Male privilege is all around us. By simple birthright, men are automatically more powerful and privileged than women are in society. But of course those menfolks snatch every opportunity they get to further flaunt their privilege and to snatch onto every last piece of it so that they can maintain it and keep it all to themselves. How dare anyone, especially those darn feminists, try to call them out on it or snatch it away from them?!
A third year student at The University of Chicago, Steve Saltarelli, just founded a new (misogynist, sexist, Oh no! But what about the men?!!) group on campus called Men In Power. It’s supposed to “help more men get ahead while raising awareness of the male experience.” Uh-huh. Because of course in a patriarchal society, every dude wonders, But what about the menz?!!
In March, Saltarelli wrote a satirical article about the need for a group on campus that would:
spread awareness and promote understanding of issues and challenges facing men today…We would simply advocate for men in the same manner that female groups advocate for women. Anyone with an interest in both studying and learning from men in powerful positions, as well as issues involved with reverse sexism, may become a member of MiP.
In addition, the Men In Power club would host weekly study breaks/screenings of “movement-oriented films” like 12 Angry Men, Men of Honor and X-Men; an open-mic night on issues about body image; a barbecuing tutorial; a “Protecting What’s Yours: Drafting a Prenuptial Agreement” workshop; as well as various fishing, hunting and flag-football retreats.
After the article was published, Saltarelli received emails from students who were legitimately interested in joining such a group and so he decided to start a Men In Power club. (But if the article was written as satire, then Saltarelli wouldn’t have actually been serious about being directly involved in forming it and supporting its formation.) The mere name of the group reiterates male dominance, a fact of our patriarchal society, and reproduces sexist, oppressive structures that maintain male privilege. It also suggests that power is something that men lack.
Other feminist blogs have covered this already (see here and here), so I don’t want to repeat what’s already been said but I’ll close with this: Saltarelli, grow up and get over yourself and your male privilege! Do your homework.