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Can we discuss white , male priveledge,?

(81 Posts)
malificent7 Sat 12-Dec-20 23:39:53

How does it manifest?

I have a lovely friend who is white, male and priveledged and while he is an absolute gem, he genuinely is very naive about things in the workplace that holds us womwn bk such as age,experience and sexuality.
This mabifests as all the white males want him to get a permanent postion as they will have a lad to hang out with..old boys' network if you will. The office banter centeres around when is this getting a job?

OP’s posts: |
malificent7 Sun 13-Dec-20 00:02:59

Anyone?

OP’s posts: |
Ohalrightthen Sun 13-Dec-20 00:04:11

What's your point?

Ohalrightthen Sun 13-Dec-20 00:05:39

White male privilege manifests as white men getting an easier ride. That's the privilege. It's practically universal. It would be more useful to talk about the places it doesn't manifest. Though i can't think of many.

NiceGerbil Sun 13-Dec-20 00:32:01

Yes it's interesting.

I think that there is a lot of pushback against the 'oppression olympics' etc

The difficulty really is that. Men have problems of course they do. And then they feel hard done by when described as 'privileged' etc

In the end though my observation is that changes in language etc won't help. Fundamentally white men (if we're talking UK) in general are kind of ok and see all the stuff about more women, black people etc as an encroachment. Which it is. Because if more people who aren't white men get jobs in X that's less room for white men. Also. Means they have to watch their language etc

In my time at work in male dominated areas. My observation is that men are much much happier with a pretty girl on reception and doing organising. But when it comes to work, they're not keen. I mean I've thought and observed for more than 20 years. They don't want us there.

Depressing.

In terms of equality gay men are very ok now in my industry. Lesbians fairly invisible still. Etc.

It's men first always.

The only women I know who work in the industry after middle age are. To be frank. Very thick skinned.

Yeah it's shit tbh.

NiceGerbil Sun 13-Dec-20 00:52:52

Ohalright are you serious?

You can't think of any countries in the world where white men aren't in control?

Erm

India
Pakistan
Lots of countries in Africa
And depending on your definition of white.
A ton of other countries as well
Etc etc

I'd be interested in understanding why you have that view?

Ohalrightthen Sun 13-Dec-20 01:20:49

NiceGerbil

Ohalright are you serious?

You can't think of any countries in the world where white men aren't in control?

Erm

India
Pakistan
Lots of countries in Africa
And depending on your definition of white.
A ton of other countries as well
Etc etc

I'd be interested in understanding why you have that view?

I assumed on a UK website we were discussing the UK.

ChestnutStuffing Sun 13-Dec-20 03:59:56

The UK is majority white, I think about 11% are non-white. So you'd expect most people in leadership would be white.

If you want to break down the demographics, I don't remember the stats, but they are not the same across the board - some non-white groups do very well and are represented in relatively high numbers in leadership positions, and others are in lower numbers than you'd expect.

In general, men are more represented in many areas, though that is in some ways more complicated to sift through.

And if you really want to take a look at who has privilege and who doesn't, the group that fares worst now in education and employment is consistently white working class boys and men. So it seems a bit rich to say that they are privileged when that combination of characteristics seem clearly correlated with being bottom of the heap.

ClaireP20 Sun 13-Dec-20 04:06:25

Ohalrightthen

White male privilege manifests as white men getting an easier ride. That's the privilege. It's practically universal. It would be more useful to talk about the places it doesn't manifest. Though i can't think of many.

They don't get an easier ride in east London schools. White boys specifically do much worse academically than their female and non white counterparts.

I, however, am privileged. I'm a woman, half Indian, consider myself attractive. I am privileged that my grandparents came to the UK. That I have had a fairly good education. That I had a good job. That I am now able to be a sahm through choice.

I hate the term white privilege, male or otherwise, because it is such a blanket term, I find it to be often untrue. It is used by people who aren't white as an excuse for their own failures, and a racist slur. In my humble opinion x

pisspants Sun 13-Dec-20 04:36:19

Institutional racism is very hard to call out. It is a million tiny decisions and interactions that only large scale statistics highlight. Its recruiting someone a manager thinks will "fit in better" with the team, it is who is lunching with whom, its who is being told about vacancies and promotions and encouraged to go for them.
The main thing that I have noticed with male privilege is presenteeism. Men who are not burdened with the school run or having to look after ill children because they have a stay at home partner or a partner who works part time can make it look like they are doing longer hours/working harder. Not necessarily the case often but appears that way to people who may be looking to promote someone and who is going to be first in line for that? Yup, the guy who is there all the time...

Flaxmeadow Sun 13-Dec-20 05:50:36

It would be more useful to talk about the places it doesn't manifest

It doesn't manifest much in my neighbourhood. It's the opposite.

RealityNotEssentialism Sun 13-Dec-20 06:38:30

NiceGerbil

Ohalright are you serious?

You can't think of any countries in the world where white men aren't in control?

Erm

India
Pakistan
Lots of countries in Africa
And depending on your definition of white.
A ton of other countries as well
Etc etc

I'd be interested in understanding why you have that view?

While white men might be in a minority there, they are certainly not oppressed in any way. If a white man were to work in India or China, his race wouldn’t pose an obstacle - quite the opposite. Also, countries like South Africa have a minority white population that has more power and resources than the majority black population.

RealityNotEssentialism Sun 13-Dec-20 07:07:05

At the same time, i also dislike the talk around privilege where it doesn’t relate to class and wealth. It gets quite ridiculous when someone like Afua Hirsch talks about her oppression and disadvantage compared to all white males when she is wealthy, private school and Oxbridge educated. She’s had every advantage in life and is very privileged. We can talk about how white people are more likely to be privileged in this country due to racism but being white in itself isn’t the privilege - it’s the wealth, class and status. If you’re white and born to poor parents, your life chances are fairly limited and your skin colour won’t change that.

It’s also true that the BAME umbrella is unhelpful because certain groups are not disadvantaged in terms of access to wealth and higher education, whereas others are underrepresented. The statistical experience of the average black girl growing up in this country won’t be the same as that of a girl with Indian or Pakistani background.

DrDavidBanner Sun 13-Dec-20 07:10:43

NiceGerbil

Ohalright are you serious?

You can't think of any countries in the world where white men aren't in control?

Erm

India
Pakistan
Lots of countries in Africa
And depending on your definition of white.
A ton of other countries as well
Etc etc

I'd be interested in understanding why you have that view?

I think this is a good example of why teaching the true effects of the British Empire in school history classes.

Partition
Slave trade
Colonisation

Have all had devestating and far reaching effects on all of those areas, but that's a different conversation that doesn't always go down well in Mumsnet does it?

BelleSausage Sun 13-Dec-20 07:14:29

I read something a while ago (I can’t remember where) about the word ‘privileged’ being really unhelpful because it has commotions of wealth and overt power.

A better way to think about it is ‘advantage’. In western societies white men have advantages because society is structured towards promoting males views, successes and enabling men to get on in life.

However, this doesn’t mean that all white men share exactly the same advantages. I shudder to include this (because it is so badly understood by the gender trenders on Twitter) but you have to take an intersectional approach race + class + sex= amount of advantage.

Most societies around the world are set up to the advantage of men, whatever their race. Western societies are set up mostly by white men (if you pretend women did nothing for centuries) for the advantage of white men.

DrDavidBanner Sun 13-Dec-20 07:20:59

It’s also true that the BAME umbrella is unhelpful because certain groups are not disadvantaged in terms of access to wealth and higher education, whereas others are underrepresented. The statistical experience of the average black girl growing up in this country won’t be the same as that of a girl with Indian or Pakistani background.

I agree with this and I agree that wealth and class have more of an impact on opportunities in this country, I think the area you were born too.

Where I do think there is privilege is that white males are still seen as the default human, I think its the little micro aggressions that people who are not white males face every day that white males may not even notice that make the difference.

DrDavidBanner Sun 13-Dec-20 07:22:08

You put that way better than me @BelleSausage

BelleSausage Sun 13-Dec-20 07:24:00

@DrDavidBanner

You are correct that in commonwealth countries of the old British empire being a white man has traditionally meant that you are top of the pile. The damage done by colonial structures is immense.

But attitudes to race and class and the advantages those convey are complicated. I’m not sure blaming Dave the supermarket worker from Slough for white male privilege is at all helpful when the word privilege suggests to him that he is somehow on a level with the privately educated empire builders of the past.

In fact, the working classes of the U.K. were just as exploited by those people in that time period. My ancestors were Durham coal miners who were kept in grinding poverty by low wages and exploitation by their masters. Many died in the mines in terrible working conditions.

What needs teaching is the condition of the working man across the globe and how some had advantages over other because of structural inequality.

BelleSausage Sun 13-Dec-20 07:31:37

@RealityNotEssentialism

Have you worked in the Far East or talked to anyone from China or Japan in depth about their attitudes to foreigners. While being British may hold power in former trading posts like Hong Kong or Singapore, the overall attitude to white foreigners is incredibly bad.

I worked in China for two years. On the outside everyone was polite but I would hear people making disgusting remarks about me all the time. As an unaccompanied white woman I was the target of sexual harassment, pity and (sometimes) disgust.

It’s actually quite racist to view those from different cultures as poor, trodden down people with no bad habits or views. They aren’t children. They are a whole culture with their own perspectives and attitudes.

This is why I hate it when people speak for a whole culture they don’t know about.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a great time and met a lot of nice people. But I also felt like an outsider the whole time and some people were arseholes to me because I was a foreigner.

Gingerkittykat Sun 13-Dec-20 07:38:02

White men are at the top but also at the bottom of the pile are white working class boys who are currently the worst performing group in education and after that in higher education and work.

Poverty is the biggest oppressor, look at goons like Boris who have had the privilege of wealth on top of being white and male.

Camomila Sun 13-Dec-20 07:39:31

I also find it is easier to talk about white "advantage" rather than privilege, I grew up on a housing estate...of the little boys my DBro played with, more ended up in PRUs or later prison than university (DBro went to uni).

My 2 boys aren't white...they are white/"asian other" (one of the groups that does statistically well) and are a lot more "middle class" than I was, both their parents are graduates, and they are in classes with DC full of stereotypical mumsnet names. I consider them more privileged.

But, (and it could just be personality) DBro in discussions of politics is very much a "anyone can do X if they just try hard enough" type whereas DH who is Asian always gets it when I talk about sexism/indirect discrimination.

DrDavidBanner Sun 13-Dec-20 07:42:51

Which is what I meant in my second post @bellesausage

The term white male privilege is an over simplified term that does not apply to all white males to describe a more complex issue within society. Class, culture, wealth, geography all have their part to play too.

BelleSausage Sun 13-Dec-20 07:55:46

@DrDavidBanner

I would agree with that. The huge issue is that American social politics is feeding through social media and being applied to countries with completely different issues and social structures.

This talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is brilliant for challenging that approach. I love her. www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story

HecatesCatsInXmasHats Sun 13-Dec-20 08:02:24

Well class and wealth is of course a huge determining factor too and I also think advantage is a useful adjective, but there's no doubt that if you are white, male and comfortably off you currently have an enormous advantage in life and are more likely to occupy positions of influence. You only need to take a cursory glance at the stats:

Currently women make up fewer than 25 per cent of partners among magic circle law firms, the other four of which are Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Slaughter and May.

Last year, Women Count 2019 revealed how there were only 13 female CEOs in the FTSE 350. Indeed there were more CEOs called “Peter” than their were women CEOs in the FTSE 100 until July 2020 (six, versus five). The numbers are now level, after Amanda Blanc’s appointment as CEO at AVIVA on 6th July 2020).

Then of there's the more insidious privilege which is about how much more likely you are to be listened to. This works in all sorts of ways, but to use a really startling example, I noted among the cases of women killed by men that were highlighted around the femicide census that many women's concerns just hadn't been listened to. Indeed one police force fined a women for wasting their time because the man who went on to kill her told an officer that they were still together and everything was fine.

Where you look at geographical/economic disadvantage then clearly there is a difference, white boys and men are likely to do less well in education and earn less than say a white middle class women from London. But we know that women are still more likely to earn less in these areas too.

CayrolBaaaskin Sun 13-Dec-20 08:05:50

@RealityNotEssentialism - it’s not true that White people don’t face disadvantage ir prejudice in countries where they are in a minority. I used to work in a country where whites were in a minority and there were definite barriers to employment and advancement for White people as well as out and out prejudice from some people. Some other groups had it worse (eg Filipinos) but white people were definitely at a disadvantage.

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