So, you guys might have seen a similar article over here, written by a trans dude, about his perspective on male privilege. Remarkably, his perspective sounds exactly like most other Everyday Clusterf*ck articles, just rehashed and retold through a first person narrative. And as always, no actual facts or figures are ever sourced. Everything is stated based on allegory and anecdotal experience. As such, everything stated applies equally as well to a trans woman, transitioning from being a man.
So I thought I would retell the entire tale and see how well it fits! This ought to be fun. Follow along with the original article in a separate window if you want.
…….. quite a bit has changed for me over the first year and a half since I started my transition.
My health and mental well-being improved, I became much, MUCH happier, and plenty of other changes too.
Then there were the smaller, odder things: I finally gained an appreciation for different foods, my favorite color went from red and black to blue and white, and ……….. plenty of other small time things I could pad the intro of this article with, as I gradually lead into the privilege thing you’ve actually come to read about. So lets just get to it.
Here’s a (very) short list of the everyday ways people have changed their behavior toward me – for no logical reason whatsoever.
1. I’m Suddenly Funny
Yup, guys laugh at my jokes now. I mean even really stupid jokes. “LOL OMG UR SO FUNNY can I get your number?”
2. Yet I’m Still Taken (More) Seriously
I’m still amazed at the number of people who hang on my every word. Men are always interested in what I have to say, and if they aren’t, they’ll pretend to be. Plus I can say whatever I want about a man, and he just has to sit there and take it. And everyone else will think he probably deserved it! (Your privilege is showing)
Now if a man talks about ME in some way I don’t like, that’s harassment (which is always taken seriously and is even a federal f*ing law, because women are never taken seriously).
Before if I was out in public, I wasn’t allowed to speak. Any comment I made could be construed as “street harassment”. Now when I’m out in public, YOU aren’t allowed to speak. Any comment you make could be construed as “street harassment” (Even something as simple as “psst”)
3. I Rarely Get Interrupted
I never got interrupted as a man. I never get interrupted as a woman either.
I think if you’re getting interrupted, there’s probably another reason. Maybe you’re talking to an ass hat who doesn’t have any social skills. Most people generally understand not to interrupt others.
4. I Get Paid More
The proof is in my paychecks. Actual, numerical proof.
And unlike the original article, I actually link to pages with facts and evidence.
5. It’s Easier for Me to Be Poor
As a man, if I ever encountered trouble, the general expectation was that I had to take care of myself. “Be a man / walk it off / what are you, a weakling???” As a woman, anytime I’m in trouble, people are far more willing to lend a helping hand.
It’s also easier to get hired. Before, I had to be better than all the other applicants. Now, I can just be pretty and pleasant (though I’m still have the option of being better than all the other applicants). Contrary to what the original article wants you to believe, hiring managers do not look at you, go “Oh, you have a penis???” – then immediately hire you, because they need more penises.
6. My Clothing Is More Appealing
I can wear flowers, skirts, dresses, blouses, bracelets, necklaces, earrings – I can leave the house looking like Taylor Dane! Still can’t sing or dance, but hey, I look damn awesome.
I’m not exactly sure how this is a privilege, by the way. “Practical” clothes are only a privilege if that’s what you happen to like. If you don’t like dressing like a girl, then you probably don’t consider it a privilege – and ditto for dressing like a guy.
7. I Get a Ton of Free Passes
Seriously, here’s a page literally filled with examples. Goes a step further than saying “I haven’t been in trouble lately so I must be privileged”.
8. I’m Not Held Accountable for Keeping Rape from Happening
“I remember all of the rape prevention education I got, which always focused on how I should behave, where I should walk when, how to appropriately cover my drink, and so on.”
9. I’m Very Likely to Arrive Home Safely After Walking Alone at Night
Over the last year and a half, living here in Portland, Oregon, I very routinely walk for miles alone at night, up and down Burnside, across the Rose Quarter, or all the way over to the Pearl if I want and workout at the 24 Hour Fitness there. They’re open all the time. I’ve gone over there at 2am because I couldn’t sleep and got a workout in.
Then I walk back home and I’m just fine.
I can do this anytime I want. I’m perfectly safe. This notion that men are hiding behind every dark corner like Face-Huggers from Aliens ready to SPRING FROM THE DARKNESS and RAPE RAPE RAPE only exists in the scary bedtime story called “Third Wave Feminism”.
10. I Don’t Have to Worry About Keeping an Eye on My Drink at Parties and Social Gatherings
Because, again, it’s ridiculous to think that every drink served in bars all over the US has a Mickey slipped in them that makes the Face Hugger men go RAPE RAPE RAPE! And if you believe the 1 in 5 statistic, and divide that by the population of a typical campus, that comes to literally a rape happening almost each and every single day.
Spread out across the city of Portland, that’s…. holy f*ck, that’s basically like The Purge every single night!!!
11. I’m Not Told by Strangers (Or Anybody Else) to Smile
Not once has it happened since.
……… although, honestly? This is a privilege?
Guy: Hi there.
Athena: OMGGGGGGGGG!!! HE TOLD ME TO SMILEEEEEEE!!! PATRIARCHY! OPPRESSION! HE THINKS… HE THINKS… *sob* that HE’S ENTITLED TO TELL ME TO SMILEEEEEEE!!! WAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaa!!!
12. I Have Strangers Giving Uninvited Opinions About My Body as I Pass By
Notice I changed the title statement.
It’s nice to be told how pretty I am, and to have nervous guys come up to me and ask directions, because they really just want to talk to someone they find wonderfully attractive for a few moments.
13. I’m Allowed to Have Body Hair
I’ll probably be considered more attractive without it, but I’m still allowed to have it.
Kinda the opposite for guys – when they start going bald, it can be a midlife crisis. I wonder why, since men are never judged on their appearance the way us poor little women are.
14. I’m Allowed to Grow Old
And likely will even be considered “gracious” or “sophisticated” because of it.
15. I’m Allowed to Eat Without Being Policed
Of course, this is probably because I know how to take care of myself.
16. My Abilities Speak Louder Than My Appearances at Work
Although this isn’t really a privilege… it’s how normal adult life works. If you’ve got the skills, and choose to make use of them, you probably get noticed. Now if you’re a guy, that’s ALL you got – your skills. You can’t fall back on lipstick and eyeliner the way I can. I’ve got two ways to get ahead – you have only one.
And to go along with just that one, you’re saddled with completely unrealistic expectations, and face the crack of society’s horsewhip should you fail.
The privilege is having the option to use your appearance, as women do. There’s no dichotomy here, where if you have one, then you’re not allowed to use the other.
17. The Bulk of Porn Is Made with Me in Mind
From the original:
“Even “lesbian” porn is often geared toward the male gaze.”
^^^ I guess you’ve never met a lesbian. Because naked women turn us on.
That’s… kind of what being a lesbian is all about.
It also might be worth considering that men are more visually stimulated than are women. I wonder how many romance novels are written with men in mind?
18. Older White Guys Treat Me Like a Best Friend
Oh god I love this one! DEFINITELY true! Trust me. 😉
Older white guys just love getting to know me! It’s weird how this is a privilege for the trans man… but harassment for a trans woman. Unless the guy’s rich. Then suddenly stops being harassment and becomes my lucky day.
What’s weird is that when I was a guy, older white guys treated me like competition, not like a best friend. But then like we’ve covered, we’re presenting personal experiences as though they were FACT. Weird how that “intersectional feminism” talks about not using your lived experiences to assume the lives of others, because Third Wavers do that 12 times a day before lunch.
19. I Can Be a Gamer Without Worry of Being Threatened, Insulted, or Demeaned
I game almost every single day on kongregate.com (shell shock 2 if any of you play – my screen name is RedGoldandGreen). Contrary to the evangelical Third Wave gospel, no – men do not suddenly turn into f*ing werewolves once they learn I’m female. That doesn’t happen.
And they don’t turn psychotic until after I kill them with 2 tank shots then start shit talking them about being noob.
THAT’S when it gets pretty f*ing serious!
20. My Comfort Comes Before Anyone Else’s
Okay I’m going to do more than just call BS on this one. Lets explore it a little with some real world examples.
I’m in the park, and fall down and twist an ankle
“Out of the way, buddy!”
“Oh sweety are you okay???
Someone tells a joke I don’t like:
“Hey what’s your f*ing problem pal? It was just a joke! Get over it!”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.”
I’m in line at the same time as someone else:
“Hey I was here first!!!”
“Oh you were here first.”
If I’m walking somewhere and really have to use the restroom
“Sorry bub, the sign says customers only. Buy something or I can’t help you.”
“It’s the second door on the left.”
If I’m pulled over for a speeding ticket
….. nah, too easy. Let me do another.
If I need furniture moved:
“Yea, I hear ya. Well, good luck on moving your couch! Looks pretty heavy.”
“Do you want it here? *picks up and lifts* … or here? *picks up and lifts*… oh, over here? *picks up and lifts*
Only in the brain of a Third Waver is this shit somehow turned around the other way.
21. I Have Significantly Less Sexual Liability
I can point the finger, say “rape”, and your entire life is over.
22. I’m Allowed to Take Up Space – And Lots of It
I guess they were starting to run thin on ideas here. If a guy is taking up two seats, and I look at him and say “excuse me”, he moves. No further questions.
But then Third Wavers view every single man in the world as being a jerk who takes up too much space, and everything a man does is interpreted only through that lens (which is really what “male privilege” is all about, and why none of it ever holds up under examination). If a guy (or girl) went around actually being that much of a jerk throughout each day, he’d have a considerably rougher time than most.
23. I’m Not Subject to ‘Soft’ Sexism
“Being asked to grab someone their coffee, help decorate for a work party, or help clean up said party is simply a thing of the past.”
Oh for the love of piss; if you were at the f*ing party, and you partied, YOU SHOULD HELP CLEAN UP!!! If someone asks me to pass them their coffee, what am I going to do? Run out of the room crying “patriarchy! patriarchy!” You seriously cannot be asked to help decorate without it somehow being sexism? (And not just any sexism! New, Ultra Soft Sexism!)
If you’re a guy and you’re asked to help clean something, that totally isn’t sexism because something something blablabla insert_BS_here. It’s only sexism if a woman’s asked. Because penis.
How do you screwballs function in everyday life? Somebody tell me that.
24. People Think My Successes Have Been Made Purely By My Own Gumption
Gonna respond just to that statement for a moment.
Earlier, the original article, he says he only gets hired because he’s a man. He gets befriended by older folks because he’s a man. He gets help when he needs it because he’s a man. People look up to him because he’s a man. He don’t even get interrupted (or get asked to smile – the horror!) because he’s a man.
…….. and now, somehow… people only credit his success to his mad skillz?
Did… did you forget the previous 23 of these?
25. I Can Say the Most Ridiculous Things Imaginable
YOU SURE AS HELL GOT THAT RIGHT!!! Damn, the only one so far that I can 100% agree with!
I would go on, but you know, I’m as sick of it as you are. And the above examples were all they could think of.
Having been treated as both a man and a woman, these privileges are glaringly obvious to me. And there are far, far too many to count. But of course this doesn’t equate to proof on any level. This discussion isn’t about my personal experience. It’s about whether or not privilege exists, and I’m USING my personal experience as a tool to convince a hopefully naive reader that experience equates to evidence.
Now go, my children. Do your part. Share this post! Spread the gospel of Athena St. Athena! Tell others about it! Go out into the world and spread the message!!!
… For Great Justice.
UPDATE: November 23rd, 2015 – thanks goes out to Fox Boyd for finding and correcting some language in this post that was not actually supported by data.