Yes, it does!
Alongside Male privilege.
A month ago I commented on a post on Facebook and said that ‘Women should recognize their privileges too’ and a lady friend asked me ‘which ones?’ This got me rallied up to think deeply about my comment because to me I see us, women, as privileged in our own way away from what men have.
As the exchange went on, I realized we have ignored our feminine privileges and considered masculinity the best way to live in this world. To me, this is wrong. We can’t aspire to be like men, do things men do, and the lot. We are women of our own secret power and we should nurture that.
I also got the feeling that our aspirations are generated from the indoctrination we have all had that ‘women are the weaker sex.’ But are we really weak? Is either female or male weak? I think we are all strong in our own capacities and should embrace our differences, and find that equality where no one is less than the other. A middle ground.
Some of the privileges I have identified we women have are;
- Women can get away with domestic violence. This is not a good one, but it exists. Domestic violence in all its forms and done by either females or males is wrong but women tend to get away with it. This is because the world thinks men are the brutal ones, they have the power as masculinity dictates. Yes, men also exercise their hands a lot but can never get away with it other ‘factors held constant’ but women can.
- Women are allowed to be expressive. Don’t get me wrong, no one in particular, gives these expressive passes but society does. It looks at an expressive man and calls him a whiner while a woman can go on for days and she is living herself. Our society tells us that men don’t cry. Men don’t talk about their feelings because it is a sign of weakness. Men are expected to be the strong, silent type, and deviating from that leads to ridicule.
- If we women choose not to spend our entire lives scrambling up the ladder of career success, nobody will care. If we want to marry men who make more money than we do (and let’s face it, most of us do, no matter what we say), nobody will think we’re being exploitative. No one looks sideways if we decide to stay home for a while to be full-time moms and housewives. Conversely, stay-at-home men have low, low social status (and, often, low self-esteem). In many ways, we have a far wider range of socially acceptable life choices than men have.
Do you know that despite the steady dismantling of barriers to women, women persist in not wanting what men want? Yet the most equal societies on Earth are the Nordic states and the Netherlands, which have generous parental-leave systems, good social safety nets, and high-quality part-time jobs. But guess what? Women still work less than men, there.
The truth is no one has a lock on privilege among us, female or male. The burdens and advantages, and also different preferences should be notions of equality.
I found a debate about this topic online and thought it would be nice to add it here for those interested. http://www.debate.org/opinions/do-girls-have-more-privileges-than-boys