In Allan G. Johnson’s article, Patriarchy, The System he states that “manhood and masculinity [are] most closely associated with being human and womanhood and femininity [are] relegated to the marginal position of ‘other’” (74). This demonstrates how, in our own society as well as Hall’s post-apocalyptic society, men view women as objects, as others, and therefore, do not need to see their issues or acknowledge them at all. Through male privilege, men see women’s issues as less important; thus, disregarding woman’s emotions and experiences. Similar to Andrew, our patriarchal society believes there is much more important issues at hand than feminist
Their understanding grew out of the patriarchal interpretations of the Old and New Testament writings, Greco-Roman culture, and the thinking of the Church Fathers who extended the dualism of flesh and spirit, body and intellect to the sexes. Women were viewed as highly sexual beings inferior to men by nature. In this seemingly rationally defined natural order, it followed that the man, as the superior being, was head of the household. The woman fulfilled her primary role in marriage through the procreation and nurture of children. The education of children, an intellectual activity, was the man’s responsibility (Beach 89).
In a simple way masculinity can be viewed as the opposite or the counter part of femininity. But a critical approach of masculinity shows a different story altogether. It is not exactly the counter part of femininity rather a socially constructed form of behavior, attitudes, presentation depending upon the biological features. Manliness or manhood is not something which the man is born with rather after birth through the action and reaction, attachment and detachment, known and unknown one achieves it. “Gender identities are formed from birth as children are moulded into socially-approved patterns of masculinity and femininity.
According to Beauvoir, ‘the very isolation to which women are condemned to precludes them from seeing the generality of their situation.’ Beauvoir assumes that women, like men, are free. In so far as the status of ‘Other’ is imposed on her situation is unjust and oppressive. Finally, Beauvoir’s view that women are not born but made. This means that every society takes a great part in the construction or fabrication towards femininity. And that her identity is socially constructed.
This suggests that a clear distinction exists between men and women, one that supersedes biological differences, allows the for division to creep in between them. This understanding of gender cascades into the concept of hegemonic masculinity, a reality in which man “sustains a leading position in social life”
In the late 1960s and early 1970s each research on sex role stereotypes shows that women were seen to be more cams and expressive, whereby men were seen competent. Those times masculinity and femininity were seen as opposites. Masculine were expected to be men and feminine were to be women -and whoever fell in the middle was referred as need of help (Powell & Butterfield, 1989) or maladjusted. According to Hofstede (1998, pp. 6-7) define that masculinity and femininity dimension differentiates countries, as well as individuals in a debate.
She started with the oppression; women were facing at that time and concluded the subject that lack of education in women is the one major reason behind their subjugation. After her successful campaign of brining change in the department of education and marriage, many feminists looked at the components which are attributing to the oppression of women. Writer such as Simon de Beauvoir explored the fact about a woman body which was considered as an object from years and was dealt as property. She propagated the idea that the women are only sex object for men and have no place in man’s world. She raised the question on the subjectivity of man and illustrated the position of “women as other” (1).
Men used religion to justify their power over women, just as many rulers used divine right to justify their power over a region. Laws were made against women, and in many societies men held absolute control over women. In Roman society, men literally had the power of deciding life or death for their wives and daughters. Women’s lives became more restricted and devoted to pleasing a man. Confucianist views in China pointed out unequal relationships, a huge one being that men were superior to women.
One of the views from Murdock whom argued that biological differences between men and women were the basis of the sexual division of labor in society, Murdock suggested that biological differences where men have more strength physically and women give birth to children concluded the gender roles as a fact and out of practicality. In Murdock’s survey of 224 societies, Murdock examined that task such as hunting, lumbering are male roles and cooking and repairing clothes are female roles. It is because of the women physique that they are limited to the supposed, easy tasks. Through his sample, he concludes that “the advantages inherent in a division of labor by sex presumably account for its universality”. In addition, Parsons (1955) characterized the woman’s role in the family as expressive, which was important for socialization of the young and also this expressive contribute to the stabilization of adult personalities.