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TangoMan

I constantly got pulled over for speeding without ever once getting a ticket.

Every time I've been pulled over for speeding I've received a ticket. Never once was I let go with a warning.

34 Words.

TangoMan

They got to decide whether they deemed me attractive enough to exercise their power and discretion to let me off the hook for speeding.

Well, it's not like a white man who is interviewing for a job has the power, because of his race or sex, to claim the job for himself. That power lies with others. By your reasoning, his race and sex are immaterial to his situation, therefore any sipposed privilege associated with them doesn't exist.

Similarly, when it is claimed that people listen to a man more seriously than they do to a woman, there is no male privilege involved, for the male has no power to make the listener take his words more seriously than those of a woman.

Yet another example, when double standards are applied and women complain that men get the better of the deal because of male privilege, it isn't the man who is exercising the double standard which benefits him, but someone else has that power.

I kind of like this line of reasoning and I think that you're right - this whole feminist claptrap about privilege doesn't really exist for the power of judgement really sits with those who are making decisions and not with those who possess the qualities to which we ascribe privilege.

The Happy Feminist

I didn't say there was no privilege -- I said beauty does not produce a lasting or reliable privilege.

My whiteness is an immutable, objective fact. Thus, it is a lasting and reliable privilege.

Also I am not arguing that the advantages enjoyed by young, beautiful women are right or fair. In fact, they are most UNFAIR to individual women in particular and women as a class.

TangoMan

Thus, it is a lasting and reliable privilege

You're contradicting yourself. Recall that the power lies with those who are doing the judging, not with the person that has either the lasting, or temporary, feature that is deemed to be privileged.

I think I'll stick with your definition for it makes the most sense. It was the cop who had the privilege, not the beautiful woman.

The Happy Feminist

I don't see the contradiction.

The beautiful woman does not have power when she gets pulled over by the cop. But if she does not get a ticket because of her looks, she definitely has received an unfair, undeserved advantage in that situation. This is wrong. It is unfair to women not deemed "hot" enough. It is also unfair to male motorists.

Sure not getting a ticket is a nice perk. Over the long haul though the beautiful woman is at the mercy of time and of subjective assessments by others.

The Happy Feminist

Oh, I see, why you think I am contradicting myself. Tango Man, power and privilege are not the same thing.

Helma Bim

Happy rocks! Great post.

There is no contradiction. Power and privilege are not conserved; they can be created and destroyed. It is true that privileges can be turned into power: to take TM's example, the man who has the job (and wants to hire the pretty young woman, presumably) got the privilege of being the boss from someone else and now has power over other people.

A hot young woman can turn her privilege into power: Mariah Carey, for instance, managed to write an unprecedented poison pill into her recording contract such that when her record label wished to fire her, they had to buy her out for $25 million. (Barbi Benton didn't manage such contract negotiations with Hugh and spent much of her career taking guest shots on Fantasy Island.)

The Happy Feminist

Heh heh. I had forgotten her time on Fantasy Island.

TangoMan

got the privilege of being the boss from someone else and now has power over other people.

This is why I find such enjoyment in debating feminists - their perspective on the world is so alien to the rest of us. Yeah, bosses don't earn their position, they got them from someone else, you know, "you look like a good sort, so here, you can be be boss, but remember, you have to play your part in perpetuating the non-meritocratic ideals of power and privilege."

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