‘In less than a decade women are set to become the more powerful gender in society. This will come as a result of more women attaining college degrees and so taking higher paid jobs. Men are much more likely to experience prison, homelessness being sued and suicide.’ – Author
Art by: Fredrick Ruddum
Throughout history men have been given dominance over women in many societies, cultures and religions using a social system called patriarchy. Patriarchy is a male chauvinistic social system where authority and privilege is given to males over women. In such systems men hold the primary power and authority politically, morally, socially, economically and legally. In a family situation men or fathers are seen to be the rulers of women and children.
Women have often been written out or excluded from history by its writers and the domination of men over women is seen to go back as far as 3100BCE in Ancient times in the Near East or with the introduction of the Hebrews where women are left out the covenant of God and humanity.
The works of Greek philosophers Aristotle (384-322BC) influenced almost all forms of knowledge after Africa and gave the impression that men were more superior morally physically and intellectually than women. It was thought that females were the property of men. Seeing male domination over women as the natural and right thing to do. A woman’s role in society was mainly to serve men in the household and bear children.The Standard Sociological Theory defines patriarchy as ‘sociological constructions that are passed down from generation to generation’. Evidence can be found of such constructions being used in societies with traditional cultures and less economic development. However, examples of gender appropriation and gender favoritism can be seen today in institutions, families, and mass media.
After 3 waves of sociological revolution which started during the late 19th to 20th century, 1970s-80’s and 1990’s-2000’s. A feminism hysteria arose and the message of equal rights for women took over. Patriarchy is defined by The Feminist Legal Theory as “an unjust social system that enforces gender roles and is oppressive to both men and women.” This quite often takes into consideration any social mechanism that predominantly suggests women should be dominated by men.
Lets not get it twisted, patriarchy has been ingrained in many of us. The ideology is acted upon not only by men but by women also who see themselves and every other women as less than our male counterparts as result of such a system over centuries.
The invention of Feminism bought about the studies of gender and women but people are getting fed up of some feminist groups only emphasizing the suffrage of women. After all shouldn’t a study of gender be about both sexes?
Feminism has come a long way within the last 20 years, but it would be right to say that men have undoubtedly held dominance in society over women. All with the sense of entitlement encouraged by a chauvinistic patriarchal system.
The widespread message of equality and justice for women driven by feminists has seen women rise to the top of the sociological chain. Although the concept of equality has yet to be fully grasped, none the less we have come a long way from where we began.
Negatively, feminism can often come across as one sided and being all for women. The change for women has been remarkable and is truly wonderful but with such big changes in such a short time the impact upon men should not and cannot be ignored. Such sudden changes can bring a sense of loss of identity and role in society, low self-esteem, depression, anger and resentment therefore having a confusing and negative psychological impact on a person. With no official support mechanisms put in place, we must not forget that men also have needs and as mothers of men we cannot ignore these needs.
Men also have feelings as women do. So it’s important that we get rid of the patriarchal notion that men do not feel because they are more powerful and that women are weaker and more vulnerable and in need of support. If we want to be seen as equal and play a productive role as positive members of society, we must except men as we do ourselves. Creating systematic sexism in the name of feminism takes away the true objective of feminism and its meaning; which stands for ‘Equality’ and not simply getting as much as possible for women only. Why should one gender be considered more superior than the other? Shouldn’t we all have the same opportunities in life. Can’t both sexes be considered dominant for their own individual qualities?
Cultivating Equal Rights
We live in a world that is not fair and it is only we that can change it. Women have had many issues with gender roles but some feminists promote fairness whilst at the same time reinforcing stereo types between men and women which is a major problem. Women are often given a free pass or some sort of special treatment which alleviates equality and places superiority over the her in society.
I believe that feminism rightly came about first as a voice for women’s rights as we had little to none some less than 100 years ago. It is still a fact that many women still suffer inequality and prejudice on a daily basis at home, work and in society. But feminism in practice has not been about quality for the genders. With such triumphant changes still taking place isn’t it now time to cultivate a movement both in practice and theory which recognises both sexes as equal without one needing to hold dominance over the other?
Camille Anna Paglia an American academic and social critic sums up feminisms obvious contradiction in this statement, “You go out in the street; most women on the street have contempt for feminists. Why? Its because of the excesses of feminism.” What she means to say is that most feminists focus very little on equality for both males and females.
Feminism or the word feminist has become ambiguous to women who disagree with feminism- who are often accused of being brainwashed by old patriarchy stereotypes and ways. Hanna Rosin an American writer and author comments “the closer women get to real power, the more they cling to the idea that they are powerless”.
Slander and a misrepresentation of what feminism really is has led to the movement transgressing. Back in the days feminist victories were celebrated with joy and unity but now many of us are looked at as traitors and home wreckers.
It seems hard for some feminists to admit that only a small number of men even have power and in fact too many are living in conditions most women can only imagine. Some feminist driven laws and social systems have severely impacted the average working-class man, so it’s not surprising that they are angry at being constantly attacked and demeaned by feminists in the media.
On a level playing field in most cases it shouldn’t be necessary to take rights away from one to give to another. Whilst feminism has seen the careers and incomes of women grow dramatically; it has also systemized marriage in a way that has taken away nearly all the rights of men, leaving some in severe debt and in slavery to their ex-spouse. High earning women are never really made to pay significant alimony in divorce cases, whilst men are always made to pay, meaning that the legal system has not evolved to protect the rights of both men and women properly.
Some feminists will argue “that’s what men get for the years of oppression they have put us through”. Others will simply choose to ignore it completely. Either approach to this situation is morally repulsive and will only lead to separation and widespread anger from males. Lest we forget what angry unemployed men are capable of in lesson learnt from WW2.
In less than a decade women are set to become the more powerful gender in society. This will come as a result of more women attaining college degrees and so taking higher paid jobs. Men are much more likely to experience prison, homelessness being sued and suicide.
Taking Positive Action
The problems faced by modern men should not be overlooked by the New Age feminist. By the looks of things patriarchy is holding on by a single thread. This does not mean that we shouldn’t continue to develop and grow in support of identifying and abolishing the sexist issues women still face but we should also offer some of our support to men that are being left behind and disregarded. After all, men are our opposite counterparts and our generic members in society. I think we should support not neglect them; for it’s well known that the current educational environment is one of toxicity for boys who often do not complete high school or college. Let’s be honest, in the future, do we need any more uneducated ignorant and angry boys growing into misogynist men blaming feminism for their disposition in life? The powers that be would gladly let feminism take the blame for its negative contribution of patriarchal delusion on the minds of young boys and men. If we allow that to happen it would defeat the progress made and the entire objective of continuing to fly the flag of equality. Feminism, if we are not careful will get the blame for all wrong doing (as women have been subjected to throughout history) against man which would only lead to more division, resentment and even war.
The reality of it all is that most men do not have it any better off than women do. This fact is too often being ignored. It is time for the feminist movement to move more towards fighting for equal rights of all and not just women. If we continue to perpetuate the supremacy of one sex over the other a cycle of hatred bitterness and separation will continue to echo on to the same old miserable tune.
It’s time to dig deep and recognise that the inner mechanisms of ‘equality’ and ‘justice’ do not externally match up to what is necessarily right. Society needs to recognise that feminism is no longer just about ‘womens rights’ over ‘male privilege’. It’s about Human Rights for all! Together we rise!