[Trigger warning for discussion of suicide, sexual abuse, murder etc] Female privilege?

fuckyeahgenderstudies:

dearestandqueerest:

fuckyeahgenderstudies:

stfufauxminists:

brightblackdaylight:

As feminists, we tend to think a lot about male privilege (stuff like the fact that men are more likely to be bosses and CEOs and less likely to get raped), but not very much about female privilege. I stumbled across this, a list of female privileges:

As a woman …

1. I have a much lower chance of being murdered than a man.
2. I have a much lower chance of being driven to successfully commit suicide than a man.
3. I have a lower chance of being a victim of a violent assault than a man.
4. I have probably been taught that it is acceptable to cry.
5. I will probably live longer than the average man.
6. Most people in society probably will not see my overall worthiness as a person being exclusively tied to how high up in the hierarchy I rise.
7. I have a much better chance of being considered to be a worthy mate for someone, even if I’m unemployed with little money, than a man.
8. I am given much greater latitude to form close, intimate friendships than a man is.
9. My chance of suffering a work-related injury or illness is significantly lower than a man’s.
10. My chance of being killed on the job is a tiny fraction of a man’s.
11. If I shy away from fights, it is unlikely that this will damage my standing in my peer group or call into question my worthiness as a sex partner.
12. I am not generally expected to be capable of violence. If I lack this capacity, this will generally not be seen as a damning personal deficiency.
13. If I was born in North America since WWII, I can be almost certain that my genitals were not mutilated soon after birth, without anesthesia.
14. If I attempt to hug a friend in joy, it’s much less likely that my friend will wonder about my sexuality or pull away in unease.
15. If I seek a hug in solace from a close friend, I’ll have much less concern about how my friend will interpret the gesture or whether my worthiness as a member of my gender will be called into question.
16. I generally am not compelled by the rules of my sex to wear emotional armor in interactions with most people.
17. I am frequently the emotional center of my family.
18. I am allowed to wear clothes that signify ‘vulnerability’, ‘playful openness’, and ’softness’.
19. I am allowed to BE vulnerable, playful, and soft without calling my worthiness as a human being into question.
20. If I interact with other people’s children — particularly people I don’t know very well — I do not have to worry much about the interaction being misinterpreted.
21. If I have trouble accommodating to some aspects of gender demands, I have a much greater chance than a man does of having a sympathetic audience to discuss the unreasonableness of the demand, and a much lower chance that this failure to accommodate will be seen as signifying my fundamental inadequacy as a member of my gender.
22. I am less likely to be shamed for being sexually inactive than a man.
23. From my late teens through menopause, for most levels of sexual attractiveness, it is easier for me to find a sex partner at my attractiveness level than it is for a man.
24. My role in my child’s life is generally seen as more important than the child’s father’s role.

http://www.feministcritics.org/blog/2008/06/08/female-privilege/

What do you guys think? Are these valid? Which ones are not valid? I don’t know much about the statistical claims, but I would certainly agree with points like 4, it is much more socially acceptable for me to cry than a man, or generally display emotions other than anger or desire. 

Thoughts?

Have I completely responded to these “privileges” before? If not, this is as good a time as any. 

As a woman …

1. I have a much lower chance of being murdered than a man.

But a much higher chance of being murdered by an intimate partner, making you not safe in your own home. Also, the majority of murderers are men. 


2. I have a much lower chance of being driven to successfully commit suicide than a man.

This is disingenuous. Men aren’t being driven to suicide more successfully, they actually just happen to be more successful when they attempt. This sentence makes it seem as though more men are driven to suicide, when in fact more women attempt. The fact that men are more successful is generally attributed to the fact that they employ more effective methods, such as the use of guns or other weapons. Now, you may be able to say that the socialization that leads to men using these methods is a problem, and that I’d agree with. But let’s not pretend as though men are offin’ themselves right and left because of some matriarchy or something.


3. I have a lower chance of being a victim of a violent assault than a man.

Is sexual assault included in this? By conservative estimates, at least 1 out of every 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Also, women are still more often victimized by someone they know, making them less safe in their personal lives, and men are more likely to be victimized by strangers (again, mostly men).


4. I have probably been taught that it is acceptable to cry.

Sure. But what social power does crying get us? Hillary Clinton was accused of crying during her campaign trail and it was a big fuckin’ deal. It showed she couldn’t handle the big time political arena, according to lots of folks. So female willingness to show emotion still keeps them out of arenas of power, even if it is considered “ok” in other settings. Besides, feminists are the ones who continuously say that it is ok for men to learn emotional language and expression, so MRAs holding this up as some kind of “privilege” or “checkmate, feminists” is counter-intuitive.


5. I will probably live longer than the average man.

Um, ok. Is the implied argument here because women’s health is taken care of so much better than men’s? Because um, need I bring up the fact that original research on heart disease was done only on men? And now it’s come to light that women’s heart disease can manifest differently? Oh, and that said heart disease is the number one killer of women?


6. Most people in society probably will not see my overall worthiness as a person being exclusively tied to how high up in the hierarchy I rise.

Wait, so no greatness is expected of women, and this is a privilege?


7. I have a much better chance of being considered to be a worthy mate for someone, even if I’m unemployed with little money, than a man.

Because women’s labor is mostly unpaid and has been historically. Essentially the value in the match is that the man is getting a free maid, baby machine, sex partner, cook, etc. Or perhaps the woman is particularly adherent to social beauty standards, and therein lies the value (i.e. a trophy wife, which, to maintain that standard of beauty actually take quite a bit of work). 


8. I am given much greater latitude to form close, intimate friendships than a man is.

How are we talking here? I mean, there are plenty of famous friendships that men have had throughout the ages. I mean, sure, maybe guys are socialized into minimal physical contact and not using emotional language, etc. but that doesn’t mean that men are encouraged not to have friends.


9. My chance of suffering a work-related injury or illness is significantly lower than a man’s.

This and the next are just about the only one on this list that has any sort of validity. Although, this is more of a class issue than a gender issue. It just so happens that women in general are not valued for their physical labor (in the sense of lifting heavy things, construction work, etc.) and as such are not considered worthy of these (higher paying) jobs.  But the danger comes from those who are higher above the menial workers in these positions not adhering to safety requirements or trying to make sure those safety requirements don’t exist in the first place. 


10. My chance of being killed on the job is a tiny fraction of a man’s.


11. If I shy away from fights, it is unlikely that this will damage my standing in my peer group or call into question my worthiness as a sex partner.

So, men can’t show feminine qualities because of what other men will think (largely, since this is what status is generally determined by). Why is this a female privilege again?


12. I am not generally expected to be capable of violence. If I lack this capacity, this will generally not be seen as a damning personal deficiency.

Um, what? Maybe not “damning”, but it’s certainly seen as a deficiency. Women are not strong because they are seen as not violent. Women cannot fight. Women cannot defend themselves. Women are helpless. This attitude has historically kept women in places of subservience, not only because it is common social attitude but because it is internalized. So, even if women break from that, they’re told they cannot. This is patriarchal gender roles at work, and it’s something feminists are trying to break from.


13. If I was born in North America since WWII, I can be almost certain that my genitals were not mutilated soon after birth, without anesthesia.

And women grow up hating everything else about their bodies. Oh, and they also end up getting plastic surgery on their genitals. So baby boys are mutilated before they really know what’s going on. Women are made to be complicit in what can be considered their own mutilation, and they pay for the privilege. 

I’m not saying that women getting plastic surgery is always a mutilation. But what I think is a mutilation is the distorted bodily images that are thrown at women every day with little to no deviation. If we had more deviation and women still chose plastic surgery, that would be much better.


14. If I attempt to hug a friend in joy, it’s much less likely that my friend will wonder about my sexuality or pull away in unease.

Heterosexism issues. This also happens with women, depending on the person.


15. If I seek a hug in solace from a close friend, I’ll have much less concern about how my friend will interpret the gesture or whether my worthiness as a member of my gender will be called into question.

Heterosexism, again.


16. I generally am not compelled by the rules of my sex to wear emotional armor in interactions with most people.

Oh you know, only if you want to be taken seriously in political or business arenas.


17. I am frequently the emotional center of my family.

But not the power figure.


18. I am allowed to wear clothes that signify ‘vulnerability’, ‘playful openness’, and ’softness’.

And then if you do, you get blamed for any sexual advance or assault that anyone chooses to commit.


19. I am allowed to BE vulnerable, playful, and soft without calling my worthiness as a human being into question.

You know, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to notice, but essentially every time this list says that the man’s “worthiness as a human being” is called into question, what they’re really saying is that the man will be called a “sissy” or will be likened to a woman. I think that’s telling on a “female privilege checklist”.


20. If I interact with other people’s children — particularly people I don’t know very well — I do not have to worry much about the interaction being misinterpreted.

Mostly because men aren’t expected to know about children, want anything to do with children, etc. This is why they’re much more accepted into the public sphere. There’s very little social power that comes with interacting with children, mostly because children are by and large undervalued despite what a lot of the hoopla regarding kids in our society might imply.


21. If I have trouble accommodating to some aspects of gender demands, I have a much greater chance than a man does of having a sympathetic audience to discuss the unreasonableness of the demand, and a much lower chance that this failure to accommodate will be seen as signifying my fundamental inadequacy as a member of my gender.

Mostly because patriarchy and male privilege relies on complicity among men. That’s also why there’s such heavy policing of gender roles.


22. I am less likely to be shamed for being sexually inactive than a man.

No, in fact a woman’s entire value is placed on her sexuality, and she is lauded for remaining “pure” and shamed for making conscious sexual choices. Golly, what a privilege. I’m so sorry someone likens a man to a woman if he chooses not to have sex. Poor, poor men.


23. From my late teens through menopause, for most levels of sexual attractiveness, it is easier for me to find a sex partner at my attractiveness level than it is for a man.

“At my attractiveness level”? Let me get this straight, dudes don’t get access to the gals they think are hottest, and they think women do, so this is a female privilege? I also like how they don’t take into account the work that women have to put into beauty ideals in order to attract those men.


24. My role in my child’s life is generally seen as more important than the child’s father’s role.

This is not true. There are very few people bemoaning the lack of mothers in the lives of children, or few people examining what the lack of motherhood does to children. Oh wait, could that be because men more often don’t partake in parenting and thus leave it up to the mother? Again, what a privilege!

Ok. So there’s a debunking of the “female privilege checklist”. Merry Christmas folks. 

Nicely done, STFUF. 
This is a pretty comprehensive rebuff. I’d just like to add a smidge more. 

I would also add that even if women have a greater chance of “finding a sexual partner at their attractiveness level” (whatever that means… and incidentally i don’t believe it’s actually true) for the c. 25-30 yrs between late teens and menopause, women also have a greater chance of being subjected to unwanted sexual contact throughout our lives—lucky us, eh? Plus, after menopause/after the age of about 40 (you know, the remaining 40-odd years of life a woman’s life) women aren’t [socially] permitted to be sexual and effectively cease to exist as a result.

How AWESOME is this privilege??? GOD! I’m so blessed.

I’m still trying to figure out ways to navigate all of this stuff because it’s valid as shit, but make it relevant in queer contexts where a binary doesn’t exist.

Because at the end of the day, most male privilege checklists and such are going to be centered around the idea that men stand in contrast to women. When in actuality, it’s men standing in contrast to every other gender identity/expression.

But then in some queer communities, these privileges still exist, but they may not go to men. They may go to masculine gender expressions at the expense of femme ones. And then what are we left with?

I’m fucking confused because all of this shit is still so so so so relevant. Do we just need separate ideas and constructions and lists and discourses to talk about communities in which the gender (sexual? wtfever) binary has been loosened from its moorings?

Someone. HALP.

Well, i believe this list was written to attempt to derail discussions about male privilege—and brightblackdaylight published it to open up exactly the sort of discussion/rebuff that STFUF (and me, and you, and probably others) have provided. Female privilege isn’t a “real” thing; and with it nor is genderqueer privilege or trans privilege or gay privilege or black privilege… etc. etc.—at least not as a rhetorical mode to counter or negate the privilege of groups that oppress these groups (and the argument that X oppressed group is less oppressed than Y oppressed group and thereby has privilege is a horse of a different colour, and in many respects (but not always, of course) it isn’t even a useful discussion to have).

So, i don’t think—at least when we’re discussing the “privilege” of oppressed groups—it’s useful to split into anything beyond oppressor privilege/oppressed disadvantage.

(Is this coherent? I hope it is.)

(via sluteverxxx)

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