By Gloria Steinem Essay, Research Paper
From your perspective (male or female) how valid are the speculations offered by the author of If Men Could Menstruate
Nothing With out a woman
A hypothesis on a hyperbole is the best description one can render onto this piece by Gloria Steinem. The ideas present in the essay If Men could menstruate are so drastic and ridiculous, that it demands a second reading. These same ridiculous thoughts on this unique subject matter are generally quaint but for the greater part they evoke thought on the reality of society. Boarders, languages and oceans separate the planet physically; class distinctions, religion, color and gender separate it mentally. Man in all his glory cannot justify or gratify himself unless some other party recognizes a superior, therefor; it obviously becomes imperative for men to be seen by other as superiors. Based on this reasoning it is safe to imply that distinctions are a man made concepts that are used to promote his superiority be it in class, color and gender. Gloria Steinem uniquely presented a true and accurate stance on gender distinction based on the fact that any and almost every thing has been used to promote male superiority and female inferiority.
The society today is not one that lends itself to the topic of a woman s menstruation; quite frankly it is revered as taboo. A woman s Menstruation (her period) is seen by males as an obstacle and is considered very dirty sexually. The menstrual cycle as perceived by males transcends the sexes and is also shared by women themselves, the monthly burden. Women were thought from they were children that they are frail, hence limiting what they can do, whereas, males are thought how to be tough and that there is nothing a man cannot do. This methodology in child raring is where gender distinctions start. Males are raised to be superior to females and females are raised to complement male not to compete with them. With this in mind it is clear that male children have been given an advantage over women, an unfair advantage but and advantage non-the-less. Women have been deprived of opportunity for millennia without realising it until today.
Imagine then, if men could suddenly do the one thing that makes a woman a woman. This would be the ultimate insult to the opposite sex. Men can make simple aspect such as physical size and strength, positive factors of their superiority, what would their command of a menstrual cycle and the ability to bear children cause an already male dominated world. Women would be subjected to further suppression and neglect by the now ultimate dominant specie. These views are not circumstantial; they are based on the human behavioural tendency to supersede the competition, in this case the females by slandering their credibility and necessity as viable components within the society. The males as the dominant sex, now as a result of their new ability to menstruate would begin to study the cycle and its effects in dept. They would create new and more effective ways to menstruate, all because the need arose. The menstrual cycle would become the centre of man s world, because the demand became present. This hypothesis as presented by Steinem is again showing how the real world functions, in term of what is considered a priority and who decides what the priorities are. This is male dominance at its slippery best.
Steinem analysis on the topic of sexism and dominance is only a section of the greater villain, power-lust. Sexism is only an organ away from racism. The drive for power has caused the gender gap in society, and the measures taken to maintain power widen it. A child once asked, Would there be a war if no soldiers showed up? The same applies to gender distinction Would male preference exist if women refused it? The point withstanding is that males are only in power because they are allowed to. If this privilege was stripped who would swept under the proverbial rug? Preferential treatment of men only goes as far as women are willing to accommodate, consequently forcing men to ask the question who is in charge? The tide of power can shift as easily as a gentle breeze on rough seas, Gloria Steinem s warning to the traditional male.
In short, man has created many different avenues through which he directs the masses into his arena while maintaining a clean shave and a bright smile. The system in place in modern society is one that accommodates males, and their subtle tyranny. Gloria Steinem presented an unmodified and drastic point of view while maintaining an effective feminist stance. Male have been raised to posses power and whiled it accordingly while women have not, this is the primary cause of gender distinction. This form of discrimination causes man to dictate what is important to the society therefore he controls its moral base, now if women rights are not apart of the priority list then women continue to be as ornaments and decorations for men. Steinem s points retains there effectiveness and solidity in today society for the simple fact its still a man s world and that is how it operates, however, hope is retrieved when one realizes that the world would not be anything without a woman.
Saint John s College Junior College (Belize) English Department. (1996). Advanced English Composition. Belize: Angelus Press
Steinem, Gloria. (October 1978). If Men Could Menstruate. 110.?