Male Dominance is a live topic causing differences of opinion and overheated arguments. The differences often revolve around whether dominance is part of men’s inherent male nature or whether it comes from how they are nurtured.
Men develop under their mother’s influence and live in a society that is increasingly feminised by the media. They are left wondering where this leaves them as men.
In the future will men continue to dominate or will it be the turn of women? Will men continue to be domineering?
Is it time for men to embrace a new world view of equality and justice or is it time to batten down the hatches and protect what they have?
What is Male Dominance?
A dominant male is generally accepted as a man who uses his physical or mental power to rule over others. It is mostly women that he dominates but often he tries to control everyone and everything in his environment. Nature has given men a physical advantage over women and some use it to force women to do what they want. This behavior provides them with security and a sense of power.
Many societies, however, require some form of cooperation between men and women. People have found that for a society to be effective there needs to be coherence. Abuse and rape destroy the close knit structures of a society and cause breakdown. It is significant that these comes to a peak in wartime, a time of chaos.
Male Dominance and Patriarchal Society
Modern, western society is a patriarchal society, where the structure is based on rule by men and supports the needs of men. Men are in control at home, in business, in government, in sports, indeed virtually everywhere. Religion is male dominated and men teach patriarchal ideology to children in schools. Women end up confined to specific, clearly defined roles.
Male dominance is an inherent part of this system such that, as men, we dont even realize it’s there. The archetype of the tribal leader has been imprinted deep into our subconscious, the established order is rarely challenged and male privilege is accepted as the norm.
Development of Male Dominance
Anthropologists have found that in fertile, abundant environments men and women see each other as equals, working side by side and respecting each other. It seems that it’s the stress of survival in a hostile environment that causes the development of male dominance and a patriarchal society.
In a hostile environment, men compete for food, resources and even women. They use their strength to protect their women and children during the years of childbearing and child rearing. Their deep instinct for survival comes to the fore. The scientists found that one of the most important tasks of a leader, or any man, was to make sure that his sons would live to father their own children and keep the species alive.
Everything a man did was to ensure survival and social niceties ended up way down the list of importance.
The Challenge to Male Dominance
Over the past century, the separation between male and female activities has faded away. Male dominance is no longer necessary for survival or the continuation of society. The strong, dominant position of men has been successfully challenged by feminists and with female suffrage, university education and the expansion of job opportunities, the grip of men on society has dramatically loosened.
For many men this is difficult to accept, it challenges their view of how society should work. They react by using their male power to dominate and contain their women. They do what in their minds is the right thing: keeping women in their place.
In some cases men lose their sense of normality and even turn to rape and physical abuse.
Moving forward – Stepping Out Of Male Dominance
The display of male power we still witness today doesnt hold back the development of a sane and just society. Modern women are perfectly capable of doing much of what men are doing. No amount of domination by men is going to change their minds about how society should be. They look for equality and justice, not a reversal of the balance of power.
Many men, however, are under the misconception that they are in competition with the people around them, in particular the women who they see as trying to emasculate them.
Men are at a point where they need to rethink the whole concept of male dominance and update their ideas to fit in with how society is developing. It is time to understand and accept that letting go of the need to dominate does not mean letting go of their masculine core. It is time to see that men can still be strong without dominating, indeed they can use their masculinity to support women and society with needing to control either.
When men let go of the need for male dominance, let go of the need to be domineering, they will find that they will be freed from the need to control the people they love and that they can accept them on a basis of genuine equality.
—Photo Kheel Center, Cornell University/Flickr
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