I recently watched a video where trans men explained the idea of male privilege. In the video, they talked about how, after transitioning, they experienced a sense of freedom when walking down the street and moving in public spaces. They noticed that people stopped cutting them off when they spoke. In essence, they were shocked by the ways that their perceived manliness made people treat them like humans.
Their comments were so striking because they made me reflect on the ways that male privilege (the process wherein male and male-presenting people gain undue benefits just by the nature of their perceived gender) and toxic masculinity (the ways that patriarchy operates to create a culture where male and male-presenting people are expected to exhibit harmful behaviors usually against women) have informed my life. As I recounted my many interactions, I realized the countless instances and hours of my life that I have spent trying to avoid predatory, stalkerish men. In fact, so much of my life has been dedicated to patriarchy that it has become as normal as breathing.
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