Male dominance has been witnessed in a number of states globally, with the states doing little to change the situation (Grewal, 9). For example, in the United States, there have been social, political, and cultural forces controlling various women’s activities.
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Indeed, this is not new in the wave of feminist politics (Grewal, 11); for example, in the 19th Century and the 20th Century, there were a number of campaigns for suffrages including those protecting labor regulations, birth control system, marriage laws system, and equal opportunity rights for women. Although the state did not recognize the plight of these women at the start, it later listened. Therefore, from this viewpoint, one can argue that the state is the most problematic instrument towards feminist political change.
One would argue that the state has largely contributed to the creation of male dominated society full of masculinity and capitalist system, thus hindering application of social policies (Grewal, 10). In fact, the state controls all the affairs in the society, including the collective power and individual security. Indeed, the state is the sole source of all liberalism movements in the society, and success depends largely on the collective security given by the state (Grewal, 14).
Therefore, women or feminist politics are mainly affected by regulations provided by the state. Furthermore, the general belief that women need more protection from men has prevented women from reaching their full potential. Besides, protection codes and the politics of protection by the state have hindered women movements. As a result, state regulations, in most cases, usually portray women as powerless while at the same time portraying men as being more masculine and stable (Grewal, 17).
The classification worth policy is also another state-perpetuated procedure whereby, women are showcased as being weak in terms of jobs offered. Moreover, the dramatic increase in women population and poverty index has also largely affected feminist politics, leading to more families owned by women (Grewal, 6).
Due to this, cases of female pornography and sexual abuses have become rampant in most families due to poverty. With increase of these activities, female political change faces a lot of domination, dependence, and cultural protection (Grewal, 20). Therefore, the state promotes male dominance, masculinity and reduces democracy and freedom. Nevertheless, the state is unbounded terrain of powers and forces, providing rules and practices that control the affairs of the society (Grewal, 5).
Despite the fact that the state supports male dominance, there are instances where such dominance occurs unintentionally. It is worth noting that female subordination is one of the factors that have contributed to male dominance and poor feminist politics (Grewal, 22).
The liberal dimension of state power also advocates for women roles to be in the family. Therefore, there is need for women to be given equal rights and freedom to promote their participation in politics and civil works in the society. On the other hand, the capitalist dimension asserts that women are more exploited in workplaces than men are (Grewal, 8). Finally, on bureaucracy dimension, Brown asserts that bureaucracy usually favors men more than it does to women.
All in all, Brown concludes by arguing that the state is a specifically problematic instrument of feminist political change. In my viewpoint, I fully agree with his conclusion mainly because, in many instances, we can clearly see male dominance, more masculinity by state power and overdependence on the state by feminist politics. Indeed, this affects the political reforms of females (Grewal, 19).
Bureaucracy and Masculinity according to Grewal
According to Grewal’s article “The Masculinities of Post Colonial Governance: Bureaucratic Memoirs of Indian ICS”, there is a relationship between masculinity and bureaucracy especially in colonial and post-colonial India. To begin with, the Indian Civil Service was mainly comprised of castle males ranging from professionals in the field of law, medicine, and education.
These males were the elite males who acquired their status after passing civil service exams in India (Brown, 29). At this time, it was only the higher castle that was allowed to use western education. This can be argued as the source of male dominance and masculinity power that governed India, especially after independence. In fact, male power and masculinity nature created patriarchal connections that led to bureaucracy in India as well as more power within the state.
According to Brown, bureaucratic power usually feminizes subjects while excluding female subjects. In that sense, his viewpoint about bureaucracy is full of masculinity as well as access to women. In addition, the past colonial state rule of Indian society was full of patriarchal power and networks of bureaucracy and masculinity.
Furthermore, the British rule involves a lot of racial discrimination and feminized characters (Brown, 28). The power of the elites was mainly an extension of the authority they had over families and the participation in the post-colonial rule.
After independence, bureaucracy bred corruption, which was now common to all ICS male elites, while the level of bureaucracy was mainly to maintain power. Therefore, it is clear that corruption erupted from the past colonial rule around 1940s. Although matters of corruption are evident in cases of bureaucracy, the elites involved usually avoided making these events public including sexual cases (Brown, 21).
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All in all, one can argue that there is a close relationship between bureaucracy and masculinity, mainly because both of them involve patriarchal power, male dominance, lack of democracy, failure of considering female status, and abuses of civil service rights (Brown, 17). Furthermore, bureaucracy and masculinity manifest themselves in colonial and post colonial India through patriarchal connections, corruption charges, male dominance and lack of connections between the elite’s life and the general public (Brown,11).
On the part of the US, one would argue that there is evidence of some bureaucracy and masculinity. This is because in the executive cabinet, although there are females, we still see male dominance. Again, administrative system is mainly given to a group of people who are not elected. Bureaucracy usually involves a system where a set of people are involved in the administrative system of an institution. Since this kind of arrangement is present in the US, it is clear that bureaucracy is manifest in the US.
On the other hand, masculinity mostly involves the qualities and characters that are mainly male in nature. This is evident in the U.S, as the current president is male while majority of senators and governors in US are also male. Furthermore, men have mostly dominated the number of the past presidents in the U.S. Despite these incidences of masculinity and bureaucracy, I still do not support them.
In my viewpoint, the issues dealing with masculinity and bureaucracy mostly lead to gender disparity in roles and, to some extent, enhance human abuse especially in the females. Therefore, they should be embraced globally to give equal opportunities to women in all areas.
Brown, Wendy. “Finding the Man in the State.” Feminist Studies 18.1 (1992): 7-34. Print. (Attached Article).
Grewal, Inderpal. “The Masculinities of Postcolonial Governance: Bureaucratic Memoirs of Indian ICS.” Modern Asian Studies (2014): 1-22. Print. (Attached article).