Male Privilege (Participation)

Published September 28, 2014 by djlwsu

 30+ Examples of Male Privilege

Originally published on It’s Pronounced Metrosexual and cross-posted here with permission.

"Mount Dragmore" Comic

Following is a list of male privileges. If you are male (and a man), listed below are benefits that result from being born with that gender and sex.

If you identify as a man, there’s a good chance you’ve never thought about these things. Try and be more cognizant of these privileges in your daily life and you’ll understand how much work we have to do to make a society that is equitable to all people, regardless of their gender.

  1. If you have a bad day or are in a bad mood, people aren’t going to blame it on your sex
  2. You can be careless with your money and not have people blame it on your sex
  3. You can be a careless driver and not have people blame it on your sex
  4. You can be confident that your coworkers won’t assume you were hired because of your sex
  5. If you are never promoted, it isn’t because of your sex
  6. You can expect to be paid equitably for the work you do, and not paid less because of your sex
  7. If you are unable to succeed in your career, that won’t be seen as evidence against your sex in the workplace
  8. A decision to hire you won’t be based on whether or not the employer assumes you will be having children in the near future
  9. Work comfortably (or walk down a public street) without the fear of sexual harassment
  10. Walk alone at night without the fear of being raped or otherwise harmed
  11. Go on a date with a stranger without the fear of being raped
  12. Dress how you want and not worry it will be used as a defense if you are raped
  13. If you are straight, you are not likely to be abused by your partner, or to be told to continue living in an abusive household for your children
  14. You can decide not to have children and not have your masculinity questioned
  15. If you choose to have children, you will praised for caring for your children, instead of being expected to be the full-time caretaker
  16. Balance a career and a family without being called selfish for not staying at home (or being constantly pressured to stay at home)
  17. If you are straight and decide to have children with your partner, you can assume this will not affect your career
  18. If you rise to prominence in an organization/role, no one will assume it is because you slept your way to the top
  19. You can seek political office without having your sex be a part of your platform
  20. You can seek political office without fear of your relationship with your children, or who you hire to take care of them, being scrutinized by the press
  21. Most political representatives share your sex, particularly the higher-ups
  22. Your political officials fight for issues that pertain to your sex
  23. You can ask for the “person in charge” and will likely be greeted by a member of your sex
  24. As a child, you were able to find plenty of non-limiting, gender role stereotyped media to view
  25. You can not care about your appearance without worrying about about being criticized at work or in social situations
  26. You can spend time on your appearance without having people criticizing you for upholding unhealthy gender norms
  27. If you’re not conventionally attractive (or in shape), you don’t have to worry as much about that negatively affecting your potential
  28. You are not pressured by peers and society to be thin as much as the opposite sex
  29. You’re not expected to spend excessive amounts of money on grooming, style, and appearance to fit in, while making less money than the opposite sex
  30. Have promiscuous sex and be viewed positively for it
  31. You can go to a car dealership or mechanic and assume you’ll get a fair deal and not be taken advantage of
  32. Expressions and conventional language reflects your sex (e.g., mailman, “all men are created equal”)
  33. Every major religion in the world is led by individuals of your sex
  34. You can practice religion without subjugating yourself or thinking of yourself as less because of your sex
  35. You are less likely to be interrupted than members of the opposite sex
  36. Leave more examples in the comments below.

Sam Killermann is a Staff Writer for Everyday Feminism and the person behind It’s Pronounced Metrosexual, a comedy show and blog focused on issues of identity, stereotypes, and oppression. A social justice advocate and ally, Sam performs the show at colleges around the country and writes for the site when he is at home in Austin, TX. Follow on Twitter @Killermann

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2 comments on “Male Privilege (Participation)

  • While I do agree with quite a few of these examples, some just seem to be too must of a stretch to only affect women. 2, 14, 15, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 30, and 35 aren’t solely female issues, those examples are all two way streets and affect men just as much. I agree that assumptions made about women based on stereotypes are wrong but there are just as many stereotypes and assumptions made about men. To only discuss one side of the same coin isn’t doing justice.

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  • Hey Nolan,
    I started to agree with you that some of the privileges seem to be applicable to both sexes but its important I think to frame this with power in mind. Women historically and now are oppressed because of their gender. 35 talks about not being interrupted , for sure women can be in a meeting and not interrupted but men have the established power to do so.For example 1769 – Women Lose Autonomy in Marriage – ” Only the husband retained any legal rights once a woman entered into marriage.” The women here is not allowed to voice anything unless her husbands decide to .That Law and many other have created an institution where women are locked into oppression even after a law is overturned. Here is a video to go along with the power of speech.(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzL-vdQ3ObA)
    Separately, Many of these privileges made me think of Intelligence. In many occasions we give men the benefit of the doubt when its comes to comprehended certain subjects .(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP3cyRRAfX0 ). There are also two statistics I’d like to share that display male privilege in ways we don’t openly show as true but are .”Women occupy just 6.3 percent, or 10 out of 160 head chef positions at 15 prominent U.S. restaurant groups analyzed by Bloomberg. ” However the stereotype that all women cook is still alive. As well as the fact that many laws have forced women into domestic roles .( Muller v State of Oregon) Yet that above statistic is true.
    Number 12 and Number 10 have me think of a time this privilege effected my life. Being a woman my mom had the rule that all her daughters had to be with a guy friend when going out at night ( even if proven you are “stronger” than them) this rule literally limited my life where as my brother could go as he pleased with now warnings. Number 12 especially reminds me of a time when a friend and I were walking home at night. We seen guys are automatically thought harm. What we did next was put our hoodies on to hide our long hair and sagged our pants a little so that we would appear as guys!

    Lastly every privilege has the privilege of being unaware of that privilege.

    (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-06/women-everywhere-in-chang-colicchio-empires-but-no-head-chefs.html , Paragraph 2)

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