Female Privilege

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e9/Boldini_-_Ava_Lister%2C_Baroness_Ribblesdale_%28The_Black_Sash%29.jpgSites talking of female privilege are terribly whiny. Is there any merit in the concept at all?

I looked at Men’s Resistance, and the occasionally valuable Thought Catalog. They seemed ridiculous. TC: 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. Oh, brilliant. And male privilege is not needing to cross the street. Go figure. This is not the only one which is a corollary of male privilege, and I know which I would rather have.

2. Female privilege is being able to approach someone and ask them out without being labeled “creepy.” And male privilege is being able to approach someone and ask them out without being labelled a slut, unfeminine, or desperate. You are creepy if you are out of your league.

3 is where it gets really nasty. 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. Well, sex is a bigger deal for women than men. It depends how drunk, doesn’t it? If she is unable to consent, then don’t. Given the level of evidence necessary to prove rape, convictions for drunken sex where the woman was too drunk to consent are rare.

6. Female privilege is being able to decide not to have a child. Mmm. So he says the birth control is the woman’s problem, then objects to the result. Wear a condom!

OK, enough. I read this and feel disgust and contempt. Is there anything in these lists I could agree? Just a grain of truth among the exaggeration, victim blaming and stupidity?

8. Female privilege is never being told to “take it like a man” or “man up.” Indeed. I was told “Big boys don’t cry” aged 4. My escape from that has been transition, which is further than most men want to go. Acceptable male roles are Procrustean. They fit very few. But then, male privilege is not being called “bossy” as if that’s a bad thing. Assertive girls with leadership qualities get put down.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Boldini_-_Franca_Florio.jpg10. Women normally get custody of children in divorce. Yes. But this comes from traditional conceptions of women’s roles. OK, guys, you can have custody when women’s pay and promotion chances, and representation in Parliament, are equal. How’s that? This might be soon: 15, more women go to college.

Men’s Resistance, now. 7, Women don’t get conscripted. Actually, in Israel they do, though their term is two years rather than three for men. In a volunteer army with a high degree of technical training this may be seen as an advantage for men.

16. If I am a partner in crime with a man I will likely be charged with lesser crimes even though I committed the same crimes even if I was the ringleader. This is the basis of Dickens’ Mr Bumble the Beadle saying “The law is a ass- a idiot.” However rather than impose a strict rule, courts now consider evidence.

20. Males make up nearly 100% of workplace fatalities. Mmm. There are “men’s jobs” and “women’s jobs”, still: I tend to feel that the balance is against women- consider earnings. But, yes, this has bad consequences for men too.

But- 42. Women initiate the majority of domestic violence. This is not true, in Britain at least: 1.2m female and 800,000 male victims estimated by the British Crime Survey in 2010/11: physical assault figures were too low to be extrapolated.

70. Women’s loos are nicer. As a trans woman, I would agree; but a trans man told me he much preferred men’s loos.

Try harder, chaps.

59 thoughts on “Female Privilege

  1. Looks like you understand how annoying it is hearing feminist garbage today. You think male rights groups are bad? We have to deal with the same thing, but for women, and virtually all of society is on their side, and they’ve got tons of power. If you cared about true equality, you’d realize that any group that supports their gender, ethnicity, or race, are not in the game for equal rights. They’re fighting to have more rights than the other guy.


      • Agreed 100%

        We’re all equals. To treat people differently in the eyes of the law is inequality, the intentions are irrelevant. If you support one guy more than the other guy, you’re still fucking somebody over. There’s a very easy way to avoid that: Treat everybody equally, like you said.


    • Welcome, Libertarian Prick. Thank you for commenting. I may look at male privilege, and cis privilege too. The difference is that you think Government is responsible- Government need only treat everyone equally, and everything will be alright- but I think Society is responsible, how we respond to each other reinforces our ways of being together, which oppress certain groups. Sexism and homophobia exist. A woman ran in the Boston Marathon in 1967, and the stewards were extremely angry with her, trying physically to eject her: but why?


      • You’re talking about 1967. In 2012,2013,2014 plenty of men lost their jobs because they did things such as holding the door open for a woman. The man was nice enough to hold the door open, the women gets mad at the “misogyny” and goes to HR. Now the man is unemployed. A woman can go to HR and get a man fired for virtually any reason. A man had a girl in a bikini as his background for his computer, and a girl had a calendar of naked men. The woman gets the man fired for his inappropriate background, nothing is done for the woman. If a man looks at a woman’s ass at work, automatic firing and possible lawsuit. A woman can grab a mans ass and nothing will happen. Why?

        Yes, there’s sexism. It sucks, but it won’t go away. People are free to believe what they like and feel about other people how they choose. It becomes a problem when their beliefs start hurting the other people, like if in your example, instead of simply being angry, the men assaulted the woman because of their irrational anger.

        The governments job is to make sure nobody’s rights are being infringed upon. Other than that, nothing can be done. Any group that supports a gender is sexist themselves.

        (Exceptions being groups who fight for equal rights when they’re ACTUALLY oppressed, like women in Saudi Arabia)


      • Reread your post, the men tried physically ejecting her. My apologies, your example was perfect. But that sort of thing still does not happen today. Men and women are not equal. They’re equal in the sense that they’re entitled to the same rights, but a man is stronger than a woman, and a woman can give birth to a child, etc. some things are different for a reason. Example: should a man and woman who are both construction workers get paid the same if the man is expected to do the majority of the heavy lifting because he is a man?

        I don’t have an answer for that. But I feel like there are so many variables to consider.

        Don’t get me wrong. Women DO have it rough in many ways, as do men, but each gender has difficulties in different areas.

        A women will often be called a slut for having sex, even once, yet a man is praised for having sex many times (which fits the true definition of a slut, not that that should be frowned upon anyway).

        Women can’t wear exposing clothing many times because of the risk of getting raped. She will often be told it is her fault, when the only fault lays with the rapist.

        I know women have it very hard in many areas too. And that isn’t just. But to support the rights of one group over the other is not true equality. To forget about gender, race, religion, ethnicity, etc, is equality.


        • I don’t know that individuals can forget about gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality etc. In Britain, we are having a series of trials of powerful men alleged to have used their power to exploit women and children sexually. The trials result in not-guilty verdicts, mostly, because the allegations are around twenty years old. It is not long ago that men had all the power. Now it is more complex, but there are communities in America filled with Evangelical churches teaching Complementarianism.

          A man was sacked for holding a door open, you say. I don’t think it would be just that.


  2. You liked a blog post by that horrible man from something called Swindon. His exact words were:
    “I remember a few years ago you blogging that you were not a part of the 1% and that considered yourself (sic) part of 99% and yet you seem to have reinvented yourself.”
    Seriously? I don’t have to put up with that tomfoolery. http://swindong.wordpress.com/ is an idiot. A fool. I shall not stand for rubbish, not now or ever. That shall be my one great statement: no rubbish, thank you.


        • OK.

          What if, in rebellion against your privileged background because you are gay, you became egalitarian- you rebelled against all it stood for, not just the homophobia- and now, when the battle against homophobia is being won, in part thanks to you, you came to accept the rest of the privilege? You started calling people “uneducated imbeciles”?

          All that you are is good. The particule, a link to centuries of history, of achievement and oppression. You are a beautiful man (you worry about ageing? It only gets worse) witty, intelligent, educated, passionate, detached and intellectual, with a gift of writing in a foreign language which I find enviable as a native speaker and a beautiful force of character. And you have had advantages as well as difficulties. You will rub some people up the wrong way.

          When you are truly comfortable within your own skin, it is my feeling that you will be more tolerant of the argumentum ad lazarum, and other slights. (Or you may learn the crushing put-down, and leave a trail of corpses in your wake.)


          • I don’t like the injustice of the characterization. I satirize my own existence for what I think is a ‘good objective’.
            When that man mangles and misinterprets what I say, he’s tarnishing what I do and my intent.


  3. You sent me the first link before and it had me bristling. The second is no better. I don’t know who LP is but I find is comments ill-informed and offensive.

    In terms of crime, as you may well know, women usually receive more severe sentences than men for a similar offence. They are judged more harshly, because women are not meant to sin (ha!).

    My partner works in construction. He worked with a woman who was on the same pay (actually more pay as she got a £50 a week bonus for allegedly being a so-called charge hand) for doing the same job although she lacked qualifications. My gripe there is not about gender but about qualifications and experience. Not all construction work is about humping bricks.

    LP is talking rubbish, sorry Clare. Well named mind.


    • The concept of female privilege has merit, but needs better thought through.

      On sentencing, I would be surprised. For some years we have had “sentencing guidelines”, telling judges what they should take into account as aggravating or mitigating circumstances, reducing the judge’s discretion. They also have equality training and equality guidelines. I don’t know whether that works- people know what to say, but don’t necessarily feel differently, and act more subtly- but any allegation that judges punished women more harshly would need compelling evidence. And as Mr Bumble said, old rules were in favour of the wife.

      Have a look at his blog. Try the Agreement Challenge: what can you agree with, there? What can you admire about it?


      • No, I don’t agree with the concept of female privilege at all. Any unequal treatment is merely a result of patriarchial impositions (sorry bit jargony but you know what I mean).

        I’m talking years back, so maybe it has changed. But I’ve certainly read reports where there were stats about women receiving harsher sentences.

        Judge or magistrate or both?

        I did look at his blog before I wrote this. I left. I think that says it all. Apart from anything else I didn’t like the layout and theme. Another gay blogger uses a similar black background, but somehow it doesn’t get in my face the same way.

        But I was predisposed to dislike it anyway after reading his comments on here. I would get on as well with him as I would with bigot 😀

        Life is too short. I will read the blogs I like and fall out and make up with the people I like. The others can go and do whatever they want.


        • Sentencing guidelines apply to judges too.

          As the concept of trans privilege seems a complete contradiction in terms to me, I will let you off on female privilege. A challenge might be for the MRAs to come up with what they thought was the clearest example- but we even dispute about what we think are the most cogent arguments.

          Patriarchy oppresses men too. I prefer the word kyriarchy. I agree that men’s disadvantages come from patriarchy, but that does not stop them being disadvantages. To put it another way, feminism can be a fight for the freedom of all. LP might come back on that one, but I think he believes in a short cut: he would achieve freedom by reducing government, we agree we have to change society.


  4. You are right to pick apart some silly arguments. But sex roles are in flux right now; the confusion and hurt cut both ways.
    In our parent’s generation men were expected to take all the risk in relationships (chivalry) and women were expected to exercise prudence (i.e., avoid casual sex). The reward for the efforts of both parties was marriage and it’s benefits: sex, children, economic stability, honor, respect, etc. At least, that was the ideal. Sometimes it worked fine, sometimes it did not.
    Nowadays sex is a low economic and social (though not emotional) risk for both men and women. In marriage, however, all of the short term economic risk is on the man. Divorce is rarely in anyone’s long term interest, but it is generally in the woman’s short term interest: she gets the kids, the child support, government assistance, and a boyfriend’s apartment. The man gets to pay child support.
    The result is that men avoid marriage: the risks outweigh the benefits, and it is easier than ever to get laid. But a man with no intention of marrying has less motivation to become economically self-sufficient. He has no motive to practice the virtues of chivalry. Then women mope about how there are no good men out there, and have to lower their standards.
    Most young single women I know are jaded and cynical. Most young men I know have no ambition.
    It is easy to pick apart a man’s whining, but there is allot of misery out there.


    • Thank you for that.

      Women initiate two thirds of divorces, though that proportion is down from 1990. The woman is likely to get the children, and use of the matrimonial home until the youngest is 18. I think he is wrong about unreasonable behaviour though: most things can count as unreasonable behaviour, which is less divisive than an adultery allegation, and does not require the waiting period that desertion or separation do.

      And as you say, sometimes in the past marriage did not work out, and there was no possibility of leaving it. That changed because people got richer, and because more women worked and therefore could be more independent.


  5. Oooh, this is an interesting post. For comedy, I love this one: ‘Female privilege is being able to approach someone and ask them out without being labeled “creepy.”’This could only be uttered by a sad fool that doesn’t realise he’s creepy – it’s not gender specific.

    I wonder if this one can be true in some cases though: ‘Female privilege is being able to decide not to have a child.’ I certainly used that, refusing to have children for years when my partner was desperately wanting to be a father. But it’s only been a privilege in very recent years so I think we can wallow in it a bit.

    I read another post about these people somewhere that concluded if they cared about men they would be campaigning for things that matter to men that are brushed under the carpet – suicide rates, specific cancers etc, but of course it’s all just about attacking women.


    • I wonder what the motivation is.

      You know, too, what fun having a good whinge is. If you are the victim, then you are entitled to resent, and conscience binds you less. Working on prostate cancer would be too much like hard work. This is about liberation.


    • Welcome back.

      There is male privilege. The messages given to female children are different from those for male (or AMAB) children. Though it is unjustified for anyone to say to me, “You’re privileged, so you can fuck off”.


      • Hi Clare

        If we were to brainstorm the affiliations that make up “maleness” and “femaleness”, and then went about the task of applying “privilege” to these affiliations, would a patriarchal system of determinations emerge out of it?


        • Historically- no votes, no university, married women’s property law. Now, inequalities in earnings, violence against women, inequalities in parliamentary representation. Women tend to do the housework even if in full time work. Women tend to get custody of children.


          • The patriarchy of a surprisingly large contingent of extremely naive feminists, posits gender as an absolute system of determinations created by males to subjugate females, which presupposes the impossibility of female privilege in any situation or context. In reality gender roles are like the identity and relationship between bordering nations, they only have identity in the way they are related to eachother, thus there will always be historical divisive ways of perceiving one to be have advantage over the over.

            The instances you list as being current problems are not quite so simple and often are even manipulations


            • “If we bombed Afghanistan into the stoneage, that would be progress.”

              The person in the lifeboat. The woman wins every time. But- this is not a terribly common occurrence.

              Feminists take violence against women seriously, and if that is the thing they campaign about they have a right to do so. Do they stop anyone campaigning against violence against men?

              I hated you already. I thought- a transvestite man’s activist: maybe the TERFs have a point. Then I saw your video.


            • “Feminists take violence against women seriously, and if that is the thing they campaign about they have a right to do so.”

              I intellectually take issue with the brand of radical feminism which theorises gender as an absolutist hierarchy of determinations, intentionally imposed to oppress females.

              “I hated you already.”

              What would the conditions be so that you would not have come to hate me?


            • That you were someone else, is the answer to your question. That your thought-processes worked in a different way.

              I am not sure they need to believe in “intention”. We observe women steadily gaining rights, along with the majority of men- voting, education, etc. “Patriarchy” or Kyriarchy has not been intentionally created, and can be empowered or dismantled. As your video observed, “Women and children first” oppresses men- but I doubt I will ever need a lifeboat.


            • “That you were someone else, is the answer to your question. That your thought-processes worked in a different way.”

              I can’t imagine how it could be any other way, seeing that I am a guy who is extremely interested and enthusiastic in elucidating the nature of this “thing” that stimulates myself and many others, yet there is a politically motivated small contingent of detractors within the discourse, namely those for which the issues of dysphoria and identity are of particular importance.

              “I am not sure they need to believe in “intention”.”

              Regardless of it being theoretically rejected for decades (Judith Butler etc), there are still strong feminist contingents (even in academia) for which gender was created or effectively functions to systematically oppress women. For which the feminine is only feminine in subordination to the masculine etc


            • Why do you want to know? If you want to cross-dress, do; if you want to transition, do; have whatever operations or treatments you desire. Later, revert if you want to. I think if you want to know why, your theory of masochistic emasculation is a step backwards.

              The feminine could “effectively function” to oppress women, without any intention in its development.


            • “Why do you want to know?…. your theory of masochistic emasculation is a step backwards.”

              I know the answer, but I wanted you to articulate it. I am a guy that has articulated his fetish, whereas you want to hear of your preferred terms of transsexual affirmation. Whether MEF is a step forward or backwards is a matter of whether it represents what it sets out to.

              “The feminine could “effectively function” to oppress women, without any intention in its development.”

              Our cultural gender affiliations derive from the imperative to survive (male provider & protector, or female rearer of children), which in many ways is of course inhibiting to females when emerging out of such harsh conditions, the point is that it is a far cry from absolutist patriarchy theory/gender marxism. Gender can’t be reduced to anything, let alone inherent privilege.


            • “But you haven’t articulated anything of value”

              It depends on whether you consider an understanding of the fetish as being of value.

              “If you had, you could just be happy with it, rather than endlessly, tediously asserting it.”

              The fetish is a great source of fascination and I am excited to engage in theoretical discussion where ever I can find it.


            • I agree that an understanding would be of value, but what you say is not it. And you may find it endlessly fascinating and want to discuss it endlessly, but I am living my life, which means expressing myself female, not neuter.


            • “I agree that an understanding would be of value, but what you say is not it.”

              So what part of what I say is not it? Do you have an insight that may be helpful in understanding?

              “I am living my life, which means expressing myself female, not neuter.”

              You seem to be thinking that I am somehow at odds with this?


            • Wux, old fruit, imagine someone thinks Pride and Prejudice is a history, and the characters existed. Someone else says, no they didn’t. So she says, What part of it is not true? Is it that Mary was a better pianist than is reported?

              Have a care about the effect of what you say. I report to you that I am happier transitioned, but that the theory of autogynephilia paralysed me: I did not want to transition if I was not “really” transsexual. Your silly ideas create false doubts in people.

              Shut up, already!


            • “Have a care about the effect of what you say.”

              So suppression or to be told what you want to hear.

              “I report to you that I am happier transitioned”

              Good to hear.

              “I did not want to transition if I was not “really” transsexual.”

              So what is it to identify authentically as a gender? I know you are to smart to really think that there is an authentic way in which one identifies as a gender, let alone that there is a gender per se beyond the way the male-like and the female-like happens to be opposed. What you are getting at is the role of the fetish in subjects of dysphoria/trans identification, where of course there are many who are driven by the fantasy itself, but this is a different thing from sexuality providing (and not necessarily constraining) the psychological affiliations for which people can identify as a gender. Identify in a way which can fully justify transition and living as a female.

              “Your silly ideas create false doubts in people.”

              This reminds me of my earlier discussion on reddit with vancitygal, where regardless of my desire to understand and theorise the whole phenomenon, he/she wanted to suppress theorization in so far that it wouldn’t inhibit or complicate transition for the few that would ultimately benefit from it. Funny thing that, inhibiting the understanding of what is essentially a fetish and it’s adjunct psychological potentials, to an exclusionary discourse in the affirmation of the adjunct psychological potential affecting a small minority of fetishists.

              Again, please state that which you find silly? Do you have an insight that may be helpful in understanding?


  6. I am not quite saying “only tell me what I want to hear”.

    I don’t think anyone now considering M-F transition could say with certainty, “I am not MEF”. But if they gave a moment’s attention to your theory, they would be considering the wrong thing. I have better questions for them:

    Is this what you want, more than anything else?
    Are you prepared for all the effort, knowing that you may revert to presenting male later?

    My previous formulation was, “Will I be happier if I transition?” which misses the mark; I think these are better.

    Your theory tempts those people to try to predict the future. We have this idea that there is some born-that-way, natural, genetic or God-given transsexuality, which the psychiatrists can identify, and which if you are like that you will be happy, transitioned, and if you are not you will-


    I don’t think there is. This chap might imagine that no-one is that sort of “primary transsexual”. You make them consider the wrong question, so waste their time.

    One of my theories is that I am a sissy, a submissive, a male. I use it as one way of approaching the question “What will make me happy? How may I improve my life?” It is true for some purposes, not for others, and I would never dream of suggesting that anyone else was like that- unless she found the idea useful.


    • “I don’t think there is. This chap might imagine that no-one is that sort of “primary transsexual”. You make them consider the wrong question, so waste their time.”

      Whilst addressing MEF like the reddit user, who only seemed concerned by an understanding of the phenomenon in so far that it doesn’t inhibit/complicate things for the very small minority of fetishists who develop dysphoric feelings and may ultimately benefit from transition. The correct thing to do is to understand the phenomenon fully and not to mislead, especially in favour of one contingent at the expense of another. Which ultimately is to understand the fetish in it’s own terms as a common fetish and it’s psychological potentials. But in the case of those who develop severe dysphoric longings, the question is not whether I am a “male” or “female”, but rather what are the affiliations which constitute my self-identification/longings/dysphoria and would it truly make me happy to live as a female.


      • Why should what I say be at the expense of anyone? My psychiatrist’s theory was that those who were not genuinely gender dysphoric might consult him, but when they were faced with the reality, rather than the fantasy, of taking hormones or living female full time they stepped back. Most people only consulted him once.

        And, why should perfect understanding be a prerequisite for action? Understanding is a good thing, but I do lots of things without a perfect understanding of my motives or the causes leading to those actions, and much of what I might think were the reasons for action is rationalisation, anyway.


        • “Why should what I say be at the expense of anyone?”

          You do not want to suppress discussion and theorization in so far that are told what you want to hear?

          “My psychiatrist’s theory was that those who were not genuinely gender dysphoric might consult him, but when they were faced with the reality, rather than the fantasy, of taking hormones or living female full time they stepped back. Most people only consulted him once.”

          Usually I am interested in the distinction between desire directly mediated be sexual longings and feelings as a result of the internalization of (and not necessearily still constrained by) such.

          “And, why should perfect understanding be a prerequisite for action?”

          I guess this is equivalent to a patient wanting to know everything about their condition, even an obligation of informing of what they may not want to hear. What I am interested in is the theory.


          • Suppose that someone was persuaded by your theories to delay transition for a year, but that person eventually transitioned. Do you accept that there might be a single case when you had done such a person harm?

            How could arousal from cross-dressing cause gender dysphoria? The cause goes the other way. Do you not see how Occam’s razor applies? Among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be accepted.

            There are two theories.
            Gender dysphoria in gynephile AMABs
            causes erotic cross-dressing
            and eventually causes transition.

            erotic cross-dressing, with no theorised or explicable cause
            causes gender dysphoria (how could it? What about all those TVs who do not develop gender dysphoria?)
            which causes transition.

            Clearly, the first is far more likely.


            • “Clare: that is why I have deleted the rest of your rubbishy comment.”

              Rather it is easier to delete something rather than argue your case.

              “You want to stop transsexual people transitioning”

              As I said before, the relation of trans/dysphoric issues are of little concern to me, they are adjunctly related to the phenomenon in question, in other words the fetish. I agree that transition is for the people that would benefit from it and that there is a responsibility for people to be informed, in the same way when a person wants to know the risks of a medical procedure. What concerns me is theory, so here what makes things difficult is your lack of intellectual integrity.


            • I deleted it because you had said these things before, and I had answered them. As you admitted.

              As you analyse me- because I am a gynephile trans woman, you would apply your theory to me- I will analyse you. You are a trans woman, terrified of transition, who therefore seeks to persuade herself that transition is wrong, and cannot bear for there to be any contrary view, anywhere on the internet. That is why you push your silly “theory”.

              You have no clue about intellectual integrity. We seek different ends. For me, the far more important question is what should we do now, rather than how did we get here, what does practical good for trans women (and transvestites) not how might they be explained.


            • [Clare: the most tedious bits deleted. There was a lot of it.]

              As I have stated countless times before,

              [Clare: Then just stop. Why say it more than once?]

              the most we have to go from is the phenomenology of the fantasies and what can be disclosed by them.

              [Clare: no, we go on the successful transition of thousands of trans folk.

              Any comment of yours which adds nothing, henceforth will be deleted.


              Here’s a thought, Wuxy-babes. Why don’t you take three hundred words to explain your Great Masochistic Emasculation Fantasy theory to an imagined audience of people who have heard of transsexuality but haven’t really thought about it. Do it as a comment, and I promise not to edit it. Five hundred words if you can avoid the word “adjunct”.]


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