A good friend of mine has a blog at blackcoffeepoet.com.
Today he posted a piece called Stepping Out From Behind the Wall: Acknowledging Male Privilege & its connection to violence against women
I’m going to post a few exerpts here, but please go to his blog to read the entire article. And bookmark his blog too!
Privilege is unearned power which gives certain groups economic, social and political advantages. In our society white males benefit from this the most but all males benefit from this just by being born.
Stoh:lo feminist, activist, and acclaimed writer Lee Maracle defines male privilege as, “A head start, a larger entitlement in the social, economic, and personal arena.”
He lists a “male privilege checklist” that is worth a look, and something I’ll be using in workshops and trainings.
He also lists some questions for men to ask themselves, and other men:
As men we have to ask ourselves:
Are women around us safe from smaller forms of dehumanization? (Smaller as in the “little things” mentioned above compared to the big things such as sexual assault listed in my intro.)
Do we interrupt, or talk over, women?
Do we consider what is being said by women before we consider an answer?
Do we look women in the face while talking to them? Or are we looking at their body parts?
Are we comfortable in a room of women? If not, why?
Does challenge from women hurt our ego?
When men say oppressive things about women do we challenge them?
Are we making the connections between different forms of oppression?
Racism, sexism, and homophobia along with all isms and phobias are cousins in one big oppressive family.
We men have to take action and “speak up” when seeing oppression directed at women, and anyone. We men have to know the issues, be informed, do our research, offer support, recognize our male privilege, and do some self reflection to challenge ourselves and our assumptions.