Friday, September 26, 2008

The male privilege checklist

By Chloe Angyal

The Male Privilege Checklist is based on an idea by Wellesley College Professor Peggy McIntosh that the greatest privilege of all is to be unaware of one’s privilege.

This list is a short compilation of the many privileges enjoyed by men in America and most western cultures.
  1. My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female applicants, are probably skewed in my favour. The more prestigious the job, the more the odds are skewed.
  2. I can be confident that my coworkers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that might be true.
  3. I am far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female coworkers are.
  4. If I choose not to have children, my masculinity will not be called into question.
  5. My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more this is true.
  6. If I am promiscuous, there is no chance that I will be seriously labelled a “slut”.
  7. I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability or my gender conformity.
  8. The grooming regimen expected of me is relatively cheap and consumes little time.
  9. My ability to make important decisions and my ability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.
  10. If I fail in my job or career, I can fee sure this won’t be seen as a black mark against my entire sex’s capabilities.
  11. I will never be expected to change my name upon marriage or questioned if I don’t change my name.
  12. The decision to hire me will never be based on the assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon.
  13. Every major religion in the world is led primarily by people of my own sex. Even God, in most major religions, is pictured as male.
  14. If I have children with a wife or girlfriend, chances are she’ll do most of the childrearing, and in particular the most dirty, repetitive and unrewarding parts of childrearing.
  15. Violence against me is called a “crime” and is a general social concern. Violence that happens to most women is usually called “domestic violence” or “date rape” and is seen as a special interest issue.
  16. I have the privilege of being unaware of my male privilege.

This list is excerpted from an article by Barry Deutsch in Voice Male, the magazine of the Men’s Resource Center for Change.


At October 2, 2008 at 12:52 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is a fantastic list, and it's always great to have concrete means of identifying privilege, but I would disagree rather strongly with the last part of #7: "I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability or my gender conformity. I think guys do have to worry about that, particularly if their wardrobe includes items that may be considered 'gay' or effeminate (like pink, for example).

At October 28, 2008 at 3:32 AM , Anonymous Stephanie said...

more lists, and thinking about female privilege as well:


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