Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Patriarchy and men

A common misconception about feminism is that it is against men. This is not true. Feminism is against patriarchy, which is the hierarchical system that differentiates people into rigid classes and dictates their behaviour according to stereotypes.

Women are affected largely because they are never in the position of power and are always the subservient. Feminism did start as a movement to liberate women from the shackles that patriarchy puts them in. But it was soon realised that women are not the only ones who are put down by patriarchy. Men are too.

One of the stereotypes regarding men is that they are supposed to be inarticulate who never cry and keep their feelings bottled up because to do so would be to be a "sissy" and a "pussy" (misogynist terms). Of course, these restrictions stem from the notion that having feminine qualities (which are attributed to women) is degrading to being a man.

This incredible piece articulates how such a rigid restriction on the concept of being a man can be detrimental to men.

My favourite part of the article was this -

A pivotal moment came about six years ago when, at the end of a long cross-country phone conversation with an old friend, he said, "Karl, I love you." I was knocked off balance. Saying "I love you" to another man? Unthinkable. I could only reply, "That cuts both ways."


Sony Pony explores another, related, way in which men can be affected by patriarchy.

Feminism is still a majorly women's movement because patriarchy affects women in much more insidious, dangerous, fatal manner than men. Statistics suggest that there is an urgent need for a Domestic Violence Bill.

Hat tip - Feministe

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1 comment:

namrata said...

Hi Madhat. I am a student of NUJS,Kolkatta currently working at Breakthrough, Delhi. This post caught my eye as it deals with the current issue of power equations among individuals and the passing of the DV bill. And you have managed to put the issue in focus quite well.
Well, I work on a youth oriented site called www.bellbajao.org and would love for you to blog on it. We have a category called "In The News" which houses topical blogs on Domestic Violence in particular and Violence against women in general, making sure that news and headlines around the issue remain in the limelight.
Please visit the site and do write back to me at namratad2224@gmail.com about your thoughts on the campaign.And if you're interested, do blog on the site as well. And if you're a regular blogger, we'd be happy to put you on our blogroll and crosslink your blog page on our site.

Thanks and hoping to hear from you,
Namrata

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