Sociology: Reading Synopsis: The Gender Knot: Unraveling our Patriarchal legacy.
Allan Johnson’s (2006) question, ‘What Patriarchy?’ brings to light the many issues men face in a gender oriented culture. Precisely, this material is important because the expectations of traditional men are that they ought to be providers; efficient at what they do; effective role models; leaders in their social environment and enhancements to their wives. In emphasizing the point of how ‘patriarchy’ has condescended the author suggested that, perhaps, we ought to reflect on the idea as if it does not exist in order to perpetuate its functions (Johnson, 2006)
Arguments advanced were approached with conviction as the author first took the stand that while a man is supposed to display certain qualities imposed by society he falls short in that, ‘ patriarchy doesn’t exist because many women seem better off than many men’ ( Johnson,2006). This continues to be the theme of the following propositions as he directs the reader towards the reality of roles men and women play in society and how a man’s self esteem is deflated daily when women get ahead of them on the social ladder.
In fact this is the greatest reality in the claim of male invisibility operating within the concept of “patriarchy.” Three critical questions to be addressed from the exposition given in this article are, ‘how can this situation be resolved? When would society refrain from genderizing roles and how can we teach our boys differently.
Important concepts taken from this chapter which remains with the reader after reflecting on the importance of patriarchy are male invisibility. This can be defined as the apparent insignificance of men’s roles in society regardless of their function. Dominant groups refer to strong associations that forge compliance. Male privilege encompasses entitlement based on gender orientation and psychological defense mechanism is a mental attitude one develops which protects from accountability.
Johnson Allan (2006). The Gender Knot: Unraveling our Patriarchal legacy.
Philadelphia. Temple Press.