Patriarchy Isn’t a Synonym for Men

One is a social system and the other is a demographic within that

Elle Beau ❇︎
Inside of Elle Beau

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Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

Many Americans find it difficult to see themselves as a part of social dynamics. They’ve been fed a steady diet of faux individualism their entire lives, and they consequently have a difficult time imagining that they are anything other than an island, with no impact on or responsibility for anything that they didn’t directly do. From personal anecdotal experience, this seems to go double for American men.

Part of the mythos of masculinity in this country is that you are not a “real man” unless you are in control, and making your own way. We’ve all been led to believe that we are at the helm of our own lives, that our choices alone create the situations that we find ourselves in, and that we understand and know why we do what we do. Unfortunately, cognitive science begs to differ and instead tells us that very little thought is actually conscious. The concept of the rational man/person is mostly the product of 19th-century ideas.

A commonly held view assumes that conscious thought is in charge of behavior (e.g., Wegner, 2002). However, several decades of psychology research have challenged this notion. The findings have shown that conscious thought has limited access to the mind’s inner workings, while revealing that the…

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Elle Beau ❇︎
Inside of Elle Beau

Social scientist dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. "Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge." ~ Carl Jung