Military Patriarchy

Topic: SocietyWork
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Last updated: June 7, 2019

Analysis of Journal Entries that Engages with 2 Identification Terms Any significant amount of time spent in a military setting allows for further reflection on my journal entry about sexism in the military. Aside from some off-color comments and ‘jokes’, most of the problem seems to stem from the fact that those in leadership positions view most of those younger than themselves in a paternalistic way. For males, this means that their mistakes will be corrected, that they will be mentored, and that they will have older role models who are somewhat ‘like them’ to look up to.

For females, those attitudes have an entirely different outcome. For the most part, the females are treated as though they need to be ‘protected’ from certain undesirable aspects of training, on the basis that the females are too delicate or fragile or weak to endure them. This ‘special treatment’ which for most women will begin the day they join the military, goes through the ranks and works to perpetuate the perception of women as less able than men.It is to be expected that such a male dominated culture would patriarchal to some extent, but the way in which any woman who wants to be respected is required to exhibit more ‘maleness’ than the men are goes to show exactly how male identified the whole system really is. That is where my first identification term, patriarchy, comes in. Within American society at large patriarchy is a problem, but it seems that within the military it is an even more prevalent one.

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This probably has a lot to do with the fact that the military is a traditionally male dominated institution, not just within American culture but historically and on a global scale. Patriarchy can only be perpetuated where sexism is present. Within this context sexism is present in the form of a systemic way of treating women as just generally being or having ‘less’ of every desirable trait without any consideration for how a person performs as an individual.It is generally accepted that in order to be considered half a competent a woman has to perform twice as well.

Additionally, males respond to demands for equality in a way that only people who have not lived with systemic oppression can: by calling themselves victims of ‘reverse sexism’ and claiming that all of the grievances that females list are in fact benefits that women should feel grateful to have. Part II: Research Question How can sexism be combatted in a society that is patriarchal?Also, what can cause a given subgroup (in this case the military) to create within itself an exaggerated form of a problem that is present within the larger setting the subgroup is a part of? Part III: Plan for Final Draft At this point it isn’t really practical for me to present an outline of my final draft because of the nature of my research questions. Since I really don’t know what direction my findings will take me, I am going to give details of my plan for investigating my questions instead. My research will consist primarily of two things: participant observation and media analysis.Participant observation will work for this project because I am very often immersed in the subgroup that I am writing about so I have a lot of opportunities to watch individual instances in which sexism and patriarchy play themselves out.

Media analysis will also be helpful because since the media is so prevalent in the lives of most people it has a lot of influence over their behaviors and thoughts. Additionally, because of how often the military is reported on by major news outlets it will be a fairly simple process to observe the attitudes towards women in the military.

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