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Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:31 AM

Trayvon Martin, white privilege and yes, female privilege

About an hour ago, while it was still dark, I decided to walk over to the local market for a couple of things. It's not raining, so I put a warm hoodie on and before I got my groceries, I had my hands firmly ensconced in my pockets. Now, my hair sticks out from under the hoodie and I have a distinctly feminine face and white, very white - I live in Seattle. All the way over, I thought about the three things I put in my headline.

If there was a neighborhood watch person, they would be far more likely to watch over me than to accost me. That's the white and female privilege. Please don't think I'm unaware of the places in which my being female puts me at a disadvantage but that wasn't what I was thinking about, until a man (white) walked into my space. I quickly faced him and put my keys into position so that if he wasn't just clueless, I had some defense, but still, I must acknowledge that were I a black man, I would have been viewed suspiciously.

I have no answers. Just thoughts. If anyone wants to dialogue about it, then let's talk.

20 replies, 1594 views

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Trayvon Martin, white privilege and yes, female privilege (Original post)
tavalon Feb 2013 OP
Report1212 Feb 2013 #1
Helen Reddy Feb 2013 #3
Report1212 Feb 2013 #9
krhines Feb 2013 #2
tavalon Feb 2013 #4
Baitball Blogger Feb 2013 #12
bettyellen Feb 2013 #5
tavalon Feb 2013 #11
Helen Reddy Feb 2013 #6
tavalon Feb 2013 #10
Helen Reddy Feb 2013 #19
Lizzie Poppet Feb 2013 #7
tavalon Feb 2013 #8
Lizzie Poppet Feb 2013 #16
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #14
Lizzie Poppet Feb 2013 #17
lumberjack_jeff Feb 2013 #13
progressoid Feb 2013 #15
farminator3000 Feb 2013 #18
Wolf Frankula Feb 2013 #20

Response to tavalon (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:33 AM

1. Men do commit more crime, but...

I think that men in general are viewed with a broadbrush by parts of society and the criminal justice system. Sure, we commit more crime, but most of us do not commit crime. Yet are definitely viewed more suspiciously.

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Response to Report1212 (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:44 AM

3. Nah...

 

no broad brush necessary.

Men commit 90 percent of ALL VIOLENT CRIMES.

Ya think men should be "viewed more suspiciously?"

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Response to Helen Reddy (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:11 AM

9. Pretty sure sexism is wrong

Upwards of 90% of men do not commit violence crimes.

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Response to tavalon (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:41 AM

2. Louis CK On Being White

I've posted this in a different thread, but its funny and hopefully you get a laugh.

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Response to krhines (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:47 AM

4. Yeah, that was funny

And I have no idea why this flashed in my mind but I remember a time when I lost all my white privilege. I was dating a black man, a wonderful fellow, we are still friends today. But we always got treated the way he got treated and I've got to tell you, a black man in Texas isn't on the top rung. And that was in Austin! Austin! We couldn't even go out of the city together because he could get lynched, but hey, that was almost 10 years ago. I'm sure it's better now.

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Response to krhines (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:13 AM

12. Oh, God! That made my day.

LOL!

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Response to tavalon (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:52 AM

5. I've seen enough stories of security or police

Taking advantage and raping women who fall prey to a false sense of security. Two or three in NYC alone. So, there's that.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:13 AM

11. Yeah, I'm trained to watch my personal space and trained in self defense,

neither of which I should have to be, but there it is.

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Response to tavalon (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:55 AM

6. Sometimes I wonder

 

if the make of your vehicle is considered suspicious.

I drive a new Subaru and sometimes go over the speed limit. But..the authorities never even give me a second look, the "other guy" is pulled over.

A great cover! being a middle age woman (non black) driving a Subaru! Getting older does bring privileges I suppose.

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Response to Helen Reddy (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:12 AM

10. Absolutely!

I once had a Mitsubishi Eclipse in what I called Candy Apple Blue, it looked like the ultimate sports car. Unfortunately, it was way under powered and I used to joke that it could go from 0 - 60, eventually. But, heaven forbid, I take it to 65, I racked up tickets all the time. Then, I got a Nissan Maxima in a dark Maroon. I could take that one up to 75 and whiz on by the Eclipses being pulled over. Now, as a middle aged woman driving a Hyundai Accent in nondescript gray, I'm unsure what I would have to do to be noticed by the cops.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:34 PM

19. Hey.

 

Whatever it takes for us ladies to be a bit safer. Can not trust all the cops either. I tell my daughter (when she is old enough to drive) never pull over for a vehicle unless you are in a public and busy place to do so safely. The 'real' cops will understand.

What a great convo. Thanks!

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Response to tavalon (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 10:55 AM

7. Being viewed as less of a threat is a privilege?

I don't think "white privilege" derives from many people considering blacks to be more threatening, really. It derives from significant socio-economic advantages, something women, as a class, don't share: wage disparity, "glass ceiling," etc. I'm not disagreeing with the main thrust of your post (perceived threat, etc.), just with calling the results "female privilege" (although I do recognize that there's a bit of that involved in the ancient "protect the women" inclination remaining in human society).

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:08 AM

8. What I was trying to say, badly, was that privilege is a multipoint thing

There are privileges and disadvantages to being a woman, being black, being disabled (OMG, my kiddo has such a great time at Disneyland because he's disabled - that's an advantage, but it sure doesn't make my white, male kid advantaged in many other ways).

Edit: And that what happened to Trayvon was wrong, wrong, wrong.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:01 PM

16. I think you said it well.

I was just making a point about privilege. I think you're spot-on in your assessment.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:16 AM

14. Being the beneficary of chivalry is a privilege.

"Women and children first" is an anachronism and a barrier to equality.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:03 PM

17. Agreed. One of those privileges with (IMO) a net downside.

"Women and children first" made a lot of evolutionary sense for much of the history of our species, when infant and child mortality rates were horrific, and a higher population growth rate was desirable. Now? Not so much. The net cost, in terms of equality, isn't worth it.

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Response to tavalon (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:14 AM

13. White privilege absolutely exists.

As a white person, you are one-sixth as likely to be sent to jail as a black person.

However, as a female, you are one-eleventh as likely to be sent to jail as a man.

Among progressive circles, we generally accept the idea that the former is because of instititional racism. The latter is explained by the well-known (and totally not sexist) fact that there is something inherently bad about men.

Gender privilege is a little more ambiguous, but my experience is that on balance, male privilege does not exist.

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Response to tavalon (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 11:21 AM

15. Let me tell ya'll what it's like being male, middle class and White.

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Response to tavalon (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:13 PM

18. the fact that alex jones isn't in an institution is white privilege!

what did you think of that 'lady' that was sitting next to wayne lapuke @ the senate hearing?

i wonder how much they paid her?


white priv. has been proven by science!-

In response to help-wanted ads in Chicago and Boston newspapers, they sent resumes with either African-American- or white-sounding names and then measured the number of callbacks each resume received for interviews.

-skip-

In total, the authors responded to more than 1,300 employment ads in the sales, administrative support, clerical, and customer services job categories, sending out nearly 5,000 resumes. The ads covered a large spectrum of job quality, from cashier work at retail establishments and clerical work in a mailroom to office and sales management positions.

The results indicate large racial differences in callback rates to a phone line with a voice mailbox attached and a message recorded by someone of the appropriate race and gender. Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback. This would suggest either employer prejudice or employer perception that race signals lower productivity.

The 50 percent gap in callback rates is statistically very significant, Bertrand and Mullainathan note in Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination (NBER Working Paper No. 9873). It indicates that a white name yields as many more callbacks as an additional eight years of experience. Race, the authors add, also affects the reward to having a better resume. Whites with higher quality resumes received 30 percent more callbacks than whites with lower quality resumes. But the positive impact of a better resume for those with Africa-American names was much smaller.
http://www.nber.org/digest/sep03/w9873.html

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Response to tavalon (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:48 PM

20. Don't Forget Class Privilege

I'm a white male, and I've been pulled over for DWP (Driving While Poor) and accused of stealing my own car.

Decades ago I was pulled over frequently for DWY, Driving While Young.

Wolf

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