Archive for April 27th, 2008

Apr 27 2008

I’ve been reading about male privilege again this morning

Published by under Life

Edit: Check out Bear’s collation of some excellent food-for-thought reading on the subject matter here. Especially if you don’t want to be That Guy (or Girl).

Kit was telling me about his experiences yesterday at Eeyore’s Birthday Party in Austin. At one point, some stranger handed him an (unopened) beer. He drank about half of it, then decided he didn’t want to finish it. Near by was another stranger who had a very obvious love affair with beer, having already consumed quite a lot and now shouting at passers-by how much he enjoyed the substance. Kit offered this gentleman the rest of his beer, which the man happily accepted. Hearing this story, not really thinking too deeply about it, I instantly reacted,

“Well, that wasn’t too smart of him, accepting open booze from strangers. Who knew what was in it?”

Which visibly stopped Kit, like a worldview shift head-on will do, before he said, “Oh. I never thought about that. That’s male privilege for you.” (Credit to him for recognizing it when it happened.)

His reaction sent me off into my own worldview dissonance. It had never occurred to me that only women were receiving the “no open drinks from strangers, never leave your drink unattended” programming, since well, it seems rather like common sense. (My late ignorance probably also shows off how few parties I’ve attended where alcohol consumption is the focus, or I’d likely have clued into this sooner.)

Huh. How weird would it be to accept an open container from some guy without a care in the world that it was anything other than the advertised substance. How weird that such a large chunk of the population never even has to have that thought. It’s a complex feeling that I’m sitting here with and contemplating right now, looking at this tiny marker of privilege I never knew I lacked perceiving until last night. I’m not sure how I feel–weird, uncomfortable, maybe even a little pissed-off only begin to define it. I guess I’ll have to think about it more, but I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts.

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