Fredericton — Sara Mapplebeck, a third-year sociology student at St. Thomas University, has been getting really interested in the concept of privilege lately, mainly regarding how it pertains to everyone except herself.
“Privilege is when you think something’s not a problem because it’s not a problem for you personally,” she tweeted from her brand-new iPhone X, which her parents bought for her the day it was released.
“Privilege doesn’t mean that your life is easy, but it means your life is easier than it is for others,” she later tweeted using her MacBook Pro that cost two grand but that didn’t set her back financially in the least. “Your privilege is showing. #checkit.”
Classmate Brad Wheaton said he’s been on the receiving end of Mapplebeck’s more sanctimonious messages as a result of a comment he made during a lecture.
“She sent me a very condescending email about how privileged I am, and under her email signature it said ‘sent from my iPhone X,'” Wheaton recalled. “She was mad at something I said in class and she’s been emailing me ever since, saying that ‘as a white male’ I don’t have the right to comment on privilege. The funny thing is that I scraped together tuition while hers is paid for. I have a used flip-phone and she’s got that new iPhone that was made in some sweatshop. Who’s the privileged one again?
“I miss the good old days when she’d just post dumb Facebook statuses about ‘the patriarchy’ and the ‘gender wage gap’ while drinking her seven-dollar pumpkin spice latte and wearing her two-hundred-dollar Lululemon pants.”
We caught up with Mapplebeck outside Read’s coffee shop on King Street, where she was flipping through an issue of SELF Magazine that she bought on a whim. She told us that it’s everyone’s responsibility to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
“I was just reading on Everyday Feminism that privilege is the other side of oppression. It’s so important that those who aren’t oppressed speak up on behalf of those who are,” said the person who vacations each winter in Mexico at a five-star resort and has never once had to wonder how she’d pay rent next month.
“And no, I don’t think everyone should be treated in the same way; I think everyone should be given the same opportunities,” she concluded while looking away from a homeless man asking if she could spare some change. “It’s called being a good person.”