The Patriarchy Continuum… Continued

March 30, 2009 by and tagged , , , ,

In the comments  of my latest post on the patriarchy continuum, the Grumpy Sociologist mentioned this post of his on patriarchy and domestic violence in the US and Gaza. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of this in the news lately. For instance, the media has been all over the shooting in the nursing home in North Carolina:

Geez, a guy who does not do well in relationships, does not deal well with rejection (hence trying to get in touch with his ex-wife and ex-wife to be) and has easy access to a gun. Is anyone surprised he would vent his frustration in a location related to his failed relationships? What does this say about the social construction of masculinity that some men feel entitled to take it out on others in murderous ways when they do not get their way? And how does this play a part in a boy’s socialization:

We do not see the equivalent attitude among women, do we? Well, that is a question never explored in the media. Take this case for instance:

Horrifying… but wait…

But this is not a "human being" doing this, it is a man who killed his two sisters and was in the process of killing the third. The gendered nature of this is unmistakable.

And as usual, let me draw a connection between these instance of some frustrated males who think they are entitled to take it out on other people (this is something that is present in the culture and the social construction of masculinity) and the institutional factors that flow from patriarchal cultures:

I am quite sure that men that rely on such religious rules will not hesitate to use violence if they are not given the perfunctory and unnecessary consent from their wives. And besides, the very existence of child marriages is a form of violence in itself. Being denied access to women is not an option. If violence is necessary, so be it:

Bottom line is that societies, many societies, have gender norms that implicitly (or explicitly) state that men are allowed access to women, with or without consent. Some societies, as in Afghanistan, actually institutionalize this access. And if access is denied, then, again, as in Afghanistan, a man has the law on his side. Or as in the Ivory Coast, he can simply find a woman to rape. Or if forcing access is illegal, he can take his frustration out on other people (the motive on the sister killings has not been revealed yet) thanks to access to guns, as in the US.

Posted in Culture, Gender, Patriarchy, Sexism, Social Institutions | 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “The Patriarchy Continuum… Continued”

  1.   dmayeda Says:

    Sometimes one of the dangerous things that can happen when discussing social problems is the “other” gets highlighted too much.

    There was a quick discussion today on NPR about a couple of white, well to do, highly educated folks in a violent relationship (not a co-occurring one). I even think I heard Harvard mentioned in the piece – where s/he went to school.


  2.   dmayeda Says:

    In re-reading the start & finish of your post, I see you included the examples from the U.S. I tend to overlook significant things while multi-tasking…


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