Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Male Privilege

There's a pretty great article on Everyday Feminism right now that was written by a trans man who noticed a few interesting differences in how he was treated after he transitioned.

These 25 Examples of Male Privilege from a Trans Guy’s Perspective Really Prove the Point

I don't know anything about James St. James other than that he's a trans man, but keep in mind that there are a number of additional types of oppression that would probably change the nature of many or most of these items.

That being said, this is a really awesome thing that now exists in the world. Every one of those 25 items rings true to me as a woman. It makes me want to do some experimentation of my own. It's easy to pose as a man online. I'd love to see how differently I'm treated in certain online spaces with classically "feminine" user names as opposed to classically "masculine" user names.

If the items on this list surprise you at all, whether you're a man or a woman, I'd encourage you to start paying attention in everyday life. After I started paying attention, it kind of shocked me how stark the differences between how men are treated in conversation and how women are treated. In a mixed group of men and women, especially in groups of middle aged adults, I see men rapid-fire conversing and interrupting each other all the time at such a pace that women can't get a word in. You know why? Because women are actually taught that interrupting someone is rude and that you should wait until the other person is done.

Actually, it's more than that. Men and women are taught that it's rude when women interrupt people. Have you ever tried interrupting men as a woman? I had a job once that I'd already decided I was going to quit soon, and I had developed contempt for a male coworker who had been treating me with contempt - acting like I was ignorant of very simple things related to my job while clearly he was incredibly ignorant himself, having little to no experience in his own position.

So I made a point to interrupt him the moment he started over-explaining something I already knew about to finish his thought for him so we could move on. The first couple times, his reaction was surprise and confusion. This soon moved on to clear, pronounced irritation. It was lovely.

If you're a man and you think you would enjoy fucking with people in a way that would also be feminist ally work, consider using this list as inspiration. Start telling random men to smile. Start policing what they eat and how they dress. Act offended when men interrupt you and interrupt other men who have interrupted women to say, in so many words, "shut up and let Jenny talk." Laugh your ass off when women are sarcastic, but when men are sarcastic, tell them to calm down.

I'm giving you license to use your male privilege to fuck with people. Run wild.

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