I’m not trying to speak for you, but I am well aware of many of the ways that patriarchy harms men. It’s a dominance hierarchy — it requires constant jousting for position and stepping on others to get ahead. You don’t have to be a sociologist (although I am) to be able to see how that creates division, emotional isolation, bullying, and rewarding of aggressive behavior.

I’m not making any assumptions. I’m speaking about data and statistics. Both the CDC and the WHO have said that violence against women is an epidemic that harms both women and society. That doesn’t mean that men don’t also experience systemic violence and that it doesn’t also hurt them. It means that in the pyramid of the the dominance hierarchy, the people more likely to be at the top are male and White. That doesn’t mean that all men are in power or that all White men are — it simply means that this is and has been the societal dynamic. Up until 50 years ago there were laws on the books that enshrined the supremacy of White males. Just because those laws are no longer in place doesn’t mean those cultural narratives have evaporated.

If you don’t see and understand the myriad ways that women are disadvantaged even today, perhaps you should ask some of your female friends about their lives and experiences. When you are in a drinking establishment, are you ever worried about leaving your drink unattended? Are you ever concerned about getting into an elevator with a man you don’t know? When you walk to your car late at night, are you worried that someone is following you or going to try to attack you? If not, you have privilege. That doesn’t mean your life is roses. It means there are things that women have to deal with and think about that you never do. That’s all.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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