5. The odds of my encountering sexual harassment on the job are so low as to be negligible.
Anecdotal. Unprovable. As a manager, I have fired people for sexually harassing men at work.
I looked into this after reading Chuck’s post, and I think he has a point. #5 is too strongly worded; in the US, according to Federal EEOC statistics, the proportion of sexual harassment charges filed by women has dropped from about 90% to about 85% over the last decade. Therefore, I’ve rewritten #5 to say “I am far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female co-workers are.”
27. If I buy a new car, chances are I’ll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car.
Salesmen just want your money, no matter who you are. While it may still happen in rare cases, this is just neurotic tinfoil hattery and an unimportant concern in the grand scheme of women’s issues.
That this happens – and doesn’t appear to be a matter of “rare cases” – has been documented by sending male and female negotiators, trained to use identical negotiating techniques, to car lots to negotiate for cars. The initial offers made to men are simply better. (This doesn’t mean that women will always pay more, just that they’ll have to negotiate harder to reach the same price.) (References at bottom of post).
Admittedly, the academic research I’ve read only applies to the US. However, a November 2005 story in The Guardian reported that a non-academic British study had found similar results.
What Car? magazine sent men and women into 45 dealerships across England, and used hidden cameras and microphones to track their progress.
The team found the women were quoted up to Â£1,800 more to buy a BMW 320i, Ford Focus 1.6, Nissan X-Trail 2.2 dCi, Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 and Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet 1.6. On average they were asked to pay a premium of Â£534. [That’s $1,005 U.S. -Amp]
Less than half the staff were happy to cut prices for female customers, compared with more than four-fifths for men.
More women thought their inquiry had not been taken seriously by the dealer, and complained that finance packages had not been explained. Even the presence of a man appeared to cut prices, with couples offered a better deal even if the woman took the lead.
In general, the theory that the free market prevents market-based discrimination from happening – “Salesmen just want your money, no matter who you are,” as Chuck puts it – has not been supported by the experiences of discriminated-against groups, or by empirical testing.
37. If I have a wife or 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.
This one is just plain old insulting.
#37 is well-supported by tons of research, from a large number of countries (I’ve included a handful of citations at the bottom of this post). Women do more household chores, and in particular are more likely to scrub the toilet, wash dishes, change the diapers, etc – tasks that must be repeated again and again, day after day.
I don’t see why any man should find this insulting. Some men do as much or more housework than the women they live with (I live with such a man), but statistically these men are a minority; why be insulted because I point this fact out?
41. I am not expected to spend my entire life 20-40 pounds underweight.
Come on, now. This is all based on ‘target weight’, which is in no way an exact science (and that’s as nice as I can be about the ‘subject’). No one EXPECTS any woman to be 40 pounds underweight. Some famous models and actresses may try this, but most people actually say it’s a BAD thing (reading the tabloids whilst in line to purchase groceries).
41. Probably I could have phrased this better – in particular, including a particular poundage was a mistake. So point well taken. I’ll have to reword this item.
But I feel that Chuck is focusing on the trees and ignoring the forest. Is there any serious doubt that women as a group face much more pressure than men to be thin?
(This is one of a number of posts responding to Chuck’s critique. You can use the category archive to see all posts related to the Male Privilege Checklist.)
Ayres, Ian, “Fair Driving: Gender and Race Discrimination in Retail Car Negotiations,” Harvard Law Review, volume 104 (4), February 1991, pages 817-872.
Ayres, Ian and Siegelman, Peter. “Race and Gender Discrimination in Bargaining for a New
Car.” American Economic Review, June 1995, 85(3), pp. 304″“21.
Batalova J.A.1, Cohen P.N., Premarital Cohabitation and Housework: Couples in Cross-National Perspective, Journal of Marriage and Family, Volume 64, Number 3, August 2002, pp. 743-755.
Harless D.W., Hoffer G.E., Do Women Pay More for New Vehicles? Evidence from Transaction Price Data, The American Economic Review, Volume 92, Number 1, 1 March 2002, pp. 270-279.
Joni Hersch, Leslie S. Stratton, Housework and Wages, The Journal of Human Resources, Vol. 37, No. 1. (Winter, 2002), pp. 217-229.
Lee, Yun-Suk & Waite, Linda J. (2005), Husbands’ and wives’ time spent on housework: A comparison of measures. Journal of Marriage and Family 67 (2), 328-336.
Fiona Scott Morton, Florian Zettelmeyer, Jorge Silva-Risso, Consumer Information and Discrimination: Does the Internet Affect the Pricing of New Cars to Women and Minorities?, Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Volume 1, Issue 1, Mar 2003, Pages 65 – 92