A response to The Male Privilege Checklist
While there are many privileges that I enjoy because of my gender, race, financial status, etc. etc. etc... I am angered by those who choose to blame an "-ism" for their shortcomings and failures. What are the gender ratios among the homeless? in prison?
I have known people in my life who were accused of discrimination because they made an honest judgement of the quality of a person's work, but because that person was part of a "minority" group, the assesment was seen as biased. The problem, usually is not one of discrimination, but of stupidity and fear.
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 can never blame my failures on discrimination of any kind, even if it is true.
5. The odds of my encountering sexual harassment on the job are so low as to be negligible.
The odds of an innocent act being construed as harassment are much higher for my sex.
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.
Unless the task is in any way based in creativity or emotion.
11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I'll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I'm even marginally competent.
But if I do provide extraordinary parenting, it will never be recognized as such. I will always be seen as a cute anomoly.
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 heroes were the default.
As a child, I was given nothing but stereotyped "heroes": GI Joe, Professional Atheletes. Where were the artists, the blue-collar workers?
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.
Because no one would belive that sexism had any part in it, regardless of if it did or not.
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.
Usually portrayed as crooks, theives, liars, murderers, etc.
24. If I have sex with a lot of people, it won't make me an object of contempt or derision.
Except among thinking people.
25. There are value-neutral clothing choices available to me; it is possible for me to choose clothing that doesn't send any particular message to the world.
Simply not true. If this were true, there would be no "make-over" shows featuring men.
27. If I buy a new car, chances are I'll be offered a better price than a woman buying the same car.
If I buy a practical car, my masculinity will be questioned.
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.
Asshole, jack-ass, "not a team player"...
37. 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.
Which is not a societal issue but an issue within the relationship.
38. 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.
Chances are that I will not be around for the exciting, beautiful and most rewarding parts of childrearing either.
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 we'll both assume the career sacrificed should be hers.
Again a relationship issue, not a societal one.
As well, if I have children with a wife or girlfriend and the relationship ends, chances are that we'll both assume (as well as the courts) that she will get custody of the children without question.
41. I am not expected to spend my entire life 20-40 pounds underweight.
I am expected to be athletic, fit and muscular throughout my life.
42. If I am heterosexual, it's incredibly unlikely that I'll ever be beaten up by a spouse or lover.
However, if I am, I will get no sympathy, no support, no marches, no publicity.
43. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.