Check Yo’ Male Privilege

I love this.

It’s a male privilege checklist for heteronormative males (straight men) but has valid points for all. The checklist is to bring awareness to men, how sexist behavior can freak out the women that they are attempting to hit on, and how they can act respectfully instead of  acting like a total creeper.

I found this on a livejournal post I came across on the web.

For Teh Menz
An unfortunate aspect of the patriarchy is that men are brought up to view sexual harassment as natural and acceptable. Well, it’s not. And female feminists know and male feminists know it. But…male feminists may need some help. Just what does “Check your male privilege!” mean? After all, an unfortunate aspect of privilege is that the privileged are blind to it.

A Feminist Man’s Guide To Interacting With Women in Public

You – general you – are in a public sphere. You spot a women you view as attractive.

Male Privilege Check #1 – The Blatantly Unacceptable: Do not holler. Do not catcall nor honk. Do not gawk or leer and stare. It’s creepy and unnerving. Be discrete. When speaking to her, look her in the eyes. No, not the breasts. The eyes! The eyes!

Male Privilege Check #2 – Your Sense of Entitlement: There are things that you need to be considering internally. Is she already in a monogamous relationship with someone? Does she even like men? Is she looking to have someone flirt with her?

Male Privilege Check #3 – Be Aware of Your Environment: Is it twilight? Night? Are you in the city? The suburbs? Was there any kind of gendered crime committed in the area recently? Is she with friends? Alone?

Male Privilege Check #4 – Greetings: Begin with a “Hello!” or “Hi!” Introduce yourself. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” and “I like your shirt.” are acceptable comments. “Nice tits!” is not.

Male Privilege Check #5 – Her Reaction: Be particularly aware of how she responds. Does she smile nervously? Begin looking around to see if there are other people in the vicinity? Start mentally plotting her escape? Glare at you? Curse you out? Reach for her cell phone? Her can of mace? A big stick?

Male Privilege Check #6 – Exit Strategy: If she exhibits any of the above, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THERE. Do not attempt to guilt her into continuing the conversation. Women are socialized not to create a scene. Do not call her a “bitch”, “slut”, nor “whore”. Do not chase after her. Do not laugh. Politely smile, wish her a nice day, and LEAVE.

Male Privilege Check #7 – Male Guilt: Most importantly, keep in mind what is important. You may be a perfectly decent guy, a feminist, and intended no harm. She may curse you out or go home and rant about you to friends. Deal with it. It is more important for her to be as non-threatened as possible than for her to understand that you have good intentions. It’s not about you. Women are also socialized to give you the benefit of the doubt. There’s no need to plead your case.

All snark is snark between friends and fellow feminists. Hope this helps someone.

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5 responses to “Check Yo’ Male Privilege

  1. This is AWESOME. Lordy, I wish the young men I dealt with as a young woman had read something like this.

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Justin Mathews

    Is titling this “Check ‘Yo Male Privilege” any different from the white guy Rasta’s dreads? Approriating “ebonics” (your term) to enhance your checklist for the heteronormative just lays bare the hypocrisy of criticizing people you don’t know based on what you think you know about them academically.

    Indeed, the patriarchy sucks — but that doesn’t mean radical feminism should, in return, suck. Reality is always so much more complex than a couple radical college classes make it look, isn’t it? White people don’t see black culture as a commodity because white people are ‘devils,’ they see it as a commodity because capitalism, simmering prejudice, and every company from RCA’s “Race Record division” all the way up to BET have colluded to make sure there’s money in that commodity. So, as fucked up as it can be, you’re asking the average “white boy” to be above signifying via today’s relevant consumer signs when those things are “black” — but don’t tell a young black kid to stop wearing skinny jeans.

    Which brings me to straight men. What feminism does best is to wake up people who feel disenfranchised and explain that there is a system in place which is responsible for the feeling.

    But to argue that straight men are responsible for that feeling because of their “heteronormativity” misses the most insidious part of the patriarchy — that it is a description, not an organized system. “Patriarchy” describes the way men and women interact in Western, capitalist society — it describes our economic, sexual, political contact in gendered terms, namely, male terms.

    As you know “male” is a gender, not a sex, and thusly for every straight man out there perpetuating the patriarchy there is also a woman, straight or LGBTQ, doing the SAME DAMN THING. Sometimes from the point of view of a “radical feminist,” which is particularly hurtful, because you guys imply that you know better.

    This is why, in my view, demonizing the “white boy” and “straight man” is counter-productive. “Sex and the City” reinforces the patriarchy and is blatantly misandrist (and anti-Jazz musician, but I won’t get into that.)
    In fact, I think much consumer culture lumped into the women’s ghetto (Oprah, Lifetime, etc) suffers from the same problem.

    It’s capital that’s the problem, and so I think the solution is finding a fairer way to distribute capital and opportunity so that other viewpoints can emerge — NOT providing “snarky” checklists and calling out every dumb white kid with dreads.

  3. HandsomeOlderLustyBlackLad

    MALE FEMINISTS???(Isn’t,and ESPECIALLY SHOULDN’T THAT BE AN OXYMORON???)
    Feminists suck because,in addition to about 98% of their being DISGUSTINGLY UGLY AND B***HY,they hate men as a group,BLACK MEN THE WORST,and us life-size Brett dolls-in my case,Hollywood lea-
    ding man-handsome black Canadian lad-MOST OF ALL!!!(See:2008 Demo-
    cratic Presidential Presidential Campaign and “femikkklans-broads Hillary
    Racist Clinton and the lateUNlamented Geraldine Ferraro’s racially-charged criticism/imagery of Pres. Barack H. Obama.)

  4. Word.

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