Vaniver wrote:Pretty much every policy that makes up "patriarchy" has a subset of men that it helps, a subset of women that it helps, a subset of men that it hurts, and a subset of women that it hurts.
It seems like you're perhaps missing the point here. Specifically, this is very much a case where the "help" offered by the system is far from unambiguous, and often introduces issues of its own.
For example, there's the one I brought up earlier in the thread: while a greater quantity of romantic attention could easily seem like a blessing to someone who's feeling invisible ("Oh, it must be so easy
for you to get dates!"), it introduces the additional issue of a high level of unwanted attention, which leads to the task of sorting signal from noise, and potentially severe consequences for mishandling this process and letting a dangerous false negative through. Thus, it can be easy for someone who gets approached a lot to remain just as dateless as someone who gets approached only rarely. The problem is asymmetrical, sure: one party faces difficulty differentiating signal from noise, while their counterpart faces the problem of successfully standing out as signal. But it is a problem for both sides, even though a naively one would assume one side to benefit at the other's expense.
You can apply this same principle to other aspects of our cultural attitudes about gender. For example, women are assumed to be more emotionally sensitive then men. The problem for men is that it's less acceptable for them to express their emotions -- but while this expression is more acceptable to women, this also leads to their expressions being more easily ignored as being the result of oversensitivity, while the positions of menfolk are more assumed to be derived from Knowledge and Reason.
If women are judged more strongly on attractiveness than men are, this makes it comparatively easier for attractive women to gain social standing -- but also makes it just as easy to write them off as only being successful because of their attractiveness. (And has significant consequences for less (conventionally) attractive women, but the point here is that even the "benefit" has attached drawbacks.) Conversely, attractiveness is less emphasized for men, which has the benefit of allowing their success to be primarily attributed to skill, intelligence, or other attributes, but has the drawback of making the issue of male attractiveness sort of a taboo, which we can see the effects of all over.
I could keep going, but I suspect that my meaning is clear by this point: each aspect of the gender dichotomy has a side that applies to members of both genders, and while arguably offering a potential benefit also
carries an attendant drawback. This is often important to keep in mind -- and while there is a regrettable tendency of people to use this principle to undermine arguments (With either "Well it's just as bad for US, too!" or "Yeah, but it helps you in THIS way too, so it works out in your favor!"), it is important to realize that any problem that faces one side will often have a counterpart on the other, which is often something that naive assumptions about gender dynamics (such as those espoused in the image that started this whole mess) tend to forget.