Dear Mark Saunders,
I see that you are a writer of men’s issues, and have taken it upon yourself to expose some of the insidiously institutionalized sexism that American men suffer from on a daily basis. Your article was titled “18 things females seem to not understand (because female privilege)” and I clicked on it, bracing for the usual dribble such as “we don’t like your pixie cuts”.
I was instead blown away by the incredible amount of ignorance & misogyny I had unwittingly stumbled upon. Yes! A veritable goldmine of men’s issues & female privileges!
Although I’m not sure you are quite clear on the definition of a privilege.
Privilege: a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
When I saw your post was a list of privileges I thought to myself, “oh good, something to remind me of how great it is to be a woman.” Too bad it was a list of literally the most pathetic, least useful privileges (& some non-privileges) ever. How ironic!
The vast majority of the list is unsupported by sound reasoning, logic, or statistics. So here I am fuming & taking 4 hours to refute an 18-point list that probably took you 30 seconds to write, when I could be watching Fringe on Netflix.
And, uh, Mark? You forgot the most important female privilege of all:
1. Female privilege is being able to walk down the street at night without people crossing the street because they’re automatically afraid of you.
Ah I see. You don’t like that people are “automatically afraid”. You’re upset you do not have the “privilege” of assumed nonviolent behavior that comes with owning a vagina whilst walking down the street at night, the possible benefits of which include being catcalled, groped, followed, harassed, taken photographs of without consent, abducted, raped, beaten, and/or murdered.
Those fucking privileged bitches who walk around at night with their keys in-between shaking fingers, pepper spray in pocket, staying on the phone with a friend so someone will be there to hear her scream if anything happens – these privileged women who just don’t understand that being avoided on the sidewalk is such a hardship.
2. Female privilege is being able to approach someone and ask them out without being labeled “creepy.”
This one is actually not too offensive or outrageous – although a rather silly privilege in itself. I am slightly confused as to Mark’s dating tactics. Maybe take a romance course?
3. Female privilege is being able to get drunk and have sex without being considered a rapist. Female privilege is being able to engage in the same action as another person but be considered the innocent party by default.
Getting drunk + having sex =/= rapist.
Getting drunk + having sex with a non-consenting person = rapist.
This doesn’t change depending on your gender.
4. Female privilege is being able to turn on the TV and see yourself represented in a positive way. Female privilege is shows like King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond where women are portrayed as attractive, competent people while men are shown as ugly, lazy slobs.
The above statement must have surely been a product of pure ignorance, because nobody could possibly believe that women are represented more positively than men. That’s because women are barely represented at all! The CW is the only network that represents females in accurate proportion to their representation in the U.S. population.
Now, to the quality of female characters that do make it on screen. To the left is a chart that shows the representation of characters’ genders in positive, leadership positions. As you can see, women in fact do not get the privilege of being represented in a positive way, say as president, or CEO, or ingenious scientist. We barely get represented at all.
However, when we do get represented, it’s when we’re naked, since women are twice as likely as men to appear in sexually explicit scenes. Which, you know, could be what Mark meant by “attractive, competent people”…?
5. Female privilege is the idea that women and children should be the first rescued from any sort of emergency situation. Female privilege is saving yourself before you save others and not being viewed as a monster.
6. Female privilege is being able to decide not to have a child.
First of all, it is a goddamn right to be able to decide not to have a child. You know why it’s a right and not just a silly little privilege? Because children grow inside our bodies, not yours, you fucking nincompoop. Of course a woman has the right to decide what happens to her body and a man doesn’t.
Plus, I don’t see how deciding to not have children is an exclusively female privilege. Men can decide not to have children too. Just don’t have sex, like all those women who can’t afford birth control.
7. Female privilege is not having to support a child financially for 18 years when you didn’t want to have it in the first place.
Let me translate: Female “privilege” is incubating an unwanted child inside your body for 9 months, undergoing a painful & dangerous childbirth, then raising the child every single day of your life for the next 18 years with no help from some piece of shit dude who complains about paying child support, all because a male-dominated government reduced access to contraception and enacted so many TRAP laws in your state that you did not have the time, money, or resources to prevent the child “when you didn’t want to have in the first place”.
Male privilege is being able to opt out this unwanted child’s life by writing a check every month.
8. Female privilege is never being told to “take it like a man” or “man up.”
I think everybody except for you, Mark, knows that this “privilege” is not really advantageous to our lives in any way, shape, or form, and therefore not actually a real privilege.
9. Female privilege is knowing that people would take it as a gravely serious issue if someone raped you. Female privilege is being able to laugh at a “prison rape” joke.
If people took rape victims so gravely seriously, then why must rape survivors in schools rely so heavily on Title IX to ensure that their sexual assault claims are given the time of day? And secondly, if female privilege is being able to laugh at prison rape jokes, then who’s the privileged one when it comes to the (much more common) rape-rape jokes?
10. Female privilege is being able to divorce your spouse when your marriage is no longer working because you know you will most likely be granted custody of your children.
I’m getting tired of this.
11. Female privilege is being able to call the police in a domestic dispute knowing they will take your side. Female privilege is not having your gender work against where police are involved.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY THE POLICE FAVOR WOMEN? DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHERE THIS “PRIVILEGE” COMES FROM?Percentages of people killed in the U.S. by an intimate partner: 30 percent of women, 5.3 percent of men. Percentage change between 1980 and 2008 of women and men killed by intimate partners in the U.S.: ( w) 43 percent to 45 percent; (m) 10 percent to 5 percent. Yes, we are so privileged, getting beaten & killed in such high percentages that the police must be specially trained to handle domestic disputes with the woman’s safety as a priority. We’re so lucky.
12. Female privilege is being able to be caring or empathetic without people being surprised.
This is ridiculous and once again, a totally useless privilege that I’d like to trade for… IDK… the privilege of an automatically higher starting salary over half the population.
13. Female privilege is not having to take your career seriously because you can depend on marrying someone who makes more money than you do. Female privilege is being able to be a “stay at home mom” and not seem like a loser.
While I do think that it’s important that stay-at-home-dads get their due recognition and shouldn’t receive any flak for wanting to stay at home with the kids – I’m pretty sure that it’s other dudes that are depriving men of this privilege, since every woman I know is fucking ecstatic when dad wants to help out more.
The whole “don’t have to take career seriously” and can “depend on marrying someone” lunacy… um 40% of households with children rely on the mother as the sole provider. 32 percent of mothers told Pew that their ideal situation would be to work full time rather than part time or not at all (2012).
And finally, you think it’s a privilege to depend on marrying someone? Really?
14. Female privilege is being able to cry your way out of a speeding ticket.
Don’t shoot me but I can’t refute this.
15. Female privilege is being favored by teachers in elementary, middle and high school. Female privilege is graduating high school more often, being accepted to more colleges, and generally being encouraged and supported along the way.
For around 1500 years, girls worldwide were completely shut out of the educational system – a privilege reserved for the boys. Just recently, in the past 200 years or so, girls were finally been granted widespread (relatively speaking) access to both lower & higher education. Only 30 years ago did women start to surpass men in enrollment & graduation throughout all stages of school. By my (rough) calculations, men have had nearly 1300 years of “being favored by teachers” 100:0, so I don’t think that a few girl-favoring years of 54:46 is reeeally a deep-rooted, institutionalized bias against men.
Secondly, despite the fact that women are out-achieving men at school, it doesn’t matter once we graduate. There is only one of 285 major occupations where women’s median pay is higher than men’s: Personal care and service workers. What about within the same profession? “In a recent study of newly trained doctors, even after considering the effects of specialty, practice setting, work hours and other factors, the gender pay gap was nearly $17,000 in 2008.”
Education is one of the only places women have the opportunity to be graded & awarded strictly according to merit and little else. Just let us have this one.
16. Female privilege being able to have an opinion without someone tell you you’re just “a butthurt fedora-wearing neckbeard who can’t get any.”
Whoever told you that is hilarious.
17. Female privilege is being able to talk about sexism without appearing self-serving.
(FYI – I’m ending this post because I’m tired)
18. Female privilege is arrogantly believing that sexism only applies to women
Ok, I would like to end with this:
Male privilege looks like this article. Male privilege is what allowed a guy like Mark Saunders to get his incredibly ignorant, badly researched, badly written “article” published on a high-traffic blog with apparently lower standards than I expected. And male privilege is what allows men to think women should be thankful for the above “privileges” that we have wrestled for ourselves – at the cost of men – in modern society.
Rant is over – kudos to everyone who made it to the end.