Heterosexual Pride Day – What Is It, and What’s The Problem?

So it seems #HeterosexualPrideDay has been trending lately.  And if you’ve read most of the stuff about it on the internet so far, you’d come to the conclusion that it’s a huge problem caused by bigotry and homophobia.

But first, what *is* Heterosexual Pride Day?  How did it start, who’s running the show, and what is the actual intent?

What Exactly Is ‘Straight Pride’?

A google search reveals only page after page of mocking the idea.  It’s difficult to track down any actual sources that explain what the day is actually about.  One might think just from what’s already out there, that there is something very seriously wrong with the idea of heterosexuals feeling any sense of pride, given how everyone is reacting to it.  Why else would something be considered so terribly wrong, before anyone even discusses what it is?  It’s obvious that straights aren’t allowed to feel proud about who they are, right?  I mean it’s not like they’re people too, and entitled to feeling the full range of human emotions that everyone else feels.

But hang on, surely we’re missing something here.  Straight Pride just *can’t* be about feeling the same type of inner peace and connectedness with one’s community that gays feel.  There has to be something more sinister going on.  I mean, it’s not like the LGBT community is now criminalizing other groups the same way LGBT people were treated for so long.  So what is Heterosexual Pride Day then?

As it turns out, there might not actually even be such a day, at least not one recognized anywhere.  The BBC has done a piece on this, and they were not able to track down any official day, or organization, or even a group of people who are actively and consistently promoting this event.  That article hyperlinks to this one, referencing events and rallies that have been held in the past.  However, the Unicorn site being linked also does nothing but mock the idea, while it desperately to connect Straight Pride Day to individual acts of homophobia by high school students.

I mean really, from the first paragraph under their 2001 heading:

—– —–
In 2001, a high school in St. Paul, Minnesota set up “safe zones” in which homophobia would not be tolerated. Furious at his school’s blatant intolerance of intolerance, the student proudly held a one-man hetero rights demonstration by donning a T-shirt with the words “Straight Pride” on the front.
—– —–

^ Honestly, what does that even have to do with straight pride day?  Someone else, somewhere else, is straight, and also homophobic.  Therefore, straight pride day has to be homophobic?  I mean, it just *HAS* to be?  Because there are straight people who are homophobic – so that just PROVES straight pride day has to be homophobic too?

This is not research

How most 3rd Wavers reach their conclusions

You know, some black folks commit crimes.  Therefore, Black History Month – yea forget it, I’m not even finishing.  That logic only works if you’re white, straight, or male (works best if you’re all 3).

The BBC article also links to this article by Pink News, where one person actually did organize a rally!  Lets see what he has to say about it.  I’m sure we’ll see nothing but the blatant homophobia that totally justifies all the horrible demonization, and we can just move on.

From the article:

—– ——
Creating a public Facebook event, he [Anthony Rebello] wrote: “We all have the right to celebrate the way of life we have chosen for ourselves. In the name of equality & equal rights, I have created this event to celebrate our right to be heterosexual, and to encourage younger heterosexuals that they should be proud of their heterosexuality.”
—– —–

^ …….. um…. o… kay?  Sooooo… he thought straight folks ought to feel good about themselves, just like gays ought to feel good about themselves.  That’s… literally what he said.  He even mentioned equality and equal rights.

So, what’s the problem with this?  Why is the LGBT community so outraged?  There has to be more to this.  Again, it would be with breathtakingly exasperation to find out that the very people who were told they couldn’t feel proud of themselves or hold events in public are now telling other groups that they can’t feel proud of themselves or hold events in public.

An Interview With A Straight Pride Organizer

4th Wavers decided to reach out to Anthony Rebello, the organizer of the straight pride event linked above.  Below are the questions we asked Anthony, and he was kind enough to provide us some very thorough responses.

1. In July of last year, you decided to start the first Heterosexual Pride parade.  Roughly how many did you invite to attend, and how did you invite them?

Anthony: I invited nearly 200 people through the option made available in my event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/426907587464714/?active_tab=posts After that, facebook would not allow me to invite anymore people. I wanted to invite all my friends, but the option was unavailable.

2.  What were the events that lead up to you deciding to create this event?  Was there any “aha” moment where this came to mind?

Anthony:  I noticed that many different kinds of people were celebrating their sexual preference/nationalities/beliefs/opinions, so I decided I would also celebrate my own beliefs by being #ProudToBe a Heterosexual.

As someone who supports #EqualRights, I saw no problem with celebrating the fact that I am Heterosexual. In many ways, the #LGBTQ inspired me to do so. I have shown my support for the gay community. I have been to Pride parades. I used to live downtown Seattle. I have many gay friends. I figured the #LGBTQ would support the fact that I was just as happy to be Heterosexual as they are to be gay/transgender/bi… That wasn’t the case. I was labeled a bigot, white supremacist, member of isis… Harassed, insulted, even threatened. I even lost my job because of it. Here is a link to the backlash.

3.  Are you against gays and lesbians having their own pride day?  What about gays and lesbians in general?

AnthonyNot at all.  I believe everyone should be proud of who they are. That everyone should celebrate their lives, no matter what. I believe that is why we are alive. Like I said, I have attended a few Pride parades. I had an apt in Seattle. Belltown. I worked right next to Westlake. I had many gay/lesbian friends/coworkers. I never hurt anyone. I’m not that kind of person. I support the idea that everyone should have equal rights. What about gays and lesbians in general? I have never had a problem with them. I have had many gay guys hit on me, and I didn’t get mad, I just explained to them that it wasn’t my thing, that I was a heterosexual, and that I have always been attracted to girls/women.

4.  Was the Heterosexual Pride event meant to detract from, or counter, the LGBT movement?  Or was it merely an event where heterosexual folks could find community and identity?

Anthony: Not at all. I am an individual. As an individual, I have always done my own thing. I have always appreciated people who do. I don’t want to control anyone. It’s hard enough to control myself sometimes, lol!  This event is merely an event where heterosexual folks can find community and identity, a place for Heterosexuals to identify with other Heterosexuals and be #ProudToBe Heterosexual. I tried to make it clear in the statement on the event:

 “In the name of equality & equal rights, I have created this event to celebrate our heterosexuality, and to encourage younger heterosexuals that they should be proud of their heterosexuality. This is not a protest. It is a celebration for all to enjoy. Hope to see you there.”

5. Dan Savage has done a pretty brutal piece on this matter, which you can find here: http://www.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/2015/07/25/22601295/did-anyone-make-it-to-the-straight-pride-parade-today.  Accordingly, he quotes you as saying, in reference to the LGBT community:

“I think it’s a trend.  A cry for attention.  From your government, a distraction.  For $.”  – in this statement, you compared homosexual marriage to allowing animals to get married.  You also said you don’t agree with turning boys into girls, and vice versa, and referred to it as a “shitshow”. 

Do you stand by these statements?  How do you address that now?

Anthony: At the time, Gay marriage was a *trending topic, in the news every day, and all up in everyone’s faces all the time. To be honest, I was sick of hearing about it. I tried to show support for the idea that we don’t need approval from anyone to have a good relationship. That a solid healthy relationship is between the 2 people having the relationship, and nobody else. I wrote a  blog entry called  “Marriage” http://smilemeariver.blogspot.com/2014/07/marriage.html which says this:

“You don’t need a third party, or a piece of paper to have a good relationship with someone. You don’t need anyone’s permission, or approval. If you make each other happy, that’s what matters. It is between you, and the person you are involved with, not you and society”

Soon after that, I posted another entry, where I said:

“In response to the whole gay marriage thing, as an artist, and an individual, I feel the need to voice my opinion on the subject. I apologize if my opinion hurts anyone’s feelings.”

I wasn’t actually trying to compare insects getting married with gay people getting married. The point I was that in my opinion, people were making things too complicated. I was trying to simplify things in my own sarcastic, smart ass kind of way. I am an artist, and an individual, and I can see now how this may have been perceived differently by many. In hindsight, I could have worded it better, and I probably should have. Either way, that’s how it came out, and I honestly wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. I was just venting my opinion creatively.

=====================================

4th Waver would like to thank Anthony for his time and helping to provide clarity for this issue.  Anthony speaks more about the results of his organizing a straight pride day here, where he faced serious retaliation at his work.

You can see Anthony’s primary website at www.anthonyrebello.com, on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/rebello4610, on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/noodums.  His blog is http://smilemeariver.blogspot.com/, and if you appreciate his artwork, you can send a donation to https://www.gofundme.com/rebello.

Thanks again Anthony for clearing up the confusion.

=====================================

Now to be fair, when researching this story, we did find one example of a straight pride parade (page 21) that was, in fact, religiously motivated and intolerant towards LGBT people.  This was very clearly far departed from the example above.  At the University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus, the Young Americans for Freedom group sponsored a “Straight-Pride Rally” on April 24th, 1990.  They reportedly waved bibles and shouted insulting phrases towards gays and lesbians.  But at best, this appears to be an isolated incident, and it’s very difficult to find any other examples of this happening.  With that being the case, there’s no indication that “straight-pride day” necessarily means anything at all anti-gay.

This goes to show that pride, like any emotion, can inspire someone to do good or bad.  So maybe we’re going about this the wrong way.  Instead of “straight pride”, first… what is “pride?”

Emotions May Vary

Lets start with a complex, yet (sometimes) easy to understand emotion like “love”.

You probably love your parents, your cat, and your significant other.  But you love each of these things in a different way, because there are different *kinds* of love, and ways you can love.  I mean, I also love French fries.  Just not in the same way I love Jaline.  (Sorry baby cakes, fries come first!)

In that same exact way, there’s different kinds of “pride” a person can feel.  There’s the pride you feel towards an accomplishment, or after having achieved an important goal.  But there’s also other sorts of pride.  For example, if your son or daughter does really well on a project, you might feel a sense of pride – even though it’s an accomplishment done by someone else, you still feel this way!  It’s simply a different kind of pride.

How many of you out there are proud to be an American?  Or for our international readers, are you proud to be British?  Irish?  Norwegian?  I’ve had people tell me such pride is ridiculous, but it most  certainly isn’t.  The pride you feel for your country is just another kind of pride.  It’s not good or bad in and of itself.  It’s just a normal feeling.  What you do in response to that feeling is your choice, and that’s where the “good” and “bad” aspect of it comes in.  Does American pride inspire you to help those in need?  Or take their rights away?

I have straight friends who are very dear to me. Some of them are as close as family. I can’t imagine why on earth would I *NOT* want them to feel proud, and good about who they are!  To say otherwise is a double standard.  I can have pride, but you can’t – completely not recognizing at all that their pride might be different, held to a different degree, at a different level, and might have purposes or reasoning.

Now remember, what pride inspires you to do is the important question!  That can be either good or bad.  The pride parade held at the university of Massachusetts, the pride event certainly wasn’t very welcoming or inclusive.  Yet the pride parade that Anthony organized most certainly was, and the LGBT brutally harassed him for it (possibly inspired by their own sense of pride).

If you could show that straight-pride day was inherently anti-LGBT, or hateful, or based on some kind of discrimination, or SOMETHING to that effect – then this whole entire thing would be completely different.  An event held by a KKK group is reasonably expected to fit such a description, and if you could show something similar with straight pride, there would then be a perfectly acceptable reason to denounce straight-pride in general.

But this simply isn’t the case. Straight Pride does not automatically mean anti-gay. In fact the only people who are currently saying are from the LGBT community. I’ve yet to see a straight-pride person say anything negative.

So What’s the Purpose Behind Gay Pride?

We’ve covered how pride can vary, and how Straight-Pride can’t reasonably be pinned down with any one intent or purpose, as it depends on what pride inspires the person to do in each case.  But the idea of “Gay Pride” is pretty well established, and steeped in some history!  So surely this one is easier to get a hold of.

Howard P. Kainz, professor of philosophy at Marquette University, Milwaukee points out in his book “Politically Incorrect Dialogues” that:

I also find the reference “pride” inappropriate.  Pride is warranted when one has done something or accomplished something worthwhile.  If, as has been suggested, true homosexuality is something inborn and natural, or at least not a matter of conscious choice, I see nothing to be either proud or, for that matter, ashamed of.  Pride is simply out of place and out of it’s proper context“.

He follows this by stating how a “heterosexual pride” day would be immediately recognized as “dumb and ridiculous”.

As we’ve seen above, however, there are different kinds of pride, just as there are different kinds of anger, love, sadness, and so on.  He does make a point, however, that

Straight pride day

Suggested flag for Straight Pride Day.  Now keep this in mind, because they’re gonna want “allies” later.

there seems to be something different between gay-pride and straight-pride.  After all, supporting one of these gets you near universal acceptance, while accepting the other can risk having your life ruined (and which one you think is which says a lot about you).

Michele J. Eliason, professor at San Francisco State University, states in her book “Who Cares – Institutional Barriers to Health Care for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Persons”, that:

“Whenever I do a workshop on lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues, someone inevitably asks: “Why must you people have those parades and rallies?  Heterosexuals don’t have straight pride rallies”.  There are several reasons gay pride celebrations are important and a necessary part of gay life today.  First [LGBT] people often feel isolated and alone . . . a yearly gay pride event allows them to come together and celebrate their lives.  For a few hours a day, they can be in the majority instead of being a hated minority.  Second, heterosexual people can affirm their identities in a myriad of ways: by putting engagement, wedding, birth, and anniversary announcements in the newspaper, by bringing their families to work-related social events, [etc].  Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people often lack that support, and need to create their own ways of affirming themselves . . . and heterosexuals also have parades–homecoming, Mardi Gras, wedding dances [etc] and many other kinds of celebrations all affirm heterosexuality”

So again, “pride” simply means something different when referring to either straight or gay, and in each case, may serve different purposes.  If Mardi Gras and wedding dances are already a sort of straight-pride event, and we’re totally okay with those, then why do we have a problem with another straight pride event simply called “straight-pride”?  Gay-pride may indeed include the overcoming of oppression in years passed – this is something gay pride can include that straight-pride probably doesn’t.

However, I want to dispel a certain notion that straight people “have always been accepted”, and have never faced oppression.

When I was a straight white man, I was told every day how worthless I was; that I was sexist for ever even looking at a woman; that I had only one thing on my mind; that I thought about it every 7 seconds; that any – and I do mean *ANY* – expression of interest in a woman was harassment; that I was the problem; that I was a part of this thing called “patriarchy”; that even though I spent most of my adult life homeless, I was “privileged”; that the only thing I was ever allowed to express was apology and shame for all the “privilege” I had, despite sleeping on park benches; and that the very normal emotions I have for a woman were somehow wrong.

Moreover, as a white straight man, I was definitely the target of public-sphere violence. It was okay to physically challenge me and try to beat me up, because hey, I’m a man, and I can fight back, right?  Having street smarts kept me alive numerous times.  I knew not to walk down a back alley with a brand new pair of Nikes.

Now that I’m a woman – all of that vanished.

Now, if I have any of those same feelings, it’s my LGBT rights! And you’re a bigot for even lifting an eye-brow. And it’s wrong to hit a woman! While I’m still just as strong and capable as I was before, the difference in how people treat me is extremely obvious. Men no longer challenge me to a fight. That would be silly – I’m a woman.  Moreover I can walk down any back alley I want now and you can’t dare mention whether or not that was smart to do, because that’s victim blaming!

Finally, Michele J. Eliason‘s book was published in 1996.  Since then, things have changed quite a bit for LGBT people.  In fact, here’s a graph provided by Ben Mully, who took the position against having a Heterosexual Pride Day.  You can see that post here.

Gallup supports LGBTAs we can see, things are quite a bit different today than they were in 1996.

Ben also argues in favor of that additional caveat that the word “pride” carries for the LGBT community.

—– —–
Pride day [is] a celebration of OVERCOMING oppression so that you can sit comfortably in the year 2016 and say you don’t feel oppressed. The phrase “Gay Pride” started when a very real fight for equality was being waged in America and it’s use is honored in all sorts of LGBT events from Pride days, to Pride Parades, to Pride Fests, etc etc etc. That’s why it’s used in this context. It’s a part of American history that many believe should not be ignored, especially because there are still strong political forces that are pushing a message to take us backwards to a time when homosexuals were treated as second class citizens.
—– —–

In the same discussion, Ben takes the stance that since gays have a pride day for that reason, it’s precisely why heterosexuals cannot have one; if you’ve never experienced institutional oppression, then you are specifically disallowed from using the word “pride” in this context.

But as we’ve seen, “pride” does not necessarily have to mean or include this one particular thing, or have this particular context.  There are many different kinds of pride, and when someone wants to have a pride day, they could be doing so with their own intentions in mind.  A holiday based on American pride – or pride for any sports team – would not require the same historical context.  Moreover, straight-pride day is not being officially sanctioned by any governing body.  It’s simply individuals who want to participate in their own event, with the intention of reaffirming their own identities.  And it’s *very* possible to have a straight-pride day without it having an anti-gay agenda.  I mean here’s just such an example from a straight woman.

And although there is absolutely no indication that straight-pride must necessarily be anti-gay – there is no spokesman, no doctrine, no pamphlet, no mission statement, and no widely accepted belief or creed necessarily attached to this particular event – that is the only narrative that’s being allowed by the LGBT “community”.  To have straight-pride must mean you are anti-gay.  Even when there’s almost no one to be found on the straight-pride of the argument saying so.  In fact, I’ve been blocked by nearly a dozen people so far on facebook before the post you’re reading now even got posted.  Even daring to ask why straight-pride is bad is enough to get insta-banned from the communities I was once a part of.  Remember when that sort of treatment was given to anyone supporting an LGBT issue?

Lets take a look at the mainstream reaction to #heterosexualprideday , which is now trending.

http://distractify.com/news/2016/06/29/heterosexual-pride-day-seriously

First, lets start with the intro.

>> Apparently, people haven’t taken enough away from the LGBTQ community, so it’s time take Pride celebrations from them.

^^^ How on earth are my straight friends, who want to have a pride celebration of their own, taking anything away from me?  I mean this is not some faceless, menacing and unfalsifiable “culture” that exists only in narrative.  These are real flesh-and-blood people on my facebook who I can message and talk to right now.  Some of them are as close as family, and they’d even be willing to invite me TO a straight-pride event as a guest, even though I’m not straight.

Really, who is trying to take away gay prides simply by having straight pride?

Straight Culture

Here’s some of that unfalsifiable culture now. If you’re straight, you belong to a “culture” that automatically makes me oppressed. Hence I can have pride and you can’t. And even though there are literally scores of pages mocking straight pride, it’s still somehow you who’s mocking us by the very suggestion.

>> Straight pride” marches have actually been around since the nineties, and were started by people who opposed any steps forward for LGBTQ rights.

^^^ In the last 30 years, you will be hard pressed to find even 1 straight pride parade.  They have not “been around”.  The absolute most I could find are rare individual instances, like the two listed above.

And while one of those did have anti-LGBT activists involved, that does not mean that absolutely everyone, from now on, forever, has to be anti-gay simply for having straight pride.  In the same sense, I’m 100% certain there have been gay-pride people who were anti-straight.  In fact I even remember reading an article on this a while back, but I have no intention on providing links because it just doesn’t matter – the fact that those gay-pride folks were anti-straight does not at all mean I’m that way, just because they were.

Now on to the twitter replies.

>> Really? What’s next, ?

^^^ As long as you’re not causing my rent to go up, or making me late for work, I honestly wouldn’t are if you had a #DoTheHokeyPokeyDay .  It’s a free country, so organize whatever day you want.  As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, and you’re having a good time, by all means, be my guest.

>> You don’t choose your sexuality but you do get to choose if you’re really insecure about it. Happy, !

^^^ Okay so you have to be insecure about your sexuality before you can have a pride day?

Damn.  Guess I can’t go to gay-pride then.  😦

>> i have nothing against the heteros, i just dont want it shoved in my face, or on the internet where children can see

^^^ Well, yea.  I wouldn’t want anyone shoving something in my face, regardless of what it was.  The only time I want you to do that is if it’s French fries after a heavy leg training day.

I’ve had gay folks go on and on about the details of their sex lives without inviting the discussion, to an extent I didn’t feel comfortable with, in an environment where it wasn’t appropriate – and ditto for straight folks.

As far as the internet goes, sure, there are plenty of gay and straight porn sites that I agree kids shouldn’t be looking at.  Like we covered, this isn’t 1970, where holding hands is “shoving it in your face”.  Gay people hold hands all the time now, and while gay pride may commemorate overcoming such barriers, straight pride doesn’t have to.  You’re allowed to feel pride, regardless of whether you’re straight, gay, lesbian, latino, black, or …. or… (yea there’s one race that has to be left out for now, but we’ll get into that in another post).

>> i can’t believe hetero marriage was finally legalized in 1655. It’s been far too long.

^^^ Again, straight pride does not *have* to be about the same thing gay pride is about.  I mean one is straight, the other is gay – they’re already not the same.  Gay pride can be about overcoming barriers.  Straight pride can be simply feeling good about who you are, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

>> The missionary position AMIRITE

^^^ I’m not even sure why this one was included.  Straight people only do the missionary position?  Gay people never do?

>> you DON’T need because
-nobody thinks your sexuality is invalid or ‘abnormal’
-nobody is taking your rights away

^^^ Problematic when one day, people think being gay is valid and normal, and people aren’t taking your rights away.  What then?  Probably you’ll have to start dreaming up some “Hetero-archy” (just like the patriarchy) where a group of super rich and powerful hetero-people are causing you to be paid 77 cents for every dollar a straight person makes, or some other such nonsense.

Instead of making your pride day contingent on how oppressed you are and forever will be, why not celebrate your pride day, and then let others – yes, even straight people – be who they are, and do what they want, so long as it’s not bothering you?

It’s simply astounding, with breathtaking exasperation, that the very people who were once told they couldn’t have displays of pride for themselves in public……………. are now telling others they can’t have displays of pride for themselves in public.

>> For those that can’t make it to , PLZ join us for parade on Friday. TBA

^^^ Actually yea, I have friends who are black too.  I’ve dated black women.  Kinda makes you wonder how that’s possible if I were actually racist.  The arguments that come back are usually something akin to “all white people are racist” – because having white skin automatically gives you a certain set of characteristics (which is ironically the definition of racism), and I secretly AM racist, just on some subconscious level that I’m unaware of.  This has more to do with you wanting to assume the role of victim than with me actually being racist.

Straight Ally

If you’re trying to be an ally, and you keep getting accused of this shit, or you end up having your pride mocked with a baby crying on a white flag, you’re better off just not being an ally.  Respect is a 2 way street, and we are NOT more entitled just because we’re gay or lesbian. 

In that same way, it seems you actually want straight-pride to be anti-gay.  Keep in mind that there was literally no other prompting that straight-pride, on it’s own, meant anything anti-gay.  This is what people came up with on their own as soon as they heard the term, because they insist on an “us-vs-them” mentality.  As we get closer and closer to equality, now with gay marriage being legalized, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission now interpreting the Civil Rights Act to include LGBT people, how will you keep this going?

When 2nd Wave Feminism established equality for women, 3rd Wave feminist in the 90s had nothing to fight for.  So they began making shit up – like the wage gap caused by sexism, the long debunked theory of objectification, the existence of male privilege, and so on.  This is allowed lots of young women a chance to feel persecuted, and “continue fighting” against nonsense that no longer exists, and some that never existed at all.

Is that really where this is going?  To stay relevant, do we have to start dreaming up that everyone who isn’t like us is now an enemy out to get us?  Do we *REALLY* need to build ourselves up by tearing others down?

It appears so.  And that’s why I’m no longer a part of that “community”.

 

A Response to Cultural Appropriation (Yes, To The Entire Theory)

Cultural Appropriation is a popular topic in the field of social justice, so if you’ve been following stories centered around racism, privilege, and so on, undoubtedly you’ve heard this term also come up.  As per our usual method, we’ll start out with defining what this word actually means by using definitions put forth by it’s proponents.

And of course we’ll get this ball rolling with one of the most popular sources on the internet (it’s in the top 5 search results every time I start researching one of these for some ungodly reason).  According to the source of all that is wrong with the internet Everyday Feminism, a basic definition would beCultural appropriation is when somebody adopts aspects of a culture that’s not their ownRight off the bat, that sounds like something that wouldn’t pass rational inquiry, but first lets focus on getting our terms straight.  Everyday Feminism goes on to say it’s a “power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group“.

My ancestors also invented the justice system, democracy, and modern infrastructure. Of course I was born in 1981 and had nothing to do with any of that - but for some reason I'm always included when it's genocide or slavery.

My ancestors also invented the justice system, democracy, and most of the modern infrastructure you now enjoy. Of course I was born in 1981 and had nothing to do with any of that – but for some reason I’m always included when the topic is genocide or slavery.

This definition goes on to emphasize “power dynamic” as the condition that differentiates this term apart from “cultural exchange” (where people share cultures) and “cultural assimilation” (where people adopt certain conditions because it will make life easier).

This definition is also concordant with other sources, such as what I could find here, and here.  I’ll be focusing mostly on EF as a source, because they not only give the generally accepted definition, but give a list of practical examples to back up their claims (or in other words, they are the best source – and that’s really saying something).

Several possible outcomes are stated to result from the practice of cultural appropriation.  Some of them are:

1) It trivializes historical oppression (like calling Native Americans “Redskins” in the NFL)
2) It makes being racist okay (like writing a positive review on Mexican food in a “shady neighborhood”)
3) It’s cool if a white person does it, but “ethnic” if a person from that culture does it.
4) It allows the dominant group to profit from the oppressed group in a way the oppressed group cannot
5) It allows one race to be rewarded for the accomplishments of another race (like Elvis being the inventor of Rock and Roll, while this was actually invented by blacks).

To go straight ahead and bat these out of the way…

— 1) No one thinks the Trail of Tears was trivial because we have a baseball team by that particular team.  I’ve never heard anyone say “The Native Americans had it good – just look at our baseball team!”

For cultural appropriation to happen under the stated definition, it must necessarily included 1. a power dynamic, and 2. something being taken from the oppressed group.  So while this might technically fit the definition, it doesn’t necessarily lead to this outcome.

— 2) You’re using yelp reviews of “good restaurant, bad neighborhood” as proof that eating Mexican food makes racism towards Mexicans acceptable.  Those damn yelp reviews!!

What’s more, I’m still not seeing anything being “taken by a dominant group” through a “power dynamic”.  This comes dangerously close to presupposing that one race is always dominant and the other is always oppressed for no other reason than race – which is the definition of racism.

— 3) The comparison in the third example is that showing up to a corporate job interview wearing cornrows would be something that would bar a black woman from employment, while a white girl in a fashion magazine with cornrows is seen as edgy.  Can anyone not see the difference between the expectations at a corporate job interview and a fashion magazine?  Or how a white person showing up to such an interview with cornrows would be equally rejected?

Black people do not own cornrows anymore than white people own straight hair, and black women straighten their hair all the time.

— 4) The example used is a white woman selling Native American items because she can get a home mortgage loan to start a business, while a Native American cannot, because reservation land can’t be mortgaged.  However, the Native American woman can mortgage a private home just fine – she just can’t mortgage reservation land because it belongs TO THE RESERVATION.  There’s nothing barring her from starting her own business.

If the simple act of making and selling something that originated in another culture was the same as “a dominant culture taking something through a power dynamic”, then utterly everything you’ve ever bought or sold is an example of cultural appropriation.

— 5) Elvis became famous for rock and roll, a form of music which came from rhythm and blues, invented by black people.  However, black people invented rhythm and blues from church hymns, which were invented by white people.

Further, this directly conflicts with the second possible outcome given; the music from black people may very well have helped them be seen more favorably, which would have helped end racism, not promote it.

Now lets go ahead and get the next few out of the way.

6) It misrepresents marginalized cultures – like how dressing up as Pocahontas ignores the real story of her life.
7) It perpetuates stereotypes, plus you’re pretending to be a race you’re not.
8) White people can do things that people of other cultures were once punished for doing.
9) My right to wear your stuff trumps your feelings about it.

So then.

— 6) First, dressing up like Pocahontas isn’t what created all the misconceptions about her life.  This is a normal part of how history passes down through generations.  It often gets distorted as one retelling follows another.  For example:

http://www.writespirit.net/greatest-historical-myths/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_misconceptions#Ancient_to_early_modern_history

http://all-that-is-interesting.com/american-history-myths

What’s more, it’s pretty well known that when Disney gets a hold of something, they spruce it up quite a bit.  And of course there’s always actual history books laying around if you care to improve your knowledge (What??  Take personal responsibility for my own education???).  There’s also Crash Course on youtube if books aren’t your style.

Either way, no matter what historical figure your daughter dresses up as, I’m willing to bet you have a distorted understanding of who they actually were.

Second, where’s the power dynamic?  Your daughter could dress up as Susan B Anthony.  She’s not doing that because she has power over Susan’s indigenous culture.  Also, what’s being “taken”?  What does Susan or Pocahontas or anyone else actually losing as a result of a kid dressing up like them?

— 7) Honestly?  If I have cornrows… I’m pretending to be another race???

The primary claim on this one is that Katy Perry dressing up as a geisha perpetuates a stereotype about Asian women, but this confuses geishas with Asian women.  It’s as though Everyday Feminism believes we can’t tell the difference, or that we’re all stupid animals who can’t understand that there might be more than one side to a person.  Yes, an Asian woman can be passive and submissive.  They can also be domineering.  They can also be friendly.  They can also be angry.  And that’s not different women – the SAME WOMAN can be all those things throughout the day.  Because they are human, they can be all these things.  But you could make this same claim that everyone will think Asian women are only that way, no matter which state we happen to depict an Asian woman to be in.  You’ll say THATS the ONLY way us white folks can understand them to be.

Angry Japanese math teacher?  Stereotype!  Tiger Mom?  Stereotype!  Hyper excited Japanese camera tourist?  Stereotype!  Submissive Asian swimsuit model?  Stereotype!  Chinese dude sitting on a bench not doing anything?  Stereotype!

How many of you are in danger of doing this?  Lets say you saw a Geisha performance.  The very next day you met an Asian woman.  What are you going to do?  Start ordering sushi from her because you saw the geisha serve that the night before?  Everyday Feminism seems to think so.

In researching for this post, I came across this. Whoever made it, thank you. Just... thank you.

In researching for this post, I came across this. Whoever made it, thank you. Just… thank you.

White men actually expect Asian women to live up to the “exotic geisha girl” stereotype” – and of course one of the sources for this claim comes from http://mic.com/articles/72827/asian-women-don-t-get-luckier-on-okcupid-we-get-more-harassed – a page which mentions “Like many ladies in New York City, I get catcalls all the time.”

Right, like that 10 Hour Video where men have the audacity to say things like “Hello”, “God Bless You” and….. “HAVE A NICE DAY!!!”

No actual statistics from any credible sources are offered – the entire page is only 1 woman retelling the imagined dangers she thinks she’s experienced.   And that’s your proof that geisha stereotypes cause Asian women to be harassed by white men (and specifically white men).  Because one Asian woman got some rude comments online.  I mean you can’t argue with that kind of proven proof.

But if you would like some actual statistics on a related topic, check out this video.  In the first 3 minutes, the author pretty much lays the smackdown on any SJW who might ever try to bring up this topic in regards to Halloween.

TL;DR – if you celebrate Halloween at all, you are celebrating an appropriation of an appropriation of an appropriation of a Celtic holiday you know nothing about.  So you can skip right by all the costume talk.

Also lets head back to that original definition for a moment.

1. What’s being taken from the Japanese by Katy Perry?  I mean if I take your car, but the next morning your car is still there… then how in the hell did I take it?  Geisha’s are still allowed in Japan.  We haven’t taken anything away from them.

2. Where’s the power dynamic?  Japan rivals the US in a number of ways, Japanese culture is very highly respected and admired, so much so that we’ve coined the term “Wapanese”.  I’ve never heard of any modern Japanese person being discriminated against.  Most of us Americans are probably more fascinated to meet a person from Japan, and are more likely to ask them what Japan is like.

— 8) Here it’s said we’ve culturally appropriated yoga, and can practice it, while Indians were once punished for practicing it.  And while we’re benefiting from it commercially, people living in India aren’t.

Or have they?

Consider how much culture we’ve appropriated from China for a moment.  We tattoo their letters on our skin, we eat their food at restaurants, we practice their martial arts, we enjoy watching them in movies, we listen to their music, and Chinese themes can be found decorating our homes.

Now consider how many far right politicians would love it if they could convince the American public to go to war with China, which they can never do now, simply because of how we’ve come to view them.  Despite having such political animosity, China is one of our biggest trading partners, and all of this is thanks in part to our “appropriation”.  A long time ago, we used to have a decidedly racist stance against the Chinese, but that changed too, again thanks to appropriation.  As we start taking more and more of their culture, we stop being racist and start liking them.  Pretty soon we’re even appreciating them!

It’s true that Great Britain once brutally subjugated India.  Today, British teens can be seen wearing nose rings, and cricket is wildly popular in India.  That’s a sign that relations between the two cultures have considerably improved.  There’s no longer hatred between them.  That’s what tends to happen when one culture starts taking from another.  Cultural appropriation makes it hard to stay mad at each other, and even harder to keep seeing the other side as being inferior.  Why would you adopt their culture if it were inferior??

9) From the page: “You should have the right to express yourself however you want to – and you do. Nobody can force you to stop taking things from other cultures.

๑۩ﺴ Reality Check! ﺴ۩๑

Your car is German.  Your vodka is Russian.  Your pizza is Italian.  Your kebab is Turkish.  Your video games are Japanese.  Your democracy is Greek.  Your coffee is Brazilian.  Your tea is British.  Your bread is French.  Your timber is Canadian.  Your rubber is Malaysian.  Your oil is Saudi Arabian.  Your electronics are Chinese.  Your numbers are Arabic.  Your religion originated in the middle east and most of your holidays are pagan.

If cultural appropriation were real, then you don’t appropriate from other cultures.  You **ARE** appropriated culture.

That’s what makes this topic so incessantly inane and inspired this response.  The “power dynamic” is nothing more pseudo-intellectual way of addressing which cultures you actually think are inferior to ours.  We consider the United Kingdom to be on equal terms with us.  That’s why it’s never said that we’re appropriating from them.  Or Australia.  Or Norway.  Or Russia.  There’s no “power dynamic” (we’re not superior).  India is seen as inferior because it’s largely undeveloped as a nation.  Hence there’s a power dynamic (another way of saying we’re superior), and thus we can appropriate from them.  We can identify ourselves as the white devils we are and begin practicing that mental self-flagellation, because we’re more “enlightened”.

Meanwhile, most folks living in India honestly couldn’t care less if Americans are practicing yoga.  Go on facebook right now and ask someone living in India and see for yourself.

Does Feminism Empower Women?

As usual, it depends on what type of feminism we’re talking about. It also depends on what we mean by “empowerment”, and this can take us down a philosophical road in trying to discern what that word actually means. Lets keep it simple, and begin exploring this by looking at the opposite of empowerment: learned helplessness.

In a study conducted by Seligman & Maier, three groups of dogs were observed in conditions where they were administered electrical shocks. The first two groups had a choice to get away from the shocks – the third group didn’t. Over time, the third group of dogs made no attempt to get away from shocks when they most certainly had the choice. They had been taught to not even try thanks to the previous experience of not having any choice.

In another study conducted by Langer and Rodin, patients at a senior citizen home were divided into two groups. The first group (we’ll call this one the helpless group) was told to let the staff take care of them and do everything for them (it’s important to note that they still had options to do what they wanted – they were simply told to let the staff do everything). The second group (we’ll call this one the empowered group) was told they needed to take care of themselves, and even given a few extra jobs to tend after, like watering plants.

empowermentAfter 18 months, the empowered group had better overall health, better physical and mental conditioning, and were generally happier. However, the helpless group quickly deteriorated, and at the end of the study, had a mortality rate that was twice as high!

This is because responsibility is not just a burden, as we often think it is. Responsibilities can be a hassle sometimes, but they also reflect personal power! Your responsibility means you have a choice. When you give up your responsibility, you’re giving up your choice, and thus your “power of agency” as Third Wavers would like to call it. So with this in mind, lets take a look at the different expectations between men and women, then try to determine if feminism really empowers women.

—– —–

If people judge how a man is dressed, well you need to dress better! Of course people are going to judge if you’re dressed like a slob. If you want respect, you gotta look respectable. That’s not a problem of course. There’s plenty of resources around that can help you look more professional.

If people judge how a woman is dressed, SOCIETY NEEDS TO CHANGE!

—– —–
If people put a man down or insult him, first you need to determine if they have a point. And if they don’t, then stand up for yourself, or just ignore them. You believe in you, and don’t worry what the nay sayers say. You stay confident and keep your eyes on the prize. Work hard, and you’ll show them.

If people put a woman down or insult her, SOCIETY NEEDS TO CHANGE!

—– —–
If a man isn’t earning enough, well son, you gotta work harder! Go to school part time and study. Show em what you’re worth! And once you’ve done that, walk in there and ask for a raise!

If a woman isn’t earning enough, SOCIETY NEEDS TO CHANGE!

—– —–
If a man is expected to make sacrifices at home and at work, to provide more for his family, then of course there’s nothing unreasonable here. It’s that hard-working can-do spirit that made this country great, and sometimes you gotta bite the bullet.

If a woman is expected to make sacrifices at home OR at work, SOCIETY NEEDS TO CHANGE!

—– —–
If a man complains about how hard things are getting, life will keep you down, if you let it.
.

If a woman complains about how hard things are getting, absolutely everyone everywhere needs to walk on eggshells (don’t even clap your hands!) because that might trigger them.

====================================

Which one of these sounds empowering? Which one is focusing on what the individual can change when they’re able to change it, and which one continually asks that the entire world change just for them?

If people judge a woman on how shes’ dressed, an emotionally intelligent way to deal with this is to understand that yes, as a matter of fact, people are judged. That’s life. If this makes you feel invalidated, perhaps you should look for a way of identifying yourself beyond what other people say about your looks. Are you a good athlete? An engineer? A teacher? A mother? A daughter? A good friend? Connect with a number of other self-identifying traits so being called on one of them will not make you feel as bad.

If you’re expected to make sacrifices, first rationally consider whether or not this is fair. Are the sacrifices unreasonable? Are most people in the same position asked to do this? If you’ve decided that it’s not a balanced way to proceed, assert yourself. Speak up – that’s your responsibility (e.i. “power!”) Explain why you feel it’s unfair, and suggest a reasonable alternative.

If someone put’s you down or insults you, handle it like a pro. Let others have their say, respect their right to an opinion, then move on. Don’t let one single remark ruin your entire day. I’m a trans woman. I was strong enough to do this as a man, and I’m strong enough to do it now. Becoming a woman, for me, didn’t mean losing my ability to emotionally navigate a world that may sometimes send an invalidating remark my way.

The Second Wave taught us that women can do anything a man can do. The Third Wave took that away, and found ways to turn women into victims at every possible opportunity. Let the Fourth Wave restore female empowerment and encourage personal power and responsibility!

What Is Privilege?

I had to come up with an innocent enough sounding title that would convince a newcomer to not X out the tab as soon as they got here.  I think a simple 3 word question will do.  Get ready to rage quit about half way through though.  This one’s gonna be fun.

Lets start off by actually defining what the word means in social parlance.  According to the dictionary:

PrivilegeBut of course we’re not going to rely on just the dictionary definition.  We do have other sources.  And if you’ve been a reader of this site for any length of time, you probably know which source we’re definitely going to include.

According to the Fox News of social science, privilege is “Any unearned benefit or advantage one receives in society by nature of their identity. Examples of aspects of identity that can afford privilege: Race, Religion, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Class/Wealth, Ability, or Citizenship Status“.  The article goes on to mention white privilege 4 times, male privilege 4 times, and even “right-handed privilege” twice.

By the way if the editors at Everyday Feminism ever happen to find their way here, sentences can be grouped together in paragraphs.

You don’t need to make every sentence it’s own paragraph.

It’s true.

You really don’t.

And according to http://www.whiteprivilegeconference.com – which boasts an annual attendance of 1,500 of education workers from around the globe, and even offers Continuing Education Units for participants – privilege “exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do“.

Now those aren’t too far off the mark, to be honest.  But lets make this even easier using a fun analogy!

Lets say you and I are standing at the bottom of this wall, and we’re about to climb it:

climbing_wallWe’re gonna see who can get to the top first.  But before we do, someone comes by and straps a 50 pound backpack on your back, then says “ready set go!”

I don’t have a pack on my back.  Does his make me privileged?

NO!

It doesn’t.  It makes you disadvantaged, but it doesn’t make me privileged, because remember the definition of that word; it’s first and foremost an unearned advantage that I have that you don’t.

Now some might point out that you having the pack on your back “gives me an advantage”.  That’s true in one sense, but if my privilege were really defined by your disadvantage, then there would be no end to privilege.  After all, someone out there has asthma.  Does that mean I have breathing privilege?  Someone else was born without legs.  I have walking privilege?  Someone else is blind.  I have seeing privilege?  Oh hell lets make it INSTITUTIONALIZED SEEING PRIVILEGE because most of the world is designed with eyesight in mind!  You can think of a million things another person has that’s makes them worse off – this doesn’t mean you’re privileged.  It means they’re disadvantaged.  This is important because the focus belongs on removing their disadvantage, not on penalizing me for not having their disadvantage.

If you showed up to a car accident and someone was bleeding all over the pavement, you wouldn’t look at me and start blame me for not bleeding – you would get some gloves on and start patching up the one’s who’s injured.

Okay now back to our rock climbing wall… lets say I had someone at the top of the wall who was pulling on my rope and helping me climb.  Would that be a privilege?

YES!

That’s exactly what privilege means!  It’s an unearned advantage that I have that you don’t!  I have someone helping me, and nobody’s helping you.  This means I might have privilege where you don’t have any disadvantages.  Or I might have a privilege and you could be disadvantaged at the same time.

There are also some gray areas.  In real life, I just happen to be a performance athlete.  I can land around a hundred one-armed pushups in generally less than 4 minutes, and can pull 385 off the ground at a body weight of 140.  So if you’re not an athlete, and we’re about to race to the top of this wall… am I privileged?  This one’s tricky – I’m definitely advantaged!  However, I earned that advantage.  I hit the gym nearly every day for a year, and worked hard to get where I am fitness-wise.  I followed a super strict diet that entire time.  I made the sacrifices.  So yea, I’m advantaged, but for it to be a privilege, it has to be “unearned”.  Keep that in mind because we’ll come back to that in a bit.

And here we’re at that rage-quit part I mentioned earlier, so go ahead and place your cursor over that X at the top there and get ready to tell your friends about this horrible conservative neo-nazi KKK page you stumbled upon.

If we’re climbing that wall, someone could be tugging the rope at the top for you………. even if you’re black.  Or you could have that 50 pound backpack strapped on and still be white.  Colour does not automatically necessitate privilege or disadvantage.  Now, there’s lots of times where that’s the case!  It’s indisputable that institutionalized and systemic white privilege does exist, and Laci Green – as much as she is wrong on so many things – actually did a good job of laying this out.  But let me say it again – colour does not automatically necessitate privilege, advantage, or disadvantage, in any given situation.   This means that each individual instance of privilege must be examined independently, and according to the facts, avoiding narratives and presuppositions as much as possible.

Whether or not you want to call white privilege “racism” depends on how you define racism.  It’s very possible for a system to be set up in favor of one race or the other without any conscious intention of racism being present.  So if you mean to call a situation racist, or call it “systemic racism”, then that’s probably accurate.  Just be aware that the people running that system may not themselves be racist, and the way the system is designed may be a left over artifact from an earlier generation that made it that way.  Address the problem without attacking the people (unless you can show the people are the ones at fault).  This same thing applies to all forms of privilege.  You solve more problems that way, make more allies, and piss fewer people off.

Alrighty, now with that out of the way, lets examine how privilege is discussed by your typical SJW (Social Justice Warrior) by looking here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/dayshavedewi/what-is-privilege

Nice heartwarming look at how much worse everyone else has it than you, and why you should feel guilty and ashamed for having it so good (i.e. being “privileged”) – although there are a few legitimate examples.  We’ll only cover 10.

1. If your parents worked nights and weekends to support your family, take one step back.

^^^ This might make me disadvantaged in some ways, but how does it make YOU advantaged?  Or even privileged?  Remember my 50 pound backpack doesn’t give you climbing privilege anymore than my asthma gives you breathing privilege.

2. If you are able to move through the world without fear of sexual assault, take one step forward.

^^^ We’ve covered this pretty extensively in another post.  But yea, if you walk through a developed nation like the US with fear of sexual assault every day, you may want to speak to a therapist.  Either that or stop visiting Everyday Idiots.

3. If you can show affection for your romantic partner in public without fear of ridicule or violence, take one step forward.

^^^ Definition of privilege.  My disadvantage doesn’t mean you have an advantage.  We need to focus on the stigma of a man kissing another man, and fix that, rather than focusing on a man kissing a woman, since that’s not the issue.

4. If you have ever been diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness/disability, take one step back.

^^^ Again, my wheelchair doesn’t mean you have walking privilege.

5. If the primary language spoken in your household growing up was not english, take one step back.

^^^ I can see how this one would be connected to other areas where privilege did exist.  White neighborhoods are generally better off because of racist housing policies (some of which were outlined in Laci’s video earlier) that existed in decades passed, and those neighborhoods would speak English.  Someone fleeing economic disparity might have grown up in a household that didn’t speak English.  It’s important to examine each item on it’s own merits, and this one might have some truth to it.

6. If you came from a supportive family environment take one step forward.

^^^ Well, this is an advantage.  And it’s one you didn’t have to earn.  So this one checks out.

7. If you have ever tried to change your speech or mannerisms to gain credibility, take one step back.

^^^ This one seems pretty scattershot.  All of us change our speech and mannerisms throughout the day, depending on the situation.  We don’t act at an interview the same way we would at a family reunion.  How would this equate into a privilege?

8. If you can go anywhere in the country, and easily find the kinds of hair products you need and/or cosmetics that match your skin color, take one step forward.

^^^ I’m going to admit some ignorance on this one.  I see aisles for hair and skin products for black folks in Wal-Greens all the time, but I’d rather have black folks chime in on this one, since it’s a personal thing and they’d know more about it.  Is it really that hard to find what you need?  Do you have to drive for miles and miles looking?

9. If you were embarrassed about your clothes or house while growing up, take one step back.

^^^ If you were embarrassed growing up……. um…. okay, every single person who has ever lived through the ages of 13 to 17, take 10,000 steps back.

I get how economic disparity means some people are privileged, but this one isn’t saying that.  It’s saying “if you were embarrassed”.  Hell even the richest kids have to go through that.

10. If you can make mistakes and not have people attribute your behavior to flaws in your racial/gender group, take one step forward.

^^^ I’m white, and I’m constantly told how I don’t understand, how I’m part of the problem, how I oppress others, how I’m so lucky, how I’ll never have it so bad, PLUS!  If I’m homeless, sexually assaulted, robbed, beat up, or wrongfully arrested, I’m told “I was still privileged” (usually by people affiliated with #BlackLivesMatter who’ve not taken any time to understand what “privilege” actually means).  I hear all the time about how whites are hurting everyone else.  Sounds like a flaw in my racial group.

But then it’s not all black folks who are doing that.  It’s only a few of them.  Same like how blacks are judged in that same way, because it’s not all whites, it’s only a few vocal and open racists.

Either way, this is a narrative, not an actual unearned advantage belonging to any group in particular.

Finally, in doing research for this post, I looked far and wide for any identifiable “Black Privileges” so I could list them here, but wasn’t able to find any.  Similarly, I’ve not yet been able to find even one example of an actual male privilege, though we do have a list of numerous female privileges.

For black privileges, I found a few sources, but these failed just as badly as most of the ones we see on the BuzzFeed link above – keeping in mind the definition of “privilege”.

http://reverseracism. tumblr.com/post/63340296481/the-black-privilege-checklist

I chose this page because, to be quite honest, other lists I found were just laughably bad, and I didn’t think they should be taken seriously.  So just a handful from the link:

A black person could potentially benefit from affirmative action. There is almost no affirmative action for white people on the basis of skin, even for foreign-born whites.

^^^ This was originally placed as a counter-measure to white companies refusing to hire blacks.  So this isn’t really a privilege, it was a necessity needed to integrate blacks into the workforce.

I can pursue a career in rap, R&B, or gospel without being considered controversial.

^^^ I can’t offhand think of a “controversial” white gospel singer.  Or even why that would be controversial in the first place.  Or why controversy in any of these categories would be bad – Eminem stated himself that if he were black, he “would have sold half”.

African-americans invented the biggest forms of music in America, namely Jazz, Rock, and Rap.

^^^ How is this a privilege?

African-americans are historically portrayed as underprivileged in history textbooks. Ethnic whites who were historically underprivileged like the Irish and Italians, and Appalachian Miners are given footnotes on the side.

^^^ This is probably true.  However, how does this translate to an “unearned advantage” in any discernible way?

I can be sure of watching a football or basketball program and seeing my race widely represented.

^^^ That’s because your race puts in the time and effort to make this happen.  It’s done by choice.  There are whites who play NFL football, and there are blacks who compete in the World’s Strongest Man.  It’s just that one race tends to gravitate towards the other – but the individuals still put in the time and effort.  This isn’t a privilege.

And this of course isn’t to say that black privilege and male privilege DON’T exist – just that I haven’t been able to find any.  So feel free to leave some examples in the comments section if you’ve found a few that check out.

Like, share, comment, subscribe, and um… help end systemic money privilege by finding me on facebook and donating!

Patriarchy Theory Explained

This post has been a long time coming!  Patriarchy is one of the 5 sacred tenets Third Wavers frequently use to prove how persecuted women are in modern day America.  But lets not jump on that boat right away.  First, what exactly is “patriarchy”?

That depends on who you ask.  As with any belief system, there are multiple interpretations.

I’ve covered definitions promoted by Everyday Feminism, a site which sports an impressive 4.5 million monthly visitors, and even offers courses in online feminism.  They define patriarchy as “a system of domination by which the wealthy, white, male ruling class has authority over everyone else“.

I’ve covered another, slightly more sophisticated definition by youtube user “marinashutup”, where it’s simply defined as “a social system that values masculinity over femininity.”

Then of course there’s the very intelligently written Finally Feminism 101 definition, which states that patriarchy is “one form of social stratification via a power/dominance hierarchy – an ancient and ongoing social system based on traditions of elitism (a ranking of inferiorities) and its privileges”.

This definition immediately excludes all modern developed nations, as they are not at all stratified based on power or dominance of any sort.  Business offices are populated based on qualifications, work ethic, and networking, not on sexist discrimination, and there now exists over 50 peer reviewed studies confirming that, some of which you can see explained step-by-step here (in fact, to date, there does not exist a single study anywhere in the world which demonstrates a link between sexism and the lack of female career advancement or pay scale as a demographic in first world countries).  Political offices are populated based on vote (as that’s how all modern democracies operate), and studies show that women simply choose not to run (if they were kept out of office just for being women, how do you explain the women who are currently *IN* office now?)  Finally, domestic violence has been shown again and again to happen equally between men and women – except that women have an entire branch of the justice department devoted just to them.

Finally Feminism goes on to say: “Historically, patriarchy operates through the disproportionate (sometimes exclusive) conferring of leadership status (and formal titles indicating that status) on men, a tradition characterised by casting all women as naturally unsuited to lead men, no matter what talents and expertise they might possess (unless there are exceptional circumstances resulting from intersections with other social hierarchies conferring high status that gives rare women political authority e.g. the royal lineage of Elizabeth I, or the divine claim to authority of Joan of Arc).

Looks like they tried to cover their asses half way through there by pointing out exceptions and calling them “rare”.  Like I said, it’s more intelligently written.

However, how exactly is leadership status among womenrare“?  I mean seriously, I was able to hyperlink nearly every individual word in this paragraph with a unique female ruler or leader at some point in historyRareThey make it sound like only two women in history were ever not oppressed.

Now, does social stratification based on male dominance exist at all?  Well, as a matter of fact, it does!  Look at modern day Afghanistan and how women are treated there.  The fact that we can see clear examples of this type of environment helps us immediately recognize the lack of said environment in any developed nation.  It’s also clear from the sheer number of women rulers and leaders throughout history (yep, every word hyperlinkd – I could list off a hundred more), that this “domination by men / oppression of women” narrative was not exactly ubiquitous, nor is it accurate.

I’ve been studying feminist archeology over the last several months.  Incredibly boring interesting stuff.  Two books in particular have been my guide: Merlin Stone’s When God Was a Woman, and Riane Eisler’s The Chalice and the Blade.  These are both utterly fantastic books – Merlin Stone in particular gives an absolutely brutal, pain staking, point-by-point account of ancient societies and how they lived.  Make sure you have plenty of coffee on standby, especially if you’re like me and are not particularly interested in archeology, but are determined to learn where this notion of “patriarchy” actually originated from.

I’m going to give you the fun, easy-to-read version of this research here, as opposed to the 257 page name-every-ancient-city-that-ever-existed-and-describe-in-detail-what-life-was-like-there version (seriously, finishing that book and the associated research was a major life accomplishment).

Once upon a time (circa 10,000 BCE), sex was celebrated, and women ruled the world.  Women were viewed as sacred “bringers of life”, so they lived in temples and banged any guy they wanted for fun (the world wasn’t heavily populated, so making babies was generally a good thing).  Now, to be clear, this “women ruled the world” part is somewhat disputed – but what’s clear is that there was no male domination, no “patriarchy” as it were, religion centered on goddess worship, properties were owned and managed by women, the leaders were women, and inheritance passed from mother to daughter (matrilineal society).  So it’s not a huge leap then to consider that they might also have been matriarchal, and there are a considerable number of archeologist that think this was absolutely the case.  Things remained this way until around 5,000 BCE, when certain regions became male dominated (we’ll discuss more on that in a bit).

Were men dominated in “matriarchy”?  Were they oppressed and denied rights?

That’s not entirely clear, and probably varied a bit by region.

Absolute ruler of all things within her realm.... in a patriarchy???

Absolute ruler of all things within her realm…. in a patriarchy???

The Minoan civilization on Crete, among several others, appears to have been rather egalitarian.  However, in Anatolia, there was this idea that if a man slept with a high priestess, he should never ever again sleep with another woman ever – even to the point of him castrating himself to make sure it doesn’t happen.  Castration wasn’t particularly frowned upon, and was even romanticized.  In ancient Babylon, they had a pretty strange New Year’s tradition, where they brought the king inside the temple, stripped him naked, humiliated him, and beat him up.  In Egypt, the women would go out picking up men, and in some cases slipping them intoxicants to make them less resistant (When Bill Cosby was a Woman).  While in the Sumerian region (Elam to be specific), the men who worked in temples were forced to strip in front of the women.

Now just imagine if we reversed the genders, and it was men doing all this to women.  We’d hear no end about how women were oppressed by that mean ol’ patriarchy.  Kinda putting a dent in that whole “women oppressed for thousands of years” jive, ain’t it?

So now on to that 5,000 BCE bit mentioned earlier, where things started to change.  As tribal societies settled down, and city-states formed, these different cultures began competing for resources.  You might have thought it was only men who go out and conquer, but women can get jealous of what other women got, and they want men to go out and get it for them.  Women put men in charge of the fighting, since they were stronger and are generally considered far more expendable.  Women, after all, were the “bringers of life” (a notion found repeatedly throughout the ancient world), and were thus far more valued.  Need a war?  Let men fight it out.

Giving men more power of agency meant they could build better armies, and win more wars. In this way, women helped lay the groundwork for what would later be “patriarchy”.  Female goddess worship turned to male god worship. Greeks went from worshiping Rhea to worshiping Zeus (we don’t even see Zeus as the king-father guy until 3,000 BC or there abouts, when northern invaders began battling their way across southern Europe).

As men started to gain power and religion gradually came to focus on male god worship, the groundwork for the clusterfuck of “sexual morality” had been laid.  Now here’s where that tricky intersection between Matriarchy and Patriarchy show up, so pay close attention to this next part.

In matriarchal societies, property was passed from mother to daughter. This was the established line of power – a mother always knows who her daughter is, and no one cared who the father was. HOWEVER! If men could make it so we KNEW who the father was, we could start a PATRILINEAL line of succession!  Men had been gaining power militarily for centuries, thanks to circumstances previously mentioned, so naturally they wanted a patrilineal line of inheritance so men would have even more agency. The only way to do this was to convince women it was bad to have sex with more than 1 guy. If she had sex with only the ONE GUY, we always know who the father is. If she messes around, we can’t know for sure, as DNA testing wasn’t around yet.

Trying to “convince” women not to sleep around didn’t work. Lots of records exist of women as late as 500 AD still up in the temples having men line up for them, so they could bang them one after the other and have kids out of wedlock. This is where we get quite a number of bible passages condemning “The Great Whore” and “Harlots” and “temple prostitutes” and so on. However, calling them names wasn’t effective, so men began straight up slaughtering the women who wouldn’t stay “moral”, using the power of agency granted to them through centuries of fighting.

The need for patrilineal inheritance is reflected in how the laws were set up.  You’re probably familiar with some of these from the bible.  If a woman cheated on her husband with another man, then both the woman AND THE OTHER MAN were put to death. However, if the woman was raped, she was married to the man who raped her. Why kill the man in the first example? It’s about father-son lineage, that’s why.  That’s also why it’s okay to sell your daughters into sex slavery – hey, the only thing that counts is whether or not the man knows which kid is his.

The next step was to finalize this process by making it legal through the institution of marriage.  And thus, “patriarchy” became a system where men and masculinity were definitely more valued than women and femininity.  It’s a system where women can be raped and beaten, and everyone’s totally okay with it.  It’s a system that ensures patrilineal succession by shaming and punishing all female sexuality outside of marriage.

It’s a system where men make the rules in favor of men, *not* a system where women have so much power that they can ruin a man’s life with just a simple accusation and nothing more.  It’s a system where men are valued because they are men, *not* because they went to college for 4 years, studied real hard, earned a degree, then gradually worked their way up to a 6 figure income.  It is a system where men are in charge only because they are men, *not* a system where men are voted into elected offices – by women – through democracy.

(And should AronRa ever see this: hopefully this answers your question.  Women being “slut shamed” is not clear evidence of a modern day patriarchy; it’s an artifact of an earlier Judaeo-Christian effort to suppress female sexuality, and is why this mindset still exist mostly in religious circles and almost nowhere else.  It survives on in the same way many linguistic artifacts from Greek mythology continue in the English language.  Men being called sexist pigs for everything they do is a backlash against this, starting with the rad-fems during the second wave movement, and being adopted by the Third Wave in the current movement, which abandoned the focus on women’s rights almost entirely in favor of villainizing men.)

So yes, the fact is that patriarchy actually did exist, and still does exist, in some regions of the world.  The desire to establish such a system was spearheaded by the Levites at around the beginning of the first century, and between 300 and 500 AD, a number of pagan and goddess worshiping sacred sites were shut down and either outlawed or converted into churches by the then Christian emperors, including Constantine.

The severity of the treatment of women varied from place to place, and of course changed over time.  Much the same way not all men were horribly oppressed in every ancient society before then, nor to the same extent.

By the time the middle ages and the feudal system had come to Europe, women could once again be found in nearly every social strata of society.  A peasant was a peasant, whether man or woman.  Both had limited options.  Lords of course had power over them – but so did Ladies.  And while King Henry the VIII was ill-tempered and had 6 wives, Queen Marry of Scots was even more ill-tempered and had 3 times as many people burned alive.

Masculinity was more valued than femininity, but only in certain places, and for certain times.  Femininity was more valued than masculinity, but only in certain places, and for certain times.  Both Patriarchy and Matriarchy have existed, but neither exist in the present day US, or in any other modern, developed nation.

Intersectional Feminism Made Easy!

dihydrogen-monoxide

For those of you who failed chemistry, dihydrogen monoxide is water.

Years ago, I had a career specializing in nutrition science.  I was familiar all the big fancy chemical compounds in various foods, what they do, how they work, and what benefits and detriments came with overdoses and deficiencies.  Gama-amino-butryic alpha-keto-gluterate may sound impressively dangerous, but it’s actually rather harmeless.  It’s an amino acid commonly found in food, and is also sold as a supplement to help you sleep (often combined with a B complex and taurine – another amino acid – for added effect).

However, as I started working vitamin companies, I started noticing that there were dozens of ingredients added into the product which didn’t actually contribute towards anything the product claimed it did.  I mean, ecosapentaenoic acid is just fish oil… so why not just call it that?  And why is “caffeine” always listed as “trimethylaxine”?  And why are there 20 dozen other ingredients added at 1/1000 their effective dosage, just to have them on the label?

The answer: it’s just to have them on the label.

Using scary complex sounding chemical names on the back of a vitamin bottle, with Ronnie Coleman or some other champion body builder on the front cover, giving you some mean glaring stare, makes it feel as though you’re taking some incredible super hardcore anabolic DRUG!… when in fact you’re what you end up paying 70 dollars for is a bottle of placebos.  That’s part of the reason why I’m no longer in that industry.  I had a hard time dealing with that kind of environment.

But this tactic of making something sound totally legit by giving it a huge overly complicated verbose explanation, with lots of theoretical terminology that (hopefully) goes right over your head, is actually a common tactic used in plenty of different places.  That same thing holds true for social theory – especially feminism.

Case in point:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality

Today’s topic is:

IntersectionalityAnd what is intersectionality?  It’s a lot like dihydrogen monoxide.  It’s an overly convoluted topic often explained in such a way that it makes your need to apologize for your existence as a cis-white male sound like an established scientific fact.

A better source for explaining this be found here: http://www.sfu.ca/iirp/documents/resources/101_Final.pdf

But the BEST source to learn what it means is… well, you’re reading it now.

Lets go straight ahead and make this real super simple.

“Intersectionality” basically means “everyone has a different real-life experience based on who they are and where they’re from”. That’s all it really means.

Because different people have different real-life experiences, and come from different cultures and backgrounds, it could be wrong to superimpose YOUR personal values onto someone else.

For example, the American value is to work at your own job, fight your way to the top, and one day have your own home and own car. However, the Mexican value is to work a job that’s relevant to your community, earn money to help your family, and one day take care of your parents in their old age. So the life values of one may not work for the other.

We all on the same page so far?

The train-wreck known as Third Wave Feminism has tried to take this “real life experience” and turn it into ABSOLUTE SCIENTIFIC PROOF. Suddenly, all the facts, figures, statistics, and sociological data we can gather mean nothing! You can now transform any frivolous uneducated opinion you might have had into something EVEN LEARNED SCHOLARS must now bow down to without question because your real life experience can only be understood by you.

Do you see how this is not the same as the example between the American and the Mexican?  This is how it gets twisted.

Sure, I can’t know the mind of another person. That’s philosophy 101. But there are things that we CAN know. Words have meaning, and claims can be checked.  Intersectionality is often used an excuse to shut down the conversation and disallow anyone to speak, except people who agree with your opinion. Because only THEY have had the “same real life experience” and therefore can speak to it.

Isn’t it strange how none of us accept that kind of bullshit from religion? Do we let Young Earth Creationists tell us all about Jesus and God because… hey, their real life experience can only be known by them?

And their experience with God Almighty can’t be questioned because you haven’t had the same experience?

For some reason, that shit never flies. But if someone disagrees with a Third Waver, “well YOU can’t talk because you’re not black / woman / trans / gay / lesbian / cat / so you can’t lecture me about what my experiences have been like!”

We can’t leave off a topic like intersectionality without also talking about Power Differentials!  This is another one that’s treated like sacred knowledge, and is usually thrown in for good measure.  From the above link:

—– —–
Attention to power highlights that: i) power operates at discursive and structural levels
to exclude some types of knowledge and experience (Foucault, 1977); ii) power shapes
subject positions and categories (e.g., ‘race’) (e.g. racialization and racism); and iii) these
processes operate together to shape experiences of privilege and penalty between
groups and within them (Collins, 2000). From an intersectional perspective, power is relational. A person can simultaneously experience both power and oppression in varyingcontexts, at varying times (Collins, 1990).
—– —–

^^^ If this sounds lofty, vague, and intangibly theoretical – remember, it’s supposed to.
First, “power differential”, and abuse of power, are real things.  Here’s a quick example: your boss has more power than you.  Your boss can tell you to do stuff, and you have to do it.  If you don’t like it, you’re fired.  The telling-you-what-to-do part is the differential, which on it’s own is not good or bad.  The do-it-or-your-fired part (depending on what you’re being told to do) can be considered an abuse of power.
I work in mental health as a PSS, and one of the topics that routinely comes up is “power over” vs “power with”.  Because of my position and the nature of my work, I come in contact with a large number of people who are abused by the system, who are unfairly discriminated against, and have real socio-economic barriers that prevent them from changing their situation.  Another quick example is how some of the homeless shelters treat their residents.  When I was in Alaska, the shelters forced anyone who didn’t want to sleep in the snow to attend church services (for their own good, of course).  That’s another example of abuse of power.An example of “power with” is when a shelter asks the resident what their goals are, then provides options and resources to help them achieve those goals.  Here, both the client and the shelter have power, and both are working together.

Notice how each of those examples necessarily includes the type of interaction two people are having!  The simple act of being your boss doesn’t mean there’s a “discursive and structural level” that excludes anything in any relevant way.
Now, Third Wavers want you to believe that’s how it works, because then your act of having a penis oppresses me.  The simple fact that you exist “creates a power structure” that harms me somehow.  And your white skin oppresses me if I have black skin.  It’s just another way to continually criminalize cis-white males.  Isn’t it curious how cis-white males cannot be oppressed?  Like, ever?
When I was a cis-white male and staying at the homeless shelter, the manager of the place walked right up to me one day, sipping his Starbucks, casually dressed in an outfit worth more than everything I owned, and told me flat out “Hey, if you can’t do the chores we give you, leave!  I got 90 other people who want your bed.”  This particular shelter was frequently referred to by the people staying there as “pre-jail”; as in, it was the kind of environment that got you ready for jail.  The front desk could, at any time, for any reason, kick you out on the streets.  They often did this, then went in and stole the belongings of the person they kicked out.  A lot went on there, and some people became suicidal, as there was utterly no support given to the residents.  But because these were mostly cis-white males, we’ll never hear anything about them being oppressed through the exact same description of power differentials given above, which are so often cited by the more educated and articulate Third Wavers.For them, cis-white males cannot ever experience oppression, and anyone who isn’t a cis-white male always experiences oppression, and finer concepts such as “power over” vs “power with” are never talked about, because they actually have no f*ing idea what they’re talking about – they only learn just enough of the concept and related terminology so they can legitimize their world view and shut down anyone who disagrees with them.

Imagine for a moment you work in an office building, with 2 other employees; Jeff, who’s been with the company for several years and holds a position in management, and Sarah, a new intern working at entry-level.  On her first day at work, Sarah walks by Jeff’s cubical, and sees a swimsuit calendar she doesn’t like.

In this situation, who has the power?  Who has the ability to bring the entire company to a screeching halt with a number of law suits over something that wasn’t liked?  Remember, this is a patriarchy.  Where only men have power, and can never ever feel oppressed because intersectionality just somehow never applies to them.

These 25 Examples of Female Privilege from a Trans Woman’s Perspective Really Prove the Point

So, you guys might have seen a similar article over here, written by a trans dude, about his perspective on male privilege.  Remarkably, his perspective sounds exactly like most other Everyday Clusterf*ck articles, just rehashed and retold through a first person narrative.  And as always, no actual facts or figures are ever sourced.  Everything is stated based on allegory and anecdotal experience.  As such, everything stated applies equally as well to a trans woman, transitioning from being a man.

So I thought I would retell the entire tale and see how well it fits!  This ought to be fun.  Follow along with the original article in a separate window if you want.

*Ahem*

…….. quite a bit has changed for me over the first year and a half since I started my transition.

My health and mental well-being improved, I became much, MUCH happier, and plenty of other changes too.

Then there were the smaller, odder things: I finally gained an appreciation for different foods, my favorite color went from red and black to blue and white, and ……….. plenty of other small time things I could pad the intro of this article with, as I gradually lead into the privilege thing you’ve actually come to read about.  So lets just get to it.

Here’s a (very) short list of the everyday ways people have changed their behavior toward me – for no logical reason whatsoever.

1. I’m Suddenly Funny

Yup, guys laugh at my jokes now.  I mean even really stupid jokes.  “LOL OMG UR SO FUNNY can I get your number?

2. Yet I’m Still Taken (More) Seriously

I’m still amazed at the number of people who hang on my every word.  Men are always interested in what I have to say, and if they aren’t, they’ll pretend to be.  Plus I can say whatever I want about a man, and he just has to sit there and take it.  And everyone else will think he probably deserved it!  (Your privilege is showing)

Now if a man talks about ME in some way I don’t like, that’s harassment (which is always taken seriously and is even a federal f*ing law, because women are never taken seriously).

Before if I was out in public, I wasn’t allowed to speak.  Any comment I made could be construed as “street harassment”.  Now when I’m out in public, YOU aren’t allowed to speak.  Any comment you make could be construed as “street harassment” (Even something as simple as “psst”)

3. I Rarely Get Interrupted

I never got interrupted as a man.  I never get interrupted as a woman either.

I think if you’re getting interrupted, there’s probably another reason.  Maybe you’re talking to an ass hat who doesn’t have any social skills.  Most people generally understand not to interrupt others.

4. I Get Paid More

The proof is in my paychecks. Actual, numerical proof.

And unlike the original article,  I actually link to pages with facts and evidence.

career choices

5. It’s Easier for Me to Be Poor

As a man, if I ever encountered trouble, the general expectation was that I had to take care of myself.  “Be a man / walk it off / what are you, a weakling???”  As a woman, anytime I’m in trouble, people are far more willing to lend a helping hand.

It’s also easier to get hired.  Before, I had to be better than all the other applicants.  Now, I can just be pretty and pleasant (though I’m still have the option of being better than all the other applicants).  Contrary to what the original article wants you to believe, hiring managers do not look at you, go “Oh, you have a penis???” – then immediately hire you, because they need more penises.

6. My Clothing Is More Appealing

I can wear flowers, skirts, dresses, blouses, bracelets, necklaces, earrings – I can leave the house looking like Taylor Dane!  Still can’t sing or dance, but hey, I look damn awesome.

I’m not exactly sure how this is a privilege, by the way.  “Practical” clothes are only a privilege if that’s what you happen to like.  If you don’t like dressing like a girl, then you probably don’t consider it a privilege – and ditto for dressing like a guy.

7. I Get a Ton of Free Passes

Seriously, here’s a page literally filled with examples.  Goes a step further than saying “I haven’t been in trouble lately so I must be privileged”.

8. I’m Not Held Accountable for Keeping Rape from Happening

I remember all of the rape prevention education I got, which always focused on how I should behave, where I should walk when, how to appropriately cover my drink, and so on.

which is of course complete and total bullshit.

9. I’m Very Likely to Arrive Home Safely After Walking Alone at Night

Over the last year and a half, living here in Portland, Oregon, I very routinely walk for miles alone at night, up and down Burnside, across the Rose Quarter, or all the way over to the Pearl if I want and workout at the 24 Hour Fitness there.  They’re open all the time.  I’ve gone over there at 2am because I couldn’t sleep and got a workout in.

Then I walk back home and I’m just fine.

I can do this anytime I want.  I’m perfectly safe.  This notion that men are hiding behind every dark corner like Face-Huggers from Aliens ready to SPRING FROM THE DARKNESS and RAPE RAPE RAPE only exists in the scary bedtime story called “Third Wave Feminism”.

10. I Don’t Have to Worry About Keeping an Eye on My Drink at Parties and Social Gatherings

Because, again, it’s ridiculous to think that every drink served in bars all over the US has a Mickey slipped in them that makes the Face Hugger men go RAPE RAPE RAPE!  And if you believe the 1 in 5 statistic, and divide that by the population of a typical campus, that comes to literally a rape happening almost each and every single day.

Spread out across the city of Portland, that’s…. holy f*ck, that’s basically like The Purge every single night!!!

11. I’m Not Told by Strangers (Or Anybody Else) to Smile

Not once has it happened since.

……… although, honestly?  This is a privilege?

Guy: Hi there.

Athena: Hi.

Guy: …

Athena: …

Guy: …

Athena: …

Guy: Smile?

Athena: OMGGGGGGGGG!!! HE TOLD ME TO SMILEEEEEEE!!!  PATRIARCHY!  OPPRESSION!  HE THINKS… HE THINKS… *sob* that HE’S ENTITLED TO TELL ME TO SMILEEEEEEE!!! WAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, a woman was stoned to death for learning to read.

12. I Have Strangers Giving Uninvited Opinions About My Body as I Pass By

Notice I changed the title statement.

It’s nice to be told how pretty I am, and to have nervous guys come up to me and ask directions, because they really just want to talk to someone they find wonderfully attractive for a few moments.

13. I’m Allowed to Have Body Hair

I’ll probably be considered more attractive without it, but I’m still allowed to have it.

Kinda the opposite for guys – when they start going bald, it can be a midlife crisis.  I wonder why, since men are never judged on their appearance the way us poor little women are.

14. I’m Allowed to Grow Old

And likely will even be considered “gracious” or “sophisticated” because of it.

You know, like Elizabeth Taylor.  Or Michelle Pfeiffer.  Or the hundreds of other examples the original sweepingly pretends doesn’t exist.

15. I’m Allowed to Eat Without Being Policed

Of course, this is probably because I know how to take care of myself.

abs of steelFat guys probably get “policed” a lot too.  It’s not because of gender.

16. My Abilities Speak Louder Than My Appearances at Work

Although this isn’t really a privilege… it’s how normal adult life works.  If you’ve got the skills, and choose to make use of them, you probably get noticed.  Now if you’re a guy, that’s ALL you got – your skills.  You can’t fall back on lipstick and eyeliner the way I can.  I’ve got two ways to get ahead – you have only one.

And to go along with just that one, you’re saddled with completely unrealistic expectations, and face the crack of society’s horsewhip should you fail.

The privilege is having the option to use your appearance, as women do.  There’s no dichotomy here, where if you have one, then you’re not allowed to use the other.

17. The Bulk of Porn Is Made with Me in Mind

From the original:

“Even “lesbian” porn is often geared toward the male gaze.”

^^^ I guess you’ve never met a lesbian.  Because naked women turn us on.

That’s… kind of what being a lesbian is all about.

It also might be worth considering that men are more visually stimulated than are women.  I wonder how many romance novels are written with men in mind?

18. Older White Guys Treat Me Like a Best Friend

Oh god I love this one!  DEFINITELY true!  Trust me.  😉

Older white guys just love getting to know me!  It’s weird how this is a privilege for the trans man… but harassment for a trans woman.  Unless the guy’s rich.  Then suddenly stops being harassment and becomes my lucky day.

What’s weird is that when I was a guy, older white guys treated me like competition, not like a best friend.  But then like we’ve covered, we’re presenting personal experiences as though they were FACT.  Weird how that “intersectional feminism” talks about not using your lived experiences to assume the lives of others, because Third Wavers do that 12 times a day before lunch.

19. I Can Be a Gamer Without Worry of Being Threatened, Insulted, or Demeaned

are you kidding meI game almost every single day on kongregate.com (shell shock 2 if any of you play – my screen name is RedGoldandGreen).  Contrary to the evangelical Third Wave gospel, no – men do not suddenly turn into f*ing werewolves once they learn I’m female.  That doesn’t happen.

And they don’t turn psychotic until after I kill them with 2 tank shots then start shit talking them about being noob.

THAT’S when it gets pretty f*ing serious!

20. My Comfort Comes Before Anyone Else’s

Okay I’m going to do more than just call BS on this one.  Lets explore it a little with some real world examples.

I’m in the park, and fall down and twist an ankle

If guy:

“Out of the way, buddy!”

If girl:

“Oh sweety are you okay???

Someone tells a joke I don’t like:

If guy:

“Hey what’s your f*ing problem pal?  It was just a joke!  Get over it!”

If girl:

“I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to upset you.”

I’m in line at the same time as someone else:

If guy:

“Hey I was here first!!!”

If girl:

“Oh you were here first.”

If I’m walking somewhere and really have to use the restroom

If guy:

“Sorry bub, the sign says customers only.  Buy something or I can’t help you.”

If girl:

“It’s the second door on the left.”

If I’m pulled over for a speeding ticket

….. nah, too easy.  Let me do another.

If I need furniture moved:

If guy:

“Yea, I hear ya.  Well, good luck on moving your couch!  Looks pretty heavy.”

If girl:

“Do you want it here?  *picks up and lifts* … or here?  *picks up and lifts*… oh, over here?  *picks up and lifts*

Only in the brain of a Third Waver is this shit somehow turned around the other way.

21. I Have Significantly Less Sexual Liability

double standard drinking
Less sexual liability???

I can point the finger, say “rape”, and your entire life is over.

22. I’m Allowed to Take Up Space – And Lots of It

I guess they were starting to run thin on ideas here.  If a guy is taking up two seats, and I look at him and say “excuse me”, he moves.  No further questions.

But then Third Wavers view every single man in the world as being a jerk who takes up too much space, and everything a man does is interpreted only through that lens (which is really what “male privilege” is all about, and why none of it ever holds up under examination). If a guy (or girl) went around actually being that much of a jerk throughout each day, he’d have a considerably rougher time than most.

23. I’m Not Subject to ‘Soft’ Sexism

The original:

“Being asked to grab someone their coffee, help decorate for a work party, or help clean up said party is simply a thing of the past.”

Oh for the love of piss; if you were at the f*ing party, and you partied, YOU SHOULD HELP CLEAN UP!!!  If someone asks me to pass them their coffee, what am I going to do?  Run out of the room crying “patriarchy!  patriarchy!”  You seriously cannot be asked to help decorate without it somehow being sexism?  (And not just any sexism!  New, Ultra Soft Sexism!)

If you’re a guy and you’re asked to help clean something, that totally isn’t sexism because something something blablabla insert_BS_here.  It’s only sexism if a woman’s asked.  Because penis.

How do you screwballs function in everyday life?  Somebody tell me that.

24. People Think My Successes Have Been Made Purely By My Own Gumption

Gonna respond just to that statement for a moment.

Earlier, the original article, he says he only gets hired because he’s a man.  He gets befriended by older folks because he’s a man.  He gets help when he needs it because he’s a man.  People look up to him because he’s a man.  He don’t even get interrupted (or get asked to smile – the horror!) because he’s a man.

…….. and now, somehow… people only credit his success to his mad skillz?

Did… did you forget the previous 23 of these?

25. I Can Say the Most Ridiculous Things Imaginable

YOU SURE AS HELL GOT THAT RIGHT!!!  Damn, the only one so far that I can 100% agree with!

***

I would go on, but you know, I’m as sick of it as you are.  And the above examples were all they could think of.

Having been treated as both a man and a woman, these privileges are glaringly obvious to me. And there are far, far too many to count.  But of course this doesn’t equate to proof on any level.  This discussion isn’t about my personal experience.  It’s about whether or not privilege exists, and I’m USING my personal experience as a tool to convince a hopefully naive reader that experience equates to evidence.

Now go, my children.  Do your part.  Share this post!  Spread the gospel of Athena St. Athena!  Tell others about it!  Go out into the world and spread the message!!!

… For Great Justice.

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UPDATE: November 23rd, 2015 – thanks goes out to Fox Boyd for finding and correcting some language in this post that was not actually supported by data.