Society Is Becoming More Liberal And Progressive But It Still Normalizes And Perpetuates Patriarchy

Yesterday evening, I was doing the usual perusing of my Twitter feed when I came across this video. It is an excerpt from a television show and it shows a little girl being asked  to give her opinion on the rules of a successful marriage, to which she responds by saying one has to find the right person
who will treat them nicely.

Hitherto, it seemed like the little girl had the right metrics for choosing a lifelong partner. When she, however, went into what her definition of being treated "nicely" was, she outlined being bought designer bags and all types of material possessions. The presenter then asked her why she felt that those things were necessary for a happy marriage, to which she replied that because it is necessary for a wife to be spoilt in order to have a happy home.

The presenter then asked her what she as a wife had to do to ensure happy and long-lasting nuptials, to which the little girl confidently replied: "just wear the stuff". Although I had found the video quite cringeworthy to say the least up to this point due to the exploitation of kids for ratings, it was the audience's reaction after that last answer that left me in awe. The audience, comprising of mostly middle-aged and probably married adults, burst into laughter and applause, painting a picture of agreement with what the little girl was saying.

Going through the comments under the video, it appeared that most women agreed with the sentiments of the little girl on the tools for a happy marriage. The comments ranged from gifs of affirmation to remarks of "what a queen".

In her book The Female Enuch, Germaine Greer states that little girls are taught from an early age that they can and should use their femininity to get things without society, especially their female guardians, realizing that this mentality goes a long way in perpetuating toxic masculinity because it gives men this sense of entitlement over women by virtue of being "providers"

She says that this form of cajolery colloquially referred to as ""pussy power" leads to the reinstating of the mentality which feminism had been trying to fight for decades that women are merely objects of pleasure to be appeased in return for that pleasure.

Although Germaine Greer wrote her book in the 1970s, it is astonishing to see the same aiding and abetting of toxic masculinity still being normalized especially on mainstream media despite the strides that the feminism movement has taken over the last few decades.

With the rise of online activism in the 2010s as a result of the rise in popularity of social media networks, the idea of using pussy power as a form of sexual liberation has been ingrained in the idea of feminism and as a man, I will refrain from giving my unsolicited opinion on whether this is leading to the regression of the movement or not because it is not my place to do so.

However, as a father to a little girl, I would agree with Greer that sexual liberation and cajolery do not necessarily have to be concordant. Girls and young women should be taught that just because they do not subscribe to the notion of using their feminity to get through life does not mean that they are sexually passive.

To me, it does not make sense for an oppressed group to adopt the ways of the oppressor and consider than an element of liberation. Doing this puts the oppressor at an advantage because they have been using that mode of oppression for so long that they know how to tweak and bend it to their advantage every time. Sexual liberation is indeed an important element of feminism but perpetuating the stereotype which is one of the reasons that oppression of women has gone on for so long in the first place seems counterintuitive.

To ensure complete liberation for women, is it not of paramount importance to ensure that girls grow up desiring the opportunity to advance themselves instead of resorting to relying on a concept of femininity invented by patriarchy to get ahead? Is it not better to adopt ways of liberation which have been devised by the oppressed themselves instead of adopting misogynistic mindsets and trying to tweak them to align with feminism? Doesn't the cajolery which is perpetuated by the idea of "pussy power" uphold the misogynistic notion that women are incapable of providing for themselves without men? Does it then mean that the value of a woman is determined by the amount of excitement she incites in men? Does it not mean that women are just mere objects for the satisfaction of men in exchange for material?

Although I definitely agree with the little girl that women should be spoilt and provided for in relations, as with every partner, what I find hard to take in is that society has her and other millions of girls and young women across the world thinking that being provided for by a man is what makes a happy home and that the ability to be provided for is what defines her as a woman and  that in a society which is increasingly liberal and progressive, this patriarchal idea is still being applauded and cheered for on.