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The empowerment of women is increasingly being considered the panacea for sustainable development in any society. Unfortunately, many societies across the world have for a long time given priority to the males while ignoring the plight of women. This paper summarizes the main points that have been outlined in the two articles. That is Littleton’s article Feminism and Inequality and Rafkin’s Toward a Theory of Law and Patriarchy. The two articles have outlined a number of important issues that involve feminism and women empowerment. The articles outline the social and cultural practices including; law, patriarchy, and matriarchy. All these practices have helped to perpetuate the dominance of male in societies around the world to the point that this is almost accepted as the normal aspect of the society.

Feminism and Equality by Littleton. 

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The article focuses on what is called as phallocentrism that pushes the male members of the society to behave just like males. The article develops a link between religion and cultural practices with the discrimination that women have faced in most societies around the world. The article specifically notes the absence of women in most important places and/or positions in the society; positions trusted with decision making in the society.  In this article, the writer consents that some arguments as to why men are more powerful than women in many societies cannot be justified. He also reveals that the article does not delve into controversies as to why men are more dominant than women in the society but rather why women are unable to emancipation themselves. 

This article argues that equality in inbounded in the law and language that seems to elevate one member of the society, mostly men, over the other member. Littleton argues that the extent to which law and language have been used as perpetual tools of patriarchy in most societies can be exemplified in the kind of legislative that explicit or implicitly discriminate against women while pretending to be protecting the rights of the same people they discriminate against.

Littleton’s main argument is that the difference between human beings; whether real or perceived, whether biologically or socially based; should be allowed to make a difference in the live-out of those persons. This is known as equality of acceptance; where people are supposed to accept others in the society the way they are instead of discriminating against them. Equal treatment cannot be achieved by forcing the females or rare men as they are commonly called, to bear the costs of culturally based behaviors such as childbearing and breastfeeding while rewarding those who engage in male based cultural behaviors.  This article further equates the discrimination of females in the society to the racial discrimination revealing that it is even worse as it discriminates members of the same society. The only difference that may exist between these two members is the biological differences to which females or males have no control over.

Furthermore, the article identifies an important aspect that has been overlooked in patriarchal societies. That is the fact that women can actually be as good as men when they are given the opportunity. Littleton refers to this as assimilation. In another illustration, Littleton indicates that an attempt to achieve equality among women can be realized through androgyny. This is where women and men can seek for a middle position where they can share powers without denying the other member. The article however, notes that most patriarchal societies are unwilling to engage the females in a negotiation to establish the middle ground for the sharing of power.

Importantly, the author notes that being able to identify and recognize the natural and cultural differences such as pregnancy and breast feeding is appreciable but justification cannot be found in such cases like work and education. He argues that though women may love to work in jobs that are perceived to be female oriented, that does not justify the male dominated society to offer such women low pay because they chose to work in low paying jobs. Ultimately, equality can also be realized by allowing more women to attend schools and enter in fields that are traditionally known to be dominated by males.

The writer of this article argues that the issue of equality between men and women is not a question of whether men are different from females but rather, how the social concept of gender asymmetry can be dealt with so as to bring symmetry in the lives of all members of the society.

Article Two: Toward a Theory of Law and Patriarchy by Rafkin.

Rafkin’s main argument in this article is that men and the society have manipulated the law and justice to favor male against females in many societies across the world. He argues that law plays a crucial role in the society and therefore the male dominance over female in the many societies around the world have been reinforced by instruments of law that gives male power and precedence over females. In this regard, law is used both as a symbol and a vehicle of male authority in the society. That is, it is by law that the male gets to dominate against their female partners. Equally it is through law that instruments of dominance are put in place to ensure that the male remain leaders and decision makers both at the family and social levels.

Similarly, the author argues that capitalism was instrumental in worsening the deplorable conditions that women were already into. Rafkin argues that capitalisms did not allow women to engage in any meaningful production while on the other hand, men were encouraged to look for well paying and competitive jobs. In essence, the society was empowering the male members by giving them resources that they could use against the female members of the society. Furthermore, women were not allowed to participate in politics as they were supposed to maintain the apolis lives that excluded them from interacting with the public. Those who attempted to break the sealing met barriers and restrictions that served to control the rate of entry of females in the public fields.

Rafkin also argues that it’s the power of legal ideology that has made it difficult to distinguish between social customs and legal principles. He notes that confusion exists when it comes to differentiating the legal from the social custom. According to him, it is such opportunities that patriarchy is likely to seize to misuse even the few structures that are already in place to elevate the status of women in the society. A surprising and interesting factor about patriarchal societies and equality is that the social customs are so ancient and interwoven into the social fabric to the extent that a poorly calculated attempt to control the situation might be resisted with the very people who are oppressed by the custom. The implication of this interrelationship is that even the male fraternity also suffers albeit silently on some of the customs. An example is where women are given and taken; just like any other property in the society.  In such a case, the patriarchal society is both the author and victim of the challenges that come about with some social practices.

Rafkin notes that the contemporary cases which seek litigation for the atrocities that women have faced in patriarchal societies, like lacking proper decision making mechanisms that allowed women to decide on the number of children they want to bear, are met with cold feet. For instance, when the supreme court decided that females had limited rights to decided on the fate of an unborn child, indicating that they would decide either to have the baby or abort, the male formation cried foul over this and argued that the rights of fathers were violated by denying them the right to decide the fate of their unborn child.

The author has tried to expose the origin of patriarchy in a large number of societies around the world. Interestingly, most of the practices that are held dearly in the societies originate in myths and fables even though the society has taken them and internalized them. The existence of natural cultural practices that demarcates boundaries between male and female in a society are only found in myths.

Overall, this article argues that the origin of culture is founded in the social conception of women as properties that can be owned and controlled by men in the society. The emergence of capitalism was simply awakening of the male dominance through updating of already existing patriarchal social order. It is through legislations that women became more relegated to the private world even as men became more encouraged to take up more active roles in the management and leadership of their societies.

In conclusion, it is evident in the article that the recent efforts in litigation of roles of women in the society have produced certain progressive results. However, the issue of law remains in the hands of majority male leaders who wield the power and resources to bend the law as long as it is going to suit them. This puts women in a greater need to address mechanisms to litigate that will ensure that androgyny is achieved in the society at least in areas that it can be attained.

Code: writers15

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