Before I begin the rest of this post, I suppose I should get one thing out of the way in hopes of best avoiding a barrage of comments. Just as the phrase “not all men” gets thrown around (by men, I might add), I am fully aware that not all women feel this way. However, some – dare I say ‘many’? – do feel this way.
That being said, I have met myriad men who are convinced that men and women are completely equal in today’s society. This concept, when aired in public, is generally compared with the complain that “women have it so easy.”
I generally respond with a robust laugh that makes my sides ache.
Not only is there copious amounts of evidence to prove the fact that men DO, in fact, enjoy extra privileges in our modern patriarchal society (Just as they did in historical societies), below is a more casual list of all the ways in which men have it so much better us ladies do.
- The “Natural Look” truly is au natural Men are not relegated to a Sex Class, in which they are subjected to constant dehumanization and objectification. Men can just throw on a t-shirt and jeans and go about their day. Heaven forbid a woman decides to forgo make that day and wear whatever is the most comfortable. Because, you know, we’re expected to look good at all times. What else are we for, if not for visible entertainment for the opposite gender?
- They do not have to bleed for a straight week each month. Not only is this incredibly lucky on all its own, but everything that goes along with it further illustrates the male privilege…and how much easier it would be for us to be men. Any person who menstruates will share the frustration of having to sneak a tampon out of one’s bag during class, slip it into one’s pocket, or up one’s sleeve, and ask permission to use the restroom. Men do not have to spend money on menstrual products each month, deal with cramps and hunger cravings, bloating, headaches, and indigestion. Oh, and suddenly losing all semblance of grasp over one’s emotions. It’s great fun.
- Men are not expected to giggle or laugh at every single one of a woman’s boring, sexist jokes. For men, if they find a joke to no be amusing, they don’t have to laugh. We are expected to laugh, or we “have no sense of humor” or, even worse “are bitchy.”
- Men have better, cheaper clothes. We have to hide a bra because society dictates that a bra showing is completely inexcusable. (Because it’s such a big secret that we wear them, right?) So, while we have to search and search for a shirt that is actually not even mildly transparent, men have wide selections of shirts that are thick and comfortable. Most of my t-shirts are from the men’s section, because they hide my bra completely, are far more comfortable, last longer, are of higher quality, AND are cheaper. Oh, and did I mention pockets? Men’s clothing has functional pockets, whereas women’s clothing only has fake pockets or tiny pockets. Our clothing is around for purposes of decoration, because that is what our role in society is.
- Privilege of pornography is something that lies solely in the grasp of the male hand, so-to-speak. Men are provided with global access to prostitution-based propaganda that promotes their privilege to destroy the lives of women. Pornography has spread to mainstream culture, which just further cements women into the role of being a Sex Class. This has branched out to affect the manner in which men view women. Now, us women have to have our pubic hair groomed to the male specifications and tastes, and even have labia of a certain length and size. One would be hard-pressed to find pornography that caters to women and is not associated with sex trafficking or prostitution.
- One of the big things that gives women penis envy is the fact that men get to make the rules. Those in power make the rules and, in such a patriarchal society, all of the laws are made by men. The laws are written by lawmakers, interpreted by justices, and enforced by police – all mostly male positions. The laws are all created and enforced to benefit men at the expense of women, from things like permitting nonconsensual “upskirt” photos to dictating what a woman can do with her body.
- Men are not judged for what they choose to do. Judgment is typically restrained, or non-existent when it comes to male actions. From personal choices, to not being judged for mistakes, to excusing charges of rape, to being congratulated on the number of women they sleep with, men can expect smaller punishments (if any) and far less social scorn (again, if any) for their actions. They also deal with far lighter rebukes for their failures than women.
- Men are never quizzed about their interests, nor is it assumed that they like something just “to get attention.” As a female nerd and geek (I do not really feel they are entirely fungible terms), I am frequented being quizzed by men who see me in a shirt of the nerdy and/or geeky persuasion. Furthermore, I have often been accused of just liking, say, Star Wars simply for the attention of men. It’s also absolutely impossible for me to actually be a gamer, you know. It must be because I want attention. Yup. That’s it.
- Men are not constantly sexualized in the media. There have been countless studies done on the effects of advertisement – and how threatening some are – on women and young girls. Women are constantly sexualized in media, comics, shows, videogames, and practically everything else. I definitely have penis envy when it comes to that.
- It’s perfectly okay if a man does not want to deal with the hassles that accompany shaving. Women are expected to be totally clean-shaven eyebrows down. In fact, advertisements for women’s razors do not even depict a tiny amount of body hair. The women in the advertisements are shaving completely smooth legs. Companies would rather risk their products appearing ineffective than portraying body hair on a woman. It must be nice to not have to shave if we don’t want to, without it being a societal debate issue. Women who choose to keep body hair should be “normal”, not “liberal” or a “hippy.”
So, while not all women share this list of penis envy, there are enough of us for there to be a list in the first place. When it comes to gender inequality, men definitely get the big stick.
My name is Alexia, but I go by Lexi for short. I found Alexia to be an ironic name for me, considering the fact that I am a voracious reader, and write constantly. Alexia is a disorder characterized by the inability to read or write. So, that is where “Booklexia”, the name of my nerdy lifestyle site (booklexia.wordpress.com), comes from.