2 August 2012
Blinded by the Male Monopoly
Although America is oblivious of reality, the nation has succumbed to living in a patriarchal society. From afar, our nation is known as the “land of the free”; however, when taking a microscopic view into our relationships with one another it is evident that there is something wrong. In Allan G. Johnson’s Patriarchy he introduces the term patriarchy as a “male-dominated, male-identified, and male-centered society” (153). It is the most powerful force in history, and it has been operating since the beginning of the human race to modern day. From the signing of the Declaration of Independence, a document signed by men that excluded women their right to freedom, has shaped our culture into a male dominated society that has set higher standards to make it unreachable for the female gender (Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions). The idea that men are superior and women are deficient of necessary skills to be successful in life has cost females job opportunities, paychecks, and the respect deserved. American citizens are blinded by the corrupt system of patriarchy because of the male need for competition as the alpha male, the assigned gender roles that are engrained in our culture, and the mold society constructed that both women and men strive to fit. The system will be hard to break but society needs to address the oppression by educating others and taking steps to work against sexism, in order to attain full gender equality. To start off, society is blinded by the truth of the patriarchy in America because of the drive men have to challenge other men for the position as alpha male. To gain status as alpha male is to declare ultimate dominance over women and other men. It is deeply embedded within men that the idea of dominance is the only path to great success. According to the author, Michael S. Kimmel, manhood is defined as a “man in power, a man with power, a man of power” (83). In order to obtain wealth, power, and status, men are stuck in this constant battle to reach manhood. Another reason to why men have the urge to act out through violence to be a dominant figure is because of the fear of not being accepted by other men. Kimmel asserts that men fear approval because “men watch us, rank us, grant us acceptance into the realm of manhood,” (86). Stronger men judge other men to see if they can fulfill to society’s ideals to what a “real man” is. Fearing the possibility of not being recognized as a man has led males to test their abilities, take risks, and establish control over others. The epitome of a man to be in control of every aspect of life has instilled this fear of disapproval, and this blinds people from patriarchy because the more men strive to be dominant, the more it reinforces the idea of a male dominated society. Moreover, to illustrate how established gender roles obscure the system of patriarchy can be best viewed within families where women are intended to be housewives. Starting from a young age the concept of gender is instilled through clothing items, toys, and rules based on what behaviors are accepted. Girls are taught to be polite, submissive, and through their dresses, toy kitchens, and dolls it has set them up to play the role of a nurturing mother and wife. Women later in life grow up and naturally accept these roles in life because it is the only way of living they were taught. The consequences of implanting gender roles has led society to view women as an unreliable work force hence, are limited job opportunities. Not possessing male-chauvinistic qualities of logic, strength, and emotional restrain women are only able to work in the fields of childcare, teaching, and nursing. The oppression also takes a toll on their paychecks, for every dollar men make women get paid 77 cents. Women are unable to acknowledge the inequality between genders because the rules they had to obey in their...
Cited: "Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, 1848." Race, Class, and Gender in the
Johnson, Allan J. "Patriarchy." Race, Class, and Gender in the United States. Eighth ed.
New York: Worth, 2010
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