Yes, that makes more sense, but they are trained that way by patriarchal society, not really by their mothers (although some mothers may reinforce this), it’s hardly a societal “feminine” trait and I say that because there is an entire movement designed to counteract and dismantle that (feminism). If you asked any woman on the street who wasn’t from a conservative religion if they thought they ought to be submissive or subservient to a man, you’d get an earful. Being pressured to do something doesn’t mean you buy into it as who you really want to be. On the flip side, many men do buy into who society says they are supposed to be in a much more wholesale manner. Evidence for that is all the pushback you see and read against women who are upset about the way they’ve been treated.

And that still doesn’t explain how this actually disadvantages men. Patriarchy is a hierarchy. It demands all kinds of subservience. Until 50 years ago there were a slew of laws and societal rules that enforced the subservience of women (as well as people of color, gays, etc). They were not laws made women however, because there weren’t enough women in power for that to have been the case.

And it’s not about your response being acceptable — it’s about it being something clear enough and supported enough to understand so that I can make a response.

It’s good that you see that dynamic around wanting approval. We all have something in that vein but most people never identify or admit to it. It’s not static however. That is something you could work with to clean up if you so chose.

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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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