Male Privilege

There is nothing wrong with being in a position of privilege ,be it in a racial,gender or social status etc. Privileges are constructs architected by society over time. Its not an individual's fault that their standing in life allows them to be at an advantage over the next person. However,the problem arises when a person who is in a privileged standing refuses to acknowledge that position and want to be of the notion that others who do not enjoy the same privileges as them are in that situation because they are not good enough or any other reason.

"It is a man's world",the popular saying goes. Misogynistic as it sounds,there is nothing more truer than that statement because the social constructs current in place in most societies are misogynistic in nature and hence put men at an advantage to succeed or have a better quality of life than women. Although suffrage was enacted in the 1920s,officially giving US women the full rights and responsibilities of a citizen,the oppression of women still persisted from that day to the modern day and the main reason for that being that it is very hard for a piece of paper to undo generations of systematic oppression. This is the same scenario in most other countries where despite legislative efforts being made to ensure equality among the sexes, women are still finding life difficult compared to their male counterparts.

As oppression of a particular group of people goes on,it becomes normalized, meaning it becomes an accepted norm in society. The longer the oppression goes on,the more normalized it gets. So even though it gets to a point where the oppressed group says enough is enough and demands to not be treated like less of people and legislators agree with the notion and grant them rights to not be treated any less,changing society's standing from that of oppression of the particular group to that of acceptance of that group as their equals is a lengthy and complex process.

Using the apartheid system in South African which was officially repealed in 1994 but 25 years later white South Africans still amass 80% of the country's wealth as an example,systematic oppression is hard to tackle in reality mainly because the group of people who are gaining from the oppression are seldom willing to forego some of that privilege so as to level the playing field. This means that in their quest for equality,black South Africans are not only fighting against a system which has put white people at an advantage to succeed in prior decades but they are also fighting against white South Africans who were being favored by that oppressive system.

The same logic applies with male privilege. Even-though women are better treated by societal constructs compared to back in the early days,the oppression still lingers on because it is systematic. Women are still getting passed up on jobs because they are not pretty enough, women are still being physically abused,women lifestyles are still minutely scrutinized and judged by society, women are still being judged not on their abilities but on the fact that they are women and the list goes on and on.

This oppression of women still lingers on despite equality acts being enacted because they have been normalized by society and to get humans to dump their old mindsets for new mindsets is difficult. What makes it more difficult to change is that,because the people who have been gaining from the oppression of women are men, it is almost impossible to get them to relinquish some of their privileges so as to "make things fair". This creates a situation whereby the oppressed are now fighting two battles,one against the system of oppression and one against the group who are standing to lose when the system of oppression crumbles.

The only solution therefore becomes that,the only way to end oppression is to get the privileged group to acknowledge their privilege and get them to willingly give up or in some situations,share some of the privilege so as to elevate the oppressed group.Men and society in general has to understand that the liberation of women does not necessitate the oppression of men because that is the mindset that persists in most anti-feminism societies, that feminism is basically women trying to "take over" the world .

The simple fact is that men have to stand with women in order for the oppression of women to be completely wiped out. With the support of the privileged group,it would become easier for society to be willing to change their misogynistic mindsets and hence have a society where equality is not something that is spurred on by women only but by society as a whole. Only if we get to that point can we as a society completely get rid of the systematic oppression of women.


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