That's patriarchy in action - something that I write about all the time as being one of the many ills of such a social system. What you face as a shorter man is also part of the same dynamic.

"Patriarchy allowed for stratification not only between men and women but in the larger society as well. For the first time, you’ve got social castes and elites. Rather than sharing nearly everything for the good of the tribe, individual families are able to accumulate wealth, land, status, and power that belong solely to them. Having become a society of control and separation, you might as well see how much you can get for yourself out of it. If you don’t have power, what can you get out of being proximate to or aligned with a man who does?"

I'm not advocating for hunter-gatherer levels of sharing resources, but we could stand to do away with the social stratification and caste system that is an intrinsic part of a patriarchal dominance hierarchy. One in which zero-sum beliefs -that someone must lose in order for someone else to win - can be replaced with more win-win solutions for everyone.

All forms of discrimination and oppression are a direct result of this social system. And even though there are pockets of more partnership-oriented systems taking place, both in organizations and some personal interactions, we are still overwhelmingly swimming in the ocean of dominance based hierarchy, so much so that we mostly can't identify the properties of the water because it's just what we've always swum in. This is why I talk about it - because we can't impact dynamics that we don't even recognize as being a problem, or even being in effect.

PS - Dave Murray is a very good friend of mine.

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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