As a follow-up to his "Change My Mind" episode on "the myth of male privilege," conservative comedian and podcast host Steven Crowder invited on feminist Maria Del Russo this week to see if she could do better than others on the Left in convincing him he's wrong about the mythologies surrounding The Patriarchy. The result is a mixture of funny one-liners, insightful comments and some good old fashioned male-privileged mockery.
Crowder led into the mostly friendly discussion by noting that the two got in touch because Del Russo tweeted at him that the entire premise of his "change my mind" episode — asking people to convince him he's wrong — "is a pretty perfect example of male privilege."
After Del Russo defined privilege as it relates to society, Crowder noted that one of her tweets suggested that he didn't receive the same kinds of backlash and threats she received online for her comments. Crowder made sure to stress that her claim was utterly false: Not being threatened "is not a 'privilege' I enjoy," said Crowder.
Crowder then tried to get Del Russo to give him specific examples of how men in 2018 enjoy privileges or advantages "systemically," as in through actual laws. Del Russo responded by quickly redirecting the conversation to societal or social "advantages."
Saying men have a centuries-long head start on women, Del Russo acknowledged that "sure, women are equal to men" legally, politically, and professionally. "All of that is available to us, but since men have been in power longer than women have had the opportunity to be in power, you guys have a little bit of a head start on us," she said.
A lot of the tension between their two worldviews, as Crowder repeatedly highlighted, is the distinction between systemic and societal privilege. When Del Russo brought up how things have been for most of history in terms of privilege/advantage, Crowder underscored that she was usually talking about systemic or government-imposed inequality, which no longer exists in western culture. She maintained that the two are inextricably linked.
Conservatives' biggest problem with the current form of feminism, Crowder suggested, is that it demands "equal outcomes" for sexes — the same number of women on the Supreme Court, etc. — rather than equal opportunities for both sexes, and in so doing creates "disadvantages" for men and "privilege" for (feminist) women. Feminists see everything through "the prism of gender," he argued, rather than through "the prism of qualifications."
In one particularly funny moment, Del Russo tried to use the argument that Crowder's expectation that he would not get 9 months off for maternity leave was a result of him being unconsciously influenced by "patriarchal mindsets."
"You should 100% get nine months off if you decide to have a child," said Russo.
"While we're getting personal, you should 100%, if you date a man who wants nine months off, leave him," Crowder replied.
Watch the interview below:
In case you missed it, here's Crowder "Change My Mind: Male Privilege Is A Myth" video: