You’ve seen the # floating around South African social media: Men are trash. What does it really mean and are we simply overreacting and stereotyping?
In case you needed to be reminded, a 2016 report on Victims of Crime by Statistics SA‚ found that one in every four women faced violence from within their own homes and relationships. More shocking than that is that every six hours a woman is killed by a current or former intimate partner.
#MenAreTrash has been floating around since last year and has recently come under the spotlight with gruesome stories of rape, abductions and murders that women fall victim to at the hands of the men in their lives.
We at MyGirlSquad support the movement and the dialogue that it has brought about. Follow us as we take a look at the trashy things that men do that causes us to label them as such.
Today we talk about Patriarchy
WHAT IS PATRIARCHY?
Patriarchy is the conceptualization of how men, especially cis men, and masculinity are seen as better than, are more respected than, and hold more privileges than women and nonbinary people or femininity.
WHY IS IT TRASHY BEHAVIOR?
There are many reasons why patriarcal systems are trashy, but we will focus on just one today, toxic masculinity. From birth, men are discouraged from showing emotion, which is seen as a feminine attribute — boys don’t cry, right? Without a culturally-approved outlet for their feelings, this stifling of emotion has led generations of men to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol abuse, which men are more likely to experience than women. Furthermore, research has shown that fear of being seen as “weak” is so deeply ingrained that they drastically overcompensate when they feel threatened.
WHY WOULD A MAN WANT TO PERFORM THIS TRASHY BEHAVIOR?
The most obvious thing is power. No, no, patriarchy does not make every man powerful, at least not in the same way, but it reinforces the idea that men as a collective group are the more powerful gender. This in return creates a notion that men are superior to women. After all, power is authority. Thus, the main goal of patriarchy is to establish that men are inherently superior to women and so they should be in power.
HOW DOES IT EFFECT THEIR PARTNER?
Any system that is based on the supremacy of a particular race or sex is a bad thing because it disenfranchises people who do not belong to the favored race or sex.
Patriarchy is based on male supremacy. It disempowers and disenfranchises women.
A society suffers when it disenfranchises entire classes of people because it deprives itself of the benefits those people could offer. When individuals suffer when they are on the receiving end of systemic, institutionalized disenfranchisement.
WHAT CAN YOU DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN A VICTIM OF THIS TRASHY BEHAVIOR?
Unfortunately challenging patriarchy is something that has been ongoing for countless generations, and it will take many more before it can finally be eliminated. This is essential for those of all gender identities. We need to persist with intersectional feminism and changing the patriarchal narrative.
OVERALL SCORE IN TRASHY BEHAVIOR.
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