Creeping Privilege: The Insiduousness Of Expectation

I was ushered past a line today.

No face turned away in digust

No one waved, acknowledged me.

They just accepted it.

As another status quo,

Another suck it up day.

Doors held, nods

Gazes deferred.

All for me.

It’s evident in the lack of reach.

Creeping privilege equals

Expectations that are held

At someone else’s arms length.

It’s when others are paused to let you past

And you forget what traffic lights are for.

We all have privileges:

The sun on our face


Children’s eyes

The open door of the open mind.

Neither earned nor unearned.

They just are.

And you don’t have to be a creep to enjoy them.

Someone explained to me today about privilege creep – when you let someone have greater access to something, usually in an IT context, than they should. It reminded me of a Seamus Heanry poem about creeping privilege. Which led to this prose-poem. I wonder what you make of it?

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in miscellany, poems, poetry and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Creeping Privilege: The Insiduousness Of Expectation

  1. I like the idea of having privilege without being a creep. I have always wanted to shoot anyone who could cut a line and secondarily shoot the management that allowed such behavior.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ritu says:

    This is extremely thought provoking His Geoffleship…
    In my head, the first thing that came to mind was how some people defer to other races almost automatically, as they think they are beneath them, due to conditioning…

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      It happens in many areas and situations, doesn’t it, across age, sex, class, education, etc. And it’s insiduous esp. if you are used to it. At root understanding you are no more important than your last contribution to some greater good is the most important thing.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. well – since you asked…

    Hi Geoff. Once again you tempt me to blow off my day job and dive into a writing project for the shear fun and significance of the topic. Really, you are going to get me fired someday. But not today. The creditors outnumber me, so my humble keyboard shall get a less literate dose of attention.

    That said, I believe the pure principal of egalitarianism is much like one side of a pendulum arc – it has whatever attributes, in this case everyone should be equal to everyone else regardless of which may be emotionally attractive to many but is simply unsustainable.

    Each day, I act very non-egalitarian in that I nurture, feed, house and protect a very limited group of people based on a non-negotiable criteria. My government forces me to protect a few others and, given the chance, I would abandon that in favor of religious ministries to those I deem as needy and deserving. Thus I offer that, in our very souls, we are not and never will be egalitarian. If forced to act egalitarian, a people will soon discover that something as undeniable as gravity itself, will force that pendulum back down toward a sustainable balance point with some other descriptive name.

    Thus, society will discover, as have I, that one might skip one of your posts, but does so at their own peril. Excuse me while I check to verify that I’m still employed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know the Seamus Heany poem you refer too – must try and find it. I think our version gets the point home in a rather good manner – especially the last line. I am not one (any more) who lets line cutters get away with it. It amazes me how docile people are, too scared to say ‘Excuse me,
    you will find the line ends back there.’ or ‘Pardon me, I was here first’ always handy when because of my white hair I am invisible.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. arlingwoman says:

    It could be insidious if you began to feel you were entitled. Everyone, once in a while, needs some special treatment, but all the time? Nope, that’s entitlement!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. robbiecheadle says:

    Food for thought, Geoff


  7. This reminds me of a colleague in the ’70s who objected to my holding a door open for her. I picked her up and carried her through. Once the anger subsided we became good friends. What do you make of that?

    Liked by 1 person

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