Gender Inequality and Patriarchy Essay

1777 Words8 Pages
Gender inequality has been an issue since long before the 1840s, when feminists finally brought the problem to light. Most ancient cultures were societies based on gender inequality, skewed towards male-dominance. Most societies are still mostly patriarchal, in fact. Patriarchy is the root of discrimination between sexes and genders and has been for a very long time. The words ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ are commonly confused with each other in regular, everyday conversations when the two have very different meanings. The term ‘sex’ refers to the biological and physiological characteristics of a person, such as male or female; ‘gender’ is a social construction that refers to masculine or feminine roles in society ( Nordqvist). For…show more content…
For example, England may be ruled by a queen, but it remains a patriarchy nonetheless. The famous Egyptian queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti were also rulers of a patriarchal society. Of course, a society could, theoretically, be female-dominated and remain a patriarchy as long as the females were ‘masculine-gendered’, meaning they played the stereotypical ‘male roles’ in society. Patriarchy usually means a family that is male-dominated and headed by the father. It is a social construct in which men and masculine roles are considered to be absolutely superior to women and feminine roles. A society is considered patriarchal when it is male-dominated, male-centered, and male-identified. Being a male-dominated culture means that positions of power and authority in the political, economic, legal, religious, domestic, educational, and military spheres are usually reserved only for men. Male-identification means that a culture’s ‘normal’ way of living is based on men and their lives. Male-dominance means that the culture has been shaped by men in a way that mostly serves male interests. Patriarchal societies are male-identified because their core ideals concerning what is morally right, desirable or normal are connected with how they think about masculinity or men in general. They are always male-centered, with the culture’s focus is
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