Sunday, December 1, 2019

Male Privilege

After my last post on female privilege I thought I would follow-up with a post on male privilege.  Why? Because I do not like any gender based privilege. However, in searching for information on male privilege most of what I get is either examples of female privilege or general complaints about men. (an exception is in India where there are a lot of real examples of male privilege but as this site is focused on the United States I am excluding those)

By general comments I mean things such as women complaining that men view women as "sex objects".  Yes that is bad. But I don't think women are immune to viewing men as sex objects. Once I hired an intern at work for the summer. A female employee of mine, who was over twice his age, said he was hot and I should hire more. There is zero chance a male employee would have ever told me the same thing about any of the female interns I hired no matter how attractive she was. I have also on more that one occasion had coworkers grab my buttocks or put their arms around me in a suggestive manner. If a male had done that to a woman he would be fired.

Probably the most common cited example of male privilege is that men make more money than women. But if you adjust for equal work and equal hours this tends to disappear. And I would argue that the fact that men work harder and at more dangerous jobs, not to mention the fact that women control more money than men, is an example of female privilege not male privilege.

The other example often cited is we live in a "rape culture" and than women are subject to violence by men. Well first off men and women are equally likely to initiate violence in a relationship. Second I have never agreed with the notion that women are the weaker sex. Sure on average men are stronger then women. Just like on average tall men are stronger than shorter men. But the reality is that physical fitness and training can more than make up for those differences. And in some ways women have an advantage because our society condemns a man who commits violence against a woman (rightly so) but not the reverse.

All gender/race/ethnic origin/religion/sexual orientation is bad. I am all for pointing out male privilege but, lest we be disingenuous, we need to also point out female privilege.

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