The jig is up. Women have caught us, or at least they have become more vocal. For years men have been able to get away with ‘practicing’ patriarchy because women have been taught to stroke men’s ego. According to the Oxford Dictionary, patriarchy is defined as “a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.” Today, that flaw is even more evident, simply because more women are speaking up and revealing just how inept men are at leading.
Ever seen what happens when a powerless person is thrust into authority? Their ineptitude becomes more exposed. Since time immemorial, men have gone unchecked. We’ve largely been responsible for all the unnatural destruction that befalls the earth, and yet, somehow, we think that we are ‘God’s gift’ to earth and women.
The system of patriarchy is flawed because it relies on men who exert their dominance by shouting, rather than leading and taking appropriate actions. Don’t be mistaken, ‘shouting’ in this sense is not what comes from the mouth, but rather the act of petulance when their authority becomes threatened. It is making decisions on a whim to exert authority, often times ignoring people in their counsel, because somehow a rash show of defiance make them feel good about themselves. Remember when Joffrey chopped Ned Stark’s head off in Game of Thrones? Akin to a lot of the decisions the orange man in the Oval Office makes, to be taken seriously, it is important that noise be made.
I assure you, there are men right now reading this article who may have stopped at the first paragraph. They may have rolled their eyes, scoffed at my words and label me brainwashed or a “pick me”, but undeterred I will remain!
The jig is up because more women are being educated than men. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in 2015, “since 1981, more women have obtained a bachelors degree every year” in the US than their male counterparts. That disparity is even far greater in Jamaica when you consider that women in Jamaica receives tertiary education at least 2.29 times more than Jamaican men; for every 5 Jamaican men attending tertiary institutions, 23 Jamaican women are doing the same.
The privilege of patriarchy was recently on display in Jamaica, when the minister of Justice, in his presentation on a bill that seeks to reduce the statute of limitations on sexual harassment in the work place, chuckled at the prospect that a woman dare take more than a year to be comfortable enough to be disparaged by the public, when she makes a report of sexual harassment. Forget the insensitivity of his comments, the fact that he’s making a case for sexual harassment reports having a 12-month expiry date, is the epitome of privilege.
Just like racism has shown, education is one of the key harbingers for change. When black people were forbidden to read, let alone get an education, it meant that more people were ignorant and it has been proven that it’s difficult for ignorant people to recognize, much less accept that they are being oppressed. The Black Lives Matter movement is the epitome of education for both black people and specifically women, making a stand and heralding change.
But back to the flawed system of patriarchy. When women became more educated than men, men became petulant and afraid and began to deny women job opportunities because of their gender. When women became more vocal, they started benefiting from more job opportunities, but their male counterparts received higher compensation simply because of their gender. THAT is what represents patriarchy, men thrust into power who buckle at the knees when threatened by women; thus making rash decisions because they have the power to do so, further oppressing and denying women fair opportunities.
The world is changing rapidly and it is us men crying foul (still while having enormous advantage), because women are coming for our place. We are crying fowl because women are threatening the comfort in which we have benefited from for centuries. We have controlled the narrative for ages on; the way women dress, the ads on TV, the gender roles assigned, the disdain for women who dare do what they want because they can.
Women are coming for us, but they don’t want us – we’ve become what we pigeonholed them to be for centuries; pansies – they want what we have held on to for so long, the power to decide who they are, what they do and how how they live. Will we be MEN and welcome the challenge or will we cry in our group sessions with fellow “men”?
Written by: Jason McPherson
Image courtesy of Billboard