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From the White House to The Federal Bureau of Investigations, we see examples of patriarchy’s negative effects in our country and world. Any conversation of the current state of our country and its political landscape cannot dismiss the role of masculinity and patriarchy in our government. We all hear it and know it’s true, but sometimes, you just need a reminder. Feminism, on the other hand, is anyone who supports the equal treatment of males and females, but especially supports the rights, dignity, integrity, and opportunity for females. This is an issue that permeates every aspect of American culture. It is prevalent at every level of our nation.
Before we understand patriarchy and what feminism is, it is important to know that all of them can be defined from a male and female perspective. Patriarchy defines the social construct which has been created for men to maintain dominance over women. Feminism creates awareness that this system (patriarchy) is harmful in many different ways, especially towards men. Feminism has been replacing patriarchy as the most widely known ideology for gender equality. The most common conception of a feminist is a woman who believes and strives for complete social, political, and economical equality between all genders. Understanding this definition, we can conclude that saying you oppose feminism would mean you oppose gender equality. By doing so, you are willing to risk falling into the negative consequences of male oppression.
For example, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and the oppressiveness of masculinity are all social problems that people often will say men created or men suffer from. Feminists have worked to change this image so that these issues can be called social problems as opposed to being seen as a male-specific problem. Feminism is primarily a movement about women’s rights that fights for equality as a means to promote justice on both sides. The word “feminist” itself is simply an umbrella term to describe the diverse group of people who strive for gender justice and include everyone from society’s so-called “fringe-elements” to politicians.
The only solution I can see to this problem is very hard work. It means recognizing that gender inequity is pervasive and not just a little thing. It means we have to confront the deeply held myths of patriarchy, the view that rape and sexual violence are about private feelings or individual motivations rather than about power and control. It means we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and rethink our relationship with men.