“It’s important to teach our children that it’s not about what they’re going to get, but it’s about who they’re going to think of. We never spoil them and never let them forget how fortunate they are.”-Angelina Jolie on Christmas celebration
As a response to the feminist “Male Privilege Checklist” I’m going to codify the privileges that most if not all females enjoy.
1. From an early age the opposite sex will be instructed never to hit me but I may not be given the same instructions. However, should I strike males I can expect not to be hit back and any social penalties that occur from my actions will actually fall on the male.
2. If I’m not smart, but pretty, I can marry and achieve the social and financial level of my husband without ever working.
3. I can produce offspring. A status which grants me an “essential” status in our species that men can never have and which can never be taken away from me even in old age.
4. Regardless of my mate value society has organized fertility clinics and social welfare programs that will allow me to have children and provide for them should I choose to reproduce without a mate or marriage.
5. I not only have the more valuable and sought after sexual identity, but I also have complete control over my reproductive choice and in many ways over the reproductive choice of the opposite sex.
6. At any time I can abandon my parental responsibilities with little or no social stigma and hand the child over to the state or abort the pregnancy. A male could never relieve himself of this burden unless I allow him to.
7. I am granted all the rights of a democracy without any of the burdens of military service.
8. At age 18 I lose the protective status of the child but retain the protective status of the female. Boys at age 18 lose the protected status of the child and become targets if they fail to gain status after that point.
9. When I marry a man with status I can take his name and become whoever he has spent years becoming. I need not do anything special to be worthy of receiving the reputation he has built. However, if I wish to keep my own name I can do so. Should my husband feel the sting of this insult I can simply call him a sexist for it.
10. People will help me more when I’m in need and I will receive no social penalty or stigma for it.
11. When I’m on a date things will be paid for me.
12. When I search for employment I can choose jobs which I think are fulfilling without concern of whether they provide a “family” wage.
13. I can discriminate against the opposite sex ruthlessly without social penalty.
14. If I marry and quit my job and enjoy a leisurely life with light housework and then later divorce I will be given half of the marital assets.
15. If I commit a crime and am convicted I will get a sentencing “discount” because of my gender. If I am very pretty it will increase my discount.
16. If I am a partner in crime with a man I will likely be charged with lesser crimes even though I committed the same crimes even if I was the ringleader.
17. I have the option to be outraged if my husband asks me if my behavior is due to PMS and later on use PMS as a successful legal defense for murdering that same husband.
18. At age 18 I will not be forced to register for Selective Service and will not be penalized for failing to do so.
19. At a time of war I will never be drafted and ripped from my employment, home, and family and forced to become a military slave.
20. My feelings are more important than men’s lives. Every precaution will be made to protect me from harassment at work. However, males will make up nearly %100 of workplace fatalities.
21. My gender controls 80% of domestic spending. We get to spend our money if we have any and we get to spend men’s money.
22. The majority of luxury apparel is designed, marketed to, and consumed by women.
23. Seven times as much jewelry will be purchased by or for me than by or for men.
24. I have a department of women’s health whereas men have no such department.
25. My gender enjoys more government spending on health than males do.
26. My gender consumes the lioness’ share of entitlement programs while men contribute the lion’s share of taxes.
27. If I rape or molest a child I can expect lighter treatment in court and afterwards receive less social stigma. What’s more, should I become pregnant, I can sue my victim for child support when he finally turns 18.
28. When I divorce my husband I will be guaranteed custody of my children unless I am deemed to be unfit. Even if my husband is “Parent of the Year” 10 years running it is unlikely he will get custody over me even if I am a mediocre parent.
29. When I divorce I can use false accusations of domestic violence, sexual molestation of the children or abuse of the children to gain advantage during court proceedings. If I am found out to be a liar I can expect to get away with it.
30. If a man calls me a slut it will probably hurt his reputation more than it hurts mine, but at any rate the damage will be small and localized. However, if I call him a child molester or claim that he raped me I can destroy him completely and the damage may be nationwide.
31. If I fail at my career I can blame the male dominated society.
32. I may have the luxury of staying home and being a housewife but if my sister’s husband does the same thing I’m likely to call him a deadbeat loser and tell her to leave him.
33. If I “choose” to join the military; the best military occupations providing the most lucrative civilian training will be reserved for me. I will be kept away from the fighting as much as possible to the point that I will be thirty times less likely to be killed in a war zone than my male counterparts. I will be given equal pay for less risk. I will never have to consider the fact that by joining the military and getting a plumb assignment I automatically forced a male out of that position and into a combat role that may cost him his life.
34. If a male soldier injures himself before a deployment he can be arrested and court marshaled for it. If I deliberately get pregnant before a deployment or even during a deployment I will be reassigned and or taken out of a war zone and I will receive no penalty for it.
35. My gender watches more television in every hour of every day than any other group. This along with the fact that women control %80 of domestic spending means that most television shows and advertisement are designed to appeal to me.
36. I can wear masculine clothing if it pleases me however men cannot wear feminine clothing without social penalty.
37. Not only is there a wealth of clothing choices designed for me but it is likely that I will be able to afford or have them provided for me.
38. I can claim that a wage gap exists and that it is the fault of sexism while simultaneously seeking employment without considering income as a priority. I will probably choose my job based on satisfaction, flexibility of hours, and working conditions and then expect to make as much as the males working nights, out in the rain and cold or working overtime.
39. I can be bigoted or sexist against males without social penalty.
40. If I make a false claim of rape against a male in an act of revenge or in order to cover up my own scandalous behavior I may well succeed at both and he may spend years in prison. If I am found out it is unlikely I will be charged, convicted, or serve any time at all.
41. If I abuse my husband and physically assault him and the police arrive it is almost guaranteed he will go to jail.
42. If I am in an abusive relationship there are a multitude of social organizations to help me get away from him. There are few for men in the same position even though women initiate the majority of DV and even though men are hospitalized %30 of the time.
43. In the event of a natural disaster or other emergency that requires evacuation I can expect to be evacuated before males. This includes male doctors, humanitarians, politicians, captains of industry, billionaires, and religious leaders. I will receive no social penalty if all of those people died because I was evacuated first. However, should they manage to get evacuated before women and those women died they will all suffer a social penalty.
44. If someone is attacking a person on the street I have no obligation to assist them and I will receive no social penalty if I do nothing.
45. If someone is harming my children and I run away and ask someone else to help I will receive no social penalty for my cowardice.
46. I’m immune to cognitive dissonance.
47. I may denounce the concept of a dowry, however, I still expect a man to give me an engagement ring when he asks me to marry him.
48. I expect a man to ask me to marry me and suffer the potential risk of rejection.
49. If I lie it’s because I’m a victim of a male dominated society forced into difficult circumstances and not because I’m a bad person.
50. If my boyfriend sabotages a condom he can pay me child support for the next 20 years. If I secretly don’t take my birth control my boyfriend can pay me child support for the next 20 years.
51. If I’m uncomfortable exercising around men I can demand a female only gym be made for women. If any male only gyms exist I can demand membership under threat of lawsuit.
52. If my female only gym at the university decides to close early for safety reasons I can scream sexism and force them to keep it open as long as the main gym.
53. If I succeed at keeping the female gym open and I leave late at night and I don’t feel safe I can demand that the university spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for more lighting and police presence.
54. If after getting new lighting and police protection I decide I don’t want to go to the gym anymore well that’s just my prerogative.
55. I’m likely to believe that if a woman is intoxicated she is not capable of giving consent and if sex occurs it is rape. However, if her male partner is also intoxicated he is capable of consenting.
56. If a man is promoted over me at work I have a right to suspect sexism even though I also believe that under adverse circumstances men are more capable than women of making good decisions. (see #55)
57. I can cry and get my husband to do something for me that he might not have done otherwise.
58. I expect people (especially men) to be sensitive to my feelings.
59. I can deny a man’s feelings or disregard them or ridicule him for having them without social penalty.
60. If I lose my job it’s because of sexism or the economy. If a man loses his job it’s because he’s a loser.
61. If I go to a club or bar with my girlfriends and I look my sexy best I have a right to be perturbed when men approach me and hit on me in this public place.
62. Even though men die more from prostate cancer than women die from breast cancer I can expect that twice as much funding is given for breast cancer. The same will apply to any female specific disease or malady.
63. If for some reason I do not get custody of my children I will be expected to pay less child support than another man in my exact same position.
64. If I kidnap my children and I am eventually caught I can successfully defend myself by claiming I was protecting them from my husband–even if my children were given to him to protect them from me.
65. My gender makes up %53 of the voting population yet when I see more men in political office I will call that sexism.
66. If I am married with children and I want to stay home with the kids I’m likely to blame my husband for not making enough to allow me to do that.
67. I think it is my right to work and I am unconcerned if the influx of women into the workforce has reduced overall wages to the point that it’s hard to support a family on just one income, or affirmative action has kept men from being promoted even though they deserved it.
68. I can get student financial aid without signing up for Selective Service (the Draft).
69. I can get employment with a federal agency without signing up for Selective Service.
70. Restrooms for my gender will be cleaner and are more likely to have flowers or other decorations.
71. If I’m caring for a child restrooms for my gender will more likely have a changing table for my convenience.
72. People I’ve never met before are more likely to open doors for me.
73. People I’ve never met before are more likely to talk to me in public.
74. If I go to a bar I can expect that members of the opposite sex will purchase drinks for me.
75. Anytime I find an organization just for men I can denounce it as sexism.
76. I believe that women should have organizations just for women.
77. If I meet a man that I like and I give him my phone number and he doesn’t call I have a right to think of him as an asshole.
78. If I meet a man that I like and I give him my phone number and he calls me I have a right to blow him off or act like I don’t know him.
79. I believe I have a right to live in an orderly and safe society but I feel no obligation to risk my safety to secure or maintain that society.
80. I like it when bars and clubs have drinks specials just for women.
81. I think that organizations that offer any discounts or privileges just for men is a clear sign of sexism.
82. If I’m white I will live 6 years longer than white males and 14 years longer than black males.
83. If I’m encouraged to get medical care it’s because I owe it to myself.
84. When my husband is encouraged to get medical help it’s because he owes to to me and the kids.
85. If something bad happens to me or just one woman I believe it is an offense against all women.
86. I believe that if something bad happens to a man it’s because he’s a loser.
87. I think that alimony is fair when paid to a woman but not fair when paid by a woman.
88. I’m more likely to believe that women who commit crimes are sick and need treatment or understanding whereas men who commit crimes are evil and should be locked up forever.
89. I can criticize the opposite sex without social penalty, but woe be to the man who attempts to criticize me or other women.
90. I can throw a fit and act like a two year old to get what I want without damaging my mate value.
91. I have the luxury of not being the filter for natural selection.
92. I can sleep with my boss if I want and afterwards I can sue him for sexual harassment.
93. I can wear seductive clothing and perfume to attract a man at work but no one will accuse me of sexual harassment.
94. If I hear a story about Darfur and how men who leave the refugee camps to gather wood are hacked to death to prevent their wives from being raped I am likely to think that is proper but not likely to send money.
95. If I hear a story about Darfur and how women are leaving the refugee camps to gather wood are being raped I’m likely to be outraged. I’m also likely to wonder why these women’s husbands aren’t protecting them.
96. If I ever heard these stories about Darfur it is my privilege not to care or even consider that the reason the second story exists is because all the men in the first have already been killed.
97. It is my right to maintain the belief that men oppress women despite all of the evidence to the contrary.
This is contemptible. Let me just summarize the Friedman jobs plan for those kids who start life without a multi-million dollar trust fund:
1) Start out at 18 with nothing.
2) Spend $150,000 on an education. Now you have negative net worth of about $50,000, in loans that can never, ever, ever be discharged.
3) Now take a few bucks out of your negative $50,000 net worth and toss it to Friedman’s daughter’s college roommate. If you’re lucky, you land an internship!
4) Next, you spend five years interning, for no pay, in New York City. Sure, you have no savings and no assets and no income and a mountain of debt. Oh, and you need to pay rent so you can show up showered and rested to that internship. You also need to buy food, a Metro card, and a professional wardrobe. You might possibly get sick, too, so maybe be lucky or buy some insurance. You also need to make payments on that mountain of debt that’s accruing interest….
Where are you going to be the money for any of this? Be creative!!!! American entrepreneurial spirit!!!! Buzz words!!!! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!!!!
5) If none of that works, start your own business. You’ve got a rich dad, right? Not to mention that banks are just itching to hand out loans to indebted 27-year-olds with no job history apart from internships.
Just watch. Next week, Friedman is going to come at us with an article about how young people need to have $200,000 saved by age thirty to have a comfortable retirement.
If we rewarded one group of rats with bigger and better food pellets as they pulled a well-oiled lever in the spacious and enviable corner Skinner box, would we think them more intrinsically interested in lever-pulling than a less privileged, perhaps even harassed, group of rats?
Ok, so I wasn’t going to post this but this whole “forget about race” and people trying to ignore all of these important and critical race discussions about Monster High have really begun to piss me off and I am done being a good girl. Shit is about to get real.
Why you ask? Because the thing that people in the Monster High tag don’t seem to realize is that by ignoring race and skin color and the privilege allotted to you by society you are being just as racist as a person who uses a racial slur outright. In fact, there is a term for this sort of racism - color blind racism.
By erasing a person’s skin color you are also erasing their identity, their culture, their history, and their issues.
Why the fuck is it so hard for people to admit that the majority of media can be problematic to society at large? NEWS FLASH – You can still enjoy things despite how problematic they are. What people need to do instead of just ignoring it is identify those problems, accept they exist, and educate themselves so maybe the next generation won’t turn out to be racist, privileged assholes like most of the people in the Monster High tag seem to be.
Because guess what? The mere fact that you have the option of ignoring or walking away from discussions about race is a privilege in itself. POC don’t GET to just not care about racism, to say that “race doesn’t affect them” or whatever other bullshit these ignorant people have been spewing these days.
So I recommend that the next time someone tries to point out a crucial flaw in something that deeply affects and defines people’s lives you sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up and listen for once instead of taking the defensive so quickly. You could actually fucking learn something for once.
I’ve been talking about this for a while, and gained a lot of input from a lot of people about this. There’s a few different concepts that have been bothering myself as well as the majority of the people that I spend my days with. They are of such:
“You can’t be racist against a white person!”
“You can’t be sexist against a male!”
“You can’t be heterosexist!”
“You can’t be _____ist toward someone of X ‘majority’!”
These ideas are all utter bullshit, and the idea that discrimination involves being offensive AND oppressive is just plain wrong and opens yourself up to furthering your own oppression.
Why? It’s simple, because when ever someone of a racial or ethnic minority yells out “you can’t be racist against a white person” they’re really saying “they can’t be offended because they’re superior”. They’re in turn furthering the idea that X group is superior rather than acknowledging the fact that they were also raised to hate the people who oppress them. By having this all or nothing mentality you’re setting yourself up for failure. You wont get very far. Our goal is for equality, and you can’t reach that if both groups hate each other. Sure, you can reach it if you tear down the people in power and then trample over them, but then where are you? What will then be the state of the society that you live in? Will it be better then when everyone is equally as unprivileged as you, and fighting tooth and nail to be better than each other?
Is there privilege? Yes. Yes there is? Should you attack people for being privileged? No. That also wont get you far. In fact, it’s a good way to get people to not want to help you, or not want to work with you. It’s also a GREAT way to further the stereotype of the group (or groups) that you represent. Think about it, if someone was calling you names, would YOU want to be friendly to them? Instead, inform them and educate them. If you think they’re privileged then that’s great! Try to recruit them as an ally. You’re part of the minority, therefore, no matter how much you try, if everyone else hates you because you constantly attack them for being privileged you’re not going to get anywhere… there wont be enough votes in your favor.
There’s an issue I’ve been seeing with the idea of “appropriation”, I feel as though it’s being overly used and often misused. Hating someone because of the fact that they can eat food that you can’t (even if it IS widely available, easy to make, ect), is NOT really appropriation. That’s just wanting to try new foods. Same goes for music, so what if a white person likes rap? I’ve been hearing complaints that “white people don’t like the same things we do”, and then you turn around and attack them for reaching out and trying to understand you better. Stop that. Some people like to try to educate themselves. If you think they’re ignorant about something then politely correct them or send them to a good resource. Don’t attack them. The militant attitude gets you no where, except less supporters. I can understand why you wouldn’t want someone to wear clothing that has a deep rooted cultural or religious value to it if they don’t belong to that culture or religion. That’s understandable. (That’s also being disrespectful!) If you see that shit happening then don’t attack, educate.
If you want to be an activist then do the work and act like it. Being an activist means that you go out and educate yourself, and typically also others. You also try to make change while being respectable. Calling someone a “dumb bitch” for getting a kanji tattoo (or Chinese character) is not the appropriate way of handling it, and it’s also highly judgemental… how do YOU know if they’ve actually studied the culture or language? Maybe they have a lot of friends who are from that culture, or they have been there before? Labeling someone is not only rude but it’s also disrespectful. Also, white Americans, Europeans and Australians are not the only ones guilty of appropriation. Look at Japan and China, they too have adopted many western ideas, and some of them wear shirts that are in English even if they don’t know what it means. (Another example is in Between Women with the Chinese symbols on the walls.) They just think that it looks cool. But over all, this has been going on for ages, and CAN be a good thing. (Hello, Italian food people?)
Other things that bother the hell out of me is when people say things that imply that the WHOLE group is the same. That’s [insert -ist here]. Saying things like “do white people even know that cocao beans don’t come from Europe?” is no better than someone else telling someone who’s black to go back to Africa. It’s merely going off of assumptions and stereotypes, which is just wrong. If you don’t want people assuming things about you then don’t do it to others. Also, your identity does not automatically make you a walking encyclopedia regarding said identity. You also can not speak out for every other person within your group. I’ve gone to a few LGBT conferences where one of the speakers spoke for EVERY gay guy, and felt that he was an expert on the subject because he’s gay. No, it doesn’t work that way. You’re not handed a memory chip to insert that tells you everything about who you are and everyone else who identifies the same way as you.
Okay, God, I thought. Get me out of this and I’ll stop my half-assed church-going ways. You got me past a pack of Strigoi tonight. I mean, trapping that one between the doors really shouldn’t have worked, so clearly you’re on board. Let me get out of here, and I’ll…I don’t know. Donate Adrian’s money to the poor. Get baptized. Join a convent. Well, no. Not that last one.
Rose Hathaway, Blood Promise
It’s funny but the part about donating Adrian’s money is really sad because we all know that no matter how good she is at her job, she’s never going to make a significant amount of money because she’s a dhampir.
I was on a train this morning and observed two late teens/early 20’s African American males. They were talking very loudly, using “street” language. I was seated across from a mid 50’s/early 60’s African American woman, who cringed when she first heard their loudness. She turned around and looked at them. They were dressed in “gansta” gear, which made her cringe more. She gave them the “evil eye” thinking they would lower their voices, but, instead, became belligerent, talking to one another about “the fat lady glaring at them.” I was very surprised when she arose from her seat, turned to them and said, “Trayvon Martin died for nothing. His death did not empower you, it should have been a wake-up call.” She then returned to her seat, looked straight at me and said, “You have white trash. We have black trash.”
Pawlowska argues by patriarchy hurts us all, and makes a distinction between attacking men and attacking patriarchy;
“…a social system in which males assume the role of primary authority figures central to social organization. Moreover, in a patriarchal system men hold authority over women, children, and property. Male rule and privilege, as well as female subordination, are implicit…
”…patriarchy strips the public life of females and everything they bring to the table.
“The key is gender equality—you need all the smart people you can get and no one can afford leaving half of their population behind.”
I find it painfully hilarious, as in I don’t want to laugh at due to seriousness of the subject, that those that decry “safe spaces” are the very people that don’t need them, or at least believe they don’t crave them. But are not our homes, schools, and job places supposed to be “safe spaces” of one kind of another? Have you ever heard of black student unions, gay bars, and other places where the marginalized gather away from the constant barrage of insults, slurs and outright physical abuse?
It is so easy to mock safe places when you always feel safe in your person, in your words, in your attitude. When you can afford a front lawn a mile long and five mile wide to keep the paparazzi at bay, travel in private jets and dine at the most exclusive locations around the world without catching a whiff of the those who work tirelessly to make sure there is nary a blemish on the landscape. That you can walk the streets with a rifle strapped to your back or a pistol on your hip because that makes you feel safe. Or how you ensconce yourself in a media bubble that reinforces your world view while excluding any and all ideas that might contradict it let alone any facts that may pop said bubble.
Because it all boils down to one thing: power. And safe places (no quotes necessary here) either rob the privilege of their power or force them to share that power. That is the real issue here. So before you chuckle at “safe spaces” from the comfort of your living room, well, look around, Bob, who sets the rules in your house, in your “safe place”?