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January 25, 2009
Male Privilege #8 - Privilege to Make the Rules
In Short: Rulers write the laws and the history books, and so men write laws and revise history to benefit themselves at the expense of women.
Derived From: #2 - Ownership of Women's Bodies #4 - Privilege of Violence #11 - Privilege to Define Everything #15 - Privilege of Unquestioned Majority #16 - Privilege of Women's Invisibility #20 - Privilege to Speak
Exclusive to Men Because: Rules are created by the ruling class, and historical revisionism is a privilege of the dominant culture.
Laws and the legal system benefit men over women. Laws that would grant women equality as full human beings and protect their basic human right are rarely enacted by governments. When they are, they are typically toothless, watered down by judges, unenforced, or chipped away at and repealed by lawmakers.
Women are completely shot down when they partake in any historical revisionism that does not line up with the desires of the dominant culture.
Harms: Historical revisionism erases the actual experiences of women from history, and is used to cover-up the global humanitarian crisis engulfing women around the globe today.
When laws protecting the equality of women (such as the ERA and CEDAW) are not enacted or enforced, women status as full human beings is not maintained. Unprotected women remain in a less-than-human status in society, even when that society professes otherwise.
The current legal structures that legitimize pornography, minimize the penalties for rape and domestic violence, criminalize prostitution while letting johns go, and ignore the global slave trade of women force all women into the Sex Class.
By erasing female heroes from history, society's collective vision is stunted.
If You are a Good Guy: You will never use "but I never broke any laws" as an excuse to wrongdoing on your part. You will not stand silently alongside sympathetic cops, judges, or juries when you know that the gains that you make through their actions are unfair. You will also fight for the passage of the ERA, CEDAW, and other laws designed to grant women equality as full human beings.
You will also listen and give credence to women's stories and takes on history, even if they are not included in the canon of literature or your history book from high school.
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