The “More-ness” of Privilege
Joel Leon.
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Assertiveness is not an innate trait due to gender or race. It is personal as well as cultural. Psychologists have studied assertiveness among various groups. They found that Americans will loudly denounce a person cutting in line ahead of everyone else, and sometimes even physical assaults result. But traditional Japanese say nothing, reasoning that it must have been very important to the line-cutter that he be served first, in order for him to destroy his own reputation with that loss of “face,” and to violate the rules of polite society in such a rude manner. In animals, it is called pecking order, a staking out of territory that is aggressively defended, sometimes to the death. People do this as well, some defending not only their personal space in public but also inflating their self-importance by demanding more than other people. But it is a part of a person’s personality and their place in a society, not something based on race or gender.

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