If your a patriarchal man and you have a big problem on your hand with a pack of women who are not interested in gaining the approval of men anymore and want to enter the economic world on the same equal terms and even change it to new terms. This group have made some strides, they have an equal pay act and they are pushing to enter fields that were in the past just occupied for men. Everywhere you turn women are favouring each other (yes this was how it was I remember it) and have the ability to put aside competition for men and aim for other things, infact many women at this time have transcended the wish to settle with a man and some are turning to each other. They have freed themselves from caring about the things that have long been used to oppress them, like beauty and fashion, unlike the days when women would fight over wearing the same dress these ones want to wear universal fashions that are functional. These women are not going to hate another woman BC she is in line for the husband of their dreams BC a husband is not in her dreams.
This was some of the motivation and thought behind the second wave, rejection of the system that made women compete for the best home and husband. Middle class women who in the past were kept, wanting to step out and take to the streets along with working class women and fight for shared issues. This was what happened despite what many will claim today.
So how as a patriarch do you destroy this energy, how do you turn them against each other and make them untrusting of each other. How do you get the general consensus on how females interact to move from the co operative tend and befriend which was put as the reason girls were doing better at school a few decades ago, to today’s theory of relational aggression and mean girls as the standard model. How do you get the women who are not motivated towards getting men to join in too, to the point feminism dies and many women don’t want each other around in work places or even bully them. I was only born in 81 and I remember a different era.
The answer is easy,very easy. What you do is create a situation where they once again have to comply with the same impossible standards of beauty and femininity that women were held to in the past to acquire a husband, but this time around it has to be done so it is required even by women who don’t want to seek male approval. For those women it will be an unfortunate side effect, BC as they comply every man on the street will assume it’s for them and want to be harassed.
What patriarchy does is embrace feminism for a while, set up programs to get women into all the male dominated sectors and feminism feels like it achieved something. All the sisters are happy and they get a buzz every time they see a woman succeed, infact in this area they exceed men who just feel envy at each other. See the class analysis thinking makes every woman’s advancement class advancement. I remember these times when women in groups were happy every time a woman out did a man very much unlike the situation of today’s side glance.
Patriarchy knew it had to destroy the spirit of unity which existed (for real even on the street for a great number of women), a feminist was a good thing to be every woman would smile at the sound of the word, unlike now as now it triggers a source of shame. People look around when someone says the world, almost like you just threatened to blow up the nearest hospital or confessed to being a distant cousin of Hitler. There’s a multitude of reasons why this is the case well beyond the point im making here, but all are related to it in some way.
So what certain blow does patriarchy have to deliver? Easy, start factoring in beauty and femininity when you allow women into all these new positions they have worked to get into. Women will learn that to get any of this new found freedom and not be dependant on a man, they must still aspire to be what men want and they will still have to view other women as a threat even if they don’t want a man or already have one. That’s because now they know they can lose a job they held onto for 20 years because the boss decided he wanted a younger woman to look at. Even worse from that younger womans (probably un political) perspective she is just taking up her new rights and has no idea as to the reality. Now women know any great skills they have cant be used under this new system if they don’t work on their appearance. Women lose pay for weight gain and lose jobs for not wearing heels or make up to the interview. Womens dreams of a non man reliant life is threatened by other women, for things they cannot control. Older woman find they have no economic security despite having years of experience and are close to ending up out in the street because most of the simple jobs are going to younger women.
Women notice the rules don’t apply to men, they’re working in top offices when over weight and covered in acne, women are young and slim or put out of sight. Women in high positions are the ones who could wield most of the feminist power, but now they find promoting other women risks being displaced themselves. Times were much more easy in this regard when the old misogyny wanted no women in these positions or jobs, because that way women could all be on the same level platform regardless of how appealing they were to men. Now it does not matter if a woman is a sister, if she is inline with the male gaze it will act as a selection method she has no control over and it can lead to women losing in positions where men would not lose to other men. The old sexism told women they were not capable of many things, the new sexism tells them it does not matter all that matters is their looks. Looks are something that goes down over years, skill improves over years, skill is transferable and looks are limited in how they can be improved.
Now all young girls learn that beauty is more important then ever, yesterday lack of them would reduce ones chances of marrying, and for some that was not the end of the world. Today one cannot even get through high school if they don’t get the appearance thing right regardless of what skill they got. Now the foundation of true sister-ship is destroyed because women cannot step out of being a threat and survive a new way. She goes to get a job BC she needs a job, and she is selected on unfair means which can displace other women who have spent years working hard. In the past a woman could look like a model and have the ability to steel any woman’s economic future by taking their potential husband and refuse to do so, and many did. Today women just don’t have the ability to opt out or even know they are opted into a system where they have become currency and where women know each others value just by looking. The days when the attractive woman in the office was the one who might marry one of the top men and vanish are over, instead she may be the one who gets promoted to the job you want or need. Women are not in a position where they can forgive or except that, because it’s an unacceptable position for any human being to be in. Women even find that as they age the treatment they get accessing goods and services to spend their self earned cash changes. How can they build sister ship when they find other womens get an easier time just going shopping based on how they look. Looks have always mattered for women but not to the degree they do today in everyday life.
A small problem is the fact women may get catcalled on their way to work BC of how they are expected to look to keep their job. For many women this is all they recognise to be misogyny, the rest just appears like normal life.
Patriarchy did it; it once again made it necessary for women to comply to survive, it put women in the way of each others escape and made them forget they are all trying to escape from the same thing. With hyped up evolutionary psychology it can convince us all women are out to get each other, and its all about men. It can sow seeds of mistrust between women, and talk about how women are catty, vain and superficial and it’s in their DNA. Sistership is sure to be long dead and forgotten, never to infest the minds of the young again. Within a generation supporting other women will sound insane, and one sure way to be an idiot. Infact women by this time will be going to men thinking they need protection from other women who are out to destroy them, more so the ones deemed attractive and they will think its all down to the things described in evolutionary theory. Many women who are trying to get economic security without a man will be seen as doing the reverse BC they have to do things to please men to get a job.
A false meme has been created and it’s the meme that women naturally care about what men think to the degree they are willing to destroy other women who get in the way of it. This is not true and it has never been true, and it never will be true no matter what evolutionary psychology says. When it comes to economic security thought, which is actually protection from men things are a lot different. A woman who is seen as a threat to another woman’s economic security no matter what that economic security is will react and do what she needs to do to survive even if that means ensuring the woman is outcaste.
Interestingly enough third wave feminism and the ideas it promoted acted as a direct obstacle to challenging the new sexism, and instead it pained attacks on beauty or concepts of femininity as attacks on women. The reality of the situation though is even if all women abandon beauty practices, some women naturally fall more inline with the male gaze and it’s not realistic to expect every woman to dress similar and downplay things they naturally have. Some women will always be younger and youth is one factor patriarchy plays against women, its not one that can be thrown off. Collective abandonment of fashion and beauty wont stop this approach patriarchy is taking, because it will still select based on naturally occurring factors that all women wont have. Plus sex role socialization and its effect on personality traits becomes ingrained and patriarchy will always select for traits in women which act to stop people getting ahead.
I have no ideas as to how to fix a problem like this, because its one of those things one just can point to and say for sure it happened. Women can never really prove they lost a job or pay for appearance factors to someone else or that someone was promoted over them for such factors. But all women today know it’s a reality on some level, all know that they don’t have the option of doing very much outside the male gaze and that the male gaze has in recent decades seeped into the refuges feminism created away from it.