Alright. So some guy named Mark Saunders recently wrote an article on Thought Catalogue called “18 Things Females Seem to Not Understand(Because, Female Privilege). Now, considering that his bio on the website is “Yuppie living in Denver. Writes about men’s issues.” it’s pretty safe to assume that good ol’ Mark knows jack shit about the issues that effect women today and is instead the kind of troglodyte that scours the internet looking for opportunities to try and pass his misogyny off as something counter-cultural.
While I hate to give the article any more traffic than it deserves (and I’ll just copy over his list onto this post so you don’t have to check it out yourself), I thought it’d be nice to add a few comments, seeing as how Mark seems like the kind of fella who only listens to other men (because, you know, “female privilege.)
Here’s the list, in all it’s ugly glory, with some comments for our friend Mark to think over.
(Note: I am very aware of my position as a man writing this post. I do not intend, in any way, to speak for the women effected by these statistics and living in the world that created them. This is my own personal response to an internet article I find totally abhorrent. I also apologize for any failings in my own logic, here, and am open to feedback about how to refine my thoughts on this issue. )
1. Female privilege is being able to walk down the street at night without people crossing the street because they’re automatically afraid of you.
Yes, Mark, because there couldn’t be anything worse than people walking on the other side of the street. Except for, maybe, having to walk home every night in fear that the man walking towards you will brutally attack you. Never mind that 35% of women worldwide have reported experiencing violence by a partner or non-partner. Or that somewhere in America a woman is battered every fifteen seconds.
Must be tough having someone cross the street, though.
2. Female privilege is being able to approach someone and ask them out without being labeled “creepy.”
I don’t know how you’re approaching people, Mark, but if it’s being labeled as “creepy”, you might want to reconsider your tactics.
3. Female privilege is being able to get drunk and have sex without being considered a rapist. Female privilege is being able to engage in the same action as another person but be considered the innocent party by default.
Never mind that, according to The National College Women Sexual Victimization Study, somewhere between 1 and 4 or 1 and 5 women experience attempted or completed rape during their college years.
That’s compared to 3% for men, just so you know.
Oh, and are you really sure that they’re considered the “innocent” party? I think a brief look at the way our media blames women for their own sexual assault should cure you of some of those beliefs.
4. Female privilege is being able to turn on the TV and see yourself represented in a positive way. Female privilege is shows like King of Queensand Everybody Loves Raymond where women are portrayed as attractive, competent people while men are shown as ugly, lazy slobs.
Just to be clear, mark, those representation are usually made by men, not women. Because only 7% of directors, 13% of writers, and 20% of producers are female.
5. Female privilege is the idea that women and children should be the first rescued from any sort of emergency situation. Female privilege is saving yourself before you save others and not being viewed as a monster.
And male privilege is taking a complex and problematic social norm and diminishing it to a trite fact with no explanation and still getting it published on a popular website.
6. Female privilege is being able to decide not to have a child.
I don’t know if you’re aware, Mark, but the baby actually grows inside the female body. I imagine that means she should have a say in what she does with it. (Also: see above)
7. Female privilege is not having to support a child financially for 18 years when you didn’t want to have it in the first place.
Out of 12.2 million single parent families in 2012, more than 80% were headed by single mothers.
8. Female privilege is never being told to “take it like a man” or “man up.”
That’s not female privilege, mark, that’s the patriarchy negatively effecting men and enforcing disgusting and harmful ideologies on themselves. This was not a concept created by women, Mark, and the sooner we stop believing in bullshit concepts like “female privilege” the sooner we can get rid of harmful ideas like “being a man.”
9. Female privilege is knowing that people would take it as a gravely serious issue if someone raped you. Female privilege is being able to laugh at a “prison rape” joke.
No one should laugh at rape jokes, Mark. No one.
10. Female privilege is being able to divorce your spouse when your marriage is no longer working because you know you will most likely be granted custody of your children.
In 51 percent of custody cases, both parents agreed — on their own — that the mother should receive custody. That isn’t a privilege. That’s a decision.
11. Female privilege is being able to call the police in a domestic dispute knowing they will take your side. Female privilege is not having your gender work against where police are involved.
Do you think that has something to do with the fact that A University of Pennsylvania research study found that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to low-income, inner-city Philadelphia women between the ages of 15 to 44 - more common than automobile accidents, mugging and rapes combined?
12. Female privilege is being able to be caring or empathetic without people being surprised.
13. Female privilege is not having to take your career seriously because you can depend on marrying someone who makes more money than you do. Female privilege is being able to be a “stay at home mom” and not seem like a loser.
That is not a privilege, mark, that’s an enforced policy.
As of January 15, 2014 there are 23 female CEOs in the Fortune 500, 46 in the 1000, for a total of 4.6% in both the 500 and 1000.
Also, see 8.
14. Female privilege is being able to cry your way out of a speeding ticket.
I can see you’re really running out of ideas, here, Mark.
15. Female privilege is being favored by teachers in elementary, middle and high school. Female privilege is graduating high school more often, being accepted to more colleges, and generally being encouraged and supported along the way.
Or, you know, that’s women working hard against a system innately stacked against them and succeeding. After, you know, a couple hundred years of not even being allowed to attend school.
16. Female privilege being able to have an opinion without someone tell you you’re just “a butthurt fedora-wearing neckbeard who can’t get any.”
Mark, complaining about your personal problems and projecting them as a “privilege” of half the population is very, very flimsy logic. And if we’re talking from personal experience here, I can gladly say that the only people who ever used “not getting any” as an insult against me where other men.
17. Female privilege is being able to talk about sexism without appearing self-serving.
See 16. If someone thinks you’re self-serving for talking about sexism, it’s probably because that’s exactly what you’re being.
18. Female privilege is arrogantly believing that sexism only applies to women.
Sexism only applies to women, Mark. It applies to them in very diverse, complex ways. And it hurts us all, particularly when it manifests in ill-considered articles like this.