Monday, October 1, 2007

Check Yourself

I know you are all experts on privilege but it's always a good idea to brush up. Last week I re-read some privilege checklists for one of my classes - Peggy McIntosh's classic White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Linda Ketner's Heterosexual Privilege, and Barry Deutsch's The Male Privilege Checklist. Whether you are included in any of these privileged groups or not you should still check the lists out, they're fantastic.

Oh and I was shocked to hear some ultra ignorant comments in class regarding these readings: "If men are a privileged group then women are a privileged group too." Seriously.


nidhi said...

how are we privileged? i'd like that person to explain.

or maybe not.

Sweating Through fog said...

"how are we privileged? i'd like that person to explain."

See my Female Privilege List

Kristin said...

Thanks STF for the list. I think that it is a great piece to start some much-needed dialogue about what we expect from both genders. One thing that struck me is how feminism is a solution for the unfair, unrealistc, and harmful expectations placed on women and men. Modern feminism addresses these expectations of both genders. The other piece though is that the expectations for men rise them up the social and financial ladder and those for women keep them at the bottom rungs of this ladder. I totally agree that this system is so damaging for men - masculinity (as currently defined in our culture) is a horrible burden to feel you must live up to. If you agree than you should really love feminism. Feminism is about women taking our share of that responsibility from you - we want some!

As an aside, I was in Amherst, MA yesterday and I came across their Men's Resource Center. Unfortunately it was closed so I couldn't check it out properly but I was so impressed that they had one - and right on the main drag! Addressing social change around the expectations for men is so important. I am going to post about MRC's in the next few days so watch for that.

As for all of the violence discussed in your list, this weekend in Amherst I was hanging out with a group of men and I was struck by some of their stories. "Remember that time that Mike was drunk and singing about the snow and that group of frat guys called him a homo and circle kicked him?" All I could think was damn, poor men having to put up with this violence and act like it's okay. It's horrifying and it's the exact reason to promote Men's Resource Centers (as well as Women's Resource Centers of course).

There is so much more to say but I'll leave it at that for now. And because I don't think I can post pictures in the comments I am going to do a new post of a classic poster that fits in with this conversation perfectly.

Kristin said...

"I think what we need to do is to understand feminism as a prerequisite to saving the environment, to ending war, to ending racism. We need to understand that feminism is not for women, it's for humanity. Patriarchy does not work for men - they go and get killed in wars. Patriarchy hurts all of us. You know...the older I grow, the more I understand peace and stability as a product of balance, and human society is fundamentally imbalanced. Patriarchy is like the elephant in the room that we don't talk about, but how could it not affect the planet radically when it's the superstructure of human society?"
-Ani DiFranco

Yeah, that's what I meant.