The Male Privilege Checklist

In an earlier post I discussed how men can approach and participate in feminism. One of the first things men need to do is become aware of male privilege. Thankfully Barry Deutsch has created a informative and simple Male Privilege Checklist inspired by Peggy McIntosh’s previous work dealing with white privilege. If you are a man, this is required reading. For example:

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.

11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I’m even marginally competent.

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.)

If you can get through that whole list without admitting there is such thing as male privilege, something is wrong.

This is post 48 of 49 of Blogathon. Pledge a donation to the Secular Student Alliance here.


  1. says

    I’ve known for a while that being a white middle-class male I am part of a group given special consideration, I try to keep myself aware of that and I think being conscious of it has helped me understand those who aren’t part of a privileged class and relate to them better.

  2. NA says

    I like the list, as someone who already knows its contents I think that in what it says it’s good. However, some of the wording is offensive in a “the opposite of defensive” type way, rather than the usual meaning of offensive. That is, if you point someone who *doesn’t already believe* in Male Privilege (even if they don’t know that name for it) at the list, it immediately puts them under attack, and thereby respond defensively rather than actually listening. There’s probably a space in the world for a version of the list that is more “This is happening” than “You are to blame for this happening” which that list almost, but not quite, succeeds at.

  3. Noblecaboose says

    I feel the need to point out that you have mis-attributed this piece. The original Peggy McIntosh piece is called “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” and is about racial privilege. This piece is an “Unabashed Imitation” of her piece by Barry Deutsch. Yes, it was written by A MAN.From the end:”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.”

  4. Morrcb says

    I disagree. This list hardly attacks men. It doesn’t even use “you,” meaning, “#3 If you are ever promoted, it’s not because of your sex.” It uses “I” because “you” is like pointing the finger. She doesn’t blame too. She doesn’t give history on why or how men have privileges but just states what generally is the tendency today. To say this entry blames men would be saying all women’s problems are because of men existing. I suppose that can humorously be true but she has to blame that.

  5. Happy Rabbit says

    My daughter and I were discussing this issue at lunch yesterday. What really pissed her off was that a guy who commented on another forum and who was at least 90/95% evolved was being torn to pieces by several militant feminists for the last 5%. Really hard to recruit any male supporters if there is no praise or acceptance for whatever progress they are making!

  6. libraboy says

    Aha! Both my U.S. Senators are female. And one of them is being challenged by a real goober! Don’t you just love Washington state?

  7. Tony B says

    As the dude that has been called all manner of stupid things for trying to understand some of this stuff I thank you for your support. Skeptical men who don’t experience these things in their day to day life are not usually going to just dogmatically accept such a statement. This reaction (at least in my case) is a result of skepticism rather than sexism. At first I honestly couldn’t believe that some of these things still happen!

  8. Makewiththehaha says

    A wonderful list that really makes even more enlightened men think.But, I will have to point out that in my profession as a “male nurse”, I’m seen first for my gender and second for my title. Yes, there are some distinct advantages in being a nurse. When I worked acute psych, the patients responded differently and I felt safer than other nurses. Still, I’ve been in nursing on both coasts (and in places in between) and have witnessed some extraordinary sexism, especially when a non-female does not excel as much or even *gasp!* fails. #4 applies most of the time, except in female dominated professions.When most of the population speaks, they talk about two kinds of nurses: “nurses” and “male nurses”. It goes both ways.

  9. says

    I’ve long been astounded that anyone- of any gender or sex- could possibly think there is not a strong amount of male privilege. But even with that, I have to admit- seeing the list of grievances laid out in terms like this makes me realize that the problem is far deeper and widespread than I’d realized.The primary ones that I noticed that I hadn’t thought of before was how in large numbers of simple, everyday situations where I didn’t have to consider how my sex would impact it, while others would- public speaking, my performance at tasks, and other such things. Where I’d be seen as myself first when doing them.I suppose it’s just indicative that as sympathetic as one can be towards a cause, or as much as they want to help, true *understanding* of it is impossible without being a victim of it.That shouldn’t discourage people from trying, of course.

  10. giffy says

    The biggest one to me, and one that is mentioned a few times in the list, is the privilege to not have to think about oneself as part of a ‘group’. As a white male I need not concern myself much with being white or being male. My race and sex need not be an identity that I acknowledge nor are they though of as being part of a group identity. I think its one of the reasons why notions of privilege are hard to accept. When you think of yourself as an individual and nothing else the idea that you are getting perks because of membership in a “special interest group” due to your sex or skin color is offensive and obviously wrong.

  11. Azkyroth says

    #25 isn’t true with regard to dressing and gender conformity, since there’s a lot of pressure on men, especially straight men, to not look “gay.”

  12. LS says

    Having read the link, I think I have a much better understanding of “Male Privilege,” and I thank you for posting it. I really wish I’d been able to find this, or someone had helped me find it, before now, because I’ve been having an exceedingly difficult time with the notion that I’m “Privileged.”I have a hard time with it, because I’ve spent 18 months eating three, maybe four meals in a week. I’ve spent long hours in the cold of a northern night. I’ve walked until my feet were literally bleeding for the chance at finding work, and never getting it. I was raised in a home which bordered on abusively religious, and have been scorned and marginalized all my life because of my eccentricities–which are part of myself that I cannot change. I have been shouted at by dozens of passing cars in my life, by people who don’t like the way that I look. I have been told that my laboriously arrived at beliefs make me a moron. I have been forced to give up on my most cherished life-long dream, of being a PhD, because of my inability to find work when I was attending University.I don’t say this to evoke pity. Honestly I would rather this be kept private, I don’t like to discuss it. But I think it illustrates well how a man can have a difficult time being told he can’t understand something because of how “privileged” he’s been in his life, lacking any context for what that privilege amounts to.However, I can agree that most of the items on this list have been true in my life–even the one’s I’ve refused to accept. (Providing a good home and raising my children well is the absolute LEAST which I am ethically obligated to perform, regardless of what anybody thinks.)So I guess what I’m saying is please spread this list around, particularly if you’re talking to someone who doesn’t seem to know what you’re talking about when you mention privilege within a discussion of feminism. Because talking about privileged without context is needlessly inflammatory.

  13. LS says

    This is an excellent point, and an important one to acknowledge.Everybody works hard to get what they want in life, and everybody likes to believe that they got their on their own merits. The fact is, most of us benefit from at least of few fortuitous circumstances throughout our life. And white males tend to be offered more.That doesn’t mean, I think, that you should feel guilty about having your job, or that I should feel guilty about having mine. It doesn’t mean that we should feel guilty about how much we make.What we should feel is not guilt, but indignation for our fellow people who are not given the same considerations we are. And we should be willing to be vocal about our indignation, and active in correcting these errors.Though I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to shrink a little when the guy who decides whether or not I have a job tomorrow makes a sexist comment.

  14. LS says

    I heard a story recently about a woman who didn’t like to wear makeup, and who went in for a job interview for a job she was brilliantly qualified for. She was interviewed by a woman, and at one point saw the interviewer’s notes, which read something to the effect of:”No makeup, unpresentable appearance.”I’ve always found makeup pretty gross, so this one is easy for me. But seriously? Women need to take crayola to their face just to meet the bare minimum of presentability?I know I don’t need to do anything quite that disgusting.

  15. says

    It’s difficult for anyone who hasn’t really experienced discrimination or who isn’t a minority to really understand privilege.

  16. LS says

    I really appreciated the tone of the list as well.When you’re dealing with something intrinsic to a person’s life, the color of their skin, the shape of their genitals, whatever, then it can be very difficult to have any kind of discussion without somebody feeling like they’re being personally attacked.As participants in that discussion, we should both:A) Watch our words carefully, so we do not imply that ALL people of X trait are this way, or that “your are this way due to X trait.”B) Be mindful of the fact that you are not the specific subject of commentaries revolving around a trait you posses. This article does an excellent job of A, so I don’t need to do as much of B.

  17. Roki_B says

    I hope I’m not expected to feel personally guilty for these privileges. I speak out against gender inequality, particularly on sexual issues, whenever they come up with my friends and acquaintances. I’m doing my best to not perpetuate and to reverse inequality but am I supposed to feel guilt for those inequalities that benefit me personally?

  18. LS says

    I’m just going to repost what I said above, since it pretty much perfectly responds to what you’ve said. I could direct you to it, but this is easier:Everybody works hard to get what they want in life, and everybody likes to believe that they got their on their own merits. The fact is, most of us benefit from at least of few fortuitous circumstances throughout our life. And white males tend to be offered more.That doesn’t mean, I think, that you should feel guilty about having your job, or that I should feel guilty about having mine. It doesn’t mean that we should feel guilty about how much we make.What we should feel is not guilt, but indignation for our fellow people who are not given the same considerations we are. And we should be willing to be vocal about our indignation, and active in correcting these errors.Though I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to shrink a little when the guy who decides whether or not I have a job tomorrow makes a sexist comment.

  19. Makewiththehaha says

    “Though I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to shrink a little when the guy who decides whether or not I have a job tomorrow makes a sexist comment.”The funny thing is, I was just thinking almost the same thing when I went to knock on my boss’ door this morning (and every time) and looked at the John 3:16 and other biblical quotes printed out and hung all over the window to said door.

  20. Comfortable Shorts says

    I’m a full-time stay-home dad, a primary caregiver, to two kids, 2.5 yrs and 3.5 years. Number 11 is bat shit crazy. Or written by someone who has never cared for a child or children full-time. I favor the latter.1) I care not a pig’s corkscrew cock what people say about my parenting.2) If and when any childless person who reads this finally has children, they will realize too late that “competence” in child rearing is measured on a sliding scale ranging from seconds to days to years to decades. [Obviously written by a childless person, QED. I took the women’s studies courses in school and I’m here to tell you that having kids tosses assumptions regarding gender, child care, competence and sexuality into the hot breathy breezes created by the exhalations of a battered dragon named “Who [thefuck] cares?!”] I dare not gaze upon the profoundity of the rest of the list because I’ve seen enough. I’m a big white 6-2 male, so I’ll exercise my pimp’s privilege. And I was raised by a single working mom, so I know whereof I speak, kids. ;-)

  21. says

    I found the list to be uncomfortable to read not because I felt it was accusing me of being recepient of male privelege, but of perpetuating it. In your example, I wouldn’t feel guilty or accused at the idea that I was getting promoted, I feel guilty at the idea that I share some kind of solidarity with the person who has promoted me. Basically, it irritates me because I always get the feeling that just because I have testicles, I am the patriarchy.I appreciate that this is not what the author (or anyone) is trying to say. I’d even go further, and say that my irritation is a good thing in the grand scheme, because it ultimately builds my own awareness of gender inequality, and adds to my resolve challenge any sexist assumptions I make, and to make sure I *don’t* become the patriarchy. But at the end of the day, it is a bit of a struggle to take away the right message from this kind of thing.

  22. Noblecaboose says

    It does go both ways, especially when typically ‘feminine’ traits are seen to be an advantage for certain positions. But the fact is, there are few professions in which women are seen as the default gender: nurses, primary school teachers, childcare workers, flight attendants and secretaries are a few. Those positions are often seen as less desirable to men, because they are ‘women’s jobs.’ I know other male nurses who have faced discrimination from other men because they don’t have a ‘man’s job’.These situations are an exception. As Barry writes in the article preceding the list, “The existence of individual exceptions does not mean that general problems are not a concern.”Another item on the list could be, “Jobs in which my sex excels are not viewed as inferior to comparable jobs in which the opposite sex excels.” I realise this is a different issue to the one you are talking about, but your comment made me think.

  23. says

    I find the list to slightly dishonest. What is supposed to be a list demonstrating that men are disproportionately privileged is a really a list of sexist double standards that favor men. It’s not that these things are not real, but a moments thought would suggest that there are also plenty of sexist double standards that favor women (for instance, women are overwhelmingly favored in child custody hearings).It’s not that these things aren’t real and don’t need to be rectified, but the whole thing has the stench of the typical feminist framing of “men bad oppressors, women helpless victims”. That detracts from the merit it might otherwise have, IMHO.

  24. Tony B says

    It’s not necessary to feel bad about what you have, its more about realizing that others don’t have what you do and acting with that realization in mind. It’s very easy to assume that there’s a level playing field in life when you’re getting most of the advantages.

  25. Azkyroth says

    Those positions are often seen as less desirable to men, because they are ‘women’s jobs.’

    They also tend to be unprestigious and relatively ill-compensated given the skill, education, and dedication required and the demandingness of the work.

  26. Azkyroth says

    It’s not that these things are not real, but a moments thought would suggest that there are also plenty of sexist double standards that favor women (for instance, women are overwhelmingly favored in child custody hearings).

    This occurred to me too; perhaps someone should make a list and put the two lists side by side and see how they compare and what the implications of the items they contain are likely to be for material security, self-esteem, and overall happiness.

  27. says

    I don’t know what quantitative method I could use to draw conclusions about that. Intuitively, it seems probably that women are overall more disadvantaged in terms of careers and are more likely to be sexually harassed, assaulted, and/or raped. One could argue that such things, especially the latter, entail that women suffer more severely from gender bias.But that’s not the whole story. Men are disproportionately represented in the prison population. Men are disproportionately represented among those diagnosed as learning disabled, autistic, etc. Men are largely stereotyped as abusers and cheaters in family life when the incidences of female adultery and child abuse are almost on par with that of males. What I see from feminists in the face of this is hypocrisy: they’re far more likely to condemn the gender bias in the sectors where it favors men but ignore the gender biases in society that favor women.

  28. LS says

    These issues are real, but they are not as pervasive.I’m going out on a limb here, but how many of us have actually been involved in a child custody battle? My bet is that out of the people actually commenting here, somewhere between few and none. It’s not something that most people go through, and it’s certainly not a day-to-day issue. The marginalization faced by women is FAR more pervasive in our society, and they are something which must be dealt with in the minutia of a woman’s daily life. Honestly, when we start bringing up ways in which men are victims of sexism, we simply make it look like we’re trying to put ourselves on even footing with women, because we’re uncomfortable facing up to the reality of the situation.And ya know what? That IS what we’re doing.Again, I’m not saying that sexism against men is not a very real thing. It does happen in a lot of ways. Off the top of my head I can think of a couple dozen ways I’ve been marginalized because of my gender in the last couple years. But for most women, they can think of an equal number of marginalizations they’ve faced in the last couple weeks. That said, it’s in our nature as a species to look out for ourselves, and by proxy, those who are like us. Simply because white men, like myself, are the most privileged group doesn’t mean we can abandon self-interest. We can, and should be, willing to shed what privilege we have that takes from others, and fight to give positive privileges to marginalized groups. But we cannot divorce ourselves completely from our concern for what these changes will mean for us, or what similar marginalizations facing our group need to be fought.I feel like I’m rambling aimlessly at this point, so I’m gonna just STFU there.

  29. says

    I really like the idea of feminism. I really do. Women are just as capable, in every field, as men are, and it’s incredibly important that we drag our arcane, sexist society into the 21st century.But come on, you have to admit this list unfairly stereotypes men (I’m looking straight at 38-41, especially). And Tyler had an excellent point, too, which I noticed everyone ignored: many of the things on this list are sexist double standards that favor men, while ignoring the fact that many sexist double standards favor women, too.I hate to be the one naysayer here, but many of the pro-feminist commenters here (like the woman who brought up ‘mansplaining,’ for example) seem to approach feminism from a reverse sexist perspective that I, as a man who’s all for equality between the sexes, am really turned off by.I really like the idea of feminism. I really do. But I hold just as much respect for men as I do for women, homosexuals, and non-whites. Will I have to stick with “Feminism Lite,” as Jen put it?

  30. says

    I’d like to note that I appreciate the (so far) thoughtful and constructive replies to comment. In certain places I’d simply be dismissed as a “white d00d” and accused of “mansplaining”.

  31. Morrcb says

    This is a quote before the list. “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.”

  32. Morrcb says

    This is another quote before the list.”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.”

  33. LS says

    You’re not the one naysayer. Your concerns are valid ones. But nobody–at least nobody HERE–is denying that bad things happen to men and that men face sexism. The fact that I’m legally obligated to be registered for the draft because I have a penis? That’s fucking insane.But what is the reality of that? It means that someday, maybe, something which hasn’t happened in 40 years might happen, and I would be legally obligated to put my life on the line.This is a fate I could easily escape by fleeing to another country, which I would probably do. Yes, that I’m forced to deal with this is unfair, it is wrong, and it is something we should work to change. But holding up an example of an extremely unlikely bad thing, which I could potentially escape from, and which is otherwise mostly benign, the the day-to-day sexism faced by women, is bullshit. If we’re whipping them out and measuring them, the chicks are winning on who faces the most sexism. So it’s only right that AS A SOCIETY, we be more concerned with the sexism faced by women. Because women should never have bigger dicks than men. Even in a bad metaphor.

  34. says

    I’m not sure what list you read, but it sure wasn’t the list I wrote!But for the record, nothing in the list says “men bad oppressors, women helpless victims.” Nothing in the list even implies that. And that’s certainly not what I believe.It’s true that the list focuses on ways that sexism disadvantage women. I’ve also written posts focusing on some of the ways sexism harms men. Does that mean those posts are saying “women bad oppressors, men helpless victims”? Sheesh!* * *Regarding child custody: There’s not much evidence, other than anecdotes, to show that “women are overwhelmingly favored in child custody hearings.” Some researchers argue that courts are in fact biased in fathers’ favor.For instance, the Massachusetts study on gender bias in the courts reported: “We began our investigation of child custody aware of a common perception that there is a bias in favor of women in these decisions. Our research contradicted this perception. Although mothers more frequently get primary physical custody of children following divorce, this practice does not reflect bias but rather the agreement of the parties and the fact that, in most families, mothers have been the primary caretakers of children. Fathers who actively seek custody obtain either primary or joint physical custody over 70% of the time. Reports indicate, however, that in some cases perceptions of gender bias may discourage fathers from seeking custody and stereotypes about fathers may sometimes affect case outcomes. In general, our evidence suggests that the courts hold higher standards for mothers than fathers in custody determinations.”Personally, I think there’s basically no solid data out there enabling us to say for sure what’s going on with bias in contested custody cases, one way or the other. I’m sure that some judges are biased against fathers, and others biased against mothers; but what the overall system is doing, I don’t know.So if you want a clear-cut example of sexism harms men, I don’t think custody works. I’d go with workplace deaths, which are overwhelmingly male.

  35. Doombreed says

    “Male privilege”? This would be like that “white privilege” I keep hearing about, right? I’m supposed to have some advantage in the world because I have a penis, am I?When my employer recently closed our call centre to move the jobs to a more profitable location, ALL 200+ employees lost their jobs: men, women, white, black, straight, gay, atheist and theist. Not one was saved. Nobody pulled me aside and said “don’t worry, we’ll look after you Mr. Man.” There’s nobody out there holding doors open for me because I’m a male. There’s no Man Club Economic Fund offering to pay my bills.There’s only one privileged group out there and that’s the rich. There’s only one group being “kept down” and that’s the poor. Gender, race, sexual orientation and religion is all irrelevant, but it does keep us focused on each other rather than on the real situation.Feminists, chauvinists, racists of any colour, whatever your pet prejudice, whatever your reason for fearing that “they” are out to get you, you are part of the problem. So long as we cling to and spend our energies fighting the myth that being white, being male, being straight, being whatever, automatically gives one a leg up over the other equally screwed peons, no real progress will ever be made.

  36. says

    “But we cannot divorce ourselves completely from our concern for what these changes will mean for us…”Which is why I’d argue that discussing the ways sexism harms men might be beneficial, because it can help more men see that there are benefits for everyone, including men, in trying to get rid of sexism.

  37. LS says

    I completely agree.Goodness knows I’d love for it to be acceptable for me to do the cooking and my ladyfriend to do the driving. People always assume things will be the other way around.As if she can cook!

  38. LS says

    I’m really wishing there was an effective way for me to reference or link to a post I made previously here.Just look up there for a post by me written 11 hours ago + however long ago this comment was written. I think it effectively addresses your misunderstanding.Also, you should *probably* read the link that this entire post is about, since you obviously did not.

  39. says

    I’m not sure how you think 38-41 stereotype men unfairly. Take number 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.” Statistically, this is an entirely accurate statement, and one that it would be easy to back up with peer-reviewed research. When kids come along, it’s not Dad who takes a few years off or shifts into part-time; it’s Mom.So how can I refer to this statistical fact without stereotyping men? Well, I tried to make it clear that I’m talking about a general trend, not a 100%-of-the-time truth; that’s why I said “chances are.” But if you have a suggestion as to how it could be better worded, I’d definitely be interested.

  40. LS says

    There will always be a tendency to attempt to challenge rules with exceptions.I think Barry is a little to tactful to say it, but I would like to add: pwnd.

  41. Svlad Cjelli says

    #20, “without exception” is a stupid formulation. If it were an exception, it would be an exception. Incidentally, these exceptions do occur on frontpages of newspapers.

  42. Svlad Cjelli says

    I hadn’t heard anything about #44. That one really sucks. I only got that treatment as a little kid, though not on the literal streets.

  43. Azkyroth says

    I believe at least some jurisdictions do have a “rebuttable presumption” in favor of custody going to the mother.

  44. says

    You can flip that around though. How about this formulation: “If I have children with my wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to work all hours to support the other in raising the kids, chances are we’ll both assume the one that carries that burden is me.”If you ask parents whether they’d rather spend time at work or with their children I suspect that most would prefer to be with their children, so who’s actually ‘privileged’ here?

  45. says

    This works both ways, too. There is such a thing as female privilege, although it’s not as prevalent or dominating as male privilege is.For example, men traditionally don’t go to baby showers. As a man who loves kids and is into the whole baby thing, I’d like that stigma removed. The very few baby showers that invite both men and women are the ones that I like, because it’s not a women-only club.

  46. Azkyroth says

    To say nothing of men who seem to take an interest in children that aren’t theirs usually being suspected of being child molesters.

  47. Pablo says

    #11 about parenting is a big issue in my life. I do in fact find it very disturbing that men can get away with such minimal contributions to parenting, and actually get praised for it. We hear such a big deal about the virtues of the “involved dad,” but I contend that if you aren’t involved, you really aren’t parenting and aren’t being a dad. All you have is biological patronage. Parenting, by definition, is involvement.Unfortunately, as I fight this aspect, some of the biggest resistance I get is from women. YetAnotherAtheist comments about how baby showers tend to be exclusive (although they don’t need to be, I’ve been to many coed baby showers, and they were a blast). Why is that? Is it because men don’t want to participate? Or because the culture is such that they are excluded?I realize there is a chicken and egg problem here (although this blog might not be the best place to make that analogy :-) but you know what I mean), in that probably historically, men haven’t wanted to go to baby showers, and so the practice became to just not invite them. But why does that have to be perpetuated now? Why not invite everyone, and if guys don’t want to show up, they don’t have to? Meanwhile, guys who do want to come can? Here, the women throwing the baby showers aren’t contributing to a solution, and are perpetuating the problem. More on that below.I run into so many barriers in trying to be recognized as a parent. The lack of changing tables in men’s bathrooms doesn’t help, of course, but it goes beyond that. I have often written a screed, “Does ‘Parents’ Include Fathers?” referring to, beyond the philosophical question, to the empirical question of the common parenting magazines, such as Parents and Parenting. These are all over, and you will find them in the OBs and Pediatricians office. Take a look through, though, and you wouldn’t necessarily come to the conclusion that they are talking about fathers. There have been issues of Parents magazine where the only picture of a man in the whole thing was of Alton Brown in a grape jelly advertisement. There are pictures of moms all over the place. Moms alone, moms with babies, moms with kids, moms pregnant, moms in business suits. But very rarely is there a picture of a man (maybe one or two per issue, outside of the advertisements), and when there is they are almost always accompanied by a mom, sometimes with kids, sometimes without. Pictures of fathers with their children are almost non-existent. What’s the message there? Dads aren’t parents on their own, and only when they are with moms. Who’s sending that message? Why does Parents magazine have to perpetuate it? I quit bothering with these rags because it became very clear to me, as a father, that they aren’t meant for me. For women, by women. And they call it “Parents.” If I want to find non-mom-centric parenting discussion, I have to look very hard.But back to the “women perpetuating the problem” topic. The problem is, if the bar is set so low that you can step over it easily, the result is that is all you are going to do. And I’ve certainly seen that happen. In a Dads Forum I frequent, we got into a discussion about a birthday gift for a pregnant wife. I got into a lot of trouble because I suggested that “a coupon book to do some household chores or give them a back rub” was not much of a “gift.” I mean, she’s pregnant, tired, run down, can’t eat anything, and when she tries, she throws up. And you are going to wait for a special occasion to do things like clean the dishes? What kind of jerk do you have to be to not help out when your wife is sick and miserable? Of COURSE you should help out, picking up the slack for her, and you don’t need a stupid coupon.So I mention this on the forum, and I get ripped all over. Not from the guys, but from the women. Apparently, they would love to have a coupon book for their birthday to get their husbands to do some housework or treat them nice (a backrub without the expectation of sex, for example). I was flabbergasted. I was actually telling them, you deserve MORE than that! Don’t let him get away with thinking that just doing a bit of housework is a significant achievement, you should expect more than that. But according to the moms, I was being rude for dissing other people’s ideas. Since the topic was a present on a budget, I suggested doing something you normally wouldn’t do, like taking her out for a picnic in the park or having her car detailed (hey, if you can’t get a new car, at least you can feel like you are driving a new car, with the new car smell). No, they would rather have him do dishes once. That’s there idea of a “gift.” Then they get mad when I suggested that it isn’t really a gift to do something that you should be already doing.I concluded by figuring, if you set the bar that low, that’s all the higher they are going to jump. Men are capable of a lot more if you ask them of it. But if you have low expectations, a low result is what you get.

  48. says

    Ewan’s point is a good one. Number 40 can be spun to privilege either men or women.A quick google search for “female privilege checklist” shows what, I think, is my biggest issue with this checklist of yours: It seems like a list of cherry-picked statistics and double-standards aimed to paint men in a gruesomely negative light, when the exact same thing can be done aimed at women, too.It almost makes me want to write my own Feminist privilege checklist, starting with:

    1. If I am fired and my boss is male, I can assume he fired me for my gender and not for the quality of my work.2. If I am fired and my boss if female, I can assume she’s just a willing servant of the patriarchy.

    I’ll freely admit I’m more than a little piqued by your list. I’ll also freely admit that it’s a more visceral reaction than a rational one. This entire list reads like a list of grievances, and it feels like the implication is “and men are at fault, or should at least feel guilty.”I think, more than anything else, I really need to remove myself from this discussion for a few days and find some other ways into feminism that aren’t so offensive or, arguably, dishonest.

  49. says

    >>”So long as we cling to and spend our energies fighting the myth that being white, being male, being straight, being whatever, automatically gives one a leg up over the other equally screwed peons, no real progress will ever be made.“I think this is an amazingly important point. We are much, much more divided by class than we are by race or gender.

  50. says

    It may be that some jurisdictions have an unofficial, unwritten presumption in favor of the mother. As far as I know, no jurisdiction in the USA has such a presumption written in official law; and if one did, it would be relatively easy to overturn the rule with a lawsuit. (And rightly so.)

  51. says

    Yes! That’s absolutely true, Ewan! (Well, you’re exaggerating with language — “works all hours” and “carries that burden,” as if people who work ordinary hours at a career they like are statistically too irrelevant to mention — but putting that aside.)I’d say that in many cases (although not all cases), sexism has a “flip side” which disadvantages the other sex. As I’ve said many times, sexism is bad for both sexes.It’s bad for women to be seen as the nurturing sex; it’s bad for men to be seen as the bring-home-the-bacon sex. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t real pleasures in raising children, and in having a job or career, but it’s bad for people of both sexes that these roles are attached to gender.Overall, I’d argue that men are “privileged” in the sense that most of our society’s institutions assume that the “default” person is male (jobs are designed for people who never get pregnant or nurse, for example; our language is full of male-default words like “chairperson” and “mailman”; etc etc), and that people in charge of big, important institutions are very disproportionately male. But that doesn’t change the fact that sexist role divisions, like nurturer/breadwinner, can and do hurt people of both sexes.

  52. says

    It’s a false dichotomy, in my opinion. It’s possible — and I’d say, best — to acknowledge that sexism and race are important, and to simultaneously acknowledge that class is important. We don’t have to pick just one to oppose; nor can or should we say “this kind of oppression is primary, and others don’t matter much.”Some folks have coined a new word, kyriarchy, to talk about this.

  53. says

    Peter, I’m not sure how to respond to someone who openly admits that his reaction to my work is visceral, not logical. It doesn’t sound to me like you’re open to hearing any opinion that disagrees with your own.I would point out, however, that my list doesn’t say or imply that “men are at fault, or should at least feel guilty.” That’s not something I believe, and it’s not something I said or implied.It seems to me that you’re making up stuff I never said, and then responding to it as if I had said it. That’s really not fair of you.

  54. says

    You’re right. I’m not being fair, and I apologize.I’m not being particularly rational here and I realize it. I’m not being open-minded and I realize it. I’m probably reading more into your list than is actually there, and I realize it.The majority of my interactions with feminists have been particularly anti-men and conspiratorial, and I know this is why I’m reading more into phrases like “male privilege” and “patriarchy” than I should be.So, alright, let’s back up and start over. I see your list and am already generally aware that women are unfairly disadvantaged and underrepresented in the corporate and political fields. Yes, there are even despicable things that happen to women by men. I’m aware that the sexes certainly aren’t equal. Am I already beyond your list, then, and just reading “All men are rapists” when it isn’t there?

  55. Doombreed says

    You assume that, because I disagree, it must be because I have ‘misunderstood’. This is sheer intellectual laziness. I did read the post and saw nothing more than the same old sallies in the fictional war against so-called ‘male privilege’.The list is made up of points that are either not true (#9: I’m a 36 year-old male with no kids. Walk a mile in my shoes if you think people don’t judge my masculinity based upon this point. #21: Listen to female co-workers who reply ‘typical man’ when I say I’m no good with money), true but irrelevant (#36 & #37: how does this privilege me, a male atheist living in a 21st century country?) or logically self-contradictory (#2: The whole point behind the list is that, if I have a good job, it’s not because I deserve it, it’s because I have a penis and my fellow Man Club members gave it to me over a better qualified woman).But to reiterate the point I was making: Working class women and working class men are both screwed. As long as everyone is interested in fighting–rather than ending–the so-called ‘gender war’, we’ll never get anywhere.

  56. says

    I’d say you’re reading beyond my list! I definitely don’t think “all men are rapists.” I don’t think all men are bad, or anything like that. And although the world is sexist, the men who are currently living didn’t make this world; like women, we were just born into it.The feminists I know aren’t anti-male and don’t believe in conspiracies. (Regarding the particular question you bring up — although I think you were bringing it up rhetorically — My opinion, based on research I’ve read, is that the overwhelming majority (~95%) of men never commit rape, but that the small minority of men who are rapists create a significant and widespread problem.)

  57. Doombreed says

    I don’t know if you’re a student of tactics, but let me paint you a picture:Two armies draw up battle lines. On the one side there is a tiny army, a few thousand strong. On the other, uncounted billions. It’s immediately obvious that, should battle be joined, the smaller army will be wiped out in seconds. It won’t even be a battle. It will be a slaughter. So the smaller army borrows a page from The Art Of War. And now the larger army is riven from within, factions fighting over which is better, which is morally superior. Men fight with women, blacks with whites. When the army should be marching it is, instead, bitterly fighting over sexism, over racism, over same-sex marriage, over the role of religion, over gun control. And the years, decades, centuries roll past. As each rift is healed, a new one breaks out–but old rifts are never truly healed, they simply become grudges, handed down throughout the generations.The smaller army wins by denying the larger army battle. And they can sit back, eat, drink and be merry, laughing at the larger army squabbling over inconsequential trivialities, praying nightly that the divides continue to hamstring the larger army.I am not the enemy because I am male. I am not the bad guy. The glass ceiling is just as real and impenetrable for me as it is for a woman. The world is no more my oyster just because my sex organs are on the outside of my body. The people with the silver spoons will always win.

  58. Tiger says

    I agree wholeheartedly that male privilege exists, but I have to disagree with the point about violence. Female on male domestic violence is trivialized both in popular media and in real life. Try to find me a mainstream movie or TV show where a woman slapping a man is treated negatively. Most of the time, it’s not just no big deal, it’s comedy! Think of Captain Jack getting repeatedly slapped by the women in Tortuga. “No no, that one I deserved.” It’s hilarious! Of course, any male who slaps a female is scum and probably the villain of the story.That same double standard is applied to both physical and emotional abuse in real life as well. And let’s not even get into female-on-male rape. But since I brought it up, you know that social stigma that makes women less likely to report rape and abuse? Men have it twice as bad. I don’t have a source for this, so take it with a grain of salt, but I’ve read that some states actually have laws saying that they HAVE to arrest the man when responding to domestic violence calls, even if he’s the victim.Again, this isn’t to trivialize female victims of rape or abuse or try to deny the existence of male privilege. It’s an honest intellectual disagreement with one point on the list.

  59. says

    Exactly. While I do have male privilege, it’s a lot easier for me to recognise it because I’m gay and I don’t have straight privilege. I know what it is like to live in a society where everything is skewed against you, where you’re not normal. Straight white men generally don’t have any experience with that.

  60. says

    I am very saddened to see how many men on here are offended by the simple fact that male privilege exists, or who argue that there is no such thing as male privilege. You might want to take a back seat for a little while, and actually listen to what women and minorities have to say about privilege. Being white and male, I have lot of privilege accorded to me by society, but I am generally better able to recognise that because I’m gay and I don’t have straight privilege. I know what it is like to live in a society where everything is skewed against you, where you’re not normal, and where everything you do or say is associated with your sexuality, not with you as a person. This is what women, racial minorities, and LGBTQ people have to deal with on a daily basis, and I do mean daily. So step outside yourself for just a minute, and listen. Stop getting offended at the fact that men have privilege, and recognise that no one is judging you or making generalisations about men – this is about society. The male privilege check-list describes what privileges society accords men, and what disadvantages women have to deal with because they lack these automatic privileges. Basically, get over yourself.

  61. says

    So, if a working class white person says to a black person, “I’m not going to hire you, you nigger,” the black guy should just ignore it and join up with that guy to fight the class injustice?I agree that there are definitely problems with class, but to just say that other things that define people are used in discrimination doesn’t matter is incredibly ignorant.

  62. Doombreed says

    That’s actually an apt comparison, but it proves you wrong rather than right. If an employer tells a black applicant “I’m not going to hire you, you nigger” they are in exactly the same boat as an employer who tells a female applicant “I’m hiring you, you bitch”.They are both passengers on the Good Ship Lawsuit.So why are you fighting me in a battle already won?Do you really expect me to believe that interviews end like that out here in the real world?Here’s another example: Every single job I’ve ever held has been for an employer who has a fair payroll policy. Every single employer, man, woman, black, white, gay, straight, is on the same pay scale with the same starting pay and the same pay raise schedule, yet I’m constantly being told that I need to feel guilty because women get paid less than men.Yeah, maybe thirty years ago they were, but here and now all of us bottom end peons are getting paid the same pittance regardless of gender.

  63. LS says

    Don’t misunderstand me, but I think comments like this are why a lot of people have trouble “getting over themselves.” Overall I think you’re being exceptionally reasonable, and honestly the first time I read your comment I agreed with every piece of wording 100%. Re-reading it now, however, I can see how others might react to it. I don’t mean to single you out, here. This is just a common issue, and you seem like an amicable enough fellow to use as an example. These are all really quite a polite rebukes of reprehensible behavior. But that reprehensible behavior is an animal response to feeling threatened. So it seems to me that being mindful of what threatening phrasing we use can be helpful in communicating these ideas.I know what it is like to live in a society where everything is skewed against you, where you’re not normalThis is the Internet. Sure, its become a lot more mainstream in the last ten years, but at its core it’s still the same place it was when I was a scared 13 year old.It’s a place for society’s rejects to feel like they belong.In my experience, most people on the internet are acutely aware of what it means to be marginalized. Yes, the marginalization of never getting laid because you like Star Trek isn’t exactly the same as the marginalization faced by homosexuals or women or other minorities, but there’s this constant subtext with comments like this which reads “You’ve had it SO GOOD in your life, you can’t possibly understand how horrible our lives are!”Ignoring whether or not that’s a true statement, it’s a threatening one. And any human being is going to react to being threatened on an emotional level before a rational one.“Basically, get over yourself. “This is hard not to do sometime. I know I’ve done it a couple times already in this thread alone. But hear me out.Any good will or open mindedness you foster with your well reasoned, and kind approach, is instantly erased when you end your statement with a cheap shot. Ever notice how new articles will usually end with a line expressing some opinion or another? That’s because the first line only sets the tone for how people will read it. The last line sets the tone for how they will perceive it.

  64. says

    True, though those yelling, “There’s no male privilege!” and “You’re being sexist!” seem not to realise that.

  65. Makewiththehaha says

    “Unprestigious” is a word I would take exception to, but “ill-compensated” is spot-on!

  66. Comfortable Shorts says

    No, I was not trolling. Ultimately the problem of privilege is an economic issue as much as it is a gender issue. More so as one descends in class and has less money, which equates to less power. It’s not primarily a girl-boy thing, kids. It’s a money thing. Our society is structured around degrees of privilege, including educational hierarchies. The privilege of having a dick flows from the power that flows from money. I also think the list was composed by someone without kids….

  67. Azkyroth says

    Those double standards certainly exist, but if you’ll look at the item in question (#31, right) it refers to “violence that happens mostly to women.” And while stigma would certainly result in it being underreported, I don’t think there’s any credible reason to think that rates of domestic violence of women against men are nearly as high as the reverse, hence “mostly.”If those laws exist, though, that’s absolutely horrifying. I know I went to an elementary school that explicitly defined sexual harassment as a male-on-female behavior only, and this was in the 90s and in California, so I can believe that, sadly. One more reason I’m glad I don’t live with my alcoholic ex any more. :/

  68. says

    Love the list…but of course, plenty of the comments are essentially “But what about the menz?!”. Because God forbid we discuss sexism against women without changing the subject to the burdens of maledom.

  69. says

    My point is that there are still prejudices. Sure, most businesses aren’t going to end an interview with that, but it doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t think that when they see a candidate. As an overweight, female atheist, I’ve been discriminated against for those things plenty of times, and some of those times happened to involve jobs.I’m glad to hear that your employers treat people fair, but it’s certainly not the case with every job.

  70. says

    As I’ve said many times, sexism is bad for both sexes.And I think that’s something that’s a lot easier to get on board with, more accurate, and a more useful way of looking at the problem.I think most rational people could agree that it’s a bad idea to make assumptions or decisions based on people’s sex when it’s not actually relevant to the question; put that way sexism is obviously just silly, aside from also being harmful. One of the problems with recasting that in terms of one group of people being privileged is that it’s not always clear who that is – in the case of parenting it could equally well be the person that gets to stay home with the children, or the one that gets to carry on their career. In reality which possibility is the better one depends entirely on the individuals in any particular case.There’s another problem with this approach, and that’s that it doesn’t seem to get you anywhere useful, either intellectually or practically. It’s easy to see what you do about sexism – it’s the same thing you do about any sort of unreasonable discrimination – you try not to do it yourself, and you try to call other people on it when you see them do it. Obviously, that’s easier said than it is done in practice, but conceptually it’s simple.To talk about an abstract ‘male privilege’ makes it sound much more amorphous state of the way things inevitably are, and that’s much harder to tackle. Really, what do you do about someone having an unfair privilege? Most obviously you either try to take it away, or apply some sort of disadvantage to counter it. But if one male gets a benefit from a sexist bad decision and another is damaged by an attempt to counteract ‘male privilege’, then you haven’t redressed the balance at all, you’ve just got two stupid sexist decisions.Finally, it’s demonstrably a rubbish approach to take if you actually want to help change things; it clearly upsets and alienates people who start off sympathetic, and it excludes anyone who suffers from any other sort of irrational prejudice. It’s much more effective to push for equality for all because everyone except really committed misogynists can support it.

  71. says

    Hopefully, if the man is 90-95% evolved, he is aware that it is a human condition, not a feminine condition, to tear into the opposition for their minor faults. As far as I have seen, the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, Democrats, Republicans, whites, blacks, latinos, feminists… all have a tendency to vilify even moderate members of the other side.Mr. Neandertal, and all of us, should recognize and expect it…especially on the internet…take it like a “man” (sorry girls – couldn’t resist) and stay the rational course.I am convinced that truth cannot be denied. It doesn’t need to shout, condescend, vilify, or even return fire. It only needs to speak in an “indoor” voice, patiently, frequently…and it will eventually be recieved.But, yeah, it’s enough to make a preacher cuss at times! ;)

  72. says

    Unfortunately, skeptics are percieved as assholes. On the flip-side, every healthy, functioning body needs an asshole to get rid of all the shit!Carry on!

  73. says

    Ironically, while the judicial system may not now have any bias on record, I think that the very fact that it is anecdotal and so few fathers seek to challenge custody because of this is a for of bias – not in the courts, but in society in general.Also, the stereotype of women being the primary care givers and therefore are more *suited* to taking care of the children. I don’t see as this should matter one whit (and this coming from a mother who’s divorce was finalized on the 15th of last month) because in the end both parents are likely to need to get jobs outside the home and have a caretaker/babysitter for the children. The research showing that a bias is given because the mother stays home with the children illustrates a bias that should really have very little to do with the situation – the past won’t necessarily have anything to do with the future in that regard and likely won’t with the need to create a stable home financially.That being said I also think that discussions focus too much on one side or the other. I would also like to see an article, or a blog, or what-have-you where both sides of the issue are addressed. I would love an article that talked about Male Privilege right along side Female Privilege. If we’re really going to talk about gender bias (or religion, or sexuality or race) we need to talk about ALL biases.Just because female bias may be less prevalent, or male privilege more pervasive, does not mean that it is any less in need of changing. Only when all sides stand on truly equal footing and are seen as HUMAN first will the problem be solved.Ugh, I kinda feel like an after-school special *blush*. But these are things that I really believe and I think that yelling down someone who is trying to talk about inequality – ANY inequality – is counterproductive. We should celebrate any discussions that are working towards the stamping out of inequality.Someone said something (sorry, I don’t want to scroll up and lose my train of thought!) that really made me think – it’s harder for people who don’t experience inequality to understand it. But who doesn’t experience inequality?!? Surely everyone, at one point in time or another, has felt that they have had a bias directed against them. Whether personal, religious, sexual or any other kind, everyone has experienced an incident at least once in their life (and probably multiple times) where they felt unjustly treated. Perhaps instead of shouting about how their experience is lesser than our own, or not valid, we should embrace these anecdotes and build upon them. When a woman tells someone about how they felt biased against because of their gender, and the response is “I was biased against this one time!” instead of getting up on that righteous horse, maybe they should instead take that incident and build upon it.When we are wronged, the emotions are the same. And when we can connect via those emotions, share them, we can come to a greater understanding for all parties involved. And, in the end, isn’t that really what we’re all trying for?

  74. says

    It would, indeed be an educational comparison.I do find, however, that my life has been quite untroubled by gender inequities, whereas my female friends endure quite a bit more…many on the Male Priviledge list!

  75. says

    An excellent post, Jen! And excellent discussion from the men and women alike.Granted, the list itself can be argued as not 100% true, or biased toward feminism, but I find that the original post, and the related White Priviledge post both point to the general trend.In my own experience, as a white male, I find myself surprised at the inequalities that both non-white and female friends endure on a daily basis, things I rarely need bother over. I find myself equally shocked when white friends make racists remarks (even jokingly), or when male cowerkers make sexist comments at work about our female counterparts. I may have my head in the sand, but I know what I see is only the tip of the ice-berg!A complete reading of both lists? Definitely a must!

  76. Azkyroth says

    Commonly regarded as unprestigious, fine, but it applies. Few people are as impressed with hearing someone is a nurse as with hearing they’re a banker, for instance.

  77. Azkyroth says

    We’re all in this together. I don’t think bringing up men’s issues is harmful to the dialogue or cause from first principles (though in practice it does often drown out the rest of the discussion, I think this thread is a good example of that being kept from happening).

  78. says

    So a while ago I said I should probably “find some other way into feminism” that wasn’t so, well, adversely emotionally affecting and, well, I think I found it, if you’re interested.After getting the male privilege concept under my belt, I found this article by Greta Christina just perfect. Sexism adversely affects both sexes:

    When you look at the grotesque ways women are damaged by sexism — from economic inequality to political disenfranchisement to literal, physical abuse — it makes perfect sense that we’d care more about how sexism and patriarchy and rigid gender roles affect women, than we do about how they affect men.But men undoubtedly get screwed up by this stuff, too.

    So yeah, thanks for sticking my nose in uncomfortable places, as odd as that sounds. Turns out I learned something important in the process.Feminism, it seems, isn’t just a special interests issue.

  79. Azkyroth says

    Also, the stereotype of women being the primary care givers and therefore are more *suited* to taking care of the children. I don’t see as this should matter one whit (and this coming from a mother who’s divorce was finalized on the 15th of last month) because in the end both parents are likely to need to get jobs outside the home and have a caretaker/babysitter for the children. The research showing that a bias is given because the mother stays home with the children illustrates a bias that should really have very little to do with the situation – the past won’t necessarily have anything to do with the future in that regard and likely won’t with the need to create a stable home financially.

    To say nothing of actively unfit female parent, like my ex-wife’s mother, who is a drug-addled degenerate with an extensive history of untreated mental illness and with, as of the last time I met her, about the understanding and mental function of a twelve year old, and who severely traumatized all five of her children through criminal gross negligence after being handed custody of them on a silver platter in spite of their father’s efforts because she was the WOMAN (admittedly, the fact that her family has money and a pathological need to uphold appearances, and his doesn’t, may have been as important a factor as gender bias on the court’s part). And like my ex-wife herself, with whom I am, fortunately, not looking at a court battle.And on that note:

    Ironically, while the judicial system may not now have any bias on record, I think that the very fact that it is anecdotal and so few fathers seek to challenge custody because of this is a for of bias – not in the courts, but in society in general.

    This. It’s only anecdotal, but this perception, that it was basically impossible for fathers to get custody, was one of my biggest reasons for staying with my ex-wife as long as I did.

  80. Tony B says

    Are you seriously suggesting that straight white christian men get NO advantages at all over others?

  81. Doombreed says

    Nope, just as I’m hoping that you wouldn’t claim that a woman gets NO advantages at all over others. However, I do draw issue with the idea that men have “institutionalized overwhelming advantage” as Ms McCreight claims (twitter Aug 1st 4:23pm). As I said, I’m a man and I haven’t seen hide nor hair of this “institutionalized overwhelming advantage” that I’m supposed to be enjoying. Maybe I didn’t get my application in on time?

  82. StoopidTallKid says

    They are. Men are less likely to consider it violence, less likely to report it, and more likely to win if it goes from abuse to a fight, but if asked about specific behaviors, men are just as likely to have been punched or slapped by partners as women(…. The social stigma preventing men from reporting it is a huge issue in this country, and often even if reported it’s basically ignored, whereas I’ve never seen a girl mention abuse without every guy in the room offering to track down and beat her partner.

  83. StoopidTallKid says

    No one is arguing that there aren’t certain advantages afforded to men but not women. What’s being argued is how large and pervasive those are, what they are, and how many advantages women get instead. I’ve never seen a girl failing a class being blamed on ‘girls can’t do maths lol'(at least IRL), but I have seen guys that make As in most classes making Cs in classes with one ultra-feminist teacher(the administration somehow never seemed to notice or care about this). I’ve never seen a woman’s spousal abuse referred to as a minor issue, less important than a ‘normal’ battery case, or as anything less than despicable while I’ve seen someone laugh about a male friend who was date raped. Not everything is tilted in men’s favor.

  84. Gerry says

    It would be nice to see a “Sexist Privilege Checklist” instead.One that would include privileges for each of the sexes, and situations which might favour either sex depending on point of view? (ie. deciding who stays at home to care for kids while the other works for income).Something like this might avoid the visceral reactions by people of either sex who feel the complaints are directed at them personally and promote a more open discussion as opposed to what I’ve been reading on the subject (mainly on other blogs).Surely, feminists would favour a list like this, instead, if the goal is to promote equality?FYI: I do accept most of what is in the “Male Privilege” checklist as unfortunately true. However, as someone else pointed out, I think the “class privilege” is far more pressing issue in my mind.

  85. says

    The difference in workplace death rates, though, is mostly caused by two factors:1) Men as a group work more hours than women as a group.2) In rich industrialised countries, the most dangerous jobs – mining, construction and farming – are overwhelmingly taken by men.It’s an odd side consequence of the “men’s jobs”-“women’s jobs” dichotomy and just about the only one not to benefit men (and then, it’s only the working class men that it harms)I don’t know – I’m having difficulty seeing “health and safety at work” as a gender issue rather than a class/workers-rights issue.

  86. says

    Agreed on all counts, except the final paragraph. I just don’t understand why you’re framing this as an either/or question. It seems pretty self-evident that workplace deaths are both a class and a gender issue (and in some ways a race/ethnicity issue as well).

  87. says

    I’m not sure that just because something has different effects on different genders that it’s automatically a gender issue.The people who die in workplace accidents aren’t dying because they’re men; they aren’t dying because of a shortage of women in their workplace. They’re dying because working-class people (and agreed, race is also a major factor here) are considered expendable.If we lived in societies where men were generally considered expendable and so were intentionally put into dangerous jobs because it’s no real loss if they die, then it would – on exactly the same headline statistics – be a gender issue. We don’t have that society, though.

  88. says

    Maybe, but this really isn’t the place for it. If someone’s first reaction to a thread about male privilege is, “But men experience sexism too!” he is probably missing them point. It’s like a bunch of Christians, Muslims, and Jews commenting about the prejudice they experience on a blog post about prejudice against atheists. This list is here to help men become aware of the privileges they have that women do not, and the sexism women face. Why not comment on THAT instead?

  89. DES says

    I wanted to make the same point as Tiger and StoopidTallKid, but was afraid to spark a flame war. However, now that they’ve brought it up—The URL StoopidTallKid provided points to an annotated list of publications about female-on-male violence in general and the relative frequency of m-f and f-m violence in general. It’s very useful if you have the time and inclination to track down and read (or skim) the referenced publications, but I’d like to single out one in particular: Hamel, J. (2007), Toward a gender-inclusive conception of intimate partner violence research and theory, Part I. The reason I find it particularly interesting is that it is not about f-m violence per se, but about the discrepancy between its prevalence and the importance accorded to it not only in lay media but even in academic publications.Empirical evidence shows that female-on-male violence is at as common as (or according to some, more common than) m-f violence, and on the rise, and that women are far more likely than men to use an instrument or weapon. In this case, “empirical studies” usually means questionnaires, because crime stats are hopelessly biased: f-m violence is rarely reported unless the victim requires medical assistance, and often classified as something other than domestic violence. However, it is important to note that the answers given by women are consistent with those given by men, i.e., when questioned anonymously, women admit to perpetrating abuse as often as men report receiving it, and vice versa.Finally, abused men have nowhere to go, because the organizations that run shelters define men as aggressors and will not let them in, usually on the pretext that having men at the shelter would traumatize and / or scare off women.On a personal note, I dislike the word “feminism”, because it implies that gender imbalance is exclusively in men’s favor. I hope that at least *some* women who call themselves feminists understand that men can also be the target of discrimination: society’s perception of male vs. female sexuality, outcome of child custody battles, access to paternity leave, access to traditionally female occupations such as child care or nursing, etc.

  90. DES says

    Autism is largely congenital. The fact that autistic men outnumber autistic women by approximately four to one has nothing to do with sexism; it’s simply biology. Women do not suffer from hemophilia or certain types of color-blindness; men are less prone to UTI, but risk sterility when they do get it; men don’t get breast cancer, while women don’t get prostate cancer… all of this, biology.

  91. DES says

    Sorry, I didn’t realize the discussion was only open to those who agree unconditionally with the OP.

  92. says

    Just because the thread is open to anyone doesn’t mean that some of those those anyones aren’t completely wrong.

  93. Nico says

    I don’t really buy it. (1) and (3) are things we would ideally want for everyone, regardless of gender. They’re hardly unjustified. I also think the complaint that women must represent their entire gender at work is a little dated. I know I at least have had women professors, peers, and bosses throughout my career. I think most people, even in their 30’s and 40’s, now have enough experience with women in these roles to treat them as individuals. (2) is weird. I guess it may be true in fiction, but I so rarely run across stay-at-home dads in real life, I’d be cautious stating it as fact . I imagine they might actually face the same types of challenges as anyone playing against stereotype. Probably some automatic praise that’s really dismissive and condescending, “Gee, you can tie your kid’s shoes! Aren’t you such a good parent!” , some unreflective discrimination, and a fair leavening of thinly veiled scorn.

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