I think we are in total agreement about the outcome we want for men and women. Absolute equality. I just think the way you argue for it is counterproductive, however. You attract the attention of like-minded people who sing your praises but alienate people who could be convinced.

Cynthia and Steven have given some good feedback, so I won’t repeat that.

But, as I think I am the one who you are referring to about men “having to buy” women drinks I’d like to protest your characterization. First of all, it is a mischaracterization. What I wrote was that men are EXPECTED to, meaning by most women at a bar at the first encounter. Not by all women. You and many others are an exception. For anyone who is interested, the actual exchange is here: https://medium.com/@donald.m.hanson/privilege-like-male-or-white-or-whatever-is-not-one-example-of-a-difference-or-advantage-7bb5ba922524

I was just pointing out that women have privileges too, which you seem to agree with. But, I think your use of privilege this way is very literal and not in the modern vernacular. This is causing some confusion. In your way of treating the term, I agree men have privilege. And I agree women have privilege. In fact, the way you use the term, everyone has privilege. Just to use White Privilege for comparison: people generally mean by that, that there is systemic, ubiquitous, ever-present privilege being white provides that is disproportionate to whatever privileges there may be too being black. Sure, there is affirmative action, but that does not mean there is Black Privilege. Affirmative action is a black privilege. It is not Black Privilege.

I’m not saying you are grammatically wrong. I’m saying it is not helping our cause when you use the term this way to describe male or female privilege. Just my view.

You make a good point about how girls are encouraged in a different way than boys. We definitely need to fix that. But when you imply boys have privilege because they are “encouraged to pursue important and dangerous jobs”, you might rightly upset coal miners, linemen and lumberjacks. Men do these jobs because they have no choice, not because they were encouraged to. Women have the privilege of not being expected to do these jobs. Certainly, girls should not be discouraged from taking on dangerous jobs. We agree. But, it IS a privilege women have today if they don’t want to take on dangerous jobs. Again, it is a two-sided coin and you only look at one side.

Where I think we disagree, is that “There is no shame in admitting your privilege. There is also nothing wrong with wanting to keep it”. If you have privilege you didn’t earn (i.e by sex or skin color or ill-gotten wealth or whatever) and you take advantage of that privilege at the expense of others, trying to keep it is evil. If we want everyone to be equal, we can’t at the same time want to keep our privilege. If a man has a privilege of higher pay, and women achieve equal pay, he has ipso facto lost that privilege. So we are indeed removing privilege. Or by your definition, we all have equal privilege. But if we all have equal privilege, doesn’t that mean no one has privilege?

And please, “Men, you built the patriarchy”. Are you just looking for a fight? No man alive today built the patriarchy. We were born into it and, indeed, some would like to keep it that way, but they did not create it. Is comes from an ancient social evolution out of archaic physical and social conditions. Today it is bad for both men and women, perhaps women more so, but that could be argued.

Maybe the reason you seem to be so good at rooting out all the cringe-worthy comments you’ve collected for this article is because of your rhetoric. I want your writing to get us what we both want, rather than bait assholes to comment on your articles so you can show the world how terrible men are.

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