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    View Poll Results: Is the U.S a patriarchy?

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    Thread: DO you think there is a patriarchy in the U.S?

    1. #1
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      DO you think there is a patriarchy in the U.S?

      Hey guys. I just want your opinion on whether or not you think that the U.S is a patriarchy. I have heard a lot of people say it is and others say that it isn't. If you believe that the U.S is still a patriarchy then please explain your reasoning why. The same goes for those that think there is no patriarchy in the U.S anymore.
      Last edited by Daredevilpwn; 10-02-2014 at 10:04 PM.

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      Seeing as how congress is 80% men and 20% women, I would say yes. That is both the house and the senate. The percentage of judges are about the same. The percentage of female governors is also about the same on good years and far lower on bad years. Mayors are even lower for major cities but almost make it to the 20% in smaller cities. If you define a patriarchy as a society lead mostly by men, then it is pretty black and white.

      Clear across the board in pretty much any position of power, we are talking about a 80-20 split. That is a lot better than in the past, but clearly we are still a patriarchy.

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      /inb4"menaretherealvictims"

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      Nobody mentioned that the U.S. armed forces are run by men and local police forces tend to be staffed primarily by men as well, so not only the government but also its enforcement arm is soundly patriarchal. Also, aside from looking at the government, consider that pretty much all of the major banks/Wall Street institutions and corporations are still run exclusively by men. Yes, women are turning up at the top more and more, but corporate executive suites are still very much men's clubs.

      Yes the media might be succeeding in making it look like men have come out of power, women are finally getting into the higher reaches of the System (i.e., our current Fed chair is a woman), and yes, women have become far more equal at home in recent years (mostly because the economy has forced many of them to go out and get a job). But men are still very much in charge.

      The things that seem to be signs that men are losing power, especially in the media, are little more than window dressing in the grand scheme of things, I think. Women might make all the decisions at home (as I think they always did, BTW), but men still hold firm their grasp on overall society. So yeah, I guess there is still patriarchy in the U.S., and likely will be for quite some time.
      Last edited by Sageous; 10-04-2014 at 08:03 PM.

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      I don't see how anyone can think patriarchy doesn't exist in the US, but since two people have voted "no," I'm hoping they'll revisit the thread and shed some light on the matter.

      I can't think of single society that isn't patriarchal. Not even Canada, for all it's liberal-mindedness, can be considered anything but patriarchal.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Nobody mentioned that the U.S. armed forces are run by men
      Run? What about staffed? It's not fair that so few women currently have the opportunity to get blown up by terrorists in foreign countries. Hopefully this patriarchal oppression will soon be put to an end.
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      Thank you all for answering. I want to put my thoughts into this as well. Personally I think there is NOT a patriarchy in the U.S. There are 3 definitions listed on google but the second one was what I was talking about when I asked if there was a patriarchy in the U.S. The second definition is "a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it". This does not apply in the U.S because of the simple fact that women are already allowed to take part in voting. A patriarchy that is supposed to give men all the power while screwing over women would not allow women to vote. Women hold the majority of the voting power after all. so if politicians wants to be voted into office then they have no choice but to appeal to women. A society that allows the majority of women to decide which politician gets elected into office is not a patriarchy. It doesn't matter if the majority of those in politics are male or female, if they want to stay in office then they must cater to the ones that hold the greatest voting power or else they will not be elected next time.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Daredevilpwn View Post
      This does not apply in the U.S because of the simple fact that women are already allowed to take part in voting.
      I think that's a very simplistic way of looking at it. That'd be like saying Black American's gained equality through voting legislation, or that Muslims and Sikhs in India are on par with Hindus because they too can participate in elections, which is absolute nonsense.

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      We are talking about the U.S and we are talking about if the U.S operates under a patriarchy that gives men all the power while at the same time screwing women over. Can you name any legal right that a man has that a woman doesn't? I want to know why you think we live in a patriarchy.

      You analogy is also flawed because we are not talking about specific ethnic groups we are talking about gender which is much more broad.
      Last edited by Daredevilpwn; 10-06-2014 at 10:37 PM.

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      How about this:

      Yes, 51% of U.S. citizens are female, but they don't all necessarily vote. Also politicians and corporations may pander to voting blocks during elections, but have a bad habit of ignoring those blocks once elections. And, of course, the banks and corporations really don't give a crap about how many women there are (I'm not even sure they've given a crap about voters or citizens at all, ever). I would bet that a little searching will also find some laws that favor men, especially on the state level, but I'm too lazy to look myself.

      So yes, if the U.S. were a perfectly functioning democracy with a 100% voter response rate and a private sector that cared, then the patriarchy would by definition be dead. Actually, a patriarchy, by definition, would have ceased to exist in 1920. But ours is not a perfectly functioning democracy, and voter turnout is around 50% in a good year, so, all definitions aside, the men are still hanging on to their power.

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      Just because men are in power doesn't mean that there is a patriarchy. If only men were capable of gaining political power then yes I would concede that we do live in a patriarchy but that is not the case. Woman are able to be in a position of power if they truly wanted to. Men and women already have equal opportunity just not equality of outcome.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Daredevilpwn View Post
      You analogy is also flawed because we are not talking about specific ethnic groups we are talking about gender which is much more broad.
      Your main argument is that having the ability to vote evens out the playing field. I pointed out that it doesn't, and gave you real world examples to illustrate that point. So this notion that patriarchy doesn't exist in America for the simple reason that women are able to vote, is incorrect.

      Quote Originally Posted by Daredevilpwn View Post
      Can you name any legal right that a man has that a woman doesn't?
      Are you saying that if the law says X and Y are equal, the rest of society will treat them as such?
      Last edited by GavinGill; 10-06-2014 at 11:33 PM.

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      Ah ok. I understand your argument. You are saying that just because women and men have equal rights by law doesn't mean society is honoring it. Since you think there is a patriarchy then am I wrong to assume you also think society treats men better than women despite what the law says? Is this where you are going at? I just want to make sure I understand where your coming from.
      Last edited by Daredevilpwn; 10-06-2014 at 11:33 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Daredevilpwn View Post
      Ah ok. I understand your argument. You are saying that just because women and men have equal rights by law doesn't mean society is honoring it.
      Yeah, that's the gist of it. I don't think you can legislate an attitude away.

      Quote Originally Posted by Daredevilpwn View Post
      Since you think there is a patriarchy then am I wrong to assume you also think society treats men better than women despite what the law says?
      I think society wants to treat men and women equally, and thinks that it does, but has an unconscious bias against women in certain regards. I wouldn't say it treats men better, but I would say that it doesn't treat women as well as it treats men. Overt sexism, like overt racism, has been dealt with in mainstream society. But the more subtle biases are still there - if "X" doesn't fit a certain role, people respond negatively.

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      but I would say that it doesn't treat women as well as it treats men
      This is where I would have to disagree with you. Society places women on a much higher level of importance than men whereas it should be equal. When a man and a women commit the same crime it is the woman that will be more likely to get a lesser sentence. When a woman shows hostile intent to a man and then she gets hurt or knocked out then who does society blame? The man or the woman? The answer is the man. Take the incident with Ray Rice for example. If you don't know about that incident take a look at this. Before they even get into the elevator the woman was already hostile at him. While in the elevator she hits him again and he responded with an attack of his own. Janay then runs at him to attack but she gets knocked out. Ray Rice was blamed for this and got suspended from the NFL because of this. The woman was obviously the one that was antagonizing him from the beginning. Another example I would like to show you is when a woman sneaks up to a police officer with a knife to his throat but luckily she was restrained. How many years do you think she got in jail for attempted murder? Zero.

      You claim that society doesn't treat women as well as it treats men but these examples prove otherwise. Can you call a society that gives women lower sentences for crimes they committed, excuses a woman's poor behavior, and even lets a woman get away with attempted murder a patriarchy?

      Remember that these are not just isolated examples. These things happen consistently.

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      Patriarchy is an idea thought of by second wave feminists as an ex-post-facto justification to subjugate men. So I voted no.

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      Quote Originally Posted by cmind View Post
      Patriarchy is an idea thought of by second wave feminists as an ex-post-facto justification to subjugate men. So I voted no.
      lol

      So what's "matriarchy" then? When a woman is TOO bossy at home? : D
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      Men get away with crimes all the time. So how come when a man gets away with a crime, it isn't 'because he is a man' but if the same thing happens to a women, it is 'because she is a woman'? Also, I am not sure how women being treated like little children is supposed to show that women are seen as better than men. That isn't the case at all. Women are seen like children at time and are treated like that. Just because in some select situations a child will get away with more, doesn't mean children are superior to adults in society, they are not even close. In fact children have special laws that are more lenient on them, yet you never see anyone say that children are superior to adults, it doesn't even cross anyone's mind.

      While children might get treated better in some situations, they are still at a massive disadvantage because they have no real voice or say in anything. That is how women are treated in society. They don't have a real voice, that is why all leadership positions in government is 80%+ male. You can't say we are equal when women lack that voice. Clearly our society is a patriarchy with men running the show. I am not sure how anyone can really doubt it. It is getting better, but we are not equal yet.

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      Just to add to Alric's good point:

      Daredevilpwn, I could argue that the opposite of the Rice story happens quite often (i.e., in many rape cases the victim, a woman, gets blamed because she was "asking" for it -- sort of like Rice's wife is being blamed by some even though she "assaulted" a professional football player at least twice her size who likely would not be hurt by her attacks, and could probably kill her with a gesture), but there is no point, because I am not sure that conflating being nice to women or favoring them in a blame game with the fall of men's power is quite valid. Indeed, the opposite may be the case:

      Being gentle with women has been a tenet of patriarchies for centuries -- consider the Arthurian code of chivalry as this attitude's fictional ideal. When men were at the height of their power, women were the "weaker, fairer" sex, the people who needed to be taken care of, defended, supported, and venerated by men. Yes, much of this was probably done as part of the formula for keeping them down, but it was still done. Condemning Ray Rice, (especially because that condemning happened after the world found out, and not right out of the chutes) is I think more a sign of the patriarchy being alive and well in the NFL (which it is) than it is the opposite.... also, if I can recall, neither of these people were charged with a crime, so weren't they being treated equally by the actual authorities?

      Therefore, I do think that "a society that gives women lower sentences for crimes they committed, excuses a woman's poor behavior, and even lets a woman get away with attempted murder" is very much a patriarchy, because the men in charge are cutting breaks for people who they perceive are beneath them, and in their care. Think about it: would a matriarchal society cut women breaks like that, or would they do the opposite, since in a matriarchy all things would be the responsibility of women? I would imagine that female criminals would fare about as well as male criminals do now.

      tl;dr: The Ray Rice story may actually be a prime example of patriarchal behavior -- treating women better in spite of what the law says is exactly what a patriarchal society would do.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Alric View Post
      Men get away with crimes all the time. So how come when a man gets away with a crime, it isn't 'because he is a man' but if the same thing happens to a women, it is 'because she is a woman'? Also, I am not sure how women being treated like little children is supposed to show that women are seen as better than men. That isn't the case at all. Women are seen like children at time and are treated like that. Just because in some select situations a child will get away with more, doesn't mean children are superior to adults in society, they are not even close. In fact children have special laws that are more lenient on them, yet you never see anyone say that children are superior to adults, it doesn't even cross anyone's mind.

      While children might get treated better in some situations, they are still at a massive disadvantage because they have no real voice or say in anything. That is how women are treated in society. They don't have a real voice, that is why all leadership positions in government is 80%+ male. You can't say we are equal when women lack that voice. Clearly our society is a patriarchy with men running the show. I am not sure how anyone can really doubt it. It is getting better, but we are not equal yet.

      You claim that men get away with crimes all the time then prove it. I have already linked to evidence to the contrary. It clearly shows that it is woman that get away with crimes most of the time and not men. The next problem I have is you are comparing children to fully grown adults. The reason why nobody thinks that children are superior to adults is because they are children and their brains are not fully developed so their reasoning skills aren't that great. This explains why there are laws in place that are lenient on them. They cannot be held to the same standard as an adult yet. My problem is when one group of adults (Women) are treated better than another group of adults (Men) then there is a serious problem. Women and men are supposed to be held up to the same standards but it is clear they are not. A society that continues to allow women off the hook is not a patriarchy. Also it doesn't matter if there is more men in government. If a woman goes in politics and only looked out for women only then she would be a horrible politician, if a man in politics only looked out for men and ignored all women then he will be a horrible politician. Just because there are 80% men in politics doesn't mean we live in a patriarchy. Women are free to become a politician if they wanted to. The only thing stopping women from being in politics is themselves, not many women choose to do these jobs. Is it a stereotype? Yes but is it true? Yes.

      Sageous

      I could argue that the opposite of the Rice story happens quite often (i.e., in many rape cases the victim, a woman, gets blamed because she was "asking" for it -- sort of like Rice's wife is being blamed by some even though she "assaulted" a professional football player at least twice her size who likely would not be hurt by her attacks, and could probably kill her with a gesture)
      Rape is a serious crime. You claim that most of the time when a woman is a victim of rape people say "she was asking for it". I am not denying that there are some sick people that may say that but are the majority of people saying that? Rape is one of the most horrible crimes someone could commit and it is not taken lightly by the justice system. can you show me a specific case in the U.S where a woman was told "She was asking for it" because I find that hard to believe. Most of the time I see tips on how to reduce the chance of being raped such as don't go out at night and watch your drink. But never have I have heard anyone say "oh she was asking for it". Where did you get this from? I would like to see. Now as for the rest of your quote. Women and men are responsible for their actions. I am a scrawny guy and if I picked a fight with someone twice my size and get sent to the hospital because of it then wouldn't that be my stupid fought?

      Think of it this way, If someone was shooting at me with a small little pistol and all I had was a shotgun should I not shoot them back because it "wasn't fair" that my gun was stronger? Or shouldn't the pistol shooter not pick a fight with someone with a gun that can blow their head off?

      One last thing Sageous. You are confusing patriarchy with gender bias. You think a patriarchy is a society that treats woman better despite what the law says. This is false. A patriarchy is nothing more than a society in which men have all the power and advantages whereas women do not have the power and advantages and are excluded from power. Is that happening in the U.S right now? The answer is no. Being a woman affords one with many advantages compared to being a man. Woman are not being excluded from power, they have free will and freedom of choice. It is not the "patriarchy's" fault that not a lot of woman are choosing to be in positions of power. (Please don't say they aren't in positions of power because they are called bossy ).

      Once again look at the definition of patriarchy. A society that gives men all the power and advantages for simply being male while at the same time excluding women from power is a patriarchy. It is clear that the U.S is not that because woman are the ones that are given advantages simply for being female. Men simply being the majority in political power is not a sign of patriarchy. A society that gives female special privileges for simply being female cannot be a patriarchy. That goes against the very definition of what a patriarchy is.


      tl;dr: A patriarchy is supposed to be OPPRESSING woman and give all the men advantages, but instead woman have special privileges and are treated better than men, therefore we do not live in a patriarchy. That goes against the very definition of what a patriarchy is.


      P.S Just wondering, are you guys seeing my hyperlinked text in my previous post? Those link to the evidence i am talking about.
      Last edited by Daredevilpwn; 10-09-2014 at 07:42 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Daredevilpwn View Post
      You claim that most of the time when a woman is a victim of rape people say "she was asking for it"....But never have I have heard anyone say "oh she was asking for it". Where did you get this from? I would like to see.
      No. I did not claim that most of the time when a woman is a victim of rape people say "she was asking for it". I said it has happened; there is a dramatic difference. And, though that statement was parenthetic and not part of my opinion: one very famous case was the Cheryl Ann Araujo rape case, on which the film The Accused was based. Also, there is an ongoing problem among U.S. colleges where women are raped or attacked and the perpetrators tend to get away with it, often by blaming the women ... just google "campus rape," or "campus sexual assault," and you'll get plenty of articles about the problem. I'm sure there are many, many other sources to "get this from," and I assure you I was not making it up; if you spend a few seconds searching, I'm sure you will find lots of stories backing up what I said.

      Women and men are responsible for their actions. I am a scrawny guy and if I picked a fight with someone twice my size and get sent to the hospital because of it then wouldn't that be my stupid fought?
      Agreed. But if you picked that fight with a powerful athlete who should know well enough to check his strength against scrawny little guys, and that guy put you in the hospital, I would expect that guy to get into trouble.

      ...You are confusing patriarchy with gender bias.
      No, I am not. I possess a decent vocabulary, and a dictionary, in case I'm not sure, and I am not confused. Men are still in charge, in my opinion. Gender bias is another subject altogether, and can certainly exist within a patriarchy (or any other system).

      I thought this was a conversation about opinions, Daredevilpwn, and not a scholarly debate, so sorry about just expressing an opinion, even if that opinion is, I believe, informed by solid evidence. Speaking of evidence, I must note that the word "oppressed," or even the suggestion of oppression of women, does not appear anywhere in my dictionary's (the OED) definition of "patriarchy". A patriarchy is simply a system run by men, and not one meant "to be OPPRESSING woman and give all the men advantages;" I for one would like to know from where you got that definition. And again, the people in a patriarchy (or any other system) can certainly practice gender bias, or any other bias they choose, if the men in charge are okay with it.

      I had assumed I was posting on a thread to discuss an interesting topic, Daredevilpwn, and not enter an emotional debate about a subject obviously important to you. Had I realized your poll question only had one right answer for you, and that you were not seeking opinions but opponents, I would not have posted. So, since I have no interest in arguing when you are so confident I am wrong, I am respectfully out of here. I hope you don't mind. I'll just leave now and kick myself once more for posting on these Extended Discussion forums... I'll never learn.
      Last edited by Sageous; 10-09-2014 at 09:41 PM.

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      Sageous I am not confident you are wrong. I was challenging your post so I could come to a better understanding. I don't just debate for the sake of debating, I debate so I can learn something from it. The whole point of this post was for me to gain a better understanding when people say there is a patriarchy. This is the definition I have been using. I had wrongly assumed that oppressing woman would be a part of it even though the definition did not clearly state such. That is my fault. Maybe I should have titled the post "Are women still being oppressed in the U.S" So I will admit that I screwed up when making this poll.

      So Sageous, there is nothing bad about debating and once again if I seemed to be emotional then I apologize. I think that when debating is done correctly we can gain a better understanding about the world only if we can set our emotions aside and acknowledge when we are wrong. And I admit I am wrong. This entire time I was attacking a straw man which is my damn stupid fought. Keep posting your thoughts on subject matters that interest you even if others may disagree or have problems with it. I know people disagreed with me but I never once was disrespectful or mean when trying to counter it.
      Last edited by Daredevilpwn; 10-09-2014 at 09:42 PM.
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      It is kind of silly to start listing a bunch of cases where men got off, because the entire idea that an individual case proves anything is silly. However, just off the top of my head, there is George Zimmerman who got off for shooting a kid. There was that person who went drunk driving and killed 4 people and then got off because he said he was too rich to understand the consequences to his actions. I could list off a dozen more just as easily. Does that have anything to do with this? No not really, because they didn't get off for being men, there was other factors involved, just like in the examples you gave.

      I am not sure how you can say having a country lead by men doesn't make the country a patriarchy, since that is pretty much the definition of what a patriarchy is. You seem to have this silly idea that if men were in charge, they would give better treatment to men, but that is absurd. Men can treat each other like shit in a patriarchy. I would say if you wanted to be more specific, the country is ran by wealthy white men. If you happen to be a black man, you are often treated pretty poorly. Though you go back to the earlier subject, and just look at how many rich white men who are ceo of companies and banks who commit massive crimes and fraud and get away with no jail time what so ever.

      It doesn't matter if men look after men or women look after women. The problem and real issue, is that women are not taken seriously and so have a much smaller say in how things are done than men do. Let me give you an example of a hypothetical society and I want you to consider, is it a patriarchy or not.

      In this hypothetical society, women are allowed to vote and be in office. However whenever a woman tries to run everyone laughs at her and don't take her seriously so there is almost no women are actually in office. Women are treated like they don't have fully developed brains like children, so they never have to work. If family doesn't take care of them, the government will give them free money for life so they don't have to work. Women can work, but almost no one will ever hire them because they simply don't see the women as competent, plus they get free money so there is no need.

      Is that a patriarchy? According to you, even though the leadership is nearly 100% male and women are treated as children and can't effectively get a job or gain any power it isn't. Because technically it is legal for her to do anything a man can plus she gets free stuff. In that situation a woman has pretty much no say over her life what so ever. She can't get a job and is stuck with whatever the men in government decides is a fair payment for women. Yeah she is getting free money, but she has no say over how much and can't get a job if she wants more.

      How about this one. Men are 100% in control of government and randomly men are executed on the street just for being men. Women are safe. Is that not a patriarchy because men are treated like shit and get killed randomly? No, that is still a patriarchy because by definition a government controlled 100% by men is a patriarchy. The fact that in that system men get killed random is totally irrelevant. Maybe the men in charge feel like they should have less competition so they kill off other men. That doesn't mean women have more of a say because some men are treated like shit.

      A patriarchy has absolutely nothing to do with all men having more advantages than all women. By the definition of the world, it is simply a situation where men have most or all of the power. When men make up 80% of all leadership positions in our government, we can easily say that they have most of the power by a large margin.

      Women don't even get all these advantages like you seem to believe either. Yeah, they get some advantages when people treat them like children who can't take care of them self(even though such things are extremely degrading and offensive). What about the fact that we have people constantly fighting to deny women birth control? Like that big Hobby Lobby case with the company suing and saying the government can't make employees pay for insurance that help women with birth control, yet everyone is fine with insurance that pay for stuff like Viagra? What about the fact that 1 in 6 women are raped or had someone attempt to rape them yet the number for men is 1 in 33? 9 out of 10 rape victims are women. Those things seem totally ignored by you.

      It can be a complex issue and there is a lot of factors involved but the one thing we are clearly see and measure, is that men are in charge of the vast majority of leadership positions in the country. If men have the majority of the power then by the definition of the word we are in a patriarchy.

    24. #24
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      Hey Alric. Your a little to late lol. I already conceded that there is a patriarchy but I made a foolish assumption/strawman that a patriarchy will be oppressive to woman and will treat men like kings and I was attacking this strawman. However Sageous knocked some sense into me.You are correct. The simple fact that men are mostly in power regardless if they pass laws that are bias against men or that the justice system tends to favor women most of the time doesn't change the fact that there is a patriarchy.

      As for your stats I will not deny them. Lets just concede that men and woman both have their fair share of problems. I already realized my mistake when I made this post so there is no need to debate about this any further. The answer has become clear to me now.
      Last edited by Daredevilpwn; 10-09-2014 at 10:16 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Daredevilpwn View Post
      Sageous I am not confident you are wrong. I was challenging your post so I could come to a better understanding. I don't just debate for the sake of debating, I debate so I can learn something from it. The whole point of this post was for me to gain a better understanding when people say there is a patriarchy. This is the definition I have been using. I had wrongly assumed that oppressing woman would be a part of it even though the definition did not clearly state such. That is my fault. Maybe I should have titled the post "Are women still being oppressed in the U.S" So I will admit that I screwed up when making this poll.
      The rich often have advantages over the poor, men over women, whites over minorities, Christians over non-Christians, straight over gay. There are many other factors as well. Since everyone is a unique individual, chances are you are going to have advantages in some areas and some disadvantageous in others. It makes it a complex subject. Things are better today than it was in the past, though we have a long way to go before everyone is treated equally.

      Let me ask you this though. Your profile says you are male, so you can probably relate to this. If another man makes a comment saying you are girly, or feminine, or compares you to a woman in some way, do you find that insulting? Would you think it is meant to be an insult? In most situations, it would probably be taken in a negative way. Though you should ask yourself, why is being feminine seen as a negative thing?

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