When I wrote What About The Men, I did not expect to see such a display of male privilege in my comments section. My basic point in writing that post was to say that it is important to get past the what about me whine. As I read through the hysterical (yes intentional choice of words) commentary, I could not help but think that the minute you point out privilege the first response is, no that does not apply to me.
Of course the menz wanted to point out that they had never raped, beaten or stalked a woman and because they had never committed these very specific attacks, they were not in the least bit sexist. This can be considered stage one of denial. Simply because you personally have not performed certain behaviours does not mean that you have not benefited from unearned privilege, nor does it negate the fact that the acts in question are committed by men. "Nearly one-third of all U.S. women report experiencing violence from a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in their lives, according to the San Francisco-based Family Violence Prevention Fund." Over 5000 women and girls are killed every year by family members in so-called 'honour killings', according to the UN. So the menz are right, not all of them rape, abuse, and murder, but enough of them do it to make the world unsafe for women.
Stage two of denial: To the stay at home dads that are diapering, folding laundry and cooking meals, domestic labour does not absolve you of male privilege. I know that you want a pat on the back for being secure enough in your masculinity to do "women's work" but you won't get one from me. The very fact that you feel entitled to recognition for performing domestic labour that women have done for centuries is an exercise in privilege.
Stage three of denial: Even though 95% of the worlds wealth is held by men because it is not equally distributed it is not privilege. Women don't want to go out there and compete like the boys. Women want to nurture so we cannot be blamed if they don't succeed.
Here we have a very western centred argument which is also mendacious. Women outside of the western world are participating in micro businesses in an attempt to secure subsistence for their families. The majority of the worlds farmers are women. Subsistence is the most important job that anyone can do, if you don't have nourishment you die. Women work very hard, we just don't get rewarded for it. Without the free labour of women in the private sector the public sector would fold like a deck of cards. Somehow though this all important labour is still not counted in the GDP and GNP. I suspect the fear of factoring in the true cost would unbalance the already gender biased capitalist system.
As for not wanting to advance in the corporate world; what must be factored in is that women manage the majority of domestic duties, childcare and elder care, exactly how do you expect them to compete in professions that demand 100% commitment. It is not like the male run government has socialized daycare, or organized communal kitchens, or a form of exchange for housekeeping. The doting husbands that we are all supposed to worship are still not doing 50%, and men wonder why it is that women have difficulty managing career and family. Here is a tip, there are 24 hours in a day and no matter how amazing your wife or partner is, eventually she has to sleep. Apparently God rested on the seventh day so get off our collective backs, and do some damn laundry.
Stage four of denial: These feminist are all so angry. When they speak about men it is all so generalizing. I am sick of these wild leaps of fantasy that have no basis in fact. I would also like to know why all feminist work is so poorly written, and laced with profanities.
So I explained about the over work, domestic abuse, and rape, but hey these things just come with a vagina and I should have learned to accept my lot in life by now right. When men rise up and speak out about tyranny they are worshipped as heroes and visionaries, when women do it about patriarchy we are illiterate ball busting bitches who just don't know our place. Feminist theory is very much based in fact, and men simply don't like the results of the statistics.
Attacking the language is meant to discipline women. Good girls don't say the F word, cursing is for men. Even though profanity has gone main stream and is no longer considered shocking, when women use an expletive to reinforce a fucking point, it is still a no no. Finally referencing the quality of the writing, calling it simplistic or poorly worded without addressing the ideas presented, only proves to all reading your commentary that you do not have a legitimate response.
I have been writing womanist musings for almost 6 months now. Many have come into my space not to engage in debate but to silence me. How dare I, a woman of colour have the temerity to publicly speak my truth. I have dealt with the cowards who have sent me hate mail. My motherhood and my children have been attacked. I have been called simple minded, and purposefully obtuse. Someone even suggested that my education had left me brain washed. From the topic of this blog I am sure you can all guess what I majored in.
Denying your privilege and heaping vitriol on those that labour in the cause of justice, is not only an act of privilege, it is an act of cowardice. I stand before you defenceless with nothing but my words as a shield, seeking justice for those that we have forgotten. Doing the 40 hour grind, with the habitual 3 beers and 1 date night per week, is a life of comfort. It does not challenge you, it does not benefit the greater good. When you die your commodities will pass on to the next generation if they are still in working order, but the person that daily fights for justice leaves a legacy of love.