Why is patriarchy a “bad” word?

You may hear the word patriarchy and immediately think men. But why is this considered a “bad” word?  Let’s explore this.

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Allan Johnson, a well-renowned nonfiction author, and sociologist describes patriarchy as a system everyone partakes, both men and women.

 

The patriarchy, the system of our society, has images of how men and women should be perceived. Patriarchy defined by Johnson; “is based in part on a set of symbols and ideas that make up a culture embodied by everything from the content of everyday conversation to literature and film.” (Johnson 73).

 

Allan Johnson believes it’s in the power of the participants of said society that must choose how they participate. Whether that means going against the grain and objecting to a sexist joke or realizing male privilege and choosing to not use their power over women.

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He suggests the majority of people of the patriarchy have “patriarchal eyes”, in other words, they have a belief that it’s in man’s basic nature to be masculine and that there are “two and only two distinct genders” (Johnson 74).

 

This, however, is only true as it’s been learned masculinity and femininity are expected of men and women, that to go against the patriarchal concepts of society is to go against the “rules”. Johnson explains its these rules that keep people from going against the patriarchy because doing so would result in punishment so to speak.

 

And it’s because of these ingrained social concepts, such as women to be subservient and men to be dominant in all aspects of day to day life, that “when we hear or express sexist jokes and other forms of misogyny, we may not recognize it.” (Johnson 72).

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This obliviousness of male privilege is ultimately where much of resistance towards feminism comes from. The other half of the resistance comes from men that want to keep this dominance and power the patriarchy has given them.

 

Although as we participate in social systems and are shaped as individuals, it’s through socialization (the process of internalizing the norms and ideology of society) that we learn to participate in a more conscientious way that allows us to make more informed choices; introducing change in the patriarchy.

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U.S. Airstrikes in Syria. What does this mean for the Syrian people?

merlin_136555428_7439ba87-4dca-4559-902b-cfab0f5b22af-master768In the article, As Dust Settles from U.S. Airstrikes, Syria Faces Same Questions, Ben Hubbard writes about the aftermath of Trumps decision to launch missile strikes against the Syrian government.

For several years, Syrian citizens have suffered in their battle for change in opposition to their President Bashar al-Assad. Because of recent chemical attacks on civilians in Syria, killing 70 and leaving 500 people with chemical symptoms, the United States, U.K., and France attacked chemical weapons sites on April 14, 2018 to prevent further attacks. The U.S. said three areas were targeted; research facilities, storage facilities and more remote areas that were suspected to hold the nerve agent sarin. Many believe this was a way for the United States to deter any further interactions with Syria as President Trump previously stated, “No amount of American blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security on the Middle East”. The aftermath of these strikes has only left anti-government activists in Syria wondering what’s next; with Trump stating, “mission accomplished” and Mr. Assad moving forward, many civilians aren’t very hopeful of anything changing soon.

After learning about the chemical attack, this intrigued me to learn more about Trumps stance on the incidence as well as the on-going war in Syria. I learned the significance of the situation as there is some controversy about bombing another country without approval of congress, as several believe this is unconstitutional. Although not mainstream controversy in social media, I found this important as several individuals have noted that congress may not be intervening as much as they should.

With Syria I learned this has been a seven-year on-going civil war, with civilians suffering massively. Although a complicated situation, I do believe what Trump did was progressive in the fact that was his only choice. The only way Syria could be “fixed” would involve a settlement between Russia and the United States, something that would take a lot of diplomatic effort from the Trump administration. Because this would be a hard decision for any president I don’t see this happening anytime soon with our current president.