description of my male privilege epiphany
My MP epiphany was about thinking I was immune from it because I was a “non-traditional” male – I am not a big person, I didn’t play sports that much, I cry, I got into fights “occasionally” when I was a kid, I am scared a lot of the time, I studied radical sociology of all things! But, at a conference on Men’s Work in the Movement, it hit me – privilege really has nothing to do with me, I have no control over its existence due to the current social structures. It is bestowed upon me and EVERY other man by the collective. I had NEVER realized this before. I thought privilege meant acting like a jerk (which it does), but I can NOT act like a jerk and still benefit from privilege – as you and probably every other woman knows and has know for millennia. Paul Kivel was there and he said to me, “look, there are no ‘good’ guys and ‘bad’ guys, there are just ‘guys’” and because I am a gendered person, I am one of them.
Real easy to see how social change at the institutional level is the way to go – pure and simple.
I owe much, if not all of my MP awareness to feminists – I read Mary Daly and she scared the pants off of me, but I knew I couldn’t deny what she was saying. Dorothy Smith is brilliant. Nikki has educated me considerably, too. My understanding of it got clearer because of Steve’s work.