Growing up, I always heard people saying, “being a male, you will get all the special privileges which are granted to men in society”. When I was young, I could not comprehend the meaning but this notion of people left a very strong impact on me and kept whirling in my mind with each passing time and made me ponder about it. Now as a grown-up man, I tried to apprehend their notion exhaustively and what they actually meant at that time. So, as a man, I would like to share my thoughts, my viewpoint from personal experience on the male privilege granted to men in this patriarchal society.
We as socially and politically involved citizens always talk about gender equality but when it comes to actually applying the practise our lives, we all just become nothing but hypocrites and most of the time it is from people we know.
Nowadays, our society, culture or any legislative system only work to uphold men and to place them on the top. As a result, men always achieve and succeed at the cost of every other gender. This is what those people meant when they used the term ‘male privilege’ and I personally think that it should be basic human nature to feel bad not only about male privilege but for all the things where someone is getting an undue advantage for no reason. It hurts every human being, be it you, me or anyone else.
So without further ado, let’s talk about the male privilege granted to men in our society
When I was young, I used to vacation during summer at my maternal grandparent’s place and I still remember that the people in the village used to say things such as:
-Men can say anything and can have conversations on any topic without being judged. On the other hand, women are taught by their parents not to talk much and not to put their independent thoughts in front of their husband, father, brother or any other men because they are women. Men are not supposed to be interrupted by women while having a conversation.
-Women are supposed to apologize more for their behaviour, even if they have done nothing wrong. They are asked not to have male friends in their group as society starts casting aspersions on the girl for the same. On the other hand, men can have as many girlfriends as they want.
-Women are asked to buy decent clothes (clothes that cover them from head to toe, as though they are mummies) in order to be identified as a ‘virtuous’ woman. The absurd logic applied here is that when you wear shorts or clothes in which some parts of your skin are not covered, you intrinsically become indecent. However, men have the freedom of wearing anything with no terms and conditions of ‘decency’ applied.
From a relationship point of view:
-I grew up and started experiencing many unusual things when I went outside in the real world and I realized that women are more likely to be judged as ‘sluts’, even for things that have nothing to do with anything, such as dark red lipstick, their dress, how attractively they present themselves to impress men. On the other hand, the term ‘stud’ is used for men if they do the same.
-I even noticed some of my colleagues talking rubbish – that if a woman is masturbating even if she is in a relationship, then she is a slut. They just stigmatize women but if a man is doing the same in a relationship then the woman will be blamed for not be able to satisfy the man’s sexual needs.
Incidents of harassment and violence:
-Just take an evening walk and you will meet and get into an argument with various unpleasant elements because they think that women are more likely to be targeted for street sexual harassment, because they are considered to be vulnerable and that they cannot fight back. On the other hand, men are safe and can walk freely on the streets or go wherever they want to at any time they please.
-I once heard my maternal aunt saying that men can travel alone anywhere, anytime without any fear of getting. Women are not even permitted to go out when it gets dark. Women travelling on their own are assumed to be ‘available’ for men to harass.
-Men as husbands are entitled to inflict violence on their wives in the name of ‘love’ while women are expected to worship their husbands as though they are gods.
-My friend is not allowed to work at night because she was taught by her parents that men can have all the freedom to make their own choices but as a woman, you are chained from the same.
-Haven’t you all noticed all the narrow-minded people working in your organization saying that if a woman is getting promoted for her excellent performance she is seen as a ‘compromised’ person for the sake of it, but if a man is getting promoted, then it is because of his hard work and diligence? I have noticed many such instances
-Being a housewife is not considered as a profession because APPARENTLY, they do nothing the entire day. On the other hand, being a husband and doing a 9 to 5 job is itself an achievement.
These were my views on the male privilege granted to men by society, based on my own experiences. I am not writing this article with the intention of putting men down, my only intent is to make you guys realize that all gender identities deserve equal rights, equal access to opportunities and basic respect for our humanity, regardless of any specific gender identity.
Featured image used for representational purpose only. Image source: Dani Stewart