Underprivileged men

Recently, we have seen the #MeninistTwitter hashtag. It's a play on "feminist," and it was started by men complaining that they too are oppressed. The feed has been leavened with many well-deserved sarcastic comments, notably from blogger and feminist Charles Clymer, but it continues to rumble on. As foolish and sometimes scary as the tweets tend to be, they have made me realize that all men are not created equal.

I have long known that privilege does not exist in neat standalone categories. Sure it's great to be male. Men benefit from systemic male privilege. The world is made by and for them. They hold the most power in pretty much any sphere that counts.

As good as it is to be male, it's far better to be a white male, and even better than that to be a white male with money, and best of all to be a rich, heterosexual, able-bodied white male. All males benefit from privilege, but due to beneficial intersections some perceive it much more strongly. I would venture to say that for at least some non-white men, whatever privilege they experience by virtue of being male can feel much reduced because of race and class prejudice.

This is not to excuse misogyny. Nothing excuses misogyny. And indeed, women are absolutely the wrong target for men who feel they lack privilege. They should go after the men who pull the strings, the ones who benefit from things like white and wealth privilege as well as male privilege. If they're feeling powerless, it's stupid and unproductive to go after those who also lack power. Seek the powerful and give them an earful.

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