Men have a biological advantage over women, to a certain degree. Undoubtedly, there are numerous moments in history in which women have exceedingly overpowered men in physical talent and capability. However, the “provider” and “hunter” position men have inherited on Earth has served them in a multitude of ways providing them with two things which have become buzzwords in the age of #MeToo: power and privilege. Without argument, men are powerful and hold certain power in most cultures and societies around the world. With that power comes a great inherent privilege which many men are only starting to recognize. As Uncle Ben wisely says to Peter Parker who is just becoming Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
It is the responsibility of every man in recovery to come into his own power which has been taken from him by addiction. By coming into his own power once more, it then becomes the sober man’s responsibility to humbly understand the position of privilege he is given not just by being a man who has power, but by being a man who is empowered by recovery. Being sober and staying sober, is powerful, yet also a privilege. Our recovery comes with great responsibility which we tend to and fulfill the needs of on a daily basis.
Privilege can be defined as “a set of unearned benefits given to people who fit into a specific social group”, according to Peggy McIntosh. Men are given benefits outside of their biological power simply due to the fact that they are born male. As a result, the privilege of being born a man gives men a power over groups who are not male. Additionally, it is important to understand that “privilege” is not a special circumstance or unique advantage. For example, men in recovery might hear that “sobriety is a privilege, not a right”. On the one hand, this is true. Sobriety has to be fought for and maintained. On the other hand, sobriety is something that everyone should have in their lives but not everyone does have or will have. However, the privilege of sobriety doesn’t negate the extremely hard work it takes to maintain abstinence in a lifestyle of recovery. It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t direct oppressions you have experienced in your life which disregarded both power and privilege. What the privilege of sobriety means is that there is a better chance with treatment, with the right treatment, with sober living, with extended care, with therapy, and with many other “privileges” of recovery, which is not in all men’s power to obtain.
The Power Of Being A Man Of Sobriety
You have a distinct power and privilege as a man of recovery which should encourage you to act in ways most considerate toward those with less privilege and less power than you. The Tree House Man is well rounded, ethical, moral, and philosophically directed toward doing good for others as he has learned to do good for himself. If you are struggling with addiction, your power is not gone. Reclaim your life by calling Tree House Recovery at (503) 850-2474