5 Times You Didn’t Realise You Spoke Out Of Privilege …

“How many more of us are faking the facade? How many more of us are pretending to be something we’re not? Even better, how many of us will have the courage to be ourselves regardless of what others think?” 
                                                     ― Katie McGarry.

Every day we make dozens of little choices that either benefit us by asserting our ideas or diminish us because we hesitate in making our views or desires known.

Sometimes it seems easier to go with the flow to avoid potential conflict. But the truth is that letting people walk all over you can increase feelings of stress and anxiety, and it might eventually lessen your feelings of self-worth and play to your insecurities.

Learning to stand up for yourself will help you take charge of your life, believe in your own power and embolden you to reach for your dreams. The stronger you feel, the stronger you will become.

Standing up for yourself can be really challenging if you’re used to letting others have their way or you’re a people pleaser. When you trim yourself down to suit everyone else, it can all be too easy to whittle yourself away; learning to stand up for yourself is a way of ensuring other people respect you and don’t try to push you around or manipulate you. Unlearning the old habits of self-effacement and gaining the confidence to stand up for yourself won’t happen overnight, but the journey to improvement starts with the first step.

 

Very often in our daily conversations, we tend to say things that discard other people’s struggles. While it’s almost always unintentional, if we become aware of the deeper implications of what we say, we are more likely to think before we make such statements. 

 

  1. “Why do women need separate coaches in the Metro and local trains?”

 

Nearly four lakh — or close to one-fourth of women commuters have suffered harassment while travelling on Mumbai’s local trains or at train stations, according to a gender-equality survey by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) for the Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation (MRVC), a body that works on improving suburban railway services.

2.   (As a guy) “I raped his case in FIFA.”

 

When you use the term “rape” casually, you trivialize a horrific, heinous crime. You equate the act of defeating someone in a game, for example, with the trauma and abuse that rape survivors have been through. Using such terms in any other context propagates rape culture, and sends out the message that it is okay to joke about something as disturbing as rape.

 

3.  “No matter what, you always have a choice.”

 

No. Let’s take the recent Mira Rajput controversy. Mothers who leave their children behind and go to work do so because they need that income for their family. They do so because they want their children to live a better life than they did. If they had the choice, they would see their children for more than just a few hours everyday. But unfortunately, choice, and the right to exercise it is a privilege that only few are fortunate to have.

 

4.  “I worked really hard for this. I deserve to be rewarded!”

 

Most people spend their lives working hard, and very often under harsh circumstances. The vegetable seller on the street works hard. So does the construction worker. So does the daily wage labourer. Yet, a lot of them go back home to lives that are far less comfortable than ours. The idea that hard work equals success comes from a space of entitlement.

5. “You need to stop overthinking, and snap out of it.”

 

Anxiety isn’t a choice, and snapping out of it isn’t the solution. There is nothing more humiliating for someone who is depressed than a well meaning friend/family member invalidate their experience. However irrational or illogical, the fears are very real, very valid and incredibly overwhelming. What we need to work on as a society, is empathy, and emotional engagement rather than assumptions.

 

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