Thursday, 5 January 2012

Female Privilege Checklist-agogo!

Last night, a 'female privilege checklist' that was posted on Reddit/MensRights, (107 upvotes at time of publication) was doing the rounds on Twitter. Posted in a faux-concerned way (the OP just wants women to be aware of these things, you see), this list may as well be called 'Patriarchy hurts men too: A list', or possibly 'The MRA bingo card (what can we blame on eebil feminazis today?)'. Anyway, I took a bit of time to fisk it. I haven't included links (because most of these seemed pretty obvious, also I was working in a rush), but if you'd like me to explain my working or sources on anything, please just ask.

(DISCLAIMER: The list itself is heteronormative (to the point of homophobia) and completely cisnormative. It also only really applies to very western countries, and it helps to imagine that we're living in 1950. Also I got slightly bored towards the end.)


  1. On average I will get much lighter punishment for the same crime. - No. There is no disparity in the guidelines issued by the Sentencing Guideline Council. Most defences are written from the 'male gaze' - i.e. Provocation requires a 'sudden or temporary loss of control'. Men and women usually (for various reasons, all of them societal) commit different 'types' of crimes - most women are in prison for drug and property-based crimes, more men for violent crimes. If women commit a 'male' crime, they are usually judged more harshly as they have transgressed the gender boundary as well as the criminal one.
  2. PMS is usually considered an extenuating circumstance. (Example) - Only if it's so severe as to give the defendant the defence of Diminished Responsibility - at which point it usually takes on the characteristics of a mental illness. It's not just 'oh, I was on my period. Can't be blamed for anything'.
  3. I am not expected to go to war or even drafted into the army. - One of the last countries to have a draft is Israel. Who draft both men and women. 40% of child soldiers are girls. Most countries now allow women to join the army. Women are more likely to suffer the consequences of war. Wars are usually started by men. Patriarchal pressures stop women serving on the front line.
  4. It's always ladies first. Perhaps also children first, but always girls before boys. - There have been lots of times this wasn't the case. Also, If you give up rape culture, we'd be more than happy to give up leaving sinking boats first or being the first to go through a door. Honestly.
  5. I have special protection from domestic violence and supposedly female-only issues, unlike my male counterparts. - Male domestic violence refuges and helplines exist. The way to get more of these is not to have fewer for women, as men's rights activists have campaigned to do in the past. Also, if women are so well protected, why do two of them die because of this a week in the UK alone?
  6. In a sex-related crime (e.g. groping), and in the absence of conflicting evidence, my word will have more weight than a man's. - Nope, sorry. You saw what happened with Herman Cain, right? 
  7. If I am raped I can safely report it and my report will be taken seriously because there is a legal provision for it. - Premise accepted, in cases of male victims v female victims but I do not accept that it's a privilege. This happens because women are more likely to be raped than men, so it is more common to deal with. In any case, there is still a shockingly low conviction rate, and lots of female victims are not taken 'seriously'.
  8. I can look at children for more than three seconds with no fear of being labelled a pedophile. - If there wasn't the women = childrearers, men = sexual beings dichotomy, this wouldn't be the case.
  9. Usually, cases of female adult on male children sexual abuse aren't even considered in court. - Yes they are. And seriously.
  10. Other cases of abuse are not given the same priority. Child abuse is only sexual in nature. (More) - I'm not sure what they mean by this.
  11. If I get a divorce, I will invariably get child custody. - Due to the idea of women = childrearers. Feminists would like to get rid of this too, and just have whichever parent is most suitable (if it must just be one) to raise the children, because it is another reason that women are harmed economically. 
  12. If I get a divorce, chances are I will get alimony, even if there are no children. - Women more likely to give up work or opportunities for career progression when married, and do more work in the marriage. Alimony is a way of compensating this.
  13. There is much more funding for breast cancer research than for prostate or testicle cancer research. - It's not a finite pot or a privilege. No one is stopping anyone raising money for research into these types of cancers. How about a male cancer equivalent of Race for Life?
  14. If I marry a rich man so that I don't have to work, people will say I'm successful. - Or a 'golddigging whore'. Also, men are not pressured to give up work, whereas women are.
  15. I am always protected from genital mutilation. Even in the few places where it is practised, genital mutilation is sometimes illegal, only for my gender though. - Although I do not agree with circumcision and consider it wrong, female genital mutilation is much, much more extreme and dangerous, and usually done at an older age. In countries where breast-ironing is done, it is usually done to make the woman less 'desirable' in order to lessen her chances of rape.
  16. I have a longer life expectancy. - due to societal factors like drinking less, smoking less, eating less fatty food (hello body shaming!) etc.
  17. There is a much lesser chance that I will be driven to suicide.- No, just a lower chance that women are successful in their attempts. Also to do with a culture in which men are seen as 'strong' and have to bottle emotions up.
  18. Retirement age for me is lower than for my male counterparts in most places. - Not any more. Also due to men = strong, women = weak dichotomy.
  19. The majority of the population in most of the western nations is the same gender as me. - We have a 1% majority and much fewer opportunities. No one is practicing gendercide on men in non-westernised countries though.
  20. I can fight for my gender's issues with no fear of being labelled a whiny sexist or a chauvinist pig. - Really, men can do this too. They just so often do it while doing the other things too.
  21. Everybody, from a very young age, is taught that they must not hit me. There is a Spanish saying, “a las damas no se las toca ni con el p├ętalo de una rosa”, which translates as “ladies cannot be touched, not even with a rose petal”. - that's not our fault, and very frequently a rule that's not adhered to. 
  22. Due to accusations of sexism, many places now hire preferentially or exclusively women (and that's even ignoring the sex industry). Such discrimination is, in some places, law. - Really, I can't say anything other than, no it's not, please show your working.
  23. I have a much lower chance of being injured or dying for work-related reasons. - Societal pressures making more dangerous industries apparently only suitable for 'men'. Also, could probably be solved by greater H&S legislation, but try telling Tories that.
  24. I have no pressure to be physically strong or to do most of the physically demanding work. - But we ARE labelled as 'abnormal' if we do.
  25. I have little pressure to be a breadwinner. - Except if you need to be (single mother). Also, men aren't pressured OUT of careers on marriage.
  26. I can live with someone my own gender with no fear of being labelled a faggot. - Why is homosexuality seen as such a bad thing?
  27. Even if I do like my own gender I'm at an advantage – lesbians are generally better treated than gay males. - No really, this is just not true. Gay men have a (comparatively) very strong economic position, are more widely accepted to be the 'definition' of homosexual and are more positively (and realistically) portrayed in the media.
  28. When I go to a bar, I get to decide whether or not to have sex tonight. Men are competitors; I am the judge. - Unless the men decide it's their 'right' to have sex with me. If I am raped it is my fault for being out at a bar. Also, bars do not equal sex. 
  29. I can get free entrances to bars and free drinks once I'm in. - Free entrance is to lure us into bars so men can try and sleep with us, free drinks usually the same reason. Again, not everyone goes out trying to get laid. 
  30. Even if I don't, a male is usually expected to pay for me. - I dispute this, however, if it is true, it's because men = strong protective breadwinning provider, women = economically stunted, need looking after. Also, I'll give up all free drinks if you give up rape culture.
  31. If there's a crime or some other wrong and I'm involved, chances are I will automatically considered a victim. - Good job courts work with what we like to call 'evidence' then, isn't it?
  32. If I don't like one of my (male) co-workers, I can ruin their reputation with a sexual harassment accusation. - for fuck's sake. Just no.
  33. If I am straight I have it easier when looking for a male. - How? Is this because women are supposed to be 'passive'? Have you seen how much effort women are supposed to put in to getting a man? They're supposed to change their whole damn appearance!
  34. If I am straight I will never be friendzoned. - Yeah, you might. Also, 'friendzoning' only means that the person likes your company but doesn't want to fuck you. It's not a great crime committed by them.
  35. If I get a promotion it's gender equality, even if I didn't deserve it. If a male does it's sexism and I can freely denounce it. - Unless you're accused of giving sexual favours to secure it or jumped all over by men who have decided they must be inherently better than you so you only got it because of affirmative action.
  36. I can show skin almost without fear of being arrested. - Just raped, and the chance to be blamed for it if it happens. Also, men can go topless in summer!
  37. Even in colleges where most of the students are male, chances are a larger fraction of female applications are accepted. - Only recently, and because women outperform men in most exams. In 35. they railed against affirmative action, now they want it. Baffling.
  38. I have a higher pain threshold. - Even if this is true (and there's no reliable way to test it), it's probably because of childbirth. We can swap if you want.
  39. Paradoxically I have much more protection from pain – I am never told to “woman up” or to “take it like a woman”. - Ha! We imply you're weak and sickly and this does not benefit us! STOP SAYING IT THEN.
  40. Maternity leave is much more common and has more benefits than paternity leave. - Yep, and this is another way women are pressured into giving up a career in order to raise children.
  41. I can freely show my emotions, including crying, with no fear of being labelled a pussy. - Patriarchy hurts men too, episode #83459 - Also another example of saying women (or normative female attributes) are weak and undesireable.
  42. If I get to retire and am still single, nobody will question my sexual orientation. - no, just called a wizened old hag if we try have a relationship with a man our own age, laughed at as a 'cougar' if we dare try to have sex with a man younger than us and constantly patronised and told we should be distraught that we never married or had children, even if we didn't want to. Also, lots of elderly childfree single women ARE labelled lesbians, and why the homophobia?
  43. Public restrooms for my gender are almost always spotless. - Oh god no, they're not. Also, you piss on the walls!
  44. I have virtually no chance of finding a janitor of the opposite sex on the public restrooms for my gender. And even if I do, I can speak to the manager who will make sure it doesn't happen again. - Not true.
  45. Chances are I will never have someone of the opposite sex searching me, and my searches will be less invasive. - Firstly, it's illegal in every opposite configuration. Secondly, you think vaginal cavity searches are not invasive?
  46. I can find sexist overtones in every negative situation, even if there aren't, and most people will believe me. - Trust me, even when I point to clear and concrete evidence of, say, higher instances of rape, someone will be waiting in the wings to argue with me.
  47. When it comes to sex, I'm not required to maintain an erection for a long time or have high levels of stamina; in fact, it is I who sets the bar and can humilliate men for underperforming. - And it is I who was told until 20 years ago that if I didn't want to have sex with my husband, he could just rape me, and still get told that men should be allowed to rape me if I have 'led them on' (usually by existing).
  48. Most of the best parts in choral music are written for my voice, whatever it may be. Such parts for males (usually tenors only) exist, but are much rarer. - Oh noes! 1) The Three Tenors. 2) Most old soprano pieces were written for castrati, because they didn't want women in choirs. Again, something I'm willing to trade for, let's say… an end to rape culture.
  49. I may verbally defuse or refuse to engage in physical altercation without it damaging my reputation or viability as a sex partner. (thanks Space_Pirate) - Most het women I know wouldn't want a partner who was a violent arsehole. Also, this is the men = strong, women = weak dichotomy AGAIN. Blame patriarchy!
  50. I have the privilege of being unaware of (or feigning ignorance about) my female privilege. After all, everybody knows the world is biased against females. - YAWN.

Here's the thing. I KNOW I have privilege. I know that I have privilege over people of colour, over trans* people, over people who don't pass as straight, over queer people, over non-western people, over disabled people, over people who don't pass as neurotypical, and probably a whole host more people I haven't mentioned here because of my privilege causing me to be an idiot. But not over white, straight, cis, able-bodied, neurotypical western men. Sorry, but the fact that the privileges MRAs seek (not seek for everyone, just themselves) sometimes bite them on the arse doesn't mean that they're actually benefitting women to a greater extent. Really, the best thing to do would be for people to see where we're *all* being fucked over, and work together to change it, but somehow I can't see that happening...

28 comments:

  1. "If I am straight I will never be friendzoned"

    I like the implication here that the guy who wrote this desperately wants to fuck all his female friends, and cannot even conceive of being friends with a woman he wouldn't also bang.

    Or, perhaps more accurately, he has no female friends.

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  2. Most of these I broadly agree with you about Nat.

    But I'm afraid you're flat out wrong on the very first one though. Will try to find the link, but a Home Office report a couple of years ago found that even when matched for circumstances, severity of crime, offending history etc, women are likely to receive shorter sentences for all crimes and are much more likely to receive non-custodial sentences. That's how the sentencing guidelines are applied, irrespective of what they say.

    The old idea about women being punished more severely for transgressing gender expectations has always been a feminist myth, never was true to my knowledge.

    As for most of the others, you make good points but I might ask that you not be so dismissive of things like suicide rates. Whatever/whoever you blame, there's a pronounced gender effect there that costs hundreds of lives every year.

    A lot of your responses are basically "yeah, but society's to blame." Well, yes. That's kind of the point, isn't it?

    Totally agree with your conclusion though!

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  3. That must have taken an impressive amount of persistence for you to get through all 50 points, even if you were getting bored towards the end.

    On point 11, I believe that while it is true that the majority of divorce cases end with the woman getting custody of children, the majority of divorce cases *in which the man asks for custody* end with the man getting full or partial custody. (Including some of those divorce cases related to the man's violence)

    On point 23, the UK has - after adjusting for industry mix - one of the lowest fatal workplace accident rates in the EU, a third of the USA's rate (unadjusted for industry there, but I doubt that would change much), and there has been a steady downward trend for the last 20 years to get to that point. (I went into more detail on the stats of this particular claim last year).

    On point 44, even if this was true, shouldn't under MRA logic this be blamed on the lack of men wanting to become toilet cleaners? Should we really be forcing men to become toilet cleaners against their wishes? (Hey, if it works for "why aren't there more women in [prestigious profession]")

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  4. I take my hat off to you for persevering through this pile of crap. No.48 made me laugh out loud. Clearly he has never heard Allegri's Miserere, or Puccini's E Lucevan l'Estelle! What an idiot.

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  5. Sorry, just to add something.

    Far be it from me to tell feminists what to do (haha, yeah, I know) I actually think the best response from feminists to the overwhelming majority of items on this list would be "Yeah, I agree. Now, what are we going to do about it?"

    Stuff like the draft (assuming the author is American, men in the US still have to register for the draft at age 18, which would be the point) - I see no reason why feminists can't say 'yeah, that sucks. Let's abolish involuntary conscription for everyone' rather than pretending it isn't an issue at all.

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  6. 13) There *should* be more "more funding for breast cancer research" since anyone can get it (male instance is rare not non-existent). As for race for life, there is nothing stopping men running any other race with sponsorship for whatever cause they want. Also Movember is now gaining a larger public profile than it used to have.

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  7. Ally - I agree with your comments about the best response from feminists - that was the point I was trying to drive at: 'these things suck for everyone, not just men, and not just women", but felt it needed illustrating individually.

    With regards to drafts, I do think they suck and should be abolished, of course I do. But MRAs seem to think they're constantly being ordered off to fight in far-flung wars while the women sit home and munch bon-bons when... really, they're not.

    As for the 'gender transgression' comment, that was supposed to be linked to the point about crimes (and especially defences) being constructed from a 'classic' male point of view. See the case of Ahluwalia for an example of how this can occur: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiranjit_Ahluwalia - I know I wasn't very clear on this. In any case, if men are punished for comparative crimes more severely, it would likely be that there is no mitigating circumstance against imprisonment, such as an expectation that they must take care of their children - another example of 'patriarchy hurts everyone'.

    I wasn't trying to be dismissive about suicide rates, and I consider them to be a horrible, awful problem. Unfortunately when you are trying to fisk a list of 50 items which contains some frankly bizarre claims, it's all too easy to focus on these and not devote enough time and sensitivity to the few important ones. I apologise for this.

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  8. cim - I completely agree on your points, especially the one about female bathroom attendants!

    Tony - RopesToInfinity made the point on Twitter that testicular cancer kills 0.2/100,000, whereas breast cancer kills 26/100,000, which probably goes some way to explaining the difference - rather than some shadowy anti-male conspiracy. Liked the point about Movember too.

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  9. Cheers Nat.

    I'm not standing up for the authors of the list or other MRAs. Much of the list is whiny shite that deserves a good fisking.

    As a general point (of agreement, I hope!) one of the greatest intellectual idiocies of the MRAs is that so many of their complaints are direct products of patriarchal systems and values. (eg parental rights & roles, workplace roles & risks, 'chivalry' bollocks, sexual double standards etc etc etc) and yet they usually blame it all on feminism!

    They want to whinge about all the obligations (and some genuine cruelities and injustices) foisted upon men by patriarchal society, while simultaneously they furiously resist any attempts to change those patriarchal societies.

    It must require enough doublethink to make your brain spin.

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  10. Ally - yes, totally agree! I see a lot of MRA arguments when reading sites like Manboobz - and women really can't win. If a woman works, she's a 'lawyercunt feminazi' who's stealing a job off men because affirmative action now means no white man is employed anywhere, if she doesn't she's a lazy bitch mooching off some poor sap. Likewise, if a woman doesn't sleep with a 'nice guy', she's a stuck up bitch, if she does and doesn't want to marry him, she's a slut, if she does and wants to marry him she's needy! Like HELLO COGNITIVE DISSONANCE.

    The sad thing is, we spend ages pointing out these flaws in the basis of their reasoning and having to very slowly explain why they're hypocritical, which means we can't tackle the hard and really important issues.

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  11. This is brilliant, thank you! I love how ridiculous and trivial many of these so-called "privileges" are (e.g. point 29), as if that in any way compensates for problems such as the glass ceiling, or rape culture.

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  13. Beautiful, you've articulated just how I reacted when I saw this list (as a bass I find #48 laughable). However your response to 16 ignores some biology... Estrogen predisposes women to a longer lifespan by lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol, for evolutionary reasons (namely that offspring survival success has been determined largely by the lifespan of the mother for the vast majority of our species' history). Smoking, drinking and diet certainly play a role, but so do hormones.

    http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/1998/10.01/WhyWomenLiveLon.html

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  14. @Jay Kay

    There's many conflicting theories on this, probably all of which something have to do with it (as with any life-limiting thing). It's a confusing area. Hopefully an answer will be found soon so we can combat it.

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  15. Great job, Nat. You certainly have more perseverance than I do.

    Number 20 was the one that dropped my jaw (there was a thud as it hit my chest). "I can fight for my gender's issues with no fear of being labelled a whiny sexist or a chauvinist pig." I've lost count of the number of times I've seen accusations of 'shrill, whiny feminists... blah blah' coming from MRAs. (Well, that and a 'huh?' at the choral singing one. Always been partial to bass singers myself. And talk about petty...)

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  16. Just wanted to add, that number 24 overlooks care work, which is very physically demanding, and almost exclusively done by women (and very badly paid!)

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  17. Nat this is great - i can't believe that list! it's horrific!

    I just wanted to make one point about 12 re alimony - assuming from that term this is a USA list as other commenters have surmised, but it is a myth that really pisses me off. The real issue to me, the real social crime is the fact that so many men don't pay a penny towards their children after they and their partner split up - i think i read once that £4billion of unpaid child support exists and now the tories are making women pay a fee to access the service that track down fathers who don't contribute.

    MRAs pretend the issue is Heather Mills and her £25mill or whatever - it isn't. So it isn't just a question of loss of earnings, but about how so many men don't support their children after a break up.

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  18. Whilst some of the reasons you provide do a good job of explaining why these things are the way they are, I think you missed the purpose of the Privilege checklist. These lists simply serve to display double standards, not to provide reasons, excuses or speculations as to why those inconsistencies exist in the first place, nor to accuse people for such inconsistencies. Such was the purpose of the original male privilege list, which specifically points out that it doesn't automatically blame anyone for the imbalances (noting that they can be caused by male activity, or by societal pressures, or even other females who in turn were coerced by societal pressures). I noticed some factual flaws in some of your disputes, but I can't be bothered to go into them, because they aren't my real concern.

    The bigger complaint is that you seem to outright deny that you have ANY privileges over "white, straight, cis, able-bodied, neurotypical western men". That is a bold statement to make. Even the original male privilege check-list acknowledges that women have some privileges over men. Whilst most people immediately recognise that white, straight, cis, able-bodied, neurotypical western men have far more privileges than any other demographic, that does not prevent other demographics (in this case women) to have some, however fewer, privileges over men. It is disappointing that you acknowledge you have many privileges over other groups, only to then claim outright that women have no privileges over men.

    I'm not so keen on silencing terminology (the many labels for silencing types ironically tend to be used to dismiss or silence criticisms out of hand), but many of your responses have a "suck it up and deal" or a "s'plaining" tone to them. Also, you of all people should be well aware that you can't simply disregard a problem just because there are worse injustices out there. Take point 4, in which you basically discount the priviledge of women getting off of a sinking ship first, by alluding to rape culture. Of course the rape culture is a far bigger injustice than women getting the first seats on lifeboats (even in life or death situations). That doesn't change the fact that women get the first seats on the life boats, and that there is an obvious female privilege here. So don't start comparing the two, trying to use the existance of one privilege to counter out the other.

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  19. Clifford -

    The things that are on this list that are supposedly double standards actually harm everyone - the standards (as you call them) may be different, the shitty outcome is the same (or worse for women - oh yay, I get in free to a club so men can treat me like meat because they shelled out a couple of quid. I am so fucking privileged.)

    Do women have any outright privileges over men that don't hurt them too (as male privileges don't hurt men)? I'm struggling to think of any, since I just went through... this whole list.

    It's not about 'sucking up and dealing', it's about 'Hey! Patriarchy's fucking shit and it gives us all shit to complain about! Let's smash the fucker!' - allow me to quote myself:

    "Really, the best thing to do would be for people to see where we're *all* being fucked over, and work together to change it".

    On a final note, do you have any example of 'women and children first' that I can compare that isn't a maritime disaster that happened 100 years ago? Do you want me to go into detail about why this happened?

    Everyone agrees, in cases of disaster, children go first. But then we'd be stuck with boats full of children lost at sea, with no one to look after them. So what do we do? Send their primary caregivers to look after them (and to at least attempt to stop them being orphaned). Who are primary caregivers? Mothers, usually. Women are also seen as less able to physically run towards the lifeboats or be able to deal with the scrum to get on them. Let's completely ignore the fact that 100 years ago most women weren't taught swim because it was a 'manly' pursuit and also, they were wearing 20lbs of clothes and undergarments. You talk about me not comparing something that statistically, will affect what, 0.00001% of people with something that affects 51% of people? How about the author of this checklist doesn't use an example that affects 0.00001% of people to denigrate the experiences of 51% of people? Also, how about instead of 'women and children first', we actually just provide enough lifeboats for everyone and practice lifeboat drills on ships? OH WAIT WE ALREADY DO THAT BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT WE DO NOW BECAUSE WE DON'T LIVE 100 YEARS AGO.

    You see all the reasons I just gave? You know what they have in common? NOBODY FUCKING WINS.

    Patriarchy. Smash it. It's the only solution.

    (By the way, when you accuse me of "s'plaining", you might want to go see what your pot's screaming at your kettle. Just a suggestion.)

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  20. Conveniently(?), there was a serious maritime disaster just last week with the Costa Concordia. One of the many questions raised was whether there was a "women and children first" attitude: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16576289. In summary, it is certainly possible that the attitude still exists, though it has sort of extended to "most vulnerable first, most hardly last" for the sake of disabled or elderly people. A well managed, modern day ship doesn't typically allow for the "women and children" situation by providing enough lifeboats and an orderly proceedure for all passengers, but in a situation where there is a lack of lifeboats, it is not that unlikely that the old "woman and children" mentality would still occur.

    I think this is a fairly obvious case of women having what you call an "outright privilege". Not having to be the last off a sinking ship, and not dying is a huge privilege. You provide perfectly reasonable explanations as to why women are traditionally let off the ship first, and even brought up some cases where the situation occurs because of certain male privileges (being permitted to swim etc.). But regardless of all sensible reasons for why it happens, IT IS STILL A PRIVILEGE ALL THE SAME. In another example, men have the privilege of finding it easier to get labour jobs. There is a sound reason for that too: men are typically stronger, and many labour jobs require a degree of strength lacked by most women. Despite that sound reasoning though, it is still undeniably an example of male privilege. These privilege lists aren't interested in if there is a logical reason for a privilege to exist, they just serve to point out the privileges of those who are ignorant of them.

    "How about the author of this checklist doesn't use an example that affects 0.00001% of people to denigrate the experiences of 51% of people?"

    Why not? the list is simply there to point out privileges. It doesn't disclude them, just because that privilege comes up less often. Besides, the list provides far more common cases. You denied those too, for various reasons.

    "(By the way, when you accuse me of "s'plaining", you might want to go see what your pot's screaming at your kettle. Just a suggestion.)"

    I recall you once complaining about how critics would play the hypocrisy card, so it is interesting that you end your post with an accusation of hypocrisy. It's like some kind of Inception style, hypocrite within a hypocrite thing. What is also interesting is how familiar this discussion is, albeit with the roles reversed. Typically, you would point out a case of male privilege, some guy denies that privilege, tries to rationalise the privilege, and ends by trying to turn the tables and claim you're the sexist one. This has played out in a similar fashion.

    Much of your apparent frustration at the list is probably similar to what guys feel when they sees the male privilege checklist. Though the temptation is to dive in and challenge the claims, that doesn't really help the situation, or alleviate the double standards.

    "Really, the best thing to do would be for people to see where we're *all* being fucked over, and work together to change it".

    Couldn't agree more. But let's not start the change with denial. It stands to reason that in a society as complex as ours, there are bound to be ways in which any group as some privileges over others, and though the proportion of those advantages varies from group to group, it helps no one by being myopic about the existance of some of them. your inability to find cases of female "outright privilege" suggests a lack of self-awareness, rather than a lack of privileges, much like how many men are unaware of how many privileges they have. So I don't think it is reasonable for you to deny those privileges when they are pointed out.

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  21. Clifford - With regards to the whole lifeboat thing - I think you pretty much answered yourself when you say "it has sort of extended to "most vulnerable first, most hardly last" for the sake of disabled or elderly people. A well managed, modern day ship doesn't typically allow for the "women and children" situation by providing enough lifeboats and an orderly proceedure for all passengers'. We're not going to agree on this.

    My problem with the list isn't that I'm unwilling to accept female 'privileges', it's that the list is a) wholly comprised to denigrate the need for feminism and b) a crock of shit. The whole point of the MRM is to oppose feminism and any need for it. Factually incorrect hyperbole is their favourite tool, so it does need taking down and exposing for the bollocks it is.

    You seem to have picked up on one of the weakest points on the whole list (given that most people won't even go on a ship in their lives, let alone be in the situation where their life is at risk) and... whatever. Like I said, we won't agree. I've said all I have to say on the matter.

    There is one thing about your comment I will say though - I didn't accuse you of hypocrisy to deflect attention from your comment or anything you had to say, I mentioned it for two reasons:

    1) You straight-up accused me of hypocrisy in the first comment by saying I was 'S'plaining' - which, if you're using that word, you damn well know the way it's used to silence women all the freaking time.
    2) I find your tone incredibly fucking patronising. I'm not four years old, I'm twenty-two. If you can't work out why I think that, don't comment on my blog any more. (This isn't silencing, you can set up your own damn blog and patronise all the women you want on there.)

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  22. I'm sorry If I was patronising you in my posts. No patronisation was intended, but I'll try to be more careful in future.

    I picked the ship as the sole example because it was, I felt, the most obvious case of you dismissing the privilege. In hindsight, I could have used point 47, seeing as how that is far more common issue in society and you counter it with the same sort of reasoning (namely, that this male issue can be dismissed because worse issues, like marital rape, exist for females.)

    As for the intentions of the list, I don't know if it was made to denegrate anyone else's cause. I doubt some of the points myself, but some seem as clear as day. Male and female lists should be able to co-exist without one being used to denegrate or deny the other. Many of the privileges are interconnected between the two, so I find it interesting to look at how one privilege on one side may be a consequence of one on the other. That said, I agree that the MRM is largely made up of chauvinistic ignoramuses who are simply recoiling at the thought of having their male privileges revoked. "Masculinism" isn't of much interest to me anyway, and though I consider the philosophy to have some good points, I find feminist and minority issues are far more pressing.

    "You straight-up accused me of hypocrisy in the first comment by saying I was 'S'plaining' - which, if you're using that word, you damn well know the way it's used to silence women all the freaking time."
    Yes, I know. As someone familiar with the methods of silencing, you should be careful not to partake in them either.

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  23. Re: Point 47 - "When it comes to sex, I'm not required to maintain an erection for a long time or have high levels of stamina; in fact, it is I who sets the bar and can humilliate men for underperforming."

    Don't worry, there are plenty of things a man can (and frequently will) blame if he is unsatisfied, or if the woman dares to question his sexual performance. "It's not my fault, she's frigid." "She had a vagina like a wizard's sleeve". "It was like chucking a sausage up the M6". "Her tits were really saggy". Who hasn't heard a man come out with one of those before?

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  24. "it is I who sets the bar and can humilliate men for underperforming"

    The operative word being 'can,' as in 'is able to.' Is there any evidence that women do this in significant numbers, or is the writer projecting his own sense of humiliation?

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  25. I suspect the latter.

    I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but I personally wouldn't, and don't know anyone who would humiliate a person they liked enough to get naked with if, say, he'd had a few too many pints or was a bit stressed.

    Then again, I'm not a bastard.

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  26. Slightly off-topic:

    "I know the plural of anecdote is not data"

    When researching social attitudes and the like, I wonder if that's strictly true?

    Imagine we decided to test whether women found to be the party at fault in road accidents had their bad driving blamed on their gender more often than men in the same circumstances. All we could do would be collect a significant number of anecdotes from equal numbers of each, and compare totals.

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  27. I suppose what you're saying is strictly true, but there is a difference between me talking about my friends (who are all going to share similar beliefs and values to me and won't be representative of the community as a whole) and a rigorous series of interviews which use stratified sampling, don't ask leading questions and can identify broad underlying trends.

    Also the psych geek in me would like to posit an experiment where, say, 300 participants are shown 50 videos of car accidents (25 caused by female motorists, 25 by male) and asked to identify the cause of the issue, then look at the use of language for accidents caused by each gender to see if that belies certain attitudes :)

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  28. The geek in me approves this plan. I seem to remember that similar studies led to orchestral hopefuls being auditioned behind a screen.

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