Unfortunately, there are many reasons why “Check your privilege” is such a common, and popular, term.
There are just some people who refuse to believe that they may be privileged in a way others are not, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
The problem with this is that it hurts those who are trying hard to improve their lives but without the same means a privileged person may have, like money or connections, or even better access to child care or education.
But Redditor homeowneraitata refused to see a financial gain as a form of privilege and focused entirely on the work that goes into making dreams come true.
When she was called condescending for sharing these beliefs, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was wrong for sharing her thoughts.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for saying my SIL (sister-in-law) is lucky to not own a house?”
The OP was talking about living arrangements with her sister-in-law, Sam.
“My husband (26 Male) and I (22 Female) own a house that we purchased in early 2020.”
“My husband’s sister Sam (24) came over because we had just got back from our trip to Chicago, where I was visiting some of my family.”
“Sam was asking about our trip, and I was lamenting the fact that I missed my cousins and that I wish we could move there.”
“She said that it might be a possibility in the future, and that’s when I said it’s not likely, because we already bought a house in the state that we live in.”
“That’s when I told her that she is lucky that she only rents her apartment and doesn’t own a house, because she could just move whenever she wants, but it’s really hard for us because we’re tied down here because of the house.”
“She seemed fine, and the night went on like usual.”
Sam later was concerned about finances.
“Last week, there was a family gathering, and Sam was complaining that she wished that my father-in-law gave her the same help he gave my husband so that she could be more financially secure.”
“I told her that it was my husband’s hard work that got him to where he is.”
Sam confronted the OP.
“That’s when Sam got snippy and said that I had no right to talk because the $40,000 for the house and an entire business wasn’t ‘hard work,’ it was a handout.”
“I told her that, yes, my father-in-law did give us 40-grand for a down-payment and gave us money that helped us start a business, but all he did was supply the money. My husband is the one that runs our business and that is what made us so successful.”
“She then called me an a**hole because I was ‘condescending’ and reminded me of how I told her she was lucky to be able to move whenever she wanted to, and that I would be nothing without her father’s money.”
“My husband and I thought she was incredibly rude, but she is refusing to apologize.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some insisted that the OP was blind to her privilege.
“YTA. I think most of us would be happy to receive your version of ‘not privileged.’ $40k to house and business startup is no small thing. You are wildly out of touch with reality.” – TibbleTabbs1114
“YTA for being condescending and not realizing that you are privileged. I believe you when you say that your husband worked very hard for his company to be successful, but without FIL’s help, it would most certainly at least take him a lot longer to get where he is right now.”
“Considering that you are married, you are also privileged, as you partake in what was given to him by FIL.”
“I also come from a poor family, but my husband is from the upper-middle class. I reap benefits from whatever help he gets from his parents. Because of that, I am also privileged, even though my own parents don’t own a lot.”
“Just do better next time.” – LShaley333
“YTA. $40k for a house and seed money to start a business is a huge advantage to start out with. That you’re totally blind to that says a lot about your upbringing.”
“Most people that are 22 are just out of undergrad with debt or in grad school with debt. Read the room.” – Secret_Dragonfly_438
“It’s giving me ‘a small loan of a million dollars’ energy. YTA and an incredibly close-minded privileged one at that.” – RecognitionCapital13
“You guys are why I never mention the privilege I grew up with.”
“I was raised and had advantages that are so beyond most families. Much more than your husband to be honest.”
“Oddly, my parents also raised me to be humble. To work hard. To be grateful. I’m honestly ashamed at the fact that I got to start life so far ahead of most people.”
“It’s a weird one for me too. I was adopted at birth from a homeless 15-year-old. I could have been at the opposite end of the spectrum.”
“I’m disappointed in you and your husband. Privilege has its perks, of course. It also has responsibilities in my mind. The absolute biggest one is to be grateful, thankful, and humble.”
“You failed rule 1 hard.” – kai7yak
Others agreed and could hardly believe she bothered to post on Reddit.
“I don’t know why you’re even posting here, you are so tone-deaf, incapable of opening your eyes to your incredible privilege, and wanting to argue with everyone about your judgments. I guess that’s just what AHs do. YTA.” – r4y7own
“YTA – you literally got a handout to help get you to where you are. Did you even read your post before submitting it!? Your privilege must have caused momentary blindness. Get over yourself.” – svmeatball
“YTA. ‘My husband did all the work, except for supply the money, but other than that it was ALL HIM.’ Do you even listen to yourself when you speak?”
“As someone saving to open my own business with my wife, 40k is a huge amount of money for a handout.” – kynthrus
“YTA. You’d have nothing right now if it wasn’t for your FIL. If I were SIL, I’d have no respect for you. You have everything handed to you. It’s gross.” – Shakeit126
“Who the absolute f**k do you think you are? Holy S**T, you’re not just the a**hole here. From the looks of things, you’re the a**hole everywhere.” – jqp764
Some also took issue with the fact that the sister wasn’t being treated equally to her brother.
“YTA. And a massive one!”
“Jesus. She is renting. She faces the insecurity of a landlord who can kick her out!”
“You and your husband were given $40k for a deposit and the money to start a business from HER FATHER!”
“And he hasn’t given her the money.”
“And you think you weren’t rude, condescending, and entitled?”
“Let me help you!”
“You were!” – OpinionatedAussieGal
“YTA. Dear god, people like you are the utter worst, starting on third base thanks to someone else’s $ and work and then acting like you hit a home run.”
“It’s also disgusting that your FIL is giving handouts to his son and not his daughter.” – CSOwithAsoul
“To be fair, it’s a little weird FIL gives his son 40k and not his daughter, right?? I don’t think you’re the a**hole for saying it could be nice to not be tied down (yet), but I understand her frustration.”
“She shouldn’t take it out on you guys but have a serious conversation with her dad though, you guys can’t change the fact that FIL is treating her different than your husband” – unfortunatemm
“YTA . . . You do realize you can sell a house and move. You do realize that absolutely hand over fist having a 40k handout plus money to start a business is not the same as not having that, right?”
“It is definitely an advantage. It’s clear who the golden child is here, and she’s upset about it. Why are you making everything about yourself?”
“Sure, having to p**s away money on renting instead of using it to invest in a house you can resell is ‘lucky.'”
“I’m sure her rent is much more than your mortgage, too. I know mine is compared to my ex’s mortgage right now.”
“Not being able to make personal customizations to your home is ‘lucky.’ Being at the mercy of management when something needs to be fixed is ‘lucky.'”
“Homeownership and renting both have pros and cons. You just sound very oblivious and self-centered.” – BTanalyst
“YTA. You did get a handout, not saying it’s bad. Good for your partner for having family support and making the most of it.”
“HOWEVER, his sister being upset that she did not receive the same support is completely understandable as well.”
“Don’t pull a Kim K and say all you need to do is ‘work.’ Let’s be real you got where you are because of that handout and/or helped you get there much faster.” – isthisariddle
While the OP thought she was just being honest with her sister-in-law, the subReddit could not believe that she couldn’t see what she was doing.
This was clearly a situation where she was unaware of her privilege and needed to become more aware and grateful for the advantages she’s experienced in her life.
Compared to what the OP and her husband had already received, no wonder the sister-in-law was feeling bitter.