Apparently, the phrase “women are privileged too” is a search term that drove traffic to this blog.
To help with that, should anyone else want to arrive here via the same route, here is a comprehensive list of female privileges.
- Having grow a new life inside you
- Taking your clothes off without being thought to be a pervert (not a personal experience)
- Being able to bitch about the other gender wanting to help you.
- Being able to make a conscious choice to be inconsistent on the above point, because the other side is afraid.
- Getting a free meal a lot more often than man.
- Being able to manipulate men into giving you things (and I want to stress that that ability, not the pattern, is there)
- Being able to do a lot of sports without being thought of as a jock.
- Being able to talk about your feelings with same-sex friends without having the asshole around complaining that’s gay.
- Not getting the constant bullshittery of the compensating-for-small-penis argument.
- Your gay sex is popular.
- Having A LOT more freedom to experiment sexually without half of your family having a heart attack.
- Always having the ability to give the middle finger to a possible career for having a family without having to answer 20 years of questions.
Okay… so they’re not really female privileges. They’re not really anything of the kind in the slightly. And the “your gay sex is popular” one just cracks me up with how spectacularly terribly it misses the entire point.
Full disclosure, now: This list was actually culled from something dropped on a RationalWiki discussion page by a user who shall remain nameless. Eyes were rolled at the time, and I feel I should just copy/paste it just to keep it on hand because I think it comes in useful for illustrating terrible misconceptions of social privileges. These misconceptions of privilege are ingrained in people and they seem to crop up frequently. People get tired of hearing the dreaded p-word (I know I do on occasion) but it’s no excuse for typing out crap like this without any hint of irony.
Social privileges are almost all about what you don’t experience rather than what you do experience – a lack of rape threats, a lack of discrimination over having a perceived “ethnic” name, or a lack of having your right to marry actively oppressed and so on and so forth. And they apply universally at a systematic, social level, not on individual cases. So, for example, a wealthy woman like – to pull an example not-at-all at random – Phyllis Schlafly may indeed have advantages over poverty stricken homeless men, but it’s a class-based privilege and a wealth-based privilege, nothing to do with her being a woman (and this perhaps is what causes Phyllis Schlafly to hold some of the most detestable opinions about women possible).
It’s something people need to get into their head before they ever criticise the p-word or bring up counter-examples: we use privilege as an expression of class-based and on-average experiences, and individual examples don’t invalidate the overall trend.
Ideas like “women get more free meals than men” is just… well, that’s just being a whiny little asswipe for no other reason than being a whiny little asswipe. Ideas like “your gay sex is popular” and “you can experiment with your sexuality” have got nothing to do with supposed female privilege and everything to do with excusing latent homophobic tendencies in society. And the “compensating-for-small-penis argument” is all about the male power fantasy that penis size equals power – I don’t really think that has anything to do with women at all.
So, the idea that “women are privileged too” misses the mark a lot. It really ignores what is going on underneath all this on a social level.
If anyone can find a female privilege that doesn’t straw man the concept, miss the point, or can’t be ultimately attributed to a patriarchal (the other p-word) society, I’d be very interested in taking note of it.