Creative Destruction

June 7, 2006

Male Privilege Checklist: A Couple Of Childhood Issues

Filed under: Feminist Issues — Ampersand @ 3:35 pm

Chuckdarwin,” while criticizing the Male Privilege Checklist, wrote:

11. If I have children and provide primary care for them, I’ll be praised for extraordinary parenting if I’m even marginally competent.

Harsh. Strident. Unprovable. I know single dads that no one has ever called ‘extraordinary’.

#11 is anecdotal (as is your rebuttal), but a lot of the anecdotes are from custody cases, where fathers have sometimes been given a lot of credit for fairly minimal parenting time, compared to what is the norm for most mothers. This is the sort of observation that isn’t provable; I think we’ll have to disagree on this one.

16. As a child, chances are I was encouraged to be more active and outgoing than my sisters.

Plenty of parents don’t encourage any of their children to be active at all.

It’s true, of course, that regardless of sex too many children have parents who provide poor or rare encouragement. But that in no way disproves my point. As I said in the list’s introduction, nothing about the list claims that men (or boys) never have bad experiences.

#16 – which I intended to refer not only to treatment by parents, but also treatment by teachers and by other children – is very well documented in the social science literature (I’ve included some references at the bottom of this post). For example, the various Baby X studies, which have found that adults perceive and treat the same baby very differently depending on if they’re told it’s a boy or a girl. (Some recent studies suggest that this effect has been declining over the years, which I’d say is to feminism’s credit).

It should be noted that the gender expectations put on too many children is not a benefit for all boys. In particular, boys who can’t live up to stereotypical gender role expectations often face emotional abuse from adults and peers, as well as physical abuse from peers.


(This isn’t even close to being an exhaustive list of relevant references for #16, but it’s enough to establish that I’m not just making this stuff up. 🙂 )

Shoshanna BenTsvi-Mayer, Rachel Hertz-Lazarowitz, Marilyn P. Safir, Teachers’ selections of boys and girls as prominent pupils, Sex Roles, Volume 21, Issue 3 – 4, Aug 1989, Pages 231 – 246

Gail Masuchika Boldt, Sexist and Heterosexist Responses to Gender Bending in an Elementary Classroom, Curriculum Inquiry, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Summer, 1996) , pp. 113-131

John L. Delk, R. Burt Madden, Mary Livingston, Timothy T. Ryan, Adult perceptions of the infant as a function of gender labeling and observer gender, Sex Roles, Volume 15, Issue 9 – 10, Nov 1986, Pages 527 – 534

Claire Etaugh, Marsha B. Liss, Home, school, and playroom: Training grounds for adult gender roles, Sex Roles, Volume 26, Issue 3 – 4, Feb 1992, Pages 129 – 147

Lorraine Evans, Kimberly Davies, No Sissy Boys Here: A Content Analysis of the Representation of Masculinity in Elementary School Reading Textbooks, Sex Roles, Volume 42, Issue 3 – 4, Feb 2000, Pages 255 – 270

Carol Nagy Jacklin, Janet Ann DiPietro, Eleanor E. Maccoby, Sex-typing behavior and sex-typing pressure in child/parent interaction, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Volume 13, Issue 5, Oct 1984, Pages 413 – 425

Katherine Hildebrandt Karraker, Dena Ann Vogel, Margaret Ann Lake, Parents’ gender-stereotyped perceptions of Newborns: The Eye of the Beholder revisited, Sex Roles, Volume 33, Issue 9 – 10, Nov 1995, Pages 687 – 701

Mary Anna Lundeberg, You Guys Are Overreacting: Teaching Prospective Teachers about Subtle Gender Bias, Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 48, 1997

Morrongiello B.A.; Dawber T., Mothers’ Responses to Sons and Daughters Engaging in Injury-Risk Behaviors on a Playground, Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, Volume 76, Number 2, June 2000, pp. 89 – 103

Dena Ann Vogel, Margaret A. Lake, Suzanne Evans, Katherine Hildebrandt Karraker, Children’s and adults’ sex-stereotyped perceptions of infants, Sex Roles, Volume 24, Issue 9 – 10, May 1991, Pages 605 – 616

(This is one of a number of posts responding to Chuck’s critique. You can use the category archive on the blog “Alas” to see all posts related to the Male Privilege Checklist.)


  1. On #16, in economic terms, is it really a privilege to be encouraged to participate in activities that result in lower socioeconomic status? If you encourage Billy to go play ball while you encourage Millie to read a book, you’re pretty much fast-tracking her for specialization in symbolic analysis – and that’s where all the money is.

    Comment by bobhayes — June 7, 2006 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  2. On #16, in economic terms, is it really a privilege to be encouraged to participate in activities that result in lower socioeconomic status?

    Do they result in lower socioeconomic status? I’m not buying that playing ball for some time couple of days will result to decreased capability of reading books (in fact, I could remember wrong, but at least anecdotally I know this is true, that certain amount of physical activity makes concentration easier), and besides, the Billy will learn valuable interpersonal skills while playing ball (that lead to higher socioeconomic status).

    Comment by Tuomas — June 7, 2006 @ 3:55 pm | Reply

  3. I feel obliged to personally question feminism the way I would question any other supremacist movement. Say the same thing about Blacks and Arabs that many famous feminists would say about men, and they would call you a racist. Saying that all men, as a group, are responsible for getting rid of the evils of some men, and you might as well be saying to Arabs as a group, hey, “you people” are responsible for most terrorism, so clean it up! How condescending. The myth of male privilege is a persuasive one. I don’t make much money, and most of my friends don’t, so what economic privilege do you want me to give up? I will not apologize for men being most of the CEO’s. I don’t benefit from them, and they wouldn’t help me out anyway!Most of the homeless people are men too! Men on average die seven years earlier than women. They are the one that die in wars, outnumbering the men (and women) politicians that send them to war in the first place. Without the inventions of white men that existed, like governments, houses, cars, etc., All of us would be living in a cave with a life expectancy of 40, like some people might do in the third world. Think about that, as you all, like me, spend time in your cushy upper-middle class houses with air-conditioning, and cars, and cushy jobs, or whatever you think you earned! If you understand that we stole land from the Native American tribes, feel free to give it back, and move to another country, and live off the land. Stop being a total hypocrite, liberals.
    Try telling the low-income soldier man that was drafted to Vietnam to get shot, that he was unfairly privileged because of his gender. Try telling the Native American man that was thrown off his land that he was unfairly privileged, also. Try telling the black men that he had unfair privilege when he was a slave. End the “testosterone” stereotypes. Don’t worry: if the male population falls from 49 or 48 percent to 35 percent and contains more homeless and suicide-ridden men, you can still blame the “evil patriachy”, which had actually favored women over men. I have met good patriarchal men who have supported their wives and children, as firemen, at risk to themselves, compared to the stereotypes on some websites. Anyway, favoring freeloaders, and biting the hand that feeds us, seems to be a “bleeding heart” tradition. If women won’t apologize about their gender abusing children and elderly at a higher rate than men, and i’m not saying they should, I will not apologize on behalf of the sins of my goddamn gender and race, which I’m damn proud of. You who are “politically correct” nuts who want to instill guilt in me should look elsewhere. If you believe this feminist movement is about “equality”, then I got some oceanfront property in Wyoming I wish to sell you. you might try to address or refute historical facts I mentioned on this post or the other websites I’ve been on. Lets see what guts you have. You just might learn something.

    Comment by Mike — June 7, 2006 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  4. I will not apologize on behalf of the sins of my goddamn gender and race, which I’m damn proud of.

    I wouldm’t ask you to, and there’s nothing wrong with that pride.

    But I smell a contradiction here: When discussing “sins”/privileges of men you assert that you (or white men collectively) don’t get them, as you are not Bill Gates (here I agree), but why must you (or white men collectively) insist on getting praise for being the same race and gender as Karl Benz?

    Either choose invidualism or collectivism and stick with it, good and bad.

    You also raised some legitimate points about issues faced by men, but I doubt you will get much debate with the accusatory tone you have adopted.

    Comment by Tuomas — June 7, 2006 @ 4:24 pm | Reply

  5. Tuomas,I appreciate your feedback.It’s true that I’ve adopted a more pugnacious style in order to compete while arguing with more angry,in-your-face feminists on other boards and websites, on the internet. This seems like a great board, website and place to express oneself. I will agree to tone it down a lot,and get more positive about the way I express my points and social views. Looking to catch more flies with honey than vinegar makes the most sense here.

    Comment by Mike — June 8, 2006 @ 12:47 am | Reply

  6. Hi Mike. Welcome to Creative Destruction.

    I have nothing against a pugnacious style; I try to be hard-hitting myself in my comments and posts.

    However, I do think you’d do better to make fewer points at a time and to develop your arguments, rather than putting a little of everything into one huge turgid paragraph. I read everything you wrote – I made myself – and there’s much that I basically agree with. But nothing you wrote would have had any chance of persuading me if I didn’t already think that way.

    And that’s the point, isn’t it? To persuade, if not the person you’re debating against, then the silent masses who read without commenting.

    Or are we all just preaching to our respective choirs?

    Comment by Daran — June 8, 2006 @ 6:00 am | Reply

  7. I agree. I want to persuade lots of people to change their views. I don’t want to preach to my respective choir. Feel free to comment on the individual sentences in my first post. I will work on making fewer points at a time, and shorten the overall length of the paragraph.

    Comment by Mike — June 10, 2006 @ 3:06 am | Reply

  8. I found this on another website:

    Feminist myths and tricks frequently used to disrupt discussion

    Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 16:50:55 GMT

    [Posted in alt.mens-rights and]

    The purpose of this FAQ is to briefly _identify_ prominent Feminist myths and tricks that are frequently used to disrupt good discussions, and by doing so, to give alt.mens-rights the tools to move onto better discussion; to _focus_ instead of just endlessly defending against the same old anti-male slander.

    The purpose is not to argue or to prove anything to anybody. If you’re interested in more substantive material, I suggest starting with the WWW

    page (Not affiliated with this FAQ or with me):

    After some myths I include concise rebuttals and/or pointers to further information. Don’t be misled: this is not an effort to fully explore and rebut the Feminist nonsense in question. It is a short _reminder_ of what’s wrong with that particular Feminist lie, nothing more.

    Feminist generally follow up this FAQ with attacks, regardless that it’s not directed to them nor intended to substantively prove anything. To them, everything is a move in their “men bad, women good” game. They don’t want us to identify and name their lies. And that’s a good reason to do it.

    I urge you not allow these myths to derail discussion of other issues, even other related issues. If they have not got a clue yet, you can bet they won’t get a clue from anything you say. Instead, I suggest simply cutting-and-pasting from this file, as some have done.

    The myths below have had more than a fair hearing – they have had billions of hearings, here and almost everywhere else on the planet. We in alt.mens-rights have heard and debunked these myths literally hundreds of times. I strongly suggest we refuse to re-discuss them endlessly. These little snippets of Feminist hatred have had their chance already. You don’t owe them another one.

    I feel that any self-respecting people after having addressed the myths _once_ should not have tolerated them any further. We don’t need to be complicit in our own defamation.

    Myth: Men (or white males) have it great. Men are well provided-for by society.

    False. On _this_ planet, men are second class citizens in many ways.
    This is the most cancerous myth of all and those who proselytize it are quite beyond civilized discussion.

    Trick: The preponderance of male legislators (male columnists, etc.)
    demonstrates male power.

    False and sexist. This is known as “The Frontman Fallacy”: looking at
    what _sex_ influential people are instead of looking at _what they actually
    do_. Most legislators, male and female, show favoritism to women’s interests.

    Female circumcision is committed almost entirely by women, yet no-one
    says female circumcision demonstrates female power.

    Trick: Social institutions not specifically dedicated to women are therefore specifically dedicated to men. “Males have _everything_ else in their favor.”

    False. It seems that for every issue, Feminists claim that all _other_ issues except the one in question are working in men’s favor, and never acknowledge that they say this about every issue!

    Trick: Well, in the past and in faraway places, males had it so good and women were treated horribly.

    Not credible. This trick conveniently places the assertion far enough away that you can’t easily check it, but where the Feminist propaganda machine can still churn out horror stories to fit its agenda.

    Myth: Domestic violence is committed primarily by men against women.

    False. National studies, such as Steinmetz, such as Straus & Gelles, and

    such as McNeely, have repeatedly shown the rates men->women and women->men to be almost exactly equal. See

    Myth: We have to admit domestic violence _is_ committed by women, but
    it’s just because they were abused, so it’s still the man’s fault.

    False again! Researchers such as Coromae Mann have concluded “I would
    not define these women as battered women, I would say they are battering

    Myth: The single largest cause of injury to a woman in the U.S. is domestic violence.

    False. And considering the millions of injuries in the US from other sources, numerically ridiculous.

    Myth: Women earn $0.XX per man’s $1.00 for the same work. (The $0.XX claimed varies wildly)

    False. This myth refuses to take into account important considerations such as actual hours worked (!), training, job commitment, etc.

    Myth: Men control more money than women.

    False. Men work for and earn more money, but women control more than 65% of US personal wealth, and spend 4 consumer dollars for every consumer
    dollar that men spend.

    Myth: Women’s standard of living falls after divorce while men’s rises.

    False. This myth is based on an “advocacy” study by Lenore Weitzmann that has been long debunked, for use of unrepresentative samples, misleading arithmetic, insistence on counting payments from the ex-husband to the ex-wife as if he still possessed the money, and so forth. Weitzmann openly broke the American Sociological Association’s Code Of Ethics but has yet to be disciplined for it.

    Trick: “Feminist” and “woman” are interchangeable terms. The opposite of
    “Feminists” is “men”. Feminist interests and women’s interests are interchangeable terms.
    False and absurd. Our opinion of all women could never be so low.

    Trick: I’m a male and I agree with the Feminists that [particular
    Feminist lie]

    Not impressed. You’re far from the first man to sell out their own. You may believe that as what you call a “male” you’re in the perfect position to backstab men’s rights, but we’ve heard it all before.

    Myth: Choice for men is about men trying to evade parental responsibilities.

    False and sexist. In the US, choice for men would give men only the rights women have had since Roe v Wade, nothing more. It would not let the man compel the woman to abort. See

    Trick: People who oppose Feminists are “threatened by strong women”

    It is manipulative and arrogant to imply that the only flaw feminists could possibly have is to be “too strong”.

    Trick: Feminists just want equality. Feminism is about people.

    The anti-male nature of Feminists is so obvious, so huge, so outrageous, that to discuss this myth would only dignify it undeservedly. And we’ve all noticed that purveyors of this trick don’t object when the “Why should Feminism do anything for men” trick is used.

    Trick: Why should Feminism do anything for men? Why don’t men form their own groups instead of demanding that Feminism behave itself?

    We do, and obviously we lack the political clout of Feminism. But given Feminism’s constant use of appeal to pity, it is enormously hypocritical to now say “Who cares about you, we got ours!” And we’ve all noticed that purveyors of this trick don’t object when the “Feminism is about people” trick is used.

    Myth: Differences in the skills and behaviour of men and women are all caused by socialisation. Thus in principle all women can do most jobs as well as all men.

    There is an enormous middle ground between biological determinism and cultural determinism. Both extremes are ridiculous. We should not accept the socialization-causes-it-all theory as “the alternative” to biological determinism.

    Trick: Women have it worse because violence against women is increasing
    at a faster rate than violence against men.

    This is the Fallacy of Confounding the Derivative with the Function. Men have it much worse, as evinced by the two major U.S. Department of Justice crime measures. The actual victimization rates for women are still much lower than those of men.

    Trick: You can’t criticize Feminism because no statement you make is true of _all_ Feminists.

    This trick tries to block discussion by making it impossible to express your thought. The writer simply specifies that by “Feminism”, he means mainstream Feminism, misandry. Another approach is to qualify the term: “Gender Feminism”, “Biofeminism”, or “Radical Feminism”. And if Feminism really was so random, by the same token you wouldn’t be able say anything positive about it.

    Trick: Well _I_ don’t approve of [some particular Feminist evil]. Only some rare radical Feminists do. Maybe.

    If you genuinely don’t, then we weren’t criticizing _you_. But generally the statement is part of the old good cop / bad cop routine. Do you eve actually criticize the misandrists? Ever advance new arguments against Feminist policies or actions? Ever spread the word about the latest Feminist outrage? Or do you just tell _us_ to stop holding Feminism

    Trick: There is no Feminist agenda. I must have been away when the agenda was handed out

    That tactic has become a favorite one to deflect criticism about the activities being conducted on their behalf. Movements don’t exist without agendas, nor can they be effective without a fairly high degree of uniformity among their supporters.

    Trick: I don’t speak for Feminism, just for myself. I’m not accountable for Feminism. Feminism is not accountable for me.

    Fair enough if it came from a real non-Feminist. But if you have argued in defense or support of Feminism, you have shown your colors and we won’t forget it for your convenience. It’s also fair to hold Feminism accountable for you if other Feminists refrain from significantly criticizing you.

    Trick: You’re a misogynist!

    Misogyny has a precise meaning: Hatred of women _as a class_. Those who use
    the term irresponsibly are both unfairly pretending there’s much more misogyny than there really is and also demonizing people. If someone calls you a misogynist just because you are in conflict with an individual woman or you don’t support special priveleges for women, they owe you a huge
    apology. (But good luck getting it)

    Trick: No man can know how awful childbirth is.

    False. We have wives, sisters, mothers, female friends, and so forth, and we have a pretty good idea of what is and is not involved. We’re not about to be bluffed into giving more sympathy than is merited or bullied into playing dumb.

    Trick: You’re just as bad as the feminists. They hate men, you hate feminists.

    Come off it. Anyone who can’t see the difference between hating a birth-group (men) and hating a hate-group back (feminists) needs to pull their head out.

    Trick: Anyone who opposes Feminism is a reactionary who wants to go
    “back to the past”. Feminism is “progress”.

    Anti-feminists are not neccessarily traditionalists. The author is a proud anti-feminist and is not a traditionalist. And not everyone agrees that Feminism is “progress”. On the contrary, most here think Feminism has been a disaster.

    Trick: Why is SO IMPORTANT to you to argue about [some particular gender issue]?

    You should be asking this of Feminists, not of Antifeminists. The Feminists invented the “Which sex has it worse?” issue with all its variations and invented countless lies about it. It was only when the lies were thrown in our face over and over that we realized we had to defend men. Why attack Antifeminists for defending men, and say nothing to Feminists for attacking men in the first place?

    Trick: Men are responsible for wars. This justifies many sorts of manbashing, including the all-male draft.

    You mean, men _are sent_ to war. Surely sending a birth group to their deaths does not justify further discrimination against that group.

    Trick: You’re not a woman so you could never understand.

    And when’s the last time you told a female Feminist she could never hope to understand because she’s not a man? And so the only people who can comment on gender issues are people who have had sex change operations?

    Comment by Mike — August 16, 2006 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  9. Mike:

    I found this on another website:

    Feminist myths and tricks frequently used to disrupt discussion…

    I’ve seen this before.

    Comment by Daran — August 16, 2006 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

  10. Bugger, I appear to have borked the previous link. I should also have mentioned that Google appears to have lost the original post (by me). The linked one quotes it in full.

    Comment by Daran — August 16, 2006 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

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