The cesspit of lies defines male privilege as a sociological term that refers quite generally to the special rights or status granted to men in a society, on the basis of their sex or gender, but usually denied to women and/or transsexuals.
On the baboon boards, the term has taken on a broader meaning, succinctly encapsulated in these two axioms:
- Those with privilege are incapable of perceiving the issues of the non-privileged.
- Those with privilege are incapable of perceiving their own privilege.
The above definition has the added advantage of being unfalsifiable, yet accepted without question by most baboon board participants. This allows most objections to radical feminist ideology to be dismissed out-of-hand, as those with the objections are surely blinded by their privilege and their opinions, therefore, may be disregarded.
"Privilege" can often be spotted with its brethren; "mansplaining" and "you don't get it". Correct usage of these terms is demonstrated by Matt Dillahunty, of the Atheist Community of Austin, in a comment over the Elevatorgate drama (emphasis added):
- His side of the story is irrelevant. In fact, it doesn't even matter if he exists and this is entirely fictional. This sort of thing does happen, it's creepy and it's a problem that affects how likely women are to attend and participate in atheist/skeptic groups and events – and therefore it needs to be brought to people's attention.And this is just a mild example of some of the things that discourage women from participating.Your myopic, privileged oversimplifications demonstrate that you don't get it…my question is, do you even care to TRY to understand, or are you just going to keep up the mansplaining. If it's the latter, there's no need to post.
- - Matt Dillahunty, on why facts don't matter.
In this classic example, Matt demonstrates how privilege may be used to set up a false dichotomy. Either:
- The poster must "try to understand"; or
- The poster is a myopic, privileged, oversimplifying mansplainer who doesn't get it and shouldn't post.
Unfortunately, Matt provides no objective metric by which a poster "trying to understand" may be measured. One is left wondering how he hoped to acheive this, and can only assume it would involve at least some degree of the poster accepting Matt's assertions without question.
A male person can only avoid falling victim to the two axioms of privilege if he "checks his privilege". That is, if he metaphorically leaves it at the door when entering the discussion. (Not, as might be thought, ensures that he has it with him, or that it is in good order.) Unfortunately, it is not clear how a male can clearly demonstrate that he has "checked his privilege", other than by agreeing loudly and continually with the baboon troupe.
This distinction is important because males who might be presumed to be immensely privileged by virtue of celebrity, income group, ability to edit the discussion thread etc. can be credited with having "checked their privilege" whilst other males, having none of these advantages will, nonetheless, be classed as privileged.