Women are always the passive victim of the idea of patriarchy, it’s deeply rooted in the Asian mindset for a very long time. In the era of the Han dynasty 206 BCE to 220 BCE Confucius became the official state ideology, then it is not just a main character anymore because central of Confucius philosophy which is the doctrine of filial piety, this principle teaches that everyone has to show proper respect to the elders because the family is a foundation of the society. This ideology affected everything in society such as the mindset of citizens, daily life, and also culture. In a Chinese family, if they get a son he will bring honors to the family, and if they got a daughter its will be in a very opposite way.
Moreover, filial piety also articulates the rules of conduct between friends, elder and younger, husbands and wives, subjects and emperors. For this reason, the states that believe in Confucius are hierarchically structured with men ruling over women and the old ruling over the young. Confucianism has been described as “the enemy of feminism” feminists often argue that Confucianism is the source of the patriarchal society. Feminist scholars have produced significant works about Confucianism’s role in preserving the idea of women’s subordination to men; they argue that the idea of men’s superiority to women is embedded in Confucian philosophy.
What is patriarchy
Patriarchy is a social system in which men holding primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, authority, privilege, and control of the property. Patriarchy is associated with a set of ideas, a patriarchal ideology that acts to explain and justify this dominance and attributes it to inherent natural differences between men and women. Sociologists hold a diversity of opinions on whether patriarchy is a social product or an outcome of innate differences between the sexes.
In the past, patriarchy has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, religious, and economic organizations of a range of different cultures. Even if not explicitly defined to be by their own constitutions and laws, most contemporary societies are, in practice, patriarchal. Unfortunately, this ideology deeply rooted in Asian mindset, it caused a lot of problem on women which is oppressed by this.
What is the difference between patriarchy and toxic masculinity
As you know, Patriarchy is men over women. Toxic masculinity means unavoidable social norms and combined with harm to society and also harm to men themselves. Traditional stereotypes of men that dominating a society along with related traits such as homophobia and misogyny can be considered “toxic” too, it is some kind of violence, whether sexual assault or domestic violence. The socialization of men in a patriarchal society might normalize violence, such as in the saying “boys will be boys” concerning bullying or aggression. And when people in society keep ignoring what they did, it won’t be great for the victim of this toxic masculinity. We all should keep in mind that their act maybe hurting someone mentally or physically which is unacceptable, normalized violence is not the right thing.
We usually see Patriarchy and Toxic Masculinity in media
Nowadays The media that we consumed every single day have reflected the society, its show what we beliefs and our thought of something. Patriarchy and toxic masculinity are the things that we have usually seen in media too because women all around the world are suffered from these problems and it will never disappear from societies easily, especially in Asian cultures that have patriarchy hidden everywhere including their daily life, cultures, norms and also laws.
The first example of media that represents Patriarchy in Asian society very well is Kim Ji Yong, Born 1982, A movie adaptation of the bestselling novel that triggered a fierce sexism battle in South Korea. The book was hailed by the most important feminist novels in Korea – but led to an outcry from anti-feminists in the country. Try to escape the gender roles in Korean society must be very hard for her because patriarchy in South Korea is not easily avoided. From this movie, Kim Ji Yong represents all Korean women because it is one of the most common names for her generation. Since the day she was born her mother has to apologizes to her mother-in-law because she having a girl, and she faced gender discrimination at every stage of her life, goes to school, gets a job, and even when she gets married. Moreover, it also shows that South Korea which is one of the most developed countries in Asia but society remains conservative, so many idols or actresses who read this book and uploaded it on social media were bullied online including Jung Yu Mi who play as Kim Ji Yong, she received thousands of hate comments on her Instagram in just one day
One more example of media that represent patriarchy in western of Asia, Aladdain (2019), Disney’s classic children movie with a Male-heavy plot while men are sultans, genies, rulers, the sultans’s adviser, guards even a animal in the movie are all male but women, only Princess Jusmine and the rest of them are prostitutes. This is so unbalanced compared to each others while the world is changing women are being given more important rules in the society to make them equal to men. Moreover the scene that shows that it is in a very patriarchal world is when Jafar told Jusmine “you are better off keeping quite” and become the song ‘Speechless’ that she won’t be silenced he cannot keep her quite. At least it has 2 womens, Jusmines and her maid have a conversation about her wishes to be sultans not only talk about man for reducing gender stereotypes in this movie. However, despite all these efforts, women are still the minority in this movie especially among the main characters.
Who is suffered from these ideologies
-Women, of cause!
If you are a girl in Asian family just like me, you will feeling the inequality between you and your brother or other male family member. A lot of question might have come into your mind like “why they don’t even wash all the dishes that he ate?” or “why parents always told me to clean the house but not with my brother that live with me in a same house?” because of patriarchy mindset that set the norm for genders that cleaning is for women. A small stuff like this might cause mentally illness on women, since the day they were born as a girl, they are not welcomed by the family like a boys. Sometimes the baby girl was abandoned by her mother just because she is a girl, it is very sad when parents cannot understand that we couldn’t have ability to choose our own gender. Moreover, women in South East Asia have to faces the violence of men such as wife-beating, rape, and physical assault. It is unacceptable but women cannot avoid it because this society always blaming the victim but not blame the one who harm others.
-Men also suffered from patriarchy too
Who is a real gentleman? And how do we know is he a gentleman or not? We often forget that patriarchy is not only toxic for women, men too, it created boxes and expects them to fit in. men have to live with the toxic masculinity ideas that he cannot express emotions, always win at any cost, he has to be strong, and only suffered in silence. All of that might cause mental health when they have to follow the social norms that were set by patriarchy. Men should ignore the concept of masculinity that caused anxiety. Researchers found that men’s behaviors like drinking or smoking are from the ideals of masculinity and they will get a poorer health outcome.
What we can do to avoid patriarchy
- Support others Women and men are all suffered from this ideology, we can support and encourage each other to reject patriarchy.
- Respecting all the expression of gender Patriarchy set the gender rules but what we can do is encouraging people who break out from the boxes from gender rules. And also support those who still comfortable with their gender as long as it doesn’t hurt others
- Educate yourself first Keep learning about this topic and open your mind, look at others like the way you look at yourself. Your own behavior reflect your mindset in sexism and misogyny this is key to ruin the patriarchy ideas.
- Support social movements Today we have social movements that promote gender equality such as #MeToo or #TransDayOfVisibility on Twitter and other social media platforms to encourage women in the society that they are not alone here.
- Support Women, Trans And Non-Binary People’s Careers Empower our community by choosing to support the businesses and careers of these people. You can start by purchasing a local or small business to fulfill their basic right to livelihood. This is a very big step to destroy the patriarchy in the capitalist world that we’re living in right now.
Women were treated as men’s treasures for a very long time, it’s time to show the world that we are all human and we are all equal. Things that men do, women can do too. Start it from yourself now, don’t let this world change who you are, the one who can choose what your life will be in the future is you.