Originally posted by WolfofWar
Men aren't oppressed? I wouldn't say that men aren't oppressed. Granted its not by a big looming force, but the feel of old world more's and
social molds are still there ,even for me. Do not discount that.
For example, men can be in a medical field, but are looked down upon, and in many cases, noteven taken seriously, if they are a nurse.
Male Artists,seamsters, fashion designers, and hairstylists are all looked down upon, and instantly labelled gay, and in some cases, meet hostility.
You're right, of course, that men are limited by social roles. This is true. But does that signify that men are oppressed? No.
Traditional sex/gender roles create tensions for those who wish to escape them, men and women included. However, These barriers created by sex/gender
roles are created and maintained by men for their own benefit.
You may not believe this, but consider these questions about the social barriers encountered due to gender/sex roles.
- Who has developed and maintained these roles?
-Who benefits from them? Whose interests are served?
Consider this: "Can men cry? Yes, in the company of women. If a man cannot cry, it is in the company of men that he cannot cry." - Marilyn Frye
What this quote intends to highlight is that it is generally not women who seek to maintain socially constructed gender roles and stereotypes that
ultimately place themselves in a continued position of lesser value and disadvantage.
Originally posted by Open_Minded Skeptic
Men are oppressed (at least in the US, the only place of which I can speak). It is just that the oppression takes different forms than the
oppression women suffer. To wit:
It is men who are (in general) expected to fight and die in wars. Men are frequently forced to take part in wars.
If a man should choose to be a homemaker, that man is looked upon as 'less'.
The same applies here. Many, many women wish to be able to fight wars and be on an equal footing as men when it comes to armed combat and military
service but women are still limited in that context. Women are not maintaining these standards.
You will note is states: "Closed to Women."
Now, I think in many cases this is something most women are happily accepting and most wouldn't want to change it. In my opinion, it's all or
nothing - equality or not. Generally the arguments put forth to support keeping women out of combat positions, such as the one I linked to,
essentialize women - "She's not strong enough", whether it be mentally or physically, or that having women present would distract men ( I love
), or that women can't kill like men can (traditional roles, again).
I also think you are not considering something here. Look at history. Throughout recorded history women have been seen as lesser than man, weaker and
in need of protection. This can be seen in Ancient Greece, where women were not considered citizens to present time. The fact that men still, for the
most part, fight all the wars is a reflection of lingering patriarchal beliefs. Is it opression? No. The difficult jobs men have to do (such as
infantrymen) and other jobs traditionally in the realm of men are still continually more valued than the jobs women have traditionally done. So while
men may be limited by social structures, to say they are oppressed in light of their limitations is, imo, ridiculous. Oppressed and limited
the more valued and honored work of society?
As for a man choosing to be a homemaker.. same thing applies.
These socially constructed norms certainly limit those who wish to deviate from them, but consider that the very occupations men are looked down upon
if they enter are the women's work (traditionally) that has been devalued within patriarchy. The negative outlook is not due to women looking down
upon these occupations and activities; rather, it seems to me to be because those are the activities tradionally within the realm of women's work,
and therefore naturally devalued. Why
would a man, who has the world in his hands, choose women's work? That seems to be what people, who look
down upon others in their career and lifestyle choices, seem to be implicitly thinking.
Is it oppression? No. Because you're still free to create the normative socially constructed roles that guide both women and men in their daily