I’ve been thinking a fair amount lately about privilige and discrimination, in particular as it relates to the concept of sexual privilige, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that there seems to be this viewpoint, especially in the LGB community - and I can’t tell if this is coming from a minority, but I suspect it is- that sexual privilige does not and cannot exist, because homosexuals and bisexuals suffer more from prejudice than asexuals. Leaving aside entirely the issue of whether, for the groups as a whole, that is true - although I suspect it may be (if you ignore the issues of how romantic orientation =/= sexual orientation, which is a whole other kettle of fish) - it brings up this attitude that if you are more priviliged overall than me, then I cannot have any privilige that you do not - which I think is extremely dangerous.
On average, a white woman may well be better off overall than a black man (I don’t know if this is true, I just chose this example off the top of my head), but if we look at that and ignore the fact that a white man will do better than either of them, we’re missing something fundamentally wrong with society. There’s no point with minority groups squabbling about who’s worse off when we should be asking how we can stop the fact that they’re in a minority being an issue in the first place. We shouldn’t be asking whether asexuals have any right to ally themselves with the LGBT movement, because we should already be working together to ask why it is that anything other than heterosexuality is percieved as wrong, and how we can change it.
You can be privileged by being white, male, heterosexual, cisgendered, not having learning difficulties, not being physically disabled… I’m not even going to try to list all of them. And I know I’m lucky, that I don’t have to suffer discrimination for having learning difficulties or a disability or belonging to an ethnic minority or identifying as trans*. And I don’t think I’ll ever really know what it’s like to be part of any of those groups.
But I can try to understand, and be supportive of people I know when they get sh*t for being who they are. Because I’m not saying I’m worse off than you. I’m saying that yes, my life is relatively easy, but that dosen’t mean I don’t have problems. I’m saying that I’m doing my best to understand your issues and I’d appreciate it if you’d do the same for me.