| The Male Privilege Checklist |
An Unabashed Imitation of an article by Peggy McIntosh
In 1990, Wellesley College professor Peggy McIntosh wrote an essay called “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. McIntosh observes that whites in the U.S. are “taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” To illustrate these invisible systems, McIntosh wrote a list of 26 invisible privileges whites benefit from.
As McIntosh points out, men also tend to be unaware of their own privileges as men. In the spirit of McIntosh’s essay, I thought I’d compile a list similar to McIntosh’s, focusing on the invisible privileges benefiting men.
Due to my own limitations, this list is unavoidably U.S. centric. I hope that writers from other cultures will create new lists, or modify this one, to reflect their own experiences.
Since I first compiled it, the list has been posted many times on internet discussion groups. Very helpfully, many people have suggested additions to the checklist. More commonly, of course, critics (usually, but not exclusively, male) have pointed out men have disadvantages too - being drafted into the army, being expected to suppress emotions, and so on. These are indeed bad things - but I never claimed that life for men is all ice cream sundaes.
Obviously, there are individual exceptions to most problems discussed on the list. The existence of individual exceptions does not mean that general problems are not a concern.
Pointing out that men are privileged in no way denies that bad things happen to men. Being privileged does not mean men are given everything in life for free; being privileged does not mean that men do not work hard, do not suffer. 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.
In the end, however, it is men and not women who make the most money; men and not women who dominate the government and the corporate boards; men and not women who dominate virtually all of the most powerful positions of society. And it is women and not men who suffer the most from intimate violence and rape; who are the most likely to be poor; who are, on the whole, given the short end of patriarchy’s stick.
Several critics have also argued that the list somehow victimizes women. I disagree; pointing out problems is not the same as perpetuating them. It is not a “victimizing” position to acknowledge that injustice exists; on the contrary, without that acknowledgment it isn’t possible to fight injustice.
An internet acquaintance of mine once wrote, “The first big privilege which whites, males, people in upper economic classes, the able bodied, the straight (I think one or two of those will cover most of us) can work to alleviate is the privilege to be oblivious to privilege.” This checklist is, I hope, a step towards helping men to give up the “first big privilege.”
The Male Privilege Checklist
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.
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. (More).
3. If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex.
4. If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities.
5. I am far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female co-workers are. (More).
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.
7. If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are relatively low. (More).
8. On average, I am taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces much less than my female counterparts are.
9. If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be called into question.
10. If I have children but do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be called into question.
11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I’m even marginally competent. (More).
12. If I have children and a career, no one will think I’m selfish for not staying at home.
13. If I seek political office, my relationship with my children, or who I hire to take care of them, will probably not be scrutinized by the press.
14. My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more this is true.
15. When I ask to see “the person in charge,” odds are I will face a person of my own sex. The higher-up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be.
16. As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters. (More).
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.
18. As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often. (More).
19. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it has sexist overtones.
20. I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented, every day, without exception.
21. If I’m careless with my financial affairs it won’t be attributed to my sex.
22. If I’m careless with my driving it won’t be attributed to my sex.
23. I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.
24. Even if I sleep with a lot of women, there is no chance that I will be seriously labeled a “slut,” nor is there any male counterpart to “slut-bashing.” (More).
25. I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability or my gender conformity. (More).
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. (More).
27. The grooming regimen expected of me is relatively cheap and consumes little time. (More).
28. If I buy a new car, chances are I’ll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car. (More).
29. If I’m not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore.
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.
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.)
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, he.
33. My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
34. I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.
35. The decision to hire me will never be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.
36. Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is pictured as male.
37. Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.
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. (More).
39. If I have children with a wife or girlfriend, chances are she’ll do most of the childrearing, and in particular the most dirty, repetitive and unrewarding parts of childrearing.
40. If I have children with a 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.
41. Magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to me sexually. Such images of men exist, but are rarer.
42. In general, I am under much less pressure to be thin than my female counterparts are. (More). If I am fat, I probably suffer fewer social and economic consequences for being fat than fat women do. (More).
43. If I am heterosexual, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover. (More).
44. Complete strangers generally do not walk up to me on the street and tell me to “smile.” (More: 1 2).
45. On average, I am not interrupted by women as often as women are interrupted by men.
46. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.
(Compiled by Barry Deutsch, aka “Ampersand.” Permission is granted to reproduce this list in any way, for any purpose, so long as the acknowledgment of Peggy McIntosh’s work is not removed. If possible, I’d appreciate it if folks who use it would tell me how they used it; my email is barry-at-amptoons-dot-com.)
(This is a continually updated document; the most current version of The Male Privilege Checklist can always be found at amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-che… . To see posts discussing the Male Privilege Checklist and various items on it, please visit this archive page).
Inspired by the above list here are the female privilege Lists:
| Female Privilege List |
Privileges I have as a woman, that "others" - mostly men - don't have.
1. I’m under less pressure than others to engage in risky, dangerous and unhealthy behaviors - one of the reasons I get to live longer than others do.
2. I can choose professions that are less lucrative, and not be called a loser.
3. If I don’t rise to the top of my profession, it’s OK – people won’t judge me the less for it.
4. I’m entitled to the benefits of a safe, orderly society, but no one expects me to risk my personal safety to maintain it.
5. I have the right to have the overwhelming majority of personal risk suffered in defense of my country handled by others.
6. I’m allowed to avoid violence, and even run from it, without the risk I’ll be laughed at.
7. If I see someone else in danger, I’m allowed to stop and think carefully about my personal risk before saving them, without my courage being called into question.
8. I have the right to avoid risky, dangerous challenges, and not be called a coward.
9. I’m allowed to cry as a child and tell my parents I’m scared of something - my parents won't be disappointed with me.
10. I have the right to have most of the really dangerous professions handled by others.
11. If I commit a crime, I get less jail time than others would get for the exact same crime.
12. When I find myself with others in a terrifying, life-threatening situation, I have the right to be evacuated first, once the children are safe. Others can wait.
13. If I get slaughtered as part of some atrocity, people will be especially outraged and will call particular attention to the fact I was slaughtered. When others are slaughtered, it isn't quite as upsetting.
14. I have the right to give my child up for adoption, and thus totally repudiate any personal and financial responsibilities I might otherwise have.
15. I can choose whether I want to be a parent or not, knowing that society will compel the other parent to meet their financial responsibilities - whether they want to or not.
16. If I am personally attacked, I expect otherwise safe, otherwise uninvolved people to come to my defense.
17. If I see someone else being attacked, I’m not expected to risk my own safety to defend them. It's OK for me to wait for others to intervene, and it’s also OK for me to criticize others if they don’t.
18. In any dispute involving custody, I’m granted the presumption that I am the better, safer parent.
19. I have the right to interact with children not my own, and not have people look at me suspiciously.
20. If I choose to become a parent, people understand if I want to focus entirely on the personal, day-to-day care and nurturing of my children. Society expects my spouse to make enough money to make this choice possible.
21. I can get real nasty when someone makes me mad, and call them ugly, a loser, a nerd, a geek, a disgusting creep, a revolting little worm, a worthless piece of garbage, a scum bag, a wimp, a pervert, a jerk-off, an old fart, or a fat slob. After all, I have the right not to be treated meanly at work, and the right not to hear harsh things that might make me uncomfortable. I have legal recourse if that right is not respected, and I have the right to make this perfectly clear on my job interview.
22. I’m allowed to embrace and cultivate my spiritual qualities, and adopt a more elevated and more refined view of life - because other people handle all the "dirty work" like: yard work, garbage hauling, construction, fishing, mining, sewage disposal, street cleaning, long distance trucking, baggage handling, painting, sandblasting, and cement work.
23. If I fail at something, I can go to college and study the historical forces and social constructs that make it harder for people like me. If others fail, it’s because they just don’t have what it takes.
24. If I fail at almost everything, I can always teach college courses that explain why people like me fail a lot.
Please acknowledge Sweating Through Fog when forwarding or copying this list
What do you think? I'm not saying anybody has it objectively easier or harder - life is pretty hard for everybody. But I guess you can tell which side I'm naturally more sensitive to.
| Female Privilege |
Submitted by Brandon Berg on Tue, 2008-06-24 22:00. If you hang around feminists for more than fifteen minutes, the term "male privilege" will come up. Essentially, this is the term feminists use to collectively describe the ways in which life is easier for men and/or harder for women.
One interesting characteristic of male privilege is that it's largely invisible to men. It's like an iceberg. We men, from our privileged terrestrial positions, can only see the tip of the iceberg, but women, forced to live in the icy depths of the Arctic Ocean by their male oppressors, can see the whole thing. Also, while feminist men can't see it directly, they can infer its presence. Feminism is kind of like sonar that way.
Anyway, some time back Ampersand nailed the a list of 46 aspects of Male Privilege to the door of the Patriarchy headquarters. We were out touring the world's strip clubs and golf courses on official business at the time, so we're just now getting around to responding. Ballgame over at the Feminist Critics Blog is on it with a Female Privilege Checklist. You'll note that his list is only half as long as Ampersand's, but we're still going to give him twice the recognition. Great job, Ballgame. Have another link.
I have some more items to add to the list:
Of course, I don't deny that there are certain privileges given to men that are not given to women. What I reject is the concept of Male Privilege: The idea that men are unambigously privileged over women. In reality, women have their own privileges, and very often privilege and obligation go hand in hand. For example, Ampersand cites as an example of male privilege this: "If I have children and a career, no one will think I’m selfish for not staying at home." But the flip side of this is that a man faces much stronger social pressure to be his family's primary breadwinner. Certainly working mothers far outnumber stay-at-home fathers.
Which sex has the better package of privileges and obligations is largely a matter of personal preference. Yes, most feminists think men have it better, but that's because modern feminism, having little left to offer a woman who relishes her role as a full-time wife and mother, disproportionately attracts women who think they're getting a raw deal. This may also explain why lesbians tend to be overrepresented among feminists--denied male privileges and unable to take advantage of those female privileges tied to heterosexuality, they really do get a raw deal.
*Yes, several of these items are shamelessly heteronormative. Because that's how we patriarchs roll.
**I note this because a common feminist tactic is to cast any attempt to point out female privileges as whining by men afraid of feminism's challenge to their own privilege. Of course, talking about Male Privilege is speaking truth to power, not whining.
| Female Privilege |
June 8th, 2008 at 06:30am Posted by ballgame | Alas a Blog, Creative Destruction, Double Standards, Equality, Fallacies, Gynocentrism, Oppression of Men, Patriarchy, Privilege | 290 comments
Feminists will often cite ‘male privilege’ as evidence for the existence of ‘patriarchy’ or at a minimum, women’s relatively disadvantaged state in the West today. (Amp at Alas compiled one of the more notable male privilege checklists.) Most gynocentric feminists ignore the roster of equally valid female privileges.
Here is my list of such privileges, updated from a comment I left some time ago over at Thinking Girl’s.
By “privileges”, I simply mean areas of life where women in the West have it better than men. In other words, “male disprivilege = female privilege” (and vice versa). There does not seem to be universal agreement about this usage. Some people apparently draw a distinction between “relative advantage” and “unearned benefit which the group shouldn’t have.” (Daran, as usual, had an excellent review of the issue in one of his Creative Destruction posts.)
I have reservations about the term. I use it here primarily as a rebuttal to those who DO use the term and inaccurately assert that in gender, “privilege” is a one-way street.
BTW, I phrased this in the first person the same way Amp phrased his for men, although I’m not female. I believe Amp used this approach not just because he’s male, but to induce some recognition of privilege among the bearers of that privilege, and I use the device similarly here.
As a woman …
1. I have a much lower chance of being murdered than a man.
2. I have a much lower chance of being driven to successfully commit suicide than a man.
3. I have a lower chance of being a victim of a violent assault than a man.
4. I have probably been taught that it is acceptable to cry.
5. I will probably live longer than the average man.
6. Most people in society probably will not see my overall worthiness as a person being exclusively tied to how high up in the hierarchy I rise.
7. I have a much better chance of being considered to be a worthy mate for someone, even if I’m unemployed with little money, than a man.
8. I am given much greater latitude to form close, intimate friendships than a man is.
9. My chance of suffering a work-related injury or illness is significantly lower than a man’s.
10. My chance of being killed on the job is a tiny fraction of a man’s.
11. If I shy away from fights, it is unlikely that this will damage my standing in my peer group or call into question my worthiness as a sex partner.
12. I am not generally expected to be capable of violence. If I lack this capacity, this will generally not be seen as a damning personal deficiency.
13. If I was born in North America since WWII, I can be almost certain that my genitals were not mutilated soon after birth, without anesthesia.
14. If I attempt to hug a friend in joy, it’s much less likely that my friend will wonder about my sexuality or pull away in unease.
15. If I seek a hug in solace from a close friend, I’ll have much less concern about how my friend will interpret the gesture or whether my worthiness as a member of my gender will be called into question.
16. I generally am not compelled by the rules of my sex to wear emotional armor in interactions with most people.
17. I am frequently the emotional center of my family.
18. I am allowed to wear clothes that signify ‘vulnerability’, ‘playful openness’, and ’softness’.
19. I am allowed to BE vulnerable, playful, and soft without calling my worthiness as a human being into question.
20. If I interact with other people’s children — particularly people I don’t know very well — I do not have to worry much about the interaction being misinterpreted.
21. If I have trouble accommodating to some aspects of gender demands, I have a much greater chance than a man does of having a sympathetic audience to discuss the unreasonableness of the demand, and a much lower chance that this failure to accommodate will be seen as signifying my fundamental inadequacy as a member of my gender.
22. I am less likely to be shamed for being sexually inactive than a man.
23. From my late teens through menopause, for most levels of sexual attractiveness, it is easier for me to find a sex partner at my attractiveness level than it is for a man.
24. My role in my child’s life is generally seen as more important than the child’s father’s role.
There are many good links to read on the topic of male and female privilege, in addition to the ones listed at the top. Sweating Through Fog put together this female privilege list, with an emphasis on the important difference in the role violence plays in men’s and women’s lives. Interestingly, Women in Higher Education editor Mary Dee Wenniger wrote this female privilege checklist for WIHE, which prompted this somewhat off-target rebuttal by Rachel Edidin. And of course, Daran has written extensively about privilege, which you can read here and in the links listed at the end of that post.
And on a more angrier tone
1. Do you experience other people paying for your dates, or occasionally even picking up the tab in non-romantic settings? Or paying for vacations when the relationship moves along?
2. Do you occasionally exp!rience subservient gestures by the opposite sex(opening doors, giving up a seat in the bus, standing up when you come in the room)?
3. Are you able to simply pursue what you are interested in at university without much societal pressure on “breadwinning” - although you could also take that route if it interests you?
4.a. Have you had to register for selective service? Would you be ripped out of your life and forced to defend your country in time of attack or national emergency? Can you demand strength and full participation in society, but then get out of this obligation by pretending to be weak with no influence over society (only when it suits you)?
4.b. Can you come up with any and every excuse to get out of this without being laughed at (”No one should be drafted” - when you would be the first to cower in the corner and demand that someone do something if China & Russia combined and attacked full force - and “If men start wars …” when women are the majority of voters and the expression is more likely “Men are SENT in wars …” - exactly what you’re trying to get out of - and sometimes sent by M. Thatcher, G. Meir, I. Gandhi, B. Bhutto and others)
5. Will you statistically get a much lighter sentence for exactly the same offense if you commit a crime?
6. Are you able to take on a job or choose a career route that is only capable of supporting yourself, with no thought to preparing yourself to also support a spouse/children, although you are also free to choose a more difficult career that will bring you more money? Do you not have much pressure on you with regard to this?
7. If you are in a committed relationship, do you have much greater flexibility to choose whether you want to work or simply stay at home (even without kids)?
8. Will you be called an unemployed loser if you decide to be a homemaker?
9. If you have a flat tire on the road, if someone is harassing you in a public place, if an animal attacks you, or if you are lost, will someone be much, much more likely to help you?
10. Are people generally much nicer to you in public? Are you sometimes given privileged treatment?
11. Are you much more capable of “marrying up” - enjoying the money and status that comes with this?
12. Are you statistically much more likely to be given money in a divorce - sometimes huge amounts - even if your behavior caused the divorce (e.g. affair) and even if you didn’t work for the money?
13. If you slap a person - or even knock someone’s tooth out throwing your Aunt Selma’s Christmas mug at that person - is it much more likely to just be viewed as cute, understandable or not a problem?
14. Do you statistically live much longer - possibly due to less stress on you with regard to breadwinning, providing protection, being responsible, not having society viewing you as “expendable” or viewing your problems as not being important?
15. Do you have much more money spent on your health concerns in reality (e.g. 5 times as much on breast cancer as on prostate cancer - although they have roughly the same£qåath rates) while you simultaneously claim that more has to be done for you?
16. Are you much less likely to be homeless? Is more offered to you by society when you are in this position?
17. Is there far less scorn and pressure on you by society when you are an irresponsible doofus? Are your default rates for payment of child support roughly twice those of the other gender, while you simultaneously complain about the other gender not paying?
18. Has whining about and hating the other gender actually been made into a course of studies in college (women’s studies) - as opposed to the true, neutral, unbiased study of this topic - which is simply anthropology?
19. Do you have full opportunity to do anything you want in life - become a doctor, a lawyer, start a business - while simultaneously using the fact that many of your gender don’t CHOOSE themselves to do these things as an argument to try to gain even more advantages? Do you get affirmative action because many of your gender don’t choose to do these things, and thus the numbers don’t “come out right”?
20. Can you manipulate the other gender with sex in some cases to get what you want? Can you pretend like you don’t even know what anyone is talking about on this topic?
21. Can you manipulate using old notions of men protecting and deferring to women when it comes in handy?
22. Can you effectively manipulate by playing the victim? Do tears work sometimes?
23. Can you get sympathy if you don’t work and don’t have children by listing all the household work (hmm … Oprah really does get high ratings, though) while simultaneously being able to bear the cognitive dissonance of calling your sister’s husband who stays home a worthless bum that she ought to leave?
24. Can you “mix and match” traditional and progressive roles - finding just the right mix to get what you want? Can you be a “traditional wife” - enjoying the positive features of that (like not having to work) - while simultaneously being a progressive feminist]lhen THAT gets you advantages? Or having a career while simultaneously using traditional chivalry and male deference to your advantage?
25. Can you constantly say “that’s just typical” and “it doesn’t surprise me a bit” and make a lemon face if you are a parent-in-law? Is near-universal contempt by both genders for your behavior hidden to a much greater extent?
26. Can almost any remark by your partner be construed as verbal abuse if you want sympathy, but the meanest, nastiest, most humiliating things that you can say simply involve “speaking your mind” and “some people just don’t want to hear the truth”?
27. Can you use the fact that gender roles were differentiated long ago - with different advantages/disadvantages for both genders - to try to induce guilt today in people who had absolutely no connection with any of that? Can you say that you have been discriminated against for thousands of years - when you’re only 20 years old - with a straight face? Can you even make things up about history and no one will really check or dare call you on it?
28. Can you propagate myths and outright lies (”Superbowl/domestic violence hoax”, “rule of thumb”, 1/4 rape statistic, intentional misconstrual of pay figures, and many more) and be given a “pass” - without more rigor being demanded?
29. Can you rationalize your own failures using the concept of the “patriarchy”, and blame the other gender for nearly everything that goes wrong in your life - even with quite contorted explanations that no one would otherwise buy - while failures of the other gender are just … failures?
30. Do you want to be treated like a child when it suits you but as an adult when you get an advantage from that? Do you “look the other way” when someone doesn’t require responsibility from you that they certainly would from the other gender?
31. Can you focus heavily on perceived earnings in the workforce - the statistics of which are influenced by people’s choices in reality - while utterly ignoring the inter-family transfer of wealth? Can you completely ignore the fact that one gender picks tougher jobs (garbage collector), works more hours and takes on more responsibility because of more pressure to earn - but the other gender has the same lifestyle and statistically more assets (and not just because of inheritance/earlier age of male at death…). Can you deliberately claim that earnings figures are based on equal pay for equal work? (when you probably full well know that they simply involve all people working more than 35 hours - and don’t take type of job, hours worked over 35/week, danger, responsibility, years in the work force etc. into consideration at all).
32. Is what used to simply be an irritation for grown-ups many years ago - the self-centered rantings and foot stompings of spoiled high-school and college brats - now not only embraced by your movement but almost the modern cornerstone of it?
33. And if you irritated about generalizations and stereotypes - and utterly fail to see the hypocrisy in stereotyping and generalizing about one gender while simultaneously making a career (literally in some cases) whining about your own gender being stereotyped …
… you may have female/feminist privilege! But don’t let on - because you can gain much more with a continual victim status.
| The Female Privilege Checklist |
In contemplating a list of male privileges...we created a list of female privilege to share, post and comment on
When I first heard Wellesley Professor Peggy McIntosh discuss her 1989 essay on “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack,” at a conference, I was moved.
As the editor and publisher of Women in Higher Education, I immediately wondered whether there was a similar checklist having to do with gender. Returning to her original essay, I reread the first paragraph, and learned that it was inspired by her noting a ubiquitous male privilege.
“Through the work to bring materials from Women’s Studies into the rest of the curriculum, I have often noticed men’s unwillingness to grant that they are over-privileged, even though they may grant that women are disadvantaged,” she wrote.
Male privilegesAs usual, I was about 10 years ahead of my time. I recently became aware of “The Male Privilege Checklist,” subtitled “An Unabashed Imitation of an Article by Peggy McIntosh.” It was written by Barry Deutsch, a cartoonist and humorist on the staff of the online Expository Magazine, a source of feminist thought and expression, where it appeared in the September 2004 issue. The whole article and great comments on it are at www.expositorymagazine.net/2004/september/maleprivilege_ checklist.php
Listed are 43 items of male privilege, which include males being more likely to be hired, promoted, elected, free of fear of harassment and rape, not expected to do the “most dirty, repetitive and unrewarding tasks” of homemaking and childrearing. Item 43 is, “I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.”
Of course, the author gave short shrift to men’s few disadvantages, like being drafted and expected to suppress emotions.
Female privilegesIn contemplating the list with a colleague, we looked at the reverse, and created this list of 25 female privileges. Feel free to share, post, add to or comment on it, being careful to note the inspiration from Peggy McIntosh and Barry Deutsch.
1. I am physically able to give birth to another human being, and then do my best to mold her or him into the kind of person I choose.
2. I am not automatically expected to be the family breadwinner.
3. I feel free to wear a wide variety of clothes, from jeans to skimpy shorts to dresses as appropriate, without fear of ridicule.
4. I can choose to remain seated to meet most people.
5. I am not ashamed to ask for others’ perspectives on an issue.
6. I feel free to exhibit a wide range of emotions, from tears to genuine belly laughter, without being told to shut up.
7. My stereotypical excesses in shopping, clothes, jewelry, personal care and consumption of chocolate usually are expected, even the source of jokes.
8. Public policies generally offer me an opportunity to bond with my offspring.
9. I am among the first to get off a sinking ship.
10. I can usually find someone with superior strength to help me overcome physically challenging obstacles, such as changing a tire or cutting a huge Christmas tree.
11. Changing my mind is seen as a birthright or prerogative.
12. I feel free to explore alternate career paths instead of being bound to a single career ladder.
13. I am used to asking for help, around the kitchen table or the proverbial water cooler or the conference room.
14. People I’ve never met are inclined to hold doors open and give up their seats for me.
15. I can be proud of the skill I have worked to develop at stretching limited financial resources.
16. I am not ashamed of using alternatives to positional power to reach my goals.
17. I know how to put a new roll of toilet paper in use and am not above doing it for the next person.
18. I am not ashamed to admit that the decisions I make reflect my personal values.
19. I am not afraid to create and maintain honest relationships with others.
20. I do not fear being accused of having an ethic of care in my professional life.
21. When I enter an office, I am likely to encounter those who can help me “in low places.”
22. I am more likely to get hugs than handshakes, depending on the situation.
23. I am less likely to be seen as a threat, which allows me more subtle alternatives.
24. I can use men’s “sheer fear of tears” to my advantage.
25. I can complain that these female privileges are relatively minor compared with the vast assortment of dominant male privileges, but I wouldn’t change places for the world.
Thanks, Peggy and Barry, for reminding women that there are times when we do enjoy the last laugh.
And one from AMs Kuenbuu
Quote:Here are some of my submissions, conceived from years of pain and introspection:
1. If I express negative feelings about something that is affecting me, either physically or verbally, people are more likely to see it as a legitimate problem that needs to be solved rather than a defect of my character.
2. I can rely on a greater likelihood that others will believe that a third party is the cause of my suffering rather than myself.
3. I can express my sexuality with significantly less likelihood of being seen as a threat to others.
4. I do not have to worry about my sexual attraction to others being perceived as blinding myself to or devaluing their character.
5. I can absorb aggressive, violent and/or male-dominated media and partake in aggressive, violent and/or male dominant behavior and be seen as a pioneer for my gender rather than a negative stereotype.
6. Autoerotic sexual activity is far less likely to be seen as a sign of my failure as a human being.
7. I can rely on advertisers and other media outlets proclaiming that I can be overweight and still be attractive.
8. I can rely on a greater likelihood of outcry and disdain over any negative opinions or statements or dismissal of privileges or respect regarding my physical appearance.
9. I can rely on there being outcry from a sizable section of society should someone of the opposite gender express disdain for anything pertaining to my gender or sex or any form of character assassination that relies on my gender or sex.
10. I can rely on the possibility of being granted media coverage should I ever go missing.
11. I am given less impetus to worry about growing up a social or sexual deviant based on my accomplishments in life or lack thereof.
12. I can be confident that I will be judged significantly less harshly for my sexual performance, and that such a thing will be far less likely to be used as an attack on my overall character.
13. Assertion of myself based on my gender is more likely to be seen in a positive light by mainstream society. Pride in my gender is far more likely to be as a sign of intelligence than a lack thereof.
14. I can speak on matters of gender where issues regarding my own are discussed with greatly decreased likelihood of being considered insecure, ignorant, overprivileged or insane. I can also have greater confidence that such views of mine will be accepted and, if not accepted, will be treated less harshly and result in less dire consequences.
15. I do not require as much reliance on the achievement of a significant other to prove the existence of moral character within myself.
16. My biological and hormonal makeup is less likely to be seen as impetus for a potential criminal threat.
17. I have significantly greater confidence in knowing sexist behavior or commentary committed against myself will be recognized as sexism, and that such sexism is unjustified.
18. I am given more reason to believe that someone, somewhere, outside my peer group, cares about me and is willing to look out for me and my best interests, based solely on my gender.
And by AMs Marx
This is my version of the women's
1) Career wise, I can complain about harassment and not laughed at or have my gender called into question by both genders.
2) I can skip a few years of employment and then return, demanding the same rises that others have had who remained employed. If my demand is not met, I can accuse the company of discrimination.
3) Even though I'm more likely to abuse children, I am perceived as sweet & innocent.
4) If I start a fight with a man, I can be guaranteed others will come to my defense - even if he isn't defending himself.
5) I can go to a bar and drink for free.
6) I almost never have to worry about being sexually harrassed by my boss as I can take him to the cleaners if he even tries it.
7) My ability to do a certain job will never come into question because of my gender.
8 ) I can fall on my gender as a sympathy vote if I run for politics.
9) I can marry someone based on thier financial or social status like it will actually empower me more.
10) I can sexually assault men and remain legally immune.
11) I can go out in public wearing almost anything without being harrassed or judged as I have a lot more options in clothing, whereas men are generally restricted in their 'acceptable' dress codes.
12) If I so happen to meet someone at a party, and decide to have sex, I would be viewed as being “empowered” and television even promotes this with programmes like "sex in the city".
13) I can sexually mutilate my male children and deprive them of a few thousand nerves which assist greatly in enhancing sexual pleasure.
14) My handbag is my world and get to have groups follow me for a simple pee.
15) I don’t have to worry about the father's opinion if I get pregnant, it's all about me!
16) I can bash men and no one bats an eye-lid, if a man bashes us women - we call him a misogynist and people will shun him.
17) I can date more than one man at the same time, and society would think I'm empowered.
18) I can put on the television and be safe in the knowledge that women are portrayed positively while men are portayed as idiots or abusers.
19) I am practically imune from legal repercussions for my actions as I have feminist groups coming to my saviour - even killing my children or husband.
20) I reproduce - that must be pretty awesome for guys to witness.
21) I can fake an orgasm... something almost impossible for a guy to do.
22) No pharmacist can claim the right to deny me any medicines I ask for at a drug store as I can claim discrimination. Of course, if I'm underage that's different - duh.
23) Even when I am acting within my gender role, I am GAINING from it, rather than being oppressed as I can CHOOSE to stay at home and enjoy watching the children grow up while my husband (assuming I bother to keep him around) works his ass off to keep a roof over our head.
24) If I go to church, I can attend knowing the folks are taught immeasurable levels of respect for me and it is meant to be mutual respect.
25) I don’t have to live up to expectations of how thin I am supposed to be - feminism freed me from such pettiness.
26) I get to use PMS as an excuse for murdering my children or husband.
Thanks to PFM for the pointers. - from here