When life gives you privilege should you take it and run? That’s the question Philip Guo, a Computer Science Graduate of MIT, once asked himself. As an Asian male with no former/proper experience in coding computers (or anything remotely related to CS), Philip entered his chosen major a blank state—not that his colleagues or professors ever did doubt his natural technologically savvy ability.
It’s less about the flattery or the confidence other people feel towards Guo, and more about why other people would assume his capabilities are based purely on looks. Does society project a particular standard onto its people? A kind of stereotype? Maybe typecast us into a perceived role?
Philip says this is present in the Computer Science major, but it goes so much farther beyond even this. And although this “privilege” works positively in his favor, he wonders how his female friends (or even any other ethnicity beyond Asian/White male) may work beyond the prevalent privilege Philip was simply handed. He’s suggesting that ability need not be based on physical attributes or societal roles—forget them. Because ability stems from hard work, dedication, and ultimately ability. There are no magical all seeing windows, unfortunately.
Here’s the original article, take a look:
Slate, “Silent Technical Privilege”