Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Double Standards: Oppressive For Females?

The idea of a double standard between the sexes has sparked a lot of debate in the post-modern era. Feminists insists that it is a form of oppression on women by subjugating them to activities like household chores and other traditional female roles. They see their side of the standard as a form of objectification which debases the female. The whole system is seen as only benefiting all men, at the cost of all women being subjugated in life. This idea is facile as it fails to regard how the gender roles emerged from environmental and anatomical conditions from our past.

The truth is one role is not more significant then the other. Rather, both are necessary but make up different parts which accompany each other in very complementary ways. Males are forced to defend the home and provide resources for it- a very dangerous job. Females are supposed to care for and maintain the home- a very difficult job. Although the modern age has liberated us from these roles, we still carry the psychological and anatomical baggage of our past- which shapes our behavior and minds. Our inherited cultural customs also reflect our past conditions. Therefore, its not surprising that many social institutions like marriage are crumbling in the wake of our self-sufficiency and individualistic economic system. In the absence of direct genetic intervention, it is unlikely that humans will drop their inherited gender differences. Yet it is possible with conscious intervention to work on these behaviors and acknowledge them for what they are: ways of adapting to the environment, and not a general form of female slavery. This way, people can make rational decisions on how to alter their behavior depending on their surroundings, not subscribing to a false dichotomy of either being an agent of oppression or a victim of tradition.

What gives us a double standard is our history in relation with the environment. Men were resource providers, while women were resource stewards. Each role is necessary for survival. Any perceived imbalance in value stems, not from the roles themselves, but the upstarts who seek control over other people through either violence or coercion. It is they who inflate one role over the other (their role) as a way to justify their power. They announce that it is because the role they assume is superior that they have the right to oppress others. Although most tyrants in history have been male, it does not means most males were the oppressor. Rather, most men throughout history have been the ones oppressed along with women. The fact of the matter was, if one was not apart of a powerful family or clan, then one was very likely to be oppressed by one. Cases of males with lesser status or class maltreating any woman was not due to the role itself bringing out this kind of behavior. Instead, those males have taken the twisted view of the inflated role from the very tyrants oppressing them. As there only view of power does not come from cooperation or compassion but oppression, they have no other ways to think of their role. This confines males to a inflated view of their role because of their ignorance about other views. Its plain to see how what makes the double standard in gender roles become oppressive is not anything inherent in it, but the tyrannical forces which shape the social view of these roles- making the male inflated over the female.

The modern age has given us the tools necessary to transcend previous boundaries and restraints. Nevertheless, we carry around bodies which were designed for the past which represent over 95%-99% of human history- the era of foraging. This era required each gender to perform a certain and critical role because their biology was optimized for it. Only with the advent of tyrants and social structures like divine kingship and royalty came the oppressive qualities which would be juxtaposed on top of the already existing roles, thus rendering one to become inflated over the other. The inflation acts as a cast to indoctrinate minds with these kinds of values. It is only by acknowledging this double standard of gender roles as a way to adapt to the environment and not as an intrinsic tool of oppression, that we can improve the schism between the sexes.