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Identity Essay Research Paper A person

Identity Essay, Research Paper

A person’s identity means more than people initially realize. Who we are, not

to mention what we are, affects the way we are treated as human beings. Identity plays a

vital role in society, especially in the case of gender. The world is traditionally a

patriarchial society, historically, men run the show, receive all the priveleges, and enjoy

all the benefits; however, Rachel Sylvester, writer for the Sunday Telegraph in England,

wrote an article that sheds new light on the subject of male domination. In her 1996

article, Sylvester tries to convince people that women are making a strong ascent to the

top of the social ladder, while men are fumbling their way around at the bottom.

Sylvester begins the shocking fact that in 1995, there were more reports of

discrimination to the EOC (Equal Opportunities Commision) from men than there were

from women. She then mentions that in the United Kingdom men are formingmovement

groups in retaliation to their discrimination. Is the discrimination of men that

widespread? Are women passing men on in the gender race? Statistically, it seems quite


Sylvester proves her point first by stating results from a British medical

journal which claims that the sperm count in men is falling so fast, that in sixty years,

men’s reproductive organs will be obsolete. She then concludes men’s identities as

breadwinners of the family “have virtually been destroyed” (2) According to Sylvester,

men and women’s participation in the work force is now equal: women’s percentage of

employment has increased by thirty-eight percent; men’s has fallen by twenty percent.

She then claims that men are no longer in control of marriges: three fouths of all divorces

are initiated by women. Also, men’s suicide rate is now four times greater than women’s.

Sylvester claims, there has been a swap, between men and women over paranoia in the

way they look. Men are “becoming anorexic and checking into plastic surgery clinics in

the thousands” (2), while women are now learning to be less obsessed with physical

appearance .Sylvester’s article includes Warren Farrell – “the only man to have been

elected three times to the National Organisation of Women in New York. Farrell left the

group because he feels the women’s movement has gone too far and “honed victimhood

to a fine art”(2). Farrell refutes the claim that women are discriminated in the work place

in his book, The Myth of Male Power: by stating that the reason men are earning more is

because they are putting in more hours on average than women. A man does an average

of forty five hours per week compared to a woman’s thirty six. He also refutes the claim

that men abuse their spouse more than women by citing numerous surveys which prove

that women admit they beat their husbands, an accusation that is hard to take seriously.

Sylvester includes these interesting points to convince her reader to accept her

new theory of new female domination. But, in my opinion, there are other sides to her

argument that she failed to mention. many of her points . In response to her statistics on

the increase of females in the work force and the decrease of males, it seems to me that it

is common sense that if one group increases in numbers, the other group must

decrease.As the majority in the workforce in previous years, if more women are working,

which i believe they are, the men’s percentage would rationally drop.If the male

percentage were still rising , then it would not be equal. Sylvester’s claim that seventyfive

percent of women initiate divorce; this in my opinion, does not define a loss of control in

the marriage. In my view, the one who needs to file for a divorce is the one who lost

control. As for her suicide conclusions, both men and women attempt suicide. Perhaps

the men perform it more efficiently.

Rachel Sylvester brings up interesting and valid opinions on the movement

toward female domination. She provides evidence and statistical information to support

her theory; however, it is still only a theory, and I disagree with it. I think that some men

would agree with Sylvester because many do not recognize the privalages that come from

simply being male. People tend to take for granted privalages which have always been

there. I believe, however, that women have made gigantic leaps in their gender identity

and that the balance of power between men and women is becoming more equalized. On

the larger scale, however, until men’s centrality in all the most powerful institutions in

society is not inevitable, women cannot become the dominant force, at least not in

American culture.