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Male Privilege in Prevention Work

The privileges described in this list represent the experiences of many men who work, volunteer, or provide services to rape crisis centers, domestic violence agencies, or other agencies focused on the prevention of gender-based violence. It is an imitation of the “White Privilege Checklist” by Peggy McIntosh and the “Male Privilege Checklist” compiled by Barry Deutsch. This list was originally compiled from the writings of Kris Macomber and other participants in the Men Against Violence Yahoo! Group.

  1. I can receive praise or acknowledgement for doing the same or similar work as female/trans colleagues, who will not receive similar praise or acknowledgement.
  2. My odds of being hired for a job, when competing against female/trans applicants, are probably skewed in my favor. The more prestigious the job, the larger the odds are skewed.
  3. I can have very little experience but still be pushed (or pulled) into visible leadership positions.
  4. I can be the only male identified person in the room yet feel comfortable controlling the space and interactions.
  5. I can simply show up to an event, or wear a ribbon, and people will think favorably of me.
  6. If I’m co-presenting with a woman, people will consider me the expert and ask me all the questions.
  7. I can be relatively new to the work and yet still be recognized for my contributions by winning awards.
  8. I can deliver anti-violence messages to an audience without being perceived as having an “ax to grind.”
  9. If I have a conventionally masculine presentation of self, I will be seen as “relate-able” and “accessible” to a wider audience, especially younger men and boys.
  10. I can share stories of “boyhood” gender socialization that appeal to male identified audiences in ways that women can’t.
  11. If I decide to stop working to end men’s violence against women, I can feel quite confident that my physical safety will still be secured (which will be especially true if I am a heterosexual, white, male-identified man).
  12. I can receive travel and training opportunities based on the fact of my gender alone.
  13. If I am new to historically all-woman agency, it is more likely that my female/trans colleagues will be asked to modify their behavior to help me feel more comfortable than it is that I will be asked to modify my behavior to help my female/trans colleagues feel more comfortable with me.
  14. I can expect to experience some degree of adoration from women when speaking to audience, especially if I am openly heterosexual and male-identified, and I am presenting to a predominantly younger, heterosexual audience.
  15. I will likely be paid more than female/trans colleagues who have the same or more experience. As a guest speaker or keynote presenter, I will likely be paid significantly more than female/trans colleagues who have the same or more experience.
  16. When I negotiate my pay or ask for a raise, I can be confident that my dedication to the work will not be called into question.