For the Uninitiated: Data Privilege

Data privilege is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to particular persons or groups when presenting quantitative or qualitative data to support their interests.

A person experiencing data privilege is unlikely to be challenged  when then finish a sentence with the words “and all available evidence supports this position”.

Gender Equality Champions Feminists experience quite a lot of data privilege. This is partly because in our society there is a lot of love, respect, and good will towards women in general and it is exceptionally easy for ‘feminists’ to exploit this.   After all half of society are women and there is a general understanding that women as a collective group have experienced injustices and challenges, both historical and contemporary.

There are other reasons of course, including something I like to describe as ‘the PC pause’ which in this context is particularly experienced by men.  It is generally understood that a man risks being perceived as, or accused of, being an ignorant misogynistic bastard if they dare to question the preferred narrative of any particular person presenting as a feminist.  In turn, more often than not, men are cautious to question, let alone challenge, a feminist narrative even if deep down it doesn’t feel quite right.  It rarely seems worth the hassle and life as they say is short, especially if you’re a man.

If you’ve read my article about the ugly side of gender journalism you may get some sense of the sort of behaviours and attitudes that lead to statements that can sound dubious, sweeping, illogical or just plain false.  I believe that a fundamental causality for this type of behaviour is that sometimes people experience extreme data privilege when they pronounce their learned opinions on the subject of gender equality.

Take Dina Rickman from The Independent for example.  If you rewind back to my examination of her article What it’s like to be Made Whiny Women of the Month you may recall that the video she posted showed a TV Anchor accepting any ‘facts’ she presented on face value whilst undermining her opponents’s counter claims by repeatedly questioning where he was getting his statistics from.

During this examination I also implied that another recent contribution from her, 11 Things Women Were Told Not to Do in 2014 wasn’t entirely accurate.

EYE even took the time in the related comments section to point out that two of the ‘things’ featured (3&9) were factually inaccurate and, worse still, were based on factually inaccurate articles previously produced by the very same paper.  In both cases someone had already taken the time to point out the inaccuracies but rather than rescind or correct, the Independent simply ignored the inconvenient counter point and instead reinforced their preferred narrative by repeating it.

Take number 3. ‘(Women told not) to be interested in politics’ a story the Independent had featured no less than three previous times including Fox New View on Women in Politics – Get Back to Tinder which carried the offending quote from the (female) Fox Correspondent:

I didn’t say they shouldn’t be [allowed to vote], I just think the should be excused so they can go back on Tinder or Match.com.

If you’re wondering why the [allowed to vote] is in brackets it’s because the nasty Fox correspondent was actually taking about her view on young inexperienced women [sitting on jurys].

A lobyiest or expert experiencing data privilege will often simply ignore anyone presenting a coherent or valid counter position.  If this becomes impossible they will attack the person as appossed to the actual counter position they have presented.

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