G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
Blogger Sofia points to a piece by Hugo Schwyzer at Role/Reboot titled “Why Women are More Often Right”. About what? was my initial response. His only clear example is this:
Here’s an obvious example: rape and parking lots. Both men and women are intellectually aware of the reality of rape. Most understand that it is men who almost always do the raping and women who are generally the ones attacked. But because of his privilege, a man can walk into a parking lot by himself at night and forget about rape, because his maleness affords him the luxury of remaining unobservant of the possibility of sexual danger. A woman walking alone in a parking lot at night will have a different experience, rooted in her vulnerability as a member of a class targeted for sexual violence. Not only is she more vulnerable, but her very understanding of the issue is superior to that of a man walking in the parking lot. He has the privileged luxury of ignorance; she’s forced to reflect, constantly, on rape and its threat to her. That means that when the discussion of women’s vulnerability to assault comes up, women ought to enjoy “epistemic privilege” in the conversation.
Some women will play on men’s innate desire to protect and defend. We’ve all seen sadistic women who will test men’s mettle. Sometimes they shroud their treachery by reporting back to men what another man might have said or done. “He looked at my tits!” and the defender is thrown into a fight he otherwise might not have wanted. I experience this a lot when I go out to the local bar district. I feel like a shepherd. Not only am I charged with being the driver, but I am implicitly charged with being the protector. It’s not because I’m a tough guy or especially big. But I, like most guys, am better equipped to deal with a situation that might arise. And almost zero women recognize their safety and their ability to move freely without ultimate consideration to their safety (in general) as privilege. And this often spills over into their writing a check that the guy they’re with is unable to cash.
Because he does lead quite a privileged existence, Schwyzer doesn’t consider these types of social interactions. He’s probably never seen a parking lot rape go down, but he’s probably also never seen a guy get attacked for no good reason. Even though he’s seen neither, parking lot rape is more likely to be in his field of vision because its more germane to his occupation.