How it starts

Gosh, really?

The Rationaliser ‏@TheRationaliser 8 hours ago
@RichardDawkins Out of curiosity, do you think your gender/colour/class has given you privilege in your life?

Richard Dawkins ‏@RichardDawkins 8 hours ago
@TheRationaliser I don’t know, but my first class education probably has.

Really? He doesn’t know? At all?

I get that the word “privilege” gets thrown around too much, and has become both stale and belligerent, but none of that means that there is nothing to it at all. How can Dawkins simply not know if his being male and white and upper middle class has given him any privilege?

How, for instance, does he think he came by his first class education? The very label – first class – acknowledges that it’s not universal, so how does he think it happened that he got it when others didn’t?

The things are all joined up. Class privilege has a massive impact on what sort of education one gets, in many ways. It means growing up with literate parents who value education, for instance. It means having parents who know how to work the system. It means money to pay for books and private schools. It means having connections. White privilege and male privilege are pervasive in the same way.

It seems strange to be wholly in the dark about all that.

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