The Male Privilege Checklist

An Unabashed Imitation of an article by Peggy McIntosh

In 1990, Wellesley College professor Peggy McIntosh wrote an essay called “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”. McIntosh observes that whites in the U.S. are “taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” To illustrate these invisible systems, McIntosh wrote a list of 26 invisible privileges whites benefit from.

As McIntosh points out, men also tend to be unaware of their own privileges as men. In the spirit of McIntosh’s essay, I thought I’d compile a list similar to McIntosh’s, focusing on the invisible privileges benefiting men.

Due to my own limitations, this list is unavoidably U.S. centric. I hope that writers from other cultures will create new lists, or modify this one, to reflect their own experiences.

Since I first compiled it, the list has been posted many times on internet discussion groups. Very helpfully, many people have suggested additions to the checklist. More commonly, of course, critics (usually, but not exclusively, male) have pointed out men have disadvantages too – being drafted into the army, being expected to suppress emotions, and so on. These are indeed bad things – but I never claimed that life for men is all ice cream sundaes.

Obviously, there are individual exceptions to most problems discussed on the list. The existence of individual exceptions does not mean that general problems are not a concern.

Pointing out that men are privileged in no way denies that bad things happen to men. Being privileged does not mean men are given everything in life for free; being privileged does not mean that men do not work hard, do not suffer. In many cases – from a boy being bullied in school, to a soldier dying in war – the sexist society that maintains male privilege also does great harm to boys and men.

In the end, however, it is men and not women who make the most money; men and not women who dominate the government and the corporate boards; men and not women who dominate virtually all of the most powerful positions of society. And it is women and not men who suffer the most from intimate violence and rape; who are the most likely to be poor; who are, on the whole, given the short end of patriarchy’s stick.

Several critics have also argued that the list somehow victimizes women. I disagree; pointing out problems is not the same as perpetuating them. It is not a “victimizing” position to acknowledge that injustice exists; on the contrary, without that acknowledgment it isn’t possible to fight injustice.

An internet acquaintance of mine once wrote, “The first big privilege which whites, males, people in upper economic classes, the able bodied, the straight (I think one or two of those will cover most of us) can work to alleviate is the privilege to be oblivious to privilege.” This checklist is, I hope, a step towards helping men to give up the “first big privilege.”

The Male Privilege Checklist

1. My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.

2. I can be confident that my co-workers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that might be true. (More).

3. If I am never promoted, it’s not because of my sex.

4. If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities.

5. I am far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female co-workers are. (More).

6. If I do the same task as a woman, and if the measurement is at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.

7. If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are relatively low. (More).

8. On average, I am taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces much less than my female counterparts are.

9. If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be called into question.

10. If I have children but do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be called into question.

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

12. If I have children and a career, no one will think I’m selfish for not staying at home.

13. If I seek political office, my relationship with my children, or who I hire to take care of them, will probably not be scrutinized by the press.

14. My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more this is true.

15. When I ask to see “the person in charge,” odds are I will face a person of my own sex. The higher-up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be.

16. As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters. (More).

17. As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of children’s media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male protagonists were (and are) the default.

18. As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often. (More).

19. If my day, week or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether or not it has sexist overtones.

20. I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented.

21. If I’m careless with my financial affairs it won’t be attributed to my sex.

22. If I’m careless with my driving it won’t be attributed to my sex.

23. I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.

24. Even if I sleep with a lot of women, there is no chance that I will be seriously labeled a “slut,” nor is there any male counterpart to “slut-bashing.” (More).

25. I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability. (More).

26. My clothing is typically less expensive and better-constructed than women’s clothing for the same social status. While I have fewer options, my clothes will probably fit better than a woman’s without tailoring. (More).

27. The grooming regimen expected of me is relatively cheap and consumes little time. (More).

28. If I buy a new car, chances are I’ll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car. (More).

29. If I’m not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore.

30. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.

31. I can ask for legal protection from violence that happens mostly to men without being seen as a selfish special interest, since that kind of violence is called “crime” and is a general social concern. (Violence that happens mostly to women is usually called “domestic violence” or “acquaintance rape,” and is seen as a special interest issue.)

32. I can be confident that the ordinary language of day-to-day existence will always include my sex. “All men are created equal,” mailman, chairman, freshman, he.

33. My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.

34. I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.

35. The decision to hire me will not be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.

36. Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is pictured as male.

37. Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.

38. If I have a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are we’ll divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks. (More).

39. If I have children with my girlfriend or wife, I can expect her to do most of the basic childcare such as changing diapers and feeding.

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.

41. Assuming I am heterosexual, magazines, billboards, television, movies, pornography, and virtually all of media is filled with images of scantily-clad women intended to appeal to me sexually. Such images of men exist, but are rarer.

42. In general, I am under much less pressure to be thin than my female counterparts are. (More). If I am fat, I probably suffer fewer social and economic consequences for being fat than fat women do. (More).

43. If I am heterosexual, it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover. (More).

44. Complete strangers generally do not walk up to me on the street and tell me to “smile.” (More: 1 2).

45. Sexual harassment on the street virtually never happens to me. I do not need to plot my movements through public space in order to avoid being sexually harassed, or to mitigate sexual harassment. (More.)

45. On average, I am not interrupted by women as often as women are interrupted by men.

46. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.

(Compiled by Barry Deutsch, aka “Ampersand.” Permission is granted to reproduce this list in any way, for any purpose, so long as the acknowledgment of Peggy McIntosh’s work is not removed. If possible, I’d appreciate it if folks who use it would tell me how they used it; my email is barry-at-amptoons-dot-com.)

(This is a continually updated document; the most current version of The Male Privilege Checklist can always be found at amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist . To see posts discussing the Male Privilege Checklist and various items on it, please visit this archive page).

* * *

Related links

For another feminist list with a different thematic approach, see Andrea Rubenstein’s “Think We’ve Already Achieved Equality? Think Again.

A list of links to many other “privilege lists.”

781 Responses to The Male Privilege Checklist

  1. 701
    Jake Squid says:

    Edited to add: Wow! Comment number 700!

    … is only 38 away according to the numbers that appear next to the comments on my screen.

  2. 702
    Jake Squid says:

    Well that was weird. Amp’s comment is labeled # 661 and my comment immediately following is # 701.

  3. 703
    Ampersand says:

    That is weird. I have no idea what’s going on there.

  4. 704
    alex says:

    Varusz, do you really think democracy works perfectly and is a perfect representation of the views of voters? I don’t. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see things like (say) legalization of pot – a proposition supported by about 50% of Americans – being opposed by close to 100% of Senators. There are many flaws in the system, so any argument based on the idea that the system is flawless and therefore whatever exists must represent what voters want, is mistaken.

    There are completely opposite effects for women vs drugs though.

    More democracy (referenda etc.) produces a more progressive approach to drugs and less democracy a more authoritarian one. For women it is the other way around, less democracy (quotas, appointments) produces higher levels of women in government. I agree the system isn’t flawless, but don’t think introducing more flaws brings us closer to the will of the people.

  5. 705
    Ampersand says:

    Alex, quotas and appointments are not the only way to increase the number of female (and for that matter, non-white) representatives.

  6. 706
    Hector_St_Clare says:

    Re: Policy outcomes are important, but we should also want a diverse legislature for its own sake. A ruling government that effectively excludes or marginalizes women, or Blacks, or Muslims, or lgbt folks, etc etc., from the legislature is in and of itself morally repulsive,

    I think we might disagree on how morally repulsive it would be- excluding a particular religion might make sense in a confessional state, for example, but not in secular America. I also agree, with Yeats, that it’s more important to have ‘good men’ in office than ‘representative men’. That said, we aren’t really talking about excluding people here. I think women should have every right to run for office. I also think that, because of innate biological differences (being less competitive, less dominant, less status seeking, less risk taking, etc.) women are likely to be less interested in running for leadership roles than men, and less well suited for leadership, so in a fair world without preferences for either gender, most political leadership positions would be occupied by men. That doesn’t particularly bother me.

    I’m with Ampersand, of course, that the dominance of government by rich people is a moral scandal.

  7. 707
    Ampersand says:

    Hector, at one time people gave exactly the same explanation as to why there would never be a significant number of women becoming doctors and lawyers. And yet….

  8. 708
    Hector_St_Clare says:

    Re: Hector, at one time people gave exactly the same explanation as to why there would never be a significant number of women becoming doctors and lawyers.

    The medical field depends on IQ and conscientiousness more than social dominance, and it is the very opposite of a high-risk endeavour (if you have the skills). Same with my field, biology (most undergraduates in the field are women right now, and I think a majority of graduate students as well). Lawyering is a bit different, but still, it’s not as weighted towards the androgen-linked traits as politics is.

    I don’t know if you or I will be around in 50 years, but I’d be happy to take a bet that most countries will still have male dominated governments by then.

  9. 709
    david burress says:

    I think both sides of the argument about male/female dominance have been somewhat simple minded. I suspect that most social scientists would agree with something like this: for any given variable related to dominance drives,
    1. Numbers of men and women are not all that different over most of the distribution.
    2. Among those with extremely strong dominance drives, men significantly outnumber women.
    3. The origins of this difference are partly biological and partly cultural.
    4. Because no controlled experiments are possible, we can’t tell how much of it is biological versus cultural.
    5. However dominance drives, and also success in dominance competitions, are strongly affected by culture and institutions, and the existing distributions of personalities, drives, and outcomes can certainly be changed.

    As to what to do about it, I think most Americans would be OK with the goal of society that, so far as possible, didn’t push people one way or another based on their sex chromosomes. Accomplishing that is the hard part, and there are no perfect solutions. I could live with gender-based leadership quotas, but the Supreme Court and a majority of Americans couldn’t. You can get the same effect with much less opposition using random selection of leaders, an idea that probably won’t work very well for top executives but actually has great potential for legislative functions using what are known as “policy juries.”

  10. 710
    Hector_St_Clare says:

    Hi David,

    We can test the biology vs. culture hypothesis. we can see whether boys who were exposed to more testosterone in the second trimester womb, exhibit greater leadership ability and social dominance as adults. the answer is that they do.

    For example, I have a whole suite of feminized personality traits, most likely linked to low prenatal testosterone, and largely for that reason I a
    Would probably be successful if I tried running for elected office.

  11. 711
    david burress says:

    Hector-
    That’s not a controlled experiment–i.e., it was not randomised. (The Nazis could have done controlled experiments on it but didn’t.) You do not know what the other correlates of androgen exposure were. Also, you do not know that effects on women are the same as effects on men–in fact we know that reproductive hormones can have paradoxical effects depending on dose and gender. Also you do not know how culture interacts with the biology.
    What do know is that culture can change not just average outcomes, but also their variances.

  12. 712
    Hector_St_Clare says:

    David,

    Correct. Running controlled experiments of this nature on humans would be wildly immoral, so we are stuck with indirect correlational evidence now and probably for ever. That’s part of why studying humans is more difficult than studying songbirds or rodents.

    Its true that culture effects how traits are expressed, and heritability is always strictly environment specific.

  13. 713
    alex says:

    Alex, quotas and appointments are not the only way to increase the number of female (and for that matter, non-white) representatives.

    That is totally irrelevant. The argument is that Varusz thinks the public don’t want to elect women (because they don’t vote for them), and you think they do but are prevented by a flawed political system.

    But as a random example, Canada has 25% women in the elected lower house vs 38% in the appointed upper house. That suggests to me not that the public want womens’ voice to be heard but are stopped by an evil political system; but that the public are quite happy not having women in power and politicians are more liberal and will stuff the place with women if there isn’t an election to stop them.

    I know this is real challenge to your worldview, but doesn’t it look like the politicians are more progressive than the plebs? Don’t worry about the political ramifications for now, I am not suggesting you are in favour of autocracy.

  14. 714
    Hector_St_Clare says:

    Re: However dominance drives, and also success in dominance competitions, are strongly affected by culture and institutions, and the existing distributions of personalities, drives, and outcomes can certainly be changed.

    I don’t dispute any of that. My question is, why should we want to. I’m not a feminist, and so I’m not ideologically committed to men and women having equal outcomes in society.

    Ampersand does make the (good) point that women are more likely to vote for welfare states, social provision (and I’d add environmental protection too: there was a paper by, I think, the Daly & Wilson team some years ago that provided some evolutionary explanations). But if we are talking about major changes to our political system anyway, then I’d just rather focus on “let’s have people with the right beliefs in power” rather than “let’s have more women in power”.

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  18. 715
    Jeremy says:

    I agree with most all of these. But I do feel compelled to point out that in number 24, “nor is there any male counterpart to ‘slut-bashing,’” is false. There is a counterpart, it just goes in the opposite direction. As a guy who didn’t lose his virginity until age 28, I can state that the bias against men who are perceived as sexually inexperienced or weak is absolutely real. Within my liberal sub-culture you hear cruel jokes and mocking references from men and women alike, and nobody bats an eye. Like I say, I mostly agree with the list and I think it’s nonsense to suggest that men somehow have it harder or are persecuted by women. But I do think it’s a good thing to be aware of.

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  20. 716
    Tawi says:

    This article/list is both intriguing and necessary. Thank you for being one of those guys who are aware of male privilege and don’t try to pretend like it doesn’t exist. As a feminist I think one of the most important things is to get men on board and men speaking about these injustices even in all male forums.

  21. 717
    Steve says:

    “I also think that, because of innate biological differences (being less competitive, less dominant, less status seeking, less risk taking, etc.) women are likely to be less interested in running for leadership roles than men, and less well suited for leadership, so in a fair world without preferences for either gender, most political leadership positions would be occupied by men.”

    Hector, I do not believe the traits you use as example here fall under biological differences. I think women have social pressures from an early age that tell them they do not belong in these roles and that they should not pursue them. Women are set up from birth to pursue “gender-specific” careers if they pursue any career at all (let’s face it, a portion of women in the US are raised to try and find a man to support them, are told that the worst possible outcome could be to have to rely on yourself. How much more dis-empowered you could possibly be?). Women who do find ways to excel in politics or other positions of power are constantly questioned, doubted, and ridiculed based on their gender, not something a lot of people would actively seek out in their pursuit of happiness (although it could be argued that based on the constitution, only men have a right to this pursuit). I am pretty big proponent of nurture over nature to begin with but I feel pretty confident that society and not biology are what keep women from pursuing positions of more power.

    I also think you may be interested to know that there is in fact a power dynamic known as Matriarchy in which women actually take on power and control within a society. I have doubts that this could exist if there were some kind of biological predisposition in women to shy away from leadership.

  22. 718
    david burress says:

    I get so tired of categorical statements from both sides about male and female nature. In the modern era, most intelligent and well-meaning people ought to be able to agree that:
    a. individuals from all genders ought to have equal opportunities to engage and compete in activities of their own choice.
    b. there are huge variations in ability and desire within each gender, and large overlaps across genders.
    c. there are also some differences between genders in the overall distributions of ability and desire (e.g. averages and numbers of extreme cases)–but so what? Fair discrimination on ability does not require unfair discrimination on gender.
    Upon reflection, I think that most well-meaning people can be convinced further that:
    a. the causes of these differences are partly cultural and partly biological. They will never go entirely away.
    b. providing equal opportunity is going to require some degree of cultural change.
    c. in some cases you cannot provide equal opportunity without also imposing more equal outcomes. For example, no woman can possibly have equal opportunity for a field or position with no female role models.
    d. There are real subcultural differences between genders. You cannot have equal opportunity without accommodating those differences.
    Perhaps more controversially, I will also claim:
    a. These principles cut both ways. The balance of discrimination tends to weigh against women. However, and contrary to some feminist theories, there is pervasive and observable invidious discrimination against men as well as against women (though of course in different ways).
    b. Racial discrimination and ableism and classism are unlike gender discrimination. The claim that there is pervasive and observable invidious discrimination against whites or the able-bodied or the rich is a self-serving myth.
    c. On the other hand, ageism and beautyism are more similar to sexism. The balance tends to be in one direction, but discrimination cuts both ways.
    Full disclosure: I am a retired white middle-class male of average attractiveness with a disability. I suffered the disability in midlife so I have seen both sides of ableism and ageism. They are different.

  23. 719
    rain says:

    alex @ 713

    But as a random example, Canada has 25% women in the elected lower house vs 38% in the appointed upper house. That suggests to me not that the public want womens’ voice to be heard but are stopped by an evil political system; but that the public are quite happy not having women in power and politicians are more liberal and will stuff the place with women if there isn’t an election to stop them.

    Well, it’s not like the Canadian public is being offered equal numbers of male and female candidates and showing their distaste for women by disproportionately voting for men. The percentage of women elected is usually fairly similar to the percentage of women running. It’s the party that determines who the candidate is:

    Political parties are left on their own to decide how they
    nominate their candidates. They can choose to elect a candidate through a vote of their local membership or not; they can allow their leader to unilaterally select candidates or not; and . . .

  24. 720
    Hector_St_Clare says:

    Steve,

    It’s amusing that your link states this right up front:

    “Most anthropologists hold that there are no known societies that are unambiguously matriarchal,[3][4][5][6][7] but possible exceptions include the Iroquois, in whose society mothers exercise central moral and political roles.[8] Another possible exception is Padaungs.[9] According”

    Not that that means you’re wrong (I don’t believe much in treating what ‘most scholars say’ as revealed truth, outside the hard sciences where there are objective standards of truth- one must actually consider the evidence) but I’m not really sure that was the strongest argument you could have made. (Also, the Padaungs practice some pretty damaging cosmetic procedures on women, i.e. the neck lengthening thing, so possibly not a culture you want to emulate).

    Regarding the actual merits of your argument: I think the fact that social dominance / risk taking / competitiveness are clearly affected by androgen/estrogen balances, are pretty good evidence (though of course not conclusive) that the differences in these traits between men and women are mostly rooted in physiology. We can see this by, for example, looking at differences *within* each sex in traits which affect leadership, and then seeing if those differences are correlated with differences in androgen exposure (short version: they are).

    Re: (let’s face it, a portion of women in the US are raised to try and find a man to support them, are told that the worst possible outcome could be to have to rely on yourself. How much more dis-empowered you could possibly be?).

    If women choose that, out of other choices they are free to make (and I think that a large number of women are and always will be happy to depend on a man who supports them), then I don’t see what’s ‘dis-empowered’ about it. More importantly, I don’t see what’s *wrong* with it. It’s an arrangement that works for a very large number of men and women: and that, too, I think, is *natural*, not the result of social conditioning.

    Re: I am pretty big proponent of nurture over nature to begin with but I feel pretty confident that society and not biology are what keep women from pursuing positions of more power.

    I’m sure you are confident, but you also seem to be wrong, as the findings of behavioural ecology tell us. On the other hand, you’ve provided rather little evidence for your contentions.

  25. 721
    Blue says:

    During a job interview that I was experienced and qualified for, I was told that ‘We have never had a male carer working for us so we’re not sure that you’d fit in’

    In subsequent work I’ve always been the sole representative of my gender in a female dominated environment

    The one exception was when an inexperienced male carer was employed for a trial period. He was given no training and failed his probation. Due to a complaint from a female resident against him for being too rough, ALL male staff (ie, me) were restricted from half of the residents in the home by the management until they inquired why I wasn’t assisting them anymore.

    I was told on a regular basis that this was ‘no job for a young man to be in’

    When receiving praise and admiration from female residents in my care, my peers would attribute it to the ‘novelty’ of being cared for by a man rather than my ability to develop a patient, caring and empathetic working relationship

    If I made a mistake it would be attributed to being a man in a female profession

    I had to work harder than my female peers in order to prove myself capable whenever starting work in a new area in my field.

    I’ve been restricted from performing my job for new residents and patients before I have met them on the grounds that they ‘do not want a man in the house’

    My superiors and managers have all been female, without exception

    I have endured belittling comments about my gender from co-workers on an almost daily basis. After a certain point I no longer felt comfortable associating with them. On the few occasions I acquired the courage to speak up, I was laughed at and called ‘cute’

    I have a somewhat feminine appearance for a man and have endured frequent verbal and physical abuse in the street for the way I look

    I was groomed over a period of time then sexually abused as a child

    I was groomed over a period of time then restrained, drugged and raped as an adult

    I’m glad I have my Male Privilege otherwise I might feel undervalued, inadequate and unimportant.

  26. 722
    alex says:

    rain @ 719

    it’s not like the Canadian public is being offered equal numbers of male and female candidates and showing their distaste for women by disproportionately voting for men. … It’s the party that determines who the candidate is

    I don’t understand your point. The parties also determine appointment to the upper house. I don’t see why they’d determine appointments in a relatively gender egalitarian manner, but turn into bigots when putting forward candidates for election.

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  28. 723
    moi says:

    Blue, it’s truly horrible the way you have been treated and the things you have experienced. Probably the vast majority of women share and empathise with your experience. Be aware though, that your experiences of discrimination as a male in a care profession, the assumption that it is a female profession, are that way because patriarchy made it so. If the profession had not been designated as “female” in the first place, you would not experience that kind of discrimination. Please join the fight to end this crap!

    There’s no excuse for the sexual abuse you have been subjected to, it’s apalling that you had to go through that.

  29. 724
    blue says:

    your experiences of discrimination as a male in a care profession, the assumption that it is a female profession, are that way because patriarchy made it so.

    I knew that it was a female profession going into it, and was prepared for the consequences. I get by and I (try to) keep positive. Though I endured them for many years, a lot of those experiences are behind me now as I am now a qualified nurse in a much nicer setting with much more understanding peers and am a respected member of the team.

    This is not my contention. I take umbrage with being told that I have privilege based entirely on my gender rather than my circumstance. I find it hurtful, ignorant and counter-progressive.

    All too often, particularly since it has become more popular, a person will end a discussion with ‘You do not understand, because privilege’. I’m sure you can understand how frustrating and undermining this is, as there is no counter argument to this kind of rhetoric.

    On saying that I appreciate what you are saying, especially your acknowledgement of my experiences. Sometimes that is all it takes to help a situation, a little acknowledgement.

  30. 725
    Varusz says:

    Moi sez: “… are that way because patriarchy made it so.”

    Your use of the word “patriarchy”, instead of what the mechanism really is, “society” and “societal consensus”, unfairly blames men for creating these situations.

    As an example, one attempt to eliminate “patriarchy” – the bill to get rid of permanent alimony in Florida – was not just opposed by men. Not by a longshot. The disparate impact is obviously on men, since they pay something like 98% of the alimony and even more as a percentage of dollar amounts, but many women did not want to get rid of it. Because traditional roles are kept on men, ALSO forced by women in society, they have to take higher-paying “men’s work”. Men and women both are responsible in society, not only for laws and regulations, but also for mechanisms such as women desiring to “marry up” financially on the whole.

    Telling Blue that his discrimination is bad, but it’s his gender’s own fault, is not accurate and also not the coolest thing I’ve read today.

  31. 726
    Tamen says:

    A few years back I came over a study (I think it was a thesis) about male nurses in Norway. Among many things it looked at why so many male nurses went into administration – in other words a higher rate of male nurses than female nurses were promoted to higher paying jobs in health care administration. It was called the glass escalator (referring to the term the glass ceiling). Many of the male nurses quoted hostility and/or condescending attitude from their female peers as a reason for seeking other positions higher up. So perhaps more of an escape ladder than a glass escalator.

  32. 727
    Hector_St_Clare says:

    Re: Men and women both are responsible in society, not only for laws and regulations, but also for mechanisms such as women desiring to “marry up” financially on the whole.

    I don’t think that’s society, it’s our basic biology. Women tend to prioritize high financial/social/educational status in their husband/boyfriend/etc., more than men do. (With many exceptions, of course). I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

  33. 728
    Jake Squid says:

    Women tend to prioritize high financial/social/educational status in their husband/boyfriend/etc., more than men do.

    Men tend to be more likely to have high financial/social/educational status than women in our culture. It seems likely that were the financial/social/educational positions reversed, men would prioritize those things.

  34. 729
    Robert says:

    That;s a testable hypothesis, Jake, because there are men in that position – poor men. Do those men show a differential preference for wealthy/powerful/highly-educated high-status females?

  35. 730
    Jake Squid says:

    I don’t feel like it really is testable via your suggestion.

  36. 731
    Hector_St_Clare says:

    Re: Men tend to be more likely to have high financial/social/educational status than women in our culture. It seems likely that were the financial/social/educational positions reversed, men would prioritize those things.

    A behavioural ecologist would probably disagree with you, and say that what’s going on, at the most basic level, is that ‘sperm is cheap, eggs are expensive’. Sex/reproduction involves a bigger investment on the part of females than males, therefore females are generally going to be 1) the more selective sex, and 2) the sex that selects more for status, resources, intelligence, and other traits that can affect the ability to provide for her and the child.

    I don’t need to tell you which explanation I find more convincing. I’m sure culture plays some role, but that doesn’t really solve the matter, because it doesn’t show us in which direction culture is distorting nature. It might be that women generally prefer provider/dependent relationships and feminist/capitalist ideology convinces them to think they want equal relationships; or it might be the other way round.

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  38. 732
    John Mcsammerson says:

    I respect your opinions, but i’m just going to emphasize more or so the fact that this is all your opinion. As a male i can really say about half of these “privileges” are true, whilst some of them just flat out aren’t. You’re assuming way to much. I’ve had less opportunity because of my sex many times before. Perhaps maybe YOU should check YOUR privileges.

  39. 733
    Bill says:

    As a man who was raised by a single mother, with a modest income. It’s difficult for me to feel more privileged, than a woman born to billionaire parents. I think lists like this do a great job of distracting people from the real source of privilege, who you are born to.

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  42. 734
    Spades says:

    I really enjoyed the list, especially the points about having/raising children. I noticed that there was no mention of other issues such as race. Might I also suggest that more could be said on the following topics: sexuality, academics, body image.

    I say this from personal experience. As a woman who loved math and science since my toddler years, I always experienced alienation for not caring about humanities subjects, or surprised reactions for going into a field that includes programming. I was bullied as a preteen for having body hair and wearing “boy” clothes, and then verbally harassed when wearing more “sexy” clothing.

    From a young age, the emphasis is to comment on a girl’s appearance (“you’re so pretty!”) rather than her interests.

  43. 735
    ka says:

    For numbers 36 and 37 it depends on how you define “major religions.” Several African Traditional Religions have female leaders and do not stipulate that a woman and her children have to be subservient to a man.

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  47. 736
    rorge_retson says:

    Well, while your list may be accurate, that does not mean that I, as one singular man, get to experience any of those privileges. I was victimized as a child and because of that treatment, feel like I don’t even belong on this earth “wasting oxygen” as it was so generously imparted to me.

    So, while you may be right at a macro level, on an individual level, there are men who feel more powerless than you ever could.

  48. 737
    Mycommentis says:

    (1) People don’t get angry at me because I’m old or unattractive.
    (2) Random strangers don’t come up to me and tell me to smile on a daily basis.
    (3) I can walk down most streets in most cities without being constantly berated by cat calls and unwelcome advances.
    (4) I can buy fashionable clothes that are also weather appropriate.
    (5) I can buy fashionable shoes that I can run and walk in without pain and that won’t cause problems with my skeletal system or knee joints later in life.
    (6) I rarely have to wait in line to go to the bathroom.
    (7) I can have a child without incurring any physical pain or my body being destroyed.
    (8) No one tells me that I will “expire” at age 35.
    (9) My boss is very unlikely to delegate non-compensated tasks to me such as planning office parties or luncheons.
    (10) People do not expect me to always be helpful/agreeable.
    (11) When I am helpful/agreeable, people are more grateful to me for it.
    (12) When movies portray unrealistic romantic matches that I like to fanticize about (nerdy guy with popular woman, fat guy with thin woman, old man with young woman, etc.) I can expect that the audience or critics won’t comment on unrealistic such arrangements are and how such arrangements shouldn’t be shown on the big screen because they set my sex up for disappointment.
    (13) the overwhelming majority of porn is geared towards my desires.
    (14) the overwhelming majority of advertising is geared towards my desires.
    (15) when I drive a nice car, people assume I bought it.
    (16) celebrities of my sex are rarely criticized for gaining weight unless its to the point of excess; and even then rarely is it mentioned.
    (17) loosing my hair is bad for my sex life etc., but not nearly as bad as it would be if I were the opposite sex.
    (18) If I am divorced with children, single members of the opposite sex without children are more likely to give me chance.
    (19) When I was a teenager, those around me (even my parents) encouraged me to date and maybe even have sex.
    (20) People aren’t as harsh on me when they see me making bad parenting choices such as feeding my kids candy.

  49. 738
    Zu-zu says:

    My younger brother was absolutely infuriated when I read this. He went on a rant about how ‘none of it is true’ and I politely pointed out number 46.
    Kill me now, please.

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  51. 739
    Tabor Fisher says:

    Just posted a link to this on our class website for “The End of Men?” a first year seminar at Le Moyne College that looks at historical constructions of masculinity and considers whether Hanna Rosin’s claim that men are losing their dominance is true. Really nice list — have always loved the McIntosh and this is a nice addition.

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  55. 740
    reganator says:

    there are a few issues here that aren’t totally clear- for example, any reference to ‘rape’ should be changed to sexual assault as (at least in the U.K.) rape legally specifies that the attacker must have a penis, therefore potentially leading to skewing the results, or at least producing a misleading image, as people also typically assume you are talking about an attack by a man (which, for obvious reasons, is going to be less likely- there are far fewer homosexual rapists than straight ones)- include sexual assault in both the statistics and wording and you are almost certainly still correct, but it at least equals the playing field.

    second, language is specific to the language many languages to not gender their nouns/pronouns anyway, so just say ‘English’ for clarity (remember, even when we are talking about white males, that includes an awful lot of non-native english speakers, including those residing in many countries far from traditional western culture).

    third, the religions depict god as a man has a huge christian author bias- buddhism has no god, Islam does not ‘picture’ god at all (for all the other aspects, any reference to a male god are far less pronounced as they mostly come down to language- see above), and hinduism features multiple gods (both male and female- but you’d need to clarify first that you weren’t talking about ‘it’s vary rare for god to be seen as female’ to bring up that, yes, they are mostly male in the dominant positions) as do many minor religions (various forms of paganism in Europe, for example).

    Also, please note that domestic abuse is estimated to not be anywhere near as biased towards women as is both traditionally and statistically reported, so while it is (as far as I can remember) more likely to be directed towards women, a good chunk of the statistics are skewed by a combination of under-reporting on the part of men who don’t want to be seen as weak (one of the few things men have a problem with, sexism wise) and physical disparity (men are less likely to be hospitalised due to the diference in average strength, even though this is in part caused by the lack of women in manual labour jobs, which its self is a symptom of inequality).

    Also, replace reference to ‘prestigious’ jobs with ‘high paid’- many of these jobs are despised by the general public as cheating thieving liars whose greed is only matched by their egos. pay does not equal respect.

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  61. 741
    Triibu says:

    Well, as for No 1 – in my case it is true, but I am a woman, more specifically a twenty-something lawyer. I have seen both male and female bosses knowingly prefer women when hiring new employees, because, as they put it, women work harder, are more dependable and do not have moods and egos that get in the way (less hassle and drama). As for the glass ceiling – I don’t believe in it. You get paid what you ask. The trouble is, as I see from my friends, guys are just more aggressively asking for raises and shopping around for better jobs. If you want to get ahead and get more money, there’s nobody stopping you. For me, there have really been no failures. Whatever I set my mind to, I get, I have not been refused the salary I have asked for. But I am now thinking I do not want all this, I’d rather be poorer and happier doing some artsy stuff than have a lot of money and no free time. As a woman, I have that choice. At least now I do, soon maybe it will become unacceptable because I won’t fit into the positive stereotype cultivated by feminists.

    P.s. Thinking about it further, I maybe come from a rather equal society :) Firstly, our language has no gender what so ever. The same word for he/she, no word endings based on “gender”, etc. Secondly, our men do not flirt unless they are drunk. If you talk work stuff, your gender is simply not relevant. Actually, I think our men are a bit more oppressed. As a woman you can be whatever you want, you can be independent or not, have a career or do “soft” stuff, no prob. But men cannot earn less than their partners, stay at home with kids, be kindergarten teachers, be new age unicorn believers, cry, talk about feelings… it is just not accepted. So they just drink a lot of vodka and commit suicides. And I think this opinion of a “man’s role” is largely held alive by women. Women make up more than half of the society. No stereotype would survive, if more than half of the people are unanimously against it.

  62. 742
    Isolde says:

    “Firstly, our language has no gender what so ever.”
    —-

    Finnish, Hungarian or Estonian?

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  65. As a white, middle-class male, I think it’s nice to have a comprehensive list like this. I’m always trying to open my eyes more to the world around me, and this is a great starting point regarding male privilege.

    Thank you.

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  68. 744
    Letecia says:

    i feel like the male privilege is based on the mindset of a male. One point that was made on this list is that being a male they do not have to worry about walking alone after a certain time at night when females do. I think that is not fully true even though there are probably websites that might say differently. The concerns may be different but i believe man still have to worry too.

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  79. 745
    Yep says:

    Beta male privilege: being invisible to women. Approaching women makes you “desperate” or “creepy”.

  80. 746
    Vince says:

    This list is so outdated. while I agree that some of the list has accurate representations of sexism. alot of it contains presumptuous bullshit. Alot of the workplace examples are completely inaccurate. The hiring or executing of tasks scenarios are so outdated. on a personal level i’ve experienced the exact opposite of such situations. some of the marriage examples as well are utterly outdated. also the television example seems to have omitted the fact that the internet exists and thus shirtless ryan gosling meme’s don’t exist either. This idea of male privilege (while i still believe it exists) is starting to come off as misandry as well as an adherence to patriarchal stereotypes that are clearly outdated.

  81. 747
    Ampersand says:

    Vince, I don’t think that “presumptuous bullshit” is a persuasive argument; it’s just throwing words around because you don’t have the ability to support your words with intelligent, fact-based arguments.

    I don’t think my workplace examples are “completely inaccurate,” because statistics, studies, and news stories continue to show that sexism in the workplace is a real thing. We’ve made improvements since feminism began, it’s true, but that doesn’t mean there’s no further to go.

    The rest of your arguments are really too unspecific to respond to.

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