The Denome’s Advocate: Privilege is the problem

By Thomas Denome

If I had to describe Harvey Weinstein in two words, I’d call him a privileged synonym for donkey. If I had to describe Donald Trump in two words, I’d call him a privileged synonym for donkey. If I had to describe any man who sexually demeans women in any way shape or form, I would call them a privileged synonym for donkey.

I don’t get why I or any other man should have to say this to our peers, but it is not okay to insult, inappropriately touch, harass, bother or intimidate women. WIth that being said, I can clearly pinpoint exactly why a sexual harassment epidemic exists: the privilege of being male.

Males have been traditionally dominant in human society since its inception, and remain so to this day. There’s a reason that there’s a women’s movement to this day and not a men’s movement: women have been ignored for millennia and are only now being given the platform they rightfully deserve as equal members of society.

However, it seems as though older generations of men still have sexist beliefs ingrained within them, largely due to the privilege they have long enjoyed as the “superior” sex. Look at Trump or Weinstein; their history as sexual predators has roots in their history as powerful men who figuratively tower over weaker women.

The problems go much deeper than that, however. In most interactions between men from the silent generation and women, there are subtle and not-so-subtle hints of sexism in the man’s actions. Even Trump’s antithesis, Bernie Sanders, isn’t immune to this: frequently, during presidential debates last year, he would interrupt and talk over Hillary Clinton.

And when older men, many of whom are the idols of new generations, display sexist tendencies, it trickles down. A millennial who is infatuated with Trump (rare as they may be) isn’t going to be disgusted with the president calling a news anchor an offensive name; he’s going to reject the narrative that sexual harassment is bad and grow into a creep, a domestic abuser or a rapist.

Worse yet, there’s also a stigma against males who want to change this culture and actually show respect to women. The idea that a man can be a feminist is disgusting to conservatives, many of whom are the same people who turn around and provoke a harassment lawsuit.

In reality, males are some of the most important feminists (rather ironic considering the feminist movement isn’t about men at all). Sexist culture will only end if men of newer generations are able to stand up and recognize the privilege they’ve inherited, then reject it. There is nothing that makes a man in any way more qualified than a female, save for some situations where men are simply more physically able through evolution.

And so, I proudly identify as a “femanist,” as all other young men should. Those who don’t are part of the problem; they are the reason sexism will remain alive and well in America.