Military Patriarchy

Topics: Gender, Female, Male Pages: 2 (633 words) Published: November 30, 2010
Part I: Analysis of Journal Entries that Engages with 2 Identification Terms
Any significant amount of time spent in a military setting allows for further reflection on my journal entry about sexism in the military. Aside from some off-color comments and ‘jokes’, most of the problem seems to stem from the fact that those in leadership positions view most of those younger than themselves in a paternalistic way. For males, this means that their mistakes will be corrected, that they will be mentored, and that they will have older role models who are somewhat ‘like them’ to look up to. For females, those attitudes have an entirely different outcome. For the most part, the females are treated as though they need to be ‘protected’ from certain undesirable aspects of training, on the basis that the females are too delicate or fragile or weak to endure them. This ‘special treatment’ which for most women will begin the day they join the military, goes through the ranks and works to perpetuate the perception of women as less able than men. It is to be expected that such a male dominated culture would patriarchal to some extent, but the way in which any woman who wants to be respected is required to exhibit more ‘maleness’ than the men are goes to show exactly how male identified the whole system really is.

That is where my first identification term, patriarchy, comes in. Within American society at large patriarchy is a problem, but it seems that within the military it is an even more prevalent one. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that the military is a traditionally male dominated institution, not just within American culture but historically and on a global scale.

Patriarchy can only be perpetuated where sexism is present. Within this context sexism is present in the form of a systemic way of treating women as just generally being or having ‘less’ of every desirable trait without any consideration for how a person performs as an individual. It is...
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