When thinking about racism, many consider it the obvious exclusions and oppression of a minority race on the bases of their difference in color to the dominant majority. Peggy McIntosh uses a good illustration of how men acknowledge that women are disadvantaged, and claim to improve their conditions. However, one thing they fail to realize is the privileges they receive just for being men (McIntosh 1). The same way, whites, the dominant race in United States fails to realize the privileges they get, which are not accorded to other races. It is no wonder to find whites expecting to get good treatment wherever they go. Hey may not realize it is a privilege until they are on the other side. This implies that the white race will have an easy life where they can have access to what other races may not have easily. With such, at many time the white race may feel that other races are experiencing difficulties of life because of ignorance, lack of education among other things, but they may never realize the favors the got, which made life easy for them.
As such, the minority races have continued to be discriminated indirectly, and shut from much of the opportunities that the dominant race gets out of the privileges. Despite fighting against racism, without considering such privileges to accrue advantage for one race it will be hard to eliminate racism. Another implication of such privilege is self-esteem where the minority races suffer low esteem due to lack of respect. For instance, a white person is guaranteed to go anywhere and receive respectful treatment, while the minority races may not receive any respect. This has further continued to cause a difference I the social classes between the races, where the dominant race can easily rise to the top, while the minority races have to struggle. For instance, one may ask what percentage of black Americans or Latinos live in the rich areas. The difference will definitely not show a balanced ratio. Thus, the article “White Privileges: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” by Peggy McIntosh has presented an argument that many could never have realized, especially the white race, hence the privileges become invisible knapsacks’ requiring to be unpacked.
Women have played many roles in the past, in various occasions and activities such as trade and wars. In the Fur Trade in New France, women were used as the pull to the market, where they were used to attract men for trade. However, Jan Noel reckons that women’s role has been given little regard by the historians. In the fur and hide trade, women played an important role by sleeping with the traders, which pulled many men to the trade, and soon it was one the major trades. As it has been for a long time, women’s feelings and thoughts have not been considered as important by men who often subject them to many activities without their will. However, most of the women in this account were willing to play the role given to them, considering the traders felt that they were not as the nagging women they left back home (Noel 46).
Today, it is no wonder to see women being used in such ways to make deals or as compensation to men in order to get what they want. I offices, many women find them selves sleeping with their bosses to get special favors that are not deserved. More so, other than just having sex like in the fur trade, beautiful women, models, are used in advertisement in order to pull people towards the goods. The same way Fur Trade used women to pull the trade, so does the modern society through using women for advertising. In addition, looking at the roles of women in modern society, it is still evident they have not been given equal recognition as men in many of the countries and some careers. Some roles especially leadership are still dominated by men as the majority, while women maybe the majority in terms of population. However, Noel, in ‘Nagging Wife’ Revisited Women and the Fur Trade in New France,’ has clearly indicated major roles played by women, which makes the article less biased on gender. The same way, women continue to fight to gain recognition in the society.
Noel Jan. “Nagging Wife’ Revisited Women and the Fur Trade in New France.” French Colonial History, 7, 2006: 24-60. Print.
McIntosh Peggy. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack. McIntosh Peggy. 1988. Print.