For millennia, the world had been engrossed with the concept of patriarchy and the subjugation of women by men. Male chauvinism, also called patriarchy, is a social system in which males hold primary power, and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property. In the domain of the family, fathers or father-figures, according to supposed patriarchal beliefs, hold authority over women and children.
Historically, patriarchy has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, and economic organisation of a range of different cultures. Generally, it is a reference to social systems in which power is primarily held by adult men at the expense of women. Domination by men of women is found in the Ancient Near East as far back as 3100 BCE, as are restrictions on a woman’s reproductive capacity and exclusion from “the process of representing or the construction of history”. With the appearance of the Hebrews, there was also “the exclusion of woman from the God-humanity covenant.”
The works of Aristotle portrayed women as morally, intellectually, and physically inferior to men, saw women as the property of men, claimed that women’s role in society was to reproduce and serve men in the household, and saw male domination of women as natural and virtuous.
According to the Standard Sociological Theory, patriarchy is the result of sociological constructions that are passed down from generation to generation. These constructions are most pronounced in societies with traditional cultures and less economic development.
Even in modern, developed societies, however, gender messages conveyed by family, mass media, and other institutions largely favour males having a dominant status.
After a period of mass sociological revolution, feminism arose and the hysteria of women’s rights took over. The Feminist Legal Theory defines patriarchy as an unjust social system that enforces gender roles, and is oppressive to both men and women. It often includes any social mechanism that evokes male dominance over women. The Feminist theory typically characterises patriarchy as a social construction, which can be overcome by revealing and critically analysing its manifestations.
Bell Hooks argues that the term “patriarchy” identifies the ideological system itself – that men are inherently dominant or superior to women – that can be believed and acted upon by either men or women, whereas the earlier terms of “male chauvinism” imply that only men act as oppressors of women.
Feminism invented the gender/women’s studies major, but there’s a demand for a new kind of gender studies. A growing number of people are already tired of feminism trying to draw out the suffrage, and it’s hardly “gender studies” if it only focuses on women. Men have had their patriarchal and chauvinistic domination over the society for years. This, so far, is undebatable.
For the last two decades or so, women have also been at the apex of the sociological chain with the rampant cry of equality and justice for all thrown around by feminists. We have come a long way from where we began. Society is in a transitional stage. The old patriarchal world where the man was the provider and defender has collapsed as women entered the workplace. But, as a society, we haven’t fully grasped the concept of equality.
It comes in as this: we have made great efforts to solve things for women (I think this is wonderful!) but we ignore men’s needs. Partly because we believe men are so powerful and can just out-man any problem, while women are seen as vulnerable and in need of support. Neither of these scenarios is true all the time.
This is systemic sexism; apparently men are not any sort of victims, ever. This basically leads me to question whether the objective of feminism was really to create equality or simply to get as much as possible for women, and why it would let men be treated less than equal in the search for “equality”. Isn’t equality supposed to be where all parties are on a plateau with a level playing field? Why should one gender be considered more superior than the other? Can they not all be considered dominant in their own right?
Propagate equal rights
It is hypocritical of feminists to keep touting fairness and this majestic rise of “feminism” and “civil rights” movement, all the while watching the same people continue to reinforce a billion stereotypes between men and women. The world is not fair, and certainly women have their share of gender problems. Men and women are supposed to be equal, yet women always seem to get a free pass where men don’t, or get some other form of special treatment which elevates them from being equal to being superior. Why not propagate general rights for all where all sexes are equal and none feels the need to dominate the other?
I know that’s like a Satanist asking to put an advert for a willing, virginal sacrifice on the church’s notice board, but that’s exactly the problem. If the media belongs to feminism like the notice board belongs to the church, where can you make another argument? I’m sorry feminism had to exist and propagate women’s rights in the first place.
Women have faced, and still do, prejudice and inequality. Here’s a fact, though: men do too. Perhaps we all need to grow up and realise that within our society, we can collectively, as united men and women, set a standard that is fair for all. This is because feminism (not in theory, but in practice) is not about gender equality. Camille Paglia sums up this apparent contradiction well: “You go out in the street; most women on the street have contempt for feminists. Why? It’s because of the excesses of feminism.” Most feminists pay at least lip service to gender equality for both sexes.
Women who disagree with feminism are also accused of false consciousness, of internalising the dominant paradigm (though usually not in those words). As Hanna Rosin puts it, “the closer women get to real power, the more they cling to the idea that they are powerless”. In the early days of the feminist movement, every small victory was celebrated. There was exultation, liberation, a sense of joy at women’s progress that seems largely absent today. Somehow the mood of the movement has shifted into the reverse. To rejoice about feminist victories these days counts as betrayal.
To be logical and thoughtful, one necessarily does not have to pick and choose. The world does not have to be made out as a zero-sum game, assuming that people can only get rights if rights are taken from someone else. There is a growing underclass of men whose lives have been ruined or severely limited by feminist-driven laws and social systems.
Feminists seem unable to admit that, while “some men” may have a lot of power, which is a very tiny portion of men. Most men have no power, and are in fact in extremely dire straits (that few women can even conceive of) and being attacked and demeaned by feminism makes them angry; no surprise here.
Feminism in the last 30 years has made marriage into a system where men essentially have no rights, and worse, where they can be plunged into debt slavery on the whim of a former wife. While women’s incomes, careers, and legal status have grown dramatically, the legal system has not evolved to equalise financial protections to men and women appropriately. High earning women almost never pay significant alimony, while men always do.
We already have women getting more college degrees than men, on average, and in younger generations women are taking the majority of high paying jobs (medicine, law, etc). Men are vastly more likely to be homeless, incarcerated, sued, etc. Thus we face the very real possibility that in a decade or less, women will be the more powerful gender.
Yet, in response to this, feminists either a) completely ignore the issue or b) claim that “men deserve it for all the years they oppressed us”. Either of these arguments is morally repugnant and will lead to widespread male anger. Angry unemployed men start wars – a lesson from WW2 that we seem to have forgotten.
It is extremely foolish for modern feminists to continue making light of the problems of modern men. Let’s face it; patriarchy is long dead. The important thing is that there is a metric function of organisations, people, and overall support for identifying and eliminating these issues for women but, comparatively, a tiny amount of the same support for men.
How can we not talk about men when men are all the generic members we got? Are we to merely neglect them? Imagine this: What if we funded scholarships for orphaned boys? Imagine if we funded safety net insurances for men who end up unable to pay their child support and who face prison for it?
It’s no surprise that boys aren’t doing as well in school and college as girls are. People are making academia such a toxic environment for boys that it’s almost expected for boys to drop out of high school at higher rates and attend college in lower numbers than girls. I’m sure that the rampant misandry in education doesn’t contribute at all towards men growing up to become misogynists and reaching the conclusion that feminism has led to all the hatred of men, who will only end up further hating women.
It seems pretty obvious that men don’t really have it any better than women do. There are a lot of serious issues facing men and boys that are being ignored. Not to cut throat the amazing movement that feminism is, but why not move towards generic rights for all rather than subjective gender rights? Is it fair to sacrifice young boys’ rights at the altar of “feminazism” purely on to their gender? Are boys not innocent of this “chauvinistic” beast?
It all ducktails back to the equality conundrum. When perpetuating supremacy of one sex over another, the cycle will never end. What we don’t realise is there can never be any fair equality if every sex tugs for its own. It’s a tightrope the society is currently walking on.
Inner soul searching is urgently required. It is extremely critical for us to understand the mechanics of the inner workings of “equality” and “justice”. What might be externally equal might not be necessarily just.
It is high time society heads towards the Promised Land where, rather than “male privilege” and “women’s rights”, we consider implementation of General Human rights for all. Sorry feminists but please leave your notions in Egypt. Where we are headed is towards the supremacy of all.