Hi, this is a response to your recent post asking for more submissions that explore intersectionality. I wanted to comment particularly on the intersectionality of thin privilege with civ privilege, or civilian privilege. I rarely see civ privilege even discussed in any justice-minded spaces so I also wanted to get that out there.
Civ privilege exists on a spectrum, with people experiencing more or less depending on their privilege depending on their association with or position in a martial environment or institution. The intentionality of civ privilege and thin privilege in America, however, is more clear cut as all service members are subject to their respective service’s “weight control” programs.
Civ privilege is knowing that you will never be publicly forced to stand on a scale and be have your body weighed and subjected to a weight standard at your job.
Civ privilege is knowing that your body will never be publicly measured and subjected to a body fat percentage analysis at your job.
Civ privilege is not having to fear that even if you meet the above standards, your superiors will not hinder your career advancement because you are not sufficiently below the maximum permitted numbers.
Civ privilege is not being in danger of losing your employment and associated benefits because you do not meet the above standards.
Civ privilege is not having your superiors restrict your diet because you do not meet arbitrary weight and body fat percentage standards.
Civ privilege is knowing that your employer does not publish an entire manual on eradicating your type of body.
Hope this helped educate some people and improve the blog! :)
(blog author’s note: edited to move the definition of civilian privilege to the top of the post. Note also that at one time this blog author considered joining the Air Force, on track to be an officer, and decided against it, despite being otherwise eminently qualified both academically and athletically, because of the draconian weight restrictions)
To put this in context, I come from a military family. Mother in the Navy, Dad, grandmother and step-brother in the Air Force, grandfather and uncle in the Army. I’m a civilian.
I am really conflicted about this. Except in the case of being drafted, joining the military is a choice, right? In the US anyway. I believe it’s a requirement in some other countries. So I really question how the concept of privilege in the wider sense of a social construct comes into play. The oppression that military personnel face is only present within the military. It’s institutional only in that it occurs within that particular institution. If you leave the military, you leave the oppression (although not its aftereffects, obviously). All other forms of privilege occur regardless of what part of society you’re in. This does not.
So, yeah. I object to the fact that I’m not discriminated against by the military because I’m not in the military being described as privilege.
someone please tell me “civ privilege” is a joke? please? i speak only about the american military, which does not have compulsory service. also…the weight management in the military is not ‘oppression’ oh my god please be joking oh my god. the military is a job. you get hired for that job based on your ability to perform that job. if you cannot perform that job, why the fuck would the military want you? if you are physically too large to perform the job in the military you are assigned to do, you are no help to them!
next we’re going to start prosoccerplayer privilege, because they don’t allow obese people to play.
olympian privilege, guise, it’s real, just google it.
i mean, honestly, has anyone ever seen those cops that are SO large they waddle around and can hardly move? if they need to chase someone, can they? can they protect and serve to the capacity that they need to be able to? i’m not convinced they can. and i don’t think this is oppression, either. if you physically cannot perform the requirements of a job, you cannot have that job.
i cannot work in the UPS processing plant because i cannot lift 100lbs over and over. i am not oppressed by strong privilege, people.