The Vast Minority

Equality is not inherent in nature so it only makes sense that it is not inherent in us. Despite this, people have, for centuries, strived for equality. In many respects they have succeeded. In Canada it is illegal to discriminate based on sex or race. Our society discriminates based on class. We tie abstract ideas like class to things we can see like sex or race. In doing so, we still discriminate based on sex and race.

Within all societies, the role of the individual within the group is based on the cultural way of things. Traditionally, these roles differed based on many variables such as sex, age, and class. While this discriminant application of tasks and roles to people can lead to oppression, it can also lead to order and harmony. 

In modern society, gender roles are seen as old fashioned. Something which gets in the way rather than being helpful to the group. While they may have been fitting to women in the past, now they are archaic and obsolete. This view ignores the fact that these gender roles still exist. As biases and stereotypes rather than things people explicitly act upon. They exist as implicit biases that favour women as mothers and wives rather than as warriors and leaders.

My concept art focussed on highlighting these biases and making a statement about their wrongness. Inducing the participant to understand the oppressive implication of the ideas held within our society. I did this in having a symbol of gender roles (an ironing board and iron) and turning it on its side, as if it had fallen down to represent the failure of our biases and their oppressive nature, putting the woman down rather than lifting her up. Along with this, I had a seemingly overflowing laundry basket and beside it a table where people could write their idea of what the role of women in society is onto pieces of cloth and throw them into the basket. This was meant to show that the falling over of the symbol of womanhood was induced by these views. That these views put the woman down.

Due to our exhibit being about feminism, it was mostly women who came to look at my piece. This made many of the responses be rather feminist.

While we say that we have equality between men and women, we still have gendered roles. When the man cleans, he has to clean and when the woman drives, she gets to drive. We don’t explicitly advocate for them, but we still, at least in some part live by them.

Margaret Atwood creates a dystopia where people live by these gendered roles. In “The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood creates a dystopia where the people live by a strict and repressive interpretation of patriarchy. In this book, women are ideally docile obedient, and domestic. They are anything but free. In this, she is able to highlight their humanity. She can also show the reader the innate societal bias we have towards women and its wrongness.

So, what do you think? Do you think that society today is still patriarchal and biased against women? Why do you think we have a bias to begin with?

Thank you for reading, goodbye.

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