Rejecting a Male Centered Worldview

 



The notion of patriarchy has made perhaps the most basic contribution to feminist or human understanding by taking women and their experiences as its starting point. 

This has the direct consequence of degrading males; it so calls into question both the ‘normalcy' of their viewpoints and the underlying premise that they are the measure of what it is to be human, and that society should be organized around their wants. 

It also reveals the peculiarity of men's ostensibly objective manner of seeing the world, in which women are treated as an afterthought or special interest – as in the contrast between "history" and "women's history," or "novels" and "women's novels." 

This means that, despite its universalistic pretensions, the political, social, economic, and cultural "mainstream" is functionally a "male-stream" that marginalizes or rejects half of the population. 


The widely held belief that males are "normal" can be hazardous and/or discriminatory. 


Because safety testing are based on the average male physique, women are at a higher risk of damage or death in automobile accidents; failing to recognize the signs of heart attacks, which are generally different between men and women; and making tools that are too big for the average woman to use. 

In general, if women desire equality, they must submit to masculine standards. 

This implies that any 'different,' such as giving birth or raising children, is seen as a proof of women's inferiority and incapacity to compete with males, while their domestic and caring tasks go unnoticed by economists and political experts. 


Political and economic equality between the sexes entails little more than ‘business as usual with a few more women' from this incomplete and insufficient view. 


Women-centered viewpoints, on the other hand, remind us that the world of paid employment would collapse without women's unpaid labor, and that true equality cannot be achieved on men's terms; rather, it necessitates a dramatic reordering of priorities and assumptions in all spheres of life. 

However, such reordering should not be viewed as a mere reverse of previous values and arrangements. There is no single ‘women's perspective,' but rather a kaleidoscope of shifting, overlapping, fragmented, and at times conflicting opinions that represent the diversity of women's experiences as well as the way they might alter through time. 

As a result, displacing males is simply the first step in breaking free from the constraints of a worldview focused on either ‘side' of a binary dichotomy. 


The tricky issue here is to strike a balance between awareness of gender distinctions and the ambiguity of the label’s "women" and "men" and acknowledgment of the frequently terrible reality of a society that is not just gendered but also patriarchal.




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