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Patriarchy hurts men too: contradiction in social institutions - Essay Example

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In a multi-causal social world, all factors have to be taken as ceterus paribus, or all else held equal. Institutions like patriarchy, the state, race, capitalism. they are all immensely complex and have numerous, often paradoxical, goals, methods and results…
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Patriarchy hurts men too: contradiction in social institutions
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Patriarchy hurts men too: contradiction in social institutions

Download file to see previous pages... In a multi-causal social world, all factors have to be taken as ceterus paribus, or all else held equal. Institutions like patriarchy, the state, race, capitalism... they are all immensely complex and have numerous, often paradoxical, goals, methods and results. Oprah is a black woman with immense wealth, influence and power. “Black” and “woman” are categories which are normally not thus associated. Whilst many men are in a privileged position because of their sex, and virtually all men are positioned as men in a superior way, some are disadvantaged by patriarchy and the law; in fact, all are disadvantaged in terms of the serious costs of patriarchy even for the oppressor or superior class. The role of patriarchy in altering patterns of privilege, availability of resources, value of one's labor, etc. is obvious to any serious sociological observer. In the UK, “British women are under-represented in Parliament, paid less than men at work and increasingly being sent to prison for committing minor offences” (Verkaik, 2008). The UN found evidence of patterns of gender discrimination across major swaths of society (Verkaik, 2008). The example of discrimination in minor offences is particularly interesting as, in general, men commit far more crimes and are punished far more often (Kanazawa, 2008). In general, the criminal justice system works against men (but in a paradoxical way as we shall see that still reinforces patriarchy), so this change is particularly noteworthy. Similarly, a major study found that “[a] partnered mother with a child aged under 11 is 45% less likely to be in work than a partnered man” (BBC, 2007). The study's researchers claim that this discrimination costs ?28 billion annually, an important fact that indicates that patriarchy has complex costs that are not just localised onto women. In the legal industry in particular, despite the number of women increasing in the profession to close to their numerical representation in the population, there is still persistent discrimination such as the “mommy track”, an “old boy's club” of elite lawyers at the top of the profession who are primarily white males and control promotion patterns and the distribution of good cases. Looking even further, comparatively or in other institutions, does not end the litany. Women face systematic discrimination in media, industry, employment and the economy. In America, a country with very similar social circumstances to the UK, the Glass Ceiling Commission, which includes among its founders conservative politicians such as Bob Dole, argued in their seminal 1995 report, “Minorities and women are still consistently underrepresented and under utilized at the highest levels of corporate America. For example, 97 percent of the senior managers of Fortune 1000 Industrial and Fortune 500 companies are white,and 95 to 97 percent are male; in the Fortune 2000 industrial and service companies, only 5 percent of senior managers are women, and almost all of them are white; African American men with professional degrees earn 21 percent less than their white counterparts holding the same degrees in the same job categories. But women and African Americans are not the only ones kept down by the glass ceiling. Only 0.4 percent of managers are Hispanic, although Hispanics make up eight percent of America’s workforce. Asian and Pacific Islander Americans earn less than whites in comparable positions and receive fewer promotions, despite more formal education than other groups”. The Economist declared in 2009 that, despite fifteen years of change in corporations, in most European countries all that has changed in any serious way is “the mindset of... businessmen”. In Australia, also a Anglo-Saxon country, women have been graduating from law schools at as high a rate as 60% of their graduating classes yet female solicitors are one-quarter as likely to be partners as men and are only 18% of barristers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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