Dressed-up listicle blog Thought Catalog recently published an article titled 18 Things Females Seem To Not Understand (Because, Female Privilege), woefully bereft of a satire tag.
The piece, from man-shaped bag of hurt feelings and self-described ‘Yuppie living in Denver’ Mark Saunders, is an eighteen point list detailing instances of ‘Female Privilege’ as outlined by Saunders, whose writing is surprisingly adept, considering he demonstrates roughly the same level of critical thinking as those birds some dude conned into using twitter. The whole thing is yet another lazy exercise in listicle reductionism and, presumably, didn’t quite make the cut over at Buzzfeed when submitted under the heading ‘18 Things You Won’t Believe This Snivelling Pissboy Thinks’.
I won’t subject you to a point-by-point dissection of Saunder’s Peepee-heart.
Rest assured his piece is standard fare tripe from the more shameful ends of the men’s rights movement: willful cognitive dissonance, rape apologia, and defense of terrible hats. The more astoundingly back-asswards points Saunders presents are such tremendous leaps of illogic that they nearly cease being offensive and become an ersatz trapeze act for people that look toward men named after K-Mart cologne scents for tips on how meet and fuck women.
Wiping the back of his hand across his snot-stained upper lip, Saunders moans “Female privilege is being able to walk down the street at night without people crossing the street because they’re automatically afraid of you”. When translated into terms outside of embarrassing self-flagellation, Saunders is arguing that being fucking threatened is a privilege. That being a fucking threat constitutes an unfair manifestation of hegemonic mechanism.
“Female privilege is being able to get drunk and have sex without being considered a rapist. Female privilege is being able to engage in the same action as another person but be considered the innocent party by default,” Saunders whimpers from within the turd-stiff blanket in which he is swaddled, apparently putting forward that the ability to commit sexual assault is a privilege. What a terrible disadvantage to men, not being able to rape without being known as rapists. At its core, Baby’s First Listicle is emblematic of an unfortunately large contingent of men that never fail to miss the point. Is it weird being a man? Yeah, sometimes. Being alive is probably the third or fourth scariest thing any of us will ever do, and the world is generally an innavigable shit-bog of conflicting interests and poor decision-making.
The ‘privileges’ that Saunders takes the pacifier out of his mouth long enough to itemize only seem to be privileges because Saunders apparently lacks the same cognitive capacity it takes to look in a mirror. Are men told to “man up”? Sure, in the sense that their prescribed gender is culturally paired with strength and self-sufficiency. Are women allowed to emote? Sure, in the sense that they’ll be deemed over-emotional, menstrual invalids.
Saunders fails to realize, presumably because his experiences in the world are limited to the line of sight afforded to him by his Johnny Jump Up, that disadvantages to masculinity do not qualify as advantages to femininity. That any measure of difficulty in the lives of men do not manifest an inverse corollary boon within the lives of women. That the glacial increase of agency for women is a not devastating blow to the rights of men. That not eating every single fucking slice of pizza at the pizza party isn’t tantamount to a measured, deliberate starvation. That coexistence is not a zero sum game. That progress is not predicated on the relegating of others to subordination, but on a critical understanding of self and place in the world. If Saunders doesn’t like that women feel threatened by men, perhaps he should consider that they don’t like feeling threatened, either. If Saunders doesn’t like that men are generally seen as the perpetrators of abuse, perhaps he should consider that women would probably be pretty into not being disproportionate victims of abuse. As for his concerns over parental rights, well, he can call me when a baby is going to fall out of his dick.
The path to positive contemporary masculinity is not paved in fussy listicle tantrums about just how hard us dudes have it, apparently oblivious to the fact that social traumas from centuries of abuse do not disappear because someone made fun of your hat online. Maybe Saunders will figure that out by the time he’s three and we can all take him out for some ice cream. Here’s hopin’.