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Do you notice male privilege more as you get older?

(196 Posts)
Destinysdaughter Wed 10-May-17 19:48:48

I do! Partly because I know what it is and when I was younger I didn't know it existed. Examples are male friends my own age (50) looking for relationships with much younger women. Men in very good careers, not having had to take career breaks for children, not being judged on their looks or weight, being able to delay having children until they were 'ready', i.e.,40 plus. No negative connotations attached to being a single older male, not being called 'spinsters' or 'crazy cat lady' etc

Anyone else?

MrsKCastle Wed 10-May-17 19:56:11

Absolutely. In my teens/early 20s, I pretty much believed that all the battles had been won and that (at least in the UK) we had equality. MN has really opened my eyes, not just the Feminism section but particularly Relationships. Seeing how (many) men treat women is shocking. Also having DDs has made me very aware that I don't want them to be faced with the same sexual harassment that I've had, even though I've been lucky and it has all been 'minor'.

GetInTheFuckingSea Wed 10-May-17 20:01:49

These boards have been an eye opener for me. Also being a single parent - it's ludicrous how different mine and my ex's lives are. Every decision I make- from where I work and live to what I have for tea and what time I get up in the morning - is based around the kids. None of his are. And this is considered perfectly acceptable because we're not together any more. It does my head in!

JigglyTuff Wed 10-May-17 20:08:07

I was a really active feminist in my early 20s and then I sort of settled into a comfortable place where it didn't really have much of an impact on my life. But since I've come here, I've been reawakened. The MN relationship board is absolutely shocking. I've been here for 10 years or so and there is a never-ending procession of women who start their post detailing really, really horrible behaviour from their husband/partner and finishing it with 'but he's a really good dad'. It's really made me realise what horrible lives so many women lead and have normalised.

Hotheadwheresthecoldbath Wed 10-May-17 20:11:18

I don't think it's necessarily an age thing though I am more aware now that I am older.When I bought my first house(1984)I needed a male guarantor as a single female.
My almost 14 yr dd also has a grasp of male privilege (and has had her eyes opened by some of the things my soon to be ex says as we go through divorce and the things he says to her when she challenge s him.
It is underline for her and other girls all along the way,there are only 2 girls in her entire year choosing GCSE computer .science.I thought maybe it was my input but it seems a lot of her school friends are becoming aware.Life was simpler when I was her age and we didn't have the internet.

acornsandnuts Wed 10-May-17 20:11:53

Completely. And not just in older men. I see it in my friends twenty year old sons in comparison to my daughter and friends, young women fighting hard to be mediocre.

FuckYeah Wed 10-May-17 20:25:22

And same here. Becoming a working mother first made me realise the reality of the situation. I'm among a very few of us working alongside working fathers. They call all the shots in our workplace/industry while their wives SAH to bring up their kids.

Also now I am senior and experienced enough to notice when I am being patronised.

MN has also been eye opening for me.

SylviaPoe Wed 10-May-17 20:30:08

I noticed it more when I was younger. I am harassed far less now than when I was a teenager.

Destinysdaughter Wed 10-May-17 20:30:41

I'm also struck by how many traditionally 'male' professions are so much better paid than female ones, although I know there are more women in these fields these days. For example, IT, engineering, management consultants and technical type jobs, compared to teaching, nursing, caring type jobs. Why are certain jobs considered more 'important' in society?

JennyHolzersGhost Wed 10-May-17 20:30:53

Totally. The new generation of massively overentitled and hugely selfconfident 20something men shock me. Nothing has changed.

Carolinethebrave Wed 10-May-17 20:32:37

Oh yes!

Belvadere Wed 10-May-17 20:46:51

I notice this all the time. The way men always comment on women's appearances without being challenged. The way they tend to ignore women's input when it comes to problem solving. The low expectations of women by men (demonstrated by their surprise when a woman says something informed or intelligent). My own brother is getting a managerial position fairly high in the NHS currently, but after speaking to him recently about something I read on MN he responded with 'you don't want to go on that shit, Mumsnet is just a load of ranty, middle-aged women on their periods, venting' shock. Of course I called him out over it, but felt instantly sorry for any future women who may end up working with him... Generally get on ok with my brother too, but that was an eye-opener.

NeoTrad Wed 10-May-17 20:49:41

Definitely. Our DC have taken their first steps in the world of work and it is truly shocking to hear them talk of teams with no women or one woman out of 45.

FaFoutis Wed 10-May-17 20:56:12

Since I had children I notice it more. Almost everyone senior at work is a man with a SAH wife.

alltheworld Wed 10-May-17 21:02:08

Yes yes yes to all of the above

NoLoveofMine Wed 10-May-17 21:30:38

I'm 17 so can't say yet, but I feel I've been slightly aware of male privilege from quite a young age (14 is when I first started considering sexism and, indeed, male privilege). I'd say I'm not now unique amongst my particular friends in being as aware as we can be of male privilege though I'm sure I'll learn more about it and feminism in general as I grow up (already am doing so a great deal on here). Street harassment is one issue which really struck me, though now there are so many ways in which I see male privilege and general double standards/sexism women and girls face.

NoLoveofMine Wed 10-May-17 21:40:29

The new generation of massively overentitled and hugely selfconfident 20something men shock me.

Sadly also true of many boys my age. Some of the misogyny I've read online, heard and heard of from them is incredibly dispiriting.

WorknameJimEllis Wed 10-May-17 21:46:49



At 20 the world was my oyster and all the battles won. At 40, just nope.

cuirderussie Wed 10-May-17 21:50:27

Yes and I actually think it's worse than before. Much as I love the internet it has enabled the porn-saturated culture young men have grown up with and damaged their relationships with women. I feel quite depressed for my daughter, heading into all that in a few years.

NoLoveofMine Wed 10-May-17 21:56:06

This is from my brother's school yearbook last year on a joint Feminist Society they had with their sister school. Similar sentiments to the kind of attitudes and statements I've heard from many boys.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 10-May-17 22:05:12

When I bought my first house(1984)I needed a male guarantor as a single female

I bought my first house in 1982. I was a single female. The bank didn't ask for a guarantor.

Brogadaccio Wed 10-May-17 22:13:30


I am 47 and a sp. Would l8ke a relationship but only opportunity to meet men on line and men v entitled to women a decade younger. I am focusing on building a life that doesnt require a man.
Id rather be in a couple but i can focus on interests as kids get older.

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 10-May-17 22:13:53

That's interesting Lass. I wonder why some lenders were still doing it in the 1980s when ones like yours were not?

Mermaidinthesea123 Wed 10-May-17 22:20:59

As soon as my ovaries switched themselves off I started noticing all sorts of things I had ignored before and this was one of them!

OhTheRoses Wed 10-May-17 22:23:16

I didn't need a guarantor either.

I've never felt male superiority and I worked for years in The City. DH and I have a traditional relationship but we are equals. My parents and grandparents were equals.

MIL burnt her bra but jumped up to get FIL a teaspoon every time he barked.

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