I don't think it's one level deep at all. It's part of an extremely complex social system built around a dominance hierarchy (patriarchy) that harms men too and is also upheld by women. And it only improves when we call out the places where it doesn't work. But none of that, nor your comment about how hard it is to get up the courage to face rejection, justifies treating a woman like a piece of meat.

And no, things don't necessarily evolve because they work better. Social change happens because we demand it. We didn’t evolve into a separate country from being a British colony. We fought for it. Same for the end of slavery, and for civil rights AND the end of child labor.

Child labor began to decline as the labor and reform movements grew and labor standards in general began improving, increasing the political power of working people and other social reformers to demand legislation regulating child labor. Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined, and common initiatives were conducted by organizations led by working women and middle class consumers, such as state Consumers’ Leagues and Working Women’s Societies. These organizations generated the National Consumers’ League in 1899 and the National Child Labor Committee in 1904, which shared goals of challenging child labor, including through anti-sweatshop campaigns and labeling programs. The National Child Labor Committee’s work to end child labor was combined with efforts to provide free, compulsory education for all children, and culminated in the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, which set federal standards for child labor.

“Some men get defensive because they think that speaking against patriarchy is saying that men are bad and that long ago they conceived an evil plot to hold women down. But that’s much too simplistic and one-dimensional and that’s not what I’m saying at all. Patriarchy is a social system with a lot of destructive elements — for most of the people in it, including most of the men.

It did result in the coercive control and disempowerment of women, but it wouldn’t have continued if women didn’t uphold this social system as well. And it resulted in the stratification of entire societies and the unfortunate creation of social classes, which has let to no end of problems and social ills.”

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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