Equality is the state of being the same in status, rights, and opportunities. Equality is something sought and fought for much more than a few years, both racial and gender equality. However, many have argued that we as people are still fighting an ongoing war for equal rights between men and women, this is known as gender equality. Gender equality, also known by other names such as gender egalitarianism, is the view or belief that the genders male and female should receive equal treatment and not be discriminated against in any way or form that is based on anything relating to gender.
As my life continues to snail by, I’ve come upon more than a few articles and videos relating to gender equality. This soon got me thinking, what drives inequitable treatment between men and women? What has happened in the world that would prompt mistreatment towards the opposite genders? I have little to no experience in this sort of matter nor do I want to if I’m completely honest, but I like to say that these sort of gender-based mistreatment stems from the need to show dominance. The act of showing dominance tends to happen in the animal kingdom so why not in the suburbs? May not be the best answers to this controversial question but a little book may or may not support my answer. That little book is called The Great Gatsby.
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The Great Gatsby sets in early 1900s New York City, more specifically, the twin cities known as West Egg and East Egg. Here we are introduced to our first protagonist and narrator Nick Carraway. He settles in West Egg and meets a variety of unique characters, but no one as unique as the book title himself, Gatsby, the second protagonist of the novel. From the start of their meeting, Nick and Gatsby became close whilst learning about secrets about one another and about the people around them. In The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway has dinner with a couple by the names of Daisy and Tom Buchanan. He soon finds out that Tom is in fact having an affair, Daisy knows this and is strangely impassive about the affair. What makes the matter worse is that Gatsby is in love with Daisy, who is an old flame, and uses their history and his riches to make her fall in-love with him once again. Tom sees this and is absolutely infuriated. Tom almost abruptly becomes extremely protective of Daisy and says that Daisy is his and nobody else. This little event shows that Tom is territorial of his “possessions” and treats Daisy as a trophy instead of a human being. Once he sees someone else wants his “trophy” he becomes infuriated and wants shows his dominance through anger to the opposite sex, even though a second ago he didn’t care about Daisy as he had someone else.
I have continued my research on this gender conundrum with The Language of Composition, a high school textbook. In chapter 8, Gender, I read about Paul Broca, a professor of clinical surgery at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris. Paul Broca and other professors measure the inferiority of women through Anthropometry, the measurement of the human body. Broca measured the skulls of women and found out that the skulls of women were smaller, scientifically proving that women cannot be as smart as men. The professor is supported by two sets of data: the larger brains of men in modern societies and a supposed increase in male superiority through time. Broca’s research has confirmed that males has a sort of natural superiority complex, showing that males will tend to show dominance over the opposite sex. However, Broca was sadden at his discovery saying that “These numbers fell upon poor women like a sledge hammer”. He has also stated that women were also met with “commentaries and sarcasm more ferocious than the most misogynist imprecations of certain church fathers”, another show of dominance by men.
I once again decided to surf the web to see if I can find more examples that would support my answer. I stumbled upon a website called pyschologytoday and read an article that talks about Why Men Oppress Women. The article started with a bit of history on the male dominance on women, with such examples like “in ancient Assyria, the punishment for rape was the handing over of the rapist’s wife to the husband of his victim, to use as he desired”. The author then states that men’s mistreatment of women originated from an underlying psychological disorder, which the author refers it as “humania”. “Humania” is a disorder where it causes men to become brutal and dominant towards the opposite gender.
In the end, one reason for the inequitable treatment between the two genders stems from the need to be dominant.