Thank you and I will concur that the issue of the very few benefitting at the expense of the rest of us is a big one. And, you seem to be glossing over the things I detailed about laws and customs that until fairly recently overtly favored men. Even if some of that was 50 years ago, the culture doesn’t change overnight even when the laws are changed. Men still benefit from them.
I had the plumber over the other day. He offered to send the bill to my husband and was a bit surprised when I said I keep the check book and pay all of the bills and he could just give it to me. A while back I arranged a get away to a nice hotel, booked in my name and paid with my credit card. I listed my husband (who has a different last name) as the secondary guest and when I got the confirmation email, it was addressed to him, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We went to the bank a while back to complete some business for my mom’s account, of which I am a co-owner. The banker came out and shook my husband’s hand and asked how he could be of assistance. He barely acknowledged I was there until my husband said that I was the client. Same thing happened at the car dealer, and when I bought garage doors, and when I booked us a Scotch tasting, etc., etc., etc. I’m continually marginalized, overlooked, ignored and discredited simply for being female, which is a common experience for most women.
Someone sent me a dick pick the other day, for the purposes of being aggressive. When I walk into a dark parking garage, I hold my keys in my hand like a weapon and check under my car before I get in. I have been groped in public on multiple occasions, sexually assaulted, had pornographic pictures shown to me by an adult at age 10, had an adult man try to get me into his car when I was 12. Had someone say he was going to rape me when I was walking home alone one night at 18. I could go on and on. Sure, some of these things happen to guys also, but mostly they happen to women — all women from the time they are about 10 years old on.
These are the kinds of things that are privileges of being male — and that still doesn’t mean that men don’t face their own significant issues, many of which I outlined in the piece. But saying that men don’t have the privilege of not having to deal with certain things on a regular basis is like saying that white people don’t have the privilege of not dealing with the things that POC do. And — if you are not the guy doing that stuff, I’m not mad at you or blaming you in particular. But, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that I’ve had to deal with that for all of my life, as has every woman I’ve ever asked about this topic (many), no matter where they live, no matter their age, no matter their political party. I have several Trump supporters in my close circle and they’ve had this as part of their life experience also. And if you want to keep persistently denying that’s a factor in the quality of my life and the lives of other women, then I might be less friendly feeling.
Every week there is some new big story breaking about the bullshit that women have always dealt with in their jobs that men for the most part don’t experience. NBC, Pixar, Dallas Mavericks, FEMA, the women of US national security, etc. The most recent one was a walk out at Google over long-term sexist practices and protection of abusers. Women staged a walk-out and so many men walked out in sympathy that it pretty much shut the company down worldwide for the duration of the walk-out.
Then there is also the part of this story I cited about when jobs previously dominated by men have more women in them, salaries drop. When men enter previously female-dominated fields like IT, salaries rise. When men and women do similar jobs (e.g, janitors vs. maids) men are paid significantly more.
The point of this is not to be in a contest or to blame men. That’s dominance hierarchy thinking. But these are realities that women deal with that they shouldn’t have to as part of a long-term societal dynamic. And nothing is going to change unless we keep talking about those things and bringing them out into the light. The point is not pointing fingers — it’s to start to co-create a world that works better, not just for women but for men as well, but we can’t actually do that if we won’t acknowledge what some of the issues are.
So again, thanks for helping to spark this larger conversation. It’s important to talk to each other and be real about our respective life experiences.