Emasculation of men: Part II

0 comments, Sunday, November 4th, 2012, by Faith Heaton Jolley, in Opinions
An article was written a few weeks ago that stirred the masses of feminists and equal-rights activists alike.

“The emascualation of men” was written in an attempt to thwart the tipping scale of inequality between men and women. In summary, the author was stating that women have always been “the underdogs” in society, but that since the feminist movement, the tables have been flipped and men are now being thrust into the inequality ring by unfair representations from the media, etc. (To fully understand this article, I would suggest you read the previous one I am referring to.) I would like to respond to some of the claims that made in that article.

We all know that social institutions form around structures of power. They always have and they probably always will. Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” mentality has seemed to permeate the social hiearchy of the human race since the beginning of time.

As a result, there are always those that are more powerful and those that are weaker in a society. It is safe to assume from observing history that men and women have fallen into that same structure and that men have accepted the role of dominant and women have been left with the role of passive.

Social institutions are constantly trying to categorize and label things. As a result, men have been labeled as being dominant, aggressive, leader figures while women have been labeled as being passive, submissive, nurturing figures. Some may argue that these gender roles are part of human nature, and others argue that society has assigned these gender roles as part of the social hierarchy of power. Because let’s face it, everything in life is always about some type of power struggle.

Now, I am not saying that it is wrong for women to want to be mothers and fulfill the role of nurturer. My own mother and many family members and friends are amazing women that fit the stereotypical gender role of a female and that is perfectly fine. And I am not saying that it is wrong for men to want to be a leader and bread-winner for their family. That is perfectly noble as well for them to live up to the stereotypical gender role of a male.

But, I am saying that it is wrong that we have been branded and squeezed into these categories from the day we were born and the doctors found out what gender we were. Many women are not passive by nature and would like to have an opportunity at being a leader in society. And many men are not aggressive or dominant by nature and they shouldn’t be forced to live up to unrealistic expectactions that they must be the provider and bread-winner.

So, obviously both sexes have been treated unequally anytime they don’t fit into their stereotypical gender role. And the main issue that I have with the previous author’s article is that he is continuing to look at life through these implanted social gender roles. The fact that the title of his article is “The emasculation of men” means that by women taking a step up the ladder of leadership, somehow men are losing some of their rights, privileges, or attributes of being a male. One of our website commentors summed up the point that I feel is the most critical critique of the previous article.

“To be ‘emasculated,’ you must define what it means to be ‘masculine,’” said Meg N. “If you’re defining ‘masculine’ as ‘adhering to traditional gender roles, where the man is the financial provider, the decision maker, and the overall leader,’ then sure, you’re being emasculated. Why does being emasculated based on those standards have to be a negative thing, though? The very concept of emasculation is sexist—because it defines certain roles (such as leadership positions) as masculine. If men are being emasculated, that would mean that women are being ‘masculated,’ which means they are gaining more power and influence—so having power and influence is what it means to be male?”

That is the same point that I am trying to make with this article. The battle and power struggle between the sexes would cease if we would stop laboring under the mindset of these stereotypical gender roles. Women can be leaders, workers, providers and the world isn’t going to come to an end. Men can be nurturing, submissive, stay-at-home dads and society will continue to function.

We need to stop placing ourselves in a box and restricting growth and opportunity for those that don’t fit the mold. There doesn’t need to be such strongly defined roles for the sexes. Then men wouldn’t be portrayed in commercials as incompetent at changing a diaper and women would get paid the same amount for the same jobs as their male counterparts.

But, for this to be accomplished, you would have to talk to the person in charge, because it is inevitably all about power and who is willing to give up theirs.

About Faith Heaton Jolley

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