Here is a quick checklist for all you feminist and allies out there living with male privilege and ready to move past feminism 101.
First of all some men are generally aware of the unfair advantages you’re granted in this society by the virtue of your gender. With high rates of sexual and physical assault against women and gender non-conforming people in this country and how gender socialization in patriarchal context are meant to prime men to take on positions of power.
If you know better than to use words such as “hysterical” or “bitch” and you know to not imply heated arguments on the fact that someone is on her/their period. Then you’re good to go.
Male privilege can be summed up as a set of unearned rights, advantages and even immunities that men enjoy by virtue of living in a patriarchal society. Being a woman or gender non-conforming person it is pretty obvious to see how men benefit from patriarchy.
Misogynistic behaviors varies from super blatant and recognizable to more subtle hues that unexpectedly pop up in our daily interactions.
Without further ado, here are the 5 types of misogynist men.
#1 Interrupted by the – manterruptors
Be it in a workshop, conference, classroom conversation ,discussion group or any place you can think of there is usually at least one guy who wins this title. It is rather common in a multi-gendered situation to have men talking out of turn, interrupting other people while they’re talking and even completely disregarding the allotted-time given to speak.
-Hijacking the conversation and/or derail its original topic in order to match their own personal interest. In the context above, its also common for men to go off on lengthy tirade in order to show off how much they know about a subject.
Misogynistic you might ask doubtfully? That aside isn’t that behavior just plain rude. The answer is yes, regardless of who you are, these kind of behaviors of dominating space this way is rude. And it is a misogynistic sense of entitlement that encourages men to think that what they have to say is far more important and valuable than anybody else?
#2 Emotional Labor Dodgers
What about the relationships you have with men? Does it almost always feel one-sided when it comes to emotional support. Why though? Men are discouraged from sharing their feelings with one another or from having feelings at all. They do however sometimes share in their friendship with women and gender non-conforming folks where it tends to be sort of default safe- spaces for them to express and process their feelings without judgement.
Yes go on pour your heart out to that female friend in a therapy-esque fashion but when the tables are turned, men are often not willing to reciprocate the same kind of emotional labor. Perhaps it is an unconscious expectation that men have regarding this one-sided caretaker dynamic and it is unambiguous in misogyny. No.. one does not simply get a free pass for maternalistic and emotional labor.
#3 The Manspreader
What does this even mean? It simply means that men are often unaware of their physical surroundings or how much space they feel entitled to take up. The term manspreader was coined specifically for men sitting in public transport with their legs wide apart. This term however can be applied in various scenarios: men who leave piles of their personal belongings everywhere in shared living environments, or unfinished projects spread out across designated workstation that is shared and so on.
It is safe to say that a manspreader can be extended to any dude who – by virtue of the amount of physical space he is taking up with his physical body or personal items which makes it hard for anyone else to utilize a space that they should also have equal claim to.
The underlying message that is communicated through this is a sense of ownership and entitlement over a space.
#4 Unauthorized Advise Givers
Places such as the gym or hardware stores are like breeding grounds for unauthorized advise givers. Sometimes we do go in knowing exactly what we want or doing and some well-meaning male customer is likely to stop us because he thinks “you look like you need help” which is not necessarily the case. It’ll be easier if one does not simply assume that someone is ignorant about a given topic before you’ve even talk to them.
To disprove someone’s gender identity is inextricably linked to misogyny. you do not get to decide what qualifies someone as a “man” or a “woman”. The inability to see a transgender women as real women only further asserts patriarchal control over what is and isn’t considered womanly. Upon insisting that there are only two genders is misogynistic in and of itself- the gender binary is a key weapon in patriarchy arsenal. By expecting every person to be able to fit into one of two distinct genders results in a lot of people feeling alienated and unsafe.