…“act like a man” are typical, toxically-masculine phrases that are consistently said to young boys. As a child gets older the toxicity grows, men that do not fit into patriarchal norms are called “faggot” and “pussy”. The socialization of young boys often perpetuates this violence and bullying by claiming that “boys will be boys”; alluding to men that it is okay to be violent and aggressive.
We live in a culture where the worst thing you can call a boy is a girl. We tell boys not to throw like a girl, not to cry like a girl. A promiscuous man is admired (by his peers) for his conquests, but a promiscuous woman is called a slut and shamed for the very same behavior.
Men are called aggressive, women are called bossy. Some of the most vile profanity either refers to women or women’s genitals? Think about it.
When a woman is raped, we ask what she was wearing and why she was there, but if a man is robbed we don’t ask what he was wearing or why he was there, or if he’s ever “given away” money, if you know what I mean.
Patriarchal Culture Affects Women Disproportionately
In the United States, there is a rape every 2 minutes and a suicide every 12 minutes.
— 65% of the suicide victims are men.
— 90% of rape victims are women.
Also in the United States, there are 20 incidences of domestic violence per minute. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence
So while it’s true that patriarchal culture affects both genders, it affects women disproportionately.
Even the “good guys” aren’t on board with equality
Despite societal conditioning, there are many men who are neither violent nor aggressive. Men who would never rape or abuse.
But, for the most part, even those “good guys” don’t really want equality because they kind of like that cooking and cleaning is her job, and heaven forbid she earns more, because somehow that’s “emasculating” him and he’s even less likely to help around the house.
Ask the “good guys” if they believe in equality and they’ll say of course. Maybe even go to the women’s march with her. But ask them when they last washed the floor or baked cookies for her and odds are you’ll get a blank stare.
Despite that only 7% of households can exist on his income alone, even the “good guys” kind of like the old gender roles.
We have a really long way to go if a woman is ever to feel safe walking down the street alone, nevermind being equal in the heads and hearts of society.