I thought of this thread when I happened on an essay, in discussion of Gamergate, about “taste privilege”.
Professor Jason Mittell defines his idea thusly:
There are many different ways to define and conceptualize privilege, but one that makes sense for me (as a person of privilege) is that privilege is the freedom to not notice difference. In most contexts, I’m perfectly able to imagine that my experiences are shared, commonplace norms, rather than defined by my identity in ways that other people would experience differently. There is rarely a consequence for me to assume that other people see the world as I do, sharing the same access, rights, and freedoms. Basically, privilege is the freedom to ignore your own privilege.
I’m in most ways a person of privilege too, and this definition makes sense to me. In his essay, he’s talking about how gamers who feel at home with games designed for white, nerdy, middle-class males (some but not all of which I am) feel threatened when people want games more to the interest of, say, women–not in exclusion to their favored games, but because it challenges the idea that their shared norms are the singular way things should be.
Similarly, we’re not trying to take the food experience away from foodies, when we say we either don’t always want or have various problems attaining that experience themselves. But just our saying that we don’t share their “taste privilege” makes some of them feel that we’re threatening it.
I’m sure eventually everyone will get that it’s a great big diverse world!