrimination and harassment. Unlike sex-based discrimination, the refusal to hire (or firing a worker) for their gender identity or expression is legal in most U.S. states and countries.

Wage gap

Main article: Gender pay gap

Gender pay gap in average gross hourly earnings, according to Eurostat 2008
Several studies have found that women earn a smaller average wage than men. Many economists and feminist scholars have argued that this is the result of systemic gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Others, however, maintain that the wage gap is a result of differences between the choices that men and women make in the workplace, such as more women than men choosing to be full-time parents or work fewer hours to be part-time parents.

Eurostat found a persistent, average gender pay gap of 17.5 percent in the 27 EU member states in 2008. Similarly, the OECD found that female full-time employees earned 17 percent less than their male counterparts in OECD countries in 2009.

In the United States, the female-to-male earnings ratio was 0.77 in 2009; female full-time, year-round (FTYR) workers earned 77 percent as much as male FTYR workers. Women’s earnings relative to men’s fell from 1960 to 1980 (60.7 percent to 60.2 percent), rose rapidly from 1980 to 1990 (60.2 to 71.6 percent), leveled off from 1990 to 2000 (71.6 to 73.7 percent) and rose from 2000 to 2009 (73.7 to 77.0 percent). When the first Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, female full-time workers earned 58.9 percent as much as male full-time workers.

The gender pay gap has been attributed to differences in personal and workplace characteristics between women and men (such as education, hours worked and occupation), innate behavioral and biological differences between men and women and discrimination in the labor market (such as gender stereotypes and customer and employer bias). Women interrupt their careers to take on child-rearing responsibilities more frequently than men. A study by professor Linda Babcock in her book Women Don’t Ask shows that men are eight times more likely to ask for a pay raise, suggesting that pay inequality may be partly a result of behavioral differences between the sexes. However, studies generally find that a portion of the gender pay gap remains unexplained after accounting for factors assumed to influence earnings; the unexplained portion of the wage gap is attributed to gender discrimination. Estimates of the discriminatory component of the gender pay gap vary. The OECD estimated that approximately 30% of the gender pay gap across OECD countries is due to discrimination. Australian research shows that discrimination accounts for approximately 60 percent of the wage differential between women and men. Studies examining the gender pay gap in the United States show that a large portion of the wage differential remains unexplained, after controlling for factors affecting pay. One study of college graduates found that the portion of the pay gap unexplained after all other factors are taken into account is five percent one year after graduating and twelve percent a decade after graduation. A study by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) found that women graduates are paid less than men doing the same work and majoring in the same field.

Wage discrimination is theorized as contradicting the economic concept of supply and demand, which states that if a good or service (in this case, labor) is in demand and has value it will find its price in the market. If a worker offered equal value for less pay, supply and demand would indicate a greater demand for lower-paid workers. If a business hired lower-wage workers for the same work, it would lower its costs and enjoy a competitive advantage. According to supply and demand, if women offered equal value demand (and wages) should rise since they offer a better price (lower wages) for their service than men do.

Research at Cornell University and elsewhere indicates that mothers are less likely to be hired than equally-qualified fathers and, if hired, receive a lower salary than male applicants with children. The OECD found that “a significant impact of children on women’s pay is generally found in the United Kingdom and the United States”. Fathers earn $7,500 more, on average, than men without children do.

Possible causes
According to Denise Venable at the National Center for Policy Analysis, the “wage gap” is not the result of discrimination but of differences in lifestyle choices. Venable’s report found that women are less likely than men to sacrifice personal happiness for increases in income or to choose full-time work. She found that among adults working between one and thirty-five hours a week and part-time workers who have never been married, women earn more than men. Venable also found that among people aged 27 to 33 who have never had a child, women’s earnings approach 98% of men’s and “women who hold positions and have skills and experience similar to those of men face wage disparities of less than 10 percent, and many are within a couple of points”. Venable concluded that women and men with equal skills and opportunities in the same positions face little or no wage discrimination: “Claims of unequal pay almost always involve comparing apples and oranges”.

Glass ceiling
Main article: Glass ceiling
The term “glass ceiling” is used to describe a barrier to advancement based on gender discrimination. In academic achievement, improvements have been made. However, as of 1995 in the United States women received about half of all master’s degrees but 95–97% of the senior managers of Fortune 1000 and Fortune 500 companies were male; of Forbes Global 2000 companies, 5% of senior managers were women.

The United Nations asserts that “progress in bringing women into leadership and decision making positions around the world remains far too slow.”

In the western world, women’s employment has been restricted. In France married women received the right to work without their husband’s permission in 1965, and in West Germany women obtained this right in 1977 (women in East Germany enjoyed more rights). In Spain during the Franco era a married woman required her husband’s consent (permiso marital) for nearly all economic activities, including employment, ownership of property and traveling away from home; the permiso marital was abolished in 1975.


Sexual objectification is a form of sexism being defined as a person being regarded primarily as a person being viewed primarily in terms of sexual appeal or as a source of sexual gratification. Some countries (for example Norway and Denmark) have laws against sexual objectification in advertising. Nudity is not banned, and nude people can be used to advertise a product if they are relevant to the product advertised. Sol Olving, head of Norway’s Kreativt Forum (an association of the country’s top advertising agencies) explained, “You could have a naked person advertising shower gel or a cream, but not a woman in a bikini draped across a car”.

See also: Feminist views on pornography
It is theorized that pornography contributes to sexism by objectifying women and portraying them in submissive roles. Robin Morgan and Catharine MacKinnon suggest that certain types of pornography also contribute to violence against women by eroticizing scenes in which women are dominated, coerced, humiliated or sexually assaulted.

Feminists opposed to pornography (such as MacKinnon) charge that the production of pornography entails physical, psychological and economic coercion of the women who perform and model in it. Opponents of pornography charge that it presents a distorted image of sexual relations and reinforces sexual myths; it shows women as continually available and willing to engage in sex at any time, with any men, on their terms, responding positively to any requests. MacKinnon states:

Pornography affects people’s belief in rape myths. So for example if a woman says “I didn’t consent” and people have been viewing pornography, they believe rape myths and believe the woman did consent no matter what she said. That when she said no, she meant yes. When she said she didn’t want to, that meant more beer. When she said she would prefer to go home, that means she’s a lesbian who needs to be given a good corrective experience. Pornography promotes these rape myths and desensitises people to violence against women so that you need more violence to become sexually aroused if you’re a pornography consumer. This is very well documented.

Supporters of pornography and anti- censorship activists (including sex-positive feminists) argue that pornography does not seriously impact a mentally-healthy individual, since the viewer can distinguish between pornography and reality. They contend that both sexes are objectified in pornography (particularly sadistic or masochistic pornography, in which men are objectified and sexually used by women).

Media portrayals
Some feminist scholars believe that media portrayals of demographic groups can both maintain and disrupt attitudes and behaviors toward those groups. These images are often harmful, particularly to women and racial and ethnic minority groups. For example, a study of African American women found they feel that media portrayals of African American women often reinforce stereotypes of this group as overly sexual and idealize images of lighter-skinned, thinner African American women (images African American women describe as objectifying). In a recent analysis of images of Haitian women in the Associated Press photo archive from 1994 to 2009, several themes emerged emphasizing the “otherness” of Haitian women and characterizing them as victims in need of rescue.

Sexist jokes
Sexist jokes can be a form of sexual objectification, which reduces the subject of the joke to an object (e.g., “What do you do when your dishwasher is broken?” Answer: “You hit her”). They not only objectify women or men, but can also condone violence or prejudice against men or women.[citation needed] “Sexist humor—the denigration of women through humor—for instance, trivializes sex discrimination under the veil of benign amusement, thus precluding challenges or opposition that nonhumorous sexist communication would likely incur.” A study of 73 male undergraduate students by Ford (2007) found that “sexist humor can promote the behavioral expression of prejudice against women amongst sexist men”. According to the study, when sexism is presented in a humorous manner it is viewed as tolerable and socially acceptable. “Disparagement of women through humor ‘freed’ sexist participants from having to conform to the more general and more restrictive norms regarding discrimination against women.”

Gender discrimination in politics

Suffrage is the civil right to vote. Gender is sometimes used as a criterion for the right to vote. Some Western countries allowed women the right to vote relatively recently: Swiss women gained the right to vote in federal elections in 1971, and Appenzell Innerrhoden became the last canton to grant women the right to vote on local issues (in 1991, when it was forced to do so by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland). The first country to grant unrestricted rights to vote and stand for parliament was Finland (then the Grand Duchy of Finland) in 1906. French women were granted the right to vote in 1944.

Women’s suffrage in the United States was achieved gradually at the state and local levels during the 19th and early 20th centuries, culminating in 1920 with passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Since women gained the right to vote in the U.S., they have emerged in local and state politics and as presidential candidates. Although women are capable of gaining political power, gender stereotypes persist in politics. Data from the 2006 American National Election Studies Pilot Study measured “perceptions of women’s and men’s issue competency”. One question asked was “Who would do a better job in the U.S. Congress handling crime—a Democrat who is a man, a Democrat who is a woman or would they equally do a good or bad job?” The same question was rephrased, replacing “Democrat” with “Republican” The data indicates that voters use gender stereotypes for both Democrats and Republicans. When asked the question, voters stated that the male would do a better job in handling crime. When “handling crime” was changed to “handling education”, they said that women would do a better job. The researchers believe that the voters responded as they did because “women politicians are perceived to possess typically feminine traits such as being warm and sensitive and are believed to be expert on ‘so called’ woman issues such as education. Moreover, male politicians are perceived to possess typically masculine traits, such as being assertive and tough”. About 2 percent of voters (average: 1.9% Democrats in Congress, 2.3% Republicans in Congress) believed that men would do a better job handling education, while about 6.4% (average 6.8% Democrats in Congress, 6.2% Republicans in Congress) said that women would do a better job. While voters may believe that women do a better job in certain areas than men (and vice versa), the survey then limits the analysis to respondents affiliated with a specific political party. When Republicans were asked the same questions about issue competency in education and crime, the results show that about 26 percent of Democratic women state that female Democratic politicians would do a better job handling education while just under 20 percent of Republican women held the same belief. More Republicans believed that Republican men are better able to handle crime (36 percent) than Democrats believed of Democratic men (14%).

The researchers conclude that “although it is often argued that any gender effect will disappear in the presence of the party cue, [they] find that gender stereotypes transcend party. Both Democratic and Republican politicians are believed to differ by gender in perceived issue competency and issue positions…Democrats are more likely to hold gender stereotypes that benefit women in politics. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to see an advantage for women on the issue of education and are less likely than Republicans to see a men advantage on the issue of crime”.[99] While Democrats are more likely to believe that women are better able to handle education, Republicans believe that men are better able to handle crime. “Overall, gender stereotypes appear to be more detrimental to the electoral chances of Republican women than Democratic women. In the end, this research offers support for the notion that women and men who run for office are viewed through multiple lenses by a public employing a range of stereotypes to the degree that people continue to see women and men as possessing different issue competencies”. This indicates sexism, since one’s gender should not indicate capability in handling crime or education. The split by political parties demonstrates that, based on the data and conclusions, Democrats believe that women are better able to handle education while Republicans believe that men are better fit to handle crime.


Sexism can take a number of forms, and is sometimes subtle or unconscious. The Smithsonian American Art Museum reported in its 2011 survey of American civic art that there were 5,193 public statues in the United States of individuals; of these, 394 depicted females.

Criminal sentencing
A number of studies have shown that for identical crimes, men are given harsher sentences than women. Controlling for arrest offense, criminal history and other pre-charge variables, sentences are over 60 percent heavier for men. Women are more likely to avoid charges entirely, and to avoid imprisonment if convicted. The gender disparity varies according to the nature of the case (for example, there is a smaller gender gap in fraud cases than in drug trafficking and firearms). This disparity occurs in U.S. federal courts, despite guidelines designed to avoid differential sentencing.

One reason posited for the gender disparity is the larger caregiving role of women. In 2012 a mother seen on CCTV launching a violent racist attack on a stranger (kicking and stomping the victim’s head before her two children) was not sentenced to prison. The judge ruled that it would be unfair to her children to jail her, sentencing her to a twelve-month jail sentence (suspended for two years) and a two-year supervision order.[103] Another possible reason is that women are often successful at turning their violent crime into victimhood. Crime journalist Patricia Pearson, author of When She Was Bad: How and Why Women Get Away With Murder, cites among others defenses postpartum depression, premenstrual syndrome, and battered wife syndrome.

Domestic violence
Main article: Domestic violence
Domestic violence takes a number of forms (including verbal, physical and psychological abuse), which vary across the gender spectrum. According to a report of the Special Rapporteur submitted to the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (2002) concerning cultural practices in the family that reflect violence against women (E/CN.4/2002/83):

The Special Rapporteur indicated that there had been contradictory decisions with regard to the honour defense in Brazil, and that legislative provisions allowing for partial or complete defense in that context could be found in the penal codes of Argentina, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Peru, Syria, Venezuela and the Palestinian National Authority.

Stoning (a form of punishment in which a group throws stones at a person, usually until the victimn dies) is associated with domestic disputes, especially those involving accusations of loss of chastity, adultery or the refusal of an arranged marriage.[citation needed] Recently, several people have been sentenced to death by stoning after being accused of adultery in Iran, Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mali and Pakistan.

Practices such as honor killings and stoning continue to be supported by mainstream politicians and other officials in some countries. In Pakistan, after the 2008 Balochistan honour killings in which five women were killed by tribesmen of the Umrani Tribe of Balochistan, Pakistani Federal Minister for Postal Services Israr Ullah Zehri defended the practice: “These are centuries-old traditions, and I will continue to defend them. Only those who indulge in immoral acts should be afraid.” Following the 2006 case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani (which has placed Iran under international pressure for its stoning sentences), Mohammad-Javad Larijani (a senior envoy and chief of Iran’s Human Rights Council) defended the practice of stoning; he claimed it was a “lesser punishment” than execution, because it allowed those convicted a chance at survival.[117] In 2010, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s Supreme Court ruled that a man has the right to physically discipline his wife and children if he does not leave physical marks.

Honor killings are a form of domestic violence which continues to be practiced in several parts of the world. The victims of honor killings are usually women.

Hate-motivated sexual assault
Rape and sexual assault are considered to be acts of hate. Their relationship to sexism is the frequent desire on the part of the perpetrator for power over the victim. The Center for Women Policy Studies stated that “victims almost always are chosen for what they are rather than who they are”; a woman is more likely to be attacked because of her gender than her individuality.

Research into factors motivating perpetrators of rape against women frequently reveals a pattern of hatred towards women and pleasure in inflicting psychological and physical trauma, rather than sexual interest.[121] Mary Odem posits that rape is the result not of pathology but of systems of male dominance, cultural practices and beliefs which objectify and degrade women.

Mary Odem, Jody Clay-Warner and Susan Brownmiller consider that sexist attitudes are propagated by a series of myths about rape and rapists. They state that in contrast to those myths, rapists often plan a rape before they choose a victim and acquaintance rape (not assault by a stranger) is the most common form of rape. :xiv Odem also asserts that these rape myths propagate sexist attitudes about men, by perpetuating the belief that men cannot control their sexuality.

In response to acquaintance rape, the “Men Can Stop Rape” movement has been implemented. The U.S. military has begun a similar movement, with the slogan “My strength is for defending”.

Women have traditionally had limited access to higher education. When women were admitted to higher education, they were encouraged to major in less-intellectual subjects; the study of English literature in American and British colleges and universities was instituted as a field considered suitable to women’s “lesser intellects”. However, since 1991 the proportion of women enrolled in college in the United States has exceeded the enrollment rate for men; the gap has widened over time. As of 2007, women made up the majority—54 percent—of the 10.8 million college students enrolled in the United States.

Research has found that discrimination continues; boys receive more attention and praise (and more blame and punishment) in the grammar-school classroom, and “this pattern of more active teacher attention directed at male students continues at the postsecondary level”. Over time, female students speak less in a classroom setting.
It is also argued that the educational system has become “feminized”, allowing girls more of a chance at success with a more “girl-friendly” environment in the classroom; this is seen to hinder boys by punishing “masculine” behaviour and diagnosing boys with behavioural disorders.

In 2011 a United States Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that women are more likely than men to earn a bachelor’s degree by age 23. A survey conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools similarly found that in the 2008–09 school year, women earned 50.9% of doctorates and 60% of master’s degrees.

Girls earn higher grades than boys until the end of high school; in some districts, girls achieve higher marks despite similar (or lower) scores than boys on standardised tests.

Military service
See also: Military service and Israeli military
Military service has been considered a gender-specific duty. Some countries, such as Israel, require military service regardless of gender. Others (such as Turkey and Singapore) still use a system of conscription which only requires military service for men, although women are permitted to serve voluntarily.
In the United States, all men must register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday.[140] The system does not require women to register, leading to criticism that it discriminates against men by forcing them into a dangerous role based on gender.

Main article: Misandry

Main article: War rape
War rapes are rapes committed by soldiers, other combatants or civilians during armed conflict, war or military occupation, and are distinguished from in-service sexual assault and rape committed amongst troops. It also encompasses situations in which women are forced into prostitution or sexual slavery by an occupying power, such as Japanese comfort women during World War II. Sexual violence and rape as a weapon of war also affects a large number of men, although it is less-often reported.

Sexual slavery
Main article: Sexual slavery
Sexual slavery occurs when people are coerced into slavery for sexual exploitation. The incidence of sexual slavery by country has been studied and tabulated by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) with the cooperation of a number of international agencies.[146] Sexual slavery also includes single-owner slavery, the ritual slavery associated with certain religious practices, slavery for primarily non-sexual purposes where non-consensual sex is common and forced prostitution.

Sex-selective abortion
Main article: Sex-selective abortion
Sex-selective abortion involves terminating a pregnancy based upon the predicted gender of the baby. The abortion of female fetuses is most common in areas where the culture values male children over females,[147] such as parts of the People’s Republic of China, India, Pakistan, Korea, Taiwan, and the Caucasus.[147][148] One reason for this preference is that males are seen as generating more income than females. A 2011 report on Science Daily stated that the trend grew steadily during the previous decade, and would probably cause a future shortage of women.

Main article: Transphobia
See also: Phobia – terms for prejudice or discrimination
Transphobia refers to prejudice against transsexuality and transsexual (or transgender) people based on their gender identification. Whether intentional or not, transphobia can have negative consequences for the object of the negative attitude. The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movement opposes sexism against transsexuals. One form of sexism against transsexuals is “women-only” and “men-only” events and organizations, which have been criticized for excluding trans women and trans men.

Oppressive fashions and gender stereotypes in fashion

High-heeled shoe
Feminists argue that certain fashion trends have been oppressive to women; they restrict women’s movements, increase their vulnerability and endanger their health. The fashion industry is dealing with a great deal of criticism, as their association of thin-models and beauty has said to encourage bulimia and anorexia nervosa within women, as well as locking female consumers into “false” feminine identities.

The assigning of gender specific baby clothes from young ages is often seen as sexism as it can instil in children from young ages a belief in strong gender stereotypes. An example of this is the assignment in some countries of the color pink to girls and blue to boys. This fashion, however, is a recent one; at the beginning of the 20th century the trend was the opposite: blue for girls and pink for boys. In the early 1900s, The Women’s Journal wrote: “That pink being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” DressMaker magazine also explained: “The preferred colour to dress young boys in is pink. Blue is reserved for girls as it is considered paler, and the more dainty of the two colours, and pink is thought to be stronger (akin to red).”

Louis XV in 1712, as a boy, wearing a pink dress

Children in Rwanda. Notice how all children, regardless of sex, have very short hair (these children are wearing their school uniforms: girls are in skirts and boys in shorts)
Today, in most countries of the world, it is considered inappropriate for boys to wear dresses and skirts, but this, again, is a modern worldview: for example, from the mid-16th century[156] until the late 19th or early 20th century, young boys in the Western world were unbreeched and wore gowns or dresses until an age that varied between two and eight. Also, throughout much of the history, in most cultures, men have worn skirt like clothes and worn long hair. In many parts of the world, such as much of sub-Saharan Africa, it is considered “normal” for women to wear very short hair, with the hairstyles of boys being the same to those of girls.

Antisexism movements

See also: Women’s rights and Men’s rights
In Ecuador, the Pink Helmets (Cascos Rosas), created in May 2011 by 18-year-olds Freddy Caleron and Damian Valencia, sought to unite young men against machismo. The Pink Helmets published a manual with suggestions to end violence in society, relationships, within families, and among friends. The Pink Helmets’ founders and participating members, who call themselves neomasculinos and are 15–20 years old, visit schools and the streets to give talks and participate in festivals (such as the Quito Fest) in collaboration with UN Women (part of the United Nations) to increase awareness of violence and the movement against it. Chauvinism and violence are common in Ecuador, with 40% of children under age 15 saying that they have witnessed acts of violence at home.[citation needed] According to the National Plan for the Eradication of Gender Violence of the Government of Ecuador, 80% of women have been victims of violence at least once and 21% of children and adolescents have been sexually abused (no official data provide a concrete number of women who have been killed or injured by men). The movement aims to promote gender equality, eliminate gender violence against women and encourage a “dialogue of respect between men and women from adolescence without hesitation to criticize sexist concepts that live in their culture”.





fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign


Xenophobia is the dislike of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of an ingroup towards an outgroup, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity. Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the form of an “uncritical exaltation of another culture” in which a culture is ascribed “an unreal, stereotyped and exotic quality”.



Dictionary definitions of xenophobia include: “deep-rooted, hatred towards foreigners” (Oxford English Dictionary; OED), and “fear or hatred of the unfamiliar” (Webster’s). The word comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning “strange”, “foreigner”, and φόβος (phobos), meaning “fear”.



Nigger. Nigga. Neither.: WORDS HAVE MEANING



In contemporary English language, nigger is an ethnic slur, usually directed at black people by non-black people. The word originated as a neutral term referring to people with black skin, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger (“black”). It was often used disparagingly, and by the mid-twentieth century, particularly in the United States, its usage became unambiguously pejorative, a racist insult. Accordingly, it began to disappear from popular culture, and its continued inclusion in classic works of literature has sparked controversy. 

In the contemporary United States, using the word is taboo, and it is often replaced with the euphemism “the N-word”. “Nigga” is sometimes used among African Americans as a neutral or term of endearment. SOURCE


Nigga (/ˈnɪɡə/, pronounced identically to nigger in some dialects) is a colloquial term used in Black English Vernacular that began as an eye dialect form of the word nigger (a word originated as a term used in a neutral context to refer to black people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger, meaning the color “black”). SOURCE


For Those that love to use the N word so willy-nilly because, 'others' say it and because you feel entitled because you eat Jerk Chicken with Rice 'n' Peas and the occasional Lamb Patty and have a Limited edition copy of N.W.A's first Album that you got from HMV for £4.99 oh yeah and because your best friends are black...

Posted by Rone Isa-King on Wednesday, January 6, 2016


franciscoDear Republicans,

Anchor baby is a pejorative term for a child born in the United States to a foreign national mother who was not lawfully admitted for permanent residence. There is a popular misconception that the child’s U.S. citizenship status (acquired by jus soli) legally helps the child’s parents and siblings to quickly reclassify their visa status (or lack thereof) and to place them on a fast pathway to acquire lawful permanent residence and eventually United States citizenship. This is a myth. Current U.S. federal law prevents anyone under the age of 21 from being able to petition for their non-citizen parent to be lawfully admitted into the United States for permanent residence. So at best, the child’s family would need to wait for 21 years before being able to use their child’s US citizenship to modify their immigration status.

The term is generally used as a derogatory reference to the supposed role of the child, who automatically qualifies as an American citizen and can later act as a sponsor for other family members. The term is also often used in the context of the debate over illegal immigration to the United States to refer to children of illegal immigrants, but may be used for the child of any immigrant. A similar term, “passport baby”, has been used in Canada for children born through so-called “maternity” or “birth tourism”.



Black Power is a political slogan and a name for various associated ideologies aimed at achieving self-determination for people of African/Black descent. It is used in the movement among people of Black African descent throughout the world, though primarily by African Americans in the United States. The movement was prominent in the late 1960s and early 1970s, emphasizing racial pride and the creation of black political and cultural institutions to nurture and promote black collective interests[3] and advance black values. “Black Power” expresses a range of political goals, from defense against racial oppression, to the establishment of social institutions and a self-sufficient economy. The earliest known usage of the term is found in a 1954 book by Richard Wright entitled Black Power. Although he did not “coin” the phrase, New York politician Adam Clayton Powell Jr. used the term on May 29, 1966, during a baccalaureate address at Howard University: “To demand these God-given rights is to seek black power.”

Origin as a political slogan

The first popular use of the term “Black Power” as a social and political slogan was by Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and Willie Ricks (later known as Mukasa Dada), both organizers and spokespersons for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). On June 16, 1966, in a speech in Greenwood, Mississippi after the shooting of James Meredith during the March Against Fear,

Stokely Carmichael said
“This is the twenty-seventh time I have been arrested and I ain’t going to jail no more! The only way we gonna stop them white men from whuppin’ us is to take over. What we gonna start sayin’ now is Black Power!”

Stokely Carmichael saw the concept of “Black Power” as a means of solidarity between individuals within the movement. It was a replacement of the “Freedom Now!” slogan of non-violent leader Martin Luther King. With his conception and articulation of the word, he felt this movement was not just a movement for racial desegregation, but rather a movement to help combat America’s crippling racism. He said, “For the last time, ‘Black Power’ means black people coming together to form a political force and either electing representatives or forcing their representatives to speak their needs.”[6]

A range of ideologies

Some Black Power adherents believed in Black autonomy, with a variety of tendencies such as black nationalism, and black separatism. Such positions were for the most part in direct conflict with those of leaders of the mainstream Civil Rights Movement, and thus the two movements have often been viewed as inherently antagonistic. However, certain groups and individuals participated in both civil rights and black power activism.

Not all Black Power advocates were in favor of black nationalism and black separatism. While Stokely Carmichael and SNCC were in favor of black nationalism, organizations such as the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense were not. Though they considered themselves to be at war with a power structure that was indeed mostly white, they were not at war with all whites, merely the individuals in the existing power structure, who happened to mostly be white.

Bobby Seale, Chairman and Co-Founder of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was outspoken about this. His stand was that the oppression of black people was more of a result of economic exploitation than anything innately racist. In his book Seize the Time, he states that “In our view it is a class struggle between the massive proletarian working class and the small, minority ruling class. Working-class people of all colors must unite against the exploitative, oppressive ruling class. So let me emphasize again—we believe our fight is a class struggle and not a race struggle.”

Bayard Rustin, an elder statesman of the Civil Rights Movement, was a harsh critic of Black Power in its earliest days. Writing in 1966, shortly after the March Against Fear, Rustin said that Black Power “not only lacks any real value for the civil rights movement, but […] its propagation is positively harmful. It diverts the movement from a meaningful debate over strategy and tactics, it isolates the Negro community, and it encourages the growth of anti-Negro forces.” He particularly criticized the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and SNCC for their turn toward Black Power, arguing that these two organizations once “awakened the country, but now they emerge isolated and demoralized, shouting a slogan that may afford a momentary satisfaction but that is calculated to destroy them and their movement.”

Internationalist offshoots of black power include African Internationalism, pan-Africanism, black nationalism, and black supremacy.


See also: Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
The movement for Black Power in the U.S. came during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Many members of SNCC, among them Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture), were becoming critical of the nonviolent approach to confronting racism and inequality—articulated and practiced by Martin Luther King, Jr., the NAACP and other moderates—and rejected desegregation as a primary objective.

SNCC’s membership was generally younger than that of the other “Big Five” civil rights organizations and became increasingly more militant and outspoken over time. From SNCC’s point of view, racist people had no qualms about the use of violence against black people in the U.S. who would not “stay in their place,” and “accommodationist” civil rights strategies had failed to secure sufficient concessions for black people.[citation needed] As a result, as the Civil Rights Movement progressed, increasingly radical, more militant voices came to the fore to aggressively challenge white hegemony. Increasing numbers of black youth, particularly, rejected their elders’ moderate path of cooperation, racial integration and assimilation. They rejected the notion of appealing to the public’s conscience and religious creeds and took the tack articulated by another black activist more than a century before. Abolitionist Frederick
Douglass wrote:

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. …Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.

Civil Rights leaders also believed in agitation, but most did not believe in physically violent retaliation.

During the March Against Fear, there was a division between those aligned with Martin Luther King, Jr. and those aligned with Carmichael, marked by their respective slogans, “Freedom Now” and “Black Power.”

While King never endorsed the slogan, his rhetoric sometimes came close to it. In his 1967 book Where Do We Go From Here?, King wrote that “power is not the white man’s birthright; it will not be legislated for us and delivered in neat government packages.”


Although the concept remained imprecise and contested and the people, who used the slogan ranged from businesspeople who used it to push black capitalism to revolutionaries who sought an end to capitalism, the idea of Black Power exerted a significant influence. It helped organize scores of community self-help groups and institutions that did not depend on Whites. It was used to force black studies programs at colleges, to mobilize black voters to elect black candidates, and to encourage greater racial pride and self-esteem.

Impact on Black Politics

Though the Black Power movement did not immediately remedy the political problems faced by African Americans in the 1960s and 1970s, the movement did contribute to the development of black politics both directly and indirectly. As a contemporary of and successor to the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power movement created, what sociologist Herbert H. Haines refers to as a “positive radical flank effect” on political affairs of the 1960s. Though the nature of the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power movement is contested, Haines’ study of the relationship between black radicals and the mainstream civil rights movement indicates that Black Power generated a “crisis in American institutions which made the legislative agenda of ‘polite, realistic, and businesslike’ mainstream organizations” more appealing to politicians. In this way, it can be argued that the more strident and oppositional messages of the Black Power movement indirectly enhanced the bargaining position of more moderate activists. Black Power activists approached politics with vitality, variety, wit, and creativity that shaped the way future generations approached dealing with America’s societal problems (McCartney 188). These activists capitalized on the nation’s recent awareness of the political nature of oppression, a primary focus of the Civil Rights Movement, developing numerous political action caucuses and grass roots community associations to remedy the situation.

The National Black Political Convention, held March 10–12, 1972, was a significant milestone in black politics of the Black Power era. Held in Gary, Indiana, a majority black city, the convention included a diverse group of black activists, although it completely excluded whites. The convention was criticized for its racial exclusivity by Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, a group that supported integration. The delegates created a National Black Political Agenda with stated goals including the election of a proportionate number of black representatives to Congress, community control of schools, national health insurance, etc. Though the convention did not result in any direct policy, the convention advanced goals of the Black Power movement and left participants buoyed by a spirit of possibility and themes of unity and self-determination. A concluding note to the convention, addressing its supposed idealism, read: “At every critical moment of our struggle in America we have had to press relentlessly against the limits of the ‘realistic’ to create new realities for the life of our people. This is our challenge at Gary and beyond, for a new Black politics demands new vision, new hope and new definitions of the possible. Our time has come. These things are necessary. All things are possible.” Though such political activism may not have resulted in direct policy, they provided political models for later movements, advanced a pro-black political agenda, and brought sensitive issues to the forefront of American politics. In its confrontational and often oppositional nature, the Black Power movement, started a debate within the black community and America as a nation over issues of racial progress, citizenship, and democracy, namely “the nature of American society and the place of the African American in it.”. The continued intensity of debate over these same social and political issues is a tribute to the impact of the Black Power movement in arousing the political awareness and passions of citizens.
Impact on other movements

Though the aims of the Black Power movement were racially specific, much of the movement’s impact has been its influence on the development and strategies of later political and social movements. By igniting and sustaining debate on the nature of American society, the Black Power movement created what other multiracial and minority groups interpreted to be a viable template for the overall restructuring of society. By opening up discussion on issues of democracy and equality, the Black Power movement paved the way for a diverse plurality of social justice movements, including black feminism, environmental movements, affirmative action, and gay and lesbian rights. Central to these movements were the issues of identity politics and structural inequality, features emerging from the Black Power movement [18] Because the Black Power movement emphasized and explored a black identity, movement activists were forced to confront issues of gender, class and as well. Many activists in the Black Power movement became active in related movements. This is seen in the case of the “second wave” of women’s right activism, a movement supported and orchestrated to a certain degree by women working from within the coalition ranks of the Black Power movement.[19] The boundaries between social movements became increasingly unclear at the end of the 1960s and into the 1970s; where the Black Power movement ends and where these other social movements begin is often unclear. “It is pertinent to note that as the movement expanded the variables of gender, class, and only compounded issues of strategy and methodology in black protest thought.”
Impact on African-American identity

Due to the negative and militant reputation of such auxiliaries as that of the Black Panther Party, many people felt that this movement of “insurrection” would soon serve to cause discord, and disharmony through the entire U.S. Even Stokely Carmichael stated, “When you talk of Black Power, you talk of building a movement that will smash everything Western civilization has created.” Though Black Power at the most basic level refers to a political movement, the psychological and cultural messages of the Black Power movement, though less tangible, have had perhaps a longer lasting impact on American society than concrete political changes. Indeed, “fixation on the ‘political’ hinders appreciation of the movement’s cultural manifestations and unnecessarily obscures black culture’s role in promoting the psychological well being of the Afro-American people.”. States William L. Van Deburg, author of A New Day in Babylon, “movement leaders never were as successful in winning power for the people as they were in convincing people that they had sufficient power within themselves to escape ‘the prison of self-deprecation’” Primarily, the liberation and empowerment experienced by African Americans occurred in the psychological realm. The movement uplifted the black community as a whole by cultivating feelings of racial solidarity, often in opposition to the world of white Americans, a world that had physically and psychologically oppressed Blacks for generations. Through the movement, Blacks came to understand themselves and their culture by exploring and debating the question, “who are we?” in order to establish a unified and viable identity.

Throughout the Civil Rights Movement and black history a tension has existed between those wishing to minimize and maximize racial difference. W.E.B. Du Bois and Martin Luther King Jr. often attempted to deemphasize race in their quest for equality, while those advocating for separatism and colonization emphasized an extreme and irreconcilable difference between races. The Black Power movement largely achieved an equilibrium of “balanced and humane ethnocentrism.” The impact of the Black Power movement in generating valuable discussion about ethnic identity and black consciousness manifests itself in the relatively recent proliferation of academic fields such as American studies, Black Studies, and Africana studies in both national and international institutions.[25] The respect and attention accorded to African Americans’ history and culture in both formal and informal settings today is largely a product of the movement for Black Power in the 1960s and 1970s.
Impact in Britain

Black Power got a foothold in Britain when Carmichael came to London in July 1967 to attend the Dialectics of Liberation Congress. As well as his address at the Congress, he also made a speech at Speakers’ Corner. At that time there was no Black Power organization in Britain although there was Michael X’s Racial Adjustment Action Society. However this was more influenced by the visit of Malcolm X in that year. Michael X also adopted Islam at this stage, whereas Black Power was not organised around any religious confession. The Black Power Manifesto was launched on 10 November 1967, published by the Universal Coloured People’s Association. Obi Egbuna, the spokesperson for the group, claimed they had recruited 778 members in London during the previous seven weeks. In 1968 Egbuni published Black Power or Death. He was also active with CLR James and Calvin Hernton in the Antiuniversity of London,set up following the Dialectics of Liberation Congress.
Black is beautiful
Main article: Black is beautiful

The cultivation of pride in the African-American race was often summarized in the phrase “Black is Beautiful”. The phrase is rooted in its historical context, yet the relationship to it has changed in contemporary times. “I don’t think it’s ‘Black is beautiful’ anymore. It’s ‘I am beautiful and I’m black.’ It’s not the symbolic thing, the afro, power sign… That phase is over and it succeeded. My children feel better about themselves and they know that they’re black,” stated a respondent in Bob Blauner’s longitudinal oral history of U.S. race relations in 1986.[29] The outward manifestations of an appreciation and celebration of blackness abound: black dolls, natural hair, black Santas, models and celebrities that were once rare and symbolic have become commonplace.

The “Black is beautiful” cultural movement aimed to dispel the notion that black people’s natural features such as skin color, facial features and hair are inherently ugly. John Sweat Rock was the first to coin the phrase “Black is Beautiful”, in the slavery era. The movement asked that men and women stop straightening their hair and attempting to lighten or bleach their skin. The prevailing idea in American culture was that black features are less attractive or desirable than white features. The movement is largely responsible for the popularity of the Afro. Most importantly, it gave a generation of African Americans the courage to feel good about who they are and how they look.
Impact on arts and culture

The Black Power movement produced artistic and cultural products that both embodied and generated pride in “blackness” and further defined an African-American identity that remains contemporary. Black Power is often seen as a cultural revolution as much as a political revolution, with the goal of celebrating and emphasizing the distinctive group culture of African Americans to an American society that had previously been dominated by white artistic and cultural expressions. Black power utilized all available forms of folk, literary, and dramatic expression based in a common ancestral past to promote a message of self-actualization and cultural self-definition. The emphasis on a distinctive black culture during the Black Power movement publicized and legitimized a culture gap between Blacks and Whites that had previously been ignored and denigrated. More generally, in recognizing the legitimacy of another culture and challenging the idea of white cultural superiority, the Black Power movement paved the way for the celebration of multiculturalism in America today.

The cultural concept of “soul” was fundamental to the image of African-American culture embodied by the Black Power movement. Soul, a type of “in-group cultural cachet,” was closely tied to black America’s need for individual and group self-identification. A central expression of the “soulfulness” of the Black Power generation was a cultivation of aloofness and detachment, the creation of an “aura or emotional invulnerability,” a persona that challenged their position of relative powerlessness in greater society. The nonverbal expressions of this attitude, including everything from posture to handshakes, were developed as a counterpoint to the rigid, “up-tight” mannerisms of white people. Though the iconic symbol of black power, the arms raised with biceps flexed and clenched fists, is temporally specific, variants of the multitude of handshakes, or “giving and getting skin,” in the 1960s and 1970s as a mark of communal solidarity continue to exist as a part of black culture. Clothing style also became an expression of Black Power in the 1960s and 1970s. Though many of the popular trends of the movement remained confined to the decade, the movement redefined standards of beauty that were historically influenced by Whites and instead celebrated a natural “blackness.” As Stokely Carmichael said in 1966, “We have to stop being ashamed of being black. A broad nose, thick lip and nappy hair is us and we are going to call that beautiful whether they like it or not.” “Natural” hair styles, such as the Afro, became a socially acceptable tribute to group unity and a highly visible celebration of black heritage. Though the same social messages may no longer consciously influence individual hair or clothing styles in today’s society, the Black Power movement was influential in diversifying standards of beauty and aesthetic choices. The Black Power movement raised the idea of a black aesthetic that revealed the worth and beauty of all black people.

In developing a powerful identity from the most elemental aspects of African-American folk life, the Black Power movement generated attention to the concept of “soul food,” a fresh, authentic, and natural style of cooking that originated in Africa. The flavor and solid nourishment of the food was credited with sustaining African Americans through centuries of oppression in America and became an important aid in nurturing contemporary racial pride.[37] Black Power advocates used the concept of “soul food” to further distinguish between white and black culture; though the basic elements of soul food were not specific to African-American food, Blacks believed in the distinctive quality, if not superiority, of foods prepared by Blacks. No longer racially specific, traditional “soul foods” such as yams, collard greens, and deep-fried chicken continue to hold a place in contemporary culinary life.
Black Arts Movement
Main article: Black Arts Movement

The Black Arts Movement or BAM, founded in Harlem by writer and activist Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoy Jones), can be seen as the artistic branch of the Black Power movement.[38] This movement inspired black people to establish ownership of publishing houses, magazines, journals and art institutions. Other well-known writers who were involved with this movement included Nikki Giovanni; Don L. Lee, later known as Haki Madhubuti; Sonia Sanchez; Maya Angelou; Dudley Randall; Sterling Plumpp; Larry Neal; Ted Joans; Ahmos Zu-Bolton; and Etheridge Knight. Several black-owned publishing houses and publications sprang from the BAM, including Madhubuti’s Third World Press, Broadside Press, Zu-Bolton’s Energy Black South Press, and the periodicals Callaloo and Yardbird Reader. Although not strictly involved with the Movement, other notable African-American writers such as novelists Ishmael Reed and Toni Morrison and poet Gwendolyn Brooks can be considered to share some of its artistic and thematic concerns.

BAM sought “to link, in a highly conscious manner, art and politics in order to assist in the liberation of black people”, and produced an increase in the quantity and visibility of African-American artistic production. Though many elements of the Black Arts movement are separate from the Black Power movement, many goals, themes, and activists overlapped. Literature, drama, and music of Blacks “served as an oppositional and defensive mechanism through which creative artists could confirm their identity while articulating their own unique impressions of social reality.” In addition to acting as highly visible and unifying representations of “blackness,” the artistic products of the Black Power movement also utilized themes of black empowerment and liberation. For instance, black recording artists not only transmitted messages of racial unity through their music, they also became significant role models for a younger generation of African Americans. Updated protest songs not only bemoaned oppression and societal wrongs, but utilized adversity as a reference point and tool to lead others to activism. Some Black Power era artists conducted brief mini-courses in the techniques of empowerment. In the tradition of cultural nationalists, these artists taught that in order to alter social conditions, Blacks first had to change the way they viewed themselves; they had to break free of white norms and strive to be more natural, a common theme of African-American art and music. Musicians such as the Temptations sang lyrics such as “I have one single desire, just like you / So move over, son, ‘cause I’m comin’ through” in their song “Message From a Black Man,” they expressed the revolutionary sentiments of the Black Power movement.

Ishmael Reed, who is considered neither a movement apologist nor advocate, said: “I wasn’t invited to participate because I was considered an integrationist” but he went on to explain the positive aspects of the Black Arts Movement and the Black Power movement:

I think what Black Arts did was inspire a whole lot of Black people to write. Moreover, there would be no multiculturalism movement without Black Arts. Latinos, Asian Americans, and others all say they began writing as a result of the example of the 1960s. Blacks gave the example that you don’t have to assimilate. You could do your own thing, get into your own background, your own history, your own tradition and your own culture. I think the challenge is for cultural sovereignty and Black Arts struck a blow for that.

By breaking into a field typically reserved for white Americans, artists of the Black Power era expanded opportunities for current African Americans. “Today’s writers and performers,” writes William L. Van Deburg, “recognize that they owe a great deal to Black Power’s explosion of cultural orthodoxy”.



1013111_406441272798593_339917530_n-1White privilege (or white skin privilege) refers to the set of societal privileges that white people are argued to benefit from beyond those commonly experienced by people of color in the same social, political, or economic spaces (nation, community, workplace, income, etc.). The term denotes both obvious and less obvious unspoken advantages that white individuals may not recognize they have, which distinguishes it from overt bias or prejudice. These include cultural affirmations of one’s own worth; greater presumed social status; and freedom to move, buy, work, play, and speak freely. The concept of white privilege also implies the right to assume the universality of one’s own experiences, marking others as different or exceptional while perceiving oneself as normal. It can be compared and/or combined with the concept of male privilege.

Academic perspectives such as critical race theory and whiteness studies use the concept of “white privilege” to analyze how racism and racialized society affect the lives of white individuals. The term itself is most often used in North America and English-speaking countries with histories of racial stratification after colonialism, such as South Africa and Australia.

Some critics of the idea propose alternate definitions of whiteness and exceptions to or limits of white identity, arguing that the concept of “white privilege” ignores important differences between white subpopulations.  Other critics suggest that the term is a function of reverse discrimination, or that it uses the concept of “whiteness” as a proxy for class or other social privilege or as a distraction from deeper underlying problems of inequality.

nametag-white-people-water-cooler-convosHistory of the concept

In his 1935 Black Reconstruction in America, W. E. B. Du Bois introduced the concept of a “psychological wage” for white laborers. This special status, he argued, divided the labor movement by leading low-wage white workers to feel superior to low-wage black workers. Du Bois identified white supremacy as a global phenomenon, affecting the social conditions across the world by means of colonialism. For instance, Du Bois wrote:

It must be remembered that the white group of laborers, while they received a low wage, were compensated in part by a sort of public and psychological wage. They were given public deference and titles of courtesy because they were white. They were admitted freely with all classes of white people to public functions, public parks, and the best schools. The police were drawn from their ranks, and the courts, dependent on their votes, treated them with such leniency as to encourage lawlessness. Their vote selected public officials, and while this had small effect upon the economic situation, it had great effect upon their personal treatment and the deference shown them. White schoolhouses were the best in the community, and conspicuously placed, and they cost anywhere from twice to ten times as much per capita as the colored schools. The newspapers specialized on news that flattered the poor whites and almost utterly ignored the Negro except in crime and ridicule.

In 1965, drawing from that insight, and inspired by the Civil Rights movement, Theodore W. Allen began a forty-year analysis of “white skin privilege,” ”white race” privilege, and “white” privilege in a call he drafted for a “John Brown Commemoration Committee” that urged “White Americans who want government of the people” and “by the people” to “begin by first repudiating their white skin privileges.” The pamphlet, “White Blindspot,” containing one essay by Allen and one by Noel Ignatin (Noel Ignatiev), published in the late 1960s, focused on the struggle against “white skin privilege” and significantly influenced the Students for a Democratic Society and sectors of the New Left. By June 15, 1969, the New York Times was reporting that the National Office of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was calling “for an all-out fight against ‘white skin privileges.'” In 1974-1975 Allen extended his analysis to the colonial period with his ground-breaking “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race” in 1974/1975, which ultimately grew into his seminal two-volume “The Invention of the White Race” in 1994 and 1997.

In his historical work Allen maintained: that the “white race” was invented as a ruling class social control formation in the late 17th/early 18th century Anglo-American plantation colonies (principally Virginia and Maryland); that central to this process was the ruling-class plantation bourgeoisie conferring “white race” privileges on European-American working people; that these privileges were not only against the interests of African-Americans, they were also “poison,” “ruinous,” a baited hook, to the class interests of working people; that white supremacy, reinforced by the “white skin privilege,” has been as the main retardant of working-class consciousness in the US; and that struggle for radical social change should direct principal efforts at challenging white supremacy and “white skin privileges.” Though Allen’s work influenced Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and sectors of the “new left” and paved the way for “white privilege” and “race as social construct” study, and though he appreciated much of the work that followed, he also raised important questions about developments in those areas.

In newspapers and public discourse of 1960s United States, the term “white privilege” was often used to describe white areas under conditions of residential segregation. These and other uses grew out of the era of legal discrimination against Black Americans, and reflected the idea that white status could persist despite formal equality.

The concept of white privilege also came to be used within radical circles for purposes of self-criticism by anti-racist whites. For instance, a 1975 article in Lesbian Tide criticized the American feminist movement for exhibiting “class privilege” and “white privilege”. Weather Underground leader Bernadine Dohrn, in a 1977 Lesbian Tide article, wrote: “… by assuming that I was beyond white privilege or allying with male privilege because I understood it, I prepared and led the way for a totally opportunist direction which infected all of our work and betrayed revolutionary principles.”[17] The term gained new popularity in academic circles and public discourse after Peggy McIntosh’s 1987 essay “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. McIntosh suggests that anti-racist white people need to understand how racial inequality includes benefits to them as well as disadvantages to others.

According to Ella L. J. Edmondson Bell and Stella M. Nkomo “most scholars of race relations embrace the use of [the concept] white privilege”.[18] Sociologists in the American Mosaic Project report widespread belief in the United States that “prejudice and discrimination [in favor of whites] create a form of white privilege.” According to their 2003 poll this view was affirmed by 59% of white respondents, 83% of Blacks, and 84% of Hispanics.


White privilege in critical race theory

Scholars within the legal and sociological studies field of critical race theory, such as Cheryl Harris[20] and George Lipsitz,[21] have argued that “whiteness” has historically been treated more as a form of property than as a racial characteristic: In other words, as an object which has intrinsic value that must be protected by social and legal institutions. Laws and mores concerning race (from apartheid and Jim Crow constructions that legally separate different races to social prejudices against interracial relationships or mixed communities) serve the purpose of retaining certain advantages and privileges for whites. Because of this, academic and societal ideas about race have tended to focus solely on the disadvantages suffered by racial minorities, overlooking the advantageous effects that accrue to whites.

Whiteness unspoken

From another perspective, white privilege is a way of conceptualizing racial inequalities that focuses on advantages that white people accrue from their position in society as well as the disadvantages that people of color experience.

Dan J. Pence and J. Arthur Fields have observed resistance in the context of education to the idea that white privilege of this type exists, and suggest this resistance stems from a tendency to see inequality as a black or Latino issue. One report noted that white students often react to in-class discussions about white privilege with a continuum of behaviors ranging from outright hostility to a “wall of silence.”[24] A pair of studies on a broader population by Branscombe et al. found that framing racial issues in terms of white privilege as opposed to non-white disadvantages can produce a greater degree of racially biased responses from whites who have higher levels of racial identification. Branscombe et al. demonstrate that framing racial inequality in terms of the privileges of whites increased levels of guilt among white respondents. Those with high racial identification were more likely to give responses which concurred with modern racist attitudes than those with low racial identification.[25] According to the studies’ authors these findings suggest that representing inequality in terms of outgroup disadvantage allows privileged group members to avoid the negative implications of inequality.[26]

Privileges vs. Rights

The notion of white privilege raises the question of the difference between rights and privileges. Lewis Gordon rejects the idea of white privilege, arguing that the privileges from which whites as a group are supposed to benefit are, in fact, social goods to which all people aspire. As such, he writes, they are not privileges:

“A privilege is something that not everyone needs, but a right is the opposite. Given this distinction, an insidious dimension of the white-privilege argument emerges. It requires condemning whites for possessing, in the concrete, features of contemporary life that should be available to all, and if this is correct, how can whites be expected to give up such things? Yes, there is the case of the reality of whites being the majority population in all the sites of actual privilege from prestigious universities to golf clubs and boards of directors for most high-powered corporations. But even among whites as a group, how many whites have those opportunities?”

Viewing whites as universally privileged constructs “a reality that has nothing to do with [the] lived experience” of the majority of whites, who themselves do not have access to elite institutions. Their “daily, means-to-means subsistence” is a right, of which it makes no sense to feel guilty. Naomi Zack similarly criticizes the term white privilege as a misunderstanding of the difference between privileges and rights. Discrimination against nonwhites does not create a privilege in the normal sense of the term, a “specifically granted absolute advantage,” a “prerogative or exception granted to an individual or special group.” In the United States, Zack writes, discussion of “white privilege” distracts from the discussion of social exclusion of nonwhites, which is the origin of racial disparities.


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According to James Forrest and Kevin Dunn, the privileges of being white might accrue largely to certain white ethnic and cultural groups, as opposed to white people as a whole.[5] Adam A. Powell, Nyla R. Branscombe, and Michael T. Schmitt argue that people in the least successful white ethnic and cultural groups are often the ones that are disadvantaged the most from any affirmative action that attempts to take into account white privilege.

Lawrence Blum, Professor of Philosophy writes that white privilege analysis has been too narrow in its focus. Specifically it has failed to acknowledge important ethnic differences, especially among whites. And it has not adequately distinguished between “spared injustice, unjust enrichment and non-injustice-related” privileges.

The idea that white privilege has functioned as a social tool to divide white and black workers has proved particularly controversial. A Marxist critique of this perspective argues that racial differences are secondary to economic difference, and that white privilege is therefore secondary to class privilege. According to this view, analyzing white privilege is misguided because it distracts from class struggle.[30] Historian Eric Arnesen has challenged this understanding of “whiteness” as ill-constructed historical revisionism. Arnesen calls whiteness a “moving target” in historical studies, writing: “Whiteness is, variously, a metaphor for power, a proxy for racially distributed material benefits, a synonym for “white supremacy,” an epistemological stance defined by power, a position of invisibility or ignorance, and a set of beliefs about racial “Others” and oneself that can be rejected through “treason” to a racial category.” Arnesen disagrees with the idea that white privilege divided the labor movement, as well as with the underlying concept of inherent labor unity, arguing that many types of difference have divided the working class.

Arnesen’s arguments about race and organized labor form the basis for a larger argument about “white privilege” as a concept in the social sciences. Arnesen also rejects the idea of a basic connection between the identity of whiteness and the ideology of white supremacy. The “white privilege” concept creates the image of a person so favored by society that they are unaware of unfairness and domination—yet this may not be the experience of all people with “white skin”.

The label “white trash”, in particular, has been described as marking off a lower limit of white privilege in the social hierarchy. In the words of anthropologist John Hartigan: “White trash, a lurid stereotype and debasing racial epithet, applies to poor whites whose subordination by class is extreme. This charged label is a reminder that there are important class dimensions to whiteness and that whites are not uniformly privileged and powerful.” Hartigan also cites “hillbilly” and “redneck” as contemporary terms that connote whiteness but not privilege. Conversely, there is discussion about whether members of a “model minority”, such as Asian Americans can enjoy “white privilege”, or something like it, despite their non-European ancestry. Arnesen has also argued that some claims about the psychology of whiteness and white privilege are difficult to prove—or even wrong. He compares whiteness studies with Freudian psychoanalysis because of its rigid pre-determined structure.


White privilege functions differently in different places. A person’s white skin will not be an asset to them in every conceivable place or situation. White people are also a global minority, and this fact affects the experiences they have outside of their home areas. Nevertheless, some people who use the term “white privilege” describe it as a worldwide phenomenon, resulting from the history of colonialism by white Europeans.

In some accounts, global white privilege is related to American exceptionalism and hegemony.

In the United States

Some scholars attribute the informal racism of white privilege to the formal racism (i.e. slavery followed by Jim Crow) that existed for much of American history.[36] In her book Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America, Stephanie M. Wildman writes that many Americans who advocate a merit-based, race-free worldview do not acknowledge the systems of privilege which have benefited them. For example, many Americans rely on a social or financial inheritance from previous generations, an inheritance unlikely to be forthcoming if one’s ancestors were slaves. Whites were sometimes afforded opportunities and benefits that were unavailable to others. In the middle of the 20th century, the government subsidized white homeownership through the Federal Housing Administration, but not homeownership by minorities. Some social scientists also suggest that the historical processes of suburbanization and decentralization are instances of white privilege that have contributed to contemporary patterns of environmental racism.


According to Roderick Harrison “wealth is a measure of cumulative advantage or disadvantage” and “the fact that black and Hispanic wealth is a fraction of white wealth also reflects a history of discrimination”. Whites have historically had more opportunities to accumulate wealth.[citation needed] Some of the institutions of wealth creation amongst American citizens were open exclusively to whites[citation needed]. Similar differentials applied to the Social Security Act (which excluded agricultural and domestic workers, sectors that then included most black workers), rewards to military officers, and the educational benefits offered to returning soldiers after World War II. An analyst of the phenomenon, Thomas Shapiro, professor of law and social policy at Brandeis University argues, “The wealth gap is not just a story of merit and achievement, it’s also a story of the historical legacy of race in the United States.”

Over the past 40 years, there has been less formal discrimination in America; the inequality in wealth between racial groups however, is still extant.[citation needed] George Lispsitz asserts that because wealthy whites were able to pass along their wealth in the form of inheritances and transformative assets (inherited wealth which lifts a family beyond their own achievements), white[which?] Americans continually accrue advantages. Pre-existing disparities in wealth are exacerbated by tax policies that reward investment over waged income, subsidize mortgages, and subsidize private sector developers.

Thomas Shapiro argues that wealth is passed along from generation to generation, giving whites a better “starting point” in life than other races. According to Shapiro, many whites receive financial assistance from their parents allowing them to live beyond their income. This, in turn, enables them to buy houses and major assets which aid in the accumulation of wealth. Since houses in white neighborhoods appreciate faster, even African Americans who are able to overcome their “starting point” are unlikely to accumulate wealth as fast as whites. Shapiro asserts this is a continual cycle from which whites consistently benefit. These benefits also have effects on schooling and other life opportunities.

Peggy McIntosh, co-director of the SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum, posits that white people in the United States can be sure that race is not a factor when they are audited by the IRS.


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A 2002 Department of Justice survey found that, although the likelihood of being stopped by police did not differ significantly between white drivers and other races, black or Latino drivers were three times more likely to be searched than white drivers. Young white offenders are likely to receive lighter punishments than minorities in America. Black youth arrested for drug possession for the first time are incarcerated at a rate that is forty-eight times greater than the rate for white youth.[48][49] Incarceration rates are much higher among blacks and Hispanics than among whites. In 2007, the incarceration rate was 4,618 per 100,000 for black men and 1,747 per 100,000 for Hispanic men, compared to 773 per 100,000 for white men.

Employment and economics

Racialized employment networks can benefit whites at the expense of non-white minorities. Asian-Americans, for example, although lauded as a “model minority” by the white majority in the 1970s, often face an upper limit on what they can achieve in the workplace: only 8 of the Fortune 500 companies have Asian-American CEOs, making up 1.6% of CEO positions while Asian-Americans are 4.8% of the population. In a study published in 2003, sociologist Deirdre A. Royster compared black and white males who graduated from the same school with the same skills. In looking at their success with school-work transition and working experiences, she found that white graduates were more often employed in skilled trades, earned more, held higher status positions, received more promotions and experienced shorter periods of unemployment. Since all other factors were similar, the differences in employment experiences were attributed to race. Royster concluded that the primary cause of these racial differences was due to social networking. The concept of “who you know” seemed just as important to these graduates as “what you know.”

Since older white males predominantly control blue-collar trades, they are more likely to offer varying forms of assistance to those in their social network, often other whites.[citation needed] Assistance can be anything from job vacancy information, referrals, direct job recruitment, formal and informal training, and vouching behavior and leniency in supervision.[citation needed] Royster argues that this assistance, disproportionately available to whites, is an advantage that often puts black men at a disadvantage in the employment sector. According to Royster, “these ideologies provide a contemporary deathblow to working-class black men’s chances of establishing a foothold in the traditional trades.”

This concept is similar to the theory created by Mark Granovetter which analyzes the importance of social networking and interpersonal ties with his paper “The Strength of Weak Ties” and his other economic sociology work.

Other research shows that there is a correlation between a person’s name and his or her likelihood of receiving a call back for a job interview. Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan found in field experiment in Boston and Chicago that people with “white-sounding” names are 50% more likely to receive a call back than people with “black-sounding” names, despite equal résumé quality between the two racial groups. White Americans are more likely than black Americans to have their business loan applications approved, even when other factors such as credit records are comparable.

Black and Latino college graduates are less likely than white graduates to end up in a management position even when other factors such as age, experience, and academic records are similar.

Cheryl Harris relates whiteness to the idea of “racialized privilege” in the article Whiteness as Property: she describes it as “a type of status in which white racial identity provided the basis for allocating societal benefits both private and public and character.”


Discrimination in housing policies was formalized in 1934 under the Federal Housing Act which provided government credit to private lending for home buyers. Within the Act, the Federal Housing Agency had the authority to channel all the money to white home buyers instead of minorities. The FHA also channeled money away from inner-city neighborhoods after World War II and instead placed it in the hands of white home buyers who would move into segregated suburbs. These practices and others, intensified attitudes of segregation and inequality.

But “most white families have acquired their net worth from the appreciation of property that they secured under conditions of special privilege in a discriminatory housing market.”[60] This net worth accumulation assists in placing whites in more favorable conditions to receive low interest loans, mortgages and financial assistance in the housing market.

Chip Smith paints a quick picture of some additional ways he views whites as privileged:

Whites are offered more choices; 60%–90% of housing units shown to whites are not brought to the attention of blacks.

72.1% of whites own their own home opposed to 48.1% for African Americans
46% of whites had help from their family in making down payments on homes compared to 12% for African Americans

Whites are half as likely to be turned down for a mortgage or home improvement loan
Whites pay on average a 8.12% interest rate on their mortgage, lower than the 8.44% African Americans pay on average

The median home equity for whites is $58,000 compared to $40,000 for African Americans


According to Wildman, education policies in the US have contributed to the construction and reinforcement of white privilege. Wildman argues that even schools that appear to be integrated often segregate students based on abilities. This can increase white students’ initial educational advantage, magnifying the “unequal classroom experience of African American students” and minorities.

It is argued that the material that black and other minority children are tested on in school is often culturally biased, not taking into consideration dialect and other differences between populations. Williams and Rivers (1972b) showed that test instructions in Standard English disadvantaged the black child and that if the language of the test is put in familiar labels without training or coaching, the child’s performances on the tests increase significantly.  According to Cadzen a child’s language development should be evaluated in terms of his progress toward the norms for his particular speech community. Other studies using sentence repetition tasks found that, at both third and fifth grades, white subjects repeated Standard English sentences significantly more accurately than black subjects, while black subjects repeated nonstandard English sentences significantly more accurately than white subjects.

According to Janet E. Helms traditional psychological and academic assessment is based on skills that are considered important within white, western, middle-class culture, but which may not be salient or valued within African-American culture. When tests’ stimuli are more culturally pertinent to the experiences of African Americans, performance improves. However, white privilege critics argue that the in K-12 education, students academic progress are measured on nation-wide standardized tests which reflect national standards. African Americans are disproportionately sent to special education classes in their schools, identified as being disruptive or suffering from a learning disability. These students are segregated for the majority of the school day, taught by uncertified teachers, and do not receive high school diplomas. Wanda Blanchett has argued that white students have consistently privileged interactions with the special education system, which provides ‘non-normal’ whites with the resources they need to benefit from the mainline white educational structure. Educational inequality is also a consequence of housing. Since most states determine school funding based on property taxes, schools in wealthier neighborhoods receive more funding per student. As home values in white neighborhoods are higher than minority neighborhoods,[citation needed] local schools receive more funding via property taxes. This will ensure better technology in predominantly white schools, smaller class sizes and better quality teachers, giving white students opportunities for a better education. The vast majority of schools placed on academic probation as part of district accountability efforts are majority African-American and low-income. However, Congress enacted the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 to address such school performance disparities. That act provides for a large increase in federal school aid to address property tax disparities and gives parents the right to switch schools if their neighborhood school fails to progress to meet national performance standards.

Inequalities in wealth and housing allow a higher proportion of white parents the option to move to better school districts or afford to put their children in private schools if they do not approve of the neighborhood’s schools.

Some studies have claimed that minority students are less likely to be placed in honors classes, even when justified by test scores. Various studies have also claimed that visible minority students are more likely than white students to be suspended or expelled from school, even though rates of serious school rule violations do not differ significantly by race. Adult education specialist Elaine Manglitz argues the educational system in America has deeply entrenched biases in favor of the white majority in evaluation, curricula, and power relations.

In discussing unequal test scores between public school students, opinion columnist Matt Rosenberg laments the Seattle Public Schools’ emphasis on “institutional racism” and “white privilege”:

The disparity is not simply a matter of color: School District data indicate income, English-language proficiency and home stability are also important correlates to achievement…By promoting the “white privilege” canard and by designing a student indoctrination plan, the Seattle School District is putting retrograde, leftist politics ahead of academics, while the perpetrators of “white privilege” are minimizing the capabilities of minorities.

Conservative scholar and opponent of affirmative action programs, Shelby Steele at the Hoover Institution, believes that the effects of white privilege are exaggerated. Steele argues that blacks may incorrectly blame their personal failures on white oppression. He also argues that there are many “minority privileges”: “If I’m a black high school student today… there are white American institutions, universities, hovering over me to offer me opportunities: Almost every institution has a diversity committee… There is a hunger in this society to do right racially, to not be racist.”

In South Africa

Registration certificate identifies a person as white
White privilege was legally enshrined in South Africa through apartheid, which lasted formally into the 1990s. Under apartheid, racial privilege was not only socially meaningful—it became bureaucratically regulated. Laws such as the 1950 Population Registration Act established criteria to officially classify South Africans by race: White, Coloured (mixed), or Black.

Many scholars argue that ‘whiteness’ still corresponds to a set of social advantages in South Africa, and conventionally refer to these advantages as “white privilege”. The system of white privilege applies both to the way an individual is treated by others and to a set of behaviors, affects, and thoughts, which can be learned and reinforced. These elements of “whiteness” establish social status and guarantee advantages for some people, without directly relying on skin color or other aspects of a person’s appearance. White privilege in South Africa has small-scale effects, such as preferential treatment for people who appear white in public, and large-scale effects, such as the over-fivefold difference in average per-capita income for people identified as white or black.

“Afrikaner whiteness” has also been described as a partially subordinate identity, relative to the British Empire, “disgraced” further by the end of apartheid. Some white South Africans fear that they will suffer from “reverse racism” at the hands of the country’s newly empowered majority.

In Europe

This section requires expansion. (December 2012)

Commenting on the Anders Behring Breivik trial, Gopal Priyamvada of Cambridge wrote that while Black and Muslim aggression in white societies is widely seen as pathologies reflecting problems in society, white terrorism is treated radically different due to the invisibility of whiteness.

In Australia

1906 “White Australia” badge reflects past immigration policies intended to maintain white supremacy in Australia

White privilege in Australia parallels the pattern of dominance seen elsewhere in colonialism. Indigenous Australians were excluded from the process of creating the Australian Federation, and its early laws restricted the freedoms for people of colour. Indigenous people were governed by an “Aborigines Protection Board” as a separate class of citizens.

Some Indigenous Australians report feeling discriminated against, for example by shopkeepers and real estate agents. Holly Randell-Moon has claimed that news media are geared towards white people and their interests and that this is an example of white privilege.[91] Michele Lobo claims that white neighborhoods are normally identified as “good quality”, while “ethnic” neighborhoods may become stigmatized, degraded, and neglected.

Some scholars claim white people are seen presumptively as “Australian”, and as prototypical citizens. Catherine Koerner has claimed that a major part of white Australian privilege is the ability to be in Australia itself, and that this is reinforced by, discourses on non-white outsiders including asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants.

Some scholars have suggested that public displays of multiculturalism, such as the celebration of artwork and stories of Indigenous Australians, amount to tokenism, since indigenous Australians voices are largely excluded from the cultural discourse surrounding the history of colonialism and the narrative of European colonizers as peaceful settlers. These scholars suggest that white privilege in Australia, like white privilege elsewhere, involves the ability to define the limits of what can be included in a “multicultural” society. Indigenous studies in Australian universities remains largely controlled by white people, hires many white professors, and does not always embrace political changes that benefit indigenous people. Some scholars also argue that prevailing modes of Western epistemology and pedagogy, associated with the dominant white culture, are treated as universal while Indigenous perspectives are excluded or treated only as objects of study. One Australian university professor reports that white students may perceive indigenous academics as beneficiaries of reverse racism.

Some scholars have claimed that for Australian whites, another aspect of privilege is the ability to identify with a global diaspora of other white people in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. This privilege contrasts with the separation of Indigenous Australians from other indigenous peoples in southeast Asia.They also claim that global political issues such as climate change are framed in terms of white actors and effects on countries that are predominantly white.

White privilege varies across places and situations. Ray Minniecon, director of Crossroads Aboriginal Ministries, described the city of Sydney specifically as “the most alien and inhospitable place of all to Aboriginal culture and people.” At the other end of the spectrum, anti-racist white Australians working with Indigenous people may experience their privilege as painful “stigma”.

Studies of white privilege in Australia have increased since the late 1990s, with several books published on the history of how whiteness became a dominant identity. Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s Talkin’ Up to the White Woman is a critique of unexamined white privilege in the Australian feminist movement. The Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association formed in 2005 to study racial privilege and promote respect for Indigenous sovereignties; it publishes an online journal called Critical Race and Whiteness Studies.



The raised fist logo may represent unity or solidarity, generally with oppressed peoples. The black fist, also known as the Black Power fist is a logo generally associated with black nationalism and sometimes socialism. Its most widely-known usage is by the Black Panther Party in the 1960s. A black fist logo was also adopted by the northern soul music subculture. The white fist, also known as the Aryan fist or the White Power fist is a logo generally associated with white nationalism.
A white fist holding a red rose is used by the Socialist International and some socialist or social democratic parties. Loyalists in Northern Ireland occasionally use a clenched fist on murals depicting the Red Hand of Ulster. However, this is considered rare; the red hand is usually depicted with a flat palm.