Socialization and Gender Roles

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Socialization and Gender Roles


  1. Gender Social

Socialization is a process of learning gender. The earliest aspects of gender learning by infants are almost certainly unconscious. They precede the stage at which a child can refer to herself as a ‘boy’ or a ‘girl’. A variety of pre-verbal cues are involved in the early development of gender awareness. Male and female adults usually handle babies differently. The cosmetics that women use have different scents that children can learn to associate with men. Systematic differences in dress, hairstyle, etc. provide clues

  1. For the infant in the learning process. By the age of two, children have a partial understanding of what gender is. They know whether they are ‘boys’ or ‘girls’, and can usually classify others accurately. However, until five or six, a child does not know that a person’s gender does not change, that everyone has a gender, or that differences between girls and boys are physiologically based.
  2. The toys, picture books, and television programs with which young children come into contact all emphasize differences between male and female characteristics. Toy stores and mail order catalogs usually categorize their products by gender.


  1. Even some boys who appear to be ‘gender neutral’ are not so in practice. For example, toy kittens or rabbits are recommended for girls, while lions and tigers are considered more appropriate for boys.
  2. Wanda Lucia Zammuner studied children’s toy preferences in two different national contexts—Italy and Holland (Zammuner: 1987). Children’s ideas and attitudes towards different types of toys were analysed; Stereotypically ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ toys as well as toys that were not sex-typed were included. The children were mostly between the ages of seven and ten. Both the children and their parents were asked to assess which toys were ‘boys’ toys’ and which were appropriate for girls. There was close agreement between adults and children. On average, Italian children chose sex-differential toys to play with other children than Dutch children—a finding that was in line with expectations, as Italian culture takes a more ‘traditional’ view of gender division than Dutch society. Is. As in other studies, girls in both societies chose to play with ‘gender neutral’ or ‘boys’ toys far more than they did with ‘girls’ toys’.
  3. Gender roles are based on expectations of behavior that determine the status of men and women in society. Biology is not destiny when it comes to sex roles; Women are not relegated to home and hearth in all societies because of their fertility. The belief that men and women are “naturally” suited for certain roles was dealt a serious blow by Margaret Mead (1935) in her book Sex and Temperament, an account of her observations of three trines in New Guinea. Was. Mead begins his study by assuming that there are some ba
  4. Thus differences between the sexes. She accepted the idea that men and women are inherently different and that each gender is best suited for certain roles. His findings startled him. In the three trines he studied, the roles of men and women were very different and often the opposite of what is often seen as “natural” for one gender or the other. Females do not specialize in hunting (generally considered the preserve of males) but continue this activity during pregnancy and resume soon after giving birth.


  1. Among the Yoruba in Nigeria, women are highly involved in the economy such as trade and control about two-thirds of the economy. In the African Amazon, in the ancient kingdom of Dahomey, almost half of the fighting forces were women. In other cultures, women played important military roles—for example, in the Yugoslav Liberation Movement of the 1940s. In Israel both men and women are expected to serve in combat duty (Oakley: 1972). In short, sex is used by society as a basis for differentiating social roles, but the content of those roles is not biologically determined by such factors as the larger size of males and the ability of young females to hear. The variations seem almost infinite, suggesting that our lived sex roles are the result of cultural and social forces rather than the “natural” order of things.
  2. In the study of gender, the importance of femininity and masculinity lies in their relation to gender roles (sometimes referred to as sex roles). These are sets of expectations and ideas about how women and men should think, feel, appear, and behave in relation to other people. In Western societies, for example, men who look and behave in culturally masculine ways are seen as conforming to their gender roles.
  3. There is some disagreement about both the existence of gender roles and their importance for understanding gender inequality. For example, “feminine” women

Wives are expected to leave husbands, not for brothers or sons, regardless of their status in each case – wife, sister, or mother – naturally that of women. This suggests that there are no specific male roles or female roles (just as there are no specific race roles or class roles) but only loosely linked sets of ideas about men and women that are sought to be socially controlled and maintained. Can be applied for various purposes including. Patriarchy as a male dominated system.



  1. National Policy for Women Empowerment
  2. As a follow-up to the commitments made by India during the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing during September 1995, the Department formulated a National Policy for the Empowerment of Women after nationwide consultations to raise the status of women in the country. Drafted the policy. Realizing the constitutional guarantee of equality of men in all spheres of life and without discrimination on the basis of gender.



  1. The draft policy was considered by a Core Group of Experts in its meeting held on 8.11.1995. The draft policy was circulated to select women’s organizations for consultation at the field level with state governments, state women’s commissions, state social welfare advisory boards, women’s organizations, academicians, experts and activists. These women’s organizations completed the consultation process at the regional level in December, 1995.
  2. A meeting of the Secretaries of the States concerned with the Women’s Development/Social Welfare Departments was held on 27.12.1995 to consider the draft National Policy for the Empowerment of Women. The draft National Policy was also discussed in the meeting of the Committee of Secretaries in its meeting held on 7.3.1996. The restructured National Policy was discussed in the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to the Ministry of Human Resource Development on 17.12.96 and 13.02.97.


  1. The comments/views of the concerned Central Ministries/Departments were obtained and the revised policy document prepared on the basis of the comments received from other Ministries/Departments was sent to the Cabinet Secretariat on 30th June, 1999 for obtaining Cabinet approval for the policy. was sent to The Cabinet Secretariat has suggested that the process of inter-departmental consultations in this matter may be completed after the formation of the new government. The process of consultation has already been started.






Construction of Gender Roles:

Socialization has three main bases in the formation of gender roles. These are as follows:



  • Family
  • Schools and Peer Groups
  • Media and Communication.




Family and Socialization:


She is expected to be at home for household chores. However, such questions are less frequent in the case of boys, who are mostly late coming home etc. Part of the stereotyping process is the belief that boys have more freedom and a right to self-expression than girls. , In the case of girls, the expectations and obligations are more stringent, and they have fewer rights accordingly.




  1. There have been many studies on how gender differences develop in the family.
  2. The family plays an important role in the process of socialization. Studies of mother-infant interactions show differences in the treatment of boys and girls, even when parents believe their reactions to the two are similar.


  1. Adults are asked to assess a child’s personality, giving different answers as to whether they consider the child to be a girl or a boy. In one experiment, five young mothers were observed interacting with six-month-old Beth. They often smiled at him and offered their dolls to play with. She was seen as a ‘sweet’, ‘soft cry’. u


The reaction of the second group of mothers to a child aged 4. C, who was named Adam, was quite different. The child may have been offered a train or other ‘male toy’ to play with. Beth and Adam were actually identical children dressed in different clothes (Will, Self & Dathan: 1976).

  1. It is not only parents and grandparents whose perceptions of babies differ in this way. One study analyzed the words used by birth medical personnel about newborns. Newborn male babies were often described as ‘strong’, ‘handsome’, or ‘tough’; Girl babies were often talked about as ‘beautiful’, ‘sweet’ or ‘attractive’. There was no difference in overall size or weight between the infants in question (Hansen: 1980).



  Influence of school and peer group:


  1. Peer-group socialization plays a major role in reinforcing and further shaping gender identity in a child’s school life. In and out of school, children’s peer groups are usually either all-boys or all-girls groups.


  1. By the time they start school, children have a clear awareness of gender differences. Schools are generally not considered to be differentiated on the basis of gender. In practice, of course, a range of factors affect girls and boys differently. In many countries, there are still differences in the curriculum followed by girls and boys—home economics or ‘domestic science’ being studied by the former, for example, woodworking or metalworking by the latter.
  2. Boys and girls are often encouraged to focus on different sports. Teachers’ attitudes may be subtle or more overtly different towards their female than their male students,




  1. Reinforcing the expectation that boys are expected to be ‘performers’, or tolerate more fuss




  1. Media and Communication:
  2. Studies of the most viewed cartoons show that virtually all of the prominent figures are men, and that the active activities depicted are dominated by men. Similar images are found in commercials that appear at regular intervals throughout the programs.
  3. In modern times, media is influencing the behavior of children especially television programmes. Although there are some notable exceptions, the analysis of television programs designed for children is consistent with the findings for children’s books.
  4. Books and Stories:
  5. Some twenty years ago, Lenore Weitzman and her colleagues analyzed gender roles in some of the most widely used pre-school children’s books (Weitzman et al.: 1972), finding several clear differences in gender roles Find out. Men played a much larger role in the stories and illustrations than women, outnumbering women by an 11 to 1 ratio. Including sex-identified animals, the ratio was 95 to 1. The activities of men and women also differed. Men engaged in adventurous pursuits and outdoor activities, seeking independence and strength. Where girls did appear, they were shown to be passive and mostly confined to indoor activities. The girls cooked and cleaned for the men, or waited for their return.
  6. The same was true of the adult men and women depicted in the story-books. Those who were not wives and mothers, were imaginary creatures like the witches of fairy godmothers. In all the books analysed, there was not a single woman who had an occupation outside the home. In contrast, men were portrayed in a greater range of roles as fighters, policemen, judges, kings and so forth. More recent research suggests that things have changed somewhat, but that much and much of children’s literature has remained the same (Davies: 1991).
  7. There are still picture-books and story-books written from a non-sexist perspective




  1. There was little impact on the overall market for children’s literature. Fairy tales, for example, convey very traditional attitudes towards gender and the goals and ambitions expected of girls and boys. “Someday my prince will come” – In many earlier fairy tale versions, it is usually implied that a girl from a poor family may dream of wealth and fortune. Today, the meaning is more closely related to the ideals of romantic love. is linked to.



  1. June Statham studies the experiences of a group of parents in the UK committed to raising non-sexist children. The research included thirty adults in eighteen families with children ranging in age from six months to twelve years. The parents were from middle-class background, mostly involved in academic background as teachers or professors. Statham found that most parents not only sought to modify traditional sex roles—making girls more like boys—but also wanted to promote a new combination of ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine’. They wanted boys to be more sensitive to the feelings of others and able to express warmth, while girls were encouraged to have opportunities for an active orientation toward learning and self-advancement.
  2. All parents found it difficult to combat existing patterns of gender learning as their children were exposed to these with friends and at school. The parents were reasonably successful in persuading the children to play with non-gender-type toys, but this also proved more difficult than many of them expected. Practically all the children actually had genderqueer-type toys, given to them by relatives. There are storybooks now that have strong, independent girls as main characters, but very few boys in non-traditional roles. Clearly, sexual socialization is very powerful, and challenging it can be troubling.



  1. Ann Oakley, a British sociologist and supporter of the women’s liberation movement, came down strongly in favor of culture as a determinant of gender roles. She expressed, ‘nor is the division of labor by sex not universal, but there is no reason why it should be so’. Human cultures are diverse and endlessly variable and owe their creation to human invention rather than to invincible biological forces. Oakley reviews the arguments made by George Peter Murdock on the universality of the sexual division of labor




  1. And the tasks of men and women were divided according to their functional roles. She claims this aspect of Murdock being biased and westernized in his approach to typecasting women’s roles in terms of ‘expressive’ rather than a combination of expressive and instrumental functions.
  2. Oakley

tests that seem to have little biology

  1. Or no effect on women’s roles. The Mbuti Pygmies, a hunting and gathering society living in the Kondo rain forests, had no specific rules for the division of labor by gender. Men and women hunt together. There is no distinction between the roles of father and mother, with both sexes sharing the responsibility of caring for the children. Among the Australian Aborigines of Tasmania, both men and women were responsible for seal hunting, fishing, and catching opossums (tree-dwelling mammals).
  2. Turning to present-day societies, Oakley notes that women are an important part of many armed forces, notably those of China, Russia, Cuba, and Israel. Therefore, Oakley claims that the above example shows that there are no exclusively female roles and that biological characteristics do not prevent women from having particular jobs. She considers the supposed ‘biologically based inability’ of women to perform their heavy and demanding work a myth.
  3. Oakley comments on the Parsonian approach as promoting a biased system of beliefs that centers a woman’s life around the expressive domain. They argue that the role of the expressive homemaker mother is not essential to the functioning of the family unit.


  1. It exists only for the convenience of men. She further claims that Parson’s interpretation of gender roles is only a valid myth for domestic abuse of women. Oakley is therefore a positive prop of a sublime womanhood to an all-encompassing wide domain of expressive talents and innate strength.


  1. Friedel offers another explanation for the sexual division of labor and male dominance. She favors a cultural explanation taking into account the vast variation in gender roles between societies. For example, she observes that in some societies, activities such as weaving, pottery-making and sewing are ‘inherently considered to be men’s work, in others women’s. It is significant, however, that societies in which men perform such tasks are of greater prestige than those where they are performed by their female counterparts. Friedl sees this as a reflection of male dominance, which, she maintains, is present to some degree in all societies. She defines ‘male dominance’ as a condition




  1. Men who have highly preferential access, though not always exclusive rights, to those activities to which society attaches greatest value and the exercise of which allows a measure of control over others.’ She further comments that the degree of male dominance is a result of the frequency with which males have more authority than females to distribute goods outside the household group. This activity brings great prestige and power to the male class. He confirmed this by examining some hunting and gathering societies. Friedel’s ideas are therefore novel and interesting, and reveal a fascinating interplay between biology and culture.


Differentiation in the process of socialization:

  1. You might think that she would be spending that time at school. If you are an urban dweller, you will be familiar with the discussions at home, or perhaps on radio and television, about how difficult it is for parents to keep their daughters at home after school hours , Let participate in extra-curricular activities. Parents and guardians are constantly worried about their safety in public buses; And, in any case, there is always the question of relations and friends who want to know why it is important for girls to play football or study music.
  2. Educationist Krishna Kumar’s (1986) experience of the “growing man” is amply corroborated by anthropologist Leela Dubey’s (1988) and psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakkar’s study of male and female socialization in India. Thus, seeing girls walking straight home from school in “silent clusters” led Kumar to believe that “girls are not persons”. As boys, he and his companions were free to spend time on the road, experimenting with bicycles and watching the world go by. Such happiness was rarely available to a large section of middle class girls. For girls in villages who have to earn a living, or help at home and do odd jobs like fetching and carrying, the restrictions on movement are not so severe. If you live in a village you will see that till puberty a girl can be allowed to move freely in public places.








patriarchal ideology and practice


o Programs for women and their impact:

  • The Rural Women’s Development and Empowerment Project (now also called “Swa-Shakti Project”) has been approved as a Centrally Sponsored Project on 16 October 1998 for five years at an estimated outlay of Rs.186.21 crore. In addition, an amount of Rs.5 crore has been provided to facilitate setting up in project states of revolving funds for disbursement of interest bearing loans to beneficiary groups, mainly during their initial seed stage, during the project period but outside the project outlay. Have to go


  • The objectives of the project are (i) to create between 7,400 and 12,000 self-reliant women self-help

Establishment of self groups (SHGs), each consisting of 15-20 members, which will improve their quality of life through greater access and control. , means; (ii) sensitizing and strengthening the institutional capacity of support agencies to proactively address the needs of women;


  • (ii) develop linkages between SHGs and key institutions to ensure continued access of women to credit facilities for income generating activities; (iv) increasing women’s access to resources for a better quality of life, including tools to reduce drudgery and save time; and (v) increased control over income and expenditure by women, especially poor women, through their participation in income generating activities.
  • The implementing agencies would be the Women Development Corporations of the respective states of Bihar, Haryana and Karnataka; Gujarat Women’s Economic Development Corporation in Gujarat; MP. Women’s Economic Development Corporation in Madhya Pradesh and Women’s Welfare Corporation in Uttar Pradesh, which will actively engage NGOs in the implementation work. Government of India will provide funds in the form of grant-in-aid. At the central level, the Department of Women and Child Development, assisted by the Central Project Support Unit (CPSU), handles the project. NIPCCD has been identified as the Lead Training Agency, while Agriculture Finance Corporation has been contracted as the Lead Monitoring and Evaluation Agency. Both of them work in close coordination with the CPSU under the directions of the department.


  • Patriarchy as an ideology and practical concept of patriarchy :
  • The word patriarchy literally means the rule of the father or “patriarch”, and was originally used to describe a specific type of “male-dominated family” – the patriarchal large household in which women, junior men , children, slaves were included. and the household servants are all under the rule of this dominant male. It is now used generally to refer to male supremacy, the power relations by which women are dominated, and to characterize a system where women are subordinated in many ways.
  • Patriarchy is a concept that is a tool to help understand social realities. It has been defined differently by different people. Juliet Mitchell, a feminist psychologist, uses the term patriarchy to refer to kinship systems in which men exchange women, and to the symbolic power that fathers exercise within these systems. She says that this power is responsible for the “inferior” psychology of women.
  • Hartmann (1981) defined patriarchy as a set of social relations between men,




  • Which has a material basis, and which although hierarchical, establishes or creates interdependence and solidarity among men that enables them to dominate women.
  • Sylvia Walby in her book, Theorizing Patriarchy, calls it “a system of social structures and practices in which men dominate, oppress and exploit women.” They argue that understanding patriarchy as a system is important because it helps us to reject the notion of biological determinism (which says that men and women are inherently different because of their biology or bodies and therefore They are assigned separate status and subordinate to each woman.


  • The concept of ‘patriarchy’ has come under particular criticism from those concerned about essentialism. Yet the general relevance of patriarchy needs to be defended; There are some fairly general ways in which the experience of women in a variety of different societies differs from the typical experience of men. The concept of patriarchy is capable of general application as long as it is not treated in a monolithic manner. Walby argues that patriarchy consists of several key structural features, which are found in various combinations in all societies. The nature of patriarchal power has changed significantly with the advent of modern industrial capitalism; But we cannot even analyze such changes if we do not recognize that they involve factors of a very general nature.


  • If patriarchy is indeed more or less universal, it probably has psychological and social roots as well. Freud’s writings have obvious relevance in their search. Yet as Nancy Chodorow has acknowledged, the relationship between feminism and psychoanalytic theory has turned an ambivalent one. Many feminists have found Freud’s theory to be weak. Although it is based largely on clinical case histories of women, it places a major emphasis on male psychological development. The idea of the ‘penis enve’, seen by Freud as central to women’s experience, has been regarded by many as sexist in the extreme. For Chodorow, however, Freud’s ideas provide fundamental insights into the development of both men and women—if these insights are substantially modified in some ways. Freud’s writings contain, in his view, several breakthroughs relevant to the understanding of gender differences. Freud showed that there is no biological connection between gender and sexuality; Feminism and masculinity are not innate. they demonstrated that gender

and heterosexuality have no specific relationship: all sexual acts are




  • On a continuum. Furthermore, Freud clarified the extent to which gender and sexual identity developed around early relationships with parental figures. Freud’s theory was decidedly sexist. For example, he considers something completely natural, that little girls find their genitals smaller than those of little boys. Yet Freud’s own views often crosscut, and indeed largely reverse, his own misogyny. psychoanalytic theory can be used to explore how it comes about that m



  • Some people believe that men are born to dominate and women to be submissive. They believe that this hierarchy has always existed and will continue, and that like other laws of nature it cannot be changed. There are others who challenge this belief and say that patriarchy is not natural, it is man-made and hence it can be changed. It has not always existed, it had a beginning and therefore it can have an end. In fact for more than a hundred years it has been natural and universal and no one has said so.
  • Juliet Mitchell (1971) offered an interesting alternative framework that viewed patriarchy as essentially ideological and capitalism as primarily economic. At least on this account they were part of the same social structure, functionally interconnected, even though they remained almost entirely separate. Mitchell observes that ‘without a highly articulated, complex ideological world, a consumer society cannot exist’ and argues that ‘in a consumer society, the role of ideology is so important that it is within the realm of ideology that oppression is at the heart of many of the entire system’. The bars manifest themselves most clearly. However, she said little more about the system of consumption and abandoned housework almost entirely. This chapter explains the concept of patriarchy in its different perspectives as follows:


  1. Ideology of patriarchy,
  2. Traditionalist view of patriarchy,
  3. Radical Feminists and the Patriarchy
  4. Socialist Feminist and Patriarchy,




  • Ideologies of gender—specifically the notion that women are (or should be) primarily housewives and mothers and secondary workers—in fact pervade most policies


  • Sees or affects the modern state, and women’s material status in different ways—a discriminatory wage structure (including an unequal workplace and land allocation system in present-day socialist China), double workload and equal access to technology information, credit, training and productive measures (Agarwal: 1988). In fact, ideology plays an important role in the social construction of gender and the process of subordination of women. Family, community, media, educational, legal, cultural, and religious institutions all variously reflect, reinforce, shape, and create prevailing ideological norms—norms that may conflict and contradict each other, and are usually their Specifications differ and enforcement across classes and regions. Ideology of State and Gender in Asia, through all or some of these institutions to advance a particular ideology to legitimize its position and policies, or to mediate between prevailing conflicting ideologies, or to establish itself can be found.


  • In opposition to a prevailing ideology. What is striking, however, is the content of two aspects of this ideology—dominance of women and control over women’s sexuality (Agarwal: 1988).
  • Srinivasan (1988) exemplifies how religion, politics and state power helped to domesticate women and control their sexuality. She describes a process by which a community of women, the devadasis, as a result of organized pressure, in the name of community reform, were ousted from their only privileged social and economic status as well as religious status in late 19th century Tamil Nadu. was denied. Hindus from Upper Case mostly male professionals- doctors, administrators, journalists and social workers. Highly influenced by Christian ethics and religion, he joined the missionaries seeking a ban on the Devadasi system by starting an ‘anti-Nauch’ movement – organizing protests, boycotting dance functions and branding the system as prostitution. Promoted in


Paradoxically, along with the reform movement, a ‘revivalist’ movement was started, mainly based on the Theosophists preserving the Indian culture and tradition but with one significant modification- they preserved the dance form without the system sought to (revive) the power and status of the devadasis, and the ancient temple dancer as a chaste, chaste and sexually chaste woman. The colonial state, argues Srinivasan, had a share in encouraging regionalism and cultural division, with those pressing for a ban on temple dedications. By the time the law was actually passed in 1947, the practice had already died out, leaving room for a ‘revival’ of the dance but with its social




  • Root

and the privileged position accorded to the dancer.

  • Although religious ideology and state power are used to push women into domesticity and control their sexuality, this is most evident in many present-day Islamic states, however. Afshar (1988) describes how women are presented as biologically and socially inferior, not allowed equal access to law and justice as men—her evidence is illegal.
  • Acceptable in court unless co-operated by a man, Diyat or blood money paid by relatives of the murdered woman to the family of a murdered woman is half that required for a man, and women studying law, Prohibited from teaching or practicing.


o The consequence of this logic is that men with greater physical strength become hunters and providers—and by extension warriors—while women, because they bear children and are engaged in nurturing and nurturing, They require protection by men. She states that this biological, deterministic explanation comes down unbroken, from the Stone Age to the present day, and holds that humans are born superior.

  • Explanations that consider men to be biologically superior and the main providers of families, however, have been rejected based on research on hunting and gathering societies. In all of these societies, the Big Hunt provided food only for short periods of time; The staple and regular food supply came through the gathering activities of women and


o Traditionalists everywhere consider patriarchy to be biologically determined. According to Gerda Lerner (1986), “Traditionalists, whether working within religious or ‘scientific’ frameworks, have regarded women’s subjection as universal, God-given or natural, therefore unchangeable … What has survived, It has survived because it was the best; it follows that it should remain that way.” She summarizes the traditionalist argument thus: It can be presented in religious terms according to which women are subservient to men because they were created as such and consequently assigned different roles and tasks. All known societies subscribe to a “division of labor” that is based on a primary biological difference between the sexes: because their biological functions are different, they should “naturally” have different social roles and tasks. And because these differences are natural, no one is to be blamed for gender inequality or male dominance. According to traditionalist arguments, because women bear children, their main goal in life is to be mothers, and their main function is to bear and raise children.



  • In addition, there is evidence of the existence of tremendous complementarity between males and females in hunter-gatherer societies. In South Asia today, we find that women are highly respected in tribal societies, and the difference in status between the average and the female is much less disadvantageous for women.
  • On the other hand, if male superiority and the gendered division of labor were “natural”, we would not find vast differences in the way men’s and women’s roles are defined in different societies. There are many traditional or primitive societies in which biological differences do not create much of a hierarchy in status and power between men and women.
  • However, such traditional ideas were not the monopoly of religious thought.


  • Scientific theories have also been propagated to prove that men are superior and women are inferior. Many of them argue that because women bear children and menstruate, they are incompetent and therefore incompetent.
  • Aristotle propounded similar “principles” and called men active, women passive. To him the woman was a “perverted man” who does not have a soul. In his view, the biological inferiority of women makes them inferior in their abilities, their ability to reason and therefore their ability to make decisions. Because man is superior and woman is inferior, he is born to rule and she is born to be ruled. He said, “The courage of a man is shown in giving orders, and of a woman in obeying.”
  • Many feminists have pointed out that modern psychology has also upheld similar views. It asserts that women’s biology determines their psychology and therefore their abilities and roles. For example, Sigmund Freud said that “anatomy is destiny” for women. Freud’s normal human was the male, the female, by definition, a malformed human lacking sex, whose entire psychological structure centered around the struggle to compensate for this deficiency. The popular Freudian theory then became a perspective text for teachers, social workers, and the general public.
  • Many people have challenged all these principles of male supremacy. He has proved that there is no historical or scientific evidence for such an interpretation. Man has gone away from nature, has changed. Biology is no longer his destiny. in fact there are biological differences between men and women that may also lead to some differences between men and women that may even




  • There are some differences in their roles, but they do not have to form the basis of a sexual hierarchy in which

Men are dominant. The deconstruction of many of these theories enables us to recognize that patriarchy is man-made; Historical processes have created it.

  • Engels’ explanation of the origin of patriarchy:
  • A very important explanation was given for the origin of patriarchy b
  • Friedrich Engels in his 1884 book, Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.


  • Engels believed that the subjugation of women began with the development of private property, when, according to him, “the world historical defeat of the female sex” took place. He says that both the division of classes and the subordination of women have developed historically. There was a time when there were no class-gender distinctions. He talks about three stages of society-savage, barbarism and civilization. In savagery humans lived almost like animals, gathering food and hunting. Descent was through the mother, there was no marriage, and there was no concept of private property.
  • During the period of barbarism, gathering and hunting continued and gradually agriculture and animal husbandry developed. The men went out to hunt, while the women stayed at home to look after the children and take care of the household. A gendered division of labor gradually developed, but women held power, and they also had control over gotras (clans or communities with common origins). Where there were no classes within the gotras, but there were conflicts between one generation and the next.
  • When men started domesticating animals, they also understood the concept of conception. They developed weapons for large hunting. Which were then also used in inter-group fights. Slavery developed. Gon begins to acquire animals and slaves, especially female slaves. This furthered the division between the sexes. Men took over others and started accumulating wealth in the form of animals and slaves. All this led to the formation of private property. Men wanted to retain power and wealth, and pass it on to their children. Matriarchy was overthrown to ensure this inheritance. To establish the authority of the father, women had to be domesticated and confined and their sexuality regulated and controlled. According to Engels, both patriarchy and monogamy were established for women during this period and for the same reasons.
  • Because the surplus was produced in areas now controlled by men, women became economically dependent. According to Engels, modern civilization was based on limiting




  • Bringing women into the fold of the household to produce heirs to inherited wealth. This, he said, was the beginning of the sexual double standard in marriage. According to him, with the development of the state, the nuclear family transformed into the patriarchal family, in which the wife’s domestic labor became “private service”, the wife a head servant, excluded from all participation in social production.
  • Engels and other Marxists explained the subordination of women only in economic terms. He argued that once private property was abolished and women joined the labor force, patriarchy would disappear. For him the primary contradiction was not between the sexes but between classes. The suggested strategy for the emancipation of women was for them to join the labor force and engage their men in the class struggle.


o According to radical feminists, patriarchy preceded private property. They believe that the original and fundamental contradiction is between the sexes and not between economic classes. Radical feminists consider all women as a class. Unlike traditionalists, however, they do not believe that patriarchy is natural or that it has always existed and will continue to exist.

  • According to his analysis, gender differences can be explained in terms of biological or psychological differences between men and women. Shulamith Firestone says that women are oppressed because of reproduction. They believe that the basis of women’s oppression depends on women’s fertility as it is controlled by men.


o Some radical feminists say that there are two systems of social classes: (i) the economic class system based on relations of production and (ii) the gender-class system based on relations of reproduction (Jeffrey). It is the second system which is responsible for the subordination of women. The concept of patriarchy, according to him, refers to this second system of classes, the rule of women by men, based on men’s ownership and control of women’s fertility. Because of this, women have become physically and mentally dependent on men. The exact forms of control change according to cultural and historical periods and according to developments in the economic class system. However, it is men’s power and control over women’s fertility that revolutionary feminists argue constitutes the unchanging basis of patriarchy. But these feminists also say it’s not female biology.




  • Themselves, but the value humans place on it and the power they derive from their control over it are oppressive.
  • Others are radical feminists who link patriarchy not to women’s biology but to men’s biology. Susan Brownmiller (1976) says that because of men

women have been subordinate

  • Ability to rape them. She says that men use their power to rape, intimidate and control women. She says that this has given rise to male dominance and male supremacy over women. and Gerda Lerner,” Elizabeth Fischer cleverly argued that the domestication of animals taught men their role in reproduction and that the practice of forced mating of animals led men to the idea of raping women. She claimed that the sexual dominance and institutionalized aggression of men led to the cruelty and violence associated with animal domestication.
  • Then there are feminists who link patriarchy to male psychology. Mary O’Brien believes that it is the psychological need of men to compensate for their inability to father children that led them to create institutions of dominance. Radical feminists believe that men and women belong to two different classes because of their biology and/or psychology. Men are the ruling class and they rule through the direct use of violence, which becomes institutionalized over time (Jagger: 1993).
  • Radical feminists have been criticized for accepting biological determinism as a given. If so how do they change the society? He has also been challenged for not exploring the relationship between the sex class system and the economic class system, treating them as autonomous. Nevertheless, she has contributed greatly to the theorizing of both violence and patriarchy and offered some deep insight into the nature of women’s subordination.


o Socialist feminists accept and use the core tenets of Marxism, but have sought to enrich and expand it by working on areas that they believe were neglected by traditional Marxist theory. They attempt to combine Marxist and radical feminist approaches because they feel that both have something to contribute but that neither is sufficient by itself.

  • They do not consider patriarchy as a universal or immutable system because




  • his commitment to a historical, materialistic method as well as his observations of diversity in the sexual division of labor; Socialist feminists see the conflict between women and men as historically changing with a change in mode or production (Veronica).


  • They take economic class and gender class as two contradictions in the society and try to see the relationship between them. According to him, patriarchy is related to the economic system, to the relations of production, but it is not causally related. There are many other forces that influence patriarchy; For example ideology, which has played a very important role in strengthening it.


  • Some believe that patriarchy preceded private property, in fact the exploitation of women made it possible. He also believes that just as patriarchy is not a result of the development of private property, it will not disappear even after the abolition of property. They look at both the relations of production and the relations of reproduction in their analysis. According to him the whole area of reproduction, family and domestic labor was neglected or insufficiently developed by Marxist scholars, and he has focused his attention on these.
  • Socialist feminists not only avoid the language of “primary” or “primary” contradiction, but are generally suspicious of attempts to claim that either class or gender is fundamentally basic to the other. They see the various systems of oppression as inextricably linked with each other (Hartmann).
  • Zilla Eisenstein, a socialist feminist scholar, states that one concern is “how to frame the problem of woman as both mother and worker, progenitor and producer”. They argue that male supremacy and capitalism are the main relations that determine the oppression of women. She characterizes society as “on the one hand, the capitalist labor process in which exploitation takes place, and on the other, a patriarchal sexual hierarchy in which women are mothers, domestic labor and consumers, and in which women are oppressed.” According to her, patriarchy discriminates is not a direct consequence of the biological interpretations of the social relations of reproduction or the sex-sex system.
  • Gender and Caste


Programs and their Impact: Socio-Economic Programs

  1. Under this programme, the Central Social Welfare Board provides financial assistance to voluntary organizations for a variety of income-generating activities, including ancillary units, handlooms, handicrafts, agro-based activities such as animal husbandry, sericulture and production of central components is included. Fish farming and self-employment ventures like selling vegetables or fish etc.



  1. For production units, organizations and institutions working only for women’s organizations and handicapped women’s cooperatives, such as prisons, and Nariniketan, are eligible for grants to the extent of 85 percent of the project cost and the remaining 15 percent to be met by the grantee institutions. To be done by ,


  1. The dairy scheme is specifically focused on women organizations with at least 20 women members, including Mahila Mandals, Indira Mahila Kendras

Self Help Groups and organizations already assisted under STEP schemes. The benefit of the scheme is for those women whose families are below the poverty line







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