The Injustices of Living under a Patriarchic Society

Jana’e Smith

School of Information Technology @ Eastside High School

[1st Place, 11th and 12th Grade Contest, 2014]

There are many injustices in the world we live in. Many groups of people have suffered injustices throughout history. Even today many people still suffer injustices, such as homosexuals and women. These are problems which have become one of the main focuses of Western societies, including the United States.  So what is the cause of these injustices? Well, it’s called the patriarchy.

What is a patriarchy? Patriarchy is a social system to which power is mostly held by adult men. Meaning men control pretty much everything from political leadership to property. It’s a society which condemns those who don’t fit the status quo or who are born female. You may think that this sort of society is only strong in third world countries, but it really isn’t. The patriarchy system still has a place even in American society although it doesn’t seem that way. We believe that everything in our country is fine and dandy, but we must understand that it is not. We still live in an age where patriarchy still rules all, but it’s under different names. It’s called sexism, gender bias, transphobia and homophobia.

Despite that, there are many who still agree and praise the patriarchal system we live under. Some might even say patriarchy does not exist and that fighting against it is meaningless because there is nothing to fight against. However, those who say this have never really taken a deeper look at our society. They are so used to the way things are that it’s hard to tell what is wrong. If you haven’t noticed, our way of thinking is warped by generation upon generation of brainwashing by the mainstream media. No one questions except those who are affected negatively by this system and are not okay living under it.  Those people being: woman; homosexuals; transsexuals; genderqueer; intersexual; and even men, the very gender to which the patriarchy system considers to be the strongest sex.[1]

Both genders struggle under the patriarchal system. For women, the patriarchal system considers them to be inferior to men. So women are forced to meet the unrealistic expectations made up by a patriarchal society. Even today woman are expected to be the very idea of femininity. Meaning woman are still expected to be dependent, emotional, passive, sensitive, quiet, graceful, innocent, weak , flirtatious, nurturing, self-critical, soft, sexually submissive, and accepting. Women are not to be considered to be as intelligent as their male counterpart. They have to take care of the kids, do all the household chores, and be overdramatic during a situation. Good Lord, I hear the 1960’s calling! I think they want their stereotypes back.

Men are also forced to meet an unrealistic expectation.  Being the more favored gender under the patriarchal system, men are expected to be independent, aggressive, non-emotional, tough-skinned, competitive, experienced, strong, active, self-confident, hard, sexually aggressive and rebellious. Meaning they have to bring home the bacon, fight in wars, not feel responsible for raising their kids, detach themselves of all emotion and be  expected to pay for everything and everyone. Not even cavemen lived in such an unequal world. Truth be told, our prehistoric ancestors were more equal than us when it came to gender.  Not only this, but this gives a message to men that they are expected to be aggressive, abusive, and downright unfeeling. Pretty much we’re asking men to be robots.

Despite many changes that have taken place in concern to making woman equal to men, there is still inequality between the genders. Not only that, but society tends to be bias towards a certain gender when it comes to particular situations. In the U.S woman are paid less money than men, even if they’re working in the same field with the same position.[2] In countries such as China and India, there is a practice called sex-selective abortion.  It is common for female fetuses to be select for abortion over males, mostly because male babies are seen as more likely to ensure that their family is economically and financially stable.[3]

The patriarchal system doesn’t only harm the genders, but also those of LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersexual.) Most discrimination against this community is mostly the effects of religion. Most if not all interpretation of religious texts have been constructed in favor of the patriarchal system, so really patriarchy is at fault here once again. When it comes to cultural dislike of the LGBTQI community, it’s usually because this community breaks the gender binary. Within this community most of the time there is no husband and wife. It’s usually, husband and husband, wife and wife, or just simply partners.

Not only that but those who are transgendered don’t feel comfortable with their biological gender and tend to feel more comfortable as the opposite gender.  Genderqueer are those who feel comfortable being both or none of the genders, and doesn’t concede to gender roles assigned to their biological gender. Genderqueer people prefer being called both, or their own gender neutral pronouns such as one, “ze” and “sie”.[4] Intersexuals are born with a fusion of their genitalia, making them neither male nor female unless they choose to be.  They are everything the patriarchal system is against; they break the gender binary and don’t follow the expectations of society. [5] This is why they are not considered normal or natural by society. This is why they’re has been so much discrimination against them.  The LGBTQI suffer from discrimination and abuse all over the world including the United States. Bisexuals, Genderqueer, and Transgender suffer more injustice, even from lesbians and gays. Bisexuals are sometimes labeled as sluts because of their ability to love more than one gender. Genderqueer and Transgender are looked down on for identifying themselves as the opposite gender or more than one gender.[6] Intersexual people are introduced to discrimination from birth. Often time’s newborn intsexed children have their gender identities forced onto them by their parents or even by the hands of doctors. One of their genitals, usually their penis, is removed. Often times these children grow up as the gender forced onto them and often become transgendered. [7] Hardly are they given a chance to pick their own identities. Open lesbians and gays have many of their rights and freedoms taken away such as the right to marry, adopt and even in some countries the right to be an open homosexual. Young LGBTQI are often subjected to rejection from their family or friends. Often times they’re kicked out onto the streets at a young age, forced into a life of prostitution or drug dealing. Many LGBTQI youths are bullied by peers or abused by their families to the point they consider or commit suicide or take drugs to escape from the pain. Transgender children are often forced to live and act as the gender they feel uncomfortable in. They feel discontent and struggle to find happiness in the gender they were biologically labeled as.

These are all examples as to how the patriarchal system harms everyone. The system not only screws a particular group personally, but the entire world in itself. It takes away many people’s rights and freedoms and opens a world of discrimination. Is it the ultimate problem to the world, who knows?  Nevertheless, I do know that it is a problem that needs to be fixed. How do we fix it? Well, we start by ridding the implementing of gender roles, eliminate the gender binary, and by educating the younger and older generation into improving the world. If we stop assigning a gender and forcing gender roles onto our children, then there would be a huge amount of change. Children don’t know the difference between genders until they are taught the difference by the older generation. Children are naturally gender blind from birth and by not changing this gender blindness we create an improved world in the next generation. Everyone would be finally equal.

[1] "Gender & Gender Identity." Gender Identity. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.

[2] "The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (2014)." AAUW. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.

[3] "Female Infanticide." BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014.

[4] "Genderqueer." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.

[5] "Gender Binary." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.

[6] "Genderqueer." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.

[7] "Genderqueer." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 04 Aug. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.