Sunday, January 9, 2011

67 Male Privileges from The Masculine Mystique Blamed Right blog, Copyright July 2008 by F*ck M*sculinity

image of poster is from here

This is a newly discovered list, by me, anyway.

It appears to me to be an anglo-centric list, and often a list that is particular to white Western men, although it is not only applicable to that group of men.

Here are some other links to other male privileges checklists, including one from my blog.


The 100 Male Privileges Checklist: The NEW and IMPROVED "Unpacking the Male Privileges Jockstrap", by Julian Real

I don't link to the one at Alas, A Blog by ampersand, because I understand and believe that he betrayed feminists when he sold his domain to someone who produces rapist, racist pornography.

Copyright credit for what follows is given in the title of this post as well as at the bottom of this post, which is cross-posted from this URL:

With sincere thanks to F*ck M*sculinity. All that follows is written by him, with assistance from people he credits. On his blog he has written some posts going into more detail about some of what follows.

June 11, 2008

The List of Male Privileges

I've met many Dudes who are convinced that men and women are completely equal in modern society. This belief, when aired in public, is quickly followed by the complaint that, "women have it so easy."

These are ludicrous assertions.

The belief that women have it easier than men is idiotic. The claim that men have no special privilege in our society is so far removed from reality that proponents must rely heavily on male privilege [mainly #22 - Privilege of Having No Privileges] to lend credence to their claim that no such privilege exists.

As proof to the contrary, below you will find (in mostly random order, as it would be hell to change the links now) my own continually-updated List of Male Privileges. Linked to each privilege (eventually) you shall find a full description of how the privilege is crafted for men and denied to women, how the privilege strengthens men as a class and harms women (and in some cases, men [1] and society as well), and how the privilege is derived from rape and violence against women, which is the foundation of the Masculine Mystique. From this list you will see how, due to all these factors, men who claim these privileges cannot be considered feminists, proponents of human rights, or good people.

Update! You don't have to take my word for it either! It turns out that Alas, a blog had this same idea years ago. Their list was itself inspired by Peggy McIntosh, whose white privilege list inspired the whole shebang. That's what I get for not googling enough beforehand. Oh well, maybe if enough of us point out the obvious in unison, that enlightened "Duh!" moment (where men begin to see the inequality and suffering of women in their daily lives) will begin to spread.

One can always hope.

The List of Male Privileges
  1. Rape -Destroying the entire life of another human being. The evil root of all male privilege.
  2. Ownership of Women's Bodies - From prostitution, to the "pro-life" movement, to the marginalization of women's self-defense, to the conservative fight against HPV vaccination, women are subject to a complete gender apartheid.
  3. Prostitution - The institutionalization of rape through a global network of physical and economic violence.
  4. Privilege of Violence Against Women -Men are allowed to use violence to both defend themselves and to hurt women. Women are not allowed to use violence in self-defense. When assaulted by a man, women are expected to acquiesce completely to the assault, never seek retribution, and die quietly.
  5. All Women Are Sexual Prospects - All women, without exception, are part of the Sex Class ruled by men, to be subject to dehumanization and gender terrorism.
  6. Male Gaze - Men's sexual perspective, embraced by society, normalizes the dehumanization of women and girls, and inoculates men from being dehumanized themselves.
  7. Pornography - Men are provided with widespread access to prostitution-based propaganda that promotes their privilege to destroy the lives of women. Pornography has now spread to mainstream culture, further cementing women into the role of the Sex Class.
  8. Privilege to Make the Rules - The rulers write the laws and history, and so men write laws and revise history to benefit themselves at the expense of women.
  9. Men Own Religion - Men craft the majority's perception of the universe to normalize anything they do as divine and good. The lead supreme beings in the vast majority of religions are male.
  10. Marriage - The purpose of marriage, as an institution, is to sanctify the sexual ownership of women by men. This has been the purpose of marriage for thousands of years, and for the vast majority marriages on Earth that purpose continues to this day.
  11. Privilege to Define Everything - Men's perspectives and values are the only valid ones in society. The intentions of men's actions are more important to society than the actual effects their actions have on women. Men's ideas about women supersede women's reality. Men can declare themselves feminist when they decide to be, or even oppressed when convenient. Men's claims will be taken as fair and objective, and will remain uncontested even when they make no sense. [Thanks to Varnish Eater, acidbill]
  12. Privilege to Define Women - Men are the ones who routinely analyze, define, and judge women's lives. Any discussion taken from an actual women's perspective is seen as "unorthodox". Men can define or scapegoat women however they like. From hysteria to insecurity, men can project their own worst qualities onto women and blame women for their own oppression. Women must constantly explain and defend their own thoughts and actions to men when they fail to conform to men's expectations. Even then, men can reinterpret women's explanations as they see fit. [Thanks to Varnish Eater]
  13. Privilege of Not Being Judged - From not being criticized for their mistakes, to the sanctity of their personal choice, to neglecting their families, to getting away with murder, judgment is always restrained when it comes to men's actions. Men can be criminals without punishment, vicious without scorn or loss of social status, and failures without fear of rebuke.
  14. Men are the Default Gender - Men are considered by society to be the default gender. Men are rarely ever targeted, stereotyped, or held liable because of their gender. This default status is the mental framework used by society to ignore male privilege and male favoritism. Men are simply seen as human. Women, on the other hand, are seen as the exception to the all the male-centric norms of society. Gender stereotypes are always present in the perception of women.
  15. Privilege of Unquestioned Majority - Men are treated as if they were the only gender on the planet. Men can assume to speak for the majority, and their declarations are automatically assumed to have the backing of the majority. Despite being only half the population, men are given the overwhelming majority of resources, from medical research dollars, to media attention, to political representation. Any attempts to advocate for equal representation of women is regarded as unorthodox and exceptional.
  16. Privilege of Women's Invisibility - When convenient, men can treat women as if they don't even exist. Men use this privilege to take credit for women's work, to claim opportunities and resources for themselves by ignoring competition from women, and to ensure that the murders of women remain unsolved and undocumented. Men use "gender blindness" to ignore the oppression of women altogether. Any attempt to fight the abuse and oppression of women will be ignored unless men are similarly oppressed, at which point aiding the oppressed men will get priority care.
  17. Primacy of Men's Comfort - From planning family vacations to deciding what distant suburb to live in, all decisions are evaluated by men's comfort levels. Even decisions made for women's safety must not infinge upon men's comfort levels. Women must make whatever personal and financial sacrifices are necessary to meet the decisions arrived at by men. All attempts at ending the abuse and oppression of women will be vehemently opposed if they inhibit men's comfort levels in any way.
  18. Freedom From Harassment - Men's bodies are not aggressively sexualized. Men can expect to not be sexually harassed, to not be concerned about phallic-looking objects, and can legally remove their shirts in public. [Thanks to Anonymous]
  19. Privilege of Safe Sex - Men are the initiators of sex, and can enjoy sexual privacy and no liability for their sexual history. Even Hugh Hefner's sex is private when he wants it to be. In contrast, women are the targets of sexual advances, bear the entire burden of contraception and pregnancy, and are judged based on men's sexual perception of them. [Thanks to Anonymous]
  20. Privilege to Speak - From blogging, to politics, to stand-up comedy, men have the privilege to speak publicly, with authority, and without harassment for doing so. From birth, women are taught to be deferential when men interrupt, to not interrupt while men are speaking, to accept verbal abuse without complaint, and to be quiet in general. Men expect women to listen to them at all times, even if said women are their bosses or are busy doing something else. Women's voices are dismissed as irritating, and women who speak for themselves in public, or who publicly contradict men, are met with hostility from society. [Thanks to wiggles]
  21. Privilege to End Debate - Men can use their tyranny of speech to quiet everyone else.
  22. Privilege of Having No Privileges - When the abuse of male privilege becomes uncomfortable for men, they can choose to be oblivious of their privilege. Men can choose to be oblivious of some or all of their privileges, as is convenient. Men can claim parity where none exists, claim oppression whenever it is useful, and deflect any resentment which might impinge upon their social status. Men can even blame women for the harms they suffer under male privilege. [Thanks to Varnish Eater, acidbill]
  23. Privilege of Relative Safety - Men don't live their entire lives in fear. There is no gender terrorism for men. Men can risk dropping their guard, or being alone. [Thanks to Anonymous]
  24. The Inviolate Male Body - A man's body is his castle. Men enjoy the sovereignty of self. They can expect to not be physically violated when attacked.
  25. Privilege of Space - All spaces are by default men's spaces. Men are allowed men-only spaces without complaint, and can expect entry into almost all women-only spaces.
  26. Privilege of Privacy and Personal Space - Men can expect privacy and lots of personal space around them when in public. Men can also intrude upon a woman's personal space whenever they want.
  27. Only Male Attributes Are Valued - The vast majority of all protagonists present in society will be male, because masculinity is revered and femininity is reviled.
  28. Privilege to Network - Relations among men are valued by society more than relations between men and women or relations between women. From finding new clients, to nepotism, to inside jobs, men can trust their networks to help them out, and to gang up and push out rival women.
  29. Privilege of Harassment - Men can be disgusting, obnoxious, hyperbolic, belittling, dismissive, and even violent towards women without consequence. If a woman tries to confront a man's behavior, he can always claim that his violent harassment was "a joke", and counter with the claim that she should "toughen up". At this point, society will become hostile towards the victim until she backs down, apologizes for questioning the man's moral fiber, and acquiesces to the harassment.
  30. Privilege of Failure - From breaking household appliances to restarting careers, men are given the security to try, fail, and try again.
  31. Praise for Mediocrity - Men can expect their mundane accomplishments to be treated like heroic feats. Men can also wallow in the pitiful standards set for men's behavior when it is convenient, with little repercussion.
  32. Privilege to Celebrate - Only men's victories are celebrated in public, and the majority of people in these victory celebrations are men. Men are also allowed to be violent when celebrating.
  33. Judgments Not Made on Men's Appearance - Men's clothes "say" little about them, and men can be fat with far fewer consequenses than women.
  34. Privilege of Control - Men are allowed to co-opt control of anything that a woman controls, whenever they want it. Men are also not responsible for anything that they do not want control of. This behavior is excused as part of men's "natural leadership qualities", and is never seen as rude or obnoxious by the larger society. [Thanks to Lilithc]
  35. Privilege to be Practical - It is normal for men to be comfortable and mobile when dressed. Women's fashion is impractically expensive, time consuming, and deliberately inhibits comfort, mobility, and safety. Utilitarianism is seen as a virtue in men, while women who forgo impractical clothing or embrace utilitarianism are chided for "letting themselves go".
  36. Privilege of Having Potential - Men's work is valued. Men are given many more opportunities to be successful, and are praised more than women when they succeed.
  37. Baby Einsteins - Boys are valued more than girls. Society spends more time, attention, and resources on boys than on girls. Throughout the world, the parents of a girl are more likely to divorce than the parents of a boy. Divorced women with girls are substantially less likely to remarry than divorced women with boys. Parents of girls are also much more likely to try for another child than parents of boys.
  38. Scions - Heirs to power and property are almost entirely male, and have been for thousands of years. Heiresses are few and far between, and typically reviled by society.
  39. Privilege of Women's Labor - From keeping house, to raising men's children, to "PHT Degrees", women's unpaid and undervalued labor is the foundation for the easy lives of men. Men can also lay claim to the praise and rewards that result from women's labor. [Thanks to fff, acidbill]
  40. Boys Can be Boys - Young boys are typically given the freedom to play and be a child, while young girls typically do household chores. The innocence of boys is protected, while 54% of girls will be sexually abused.
  41. Privilege of Extra Free Time - Unburdened with chores or other domestic responsibilities, men have much more time for leisure.
  42. Privilege of Career - Men are expected to have a career, while women are expected to sacrifice their careers in order to care for a man and raise his family. Similarly, a man is more likely to get hired and promoted in any given job than a woman. This favoritism towards men increases as the job becomes more prestigious. [Thanks to Alas, a blog]
  43. Men in Business - Although women make up almost half of America's labor force, in 2005 only 8 Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs or presidents, 67 of those 500 companies don't have any women corporate officers, and the numbers are getting worse.
  44. Men in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) - Men are seen as having automatic ability in STEM fields, and are encouraged to explore them. Meanwhile, women are actively discouraged from these fields. Discrimination of women is rampant in STEM fields. Women make up less than half of all scientists and engineers in the US, and less than one-third of all doctorate and professional degree holders in STEM fields. [Thanks to RedComet]
  45. 23% More Pay - Even with identical qualifications, men still make 23% more than women when working the exact same job.
  46. Privilege of Family Fortunes - 90% of the world's billionaires are men, and they didn't get there by chance.
  47. All Things Designed By Men, For Men - Everything from car seats, to drugs, to women's fashions are designed around men's desires. Men's bodies are the default template for all designed products, and the male body is the default Homo Sapien studied in medical centers. Men's needs are the only requirements for a design (for example, try using an iPhone with manicured nails).
  48. Privilege of Tech - Boys get more time on family computers and more access to technology. Despite the Nintendo Wii, the majority of big-title computer games are designed to degrade women. Despite women making up a majority of Internet consumers, misogyny dominates the computer industry.
  49. Internet Presence - Even though more people use the web to buy greeting cards than porn, everyone assumes that the primary use of the web is pornography. The Internet has been claimed by popular culture to be a giant men's club.
  50. Privilege of Ownership - Men can take the best of anything that is available, even if it belongs to someone else. Women who complain are castigated for being sensitive or "petty". Plagarism laws protect men's work more than women's work. When a man finds something for the first time, he can lay claim to "first discovering" it with little fear of correction. [Thanks to Lilithc]
  51. Trophy Wives - Using ritualized male privilege to enslave young women and abuse older women.
  52. Privilege of Good Medicine - Men get the best medical care, the majority of medical research dollars. Breast cancer, for example, remains one of the highest killers of women, while new techniques and even surgical robots have made prostate cancer into one of the most curable cancers.
  53. Privilege of Labor - High paying labor-intensive jobs that do not require advanced degrees are all rife with misogyny and dominated by men. If any field becomes dominated by women, the work becomes underpaid and undervalued.
  54. Privilege to Be Single - Men can be single into their 30's and no one notices, and face far less harassment if they choose not to have kids. It is also acceptable for men to remain "bachelors for life" (although most eventually opt for the male privileges inherent in marriage). Women are under fierce pressure to get married and have kids as soon as possible. [Thanks to Anonymous]
  55. Privilege to Grow Old - Men can go gray, get fat, or age in any way they wish. For men, aging adds wisdom, respect, or "character". Women are under constant pressure to do whatever it takes, including surgery, to remain "young looking". Anything less, and a woman is admonished for "letting herself go". [Thanks to Debi Crow]
  56. Privilege of Hair - Men can have hair, on their heads or body, and do not have to take care of it. Women are seen as lazy, unhygienic, and disgusting if they do not remove or arduously style all the hair on their bodies. Men are allowed to be bald, whereas women must use wigs. [Thanks to RedComet]
  57. Women Expected to Please Men - Men can expect smiles from all women at all times. Men expect women to drop what they are doing and be attentive to men while they are talked at. Women's political views are seen as playthings for men to move around at will. [Thanks to Flyinfur]
  58. Privilege to Eat - The consumption of food (especially desirable foods like deserts, alcohol, and meat) is only socially acceptable for men. As adolescents, boys are encouraged to eat, while girls are discouraged from eating. This lack of adequate nutrition results in girl's growth being stunted in childhood, which has led to the false belief that women are "naturally" smaller than men.
  59. Privilege of Selective Misogyny - Men can choose not to exercise male privilege over a particular woman at any time, as a reward for approved behavior, or for simple convenience. Men can selectively favor women, and decide which women deserve consideration/rights/empathy as is convenient to them. Men can also take away such favors and reassert their privilege at any time. [Thanks to Varnish Eater]
  60. Toys! - Male-coded toys (whether video games for kids, or cars and iphones for adults) are of higher quality and more diverse than female-coded toys. Female-coded toys have cheaper construction, and designed to train girls in domesticity and femininity.
  61. The Privilege of Vocabulary - The very dictionary is stacked in men's favor. Words that reference a group of people typically default to a male noun (chairman, mankind, you guys, etc.). Language makes it easy for any man to lash out at women, while the words needed to retaliate against men do not exist. [Thanks to Jezebella]
  62. The Privilege of Guns - Men are expected to know how to handle a gun. Boys are taught how to shoot from an early age by fathers and peers. AirSoft, Paintball, Laser Tag, video games, the army, and all other gun-based social settings are maintained solely as realms for boys and men. Women are denied access to these powerful and deadly tools.
  63. The Privilege of Pleasure - Entire industries, from the benign to the barbaric, revolve around men's physical pleasure. Men's physical pleasure is lauded my the media and condoned by moralists. In contrast, women's physical pleasure is either demonized or denied to exist in the first place. Women are expected to please men, and to only receive physical gratification within the context of serving men.
  64. Privilege of Mobility - Men are given the freedom to see the world. Men can travel by themselves, move their residence wherever they want, and take traveling jobs (such as couriers and seamen) while leaving women behind to care for their family and children. Women are forbidden from traveling by themselves, under the pretense that doing so is too dangerous for them.
  65. Privilege of Passivity - With their lives relatively safe, free from negative judgments, and with the expectation for women to take care of them, men have the freedom to be passive, and are unaccountable for their passivity.
  66. Privilege to Say "No!" - When a man says "no", it is accepted as final. When a woman says "no", it is seen by men as a challenge, and its utterance is interpreted as the start of negotiations toward an inevitable "yes". [Thanks to Daisy P]
  67. Privilege to be an Outsider - Men are given the latitude and relative safety to reject social mandates. Men can say no to their families, ignore popular culture, reject social norms, and plow their own course in life. Counter-cultures cater to men, and form safe places and support structures for men. For women, the consequences of disobeying society and family are much harsher. Society is much more dangerous for lone women as well. Counter-cultures rarely offer a similar level of safety and autonomy to women, and in many cases are hostile to them.

Loads of thanks to everyone who has collaborated with me on this list!

[1] The negative consequences of male privilege are not nearly as horrible for men as they are for women, but they do exist, occasionally.

Copyright June 2008 by F*ck M*sculinity