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Thread: What are your thoughts on male privilege?

  1. #1
    Member JenniferYager's Avatar
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    Question What are your thoughts on male privilege?

    This sort of came up in Isha's post, but I didn't want to hijack it.

    Question is: what are your thoughts on "male privilege?"
    - What is it? Can you define it?
    - Does it exist everywhere? Is it a work thing, social thing, or something else entirely?
    - Is there a female privilege (say, in the nursing field)?
    - How have you experienced it while crossdressing?
    - Is it a problem that is solveable? Is it entirely on men to solve, or is it more a sexual difference problem that requires work on both sides? Or, do we even need to solve it?

    My thoughts: I think it's less of a male thing and more of an aggressive thing.

    I've seen females in many meetings and discussions get ignored because of one or two loud mouths at a table (who are normally men). To me, that's a leadership problem, because whomever runs the meeting needs to ensure that the group gets the best ideas, no matter where they come from. I've personally told people to pipe down and specifically called on quieter people (female and male) to get their ideas, and in the end we get a better product.

    On the flip side, I had a very aggressive female on a job that just ran rough shod over everyone's opinions. She was bad for morale and didn't listen to anyone, male or female. It took some time but I got her bad habits under control and helped teach her how to be inclusive while also still harnessing her drive to get things done.

    As a crossdresser, I've gotten a small taste of the flip side, but because I haven't gone to work in female mode, my experiences are limited to being oggled and bumped up on at bars and occasionally talked over in conversation. For me though, part of the allure of crossdressing is being completely different, so I enjoy being a lot more passive and having the attention without having to take the lead on things. Plus it means I did a good job on makeup/cleavage

    But I'd like to hear your thoughts.

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    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    I have worked with patient, compassionate and empathetic people of both genders and A**holes (that's a technical term) of both as well.

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    Lady By Choice Leslie Langford's Avatar
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    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Women constantly complain about this alleged "male" privilege, which seems to be exacerbated in their eyes if one happens to be Caucasian. As with beauty, this concept is often in the eyes of the beholder.

    The feminists launched their war on the male population in earnest about 50 years ago, and while they will never admit it, they have pretty much achieved their fundamental goals in all of the areas previously under contention. Women today can do anything - and often more - than a man can do, including freely wearing opposite-sex clothing (or a reasonable facsimile thereof), as many here continuously lament.

    What the feminists don't talk about is the female sense of entitlement that they have historically laid claim to and which includes expectations of deferential and chivalrous treatment on the part of their male counterparts ("Happy wife, happy life", "If Momma's happy, everyone is happy" etc.). This is something that they have yet to volunteer giving up in the name of the "equality" that they are so adamant in pursuing...

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    Leslie, feminists still complain because there are still many issues that are far from being gender equal. The fact that women are paid less than men everywhere is something to start with, but the list goes on and on.

    So no, females do not really have much of a privilege to talk about...

    Regarding dressing unacceptance of certain clothes when worn by men (female associated clothing - basically crossdresing, or anything perceived outside the norm for a man), it is males that do this to themselves prohibiting their own gender many things because of very stupid ideas, so you should blame this kind of machism for not letting you express yourself freely, and instead of attacking feminists, you should support them, because it will be helpful for us all.

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    I've never even though it existed until somewhat recently but now it's all I think about (when I stop to think about it, yikes, infinite loooooop)😐 It certainly DID exist, women weren't allowed to vote, have a job, or drive a car not 'that' long ago but obviously things have changed significantly. That said though the fact remains female CEOs make significantly less than their male counterparts and I think that still does trickle down. Interesting fact though, the highest paid female CEO in the US is actually TG😃

  6. #6
    Martini Girl Katey888's Avatar
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    Yes - of course privilege exists...

    On all sides - male-female... just differently - and it's probably exaggerated in commerce, industry, finance. But would anyone deny that males and females are different? Total equality (for anyone, not just gender equality) is a Utopian ideal - we can strive for it, but it can never be attained, although we can definitely get closer...

    I've had male and female bosses in business - on balance, the women have been as good as the men and I've probably had a better relationship with them (hmmm... maybe something there... ) - I don't think this is something a CDer will come across much unless, like Isha, they are really gender fluid and exhibit both presentations separately in the same environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin414 View Post
    Interesting fact though, the highest paid female CEO in the US is actually TG😃
    It was a fact in 2014 - but in 2015 (Forbes - April this year) she's not in the top 10 (2014's results were heavily skewed by stock price growth) - there is an interesting article here on her in nymag - I hadn't heard of her before today so well done Robin for finding that... I would have thought some of our TS members would have mentioned her before but perhaps I'm not looking in the right places.

    I know CDers are often accused of wanting to retain male privilege but I really think that's misunderstanding why we do what we do (or at least, those who present publicly and exhibit more of a TG/ gender fluid behaviour) - although sometimes it remains a significant mystery to me, but I don't stop doing femme just to consciously retain male privilege: I do it because it's the more 'common' part of me...

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  7. #7
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    Hi Jennifer,

    In response to your question(s), here is my best stab in the dark and based on my opinion only. WRT "male privilege"

    I am sure there are several textbook definitions and countless treatises written on the subject. IMHO "male privilege" historically was the result of men running rough shod over society and making the rules to better their own situation in life. When it came to the sexes, again historically, men did what they wanted and women stayed at home, cooked, cleaned and raised the family. Now that is history so let's place it in a more up to date context. Today, (again IMO) "male privilege" exists as a legacy to the historical account above. It is very real and what it means is that in some occupations (not all) women can expect to make on average 77 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts, glass ceilings exist at the executive level, men typically (and not always) get immediate credibility based on their gender for some occupations whereas women must always fight to gain that same credibility and women are more likely to put their careers on hold to raise a family then men (although that too is changing). Yes, I am sure there are countless other examples but these tend to be the more salient points

    What male privilege is not and this is what I take great exception with, is that men have everything handed to them on a silver platter and never have to work for anything. Some may cry foul but I will say that while this may have been the way long, long ago and read ruling elite males not your everyday run of the mill serf, many men today work extremely hard to achieve and when they don't they work harder. When I was born, the doctor didn't proclaim "It's a boy. Sit back son and coast from this point forward . . . anything you want is yours so just ask." Nope, I had to work for everything I achieved and it was far from easy folks.

    To be honest, privilege exists in all strata of society. People of both genders who come from affluential families have a leg up on all aspects of life for which their counterparts in the less financially advantaged brackets don't have. When it comes to getting a job the literature will bear out that being youthful, vibrant, well dressed and gregarious is normally associated with high work ethic, professional, confident, honest and a go getter even if the person has limited skills and average work performance (this goes for both genders BTW). Conversely being overweight, not dressed in stylish clothes, being quiet, demure and so on is more likely to be associated with being lazy, slovenly and a poor work ethic irrespective of being highly skilled with a good track record (again for both genders but women tend to be discriminated against more so in this category).

    Have I experienced this while presenting as a woman? My recent example of the meeting where I was marginalized may seem a likely example but then again that may have just been a group of Alpha males seeing me as less than male due to the fact I was dressed as a woman. Not really a privilege thing but an Alpha attempt to establish dominance which BTW I have seen women use quite effectively to make even the most mucho macho man shrink into the background. That is not privilege but personality. If it were a privilege, then any man could just speak up at table full of both genders and the women would shrink into the background . . . Umm, I have seen plenty of non-alpha males try and get shut down by both genders post haste.

    In the end, the type of privilege you are alluding to is IMHO a legacy issue and one that will eventually (albeit at a snails pace) go the way of the Dodo as more women attain positions of power and the Neanderthal males who are still living la vita loco stuck in their "Leave to Beaver" existence shuffle off this mortal coil. Will it be a hard fight? You bet it will and both genders need to push these archaic concepts to the curve. Will it happen overnight? Not likely as it is heavily ingrained. However, IMHO, it will happen.

    Cheers

    Isha
    Last edited by Marcelle; 08-03-2015 at 09:14 AM.

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    Member Abby Kae's Avatar
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    I think it's quite telling that even the OP used subconscious male privilege in defining the question.

    Loud males were told to "pipe down", and a similar female had her "bad habits" corrected.

    Male privilege is definitely a thing. Isha's meeting example isn't an isolated incident, though it's absolutely interesting to see one person on both sides of the coin.

    My wife has 24 direct report employees working for her, she has the most experience in the company, the most experience in the field, the highest relevant education (Ph.D.) in her department, is very well liked and trusted, and is constantly told by extra-departmental leadership that she is the greatest asset the company has.

    Her male subordinates and peers still constantly talk over her.

    Gender equality is big in our house, even before our two daughters were born, and was the subject of her dissertation.

    Male privilege is real, feminism isn't an attack on men, deniers are just plain wrong. It's not an opinion, it's a fact. Sorry if that hurts your feelings.

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    Call me Pam pamela7's Avatar
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    In my world privilege is more social-class than gender-related. But, there must be codes. Today I was out walking my mum's dog with my son, I was in a dress. We walk past a couple with their dog, she looks me eye to eye and smiles, he does not. That is the male-female code, and even with 2-3 day stubble, no wig nor make-up, i'm treated woman-to-woman, not man-to-"man-in-dress". I then walk past some workmen on a break, say "morning guys", get back "alright mate". That was male-male. Go figure.
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    Making a life for Tina! suchacutie's Avatar
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    I have seen the scenario Isha presented many times over. I've watched women colleagues raise their hands to be acknowledged in a supposedly formal meeting while maless just started talking, the male moderator not paying any attention to the problem.

    The alleged generality that males just want to solve the problem and move on, vs. the female approach of prior discussion is a common foundation for the marginalization that Isha presented. Men in positions of authority who understand this issue make faster strides in management in a mixed-gender environment. The clash is most prevalent in initially male-dominated work environments that start to become mixed gender. Inevitably, those who understand gender differences win out, after a long struggle.

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    ive never experienced this so called male privalege,guess they forgot to give me the memo when i was born...when i worked before the dr retired me,i worked harder then my male counterparts and they got promoted while i was usually fired so they could have a opening for another alpha male..in my work history i never had a job that lasted no more then 2-3 yrs.,only had 2 that lasted 5 yrs..in my walk of life i always wondered what it would have been like if i was fully male,would i have gotten further in my career..

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    MIDI warrior princess Amy Fakley's Avatar
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    Here's the thing about "male privilege" ... while it is certainly a thing that exists as a trend or average across the entire population, it does not uniformly apply to everyone equally.

    I've not benefitted greatly from male privilege. Though I'm certainly aware of its existence, it almost never applies to me personally. I'm run up against a ceiling the same as everyone else who wasn't incredibly lucky or born with a golden ticket to the executive class. The ceiling isn't glass ... nobody pretends it ain't there, y'know?

    The fight for equality is everyone's fight, but to view it solely from the perspective of a male/female divergence is myopic. The problem is much larger than that. Certainly, we should focus on equality between genders, but if we fix just that ... while it's an improvement, at the end of the day, it's just making sure everyone gets an equally crap end of the stick. We need more than that to build a future worthy of the sacrifice we've all made to build it.
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    Pooh Bear Judith96a's Avatar
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    Struggling to identify 'male privilege'

    I have to confess that I really don't get this 'male privilege' concept. The idea seems to be that men supposedly have it easy while the world is "against" women. I'm simply not convinced.

    This could be a 'context' thing. I have absolutely no experience of working in any environment where equal pay was anything other than the norm. While my immediate environment at work is almost totally male, within the organisation women occupy very senior positions. While we have yet to have a female CEO or COO, over the past ten years we have had female vice-chairs of the 'board' and, for several months, a female acting-chair. Within my family, both my grandmothers were very competent practitioners of their respective trades. Likewise my mother and the majority of my aunts in their chosen trades and professions. So whether at work or outside of work I've no real experience of women being treated as second class citizens except by a small number of arrogant ***** who, truth be told, treated everyone whom the perceived as not being their equal like dirt regardless of their gender.

    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferYager View Post
    I've seen females in many meetings and discussions get ignored because of one or two loud mouths at a table (who are normally men). To me, that's a leadership problem, because whomever runs the meeting needs to ensure that the group gets the best ideas, no matter where they come from.
    Yep, I've seen both males and females fall victim to that one! And I agree with your analysis. Interestingly, when chairing meetings, I find it easier to deal with badly behaved males than badly behaved females! I have absolutely no problem telling a man to be quiet, "you've had your say, let someone else speak". With a woman I'm much less abrupt!

    Quote Originally Posted by JenniferYager View Post
    On the flip side, I had a very aggressive female on a job that just ran rough shod over everyone's opinions. She was bad for morale and didn't listen to anyone, male or female.
    Been there too! Only I wasn't as successful as you. She left very abruptly after a toe-to-toe row with a senior manager (which I witnessed)! But, three years later, we're still trying to help her traumatised (all female) team to recover from her years of abusive behaviour.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leslie Langford View Post
    The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Women constantly complain about this alleged "male" privilege, which seems to be exacerbated in their eyes if one happens to be Caucasian. As with beauty, this concept is often in the eyes of the beholder.

    -snip-

    What the feminists don't talk about is the female sense of entitlement that they have historically laid claim to and which includes expectations of deferential and chivalrous treatment on the part of their male counterparts ("Happy wife, happy life", "If Momma's happy, everyone is happy" etc.). This is something that they have yet to volunteer giving up in the name of the "equality" that they are so adamant in pursuing...
    Leslie, you've been reading my mind again! On the subject of chivalry, I have occasionally encountered the "how dare you hold that door open for me" response but only very occasionally. I have however plenty of experience of (younger) females being prepared to walk through / over you (regardless of whether you're make or female). I sometimes wonder whether one of the biggest 'tells' for a CD is how you react when you meet someone head on in a confined space (eg. corridor, doorway, crowded footpath). I 'automatically' step to one side, especially if the other person is a woman. I cannot remember the last time that I witnessed a woman (other than a female cousin) doing so!

    I suspect that ones perception of the nature and /or existence of 'male privilege' depends on your context!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Abby Kae View Post
    Her male subordinates and peers still constantly talk over her.
    Yup, that's what happens to me too. To get my point across, I've had to use attention grabbers like "Gentlemen" (when I was the only woman there), or "This is how I think we should proceed", or addressing the person with the loudest voice by name and then taking advantage of the slightest lull in the conversation. I'm pretty sure this is what guys do too. The only difference is they've been socialized to do so at an earlier age than us, so we just have to catch up! (... and this is NOT being "less feminine")

    Once I get started with what I have to say, the men have no problem listening and valuing my contribution.

    I've had the same problem in my own family when sitting around the table with my three sons. And I know they do not think my contributions to the conversation are less valuable than theirs. It's just a question of defining my space and carving it out, just like men.

    As to male vs female privilege in general, women have traditionally deferred to men in some areas and men have traditionally deferred to women in other areas - we each have our stereotypical areas of "expertise" - although the gender gap is narrowing there too. The only areas where the gap will not narrow so much is anything to do with physical size and strength.

    To Isha ... you have a thread about this and I just want to say that you already know how to carve your space, so you shouldn't experience any issues with having your voice heard? Having a stronger physical voice does help, but it is not essential.
    Reine

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    Silver Member franlee's Avatar
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    The concept of Male Privileged is a nice catch phrase and attention getter. I have seen what is a natural state between the sexes come closer to equal over the years. It isn't male or female privilege but a simple matter of respect. I can attest to some are granted titles and positions that are not deserved or earned but more of an affirmative action while others are over looked and bypassed simply because of their lack of understanding and ability to standup. It is a shame that we still have to use excuses for our own short coming in a lot of cases. But the most important objective and true leveling factor should be to Bring the Person(female or male) up Not deprive others that in the desired position and there by cause resentment. I have always felt that if someone else can do the job as well as Me and have something that puts them in a position to better the need, Good. But have them put there to meet a quota or some social or government imposed reason is not only wrong but discrimination, even though it is reversed. Speaking from personal and professional experience there is a difference in men and women and that is not bad it is just a fact and nothing is ever going to change that, so instead of trying to exploit the differences or correct them the best thing is to learn how to use the best of them to benefit ones self, in the home and the world.
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    Senior Member stefan37's Avatar
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    If you were born male. You have experienced male privilege whether you are aware of it or not. You were given opportunities that would not have been available to a woman. Isha mentioned marginalization. It is so much more than personality. It was mentioned getting recognized in a meeting. I have personally experienced that. Woman are more likely to be paid less for the same work. If you don't believe it exists. Live for a period of time as a woman. You will experience it first hand.
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    Gender adventurer JamieG's Avatar
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    My understanding is the "privilege" refers to an inherent advantage; it does not mean that everything came easy for you, just that it was easier for you than some other group of people, and because you never had to walk in those people's shoes, you don't even realize that you had an advantage.

    So yes, I believe there is such a thing as male privilege. One study has particularly stood out for me. They had academics rate the CVs (academic resumes) of various fictitious job candidates. When they changed the name on the CV from male to female the candidate was consistently ranked lower. Interestingly, this was seen even when the evaluators themselves were women! So simply by having a male name, you receive an employment advantage.

  18. #18
    Pooh Bear Judith96a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    I've had to use attention grabbers like "Gentlemen" (when I was the only woman there), or "This is how I think we should proceed", or addressing the person with the loudest voice by name and then taking advantage of the slightest lull in the conversation. I'm pretty sure this is what guys do too. The only difference is they've been socialized to do so at an earlier age than us, so we just have to catch up! (... and this is NOT being "less feminine")
    ...
    I've had the same problem in my own family when sitting around the table with my three sons. And I know they do not think my contributions to the conversation are less valuable than theirs. It's just a question of defining my space and carving it out, just like men.
    Once my wife, mother in law and my wife's aunts get started talking its nigh on impossible to get a word in without resorting to similar tactics!

  19. #19
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieG View Post
    My understanding is the "privilege" refers to an inherent advantage; it does not mean that everything came easy for you, just that it was easier for you than some other group of people, and because you never had to walk in those people's shoes, you don't even realize that you had an advantage.

    So yes, I believe there is such a thing as male privilege. One study has particularly stood out for me. They had academics rate the CVs (academic resumes) of various fictitious job candidates. When they changed the name on the CV from male to female the candidate was consistently ranked lower. Interestingly, this was seen even when the evaluators themselves were women! So simply by having a male name, you receive an employment advantage.
    Jamie, I tend to agree with your comments. I also believe that whatever "inherent" privilege that one may have, it only applies in certain situations or aspects of life. The reason that the male privilege seems to continually come up is because of the inequality in pay, being taken seriously in meetings, as already discussed here, and unequal promotions that women continue to suffer.

    Regarding the academic ratings of resumes, I just read an interesting article in the April 18, 2015 issue of The Economist where the resume rating was skewed in favor of the female labeled resumes when applied to academic applications to tenure-track positions where once tenure is received they employment is considered to lead to a job for life.

  20. #20
    Gold Member Alice Torn's Avatar
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    As far as singles go, single women are outearning single me. On the other handm, single moms have always had a harder time, than single men, or unmarried women. In 1989, I had been working as a temp, along with several other temp workers, and a permanent opening came up. We all took the test for the job. I ogt a much higher score, but the female that was on the crew, was hired, on affirmative action. It was a physically demanding highways maintenance job, and she was actually fired years later, because she was in such poor physical and emotional shape. And, that state very seldom fires anyone. Most of my bosses have been younger women.Universities are over 60% females now, and more women start businesses than men. Pay is the same for both, everywhere i have worked. There are still a lot of big ego males out there making it tough for women, and true gentlemen, and also some mean women on power trips. Nice guys are finishing last, in this cruel world.
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    trans punk Badtranny's Avatar
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    Arguing the existence of male privilege is like arguing the existence of white privilege.

    Pointless

    This is a systemic societal issue. It has nothing to do with anything any one person experiences. The world and this issue is much bigger than your tiny little life of "never getting any privileges".
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    - What is it? Can you define it?
    • It is a societal construct where certain assumptions are made about people based on gender. If you have the appropriate gender, it is assumed that you are "more than". If not, it is assumed that you are "less than".

    - Does it exist everywhere? Is it a work thing, social thing, or something else entirely?
    • It is a function of human interaction; where ever that occurs.

    - Is there a female privilege (say, in the nursing field)?
    • There are situations where women are granted deference with respect to men, but there is no comparison to the breadth and strength of deference granted to men.

    - How have you experienced it while crossdressing?
    • No, not so far.

    - Is it a problem that is solveable? Is it entirely on men to solve, or is it more a sexual difference problem that requires work on both sides? Or, do we even need to solve it?
    • As I've said before, what appears as male privilege when being considered from a male perspective is what females experience as sexism. It is the same coin, but it looks different according to your perspective. The thing is, there are situations where males believe that they have an advantage and will work that. This is how the meeting dynamics that have been mentioned here come into play. However, where inequality in pay and promotional opportunities exist, males usually didn't directly ask for privilege. They were granted privilege behind closed doors because unless someone specifically told you, you do not know the exact discussions that took place and the prevailing opinions. To me, anyone who says that they never got anything based on male privilege doesn't understand the construct. So, work situations have been mentioned, but what about the differences when men and women seek technical services, such as auto repair? Historically men got very different treatment compared to women. Men tended to get detailed technical explanations, but women usually got the non-technical "don't worry your pretty little head" version. That's interesting because there are MANY men who don't know the difference between pliers and a box end wrench. Now, there are similarities in the treatment of women and the treatment of racial minorities. Some years ago I had a problem with my car fixed at the dealership where I bought it. It has been long enough that I don't remember what the problem was. Before I went, I had logically narrowed it down to a couple of things as I usually do. When I went to pick it up, the service writer went into a bizarre explanation about what the problem was. The more I probed, the more bizarre it got. Finally, I said something like: "Son, 30 years (then, 43 now) as a mechanical engineer tells me that there is no way what you describe can happen. Would you like me to explain the physics to you?". There was a long awkward silence. SS-DD with respect to what women may experience. However, I suspect that this has begun to change due to the number of women entering the automotive field as technicians, service writers, sales people and as dealership and shop owners. I think what you have to do is set the expectations higher and not tolerate inequality, or said another way, define acceptable behavior.


    Also as I've mentioned before, genetic women have a lot of time and resources to draw upon (female family members, female friends, school counselors, etc.) to develop strategies against sexism, how to fight back and how to cope with it. Unfortunately trans women don't have the luxury of time and may not have the supporting resources to draw upon. That would seem to make for a very steep learning curve.

    DeeAnn

  23. #23
    Gold Member NicoleScott's Avatar
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    There is male privilege. There is female privilege. It's a wash.

  24. #24
    Transgender Person Pat's Avatar
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    I'm interested that many seek to find male privilege in the big things. To me it's most apparent in the small things:

    Cleaning tasks are rarely shared equitably between men and women. (Though men usually love to list each thing they've done as if it was a sacrament.)

    Childcare is rarely shared equitably. One of my favorite memories is a friend who scooped up his son to introduce me to him and after a few brave words about "his" boy, he passed the kid to his wife -- "I think he needs to be changed, honey."

    when it's time to pick the movie, women might suggest a movie that gets dismissed as "a chick flick" and the men pick the Bruce Willis movie because "everyone" like to see S@%t get blown up!

    Men watch The Game, women bring the snacks. If women choose to stay in the kitchen and talk rather than watch The Game it must be because that's how they have fun.

    I've never seen a woman grab the last donut at a meeting. (Though admittedly, I've seen one rip the last donut in half and leave half. I hate it when they leave the wounded behind.)

    Male privilege often shows up in activities involving food as well. Men take the biggest, drink the biggest, deploy their elbows like outriggers at the table to take up the most space.

    Women frequently want to do interactive things and communicate (e.g. play board games.) Men frequently want to do what are called "parallel activities" like watch TV. It's a point of male privilege that their choice is often the one that prevails.

    At least that's how it seems to me.

  25. #25
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    Hi Jennifer, That must be something new.
    Having my ears triple pierced is AWESOME, ~~......

    I can explain it to you, But I can't comprehend it for you !

    If at first you don't succeed, Then Skydiving isn't for you.

    Be careful what you wish for, Once you ring a bell , you just can't Un-Ring it !! !!

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