Writing Assignment 4
Bianca Van Vlimmeren
San Jose State University
Patriarchy is the system where males hold most of the power economically, politically, and socially in a society. Seeing how there are only 2 genders, speaking in terms of genders assigned by biological sex organs, having most of the power in a society can have a great impact on the social norms and how expectations are carried out. This holds true for the patriarchal norms we have in the United States. Social practices like marriage, income inequality, ideal sex scripts, defining masculinity versus femininity, along with several other facets of society are greatly influenced by this system. For this paper I will focus on the patriarchal standards practiced in men and women’s role in a family household, sexual relationships and gender roles.
As discussed in the feminine and masculinity lecture, a sex role is defined as a number of normative expectations about how one should behave as male or female.When it comes to gender roles for men, things are fairly straightforward. The must be “manly”. That is, they must be rugged, strong, and assertive. There is a call to be muscular, but if not that, at least not slim and wimpy. Feelings are not to be felt or shown to anyone. There is little to no pressure to give any real thought to their outward appearances. Despite this, men are strongly discouraged from wearing anything that is feminine, as it is seen as weak. It’s also important for men to explore things sexually, as long as it’s heterosexually. Now on the converse, women have much more complex rules. For language, women are expected to keep it “fun and simple”, as to not seem out of their place. Cursing is also out of the question for women in public, as it is considered to not be “lady like”. When it comes to body language, posture is extremely important despite having undergarments that are not always comfortable in certain positions. The main idea for appearance is to been as happy and dainty at all times, regardless of actual mood. For attire, women have an interesting combination of rules.
Dresses are expected to be short so that they don’t seem prudish, but not “too short”, otherwise they might be seen as slutty. Interestingly, wearing masculine clothing such as fitted shirts and pants is not seen negatively. Overall, women are expected to look very well prepared (polished nails, high heels, a young and clean looking face) which realistically can takes hours to do, but the purpose is to make it look “natural and effortless”. Women are also expected to wait for sex until marriage, which is a conflicting idea since men are expected to be heterosexually experienced before marriage. There is also the role transgender people in a patriarchal society, which is to say that there isn’t much of one. In general, transgendered people are seen as confusing by the general public and are treated with hostility overall. Next I’d like to look at the double standards for family households. When a heterosexual couple is married, they are declared “Man and wife”, not “husband and wife”. The expectation from society is that men should be the sole breadwinner for the family. If not the only money maker, the man is still expected to make the most money for the family. Women are expected to be housekeepers of the family. Household chores such as dishwashing, laundry, and cleaning are often seen as a woman’s work. Taking care of the children also falls under this list. Men are expected to do any heavy lifting in the family. Any construction or outdoor chores are considered to be on the husband’s chore list, and any child rearing isn’t considered to be one of their responsibilities.This works as a double-edged sword in our society. When a child is born, fathers aren’t usually given any paternity leave as it is assumed that they are the main source of