Sunday Roundup

On Sundays, usually, I try to round-up my week’s posts and maybe draw attention to something that people missed. I naturally spent a lot of time on my CNN piece on rape culture and Down syndrome. I have received a lot of great feedback, did a radio interview, wrote a blog post on sexual agency among people with DS, and another on how I see the facts of the case (once again, let me re-iterate, I am neither lawyer nor law enforcement professional. That said, the lawyers who talked to me have more or less agreed with my reading of the case, often with scathing commentary about the ineptitude of the judge).

I’m very proud of the CNN piece. I’ve written plenty of pieces about gender and male feminism before for mass media, but never about rape. I wanted to get it right and hope I did. Some of the professionals working both in law enforcement and for organizations dedicated to ending violence against women have said nice things, so I’m feeling good.

The under-read piece of the week was about “Talking to Girls about Sex.” It was really a plea to help fund Scarleteen, a site that does this important job better than anyone else I know of. Please help if you can.

I also wrote a post on code-switching and white male privilege in the classroom that got a lot of readership, mostly because Inside Higher Ed tweeted it out (I was responding to two of their essays).  One interesting response: A friend suggested that he was tired of the phrase “white male privilege,” not because he didn’t believe in it, but because it was too soft. White male privilege, he argued, should be called racism and sexism. I’m not quite sure. I think racism and sexism are the causes of white male privilege, and maybe we could emphasize that more clearly. Another friend and colleague wrote that she wanted to erode my privilege. Me too, me too! I wrote another post in the wake of an internet hubbub about Nazareth College rescinding a job offer on “fit” as a way to conceal bias – even to oneself!

For International Women’s Day, I wrote about the discovery of Trisomy-21 and the all-too-familiar tale of a man stealing a female scientist’s work. Down syndrome also featured in yesterday’s piece on the challenges of inclusion, in which I thought about the difference between help and friendship. Reciprocity is the key, as is my continued mantra that inclusion is not same-ness.

It’s been a year of public writing for me and a busy week on the blog. Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing.

And if you are looking for something new to read – try this on the origins of college rankings. It’s Galton’s fault, of course!

2 Replies to “Sunday Roundup”

  1. Anonymous says:

    "A friend suggested that he was tired of the phrase "white male privilege," not because he didn't believe in it, but because it was too soft. White male privilege, he argued, should be called racism and sexism."


    I take "white male privilege" as meaning if you're white and male, the system is going to benefit you over those who are not white and male, because, basically, it's a system created and dominated by other white men. You are seen as the norm; your needs are catered for.

    (Though I can understand people baulking at the term when they're economically under-privileged.)

    That the system is geared that way, though, is no fault of the individual. An individual white man may be entirely progressive in outlook but still benefit from the patriarchal norms that still exist. You could say he has white male privilege, due to those benefits, but it would likely be inaccurate and unfair to assume he's either racist or sexist purely on that basis.

    If he feels automatically entitled to those privileges over others though…that's different.

    (uh. so basically I think there should be a distinction between the system and the beneficiary)

    1. Anonymous says:

      "You are seen as the norm; your needs are catered for."

      Actually, what I really meant to say there is "you are the default position" but flailed for the phrasing.

Leave a Reply