Thursday, August 30, 2018

Another Look at Priviledge

We received this thoughtful comment from Connie on our Cyrsti's Condo discussion of gender privilege:

"Earning privilege is what women do, while men are afforded it through social norms. Yes, I would rather be a strong woman who earned her privilege, rather than a weak man who attained his privilege at birth. In fact, that's what my transition has been all about. I always considered myself to be rather weak, as a man (although I did cover it up with a false bravado). I never really saw myself as having the power that my born-male privilege afforded me, as I could never even envisage myself as the typical male power figure.

I remember so well, after my father died when I was eight-years-old, all of the adult males who would offer their condolences to me by saying: "Well, you're the man of the house now, and you must take care of your mother and little brother." I never answered back aloud, but I would be screaming inside that I didn't want that job, and wasn't it bad enough, already, that I'd lost my father.

I grew up with only a mother, and I modeled myself after her. She became stronger after my father's death, and I held admiration for that. I also admired her wardrobe and her physical beauty, but that was just because I was trans. I believe I would have grown up with that acquired respect for women, even if I hadn't been trans, but being so raised its intensity, I'm sure.

There is power and privilege in womanhood, albeit, traditionally, in a subservient role to men. Men attempt to hold power over women, but they also do so with other men. Women haven't been so inclined to work that way, but that doesn't mean we can't take the lead with a different approach. I'm just sorry that I waited so long to put myself in a position to find success in applying that approach. Being an older woman now exposes me to another power/privilege problem: Ageism. But that's a different discussion, altogether."

I have always thought when some men feel their privilege is threatened, they lash out with violence. It's all some of them know.
Thanks for the comment. 


  1. "I have always thought when some men feel their privilege is threatened, they lash out with violence. It's all some of them know."

    Connie hit it on the head. I think this accounts for the crazy responses some men feel they have to make re our status as women: "Still a guy" or "you can't change the DNA" This is nothing more than small minded men doing everything they can to hang on their privilege.

  2. Couldn't have said it better! Thanks!