Saturday, January 12, 2008

Male Privilege

I find this an interesting list. Food for thought. Permission granted by the author.

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.

Without question I think that men have an easier time climbing the corporate ladder than women but I think that's a larger issue than male privilege I think that women tend to want balance work with other life matters. My understanding is that if you take a man who has never had children and a woman who has never had children you will find career successes equivalent.

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).

That's true.

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

That's true.

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.

I don't think it works that way in either direction.

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

That's true.

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.

I don't agree.

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).

Very true - and a tragedy.

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

I agree.

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.

I agree.

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).

That is true but it's not a uniform reaction. I would have to say that there is also a real question at times about the masculinity of a guy who stays at home. That's sexism in reverse.

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

That's true to an extent but people who feel that a child needs a full-time parent may criticize the choice of the entire family to have two working incomes.

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.

I have not seen a politician who has had their child care plans outlined in the press so I am curious for an example. In terms of the relationship with children that's greatly mistaken. Look at Mr. Giuliani and having his poor relationship with his children spotlighted. Look at Mr. Clinton and the positive reviews of his rapport with his own daughter. The list goes on. Those things find their way to the spotlight now.

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

I'll agree with the former. I'll defer comment on the latter.

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.

The professions where I tend to want to see the person in charge are female dominated so while it's not been my experience I have to factor that in.

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

That's probably true.

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.

I can't comment.

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

I can't comment.

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

20. I can turn on the television or glance at the front page of the newspaper and see people of my own sex widely represented, every day, without exception.

I think both sexes are represented.

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

I am not sure that's true. Certainly my husband is carefree when it comes to spending money on traditional male sort of "toys for boys" kind of stuff. I think that's heavily attributed to his sex when it's commented on.

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

I am not sure that's true at all. Young men have a definite stereotype - grounded in statistics - around high risk driving habits.

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

I don't think that women have that experience.

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).

I totally agree with that.

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

I can't agree because I think that men who choose stylish clothes or certain colours or such are mocked for paying a bit too much attention to their appearance and questions are raised about their sexual orientation. That, however, is NOT the norm and it's not as ingrained and as common an issue as women's clothing being assessed for some kind of slut-factor. I can't agree with the statement in black and white but it's MUCH more of an issue for women.

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).

Mixed - I agree with some parts

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

More true of the past than the present.

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

I can't comment.

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

I don't think I'd say that they are relatively small but I'll agree that women have to deal with higher expectations.

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.

I'll agree with the latter and not agree with the former.

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.)

I would like to ponder that.

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.

I agree but it's a non-issue. That's just petty.

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.

I agree.

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

I would agree with that but they will be questioned about their wife's decision and some people will tie that to their manhood.

35. The decision to hire me will never be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.


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

I agree - non issue but I agree.

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

I don't agree with how that's framed.

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).

I think that occurs more after you have children than at the onset of a relationship. Also I don't agree that women get the most "repetitive and unrewarding tasks". Although I am neat I don't know that I find too many chores rewarding - they are just things that need done.

39. If I have children with a wife or girlfriend, chances are she’ll do most of the childrearing, and in particular the most dirty, repetitive and unrewarding parts of childrearing.

Women will do more of the childrearing. It's a rare family that splits it 50-50. I find the comment "the most dirty, repetitive and unrewarding aspects of childrearing" - that comment just sickens me.

40. If I have children with a wife or girlfriend, and it turns out that one of us needs to make career sacrifices to raise the kids, chances are we’ll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.


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

I agree but I don't think that's something I want equality around.

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).

I agree with the former but studies show that there are hiring practices that discriminate against those with extra weight.

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).

Totally true!

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

I haven't noticed that.

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

I think that many people don't stop and reflect on these issues.

(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 . To see posts discussing the Male Privilege Checklist and various items on it, please visit this archive page).


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