The following is a response to: http://amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist/
The idea that men receive certain privileges that women do not.
Growing up, I was told repeatedly by feminist culture that men were slobbering worthless animals that only thought about sex and oppressed women merely by their existence. I never knew how, and have long suspected that this is merely fabricated nonsense meant to fuel the feminist agenda: to promote women at the expense of men.
What strengthened this notion more than ever was the experience of every day life. I went to school in pre-internet Louisiana. If you were a guy, wearing a pink shirt meant you got beat up. It was that simple. If you were a girl, you could wear any colour shirt you felt like. Girls were free to slap and smack guys as much as they wanted, but guys were never allowed to hit girls! That simply was not tolerated. I even remember lectures from teachers about how a guy was simply supposed to “take it” when a girl hits him.
Boys not only had to be careful what they wore, they had to adhere to a very strict set of southern-male manly macho guidelines. Not liking sports, especially good ol’ football, was enough to place you in suspect for possibly being gay. And being gay meant you wouldn’t last long in any school anywhere in the country, much less in Louisiana.
Though a lesbian girl, now that was HAWT! A girl kissing a girl was cheered for! Everyone loved it! But a guy kissing a guy meant they could both be dead by tomorrow, and the killers would get off easy.
If a boy got sick or injured, he was supposed to just “walk it off”. Be tough. Be A MAN! But if a girl were injured – even slightly – people fawned over her, showing deep sympathy, and offering to do things for her right on the spot. Even other women did this.
Later on, as I went through college and moved out on my own, I saw men applying for jobs and putting absolutely every single thing they had into getting hired. If hired, they then had to put every single thing they had into keeping that job. And if they wanted to move up in that company, they would have to push themselves passed the limit. Meanwhile, I saw women getting hired for the same positions just because they were pretty. And I remember thinking how incredibly unfair that was.
Later still, I would meet lots of men who were homeless, despite putting themselves through school and earning a degree, and doing everything right.
So to put it bluntly, I found the notion of “male privilege” to contrast with everyday reality on an almost schizophrenic level. That is, you would have to have a mental illness to believe in this stuff.
But enough personal anecdotes. What are we talking about when we say “Male privilege”?
According to Wikipedia:
Male privilege refers to the social theory which argues that men have unearned social, economic, and political advantages or rights that are granted to them solely on the basis of their sex, and which are usually denied to women.
If that’s a workable definition, the next best step is to identify real world examples of it happening.
From here, we see a whopping 46 examples. But before we even get started:
” In many cases – from a boy being bullied in school, to a soldier dying in war – the sexist society that maintains male privilege also does great harm to boys and men.”
^^^ By definition of the word “privilege”, something cannot cause great harm and still remain a privilege. In fact if you’d like a full breakdown of the concept of privilege, click here. Me having ice cream when you can’t have any is a privilege for me. But if that ice cream is poison and causes me harm, then by definition, having it is no longer a privilege.
Onward to the examples then. I won’t post and answer every single one of them, as I feel that would be a little redundant and unnecessary; the way I respond to one can carry over to the others.
From the link:
If you are a man:
1. My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.
^^^ That ain’t how it works. You see a pudgy little man in a dress shirt and tie sitting in a room with an application in his hand. Next to him you see a remarkably beautiful woman. The man doesn’t have the option of being beautiful – he cant put on make up, do his hair, and wear a dress to make himself more appealing (well, he technically can, but lets not get into transgender issues just yet). He’s pretty much stuck and limited to being “presentable”. The woman can make herself more attractive and get hired for the job.
No red herrings please – lets not talk about how that’s objectifying women. The point being made by the page is that men have an advantage in applying for jobs, and they don’t.
As a man, I put in some 200 job applications over a 6 month period, and almost never got a reply. Across two years, this eventually reached somewhere towards the 500 mark. I got only a handful of replies.
As a woman, I put in only 20 or so applications. Nearly half replied, and I became employed within just a few weeks.
2. I can be confident that my co-workers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that might be true.
Isn’t this the exact opposite? You see a sexy woman in a tight dress – THAT’S where you’d think she got the job — because of her sex. Or her gender for that matter.
Yet the author of the page will probably say that’s somehow sexism, and still unfair against women, even though it got her the job. Yet saying this about a man isn’t unfair sexism, it’s male privilege.
But anyway, who looks at a guy and thinks “Oh he was hired because we need another penis around here”? No one.
3. If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex.
^^^ Women aren’t promoted?…
I’m gonna need to inform my boss of this. Um… she’s a woman.
In fact, nearly half the bosses I’ve had in my life were women.
I mean, it’s very, very, *VERY* common these days to see a woman in positions of leadership. How did that happen? And before we say “but men hold MOST of the positions” – go take a look at my Wage Gap article and find out why.
5. I am far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female co-workers are.
^^^ Men are sexually discriminated against too, just not in the same way.
I remember one very publicized case where a woman was jogging down the street at 5 in the morning, and saw a man walking around naked in his home. She complained to the police about indecent exposure, and the guy got in trouble. Of course, if it was the man jogging down the street and saw the woman naked in her home, then the man would be in trouble *AGAIN*! This time for looking in her house, when she’s naked.
In fact, you can see the story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JRdFf8qtSc
Another fine example is how a woman is free to walk into a sex shop. Because when she does it, she’s a liberated, independent woman who’s just exploring her sexuality.
If a man walks into a sex shop? He’s a pervert, of course.
But in regards to the study that was sited:
One particular sexual ethics program directed at football players asks them to write on whiteboards what they do each day to avoid being sexually harassed. Most stand around scratching their heads.
Random women are then brought into the room and asked the same question. Furious scribbling ensues. “I stand at the back of the lift to avoid being pinched on the bottom.” “I sit in the back of the taxi and pretend to be on a mobile phone.” “I always scan the train carriage and try to sit with women.” “I wear baggy jumpers and pants when walking my dog — even in the heat of summer.” And on and on it goes.
^^^ Yes, sometimes women do get creeped out. Like when a bizarre, out-of-place looking guy is acting weird, or he’s trying to follow them. When that happens, sure, you get freaked out, and start taking precautions.
But I don’t know any women, except those suffering from extreme PTSD, who wake up in the morning and go through their entire day in fear, seeing every person around them as a potential threat. If you do this, I strongly recommend you seek out mental health counseling. I’m friends with lots of women – none of them go through such routines because they’re scared of being harassed, as if every man is a potential rapist.
6. If I do the same task as a woman, and if the measurement is at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.
^^^ Evidence? Anyone ever see a building built by a woman, and think to themselves that its not so good only for that reason?
I’ve never actually worked at a company, ever in my life, where this was the case. Nobody ever saw a presentation given by a man and thought it was better simply because it was done by someone with a penis. In fact I can remember several times were what the man did was never good enough, but anything the woman did was fantastic.
7. If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are relatively low.
^^^ There’s now a 5 part post explaining exactly and precisely why this is BS, on every single possible level there is to view it from.
10. If I have children but do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be called into question.
^^^ 3 words: “Dead Beat Dad”. Masculinity and worth as a person are most definitely called into question.
What’s more, the law has traditionally penalized men, not women, when financial burdens fall upon the family. In the United States, of the 400,000 people currently receiving alimony, only 3% are men. Women are also far less likely to pay alimony or child payments after divorce. That’s an expectation that’s put upon the man.
11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I’m even marginally competent.
^^^ This is because men are typically seen as totally and completely incompetent when it comes to raising children. We don’t expect men to raise children. Why? Because THEY’RE MEN!!! Imagine if women were seen this way, then praised whenever they did even the slightest good. That would be sexist against women.
Think back to how many TV commercials you’ve seen with men around the house. The man can do 3 things.
Read the paper.
Ask for a beer.
That’s it. He rarely does anything else, and if he does, it’s has to be funny somehow. He can’t care about the condition of the house without some implicit humor involved.
Mom, on the other hand, can take care of the kids / answer conference calls / clean the house / pay the bills / go to the bank / do the laundry / shop for school supplies / oh and she’s a doctor / AND a lawyer / damn and she’s going to school! / and how many other things can you name?
Women are like the ultra accomplished 3 time gold medal athlete practicing a routine we’ve all seen. “Good job! Keep it up.” Men are like the special child in the sandbox who’s just earned how to turn the sand pail over. “Ohhhhh how wonderful sweetheart! That’s so good of youuuuu!”
14. My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more this is true.
^^^ I wonder why that is?
Lets think about this for a second. A woman wants to run as a state representative. To do this she needs to get on the ballot. The people at the ballot office look at her, point, laugh, and go “Ha ha! You can’t run! You’re a woman!!!”
I can already hear the 3rd Wavers reaching for their “No it’s more subtle than that!” fall back.
Okay, so then what? She wants to get on the ballot, and they spend hours trying to convince her not to? They try to intimidate her? They make the process more difficult? No, of course not. If that happened, it’d be all over the news.
So she gets on the ballot… and then people don’t vote for her because she’s a woman? Okay, then how do you explain Hillary Clinton? Sarah Palin? Elizabeth Warren? Or all the other female representatives / senators / presidential cabinet members I could name? Were they pretending to be men, people voted for then after they were elected – “AHA! Gotcha! I’m a woman!!” ?
Like all aspects of 3rd Waver theory, this begins to sound ridiculous with even the briefest of rational inquiry. But then that does leave us with the question – why are most of our elected representatives men?
Here’s why: http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/building-women2019s-political-careers-strengthening-the-pipeline-to-higher-office
This is from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a far left leaning FEMINIST organization. According to the study:
The money barrier for women candidates running for higher office has three major, distinct aspects – all of which are gendered. The first is learning how to ask. Women do express discomfort or reluctance, but this is one aspect that is overcome readily and early with training. The second aspect is developing a relationship with donors so that if you ask, they will respond. This requires personally meeting them or having an introduction or other connection that matters to both the potential donor and the candidate. The third aspect is having access to good call lists (reliable and untapped donors). This requires more support from the political parties and women’s organizations, as well as experienced officeholders or other power brokers who have developed these lists over time and will share them with selected candidates.
Said another way: women lack the skills to succeed in running for office. And this is coming from a FEMINIST organization.
The great thing about “skills” is that they improve if you practice them. That’s precisely what we would tell any MAN who wanted to hold office but didn’t quite have what it took. We’d say “less whining, more practicing”. It’s heroic when a man bites the bullet and puts in the work to develop the skills he doesn’t have, then tries again. So if women are equal to men, why don’t we empower them the same way?
You can find another study here:
http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/research/topics/documents/InitialDecisiontoRun.pdf – this is conducted by the Department of Political Science, at Union College, New York. [Update: Jan 21, 2016 – as is the fluid nature of the internet, the above link has stopped working. If anyone can find a link that goes to this study, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Also let me know if any of the other links aren’t working. Would greatly appreciate it.]
According to the study:
The findings clearly show that, across professions, women are significantly less likely than men to have ever considered running for office. And the gender disparity between men and women in each of the professions is remarkably similar; men in each of the professions are more than twice as likely as women to say that they have seriously considered running for office. The survey also asked respondents about their overall level of political participation in such activities as voting, interest group membership, and community involvement. On all of the political participation measures, we found no substantively significant gender differences. Interest in seeking office, then, stands out as the largest gender difference in any area of political participation.
Look at that! There are fewer women in office because women choose not to run. WHO’D OF THOUGHT!
What’s interesting is that this study finds there was no difference at all in men and women’s fundraising ability. That would suggest that the women in the previous study simply weren’t skilled in fundraising. But according to 3rd Wavers, lack of interests + lack of skill = objectified. Because penis.
Also, why are we assuming here that men can’t represent the interests of women? They can’t represent you just because they’re men?? I mean I don’t go to my doctor and tell him he can’t operate on my brain tumor unless HE’S had a brain tumor. Imagine telling a woman she can’t understand my issues because she’s not a man. Yea that just wouldn’t fly.
Give me some women’s issues that women are concerned about, then tell me why men can’t represent those interests (assuming of course that we live in a magical world where government actually represents anyone who isn’t a bank CEO or a billionaire).
16. As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters.
^^^ According to the author’s own defense of this point:
“It should be noted that the gender expectations put on too many children is not a benefit for all boys. In particular, boys who can’t live up to stereotypical gender role expectations often face emotional abuse from adults and peers, as well as physical abuse from peers.”
I mention a bit on this later, but remember – it’s not a PRIVILEGE if it’s harmful. Again, if I get all the ice cream I want and you cant have any, I’m the one with the privilege. However, it’s no longer a privilege if the ice cream is dangerous to have.
More accurately, as a child, boys are taught to take care of themselves because no one else will care for them. That’s not necessarily a privilege. This is being reworded for the 3rd Wavers benefit so that it sounds disadvantageous on their part.
17. As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children’s media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male protagonists were (and are) the default.
^^^ Yea. Saturday morning cartoons featuring He-Man. This is definitely a privilege. You’re totally right. We need to do something about that before… um… something happens. I guess.
But lets entertain the argument here, lest any 3rd Wavers jump on me for dismissing it because it’s valid and I’m just trying to weasel out.
Are you sure??? Non-stereotyped???
And there are no female heroes?
Xena? Samus Ayran? Wonder Woman? Black Cat? Kim Possible? She-ra?
I mean those are just the ones that pop to mind right offhand. Put “list of female super heroes” into google and you’ll get http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_superheroines .
18. As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often.
^^^ According to the author’s own cited research:
During the numerous teacher-student interactions that occur over the course of the school day, boys use creative and effective techniques to catch the teacher’s attention. Boys quickly raise their hands to respond or contribute to discussions, wave their hand around and up and down, change the arm they have raised when it gets tired, jump out of their seat and make noise or plead with the teacher to call on them. Girls, however, raise their hand but will soon put it down if they are not acknowledged. As a result, teachers call on boys and interact with them most of the time, while girls’ passive, compliant behavior often means they are ignored.
Ok, so… if you got one student who’s JUMPING UP AND DOWN and bouncing in his seat and waving his hand back and forth and going “OOO!! OOO!! OOO!!!” … which student are you likely to call on? Remember the definition of privilege: for it to count, the teacher must be calling on them because they are boys, NOT because they are actively doing things that the girls could also do in order to get called on.
26. My clothing is typically less expensive and better-constructed than women’s clothing for the same social status. While I have fewer options, my clothes will probably fit better than a woman’s without tailoring.
^^^ I now have an entire female wardrobe. The cost of the entire thing was around 0 dollars and 0 cents, so there goes your less expensive argument – unless someone is *paying* you to take men’s clothes. What’s more, no one’s forcing you to buy that over-priced designer purse. You can find one at Goodwill, made from the same quality leather for just a few dollars.
Also, my women’s clothes fit better than the mens clothes ever did, and I can even take pics of me wearing my old men’s clothes, then wearing the women’s clothes, and actually show you that they fit better.
30. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.
^^^ Right. If you’re a man and you’re loud, you’re called an “asshole”. And if you’re aggressive, it’s called “being a dick”.
31. I can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called “crime” and is a general social concern. (Violence that happens mostly to women is usually called “domestic violence” or “acquaintance rape,” and is seen as a special interest issue.)
^^^ This one is just so completely far departed from reality, that I don’t really where to even begin.
It’s like the author lives in Saudi Arabia. Violence against women isn’t a general social concern? The Justice Department HAS AN ENTIRE OFFICE dedicated specifically to violence against women!!! I don’t see an office for “violence against men!”
In fact, lets look at the numbers.
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_298904.pdf – from the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics, this shows some mixed information. In some categories, men experience more violence, while in other categories, it’s women.
https://mainweb-v.musc.edu/vawprevention/lesbianrx/factsheet.shtml – from the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, and the University of Missouri, St Louis. Up to 45% of women in lesbian relationships report physical violence. Up to 50% report sexual abuse. Psychological abuse is as high as 90%.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1854883/ – from the US National Library of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health. This shows that women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of cases.
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00978098 – from the Journal of Family Violence. According to the study: “Criminal statistics indicate a relatively low proportion of women among violent offenders in the public domain, while in the domestic and/or private domain statistics reflect almost no gender difference in violent behavior.”
http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm – from the Department of Psychology, California State University. This is a meta-analysis (considered the strongest form of analysis in science), indicating that women are just as violence in relationships, if not more violent, than men.
Yet, despite all this, violence against women is given top priority, while violence against men is laughed at. In fact, during the 2015 Grammy Awards, President Obama made a speech, wherein he stated: “Today we can change our culture for the better; by ending violence against women and girls . . . it’s not okay, and it has to stop”. Nothing about domestic violence, which would include both – no, only violence against women and girls is a problem. So to hell with men and boys I guess. In a patriarchy. Where they’re more valued.
This appears to be the consensus in nearly everywhere you look; from newspapers, to scholarly publications and peer reviewed research journals, all the way up to massive, worldwide, global organizations like the United Nations; every voice, everywhere, unanimously denounces violence against women, with a fist-shaking flag-waving sense of holy righteousness.
But hang on. Is violence against men treated more seriously? It’s considered a “CRIME”, not a “special interest issue”, right?
From the link:
Of the abused men who called domestic violence hotlines, 64% were told that they “only helped women.” In 32% of the cases, the abused men were referred to batterers’ programs. Another 25% were given a phone number to call that turned out to be a batterers’ program. A little over a quarter of them were given a reference to a local program that helped. Overall, only 8% of the men who called hotlines classified them as “very helpful,” whereas 69% found them to be “not at all helpful.” Sixteen percent said the people at the hot line “dismissed or made fun of them.”
I’m sometimes truly awestruck by how someone can follow the religion of feminism and be so utterly oblivious to actual reality.
32. I can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. “All men are created equal,” mailman, chairman, freshman, etc.
^^^ This is because a thousand years ago, when our language was being created in the caldron of mish-mashed shouting and noises that eventually became English (seriously, look it up), men were the ones with gender roles that involved these vocations. This is ancient history, and has nothing to do with how things are happening today.
And by the way, these vocations often meant working in the fields for 12 hours under the hot sun with no sunscreen or mosquito repellent and hopefully having enough money when the Tax Man Cometh, or being called to war at a moment’s notice and sent to die somewhere in the mud with an axe in your chest. A woman’s role didn’t involve this, so they sat inside, not working in the fields, or donning armor to fight the enemy. I know. What horrible oppression.
Besides, how is this a “privilege”? I mean, how exactly do I benefit from having stuff called “man”? Does it help me go grocery shopping? Save on gas? Get better jobs? What?
Also, if you’re so damned oppressed, how is it that we’ve started changing all these terms just because women wanted it? Chair person, Peace officer, Mail carrier, etc.
38. If I have a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are we’ll divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks.
^^^ Because… mowing the lawn, trimming the hedges, digging ditches, cleaning the gutter, taking the trash out, paving the driveway, laying bricks, and fixing the yard… yea. Not laborious or repetitive at all.
What’s more, there’s a far greater expectation placed on the man to get a job, whereas the woman has a choice to either get one or stay home. And when the man has a job, he *still* has to do all the chores I just mentioned.
40. If I have children with my wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are we’ll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.
^^^ Can’t help but feel that things like this are nothing more than anecdotal, and are just used for padding the list.
Man: Well sweety, I’m needed around the office. They’re giving me more hours. Looks like you’re gonna have to stay home and look after the kids!
Woman: Okay. 🙁
Really… what conversation in modern day America goes like this?
Its more like:
Man: Well sweety, I’m needed around the office. They’re giving me more hours. Looks like –
Woman: (Arms crossed. Foot tapping. And glares.)
Man: … like… I’m… gonna be looking after the kids. Aren’t I.
Woman: You damn right you are! And PICK UP THAT MESS! How many times I gotta tell you so-on-and-so-on-and-so-on.
Now be honest. Which one of these are you more likely to hear?
44. Complete strangers generally do not walk up to me on the street and tell me to “smile.”
^^^ Oh god yes, you’re right. That is SUCH a privilege to not be told to smile.
How does that even look or sound like? According to the author’s elaboration on this point: http://amptoons.com/blog/2004/10/07/smile-damn-you-smile/
If you believe the description here, I’ve never seen anyone do this; stand upon a rock, high above the heads of all, chest out, sword at the hip, cape flowing in the wind – a la The Captain, bellowing out a command upon a hapless little woman who grovels in the sand below him… “I COMMAND YOU… TO SMILE!!!! MWAHAHAHAHA!!!”
I mean read the description there. This is how ridiculous it sounds.
Before I move on to my next point, I’ve been studying Gender Outlaw, by Kate Bornstein (loaned to me by Anna Dawson – thanks so much! I finally have a huge chunk of time each day to read it and take notes).
Kate makes a few mentions of male privilege in her book. On pages 107 and 108:
”Without the structure of the bi-polar gender system, the power dynamic between men and women shatters. People would not have gender to use as a hierarchical framework, and nearly half the members of the bipolar gender system would probably be at quite a loss. They believe (foolishly I think) that the power they have and exert over others is a good thing and they want to hang on to it, they’re terrified of losing this stuff. What I’m talking about is what’s been called “male privilege.”
^^^ Ok, so according to Kate, male privilege holds some very different meaning than what we’ve seen so far. It’s not simply being exempt from certain penalties or having more opportunities – here, we see it being referred to as an actual “power” that you hold over others.
She goes on:
”People ask me what it was like to have had that kind of privilege, what it was like to lose it, why in the world did I give it up. To have it was like taking drugs, to get rid of it was like kicking a habit. I gave it up because it was destroying me and the people I loved.”
^^^ HOLY WOW!!! Ok, male privilege is wayyyyyyyyy more than a few extra opportunities!!! Geez… it’s like a drug??? SERIOUSLY??? It… it gave you So. Much. Power??? … and not just power, I mean for f***’s sake, POWER TO DESTROY PEOPLE’S LIVES!!!
Alright, now this is serious. This is above and beyond any of those things listed earlier. I’m just dying to find out what the hell this male privilege is!
Kate goes on:
”Male privilege is assuming one has the right to occupy any space or person by whatever means, with or without permission.”
^^^ You’ve lost me already. Occupy any person??? Um… yea there’s plenty of zingers there I’m sure. But no, men do not assume they can occupy any person. That’s ridiculous.
Men do not assume they can occupy any space either. You don’t see legions of men everywhere simply getting into cars that don’t belong to them, or entering other people’s houses, “just because”.
But Kate goes on:
”It’s a sense of entitlement that’s unique to those who have been raised male in most cultures – it’s most notably absent in most girls and women. Male privilege is not something given to men in this culture; it’s something that men take.”
^^^ Sounds brutal! Here men are, just… WALKING INTO MODOR, and grabbing hold of this incredible power with drug-like qualities that can destroy their enemies, and no one can stop them! Really it’s Lord of the goddam Rings here…
”It’s not that women don’t have the ability to have and wield this privilege; some do.”
^^^ Those are the evil ones, I’m sure.
And I hate to ruin the flow here, but something can only be a “male privilege” if it applies exclusively to males. Both men and women can drive. Driving isn’t a “male privilege”, it’s simply a “privilege”. So whatever examples we come up with here, it would have to be something *only* men can do, or at least something men can do that women would have a very hard time doing. But back over to Kate:
”It’s that in most cases, this privilege is withheld from them culturally and emotionally. Male privilege is woven into all levels of the culture, from unearned higher wages to more opportunities in the workplace, from higher quality, less expensive clothing to better bathroom facilities”.
Ok. A few things.
1. Men “take” these things? Like… ok, men somehow “took” better bathrooms? They “took” … um… clothing that was less expensive? I covered the higher wages and work opportunities already.
2. Didn’t you just say this was destroying people’s lives? I’m sorry, I was expecting something wayyyyyy more devious than better clothes and better bathrooms. I mean your first examples after a pronouncement like that have really got to be mind blowing, otherwise it’s a real let down.
3. I also addressed the clothing thing earlier, and as someone who used to use men’s rooms, and now uses the ladies room, I can assure you that there is *not* any real difference.
Back to Kate:
”Male privilege extends into sexual harassment, rape, and war.”
Sexual harassment is not a male privilege. If it were, then men would be allowed to do it all the time. They can’t. It’s a crime. In fact, the “sexual harassment” thing, especially back in the 90s, was frequently used as a weapon by women who could simply point the finger at any man they didn’t like and have him fired for “sexual harassment”. I was actually kicked out of a school for this very thing. A group of girls didn’t like me, they pointed at me and said those words, and I was forced out of that school. This is female privilege all the way.
Rape is not a male privilege. It’s a crime. Nowhere in the civilized world will you find anyone, anywhere, who says rape is ok. And these studies that reveal some percentage of college students saying it’s ok are actually asking the students on site “do you think a woman ever owes you sex”, and if the sniffling little life-noob says “yes”, they put that down as him saying rape is ok. But then if they actually asked him that – “do you think rape is ok”, he would of course say no. As anyone would. This is right up there with these insanely ridiculous studies that claim men think about sex every 7 seconds.
War is not a male privilege. War’s often have extremely complex socio-economic and political causes that sometimes stretch back across decade, and are never, ever a “privilege”, especially not for the men who must go off and fight them. Look at some Vietnam veterans, look at the people who have been scarred for life, then tell me what a privilege it is. War being a privilege is one of the most backward things I’ve ever heard.
Kate is utterly brilliant in the rest of this book. I want to make that clear. I’ve been really educated about how gender works, and have been enlightened considerably. But this part about male privilege could not be more wrong if her name were Wrong W. Wrongson and she lived in Wrongsville, Wrongsuri.
”Combine male privilege with capitalism”
^^^ Not even going there. Suffice to say that Kate is just plain wrong on this point, and it’s outside of this discussion anyway.
”… and you have a juggernaut that needs stopping by any means. . . Male privilege is, in a word, violence.”
^^^ Earlier she mentioned clothes and bathrooms and work opportunities… now it’s violence.
On page 110:
”I didn’t “lose” my male privilege so much as I made a conscious decision to get rid of it, and I didn’t get rid of it all at once; it’s an attitude that is insidiously pervasive”.
^^^ Ok, so… I’m even more confused now than I was when we started this. What is male privilege? First it was better bathrooms and better clothes. Then it was war. Then it was violence. Now it’s an attitude?
If that weren’t enough, we get *even*more* crazy examples.
Continuing on the same page:
”Things like leaping up and taking charge, even when it wasn’t called for”
^^^ Someone better call Judge Judy and tell her to lay off with the male privilege. Because no one anywhere ever at all looked at her, and thought to themselves “that’s male privilege”. For some reason, it’s a privilege only when men do it.
”things like using a conversation sledge hammer”
^^^ I’m totally uncertain what this even means… but I’m sure it has something to do with being forceful in a conversation. Because after all, if a girl is nice and polite, well she’s only been taught to act that way from the patriarchy, right? And if she’s forceful and assertive, well it’s male privilege (or it’s perfectly fine for her to do, and is only male privilege if men do it). Either way, men are just always at fault.
”things like assuming that everyone owed me special consideration for my journey through a gender change”
^^^ Wait wait wait… how is that male privilege??? Listen, you’re not even a … I mean that… men don’t… what???
What your describing has utterly nothing to do with male privilege – or even with men at all! Most trans people have trouble adjusting, and figuring out where the boundaries between themselves and everyone else lies. This is pretty normal in transitioning. It’s marvelous that even this is being painted as some terrible thing coming from men.
This goes on and on, with even more bizarre examples and strange twisted logic, but I’ll stop here.
I suppose different feminist will have different takes on what male privilege supposedly is… whether their definitions make any sense or not. So if anyone else out there has a better understanding of what it’s supposed to be, and has some real-world examples, would love to hear them.
In light of male privilege, lets talk for a moment about male disposability. I would like for someone to address how men are privileged when they’re so routinely made worthless and put on the bottom rung, often below and behind women.
Seats in lifeboats – women first!
Being rescued from burning buildings – women first!
Who gets to eat when there’s not enough food – women first!
What’s more, men being brutally injured or mutilated is often see as perfectly acceptable in our society, and sometimes it’s even celebrated and laughed at.
Clearly, someone is more valuable in all of these cases, and it isn’t the man. For a woman to be valuable, all she has to do is be a woman. For a man to be valuable, he has to be a goddam hero.
And yet… somehow, some way… it’s men who have the privilege.