It is doubtful that the term male privilege existed or would have conveyed any meaning until the emergence of 19th century women’s movements when they began to expose their oppression and name their oppressors.
It was the experience of women who were its victims. IT WAS NOT THE REALITY OF MEN. As their protests became more common, as they little by little gained access to education and the professions and started to express opinions and challenge their status as non-citizens the women did not need a definition to know what it meant and it entered the realm of general discourse – it’s meaning challenged men who did much to discredit the women rather than the term itself.
Prior to the industrial revolution, most work was agricultural and most family members were engaged in survival. Women and children worked in the fields along with the men. But industrialisation sent men off to the factories and the mines. They became the breadwinners and this created further inequality under the prescription of the church where men were regarded as the head of the family and the woman was obliged to obey her husband who had the right to discipline her.
But then women also left the land and started to work in the mills and even down the mines, and to earn their own money – but their husbands were entitled to the women’s earnings. (Needless to add the men were not known to assume some of the domestic work which was generally regarded by men as demeaning – and often still is.)