This article put into words most women’s life experiences regarding gender oppression. It liberating to read every thought and insecurity that I have had written in a text that justifies their existence and explains that they only act as social standards established by patriarchy. Lately, the word oppressed has been falsely used to not only describe minority groups, but also in general people who are going through some difficulties at some point in their lives. In this way, the word loses its importance when it describes the struggle of minority groups, such as women.
In general, women have been controlled by patriarchy in every socially significant spheres of their lives. Especially, when it comes to explaining how these gender norms apply, some points overlap. Women should have sex, but not too much so they are sluts and not too little so they are virgins. My question here is that if women are supposed to be extremely moderate when they have sex, but straight men have the entitlement to multiple sexual partners, then who are they having sex with? These ideas are quite contradictory by themselves. Women have to be acceptable and not fight against these standards. They are supposed to follow them, and the moment they show any resistance they are simply “angry women.” ” Don’t sit with your legs open”, “Don’t go out late at night”, “Don’t curse”, “You should smile more”, “You wear too much makeup”, “You are not girly enough”, are some of the overly reared phrases society uses in order for women to “behave”.
In particular, when it comes to occupations, jobs are gendered in order to fulfill these social standards. Male dominated fields are almost forbidden, as women are to serve and men are to be served. Women are supposed to choose a carrier, they are always pushed towards feminine jobs from a young age, as girls are discouraged from taking sciences. Also, it is very challenging for women to climb the working ladder and take leading positions as people mock them and disregard them.
Women are constantly challenged because of their gender. This patriarchal system is slowly starting to crack, as the people in power, men, are starting to face problems too. Masculinity is so fragile that every little slip of their role, immediately takes their masculinity away. The moment men start showing any feelings other than anger they are emasculated. This means that society needs more flexible social standards regarding gender roles that can include everyone. It is interesting though that the only reason why these problems became so evident is because masculinity was in danger, disregarding the other genders.
Does this mean though that men are being oppressed from their own social constructed ideas? The answer is no. Just because they are facing some issues regarding gender roles that does not imply that they became from oppressors the oppressed. Men remain the oppressors and will remain until equality is achieved. As the author said:” Women are oppressed as women. But men are not oppressed as men.”