And if you're making an effort to actively fight oppression, it feels even worse - like you're trying your best, but people are still accusing you of doing something wrong.
But having privilege isn't about deliberately demanding something - it's just about the circumstances of your life that give you benefits you never asked for.
For instance, I have privilege as a temporarily able-bodied person. I don't want to live in a world where I get accommodations that disabled people don't have access to, but the truth is that I do.
That's not my fault. But I recognize that I benefit from it and I should do something about it, because everyone deserves access to basic resources.
Besides, taking this system of discrimination personally, as if it's just about something I'm doing wrong, would distract from the real point of talking about privilege: taking down oppression.
To be a supportive ally, I can't just focus all the attention on my own guilt - I have to help center the voices of disabled people who spread knowledge about how people like me can do better. Their liberation is what disability rights are all about.2. Having Privilege Means There's a Whole System at Work
Privilege is not about individuals being bad people, but it is about entire systems that favor some groups and put down others.
These systems - like ableism, white supremacy, and classism - get structural support from laws, the media, and policies that affect our lives every day. Most of us aren't taught that these systems are such an influential part of how the world works.
We learn that everyone can work hard to earn rewards, pull themselves up by their bootstraps to gain wealth, and be a decent person to get respect.
So finding out that your privilege gives you a head start in achieving these things can be shocking - it challenges what you've always thought to be true.
That's why, to a certain extent, it makes sense that you haven't always been aware of your privilege, and even that it's hard to get used to the idea of having it."