Saturday, November 22, 2014

18 Things Mark Saunders Needs to Understand (Because, Male Privilege)

The other day my friend Alexa tagged me in a post linking to this article titled 18 Things Females Seem to Not Understand (Because, Female Privilege). After reading the completely one sided and disgusting article, obviously written by someone who has no mother or sisters or female friends (yes, I think the author might be a mythical creature, that's the only way I justify such idiocy), I angrily crocheted a few dozen pairs of boot cuffs and worked up a response in my head.

1. Male Privilege is being able to walk down the street at night without having to have keys between your fingers because you're not afraid someone is going to rape you. No, not all men are rapists, but women cross the street just to be sure, because every 2 minutes someone is sexually assaulted and 80% of the victims are under 30. Yes, I'm going to cross the street when I see you coming, sir, I do not know your intent and I would rather not find out.

2. Male Privilege is being able to approach someone and ask them out again and again and again and again and only be called creepy, when if a woman did the same thing she would be called crazy, obsessive, a stalker, and treated like she was mentally unstable. Remember, people can live with creepy, but they shun crazy. Male Privilege is not having to worry about the fact that people think they have a right to your body. 

3. Male Privilege is being able to get drunk and not have to worry about being sexually assaulted. Male Privilege is being able to engage in sex at a party that you most likely want. You're not a rapist if you don't rape a girl. You are a rapist if you don't obtain legitimate consent. And the reason the girl is deemed innocent by default? Because of incidences like Steubenville, where a 16 year old girl went to a party, blacked out, was raped and then urinated on, then blamed for ruining three high school boys football careers when she pressed charges. 

4. Male Privilege is being able to turn on the TV and see yourself as something other than the butt of jokes in Sitcoms, the prize to be won in action movies, the scantily clad vixen in any male-centered film. Male Privilege is shows like King of Queens and Everybody Loves Raymond where a average looking slob of a man has a high-achieving wife that he still dumps on. Male Privilege is shows like Family Guy where women are openly mocked and exploited for the purposes of "comedy". It's the song "We Saw Your Boobs" that Seth McFarlane sang at the Oscars, its every gratuitous stripping scene in a movie that devalues the accomplishments of the female in the film and places her primarily as a sex object. Male Privilege is being able to see any movie and picture yourself in it as a main character, not a side-kick or comic relief. 

5. Male Privilege is being able to complain that women and children get saved first. The Birkenhead Drill is from the turn of the century and was A. made up in a book, and B. intended to mean that the most vulnerable members got help first. Is that still women? No. I know a few women who would probably have to save you in an emergency, even if you don't deserve it.

6. Male Privilege is not having to deal with the ramifications of abortion. Male Privilege is being able to do whatever you want with your body in terms of reproductive rights without it being a hot-button issue. You can get condoms for free, my birth control is so expensive that I couldn't afford it without insurance.

7. Male Privilege is being able to abandon a child and have society be okay with it because a man's place isn't in the home, its out working. Or because sometimes men just need to "sow their wild oats".  Male Privilege is not being expected to take care of a child you don't want for 18 plus years, and only having to pay child support, but not experiencing any serious consequences if you don't.

8. Male Privilege is not seeing 5,000 ads a day where at least 75% of them are related to women's beauty products. Male Privilege is not being expected to wear make-up and being labeled as "unkempt" or a "slob" if you don't. Male Privilege is being accepted at any size. Male Privilege is the reason the "average looking guy scores super model girlfriend" trope exists.

9. Male Privilege is the biggest contributor to rape culture that I know of. Male Privilege is "what were you wearing" its "you could just close your mouth and not give him a blow job" (google Don Lemon), its "she was asking for it". Male Privilege is "that test raped me", or rape jokes over Xbox Live, or in casual conversation. Men make more rape jokes than women do, because rape isn't a joke to us, it is a terrifying reality. Male Privilege is I don't know, NOT GETTING RAPED?

10. I'm not supposed to do anything in life except dream of marriage. Men get to be players and do whatever the hell they want. Male Privilege is the societal embrace of the bachelor lifestyle, and the overall shunning of the bachelorette lifestyle. 

11. Male Privilege is not going to prison for defending yourself against an abusive spouse. Male Privilege is being able to have charges pressed against you and saying it was self defense because your partner is "hysterical". Male Privilege presents itself in the 97% of rapists who never serve time, in the majority of domestic violence cases that are never reported because a woman is afraid of what will happen if she does report, in the 1 in 4 women who will become an abuse victim each year. 

12. Male Privilege is not being expected to be caring or empathetic. It is not being labeled as "cold" or "bitchy" when you don't display emotions as often as people think you should. Male Privilege is the lack of Resting Bitch Face as a label for men. 

13. Male Privilege is not being expected to get married and become a stay at home mother. Male Privilege is being able to be focused on your career and not your family and not be seen as a horrible spouse or parent. Male Privilege is being allowed to expect dinner to be ready when you get home, and having other men justify your anger when that doesn't happen. Male Privilege is being on the winning end of the pay gap.

14. Male Privilege is not being afraid that the cop is going to insinuate that a sexual favor will get you out of a ticket. Male Privilege is being able to get frisked without getting sexually violated. Male Privilege is not having to watch out for impostors posing as cops (yes it does happen) who are only out to become serial rapists. 

15. Male Privilege is not being targeted by administration when the school dress code in enforced. Male Privilege is being told that excelling in math or science is an innate ability rather than "the result of hard work". Female Privilege is not to blame for more men dropping out of high school or not getting accepted to college. Sexism does not come into play in situations where an individual is doing something for themselves. I cannot blame Male Privilege for dropping out of college. I am to blame. Sorry, Mark. If you didn't graduate you have no one to blame but yourself.

16. Male Privilege is having everyone listen to your opinion and just accept it, whereas women have to struggle and protest and literally fight for any chance to get their opinion heard or noticed and taken seriously on a national scale where politics and lawmaking is concerned. Male Privilege is being allowed to vote by default because men were seen as competent and for some reason, women weren't. I'm sorry, but did women shut down the government? No. Male Privilege is being able to have an opinion about what a woman does with her life and body. Male Privilege is being able to be taken seriously and not being seen as a silly, airheaded, bimbo whenever you try to speak up.

17. Male Privilege is being able to blame someone else for their sexist actions. Men can say that they are backwards and misogynistic because they were "raised that way". Women don't get the same luxury. Male Privilege is not being labeled as a crazed radical just because you want equal rights for your gender. 

18. Sexism is not an exclusive term. However, it is hard for women to claim that they are being sexist when excluding men from certain things because men make all the rules, call all the shots, and are the major voice in decision making in America. That's why there is a National Women's Day and not a National Men's Day. Men don't need a day to be celebrated and appreciated, they get that every day of the year. 

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something waitress and blogger living in Okanogan County, WA who spends way too much time crocheting, and not enough time onstage. She is currently working on her 15th pair of boot peeps, and planning her next big adventure.


Unknown said...

I understand your point, but men get raped too. Men get abused. Men have awful things happen to them as well. It's not JUST women who have these things happen.

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