The Seven Privilege Denying Dudes You’ll Meet in Hell (and Seven Ways to Deal) #1

I had fun with meme generator tonight to make this post. This will be a series that I work on in the next few days (it’s really one long post but I’m splitting int to 7). Here is a list of seven people feminists can often run into, people who can be intimidating at first, but should not be feared and should be confronted. I have created each of these images, and they are inspired by my experience both virtual and personal, with people who just don’t _get it_. As a clarifier: Privilege Denying Dudes come in all gender backgrounds, races, and sexual orientations. I’ve met plenty of privilege denying gays, and plenty of privilege denying women. The “dude” meme is just easier to work with.

Privilege Denying Dude #1: Disinterested Specialist Doing You the Huge Favor of Entertaining Your Defense of Feminism in Civil, Objective, Disinterested Debate That You Will Not Win Anyway 

Way to Deal #1: Proceed with caution. Do not waste too much time online trying to convince this person as if it would matter at all to the grand scheme of things if you did (and it usually never happens). Since this person is likely to have access and ability to read complex ideas, point said person to particular books, or to classes, which have shaped your conceptions of feminism, and tell him to educate themself, just like you did, when you decided it was worth your time to learn about feminism. If they don’t want to put in the effort, it’s their loss.

Here is a very limited list that I’ve compiled on some good resources on select topics to which I’ve often wished I’d pointed people. Many of these articles were discussed in my introductory gender studies course, and this list only reflects the limited scope of conversations I’ve had with people, not all of whom were actual PDDs, but who I should have still pointed to something other than my own arguments:

Essays/Short Pieces (link available online):
“Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” by Adrienne Rich – This is perhaps my favorite essay on heteronormativity.
The Woman Identified Woman” by Radicalesbians – Another great essay on heteronormativity, patriarchy, and political lesbianism.
A Black Feminist Statement” by Combahee River Collective – Great statement on intersectionality (the relationship of race, class, gender, and sexuality).

Privilege: A Reader – edited by Michael S. Kimmel – All about privilege.
Feminism Encounters Traditional Judaism: Resistance and Accommodation by Tova Hartman – an amazing book on pressing women’s needs in Orthodox Judaism
Transforming a Rape Culture – ed. Emily Buchwald, on rape culture.
Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape by Jaclyn Friedman – I haven’t read this book, but it summarizes sex positivity from the perspective of transforming rape culture.

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9 thoughts on “The Seven Privilege Denying Dudes You’ll Meet in Hell (and Seven Ways to Deal) #1

  1. chortlevork says:

    Is “they should be confronted” compatible with “if they don’t want to put in the effort, its their loss”?

    • LadyG says:

      I think those are radically different. One is uneducated, the other is actively hurtful/offensive.

    • Emmy says:

      “they should be confronted” – One should confront them by telling them to open a book and quit stroking their chin each time they raise their eyebrow and say “I don’t know if that’s what you really mean to _say_ when you say patriarchy” or whatever. Confrontation also includes giving them the basic ideas, and informing them about how uninformed they are on the basic issues they can’t be bothered to research

  2. LadyG says:


    Dude #1 is the bane of my existence, as he and his buddies crop up in my life in so many ways, at so many unexpected times. (Especially at Shabbat meal conversations, when I am not anticipating him and do not want to upset my host.) Dude #1 sometimes intends to be offensive/hurtful/dismissive and sometimes doesn’t. My internal jury’s still out on which is worse.

    I am excited to read the articles you’ve listed, as my feminism is largely self-taught, except when it comes to women and halacha. (which is only slightly more organized, and I am by no means an expert.)

    Anyway, I liked your Art of Manliness exploration a lot, but I’m excited for this meme/analysis too!

  3. M Marian says:

    Love it!

    However, I don’t want to meet any of them in Hell. I want them to go to Purgatory and be bored to pieces. Hell is going to be way too much fun.

  4. Christina says:

    I am super excited for this series of posts. I almost hate you for this one though, since now of course I simply *have* to read all of these excellent links.

    Also: Feminism Encounters Traditional JudaismFeminism Encounters Traditional JudaismFeminism Encounters Traditional JudaismFeminism Encounters Traditional JudaismFeminism Encounters Traditional Judaism!!! Sorry, geekout.

    I’d just like to point out that there are ways to not use the word ‘patriarchy’ even when it applies, and, if not convince, at least make palatable the ideas you’re presenting by putting them in a more mainstream context. Not everyone is really interested in putting in the time, and that’s a shame, but I think there is more hope in things we can do, tidbits and memes we ourselves can spread to make mainstream culture more feminist, and not have the PDD self-select for feminist tendencies. Maybe I should make a list of easy things to say to get points across.

  5. Sharon says:

    I’m not sure if this complaint is warranted. If you bring up a term like “patriarchy” in a conversation, it’s not obnoxious for that person to ask you what that means. They’re not obligated to be so interested in the topic that they have to read entire books on the subject; if they just want to have a conversation, and you’re the one who used a word in the first place, then you’re obligated to concisely explain what you mean. Now, if you’ve have multiple conversations with this person and they still don’t understand what you mean by “patriarchy,” or if they’re being purposefully obtuse, then it’s perfectly reasonable to tell them to go read a book; but do they need to take a gender-studies class before they can have a conversation with you?

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