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The media is a major contributor to the exaggeration of gender narratives. The gender difference narrative has benefited from preconceived ideas about men and women that are already prevalent. These theories, which create aspirations for both men and women, are frequently not supported by reliable data or arguments. The metaphorical term "Change virus" is used to express the swift and abrupt process of cultural change experienced in society. In culture, certain characteristics and features are referred to as "viruses" because they are easily imitated and swiftly replicated. It is stated that characters who are most noticeable and visible are copied more quickly than characters who are not. The narrative that the differences between men and women created more harmony in the social structure is downplayed by the same-difference approach. There is significant evidence that research and data that promotes the difference of women and men seeks to maintain the status quo and avail less opportunities for women –considering women were seen to have negative strengths as compared to men. The same difference approach seeks to bring an understanding that both men and women react to various circumstances differently and that we are products of many forces that interact; which include: our personalities, characters, genes and chance. This narrative points to an analogy which generalized differences in mate selection by Gender. This view tried to propagate the view that women prefer men who have resources to feed them and take care of them. This finding was based on a historical account emanating from the industrial state which promoted men to be sole breadwinners and women to be stay-at-home wives. Today, women are equally empowered as the men and they are in positions of great influence. Their yard-stick for an ideal man certainly does not revolve around material possessions. Over the years, women have been able to be productive and to work and make ends meet. Similarly, the stereotype that beautiful women make wonderful wives who can give birth is misplaced in the current century.
The same difference approach allows men and women to acknowledge their similarity and removes the element of trivializing differences between men and women. Trivializing differences between men and women has led to the development of glass ceilings for women in “male spheres” and barriers for men in “women spheres”. The same difference approach allows men and women to take advantage of the openings and difficulties that beset their path by trumping on the unfounded theories and stereotypes in history which created an unequal playing field for both men and women (Barnett, 2005).
The creation of an ideal society void of power struggles is possible. What lies between this reality and the status quo is the underlying dominant belief and culture of silence by both men and women. Dominant categories usually take responsibility for their dominance for purposes which reinforce their superiority and reaffirm their position of privilege. Additionally, the concept of patriarchy has been obscured by concentrating on men’s and women’s differences by culture and masculinity and femininity. Discrimination, coercion, preconception and violence against women are therefore normalized. Another factor that hinders the development of a non-sexist society is the fact that people interchange systems of patriarchy with individual people – not knowing that we are all part of a process and a social cycle. In instances of rape and other violence against women, people always invert the blame to the victim therefore remaining in denial.
The first step in alleviating patriarchy is accepting it and taking responsibility. Dominant groups need to take cognizance of the dynamics of the pressures of their own domineering characteristics. This means that every person, regardless of whether a certain inequality has been perpetrated against them or not, should own up the process and encourage active analysis on the gist of patriarchy. Johnson (2005, p.197) gives an example if the way people of color found themselves in the fight against racism while this required corporate approach to dealing with patriarchy. A practical example for men can be to create an awareness of sexual violence not as a way of reaction but as a way of trying to understand the root causes and creating sustainable actions in curbing the vice among men.
The use of guilt and blame avails less in the fight against patriarchy. The author 201 believes that social life is not built on guilt trips and feelings of dismay. People make deliberate efforts to live a certain life. It is acceptable for women in general to misplace their frustrations from male patriarchy on specific men as opposed to the wider category of men. This creates a backlash in the fight against patriarchy. Consequently, when men feel as though they are the cause of the wider problem, they may resent and take stands against sentiments which try to make them appear as orchestrators of the vice. This is because it is the nature of human beings to have a certain degree of tolerance to blame.
question three. The two chief myths that characterize how change happens are;
The myth concerning things being as they were and remaining as they are
No Effect and Gandhi’s Paradox
myth one. The author suggests that reality is constantly moving. What used to happen over 50 years ago has greatly changed du e to deliberate efforts. Social systems are also not static and are definitely changing over a period of time. The struggle for the inclusion of women in education lays basis for this argument. During the struggle for the inclusion of women in the 18th century, very few women were known to be knowledgeable and had actually gone through education systems. The situation has immensely changed due to deliberate advocacy and policy adjustments over the period of years. In this regard, it is important for people to re-think new approaches of dealing with patriarchy as opposed to the known which includes bashing and speaking against men as though they are the core of the problem – not knowing they are also subjects of a greater debate in social systems.
myth two. There are evidences in history that suggest that some social ills cannot be removed by a one-off cure. This means that people have to believe that taking a specific action should not be done with the hope of creating immediate results. In putting this in perspective, the talk about gender equality began in minute revolution groups through history and gender equality is now part of the globally subscribed-to sustainable development goals. Mountain climbers who go for expedition begin with the hope of getting to the peak. Most of the times, they cannot be able to see the peak from the starting point. The conviction that they will arrive at the peak serves as motivation for them to keep on with their voyage. Similarly, we are to change the way we view time as a measure of change. We are to cancel the view that some social changes need to take place within our lifetime. This is because there are some goals in life which took a long time to infiltrate the social fabric. Likewise, patriarchy requires a significant measure of time to end it.
Gandhi’s statement did not mean that our actions to alleviate patriarchy in all its forms are worthless. He meant that our actions are part of a greater struggle and the will all make sense once the end is achieved. Gandhi was admonishing against the view that one’s struggle should avail an expected end. He mentioned that people should not despair and give up though in essence their struggles at the time do not avail significant changes. He likens the non-importance of a single leaf to the tree to a single person’s struggle against patriarchy.
People have the tendency to practices that work to promote their very existence or socials being. Directly challenging these ideals may create a backlash and render things even worse as they initially were. Similarly, in alleviating patriarchy, a workable approach would be to be the change one desires. This means that every individual’s actions unconsciously affect another without knowing it. When people stand against social character and choices that subjugate certain categories of people, there is a creation of a new ideal and dominant oppressive cultures become impossible to sustain.
Barnett, R. C., & Rivers, C. (2005). Same difference: How gender myths are hurting our relationships, our children and our jobs. New York: BasicBooks.
Johnson, A. G. (2005). The gender knot: Unraveling our patriarchal legacy. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
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