Last Updated 17.05.2023
6 min read

Patriarchy Today: How Negative Perceptions of Women are Connected to Homophobia

Alan Schin (he/him/his) is the Chief Editor at Taimi. He wears several hats daily as a writer, editor, blogger, and content contributor. He began his university studies as a Psychology student but found his passion in Advanced Communication Studies. Alan loves having the opportunity to write and help our content team shine. According to Alan, his education helps him to understand the dynamics behind dating and socialization better. When he isn’t busy with Taimi, Alan works on his first novel, a sci-fi thriller, and creates works of art in his ceramics studio.

You’ve probably been hearing the word patriarchy lately. It’s used to describe the legislation, policies, and attitudes that are currently causing so much damage to the LGBTQ+ community. But, what does this word mean? How does patriarchy really hurt us?

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Table of Content

    What Does Patriarchy Mean?

    A patriarchy is defined as a society that is governed or controlled by a man, more specifically the oldest man in the group. As a patriarchal society we tend to put a lot of value onto men and masculinity. This in turn leads to feminine traits being highly undervalued, and even seen as worthless in comparison to masculine ones. Although men are highly valued in a patriarchal society there are many ideas and practices that are harmful to men as well. 

    How Does Lack of Gender Equality Lead to Homophobia?

    In patriarchal societies men tend to be treated and raised with the belief that they are the most important and vital members of society. More masculine men tend to get even better treatment than others. Although it is difficult to delegate these ideas as a whole there are a few specific examples of how masculinity is perceived. 

    Certain Tasks are Delegated Based on Gender

    We all likely know a couple of men who refuse to work in a certain field because it’s viewed as being too feminine. Careers such as teaching, nursing, childcare, administrative work, and more are often mostly delegated towards women as these careers are seen as being feminine.

    How does this tie into homophobia? Many of the men in these careers have at one point or another been accused of being gay. Although things have gotten better over the years there have been very few men or masculine presenting people present in these career paths. There are some who even see men as being incapable of properly handling the jobs necessary for these careers. In fact, due to the perceived lack of need to teach men how to properly follow these careers, many men do not bother with these career paths. 

    For men who do follow these career paths it is not uncommon for them to be potentially ridiculed for their choice in career. Some may even try to create the narrative that men who go into these careers are up to something much more sinister. 

    Many things that are considered feminine are labeled in negative ways

    Over the years it may have been noticed that many things that are perceived as feminine are labeled in negative ways. In fact, female focused shows and series tend to get lower ratings than series that are aimed towards male audiences. 

    This perceived negativity about anything that appeals to girls and women also affects things like marketing, quality of product, and more. Because of this negative perception towards feminine centric media, toys, and anything else, we as a society tend to reward girls who enjoy masculine labeled things. While we tend to punish boys who enjoy feminine labeled things.

    Youths are Taught to Ridicule Those Who do not Maintain the Status Quo

    Bullying has always been an issue, especially for those who behave differently from the others around them. Although we create a narrative that bullying is not ok,the media along with the traits and attitudes towards certain types and groups of people that kids are exposed to can and will teach them ways to react and behave. 

    Due to the ideations of patriarchal society, this perceived teaching can have a negative impact. Boys who are perceived as being potentially feminine, homosexual, or even just mildly different from the status quo of buff, masculine, boys are more likely to be victims of bullying. This can lead to negative associations with feminine leaning things and the lgbtq community. Which in turn causes that homophobia to grow. 

    People Who Are LGBTQ+ Create Divisions Based on Patriarchy

    Patriarchy doesn’t just exert an external force on the queer community. Patriarchy also impacts how members of the community treat one another. For example, gay men who show traditionally feminine traits may be ostracized or mocked by men who are socialized to believe that masculinity is the ideal. Lesbians may be targeted by sexist attitudes both outside of and within LGBTQ+ spaces. Trans individuals may be othered as well.

    How Do We Move Away From the Patriarchy?

    Now that we know what patriarchy is, as well as the negative ideations that come from a lack of gender equality. What can we do? How do we step away from patriarchal ideas and society? Although there is no exact way to leave patriarchal ideas and society, there are ways to recognize your own place in the patriarchy and how to handle yourself in a healthy and productive way. 

    Learn What Your Own Biases Are

    As humans we tend to be biased in some way or others. After all, people growing up in certain regions tend to have a loyalty to that specific region. Biases can also be gained in terms of gender and the perception of gender. You may even find that you perceive certain things as being bad, annoying, or any other form of negative perception before you even watch it. 

    Take the time to look at your own perceptions of things, and take the time to learn where those biases come from. Do you really not enjoy those things, or were you told that you didn’t enjoy them?

    Ask Questions

    A big part of unlearning is surprisingly, relearning. Often these questions serve as a guideline to help you learn where certain ideas and behaviors come from. After all, patriarchy isn’t always as simple as “Men are good, Women are Bad”. Every time you see something that can be connected to the patriarchy ask why and how it is connected. 

    Call Out Your Own Toxic Thoughts and Behaviors 

    As a society with a lack of gender equality we tend to learn toxic behaviors from a young age. Patriarchal ideations do not affect the thoughts and behaviors of just straight cis men, but for all genders and sexualities as well. 

    Men may refuse to do anything related to cooking or cleaning unless they happen to work as a chef or janitor. Women may end up acting like parental figures to their partners or see men as being incompetent in certain aspects. 

    Despite your gender identity the best first step is to learn to call yourself out whenever you have these toxic ideas or show those behaviors.

    Learn to Embrace the Things You Once Thought Negatively About

    We will not say that you are going to love or enjoy every single thing you perceived negatively in the past. However, part of stepping away from patriarchal ideas is learning to embrace things you never did before.

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