Straight White Male: The lowest difficulty setting there is.

This article, Straight White Male: The lowest difficulty there is has been passed around in the Twitterverse for the past week or so.  I think it does a very good job explaining the concept of 'privilege.'  If life was a video game, being a straight white male would be the lowest difficulty setting, the easiest way to play the game with all else being equal.  

To me, there's something missing though.  As a straight white male, I realize I have things very easy.  But things would be even easier if I was Christian or even just religious.

It'd be easy to throw up my arms and say it is all part of God's plan and just assume I'll be rewarded with eternal life in heaven.

It'd be easy to be part of the majority and not part of a minority studies have shown to be the least trusted in America.

What do you think?  Is being non-religious somewhat equivalent (in terms of privilege) to being non-straight, non-white and non-male?

NB: If you don't agree with the concept of 'privilege' at all, there's no point in commenting on this.

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Comment by Sean O' Byrne on May 25, 2012 at 5:39am

I think this completely depends on the society that you live in. I can understand in the US how you would feel this way, I've read the article that shows atheists are the least trusted group of people in there! If you were in some of the Scandinavian countries this would be completely different as a high percentage of the population is atheistic. Being religious there isn't going to be very helpful in getting on easier in life. 

Also consider sexuality, I know in practically every country there are people bigots, but at least in Canada homosexuals are given the same marriage rights as heterosexuals, but in Sudan for example you can get the death penalty. 

As for being male, well yes in some case's but no in others. A simple example is in several cafe's, deli's etc in my home town, practically all the employee's are female! I know this isn't a great example but it's still one! 

Overall I think your right but only in certain demographic's!! 

Comment by John Kelly on May 25, 2012 at 6:18pm

One of the books I am going through with my multicultural counseling class lays out a format with an acronym ADDRESSING.

Age and Generational

Disabilities -

Disabilities -

Religion and Spiritual                                                  

Ethnicity and Race

Socioeconomic Status

Sexual Orientation

Indigenous Heritage

National Origin


For each category of underprivilege, a star is marked next to the letter.  The combination of stars is called your constellation.  I think these match the difficulty settings in the game a bit better than the article, but I think it is an important analogy to draw from and perfect.  Given that we have no religious orientation, my departure from the original Hays format would be to mark two stars under religion.   

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