The Thrill of Costume

Female Privilege

Update: Bearing in mind the house rules, the comments are now open again.

Readers of this blog may be familiar with the Guardian’s Julie Bindel, who thinks “[get] men off the streets” is “a fabulous slogan” and then wonders why some male readers find her rather stupid and objectionable. Ms Bindel insists on “naming men as the problem” and believes that “sexual violence is the only thing in the world that affects all women.” She also thinks that “male violence towards women and children… is pandemic” and “all women know that if we have not been raped, we are lucky.” Nuance of thought is not, it seems, Ms Bindel’s strongest suit, or an obvious aspiration.

As a riposte of sorts to such adamant idiocy, and to broader claims of “male privilege,” Ballgame has produced a Female Privilege Checklist, which highlights some of the less remarked benefits of being female. Among them,

My chance of suffering a work-related injury or illness is significantly lower than a man’s.

If I shy away from fights, it is unlikely that this will damage my standing in my peer group or call into question my worthiness as a sex partner.

If I attempt to hug a friend in joy, it’s much less likely that my friend will wonder about my sexuality or pull away in unease.

If I interact with other people’s children - particularly people I don’t know very well - I do not have to worry much about the interaction being misinterpreted.

Brandon Berg offers a few further points to mull, including:

If I marry, there is a very good chance that I will be given the option to quit my job and live off my husband’s income without having my femininity questioned.

If I become pregnant, I and I alone choose whether to terminate the pregnancy or have the baby. As a result, I can be reasonably certain that I will never be held financially responsible for a child I didn’t want to have, and that I will never have my unborn child aborted without my consent.

Because I am not expected to be my family’s primary breadwinner, I have the luxury of prioritising factors other than salary when choosing a career path.

Although I am every bit as likely as a man to allow my sex drive to compromise my judgment, I will never be accused of thinking with my clitoris.

Sweating Through Fog also shares some checklist possibilities:

I’m entitled to the benefits of a safe, orderly society, but no one expects me to risk my personal safety to maintain it.

When I find myself with others in a terrifying, life-threatening situation, I have the right to be evacuated first, once the children are safe. Others can wait.

If I see someone else being attacked, I’m not expected to risk my own safety to defend them. It's okay for me to wait for others to intervene, and it’s also okay for me to criticise others if they don’t.


If I fail at something, I can go to college and study the historical forces and social constructs that make it harder for people like me. If others fail, it’s because they just don’t have what it takes.

Readers may, of course, have suggestions of their own.

(h/t, Stephen Hicks.)