THE MALE PRIVILEGE CHECKLIST
Men are far more privileged in society than women are. This is not to say that men do not have to work hard or are completely exempt from hardship and suffering, “in the end, however, it is men and not women who make the most money; men and not women who dominate the government and the corporate boards; men and not women who dominate virtually all of the most powerful positions of society. And it is women and not men who suffer the most from intimate violence and rape; who are the most likely to be poor; who are, on the whole, given the short end of patriarchy’s stick” (pg. 536).
Some of the privileges that men are given include the odds of being hired for a job being raised over a woman; men are praised more for work that was done equally as well by a woman; men are not scrutinized for their impact when it comes to raising their children; men aren’t judged as much for sleeping around as women are; looks are less important for a man; men are not expected to sacrifice their career for their children. These are just to list a few of the privileges and to put it all more into perspective the biggest privilege that men have is the ability to be unaware of their privileges as a man.
I had never before realized the privileges that I personally have as a man in society; however, after having those privileges outlined I realized how many there really are and that I, just as the author suggests, am completely unaware of the privileges that I am given.
MEDIA PORTRAYALS OF MEN AND MASCULINITY
The media is constantly reinforcing our ideas of what it means to be a man, and male stereotypes. These stereotypes include:
- The Joker– “a negative consequence of this stereotype is the assumption that boys and men should not be serious or emotional” (pg. 539). One example of the joker stereotype that I have seen on television is the character Dean Winchester, from the CW series Supernatural. Dean is constantly making jokes and never seems to take anything as seriously as it should be, and therefore perfectly fits the role of the joker.
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- The Big Shot– “This stereotype suggests that a real man must be economically powerful and socially successful” (pg. 539). This stereotype can be seen in the character of Benjamin Barry from How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. He is a big-time magazine writer who is attempting to gain an even better position, and in the movie this is portrayed as part of what makes him appealing to women.
- The Action Hero– “[he] is strong, but not necessarily silent. He is often angry. Above all, he is aggressive in the extreme and, increasingly over the past several decades, he engages in violent behavior” (pg. 539). An example of this sterotype in the media is Clark Kent, from the CW series Smallville. Clark is the television representation of superman, and he is extremely quiet but constantly engages in violent acts, usually to prevent crime and protect others, and is very prone to aggression.
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LOOKING FOR MY PRINCE CHARMING
Every woman looks for certain aspects in a man that they feel they would like to have as a future spouse. These qualities and characteristics are all derived from how a woman is raised as well as her cultural and religious background. This means that for many women the classic stereotypical types of men are what they look for. In America it is common for women to go after the big shot, because of the lifestyle that many Americans wish to have that requires large amounts of money to be maintained. In other cultures there are different stereotypes that women are more likely to look for.