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Friday, April 26th 2013

5:25 PM

Obsidian Responds To Jewel Woods' "Black Male Privilege Checklist"

SPECIAL NOTE: My bad, everyone; I had meant to have this post up yesterday, but for some weird reason my Internet/Wifi connect's been really acting strange over the past 36 hours or so. It seems to be OK now, so we'll see how it goes.

In my last post, I address the overall argument for the notion of "Black Male Privilege", an idea cooked up by Mr. Jewel Woods. In today's post, I directly address - and debunk - Mr. Woods' spin the famous (or infamous, depending on who you are) White Privilege Checklist, presented some years ago.

Before I begin, I should  point out that it behooves my readers to stop by Mr. Woods' website and have a look around, in particular checking out an interview he did with Ebony magazine. In it, he discusses both his book Don't Blame it on Rio, and as well his cocakamamie "Black Male Privilege" concept. Doing so will highlight what is at issue, and what I and several other bloggers have pointed out - that what this is really all about, is Eligible/Desirable Black Male Privilege - which is who Woods, Mark Anthony Neal, et al, actually are, ironically enough - and NOT Black Men as a whole. Indeed, as I've shown and proved, far, far from it. In a future post, I will be addressing why I think cats like Woods are taking themselves through so much self-flagellation; but for now, let's get to his checklist.

The Black Male Privileges Checklist

Leadership & Politics

1. I don't have to choose my race over my sex in political matters.

O: Right - and neither do the vast majority of Black Women. In the presidential election of 2008, it was clear where Black Womens' support was going, and that was with Obama  NOT Hillary. Try again.

2. When I read African American History textbooks, I will learn mainly about black men.

O: Right - so Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman, Mary McCloud-Bethune Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer were just figments of my imagination?

3. When I learn about the Civil Rights Movement & the Black Power Movements, most of the leaders that I will learn about will be black men.

O: See above...also, let's not forget Angela Davis (arguably among the most famed and best-known members of the Black Panthers, then and now), Condoleeza Rice, Susan Rice, Mae Jemison, Nina Simone, Mahaliah Jackson, Marian Anderson, Leotyne Price...really, need I go on? SMH...

4. I can rely on the fact that in the near 100-year history of national civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and the Urban League, virtually all of the executive directors have been male.

O: OK, so why am I "relying" on this fact? What great bennies accrue to Black Men writ large in taking such luxurious comfort in this fact?

5. I will be taken more seriously as a political leader than black women.

O: Wait, no one took Angela Davis seriously? Unless you mean her NOT being taken seriously accounts for her ultimately being acquitted in her famous court trial some four decades back...

6. Despite the substantial role that black women played in the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Movement, currently there is no black female that is considered a "race leader".

O: See above...

7. I can live my life without ever having read black feminist authors, or knowing about black women's history, or black women's issues.

O: LOL. Brotha, c'mon - if you're Black, Male and not Tiger Woods, trust me, you will be intimately familiar with all manner of issahs concerning Black Women...

8. I can be a part of a black liberation organization like the Black Panther Party where an "out" rapist Eldridge Cleaver can assume leadership position.

O: And Sistas like Angela Davis can register their dissatisfaction with that by voting with their feet. How'd that work out?

9. I will make more money than black women at equal levels of education and occupation.

O: Because I will probably be more likely to work longer hours under inhospitable conditions and in far flung locales...

10. Most of the national "opinion framers" in Black America including talk show hosts and politicians are men.

O: Melissa Harris-Perry, anyone? Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Oprah Winfrey play a huge role in getting Barack Obama elected? Shonda Rhimes makes and shapes and molds opinion through her teledramas and has for years now - what, so she is chopped liver, too? Really?


11. I have the ability to define black women's beauty by European standards in terms of skin tone, hair, and body size. In comparison, black women rarely define me by European standards of beauty in terms of skin tone, hair, or body size.

O: No, Black Women just define the vast majority of Brothas based on the European currency standard, and whether they have adequate amounts of it.

12. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of having my hair conforming to any standard image of beauty the way black women do.

O: Clearly, you haven't been reading what Sistas REALLY think lately, have you?

13. I do not have to worry about the daily hassles of being terrorized by the fear of gaining weight. In fact, in many instances bigger is better for my sex.

O: Correction: TALLER is better, not necessarily "bigger". For a case in point again, please see the above link in my response. You need to get out more.

14. My looks will not be the central standard by which my worth is valued by members of the opposite sex.

O: Once again, see above, and that's just for starters. It has long been known that among all the types of Women in American life, Black Women, taken as a group, are the ones that place the greatest importance on their Men being "pretty".

Sex & Sexuality

15. I can purchase pornography that typically shows men defile women by the common practice of the "money shot.”

O: Ha! Many, many Women - and that includes Black - actually LOVE the socalled "money shot"...

16. I can believe that causing pain during sex is connected with a woman's pleasure without ever asking her.

O: How many Men, Black, White or other, actually DOES "believe" this? Links or it didn't happen...

17. I have the privilege of not wanting to be a virgin, but preferring that my wife or significant other be a virgin.

O: And Black Women can have the privilege of having a virgin Black Male. Lemme know how you make out with that one...

18. When it comes to sex if I say "No", chances are that it will not be mistaken for “Yes".

O: Yawn.

19. If I am raped, no one will assume that "I should have known better" or suggest that my being raped had something to do with how I was dressed.

O: Again, *yawn*...

20. I can use sexist language like bonin’, laying the pipe, hittin-it, and banging that convey images of sexual acts based on dominance and performance.

O: Just like Black Women can say much the very same things...and often do so, MORE than do Brothas themselves...

21. I can live in a world where polygamy is still an option for men in the United States as well as around the world.

O: Wrong. Polygamy is illegal in the USA and the only group known to practice it in American history, the Mormons, even outlawed the practice themselves. Try again...

22. In general, I prefer being involved with younger women socially and sexually

O: Ever heard of MILFs?

23. In general, the more sexual partners that I have the more stature I receive among my peers.

O: And Women - and that includes Sistas - too...

24. I have easy access to pornography that involves virtually any category of sex where men degrade women, often young women.

Again, see the Granny Porn, MILF Porn, Mature Women Porn, et al. Moreover, please know that virtually no porn can be made, WITHOUT THE EXPRESS AND WRITTEN CONSENT OF THE WOMEN THEMSELVES. For more on this, please see "Stiffed", by Susan Faludi, in particular the chapter called "Waiting For Wood"...

25. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where "purity balls" apply to girls but not to boys.

O: Brotha, I don't even know what the heck that is - does anyone reading this know what the heck this guy's talking about?

26. When I consume pornography, I can gain pleasure from images and sounds of men causing women pain.

O: Usually, actually more often than not, with the Woman's express consent. BDSM may not be for errbody, but trust me when I tell ya, that quite a few Sistas DO get down like that...

Popular Culture

27. I come from a tradition of humor that is based largely on insulting and disrespecting women; especially mothers.

O: Hmm...OK, so there are reams of comedy routines of/by, say, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, where they mostly rip on people's mamas? Really?

28. I have the privilege of not having black women, dress up and play funny characters- often overweight- that are supposed to look like me for the entire nation to laugh.

O: Trust me, if there was a Black female comedian who had the TALENT of an Eddie Murphy, they would laugh just as hard at The Clumps. I know I would...

29. When I go to the movies, I know that most of the leads in black films are men. I also know that all of the action heroes in black film are men.

O: I know you wrote this back in '08, but c'mon - I guess THE ENTIRE X-MEN SERIES OF FILMS GOT BY YOU, right?

30. I can easily imagine that most of the artists in Hip Hop are members of my sex.

O: I can't - and never did. One of the first "name" rappers I ever met was...wait for it...

QUEEN LATIFAH - and nobody would say she couldn't hang on the mic. So there.

31. I can easily imagine that most of the women that appear in Hip Hop videos are there solely to please men

O: Just like Sistas watching Missy Elliot videos can imagine that most of the men that appear in them are there to please her...wait, something's not right with what I just said...but yea, you get my point.

32. Most of lyrics I listen to in hip-hop perpetuate the ideas of males dominating women, sexually and socially.

O: Because that's just how many Sistas like it...YES, it's true...

33. I have the privilege of consuming and popularizing the word pimp, which is based on the exploitation of women with virtually no opposition from other men.

O: Just like Sistas have the privilege of consuming and popularizing the word hoe, often stylizing it "Heaux" and so forth, with virtually no opposition from other women.

34. I can hear and use language bitches and hoes that demean women, with virtually no opposition from men.

O: Or Women...

35. I can wear a shirt that others and I commonly refer to as a "wife beater" and never have the language challenged.

Just like Women can wear "f*ck me pumps" and that be perfectly be OK...

36. Many of my favorite movies include images of strength that do not include members of the opposite sex and often are based on violence.

O: ??? WTF?

37. Many of my favorite genres of films, such as martial arts, are based on violence.

O: Where, especially in the Asian ones, WOMEN are just as violent...

38. I have the privilege of popularizing or consuming the idea of a thug, which is based on the violence and victimization of others with virtually no opposition from other men.

O: Just like Women have the privilege of popularizing and consuming the idea of the Femme Fatale, which is based on violence and the victimization of MEN, with virtually no opposition from other men...


39. I have the privilege to define black women as having "an attitude" without referencing the range of attitudes that black women have.

O: Wait, there is more than one way to do the Cobrahead or the Monkey Clap?

40. I have the privilege of defining black women's attitudes without defining my attitudes as a black man.

O: ??? WTF?

41. I can believe that the success of the black family is dependent on returning men to their historical place within the family, rather than in promoting policies that strengthen black women's independence, or that provide social benefits to black children.

O: Oh, you mean paying out more taxpayer dollars to underwrite the supposed independence of Black Women writ large? Hmm...

42. I have the privilege of believing that a woman cannot raise a son to be a man.

O: And so do Black Women themmselves...

43. I have the privilege of believing that a woman must submit to her man.

O: Not more than Black Women themselves...

44. I have the privilege of believing that before slavery gender relationships between black men and women were perfect.

O: Again, who says this stuff? I know of no Black Man who has.

45. I have the privilege of believing that feminism is anti-black.

O: So do Black Feminists...

46. I have the privilege of believing that the failure of the black family is due to the black matriarchy.

O: Hmm...

47. I have the privilege of believing that household responsibilities are women's roles.

O: I'll grant you that one there; HOWEVER, what nobody on the Blackhand side doesn't want to admit, is that quite a few Brothas are doing very well taking care of themselves at home.

48. I have the privilege of believing that black women are different sexually than other women and judging them negatively based on this belief.

O: The Black Women themselves enjoy that same privilege because they can be heard saying the same things and more often than not, much, more worse about other Black Women...


49. I will make significantly more money as a professional athlete than members of the opposite sex will.

O: Last time I checked, the Williams Sisters weren't living hand to mouth...

50. In school, girls are cheerleaders for male athletes, but there is no such role for males to cheerlead for women athletes.

O: Bunk.

51. My financial success or popularity as a professional athlete will not be associated with my looks.

O: Again, say that to the Williams Sisters...

52. I can talk about sports or spend large portions of the day playing video games while women are most likely involved with household or childcare duties.

O: She is more than welcome to join the Brothas in front of the tv screen!

53. I can spend endless hours watching sports TV and have it considered natural.

O: Just like the world has to stop spinning on its axis every Thursday night when Scandal comes on...

54. I can touch, hug, or be emotionally expressive with other men while watching sports without observers perceiving this behavior as sexual.

O: I sure hope not...

55. I know that most sports analysts are male.

O: So?

56. If I am a coach, I can motivate, punish, or embarrass a player by saying that the player plays like a girl.

O: How sad...

57. Most sports talk show hosts that are members of my race are men.

O: Cool!

58. I can rest assured that most of the coaches -even in predominately-female sports within my race are male.

O: Who's fault is that? If Black Women wish to be coaches, they need to step upfront instead of whining about it...

59. I am able to play sports outside without my shirt on and it not be considered a problem.

O: Sistas are more than welcome to play for Team Skins if they want...

60. I am essentially able to do anything inside or outside without my shirt on, whereas women are always required to cover up.

O: And, when did Black Men make and sign such a thing into law? Yea, that's what I thought...


61. I have the privilege of being a part of a sex where the mutilation and disfigurement of a girl’s genitalia is used to deny her sexual sensations or to protect her virginity for males.

O: Yawn. First, Black Women do this to other Black Women; and second, a tremendous majority of African American guys have been subject to the very same mutilations - it's called circumcision...

62. I have the privilege of not having rape be used as a primary tactic or tool to terrorize my sex during war and times of conflict.

O: Yea - we just have to contend with death and dismemberment - what a bargain!

63. I have the privilege of not being able to name one female leader in Africa or Asia, past or present, that I pay homage to the way I do male leaders in Africa and/or Asia.

O: I don't know any Black Men paying homage to anybody in Africa/Asia, so...*shrugs*

64. I have the ability to travel around the world and have access to women in developing countries both sexually and socially.

O: Two words: Terry. McMillan...

65. I have the privilege of being a part of the sex that starts wars and that wields control of almost all the existing weapons of war and mass destruction.

O: Margaret Thatcher. Indira Ghandi. Golda Meir. Need I say more?


66. In college, I will have the opportunity to date outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women will.

O: Fair enough, I'll grant you that one...

67. I have the privilege of having the phrase "sewing my wild oats" apply to my sex as if it were natural.

O: Jewel, think about this - unless we're talking about gay sex, Women have to be willing to go along; so both sexes are sowing some wild oats here...

68. I know that the further I go in education the more success I will have with women.

O: That's because that's the way Black Women themselves prefer it...

69. In college, black male professors will be involved in interracial marriages at much higher rates than members of the opposite sex will.

O: Who's fault is that, again? And, what exactly does this have to do with actually learning something and getting a degree?

70. By the time I enter college, and even through college, I have the privilege of not having to worry whether I will be able to marry a black woman.

O: Nor will Black Women have to worry whether she can marry a Black Man; the problem that most Sistas don't want to admit is that far too many of them wait too long to pull the trigger - then, once their pushing 40, wonder, "Where are all the Good Black Men"? Yea, what Susan Patton said...

71. In college, I will experience a level of status and prestige that is not offered to black women even though black women may outnumber me and out perform me academically.

O: Oh, really? OK Black Men Who Matriculated reading this - is this true? Were you Big Brotha Almighty on campus, merely for being Black, Male, and showing up?

72. If I go to an HBCU, I will have incredible opportunities to exploit black women

O: OK Educated Brothas, let's have it - is what Mr. Jewel saying, true or false?


73. What is defined as "News" in Black America is defined by men.

O: Oprah Winfrey is Black America's most famous news broadcaster to date.

74. I can choose to be emotionally withdrawn and not communicate in a relationships and it be considered unfortunate but normal.

O: That's because Men, Black Men included, don't find it necessary to blubber and blather on about stuff.

75. I can dismissively refer to another persons grievances as ^*ing.

O: If the shoe fits...

76. I have the privilege of not knowing what words and concepts like patriarchy, phallocentric, complicity, colluding, and obfuscation mean.

O: Just like Sistas can have the privilege of not what words and concepts like Rationalization Hamster, Gynocracy, Plausible Deniability and Lying By Omission mean...


77. I have the privilege of marrying outside of the race at a much higher rate than black women marry.

O: Yawn...

78. My "strength" as a man is never connected with the failure of the black family, whereas the strength of black women is routinely associated with the failure of the black family.

O: If it is, it's because Black Women themselves tie their supposed "strength" to such a thing...

79. If I am considering a divorce, I know that I have substantially more marriage, and cohabitation options than my spouse.

O: Along with substantially more alimony and child support payments...

80. Chances are I will be defined as a "good man" by things I do not do as much as what I do. If I don't beat, cheat, or lie, then I am a considered a "good man". In comparison, women are rarely defined as "good women" based on what they do not do.

O: Rubbish; if a Woman doesn't hoe it up, she's good...

81. I have the privilege of not having to assume most of the household or child-care responsibilities.

O: More timewarp crap. Jewel, it's 2013 already! Give it a rest, hmm?

82. I have the privilege of having not been raised with domestic responsibilities of cooking, cleaning, and washing that takes up disproportionately more time as adults.

O: Oh bunk. More Black Men take care of themselves and others, than a little bit.

Church & Religious Traditions

83. In the Black Church, the majority of the pastoral leadership is male.

O: Because that's just the way the majority of the congregation - which is BLACK WOMEN - like it...

84. In the Black Church Tradition, most of the theology has a male point of view. For example, most will assume that the man is the head of household.

O: See above...

Physical Safety

85. I do not have to worry about being considered a traitor to my race if I call the police on a member of the opposite sex.

O: ??? Who actually says this stuff? You're making that one up.

86. I have the privilege of knowing men who are physically or sexually abusive to women and yet I still call them friends.

O: I don't.

87. I can video tape women in public- often without their consent - with male complicity.

O: So can Women do the exact same thing to Men - and get said Men fired(!)...

88. I can be courteous to a person of the opposite sex that I do not know and say "Hello" or "Hi" and not fear that it will be taken as a come-on or fear being stalked because of it.

O: BS - Sistas are just as likely to go there with it, provided you're the right guy...

89. I can use physical violence or the threat of physical violence to get what I want when other tactics fail in a relationship.

O: Hardly the preserve of Males, my friend - and this is especially true when it comes to dealing with Sistas...

90. If I get into a physical altercation with a person of the opposite sex, I will most likely be able to impose my will physically on that person

O: Ha! Brothas don't knuckle up anymore son, that's oldhat. Today, the guy with biggest - and quickest - gun wins...

91. I can go to parades or other public events and not worry about being physically and sexually molested by persons of the opposite sex.

O: Yea - try being a good looking Brotha and holla back the result...

92. I can touch and physically grope women's bodies in public- often without their consent- with male complicity.

O: Wait - you mean to tell me that other guys will actually egg you on as you're doing the Booty Bandit thing on the bus or train? Really? Because I ride a lot of buses and trains, in multiple cities, and have yet to see such a thing...

93. In general, I have the freedom to travel in the night without fear.

O: Uh, NO, you don't...

94. I am able to be out in public without fear of being sexually harassed by individuals or groups of the opposite sex.

O: Yea? Try being a well-put together Brotha, and Sistas can and WILL cat-call you (and worse - it's happened to me quite a bit)...

Whew! What a workout - but it's worth it. We gotta challenge this stuff wherever we find it, and pushback, HARD.

Now adjourn your arses...

The Obsidian
7 comment(s).

Posted by Blues:

Hey O, I sent you an email a while ago but haven't heard from you, just checking through an alternate way.
Sunday, May 12th 2013 @ 3:54 PM

Posted by Obsidian:

Boom!-you just cracked the code. I'll definitely be picking up where you left off on this later in the week, so thanks so much for making such a salient point!

Oh, and when you get this, hit me up on email! I wanna holla at you about some things. Thanks!

Monday, April 29th 2013 @ 1:59 PM

Posted by Blues:

@Adonis: I'm not so sure, considering O said he was a privileged brotha I'd say it's more of a conniving Alpha trying to boost his street cred to sistas to look more desirable.

Think about it, if he's already an attractive brotha siding with the sistahood is a great to look good in front of them while he plows the pussy fields behind scenes, at best it's a good way to get them to forgive or overlook your sins, see Hugo Schwyzer for what I mean.
Monday, April 29th 2013 @ 12:40 PM

Posted by Adonis:

If you ask me, this sexual market bubble will burst, and the alpha males need beta male participation to keep the ride going. Shrugs

I appreciate Jewel Wood's contribution, but he is a bitch nigga for writing this.
Monday, April 29th 2013 @ 2:37 AM

Posted by Say It Loud: I'm Thin, Black and I'm Proud!:

Alte describes how her black dad made her black mom fat here and says lots of husbands like their wives fat for various reasons, such as they themselves want to be fat and unhealthy and not have to take responsibility for it and having a thin, healthy wife reminds them of their own dysfunctional lack of will power which they are relunctant to reverse; http://traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/let-them-eat-cupcakes
Saturday, April 27th 2013 @ 3:35 PM

Posted by Lara:

I thought Jewel had a good point about European beauty standards. However, your response about European currency standards was excellent.
Saturday, April 27th 2013 @ 8:46 AM

Posted by Mackandal:

I seriously hope he was on the chronic when he wrote that piece.
Saturday, April 27th 2013 @ 4:19 AM