Seeing My Male Privilege
By Jonathan Castellanos
I’ve often thought how nice it must be to be white.
Popular, attractive, upper class: these are words I’ve come to associate with whiteness.
But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to privileges I gain from being male.
People are more aware of being underprivileged than overprivileged (we rarely even use the word). That’s because underprivileged people constantly run up against obstacles that make them aware of things that block them. Overprivileged people don’t experience that sort of thing. So overprivilege can feel like normal life.
So I decided to make a list of ways in which I am privileged by being male:
Men have many role models, which makes it easier for us to see ourselves as Presidents, Congressmen, CEOs…
Men aren’t passed up for jobs and promotions because the company worries that they might have children
Men are more likely to be hired and promoted
Men make more money — a dollar to a woman’s $.77
High school men are never sent home because their clothing is too revealing
Men are never shamed for having sex
Men don’t walk around constantly having to worry about being raped
When a woman is raped she is often disbelieved or even blamed for it, instead of the guy who raped her
Men don’t hear things like this:
- Quit being such a girl
- Women are fragile, so they can’t do it
This list could go on forever.
I would recommend that everyone think about how they might be privileged, whether by gender, race, class, sexual orientation, good looks…
… and think about how we might create a more equal and just society.
We all deserve to be treated equally and fairly.