*refers to a cis man, someone who was born with male genitalia and identifies — socially and individually — as a man.
- Acknowledge and admit that male privilege exists.
- Acknowledge and admit that you have personally benefited from male privilege in the past — even if you never intended to.
- Understand that merely having a penis does not automatically make someone a man — just having a vagina does not automatically make someone a woman. If you encounter someone with female genitalia who identifies as male, treat them as male.
- Understand that male privilege and white privilege — while separate things — do have some societal overlap, particularly in social status, educational opportunities, and in many cases, pay.
- Watch what you say. What you might consider a harmless joke could, in fact, harmfully reinforce societal gender stereotypes. Jokes centered around sex or gender are seldom funny and often unnecessary.
- Watch what you think. The more you understand male privilege, the easier it will be to see in virtually every aspect of your life. Once our thinking changes, behavior changes become much easier to enact.
- Do not hold a woman’s sexual behavior against her — particularly if the same behavior in your life would be celebrated. Her five sexual partners should be no different than your five sexual partners.
- Do not belittle a woman’s opinions or beliefs, simply because she is a woman. She is every bit your intellectual equal. Also, if she confides a problem to you, do not belittle her emotions.
- Do not belittle or ignore your own emotions. Being a man does not mean you’re unfeeling. Emotions are a part of the human experience, regardless of what you have between your legs or what gender you identify as.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up when you see someone exhibiting male-privilege behavior. Even if it’s one of your friends, and he told a joke, don’t let it slide. That silence is part of what’s allowed male privilege to become so entrenched into society.
- Understand that a man being in love with another man does not make him feminine; it makes him in love with another man. Projecting the “feminine” mark to gay men belittles not just the men, but cis women as well, because in your mind, someone “feminine” is lesser than you.
- Understand that feminism is not about women wanting to be better than men in society; it means they’re fighting for equal footing. Employment, sexual status, the right over one’s own body — feminists are not trying to take away what’s yours; they’re simply trying to be more equal.
- Do not ignore criticism should you exhibit behavior consistent with male privilege. If you say something sexist, and someone calls you out on it, consider what they say. Do not brush it off as feminist or over-sensitive — that itself is an example of male privilege.
I’m sure there are more, but these are the ones foremost in my mind. Feel free to add your own.