Gender stereotypes influence and perpetuate what is known as patriarchy. Patriarchy is a concept that considers men the holders of power and authority resulting in domination of all sectors throughout society. Men have held the most powerful positions in the world and have guided our laws, policies, and culture. Patriarchy not only impacts society on a global scale through structural oppression but also our daily lives. It influences individual relationships and the daily interactions amongst husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and colleagues. Feminist theory posits that men use violence in attempt to maintain this power and privilege. Domestic abuse and sexual assault are forms of violence that clearly exert power and control over a person. While abuse can be demonstrated by both men and women and survivors of abuse could be of either gender, statistics show that women are the overwhelming victims of abuse and violence. Patriarchy and the sexist and misogynistic viewpoints propagate views of women as subordinates who are meant to be kept in “their place.” Violence is a form of managing and maintaining a male’s role in society. To prepare for this Discussion, review the Johnson case. Reflect on the gender and sexism stereotypes expressed and the essential skills for social work practice you have learned throughout the program.
To prepare: View Johnson (Episode 2) and consider the gender and sexist stereotypes made around sexual assault by the professional in the episode. These stereotypes may revolve around gender, life circumstances, socioeconomic status, and education level.
Post an explanation of gender and sexist stereotypes and assumptions around sexual assault made by a professional you observe in the case study episode. Explain how these stereotypes perpetuate violence against women. Apply social work skills for social change advocacy to address sexism. Explain how social workers can respond to the stereotypes and assumptions you have identified in the Johnson case and how you might advocate for social change related to sexism while working with families, clients, and groups and collaborating with other professionals. Be specific about the skills you would apply and the actions you would take.
Respond to at least two colleagues by providing additional or alternative ways to respond to the stereotypes and assumptions identified by your colleagues in the Johnson case. Provide additional or alternative ways social workers can address these assumptions and advocate for social change related to sexism while collaborating with other professionals to address the needs of clients.
There are far too many gender and sexist stereotypes and assumptions around sexual assault in America today. The video’s this week were amazing and brought up many amazing points and I could not help but share them with friends and family. I loved the point made by Jackson Katz that these “women’s issues” such as sexual assault need to be brought to the attention of men and discussed with men in powerful leadership positions to make a real change (Katz, 2012). We can prepare women and they can get out and share their opinions but when men believe it is not affecting them, and they feel they have done nothing wrong, the patriarchy will continue to dominate society.
In Colin Stokes’s Ted Talk he discusses how there are too many films and children’s movies that perpetuate violence in men in order to save the day (Stokes, 2012). In these films the plots have only one lead female character or a few female characters who have limited scenes together in which these women’s discussions only involve men and relationships (Stokes, 2012). Luckily, there are more movies today with strong female role models who manage to defeat the villains using cooperation and heroic leadership skills (Stokes, 2012). If we can convince the participants of patriarchy that the definition of manhood needs to change, I believe that it would drastically decrease the number of sexual assailants in America.