The Female Privilege Checklist
If one goes-around to feminist blogs, one is occasionally able to see the following list of cheesy comestibles: The Male Privilege Checklist.
This list of emotionally-manipulative oversimplifications is intended to drive-home the point that there just AREN'T any advantages to being a woman, gosh-darn it. Yes, we simply must exploit people's tendencies to side with the embattled underdog. (Bear with me folks, the following might make you sick...)
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 coworkers wont think I got my job because of my sex - even though that might be true. (So the first complaint suggests that women can't get jobs because of their sex. But if you think about it, the second complaint would suggest that women can get jobs because of their sex. Which is it? --NG)
3. If I am never promoted, its not because of my sex. (And of course a woman never has an option of using her sex appeal or her own gender's supposed oppression to get a promotion, right? --NG)
4. If I fail in my job or career, I can feel sure this wont be seen as a black mark against my entire sexs capabilities. (No, but you'll probably be treated with sympathy rather than with scorn and be given more second chances. --NG)
5. The odds of my encountering sexual harassment on the job are so low as to be negligible. (The odds of me disproving a false charge of sexual harassment on the job are so low as to be negligible. --NG)
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. (This statement really generalizes, doesn't it? I can imagine situations in which the opposite would be true. --NG)
7. If Im a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are so low as to be negligible. (But if I go into prison, my rape will be seen as a big joke. --NG)
8. I am not taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces. (This one isn't necessarily a good thing, you know. A little caution can go a long way. But there's another possibility on top of this: maybe women are 'taught' to fear men for some ideological reason? --NG)
9. If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be called into question. (It's funny that the author uses the word 'choose' here. Last I checked, men didn't have an ability to 'choose' whether his sexual partner has children. The only 100% effective choice he can make is by not having any sexual partners at all. And in that case, his sexual orientation might be brought into question. --NG)
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, Ill be praised for extraordinary parenting if Im even marginally competent. (Perhaps one might also call this the soft bigotry of low expectations. --NG)
12. If I have children and pursue a career, no one will think Im selfish for not staying at home. (If a man has children and decides not to pursue a career, he will be thought of as lazy and irresponsible for exploiting his hardworking wife. --NG)
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. Chances are my elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more likely this is to be true. (Yes, and the more likely he'll be accused by paranoid women of getting his position because of his sex, his efforts and qualifications notwithstanding. --NG)
15. I can be somewhat sure that if I ask to see the person in charge, 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. (Would you care for more Ritalin, Billy? --NG)
17. As a child, I could choose from an almost infinite variety of childrens media featuring positive, active, non-stereotyped heroes of my own sex. I never had to look for it; male heroes were the default.
18. As a child, chances are I got more teacher attention than girls who raised their hands just as often. (But got scolded and punished and put in special ed much more often. --NG)
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. (Paranoid much? --NG)
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. (So women don't appear on tv? Give me a break. --NG)
21. If Im careless with my financial affairs it wont be attributed to my sex. (No, but I'll get blamed for it all the same. --NG)
22. If Im careless with my driving it wont be attributed to my sex. (Uh, higher insurance costs for men regardless of how well they drive? Hellooooo? --NG)
23. I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial. (What the fark is this supposed to mean!? Women can't be public speakers without running the risk of embarrassing all women? Maybe an especially paranoid and insecure woman might think this way. Give me a break. --NG)
24. If I have sex with a lot of people, it wont make me an object of contempt or derision. (Cheatin' dog? Lothario? Sex-maddened pig? --NG)
25. There are value-neutral clothing choices available to me; it is possible for me to choose clothing that doesnt send any particular message to the world. (But if a woman ever feels like sending 'messages' with her clothes while pretending she's not, then that's her God-given right. --NG)
26. My wardrobe and grooming are relatively cheap and consume little time. (Depends on how you dress and groom yourself. --NG)
27. If I buy a new car, chances are Ill be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car. (Uh.... what? I get offered cheaper cars? And when a woman enters the dealership, the staff suddenly run-around and affix higher price tags to them? On what fantasy-island does this happen? --NG)
28. If Im not conventionally attractive, the disadvantages are relatively small and easy to ignore. (Have you ever asked this question to a man you consider to be ugly? Oh wait- you wouldn't talk to him. --NG)
29. I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew. I can be aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch. (No, there are other words for men like that: jackass, dick-head, prick, blowhard, windbag and a thousand others. --NG)
30. 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.) (Jeez- Now, it seems that paying attention to matters that affect both sexes is just another way of ignoring women! If a saner polemicist had written this, this situation would be called 'equal treatment'! --NG)
31. 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. (Okay, change 'em. Fine by me. And while you're at it, change things like: gun-man, con-man, bad-guy, hang-man. Oh wait, we gotta keep the ones with negative connotations. Can't make those gender-neutral, can we? --NG)
32. My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is. (But a woman can also use this as an excuse for her behavior. So it's a cop-out when she wants it to be one and an insult when she wants it to be one. She can say it herself but if a man ever says it, she'll raise hell. --NG)
33. I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I dont change my name.
34. The decision to hire me will never be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon. (Because men don't have the multiple options that you have, darlin'. Are you saying a company can't notice that women often do choose to leave their jobs to devote more time to their families? That's an unfair stereotype? Give me a freakin' break. --NG)
35. Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is usually pictured as being male. (So is the devil. But you don't really object to that one do you? --NG)
36. Most major religions argue that I should be the head of my household, while my wife and children should be subservient to me.
37. If I have a wife or live-in girlfriend, chances are well divide up household chores so that she does most of the labor, and in particular the most repetitive and unrewarding tasks. (Not to mention we'll also 'divide' who will make most of the spending decisions. Forgot that one, didn't we? --NG)
38. If I have children with a wife or girlfriend, chances are shell do most of the childrearing, and in particular the most dirty, repetitive and unrewarding parts of childrearing.
39. 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 well both assume the career sacrificed should be hers. (But if we need more money, that's up to the man! --NG)
40. 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 much rarer. (Would you actually get aroused if there were more pictures of scantily-clad men? Or are you just jealous of the good-looking women? --NG)
41. I am not expected to spend my entire life 20-40 pounds underweight.
42. If I am heterosexual, its incredibly unlikely that Ill ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover. (Sorry to break the news honey: lesbians batter each other at roughly the same rates as heterosexuals, which demonstrates that women actually can beat-up their lovers. Oh yeah, I forgot- we don't see women's violence as a problem because we prefer to believe it doesn't happen. --NG)
43. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege. (Ha-HAH! We've gotta preempt any male response! Take that! Hah! --NG)
Quite the kvetch-fest, eh?
Oh those lucky lucky men! They have everything so good and poor wimmin have everything so sooo bad! Boo hoo!
What's hard to not notice is that last one. That as a man, you have the privilege of being 'unaware' of your privileges.
Think about that for a second. If that's true- what might that mean for women? Would it suggest that a woman would also live a life unaware of her privileges. Hm?
Oh, no no no! That's so totally illogical! Preposterous!
Bull. Women BLAME their privileges on men while playing make-believe that their privileges are actually sinister means of male control.
But fortunately, there happens to be a list of female privilege that spells things out pretty well. (But I'm afraid I cannot credit the author of most of it, who is unknown to me. There were some also clever additions which were made courtesy of 'spitfire' on the forum and a few by myself.)
Behold: The female privilege checklist.
1. Do you experience other people paying for your dates, or occasionally even picking up the tab in non-romantic settings? Or paying for your vacations when the relationship moves along?
2. Do you occasionally experience subservience and deference being volunteered to you by the opposite sex (opening doors, giving up a seat in the bus, standing up when you come in the room)?
3. Are you able to pursue what you are interested in at university without much societal pressure on "breadwinning" - although you could also take that route if it so interests you?
4. Have you never been required to register for selective service? Would you never be ripped out of your life and forced to defend your country in time of attack or national emergency? Can you demand strength and full participation in society, but then get out of this obligation by pretending to be weak with no influence over society (but only when it suits you)?
4.b. Can you come up with any and every excuse to get out of the draft without being laughed at ("No one should be drafted" - when you would be the first to cower in the corner and demand that someone do something if, say, China & Russia combined and attacked full force - and "Men start wars ..." when women are the majority of voters and the expression should be "Men are SENT to wars ..." - exactly what you're trying to get out of - and sometimes sent by M. Thatcher, G. Meir, I. Gandhi and other such women)?
5.a Will you statistically get a much lighter sentence for exactly the same offense if you commit a crime?
5.b Do you have special legal excuses for your sex alone which often allow you to get off the hook for the crimes you commit? Are judges usually more lenient, protective and paternalistic when it comes to dealing with your sex?
5.c Are you 25 times more likely to have your death sentence canceled?
6. Are you able to take on a job or choose a career route that is only capable of supporting yourself, with no thought to preparing yourself to also support a spouse/children, although you are also free to choose a more difficult career that will bring you more money? Do you not have much pressure on you with regard to this?
7. If you are in a committed relationship, do you have much greater flexibility to choose whether you want to work or simply stay at home (even without kids)?
8. Will you not be called an unemployed loser if you decide to be a homemaker?
9. If you have a flat tire on the road, if someone is harassing you in a public place, if an animal attacks you, or if you are lost, will someone be much, much more likely to step-in and assist you?
10.a Are people generally much nicer to you in public? Are you sometimes given privileged treatment or better customer service?
10.b Do you get first dibs on a lifeboat when your ship begins to sink?
11. Are you much more capable of "marrying up" and enjoying the money and status that comes with this?
12.a Are you statistically much more likely to be given money in a divorce - sometimes huge amounts - even if your behavior caused the divorce (e.g. affair) and even if you didn't work for the money?
12.b Is custody of your kids almost automatic after divorce regardless of your parenting abilities? On top of this, do you have the ability to make false accusations of rape or child abuse in order to help you gain custody? Is it possible for you to deprive your child of his or her other parent in violation of court orders without serious consequences?
13.a If you hit or slap a person - or even knock someone's tooth out throwing your Aunt Selma's Christmas mug at that person - is it much more likely to just be viewed as cute, understandable or not a problem? Are there nearly zero consequences for your violence?
13.b If you are ever physically, emotionally, or sexually abused by in any way, are there dozens upon dozens of organizations that are specifically in place to fight for you and house you when necessary? Do you have the ability to have someone taken-away by police if you make a false or exaggerated accusation of abuse?
14.a Do you statistically live much longer - possibly due to less stress on you with regard to breadwinning, providing protection, being responsible, not having society viewing you as "expendable" or not having society viewing your problems as being unimportant? Can you blame the earlier deaths of the other sex on their stupid behavior or bad genes?
14.b Are you about 20 times less likely to die or get injured in your workplace?
15. Do you have much more money spent on your health concerns in reality (e.g. 5 times as much on breast cancer as on prostate cancer - although they have roughly the same death rates) while you simultaneously claim that more care has to be taken for your needs?
16. Are you much less likely to be homeless? Is more offered to you by society when you are in this position?
17. Is there far less scorn and pressure on you by society when you are an irresponsible doofball? Are your default rates for payment of child support roughly twice those of the other gender, while you simultaneously complain about the other gender not paying?
18.a Has whining about and hating the other gender actually been made into a course of studies in college- as opposed to the true, neutral, unbiased study of this topic - which is simply anthropology?
18.b Can you tell everyone that your sex is the superior sex without you being called sexist?
18.c Can you ignore the fact that your sex's traditional gender-roles would not place you into situations where you'd be likely to be forced to do immoral things and then use the results of this as evidence that your sex is morally superior?
19. Do you have full opportunity to pursue you want in life - become a doctor, a lawyer, start a business - while simultaneously using the fact that many of your gender don't CHOOSE themselves to do these things as an argument to try to gain even more advantages? Do you get affirmative action because many of your gender don't choose to do these things, and thusly the numbers don't "come out right"?
20.a Can you manipulate the other gender with sex in some cases to get what you want? Can you pretend like you don't even know what anyone is talking about when confronted on this?
20.b Can you use your sex appeal to get-ahead on the job? Can you knowingly dress provocatively but act shocked if someone treats you provocatively?
20.c Do you also have the ability to accuse people of sexual harrassment for any reason, factual or not? Do you make up the definition of 'sexual harrassment', and can this definition change depending on the person and whether you like them or not?
21. If you take a job that is traditionally taken by those of the opposite sex, will you be thought of as a brave pioneer by many? Will no one call your sexual orientation into question?
22.a Can you complain that the clothes, shoes hair, grooming items etc. for your sex are more expensive than those of the opposite sex without ever noticing that the varieties, styles and complexity of those products are often greater than those of the opposite sex? Do you have far more retail space devoted to your shopping desires than does the opposite sex?
22.b Can you wear the clothes traditionally associated with the opposite sex without running the risk of getting beat-up or ostracized?
23. Can you manipulate using old notions of men protecting and deferring to women when it comes in handy?
24. Can you effectively manipulate by playing the victim? Do tears help you in getting your way instead of getting you called a wimp?
25. As a child, were you told that you are beautiful, cute and sweet? Could you wear any color you wanted without fear of insult?
26. Can you get sympathy if you don't work and don't have children by listing all the household work (hmm ... Oprah really does get high ratings, though) while simultaneously being able to bear the cognitive dissonance of calling your sister's husband who stays home a worthless bum whom she ought to leave?
27. Can you claim that your sex's work "never ends" while your sex also, on average, watches more television in every time-slot than members of the opposite sex?
28. Can you "mix and match" traditional and progressive roles - finding just the right mix to get what you want? Can you be a "traditional wife" - enjoying the positive features of that (like not having to go-out and work a job in a factory) - while simultaneously being a progressive feminist when THAT gets you advantages? Or having a career while simultaneously using traditional chivalry and male deference to your advantage?
29. Can you constantly say "that's just typical" and "it doesn't surprise me a bit" and make lemon faces if you are a parent-in-law? Is near-universal contempt by both genders for your behavior hidden to a much greater extent?
30. Can almost any remark by your partner be construed as verbal abuse if you want sympathy, but the meanest, nastiest, most humiliating things that you can say simply involve "speaking your mind" and "some people just don't want to hear the truth"?
31. Can you use the fact that gender roles were differentiated long ago - with different advantages/disadvantages for both genders - to try to induce guilt today in people who had absolutely no connection with any of that? Can you say that you have been discriminated against for thousands of years with a straight face when you're only 20 years old? Can you even make things up about history and no one will really check or dare call you on it?
32. Can you propagate myths and outright lies ("Superbowl/domestic violence hoax", "rule of thumb", inflated rape statistics, intentional misconstrual of pay figures and many more) and be given a "pass" - without more rigor being demanded?
33. Can you rationalize your own failures using the concept of the "patriarchy", and blame the other gender for nearly everything that goes wrong in your life - even with quite contorted explanations that no one would otherwise buy - while failures of the other gender are just ... failures?
34. Do you want to be treated like a child when it suits you but as an adult when you get advantages from that? Do you "look the other way" when someone doesn't require responsibility from you that they certainly would from the other gender?
35. As an infant, would amputating a piece of your genitals be a crime? Would not cutting your genitals be considered a basic human right to which you are entitled?
36. Can you focus heavily on perceived earnings in the workforce - the statistics of which are influenced by people's choices in reality - while utterly ignoring the inter-family transfer of wealth? Can you completely ignore the fact that one gender picks tougher jobs (garbage collector), works more hours and takes on more responsibility because of more pressure to earn - but the other gender has the same lifestyle and statistically more assets (and not just because of inheritance/earlier age of male at death....). Can you deliberately claim that earnings figures are based on equal pay for equal work? (when you probably full well know that they simply involve all people working more than 35 hours - and don't take type of job, hours worked over 35/week, danger, responsibility, years in the work force etc. into consideration at all)?
37. Is what used to simply be an irritation for grown-ups many years ago - the self-centered rantings and foot-stompings of spoiled high-school and college brats - now not only embraced by your most progressive movement but almost the cornerstone of it?
38. Can you get irritated about generalizations and stereotypes ---- and utterly fail to see the hypocrisy in stereotyping and generalizing about one gender while simultaneously making a career (literally in some cases) whining about your own gender being stereotyped?
39. Can you get irritated about old-fashioned restrictive attitudes towards your sexual behavior while insulting men who engage in the same kind of sexual behavior that you would do in an eyeblink if you could?
40.a Do you reserve the right to blame any cruel, rude, or unrestrainedly angry thing that you do on my "time of month"? Is this true regardless of what time of month it actually is?
40.b Do you reserve the right to get angry and indignant if somebody suggests this to you regardless of how often you say it about yourself?
41. Do you reserve the right to call anyone "sexist" for any reason, based upon your own definition of the term? Is your sexist behavior never noticed?
42. Do you have the privilege of making long lists criticizing the privileges of the opposite sex while everyone pretends to not noice that you have a long list of none-too insignificant privileges of your own?
43. Do you have the privilege of blaming your privileges on the opposite sex?
44. Do you have the privilege of dishonestly insisting that you don't have any privileges?
If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, then you may enjoy female privileges! But don't let on - because you can always gain much much more by insisting on your powerlessness and continual victim status!
"A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired." -- DragonflyBlade21, bash.org.
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