Racial and gender discrimination are by far the most widely discussed topics in the recent past. Various authors have dedicated their effort to address this issue, needless to mention the widespread media coverage. Although addressing the same issue, Peggy McIntosh and Stephen Farough do it from two divergent points of view. While Mackintosh discusses the privileges that being a white male brings by default, Farough rather sees this privilege as having impacted negatively on the male character. This paper looks into the two papers and draws a comparison between the arguments they put forth.
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McIntosh draws an interesting discussion about being a male, white. He addresses the denial that protects this class from the condemnation of segregating upon the others to their advantage. Particularly, he notes that the upcoming generation of this class are taught to ignore the existence of such and live like it doesn’t exist. Generally, they live unconscious and unmindful of the existence of such privileges. The book offers an account of the unearned privileges that this class enjoys. Despite acknowledging the fact that the white males also experience some of the things that the others do, he blames society for failing to eradicate the default existence of racial and gender superiority. He blames society for the default privileges rather than the individual who finds enjoys the same. As Peggy puts it, the action of a person protected with the ignorant bliss of unconsciously (or deniably) unearned privilege is a kind of action that oppresses others.
Stephen Farough on the other hand takes an entirely divergent approach. He questions the justification of stripping the male gender of all privileges just by virtue of being male. Today every privilege is directed towards the female gender for allegedly being the neglected gender. This is perhaps the most ignored aspect by proponents of gender quality. Is society gradually being adjusted to the male gender in its quest to create equal opportunities for both genders? Such is the question that Farough seems to center his argument on. Would it be true to say that women have it somehow easy? This is a question that Farough’s book adequately addresses.
It is important to mention that both authors raise valid points, which are relevant to modern society. Men and more especially, white males have for a long time enjoyed privileges of which they don’t actually choose to enjoy but rather find themselves enjoying it. However, the efforts by modern-day society to bridge this inequality have seen more females gaining mileage over their male counterparts. This is witnessed through the affirmative actions adopted by various governments. Rather than allow women candidates to fairly compete with their male counterparts, positions have been reserved for them. Isn’t this in a way inequality? However, proponents of the same would quickly point out that women have limited access compared to males, an argument that has probably been overrun by time.
In conclusion, it is true that white males have for some time enjoyed various privileges. However, this position is gradually changing more so in the developing world. Both authors though raise valid points which are critical to understanding modern-day society’s functionality. While Macintosh highlights the unearned privileges assigned to the male while whites, Farough stresses that in a bid to eradicate this privilege, society must be careful not to transfer them to other groups instated of building an equal society. Perhaps it would be summarized that while Mackintosh addresses the gender and racial status that has existed over time, Farough revolves his argument around the transition from this status to perceived equality.