A Brief Male Privilege Check-List (& Recent 'Passionate Justice' Podcasts)

    On Saturday's 'Passionate Justice' program I presented writer Barry Deutsch's sense of male privilege, based on Wellesley's Peggy Macintosh, her pieces about white-privilege first published in 1990. His full list may be seen at Democratic Underground. Here's an abbreviated list. Dr. McIntosh saw that whites here are “taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.” To make her point about these invisible systems, she wrote a list of invisible privileges from which whites benefit. She argued that men also tend to be unaware of their own privileges as men. 

     Here are some privileges I enjoy as a man. 

. My odds of being hired, when competing against women, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the better my odds.

. I can be confident that my co-workers won’t think I got my job because of my sex – even though that may be true. 

. If I’m never promoted, it’s not because of my sex.

. If I fail, it won’t be seen as a black mark against my sex’s abilities.

. I’m far less likely to face sexual harassment at work than my female co-workers. 

. If I do the same task as a woman and if the measurement’s at all subjective, chances are people will think I did a better job.

. If I’m a teen or adult, and if I can stay out of prison, my odds of being raped are relatively low. 

. On average, I’m not taught to fear walking alone after dark.

. If I choose not to have kids, my masculinity will not be questioned.

. If I have children but do not provide primary care for them, my masculinity will not be called into question.

. If I have kids and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I’m even marginally competent.

. If I have children and a career, no one will think I’m selfish for not staying at home.

. If I seek political office, my relationship with my children, or who I hire to take care of them, will probably not be scrutinized by the press.

. My elected representatives are mostly people of my own sex. The more prestigious and powerful the elected position, the more this is true.

. When I ask to see “the person in charge,” odds are I will face a person of my own sex. The higher-up in the organization the person is, the surer I can be.

. As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters.

 . If I’m careless with my financial affairs or my driving it won’t be attributed to my sex.

. I can speak in public to a large group without putting my sex on trial.

. Even if I sleep with a lot of women, there is no chance that I’ll be called a “slut”.

 . I do not have to worry about the message my wardrobe sends about my sexual availability.

 . I can be loud with no fear of being called a shrew, aggressive with no fear of being called a bitch.

. My ability to make important decisions and my capability in general will never be questioned depending on what time of the month it is.

. The decision to hire me will not be based on assumptions about whether or not I might choose to have a family sometime soon. 

. If I’m straight it’s incredibly unlikely that I’ll ever be beaten by a spouse or lover.

 . Sexual harassment on the street virtually never happens to me. I don't need to plot my movements through public space in order to avoid or lessen harassment.


     And while I've no doubt you could add items, most important is that I have the privilege of being pleasantly unaware of my male privilege.


New 'Passionate Justice' podcasts:   

(Matt Paust, Rachel Velamur, Daniel Rigney, Padraig Colman, Rodney Roe, Zanelle, John Guzlowski, Kosh, Lezlie Bishop, Ron Powell, Gina Ellis, Susan Milalic, L'Heure Bleu)

Views: 85

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on November 3, 2014 at 4:23am

Good Monday to all.

Comment by koshersalaami on November 3, 2014 at 6:20am
Excellent list
I've experienced the child care thing with my son
Comment by Ron Powell on November 3, 2014 at 9:29am
Place an asterisk next to the items that do not apply to black men, and we can argue/discuss/debate the remaining three or four....
Comment by JMac1949 Today on November 3, 2014 at 10:00am

R&L Some of these brought a grin to my face... Perhaps the most insidious privilege of being a white male is the privilege to be "pleasantly unaware" of that privilege. My wife never let me get away with that one. ;-)

Comment by Arthur James on November 3, 2014 at 11:08am



I go read non-deleted blogger

natatehay. He sure has had 

some low-blow sad events.

I go view to lear & learn

something ` bout fake '

orgasmic ` shudders '

and learn to ` fake '

a orgasm. Folk do

fake sex too? gosh?

I had no idea. I try?

We get sex teacher,

and learn how to

fein sensual tryst?

I dream a ` Mid 

Fall Nightmare '

and go read @


Salon. Then, i

hope to view a

mulard? a duck.

and hear quacks.


I was a ` House

Parent - 1970's

post Viet ` Nam.

I could not get a

job as a ` apple 

picker in ` 70's '

and migrants

seemed to get

all the great

rural jobs.


viewed the

70's media



Home Returning

War Veterans might

be ` Maniacal snipers '

who ` Sit in Apple Trees,

and ` Shoot Migrants '

or? ` The 1,000 mile '

trauma stare naturally

scared CEO's? who know?


I applied for a Goodwill gig.

letter read. surly, author James.

we selected a more cute CEO in

lie of you. Thunks for yurt USA

war trauma. No wear salad on

your bib overalls, or bring your

son who has pooper pants. no

wear green Welch kilt to any

more job interviews or CEO

call ` 9-11 ' and your lawyer.


it visit Indian Spring Refuge.

at 64- acre lake the anglers

never shoot at pickup folk.


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