Essay: Feminists

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  • Subject area(s): Sociology essays
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  • Published on: November 4, 2015
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  • Feminists
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Feminists are all about breaking the gender roles that society has set in place for us. These roles include having a man as the provider of the family and the woman as a delicate flower that needs to be provided for. Feminists would rather be independent than to have to rely on a man. But unfortunately that decision is not fully theirs. Women are raised differently as men starting from a young age. They are raised to be flawless diamonds with their only function to sparkle because who sparkles the best will get the best costumer and will eventually be a good accessory in the costumer’s life. These costumers are called men.
The part you have just red is how most people think feminists see their selves.
Feminists are common revered to be man-haters. Which is very sad and disturbing because the definition of the word proves otherwise. Feminism is the right for women to fight for gender equality. That does not mean that men should be put aside so that women could take over. No. It means that every woman should be able to have the same rights as man. Which isn’t that hard to understand. Why should women be degraded according to their gender? For most people this question isn’t easy to answer because not much people know why there isn’t gender-equality in such a ‘modern world’.
Well there is an answer to that question; it’s called the patriarchy theory.
The patriarchy is a social system that values masculinity over femininity. This type of social system dictates that men are entitled to be in charge and dominate women. And it implies the nature state of gender relations is a dynamic of dominance and submission. According to patriarchal society, women are seen weak, submissive and an extension of men, and the highest accomplishment a woman can hope to attain is marriage (heterosexual of course!) and child birthing.
On the reverse end of the spectrum, men are expected to be physically and emotionally strong, dominating, and the breadwinner and protector of his family. Although the domination of women today might not be as bad as, say, a couple hundred years ago when women had no legal rights and were considered their husbands property. Gender is still something that is strictly enforces on people today. In patriarchal society’s, cisgender men are typically valued over cisgender women.
However the system forces people into strict boxes called ‘gender roles’, and gender roles hurt everybody. If someone who is assigned a certain gender at birth doesn’t fit into the social norms expected of that gender, they’re often ostracized by society. In the past hundred years or so we’ve seen a loosening of gender roles for women but not so much for men. Women can act or dress in a more masculine fashion with less repercussions that if a man were to act or dress in a feminine way. This stems from the valuing of masculine traits over feminine traits and the association of femininity with weakness. It’s more okay for a woman to ”act like a man”, or whatever that means, than it is for a man to ”act like a woman”. However, the patriarchy doesn’t just harm cis women and cis men. It also hurts trans identities and everyone who doesn’t identify with the gender binary. Being transgender is almost like the ultimate slap in the face to patriarchy and gender roles because you’re stepping outside of the gender you were assigned to birth and saying ” to hell with that”. A lot of trans phobia that we see is based in sexism and the fact that someone is refusing to stay in the gender box that society put them in.
Can we talk about the harmful things that the patriarchy perpetuates?
Because there are a lot of them. Women are less likely to hold positions of power. You might say that more women should run or start their own company but that’s ignoring the reality that women have to face large amounts of discrimination and harassment simply because their gender is seen as less powerful or less credible. And the women that do gain positions of power often have to assert masculine qualities in order to be respected in their position. Women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than men. Women generally do much more their share of parenting than men do because of the gender expectations, often while also working a job.
However, men face negative consequences of the patriarchy too. They’re expected to be the provider of their family and face the pressure of being financially supportive. The patriarchy perpetuates that women need the protection of men, which is one of the ways in which the patriarchy actually disadvantages men. At many point in time, men have been legally forces by drafts to fight in wars and risk their lives. As for women, they’ve been actively discouraged by a society that doesn’t see them fit for combat from enlisting in the military. And the women that do are harassed, demeaned, and even sexually assaulted simply for having the audacity to think they can do the same job as men. Women are also less likely to be viewed as criminals and incarcerated at lower rates than men. This is because women aren’t seen as dangerous, and when they are convicted of crimes the defence claims that they must be mad because they’re going against their natural ”womanly instincts”.
It’s also important to note that patriarchy isn’t solely male perpetuated. Just like how everyone is negative affected by the patriarchy, the patriarchy is perpetuated by everybody. Nobody is outside of societal influence and we’ve all been socialized to have patriarchal views of gender and how people should be. What’s important is that we actively challenge these views instead of just accepting them and work to make society a little bit better.

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