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  1. #1
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    Sexism and Patriarchy

    Sexism and Patriarchy, part 1

    “Patriarchy (is a) system: An It, not a he, them or us.”
    -Allan Johnson, author of The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy

    It’s really not hard to find evidence that sexual equality has not been reached.

    Just a few examples.

    -Domestic abuse and rαpe are still commonplace. Both crimes are overwhelmingly male against female in nature.
    -Abduction and murder by estranged husbands and boyfriends still occurs with frightening regularity (even among those who are committed to work against it),
    -Women still are paid less for the same work (current stat is something like $0.85-$0.90 to the dollar, and the national average (not accounting for profession and experience) has women earning $0.75 to the dollar)
    -Poverty rates are higher for working women than working men (nearly 40% of working, single mothers are below the poverty line compared to the fewer than 20% poverty rate among single working fathers). And yet, in spite of that, men’s rights activists are calling for men to be able to opt out of child support...
    -We still haven't had a single woman president (and while I disagreed with some of Clinton's policies, she was still the target of a lot of misogynistic hatred)
    -Reproductive rights for women are still being challenged (George Bush is allegedly working on trying to push legislation to classify IUDs as abortions)
    -We STILL do not have any kind of Constitutional guarantee of sexual equality, let alone gender equality.

    Remember that the United States was unable to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Let’s look at this incredibly controversial amendment:

    Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
    Shock and horror. There’s no way we should pass that, America!

    I will not be happy until I see something like NOW's Constitutional Equality Amendment pass, but I know that some major social rearrangement will be required first. But it still sickens me that it’s 2008 and in America, self-proclaimed leader of the free world, sexual equality is not constitutionally protected.

    Sexism is alive and well in America.

    A person or group may be sexist, but those views are a symptoms rather than the problem. Sexism can refer to aspects individual or group behavior, but it can also apply to broader attitudes and embedded societal expectations.

    The dilemma for progressives is the balance between treating the victims of inequality and working to end the social institutions that support sexism. We must also consider that our experience varies vastly from the experience of others. Human experience, like oppression, is an intersectional affair.

    Males are privileged because we live in a patriarchal society. Patriarchal society exists between men are privileged. It’s all very cyclical.

    Recognizing privilege is a tricky thing. Progressives have made all kinds of lists as a basic starting point, but the thing is, privilege is not a universal constant.

    As I mentioned in my quote, patriarchy is a systemic issue, not a he, us, or them problem. Patriarchal societies are defined to the extent that male-centeredness, male identification, and male dominance in society affirm male privilege. And yet, some, if not most men will not feel dominant. Indeed, women may even dominate men in certain situations. But across society, men hold the majority of the power. Masculinity is valued over femininity. And so on.

    All men are the benefactors of male privilege. But that doesn't make men bad, because privilege is a product of society. The extent to which a man is the benefactor of male privilege varies in each person. Merely recognizing its existence requires a line of thought that is often painful and uncomfortable, and many men react poorly. They may feel guilt. They often feel blamed, as if they are somehow at fault for sexism.

    But no rational feminist is going to blame a man for simply being the recipient of privilege. Even though a man may be ignorantly affirming patriarchy, it's important to remember that he was socialized in a patriarchal society. However, if a man becomes socially aware of patriarchy, it's important that he not be silent. Because patriarchy is a societal norm, even a refusal to challenge sexism is an affirmation of its normality.

    And the same applies for racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, etc - in fact, because of the intersectionality of oppressive systems, it's impossible to accurately examine oppression without considering all the factors. For example, male privilege may be more difficult for men to accept in light of classist inequalities – because men can afford to be unconcerned by male privilege, they feel only the weight of the inequality which punishes them.

    I’m feeling kind of tired at the moment and I'll no doubt write more, but I think this should be more than enough to spark some discussion.

    Go.


    Last edited by ellie lindsey; 02-08-2008 at 08:44.

  2. #2
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    Re: Sexism and Patriarchy

    Quote Originally Posted by ellie lindsey View Post
    All men are the benefactors of male privilege. But that doesn't make men bad, because privilege is a product of society. The extent to which a man is the benefactor of male privilege varies in each person. Merely recognizing its existence requires a line of thought that is often painful and uncomfortable, and many men react poorly. They may feel guilt. They often feel blamed, as if they are somehow at fault for sexism.
    I agree almost 100% with you except on this point.

    Patriarchy is for the benefit of Patriarchs, not men. All patriarchs are male, not all males are patriarchs.

    For example - I can look out my window right now and see ~1000 men working 60+ hour weeks in 120+ degree heat for ~$150-$200/month (I don't live in the US, but live in a rather more entrenched patriarchy). I struggle to see what, if any, privilage they have.

    Men who are not patriarchs are essentially disposable to society, although the reason low ranking women are less disposable is because patriarchy views them sort of as property which therefore has value. which is not exactly great either.



  3. #3
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    Re: Sexism and Patriarchy

    There are no patriarchs. There's no man cabal that pulls the strings behind sexism.

    Males are all recipients of male privilege because sexism is institutionalized into our society.

    However, men can be victimized by other social inequalities - ie, class, etc. And that's what you're seeing at work when you see those men toiling long hours for little pay.

    Believe it or not, men can be hurt by patriarchy as well. This usually happens when to men who reject gendered expectations, but it occurs outside that as well. But while men are in a sense every bit as much victims of patriarchy as women, it is overwhelmingly women that face the negative consequences, not men.

    As I said, the extent to which a man benefits from male privilege varies from one case to the next, but check out the following two links for basic ideas.

    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-mal...ege-checklist/
    http://blog.shrub.com/archives/tekanji/2005-11-22_72

    Not every point may be true for you. Not every point will be true for others. But the idea behind posting those links is not to give you a definitive example of male privilege, but to make you think about the ways male privilege might apply to your life and the lives of those around you.


    Last edited by ellie lindsey; 02-08-2008 at 08:44.

  4. #4
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    Re: Sexism and Patriarchy

    Quote Originally Posted by ellie lindsey View Post
    There are no patriarchs.
    I think you will find there are.

    For obvious examples see the boardrooms of any multinational company, see the members in the house of representatives, the house of commons, the house of lords, the senate.

    Patriarchy is for the benefit of men in positions of power, not men without power. If anything it is also for the detriment to men without power, as they are potential competitors with the patriarchs and so must be kept down by the current patriarchs.

    EDIT: By men in power I mean those with power/status/wealth, this does not have to be someone with political power.

    Males are all recipients of male privilege.
    I disagree, it seems a strange sort of privilage to be disposable to society.

    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-mal...ege-checklist/
    http://blog.shrub.com/archives/tekanji/2005-11-22_72

    Not every point may be true for you. Not every point will be true for others. But the idea behind posting those links is not to give you a definitive example of male privilege, but to make you think about the ways male privilege might apply to your life and the lives of those around you.
    I'm aware of this, and know where you are coming from, and I personally realise I hold immense privilage - I'm a well educated, well off, good looking, white male, you couldn't load me up with more privilage if you tried. I just object to the idea that *all* men benefit from male privilage. I find the idea a divisive one that serves more to seperate humans into "Them" and "Us". I also find it a hypocritical one given that many of the people I see who hold that view are well educated people in the western world who, regardless of gender, are in the top couple of % of the most privilaged people in the world.



  5. #5
    IncGamers Member Sokar Rostau's Avatar
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    Re: Sexism and Patriarchy

    Quote Originally Posted by ellie lindsey View Post
    Sexism and Patriarchy, part 1

    ďPatriarchy (is a) system: An It, not a he, them or us.Ē
    -Allan Johnson, author of The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy

    Itís really not hard to find evidence that sexual equality has not been reached.

    Just a few examples.

    -Domestic abuse and rαpe are still commonplace. Both crimes are overwhelmingly male against female in nature.
    -Abduction and murder by estranged husbands and boyfriends still occurs with frightening regularity (even among those who are committed to work against it),
    -Women still are paid less for the same work (current stat is something like $0.85-$0.90 to the dollar, and the national average (not accounting for profession and experience) has women earning $0.75 to the dollar)
    -Poverty rates are higher for working women than working men (nearly 40% of working, single mothers are below the poverty line compared to the fewer than 20% poverty rate among single working fathers). And yet, in spite of that, menís rights activists are calling for men to be able to opt out of child support...
    -We still haven't had a single woman president (and while I disagreed with some of Clinton's policies, she was still the target of a lot of misogynistic hatred)
    -Reproductive rights for women are still being challenged (George Bush is allegedly working on trying to push legislation to classify IUDs as abortions)
    -We STILL do not have any kind of Constitutional guarantee of sexual equality, let alone gender equality.

    Remember that the United States was unable to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Letís look at this incredibly controversial amendment:



    Shock and horror. Thereís no way we should pass that, America!

    I will not be happy until I see something like NOW's Constitutional Equality Amendment pass, but I know that some major social rearrangement will be required first. But it still sickens me that itís 2008 and in America, self-proclaimed leader of the free world, sexual equality is not constitutionally protected.

    Sexism is alive and well in America.

    A person or group may be sexist, but those views are a symptoms rather than the problem. Sexism can refer to aspects individual or group behavior, but it can also apply to broader attitudes and embedded societal expectations.

    The dilemma for progressives is the balance between treating the victims of inequality and working to end the social institutions that support sexism. We must also consider that our experience varies vastly from the experience of others. Human experience, like oppression, is an intersectional affair.

    Males are privileged because we live in a patriarchal society. Patriarchal society exists between men are privileged. Itís all very cyclical.

    Recognizing privilege is a tricky thing. Progressives have made all kinds of lists as a basic starting point, but the thing is, privilege is not a universal constant.

    As I mentioned in my quote, patriarchy is a systemic issue, not a he, us, or them problem. Patriarchal societies are defined to the extent that male-centeredness, male identification, and male dominance in society affirm male privilege. And yet, some, if not most men will not feel dominant. Indeed, women may even dominate men in certain situations. But across society, men hold the majority of the power. Masculinity is valued over femininity. And so on.

    All men are the benefactors of male privilege. But that doesn't make men bad, because privilege is a product of society. The extent to which a man is the benefactor of male privilege varies in each person. Merely recognizing its existence requires a line of thought that is often painful and uncomfortable, and many men react poorly. They may feel guilt. They often feel blamed, as if they are somehow at fault for sexism.

    But no rational feminist is going to blame a man for simply being the recipient of privilege. Even though a man may be ignorantly affirming patriarchy, it's important to remember that he was socialized in a patriarchal society. However, if a man becomes socially aware of patriarchy, it's important that he not be silent. Because patriarchy is a societal norm, even a refusal to challenge sexism is an affirmation of its normality.

    And the same applies for racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, etc - in fact, because of the intersectionality of oppressive systems, it's impossible to accurately examine oppression without considering all the factors. For example, male privilege may be more difficult for men to accept in light of classist inequalities Ė because men can afford to be unconcerned by male privilege, they feel only the weight of the inequality which punishes them.

    Iím feeling kind of tired at the moment and I'll no doubt write more, but I think this should be more than enough to spark some discussion.

    Go.
    Interesting. I just have one question. Why are you not in the kitchen?




  6. #6
    Banned Johnny's Avatar
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    Re: Sexism and Patriarchy

    Quote Originally Posted by ellie lindsey View Post
    -Women still are paid less for the same work (current stat is something like $0.85-$0.90 to the dollar, and the national average (not accounting for profession and experience) has women earning $0.75 to the dollar)
    So what should we do about that? Should we force all companies to pay women more just because they are women. Would that be equality?

    When someones wage is set on an individual level then it's up to the person to demand more money. If a man wants 15 percent more money then he can walk up to the boss and say "give me a 15% pay raise or I leave" Then the boss could say yes or no or he could offer mayby 5% or 10%. It all has to do how much the individual is worth to the company and the same rules apply to women.

    Quote Originally Posted by ellie lindsey View Post
    -We still haven't had a single woman president
    It's called democracy. The person the people want for president get's to become president. If a women runs for president and does'nt win then that's because the country does'nt want her to be president. Remember that 52% of the population are women so if all women voted on a female president then she would win every single time. But apparantly some women preffer to vote on a candite based on the candidates policies rather than just judging the candidate by it's gender.

    Quote Originally Posted by ellie lindsey View Post
    Constitutional guarantee of sexual equality, let alone gender equality.

    Remember that the United States was unable to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Letís look at this incredibly controversial amendment:

    Shock and horror. Thereís no way we should pass that, America!
    The problem with that amendment was that it did'nt actualy do anything. It wounds cute on papper but it's about as usefull as adding an amendment that proclaims that "drugs are not cool" there are already laws that protect womens rights in the exact same way that this attempted amendment did. At the same time this amendment would remove alot laws made specificly to protect women. When the amendment was first brought up if it had been ratified then women would have been drafted and sent into combat. The modern day repercussions is that women would not have the protection against some aspects of heavy industry. The amendment can also be used against anything gender specific like male/female bathrooms, schools where boys and girls have seperate classes, sportsteams. State funded support groups and institutions for women, support for abused women. It would all have to be removed.

    Also about the part of women who are beaten and abused. It's illegal and the men who do it get punished for it. More severely even than if they had attacked another man. Amoung men and women It's socialy more frowned upon than attacking a man. What else do you want? Are we brekaing out the itty bitty guillotine's?




  7. #7
    IncGamers Member BobCox2's Avatar
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    Re: Sexism and Patriarchy

    OMFG! in Crowbar swings you leave out Matriarchy?



  8. #8
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    Re: Sexism and Patriarchy

    *erm* It seems I owe you an apology, It's been a while since I read the checklist and I forgot what it was exactly. Yes - you are right that the all men have at least some those privilages, and many of them they can't do much about.

    :embarassed:

    However I don't think that having those, or some of those, makes a man more privilaged than a woman. You could come up with a Female Privilage checklist - I've seen MRA nutjobs come up with a few every now and then. And I think we can certainlly agree that those privilages that women have don't make them more privilaged than men.



  9. #9
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    Re: Sexism and Patriarchy

    Quite a few of the things on that list seems untrue. I also don't buy the whole "if I fail/succeed, it won't be because I'm a man" because this is exactly what the website is saying. It does nothing more than attempt to assert a female privilege by putting men's qualifications in questions simply because they are men.

    As for constitutional protection, gender is a suspect class. That is, anytime a law is passed that specifically affects men and women differently, there is a standard that must be met in order for the law to be constitutional. It's not as high as the standards for race, national origin, or alienage, but the required standard still must be present. The theory is that all men and all women of different races should be treated exactly the same, but that fundamental biological differences between men and women necessitate that the laws treat men and women differently. Thus you have things like:
    * Only men are required to enter the Selective Service
    * Originally, only men could be charged with rape
    * The Constitutional right to privacy extends farther for women than it does for men

    These are based on fundamental differences between men and women (men are generally physically stronger, and thus are preferred as soldiers, only men can physically penetrate a woman with their genitalia, only women can get pregnant).




  10. #10
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    Re: Sexism and Patriarchy

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny View Post
    So what should we do about that? Should we force all companies to pay women more just because they are women. Would that be equality?

    When someones wage is set on an individual level then it's up to the person to demand more money. If a man wants 15 percent more money then he can walk up to the boss and say "give me a 15% pay raise or I leave" Then the boss could say yes or no or he could offer mayby 5% or 10%. It all has to do how much the individual is worth to the company and the same rules apply to women.

    It's called democracy. The person the people want for president get's to become president. If a women runs for president and does'nt win then that's because the country does'nt want her to be president. Remember that 52% of the population are women so if all women voted on a female president then she would win every single time. But apparantly some women preffer to vote on a candite based on the candidates policies rather than just judging the candidate by it's gender.

    The problem with that amendment was that it did'nt actualy do anything. It wounds cute on papper but it's about as usefull as adding an amendment that proclaims that "drugs are not cool" there are already laws that protect womens rights in the exact same way that this attempted amendment did. At the same time this amendment would remove alot laws made specificly to protect women. When the amendment was first brought up if it had been ratified then women would have been drafted and sent into combat. The modern day repercussions is that women would not have the protection against some aspects of heavy industry. The amendment can also be used against anything gender specific like male/female bathrooms, schools where boys and girls have seperate classes, sportsteams. State funded support groups and institutions for women, support for abused women. It would all have to be removed.

    Also about the part of women who are beaten and abused. It's illegal and the men who do it get punished for it. More severely even than if they had attacked another man. Amoung men and women It's socialy more frowned upon than attacking a man. What else do you want? Are we brekaing out the itty bitty guillotine's?
    Johnny!!! I can't believe we agree.

    I wouldn't go so far as to say that sexism isn't alive and well, because it is quite evident if you just go outside. I am with Johnny here though, what do you propose? Arrest guys who are jerks? Arrest women that want to stay home? (my Mom is actually very sexist, she says things like "Women's work" in reference to house work)

    It is a societal problem not a constitutional problem. Equalitarian legislation would just end up being abused and leave women feeling like they are owed things they have not worked for (not to say as you said that they get everything they have worked for, but who does?).

    I hope you will realize that this is not a pro-oppression stance. I just don't feel it is something the government should handle, as Johnny said, there are already laws to the effect of your Amendment.

    I would love to see women up in arms like at the Lowell Textile Strikes of 1832, or the likes of a Lucretia Mott, or Voltarine de Clyre, but they fought for the rights of people not for equalitarianism. It is a big difference.

    Peace

    Euthyphro




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