The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

The student news site of Millbrook High School

Cat Talk

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Opinion: The Negative Effects of the Patriarchy on Men

The patriarchy is harmful to everyone, including the men it puts in power.
The patriarchy is harmful to everyone, including the men it puts in power.

 

  A patriarchal society is one in which positions of power and authority are held by men. A society in which being a man is synonymous with privilege and dominance. 

  It is no secret that the world we live in has been run under a patriarchy since the beginning of humankind. For generations, across cultures, men have been regarded as the superior gender. Men are stronger, men are smarter, they’re providers and they’re protectors. 

  Men have always been in power. They have always run the world the way that they see fit, depriving (most) women of the right to vote, or go to school, or financial freedom, etc. And though over time women have been given these basic rights, they had to fight for them, and the men in charge were the ones who got to decide whether or not to grant women these rights.

  Sophomore Dylan Garrett says, “My opinion on the patriarchy is more neutral rather than positive or negative. I do think it can cause conflict constantly and it leads to inequality and other things like that. However I don’t experience it enough to say I’m against it.”

  It’s clear to see how the patriarchy benefits men at the expense of women. But, is it possible the patriarchy could benefit men at their own expense too?

  The idea that men are the superior gender leaves women, by default, as being the inferior gender. Meaning anything linked to femininity or anything not directly associated with masculinity is inferior, too. Men live in constant fear of emasculation, of being seen as feminine or unmanly. Often leading them to overcompensate and act in a way most aligned with society’s ideas of manliness.

  Toxic masculinity perpetuates harmful patriarchal ideals of how men should act. Men are strong so they can’t show any weakness. Men are dominant so they must be violent and aggressive. Men are providers so they must work beyond their limits, exhausting themselves in order to provide.

  Math teacher and life-long man, Mr. Patterson, shares, “I’ve had years of toxic masculinity ingrained in me as well. The concept that I must sacrifice all that I must for the burden of the family’s well-being still weighs heavily.” He goes on to say, “ I’ve been trained not to show any emotion or weakness since I must be the solid rock/foundation that everything can rely on.”

  Simple sayings such as “boys don’t cry” or “man up” deter boys from feeling their emotions freely. Anything other than anger or pride is deemed unmanly or feminine, emasculating men for feeling basic human emotions. 

  But all hope is not lost. In recent years, the idea of toxic masculinity and the patriarchy have been discussed more and more, bringing awareness to their faults. Now, men are encouraged to talk about their feelings, and to be secure in their masculinity. 

  Mr. Patterson says, “I think the patriarchy is a dying system; I see more families breaking these norms as the years progress. While I like being relied on in my household as ‘the man of the house’, I think I would enjoy a shift of focus. I’d rather be known and appreciated for what I’ve accomplished and not just because I’m male.”

  No matter how you look at it, the patriarchy is deeply flawed. It harms everyone, from the women it belittles to the men it empowers. It would be in everyone’s best interest to dismantle it, and to start fresh.

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About the Contributor
Leah Rodriguez-Romero
Hi! My name is Leah, I'm a sophomore and this is my first year being part of the Cat Talk. I really love to read and crochet and I'm very excited to be a part of this staff and to begin writing!

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  • S

    sadieFeb 26, 2024 at 1:33 pm

    booo the patriarchy! love leah! you should get paid for this!

    Reply
  • A

    Anéssa MyersFeb 26, 2024 at 1:20 pm

    Me with patriarchy: 🙁 Me without patriarchy: 🙂

    Reply