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Perception Is Not Reality

Updated on August 8, 2020
Annabel Wilhelmina profile image

Wilhelmina, a sociologist, is into phenomena that affects the society and vice versa. Indeed, it is a two-way traffic.

What Is Patriarchy?

Patriarchy emerged before and still exists to date. Patriarchy is male domination in a home. Patriarchy was transmitted to the entire society through social institutions. A family is a good example of a social institution. Other social institutions include,

  • Government
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Economic institutions.

Apparently, social institutions play a huge role in shaping an individual's, groups' or society's activities. Thus, it is through such social institutions that patriarchy is effective in the entire society. Regarding religion being a tool for patriarchy, it is depicted in the Bible. The Bible proposes that a man should be the head of the family and a woman should be submissive to the husband.

On the contrary, the patriarchal society has labelled men and women to be people with distinctive features. In other words, it has stereotyped them. For example, men are perceived to be masculine while women, feminine.

Additionally, men being the head the family came along with certain responsibilities, such as, working and providing for the family and many others. On the other hand, women are to stay at home, create homes, reproduce and cook. Notably, women's place belonged to the kitchen.

Impacts Of Patriarchal Stereotypes On Both Gender

  • Males

Some of the male stereotypes include;

  • Being dominant
  • Toughness
  • Unable to shed tears
  • Being independent
  • Being aggressive

The patriarchal society has made man to persevere everything that comes his way. Be it shortcomings, happiness, sadness, disappointments, all that a man should persevere.

One major disturbing issue is that men are to be sole providers of their families. Moreover, they should be independent since asking for help is not masculine. It has reached to a point whereby a man provides for the family to an extent he is left with nothing. Unfortunately, no one puts into consideration what a man earns. All in all, he must provide.

What about a man who cannot provide for his family? It is so obvious that he should provide for his family because the society has taught him so. What if he does not? The society will definitely call him names such as, so and so, is not responsible. Many demeaning words will be directed to him. This is so unfortunate to such men.

Thus, such men will go to any extent just to make ends meet. For example, a man who has completely run out of options as to where to work and make ends meet, so he decides to go and steal just to provide for his family.

Correspondingly, the same man that was pressured into becoming responsible, is caught stealing, later, he is exposed to mob justice. The same patriarchal society is now beating the man because he is trying to make ends meet through stealing. What a twist!

During this Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment cases have been very high and so, many men are losing their jobs while others are paid half amounts of their usual salary or even nothing at all. This is very disappointing especially for a man who has to provide for his family.

For such a man, he is likely to undergo stress because his efforts of searching for a job are futile. Secondly, the man goes into depression. Definitely, the man would not speak up or even ask for help and why is that? This is because the patriarchal society has made him that way.

To ease pain, many people would prefer crying their pain out. On the other hand, the patriarchal society highly discourages men from crying hence suppressing their pain is their new ultimatum.

Therefore, if the man is not exposed to early counselling at the appropriate time, he might develop suicidal thoughts which will be detrimental to his life. Such a pity! Right?

Other circumstances involve a man's toughness, when men fall ill, they refuse to take any medication or even go to hospital. To some extent, some refuse to eat fruits to stay healthy. What if the man is suffering from a deadly disease? Wouldn't it result to his death?

  • Females

On the other hand, the female stereotypes include;

  • Being gentle
  • Being dependent
  • Being submissive
  • Home-oriented
  • Being emotional

Generally, the patriarchal society perceives women to be weak hence excluding them from all activities that require masculine energy. From the above stereotypes, we can conclude that a woman should only stay at home and create a home for his husband and children.

Patriarchy has made it very difficult to uphold women rights. Actually, gender equality is perceived to be a threat to the patriarchal society. The patriarchal society prefers women to be housewives rather than employers or employees in an industry.

Let's view it in this manner, since many men go into depression due to the sole providing responsibility as stated above, wouldn't it be a good idea if women get employed in order to help out with the basic needs' expenses in the house?

Are some patriarchal stereotypes worth it?

See results


Patriarchal stereotypes and the patriarchal society as well, are oppressing both gender but mostly men, rather than building them. Thus, asking women to help their husbands out or make such responsibilities equal will help minimize depression cases. It is sometimes better to be civilised than to abide to some patriarchal ideas that will later harm you than build you.

It is okay to say, i will not let such a patriarchal idea control me especially if it is oppressing you instead of making you grow. Furthermore, once you go into depression, your mental health will be affected. Therefore, which one matters? Is it your mental health or the society?

It is high time people made wise decisions when it comes to patriarchal society. Nevertheless, your perception is your reality but generally, how one perceives patriarchy or the patriarchal society is not the reality.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Wilhelmina Annabel


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