To overcome patriarchy, men first have to see it in themselves

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Source: Religion News Service

By Simran Jeet Singh

(RNS) — I wish I had grown up with sisters. Maybe then I wouldn’t have felt so blindsided by the conversations about sexual violence emerging across the world right now. I’m ashamed to say that I have been completely oblivious, even about the women with whom I am especially close.

That I am only now realizing the truth, thanks to the #MeToo movement and, most recently, the Kavanaugh hearings speaks to my own male privilege. I grew up with three brothers, and we hardly ever talked about sexual violence. I can’t recall a single occasion where my brothers or I refrained from doing something because we worried that our gender made us targets.

Certainly we felt that way about other aspects of our identity. As Sikhs growing up in post-9/11 America, my brothers and I are always cautious about the way people might treat us when they see our turbans, beards and brown skin. Over the years, I have come to learn that those who don’t experience racism often have a hard time relating to such experiences. A term that has helped me articulate this feeling is “white privilege.”

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