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    Patriarchal Subordination of Women Essay

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    Women are in an inferior gender position. They are subject to control through discrimination, exploitation, oppression, humiliation, and violence. Women are often treated as subordinate to men and receive unequal access to education, employment, and health care. By analyzing some key documents in history and religious institutional ideologies, it is clear that patriarchy is a social construct. This is significant because patriarchy automatically privileges men over women controlling both their reproductive and productive labor. In casual conversation, patriarchy implies male domination.

    By definition, it is a family, group, or government controlled by a man or group of men. The most popular religions fit both descriptions because they are controlled by men. Religion is what gives patriarchy a sense of sacredness that believers are expected to follow. The major religions like Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Islam all worship a supreme being that is male, therefore, some argue that men are closer to the likeness of the supreme being and should be all-powerful. Women, on the other hand, resemble nothing of the supreme being, so they are inferior and should be subservient to the males.

    For example, in Christianity, the Bible teaches that a husband and father are the family leader, protector, provider, and are expected to direct (or control) his family in the expected manner of the religion. Women’s roles are to serve (or be controlled by) their husband, and take care of the home and children. Male leadership also dominates positions and roles in church placing males with key responsibilities and offices within their church, and propagating the ideology of motherhood, which restricts women’s mobility and burdens them with the responsibility to nurture and aise children.

    In the context of religion, we are able to see how patriarchy privileges men over women, and is able to maintain this oppression through the threat of spiritual Judgment. Religious individuals believe that patriarchy is the expectation, and to defy this belief is to go against the teachings of their supreme being. Taking a look at historical events, one would notice that patriarchy carries over from religion to law and politics. From legal documents and court cases to positions in government, women continue to be subordinate to men.

    The United States was founded on key rinciples laid out in the Constitution by a group of men referred to as the Founding Fathers, whose name alone suggests a patriarchal group. There is little to no credit given to any of the women that were instrumental in creating these laws that an entire nation would follow. The Declaration of Independence includes statements like, “… all men are created equal,” implying that only men have rights (Decl. of Ind. ). In addition to that, the original laws in the Constitution do not acknowledge women as individuals with rights, but mere property of the men they were married to, or daughters of.

    Almost a hundred years later, the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution was passed guaranteeing “all persons” the right to equal protection under the law, and it specifically excludes women in Section 2 by describing who would be counted in determining how many representatives each state gets in Congress (U. S. Const. ). It took a little over 50 years before women were given the right to vote in a country where they had existed from the very beginning. Johnson such as church, state… Even when theyVe been allowed to participate, it’s generally been at subordinate, second-class levels.

    Oohnson, 2013, p. 156). The United States is founded on the social construct of patriarchy making it difficult, to say the least, for women to feel anything but discriminated against. Patriarchy is evolving, but hardly to the point of equality between men and women. It will likely take hundreds of years, if ever, before women are considered an equal to men. It will require changes in social norms to stop men from oppressing women, and for women to stop accepting it, even with reluctancy. Works Cited Ireland, P. (1997). Women’s less than full equality under the U. S. Constitution.

    Retrieved from http://www. now. org/issues/economic/cea/ireland. html Johnson, A. G. (2013). “Patriarchy. ” In Rothenberg, P. (9th ed. ), Race, Class, and Gender in the United States (pp. 153-160). North, M. (2013). When men made God a man: religion, the patriarchy and the culture of mysongyny. Retrieved from http://ipinionsyndicate. com/ when-men-made-god-a-man-religion-the-patriarchy-and-the-culture-of-misogyny/ The Declaration of Independence. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. ushistory. org/ declaration/document/ U. S. Constitution, Amendment 14, Section 1 and 2.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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