The Privilege of Being a Woman

The term “female privilege” is thrown around a lot, specifically in efforts to discredit feminists. Since this term isn’t going away anytime soon, lets talk about the “privileges” that come with being a woman.

When I’m walking back to my dorm at night, I’m not enjoying the fresh air or listening to music. I’m alert. The hair on the back of my neck is raised. I have my phone in one hand, set to speed dial to 911, and my keys in my other hand. Every shadow makes me flinch, every noise frightens me. I see a man walking behind me, and I start sweating. I change my route home just in case he’s following me. I duck around a corner and hide until I’m sure he isn’t there anymore. This is the privilege of being a woman.

When I go out dancing with my friends, I get unsolicited comments about my dress. I’m unaware that men have approached me until they have grabbed my hips and began grinding on me, without my consent. I pull away and I’m mocked, called a “prude.” If I want a drink, I keep it in my sight at all times or throw it out, in case someone put a roofie in it. I can’t go to the bathroom by myself without men making crude comments at me right out side the door. This is the privilege of being a woman.

When I am justifiably angry or upset about something, I’m asked if its my “time of the month.” I’m told that my period is “disgusting” and “gross,” and that no man wants to be near me during that week. While I’m sitting at home with cramps, in pain, the men in my life refuse to buy me much-needed tampons or pads, because it would emasculate them. This is the privilege of being a woman.

When I wear clothing that exposes my bra strap, I’m told that I’m distracting the boys. I’m told that I either have to change or be sent home, because a boy’s education is worth more than mine. If a boy exposes his boxers, he is seen as “cool” or “hip. This is the privilege of being a woman.

If I am catcalled, sexually assaulted, or god forbid raped, I am told that it is my fault. I am asked what I was wearing, was I leading him on, did I just regret having sex. I am blamed for a man’s actions, when I was doing nothing other than existing. I am told that I exist for a man’s pleasure, and my body is an object. If I get mad about these things, I get called a man-hater and a “feminazi.” This is the privilege of being a woman.

Do these things sound like privilege to you?

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