In the patriarchal world in which we live, gender disparities exist in almost every sector of society; from the gender pay gap, to everyday sexism and gender violence. We have a long way to go to attaining equality.
Despite this, there are still people who believe women are afforded special rights. Some even think that women are given more privileges than men.
And that’s not to say that in society, amongst women and within feminist circles, certain demographics such as white women or cis-gender women should not check their own privilege, because they should.
But patriarchy and misogyny still underlie what are considered the ‘benefits’ of female privilege. For example, women who ‘get by’ on their looks, which is just objectification and undermining of women’s capabilities.
Women can literally get rich from just being Fine… that’s female privilege
— Houston HearthThrob (@atspace) January 31, 2017
‘The pampering part of chivalry can verge on being unsolicited, which actually means the social constructs women supposedly enjoy are really just positive encouragement for men. It views women as unequal – either as weaker or placed too high on a pedestal – and men who treat them as such might be expecting to be rewarded for their gentleman-like manners,’ writes Nikita Redkar.
While what is considered as not male privilege, such as men having an a higher chance of being suicidal, are also results of a patriarchal society that dictate how a man should express himself, i.e.: not at all.
In a New Statesman article, titled ‘The uncomfortable truth: why do more men than women commit suicide?’, Holly Baxter writes:
An increased risk of suicide for men can be seen as that old foe, the patriarchy, backfiring on itself. Rigid binary structures of gender have led to a cultural expectation that men won’t voice depressive feelings or problems with anxiety, preferring instead to suffer in silence until the suffering becomes unbearable and they remove themselves resignedly from the fold. This conflation of emotional turmoil with weakness combines toxically with social stigma surrounding mental health. Often, the idea of a psychiatric visit literally becomes a fate worse than death.
All of the above, proves how detrimental patriarchy is for all genders, but especially for women. Thus making the concept ‘female privilege’ redundant.
If you want to hear more on this, watch Ceedling breakdown the ‘elusive’ female privilege, which she explains as a repercussion of sexist social norms: