Men and Women Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1335 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Sports - Women

Power relationships between men and women are as old as man and woman themselves. Throughout history the balance of power has sometime subtly, sometimes dramatically, shifted in favor of one gender or the other.

Some believe that the power relationship stems from societal and cultural concerns. Those in power, specifically men, control the institutions that perpetuate this power, and as such, control the majority of social resources. It is a self-perpetuating situation where power begets more power, and the opposite sex, specifically women, is relegated to an inferior status.

Some, however, believe that the balance of power being unequal is a matter of biology and evolution, and the control of social institutions and resources is nothing more than a result of this natural tendency, not a separate entity of its own.

The control of aspects such as education, business and the media are only natural progressions from inborn male and female behavior. Men are dominant in the world simply because that is how nature intended it to be, not because they've oppressed women for generations.

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Whether natural or societal-built, power relationships are the gender contracts that determine roles, responsibilities, privileges, status, sexuality and behavior of men and women within households, communities, the market and the state. Gender contracts shape social, economic, political and sexual relationships in what people often refer to as 'our culture'. Various gender contracts constitute a gender system (e.g. patriarchy or matriarchy) under which general rules, perceptions, hierarchies and privileges are formulates, refined and preserved (Kalabamu 245).

This paper will investigate these power relationships and present the opposing viewpoints of just who is in the position of power, with the current gender contracts.

Men Still Rule the Roost:

Term Paper on Men and Women Assignment

Despite the struggles of generations of women, in America and many other parts of the world, according to feminists, women are still the oppressed gender. According to Arslanian-Engoren, there are still biases that marginalize women, and in fact, these biases are so significant, they negatively impact women's healthcare, resulting in healthcare disparities between men and women.

Power and knowledge are not the same thing, however they are mutually dependent on one another. Therefore without knowledge, power cannot be initiated. Feminists theorize that it is man that holds the key to knowledge in society today; therefore, power naturally follows. Arslanian-Engoren notes that only by acquiring new scientific knowledge, in this case specifically concerning women's healthcare, and reframing the parameters of women's healthcare, can women strive to achieve a more egalitarian and equitable balance in the power relationship.

It is not only in the healthcare arena that men still find themselves at an advantage, despite decades of efforts to the contrary. Higher education too sees women sorely under-represented in the higher strata of higher education, despite women's movements, policy initiatives and enhanced participation. "Power structures of higher education persist and graft themselves onto the new concept of the learning society. Notions of leadership, superiority, and academic excellence continue to be characterized as masculine" (Morley).

Male power is not simply possessed, but rather exercised. In her research on women in the learning society, Morley has had numerous reports of failed promotion applications, the adjunct roles of women, how excessive responsibilities unfairly burden females, including demands of student support and routine administration that are not thrust on their male counterparts. Committee work and emotional labor wear down women, taking their focus and efforts away from being able to apply for large research grants. Sadly, university qualifications still have less value for women than men. As an example, in the United Kingdom, on average, women graduates still earn less than male graduates (Morley).

Even in the United States, this statistic still holds true. There is, and has been a predominance of male professors and top-ranking administrators, as opposed to females. Despite the fact that there are record numbers of women earning their graduate degrees and entering the ranks of tenured faculty, inequality and segregation, based on gender, still exists. As an example, "the School of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/men-women/892431.