Imagine walking into a restaurant and being refused service because you have blonde hair. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, even though this is an extreme example of discrimination, behavior like this is still pervasive in our culture… even if no one wants to admit it.
And by now you’re probably thinking, “But look how far we’ve come! Women can vote, they are CEOs of companies, and we have equal rights!” True. However, the worst kind of discrimination is the kind that is covert… the kind you don’t even know exists.
For example, let’s say that your name is Jung-Soo Yi. You were born in America, but your parents are from Korea, hence, your foreign name. If you send in a resume for a job and never get an interview, how do you know someone on the other end didn’t see your resume and say to themselves, “I don’t want any foreigners working here!”
Origins of male privilege
We still live in a patriarchal society. In other words, men still have more power than women do. In fact, only about 3% of the CEOs of major companies are women. That means 97% are men! Whoa. Still think equality exists?
And what about sports? When was the last time that the whole world tuned in to watch the finals of the WNBA or women’s soccer? Ummm, never.
Why do men still dominate?
Now don’t get me wrong, there are some societies that did/do have a matriarchal system *women had the power*. But they are pretty rare.
The origins of male privilege go way back to the cave man days. How did humans know who had more power? Not by how much money they had. But rather, from the physical strength they possessed. Think about it. Anyone who has a physical advantage over another had ALL advantages back then. And to some extent, even now.
So, humans have just sort of transferred this physical advantage into other areas of society. Who makes more money, who gets more opportunities, who gets treated better, etc.
Examples of male privilege
Just like the unknown reason you might not get called for a job interview *invisible discrimination*, you probably don’t even notice male privilege around you. It’s so pervasive in our society that most people are blind to it. But to enlighten you, here are some common examples of male privilege.
#1 Men can be assertive, or even aggressive, and it’s fine. This is especially true in the workplace. If your boss or CEO yells and is direct and aggressive, it’s kind of normal *think Donald Trump*. But if a woman does the same thing, then she is considered a bitch.
#2 Men can sleep around and be a stud, but women who do the same are tramps. While this isn’t as true as it was decades ago, the ol’ double standard still exists. And don’t even pretend that it doesn’t!
#3 Men don’t need to change their name when they get married. Whether you know this or not, this tradition of women changing their names is because they used to be property of men. She was her father’s property until she got married, and the she was her husband’s property. Why can’t men change their names? If they do, it’s considered weird. That’s not fair.
#4 Most of us use masculine language. The “generic he” is how most people write and speak. In other words, they use masculine words to describe things *except for boats and cars, which is weird*. But if you don’t know the s*x of a dog, you usually call it “he.” Or a teddy bear is “he.” It’s just ingrained into us.
#5 Men can buy a car or get theirs repaired without fearing getting ripped off. They did a study regarding race, and it was proven that white people get a financial advantage when they buy cars because of “white privilege.” The same holds true for men over women. Sad, but true. And if you need some repairs, they may think that a blond-haired blue-eyed woman has no clue about cars, and thus, rip her off.
#6 When a man is a good dad, he gets praised for it. He allows his wife to go out for girls’ night out? Wow! What a great guy! He changes diapers? Whoa! Man of the year! But when women do that, it’s just “normal,” and they don’t get praised.
#7 It’s okay for men to be older and fatter. An older man is “distinguished,” but an older woman is just old. If a guy gains a beer gut, hey, no big deal. But if a woman gains 20 pounds after giving birth, it’s a tragedy! The beauty ideals for men and women are wildly different… and unfair.
#8 You can be a single as a 45-year-old man and not be considered weird. Nah, he’s just “independent” or “picky.” But if a woman of the same age isn’t married with children *or at least divorced… that means at least someone actually did marry her* then she’s a crazy cat lady. Fair? I think not! Who’s to say that all women want to get married and have children? But we get judged for it regardless of whether it’s by choice or not.
#9 Men are less likely to be a victim of a crime or abuse. When is the last time you heard of a man being raped? Exactly. And when have you ever heard of a woman in a relationship being the abuser? I’m sure it happens, but let’s face it – it’s usually the man who is the abuser.
#10 There are more male characters on TV and in the movies. Research has proven that. There are more men than women in the media, and they occupy more powerful roles *including the title roles*. Also, when men grow older in Hollywood, they don’t have problems getting roles like the women do.