Men enjoy several privileges

March 16, 2016

What privileges do you enjoy? Think about it. Privilege is an interesting concept, yuh know. A privilege could be described simply as a special right or advantage. Many people may find it hard to acknowledge and accept the idea that they wield certain forms of power and enjoy particular privileges whether those privileges are inherited, earned or bestowed on us. But we all enjoy special privileges, even though we often appear oblivious those privileges until we face the threat of losing them. Nuh true?

Male privilege, for example, is a somewhat difficult idea for some people - especially men - to grasp. What privilege? I asked a few men to think of at least one privilege they enjoy by virtue of being men and the few feeble answers I got came hesitantly and slowly, and suggested that most men don't really give thought to such ideas. But think again brethren, the freedom to walk peacefully down the street without dealing with a barrage of unwelcome, unsolicited and often offensive sexual requests and threats is a privilege we men enjoy without even realising or acknowledging it. That's just one example of male privilege. And we can stand up and urinate. Yeah, we can even walk and urinate. In fact, we can actually literally sign our names on the ground with our pee while we urinate. I know from experience because it's one of the silly things I did as a youngster.




Seriously though, that ease and convenience with which we men can relieve our bladder is just another small and simple example of some of the advantages men enjoy. Look here nuh, my wife and I were once guests at a wedding and we both needed to use the bathroom at the same time. We rushed simultaneously into the respective rooms to do the same simple biological procedure of releasing pressure on our bladder. I was done and out in less than three minutes, but she took more than three times the time I took. Why? She was wearing one of those all-in-one outfits called a romper so she had to basically take off all her clothes just to do the same thing that I did with a simple pull up and down of a zipper.




Of course, I'm making light of it. Male privilege is a much more expansive and serious issue. The idea of male privilege is basically focused on the social, economic, and political advantages or rights that are made available to us as men, based purely on our sex. Of course, our access to these benefits may also vary depending on other factors like race, sexual orientation, economic status and social class. Many men are blind to or apathetic about such ideas though.

It is not difficult to get black men to grasp the concept of white privilege. But getting men generally to recognise, understand and acknowledge male privilege seems much more difficulty though. Why? Mi nuh know. It is something we should talk about though. Yuh nuh agree? We have to really attempt more honest reflection on our many privileges as men. And we have to be willing to be allies of our sisters by applying those privileges towards the advancement of gender equality with the recognition that making that alliance really effective may require occasional surrendering of some privileges. And maybe that's part of why it is so hard. Yeah, hard, but it haffi do. And it is really up to me and you. So mek wi talk nuh!

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