Himpathy with Kate Manne

Why do so many people mention Brock Turner’s promising swim career, or the many Oscars Harvey Weinstein won—instead of focusing on the stories of their survivors? Why do women often feel guilty telling a mansplainer to stop? For Kate Manne, the answer to both comes down to a single concept: entitlement.

Kate Manne is a professor, writer, and moral philosopher whose research aims to more closely define and combat various forms of misogyny. In her newest book, Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women, Kate offers a bold new perspective on the ways in which men’s entitlement to sex, power, knowledge, leisure, and bodily autonomy are used to police and disenfranchise women and other marginalized populations.

It can really change the course of your life to say, "I do not have to feel bad for certain people, and I do not have to feel guilty for my refusal to prioritize the emotional needs of the most privileged people.” Rather, I can actually look toward people who are more marginalized, who are genuinely in need of my solidarity and support. So that's where it's both personally liberating not to feel those illicit sources of guilt and shame, and it can actually, I think, completely redirect where your moral energies go. Because so much of patriarchy, as well as white supremacy, is misdirecting moral emotions that are good things to have. It's good to be sympathetic, and compassionate, and empathetic in your life. But where those emotions get funneled, and in service of whom, that is something that often goes awry under white supremacist hetero-patriarchy.

—Kate Manne, author of Entitled


We talk about:

  • Common forms of entitlement, and how privileged groups have been deemed entitled to certain behaviors
  • Why men often assume the role of “the knower”
  • The concept of “himpathy,” and how labelling injustice is often key to dismantling it
  • How having a child and finding solidarity in community helped shape the writing of Kate’s second book
  • The difference between being entitled to speak up and being obligated to speak up

Plus: in this week’s You’ve Got This, Sara offers advice on how to tell when you are obligated to speak up against misogyny in the workplace, and how to assess the risk of speaking up in those circumstances. If you’ve ever kept quiet about injustice and then wondered if that was the right choice, this bit is for you. For more on this topic, head on over to https://www.activevoicehq.com/podcast.