Write me: rjn@richardjnewman.com
from “Male Lust”

Because a priv­i­leged man’s life is “unre­mark­able,” he is less like­ly to know how his social posi­tion affects his life. A “white” man knows he is “white,” but he is like­ly to have lit­tle idea how this iden­ti­ty shapes his social world, much less his sex­u­al­i­ty. He’s rarely forced to stop and think about it. Any inter­per­son­al or emo­tion­al dif­fi­cul­ties he might have are thus made to appear as indi­vid­ual wor­ries. This illu­sion of a ful­ly autonomous self lets priv­i­leged men act with less con­cern about the social impact of their actions—they are more “free” than oth­ers. Yet, this free­dom makes them less able to iden­ti­fy the links between their con­cerns and the larg­er social envi­ron­ment. Because of this hyper­indi­vid­u­al­i­ty, itself social­ly con­struct­ed, priv­i­leged men are vul­ner­a­ble to intense feel­ings of self-blame and iso­la­tion when some­thing goes wrong. It makes them less able to under­stand how their lives relate to the lives of those around them, and less able to respond to the social forces that dai­ly shape their lives.

—Ker­win Kay, “Intro­duc­tion,” Male Lust: Plea­sure, Pow­er, and Trans­for­ma­tion

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