ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sex War: The Struggle for Dominance

Updated on January 6, 2011

Men and women constantly fight each other to prove their superiority. This assumed superiority takes several different forms, the most prominent being in the workplace and within the home. For example, men stereotypically assert their dominance while driving by refusing to ask for directions; women assert theirs by insisting that men get the directions anyway. Women demonstrate their capabilities in the workplace by abandoning all sense of femininity and taking on a more masculine persona; men attempt to intimidate their female co-workers by making inappropriate comments. The pursuit of dominance is often a reaction to gender stereotypes, which are the socially shared beliefs about characteristics of men and women in general (Cleveland, 2000, p. 43). Our modern society makes it unnecessary to continue to struggle over gender role and whether men or women are superior.

Men and women often have difficulty relating in the workplace because men instinctually want to exert physical dominance over women. As it is inappropriate to behave this way in the workplace, they exert this perceived authority by expecting women to defer to them. This, of course, is not the way things usually work out. Modern women are raised to believe that they are equal to men and they should be treated as such. Unfortunately, many overcompensate by behaving in a masculine way, and this behavior tends to be threatening to other women and men alike. According to Susan Landon in “Women in the Workplace”, women find it difficult to advance in the workplace because they have a harder time balancing work and family. The truth is that this idea is more of a stereotype. Women have less difficult to balance work and family than it is to explain why they feel the need to do so. Women are pressured to stay home with their children, to put their families first and work second, even though no one asks the same of men. For this reason, men and women end up struggling in the workplace: men and women both want to prove that they’re the providers.

Men and women often feel pressured to fulfill traditional roles at home: the man as protector and fixer of all things broken, the woman as nurturer and housekeeper, depending on “pin money” from their husbands. Even in the 1940’s women had a difficult time balancing working all day and coming home to find that her day had just begun (Chafe, 1992, p. 175). Men and women put pressure on one another to maintain the socially-accepted roles that have been laid out for them, but the solution is to abandon these roles and to decide for them self what their responsibilities should be. Men need not to feel pressured to avoid showing their “feminine” side by nurturing their children. Boys, in particular, benefit from having a close relationship with their fathers, because they tend to be less likely to act out when their father acts like a caring parent and not always the stern patriarch (Brute, 1990, p. 80). Getting the confusion over the “proper” gender roles out of the way can help men and women relate to each other, and their children, better in the home.

Even though most of the people it hired were women, there was still discrimination. The employer didn't think women with young children should be working outside the home. The employer is entitled to this belief. But he couldn't let it affect his employment decisions. When his beliefs did influence his hiring decisions, he broke the law. They then try to determine their roles both in the home and in the workplace. One can only hope that this will lead to fewer struggles between men and women in order to assert their dominance. One can also hope that it leads to men asking for directions and women avoiding brutish behavior in the workplace.


Brute, M. (1990). Chapter Three Homemakers Male and Female. In Suburban Lives (pp. 67-89). New Brunswick, NJ: RutgersUniversity Press.

Chafe, W. H. (1992). The Paradox of Change: American Women in the 20th Century. New York: OxfordUniversity Press.

Cleveland, J. N., Stockdale, M., & Murphy, K. R. (2000). Women and Men in Organizations Sex and Gender Issues at Work. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Landon, S. (1996, November). Women in the Workplace: Making Progress in Corporate America. USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education), 125, 66+.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)