This world is full of foolishness, I would like to pretend that this little corner is a welcome escape from such monotony. Today we fully dispense with this pretense, and while I do not think I will be inundating you with word-filth, to understand the rest of what is going on, you yourself will have to read a stupid article.
So Lets Have Some Fun!
The problem: Some silly article about female privilege
The solution, using your brain! Let me try
First I would like to tell you what the social-justice term ‘privilege’ means to me, since that will help you get the lens for the rest of what will be written. Privilege is the ability to remain blissfully ignorant of harsh life realities because of inherited traits that current power institutions favor. An example, because the system likes white people white people are in the media more often (all or all but one of the late night talk show hosts are white depending on what Aresnio Hall is up to), and as a white person I don’t even have to consider how white the media-scape is.
Now things are rarely so simple, the white people we see in the media are often the children of people already in the media (Miley), they are often wealthy (The Apprentice) and when they are not wealthy they are often the targets of ridicule (Honey Boo Boo). These last examples have to do with class as much as they do with race. So quickly a discussion about race has to accommodate a class angle. This is called ‘intersectionality,’ which is the social justice term that acknoledges that things are never simple, and it usually comes with the caveat when things are simplified, the losers are usually those with the least institutional power.
So back to this article that brings up good issues while shooting itself in the foot so much its out of toes. The title is obviously a problem, since by most definitions of ‘privilege,’ at least in this kind of context, women do not receive the institutional advantages vis a vis men that is necessary for them to a privileged class. Now one could make such a claim but they would then have to demonstrate that The Godfather of Soul was wrong and this article doesn’t even try to do that. It presents of list of alleged benefits that women receive under the current paradigm and… that’s it.
So about that list. Well I would say that its worth going over the claims made
1. I usually here this complaint in racial contexts, such as white people are racist for crossing the street so as not to bump up against people of color walking in the other direction. I suppose the people of color that the white individual(s) in question seeks to avoid are probably male since women are not perceived as violent, so that kinda favors this point, a little. I actually think this sort of thing is pretty context dependent. I would probably cross the street to avoid drunk men late at night if we’re the only people around. There is a line between street smarts and prejudice, but that line is different for men and women because men are far more likely to attempt violence on women than vice versa.
2. I would actually argue that this is what’s called Pretty/Attractive privilege. Handsome men are rarely going to be called a creep for talking to a girl, and women who are not considered attractive by the receptive party will be considered creepy. I think that once again the standard for what an acceptable ‘not-creepy’ talking partner is different based on gender. This standard is a social concept, it is a symptom of the current order, but I don’t see how its an argument that women control the world and enforce this standard on men to make them feel bad about being creeps. This is mostly the sexual jungle, the cultural expression of the different optimal mating strategies that different genders employ.
3. This is a heavy one. The line on when we become too intoxicated to give consent is a contentious one. I think we can all agree that there is a point at which someone is too far gone to reasonably consent to sex. Is that line when they are too drunk to sign a contract or legal document, when they can no longer legally drive or when words start to slur? I’d argue its probably the first but that’s very difficult to test for, certainly in your average courting context. A guy should probably ask a girl straight up if she wants to have sex under any circumstance, but in order to protect yourself from unwanted accusations definitely ask a girl if you think alcohol could come up as an issue later on. At the end of the day the number of false rape reports and convictions is low (still too high!) and there is no known legal system that is perfect at preventing false accusations and convictions. That number is VERY low if we compare it to the number of rapes that do not go reported. Women do not report to the police because the criminal justice system is systematically dismissive of them, and their rapist will probably not suffer much after their whole ordeal. I think that with regards to the whole rape issue, the present system is far more likely to benefit a potential male aggressor than a potential female victim. Are some of the method used to change this a bit crude, maybe, but the problem is massive and needs to be addressed quickly, and overwhelmingly. I’m not saying there isn’t room for improvement.
4. This is stupid. Women are told that even if they are smart and attractive the best they can hope for is a living Homer Simpson clone by the same line of reasoning. There are also LOTS of negative portrayals of women in the media, and if men are so upset with King of Queens they can just change the channel and watch a show like Sherlock where dudes are awesome again.
5. I’m not sure how much this still applied, I know it was a big deal in the Titanic’s era. The kid thing should still apply actually, so there’s that. But the whole idea behind women and children first is that the women would be better suited to caring for the children (probably true) and that women were too inferior to save their own asses. Which is sexist. That’s more of a token benefit of suffering under sexism that men CHOSE to give women.
6. This is like saying Male privilege is deciding whether or not to cut off one’s own dick. Society did not give (some) women exclusive access to this choice, biology did. Also, there are LOTS of people who want to take away that ‘privilege’ of choice, its hard fought and doesn’t exist ever where.
7. I know this happens, and its shitty. I don’t believe its an epidemic, but they should probably have some sort of DNA test when they make a man pay this sort of alimony. I hesitate to a huge benefit for the woman since it seems like a shitty situation for everyone, though clearly the man is getting the short end of the stick.
8. Its getting to hear weakness being called “pussy” or “girly.” I think the argument here is that its ok for women to show weakness, which is a good thing, but that men cannot do this, which is bad. This is true, but we forget that the reason for this is that women are expected to be weaker, because society tells us that women are weaker. This is a symptom of the current system that does at times benefit women.
9. This is really two different issues. First off, rape of women still isn’t taken that seriously, if the amount of casual rape threats women get online or the police‘s relative indifference towards the issue or the fact that the seriousness of the attention women sometimes get isn’t really a good thing for them. I totally agree with the lack of seriousness that our society shows towards prison rape, though women suffer from prison rape and their plight is not ‘privileged’ over men’s.
10. I think the family court system is beyond fucked up, but in the case of custody, women do have a clear institutional advantage. If woman privilege exists, it is here. Is this evidence that patriarchy doesn’t exists, no, but if you are a woman in the terrible situation of having to divorce your children’s father, yay?
11. Well first off, households with police officers are more likely than the average family to see domestic violence. More to the point, it is HIGHLY debatable that women enjoy the benefit of the doubt in these situations, and usually the opposite is true. This is a case where some laws could be seen as too unwieldy, but the system is hardly stacked against men.
12. This kind of gets back to 8, and Doctor Phil has made a career of proving this wrong. I really do not think this is accurate, men were the first psychologists and they take confession in most religions and over all this is a weak one.
13. While I will agree that society views stay at home mothers with a greater degree of respect than it does stay at home dads (and that is fucked up), the rest of this is stupid. Sexism allows women to be lazy so yay? This is really a cruel thing to say about stay at home mothers, who work really really hard without receiving a cent. So its mean, inaccurate and ignores the the reality that many women to chose to ‘not take their career seriously’ do so because the sexism in their career made it a less viable option for them than it would of been had they been a man.
14. Yea, this is a real one.
15. I actually think the author is getting to something here. Females systematically do better in the school systems of the United States. To the degree that it is because females, on average, mature slightly faster as opposed to systematic features of the education system I do not know. I’ve yet to see compelling evidence on the issue. It is clear that females do better though, and as we reform the education system more, a real effort should be made to address this issue. I’ll give the author another point for this one. I do not see why this person blames it on the teachers though, I know that they are misogynist teachers, and misandrist ones, but that by and large they are far less of a problem than the institutions they are forced to work within.
16. This isn’t female privilege, this is the privilege of not wearing a fedora whilst having acceptable grooming techniques. People don’t take homeless people seriously when they look disheveled because they figure the information exchange isn’t worth their time. When people see the neckbeard uniform, they come to a similar conclusion.
17. Huh? A woman talking about sexism is being self serving, because by fighting it she is fighting to improve her lot in society. Men are actually being self serving by talking about sexism, because by tearing it down we can address the real problems that the author did address.
18. So I guess that this gets at the whole racism-reverse racism debate. Let me say this, we live under a sexist system, so in that way sexism affects all of us. Relative to women, and any other gender, men and those perceived as men benefit from the current system. Now I firmly believe that sexism hurts men and women and everyone in between, but the closer you are to a gender norm the better, and if that gender is male, you can’t do better. Are there women who don’t appreciate that sexism hurts men too, yes, but I’d argue that this is true of men too. This isn’t privilege as much as serious population wide ignorance.
I probably fell for a troll post, but writing this was cathartic. I think this author did a terrible job writing about an important subject. I think the issue of sexism is one where the benefitting class hurts itself a great deal to spite the oppressed. Not that I don’t think the abusers of power don’t twist and harm themselves through their abuses, but this case is different. I think the system of sexism that exists is relatively unique in the way that it harms the benefitting class(es) by so unnaturally constricting what they can and cannot do. Hopefully, reader, you can help inform the uniformed about the true nature of sexism, how it hurts men too, but that men are still the beneficiaries of the over all system.