The following is an excerpt from an article posted by Cereta at her Live Journal, and it explains more clearly than I ever could why… well, just read it. And comment.
Flash forward a few years to my active gaming days, when the majority of my social life was either gaming or hanging out with my gaming-geek friends. As should be no surprise, the majority of those friends were men. In a group of, oh, about 30 or so people in various concentric circles, there were about four women who regularly showed up at parties and other functions.
After a while, we began organizing “chick nights,” gatherings of just the four of us and maybe some other women we knew from outside the group. For reasons that were often kind of bizarre, some of the men in the group took exception to this. They never organized nights at which we were excluded. When we pointed out that by the law of averages, a good half of the various social outings ended up being guy-only, they replied that it was not the same thing.
“Look,” I finally said to one of them, “when we get together Saturday night, we’re going to paint our nails and put goop on our faces and play with each others’ hair and watch movies with really hot guys and talk about how hot the guys are and probably talk about sex and periods and all that fun stuff. Do you really have any interest in that?”
“No,” he replied, “but we could do other stuff instead.”
That’s just a tiny snippet, but it’s a perfect example of how male privilege works, and how unconsciously men promote it and expect it. A guy who loves baseball but not soccer probably doesn’t take offense if his soccer-loving pals get together to watch a game and don’t invite him (or invite him, but on the basis that he can either watch the soccer or go away). But when women get together to do stuff that doesn’t interest the guy friend in her example, his reaction is totally different. It’s not different people having different interests. It’s women getting away with something: an evening that isn’t designed around what guys like. Are they allowed to do that?