Susan B. Anthony. Alice Paul. Lucy Stone. These are some names of the people who were advocates in fighting for women’s rights. Today, there are those who see women as equal to men, there are still some who believe that men are superior. Should women have equal rights with men? Should women do the same work given to men? How did people adjust to a patriarchal society back in the day? Today? The inequality between men and women, where people believe that men are far more superior than women, has been drilled into the minds of people by philosophers and colonists; these beliefs are still present in our society today.
Philosophers back in the day exercised their beliefs of a patriarchal society by writing poems, plays, and essays to impress their beliefs on other people. Misogyny has evolved over the years. Great philosophers, writers and socialists subscribed to the belief of a patriarchal society. This influenced society greatly. In today’s society, the term “misogyny” is now called “sexism.” Over the years, women’s rights often get oppressed by the patriarchal society. Therefore, feminist movements were established. Feminists protect women from crimes like rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence. According to statistics, one in four women experience domestic violence from all around the world, and one in five women are raped in the United States. The statistics show how misogynistic beliefs are still present today because men believe they can dominate and force themselves onto women – because men believe they are superior. Feminists also promote women’s rights. One of those rights was women’s suffrage. On January 27, 1914, a group of women protested about women suffrage in Canada, which was led by a well-known writer and suffragist Nellie McClung. They succeeded, and the bill was passed in 1916. As time passes, women’s rights become more relevant, thus changing patriarchal society’s beliefs.
Because of the patriarchal beliefs, men consider women as inferior to them. One may have heard of the phrase, “That’s a man’s job” or “That’s a woman’s job.” The difference inspired these comments because of the role of men and women in society in the past. Take the Philippines as an example. Before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines, women were respected. One of the first things that men learn is to respect women – in the act of kissing a woman’s hand as an example. If a man does not respect a woman, he is labelled as a negative part of society. Before the Spaniards came, women could hold high positions like becoming a priestess or healers which were considered to be some of the most respected positions. However, during the 16th century, Spaniards colonized the country. They degraded and stripped women of their rights. The Spaniards taught the Filipinos that a woman’s job is to cook, weave and take care of children. On the other hand, a man’s job is to fight in the war and become soldiers. The Spaniards saw and treated women like objects. They got sold for money, and were raped and harassed. During that time, Gabrielle Silang, a woman who became tired of this oppression, fought for freedom from the Spaniards. Despite her failure, because she was captured and beheaded, she started a movement and an awakening for Filipinos, especially women, to fight for freedom.
A patriarchal society was exploited through the years where women did not get a say in anything. Although, some women stepped up, which changed the society that we have up until today. Through writings, movements and advocacies, women’s rights became more relevant and considered in society. Susan B. Anthony once said, “There shall never be another season of silence until women have the same rights men have on this green earth.” Through the courage shown by women, equal rights are now exercised by people. However, there is still belief in the patriarchy, which is still a controversial issue that people face today. The belief of the inequality between men and women may have been drilled into people’s minds. However, as people advocate more for women’s rights, patriarchal society will soon give way to a society where men and women are equal.