Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Perils of

The Perils of "Privilege"

Why Injustice Can't Be Solved by Accusing Others of Advantage

Phoebe Maltz Bovy

St. Martin's Press

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“Privilege”—the word, the idea, the accusation that is nearly impossible to disprove—is the new rhetorical power play. From social media to academia, public speech to casual conversation, the word is utilized to brand people of all kinds with a term once reserved exclusively for those who came from wealth and old money—inherited advantage.
Today “privileged” applies to anyone who enjoys an unearned advantage in life, inherited or not. White privilege, male privilege, straight privilege—those conditions make everyday life easier, less stressful, more lucrative, and generally better for those who hold one, two, or all three designations. But what about white female privilege in the context of feminism? Or fixed gender privilege in the context of transgender? Or weight and height privilege in the context of hiring practices and salary levels? Or food privilege in the context of widening inequality for single-parent families?
In The Perils of “Privilege,” Phoebe Maltz Bovy examines the rise of this word into extraordinary potency. Does calling out privilege help to change or soften it? Or simply reinforce it by dividing people against themselves? And is privilege a concept that, in fact, only privileged people are debating? The Perils of “Privilege” explores how this word is deployed, and offers ways to begin anew so many of the conversations it has silenced.

EXCERPT


INTRODUCTION


THE “PRIVILEGE” TURN


“[A] HORRIBLE PERSON”


In a freezing-cold flat in Berlin, I’m standing under the shower with the water turned...

Reviews

Praise for The Perils of "Privilege"

"The last thing on 'privilege' you'll ever need to read." --The Washington Post

"A compelling argument about the damaging potential of privilege accusations." --bitch Magazine

"Honest...Maltz Bovy examines [a] monumental switch in thinking and the many dangers that come with it." --The Good Men Project

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Phoebe Maltz Bovy

PHOEBE MALTZ BOVY is a writer born and raised in New York City, now living in Toronto. Her essays on privilege have appeared in The New Republic and The Atlantic, among other publications. She has a doctorate in French and French Studies from New York University.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy

Phil Crozier

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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