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What are some examples of Feminism's primary call to deconstruct the pathology behind...

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lifeinlove | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted April 6, 2013 at 11:55 PM via web

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What are some examples of Feminism's primary call to deconstruct the pathology behind the social institution of patriarchy?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM (Answer #1)

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The approach that the feminist movement took in deconstructing the pathology behind patriarchy was to examine on as many levels as possible why reality was constructed in the way it was.  Some of this took the form of identifying direct action in the name of patriarchy.  This was seen in exposing the fact that women and men were not being paid the same wage for the same work or raising attention to the fact that the opportunities present in occupations for men were distinctly more challenging and higher ordered than positions available for women.  Examining this direct action of patriarchy in such a form helped to deconstruct the pathological condition of institutional bias.  Feminism's deconstruction was rooted in the Postmodern questioning of why reality is constructed in the way it is and who benefits from such a configuration.  This pathological condition was revealed in direct action analysis of occupational difference.

Another level of deconstruction that illuminated the pathology of patriarchy could be seen in transforming "public" and "private" spheres.  For so long, issues of rape, assault, and domestic violence were seen as "private" issues.  Police officers would not intervene in a domestic violence dispute because it was deemed as "private" between a man and a wife.  The results of such a configuration became fuel for feminist deconstructionists:

According to statistics provided by the National Organization for Women (NOW), each year, 1,400 American women die at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends; an estimated two to four million women are battered—at least 170,000 of whom require hospitalization, emergency room attention, or a doctor’s care; and 132,000 women report that they have been the victims of rape or attempted rape.

Feminist thinkers deconstructed such realities to suggest that these are "public" concerns.  Issues like domestic violence, rape, and assault are not "private" matters.  In making them "private," feminist thinkers argued that patriarchal interests that seek to increase power are at play.  Through analysis of patriarchal "inaction," feminist thinkers sought to make public that which was deemed as private.  Due to this, feminist deconstruction was able to expose the pathology behind patriarchy that endangered so many women. Feminism's primary call was to explore the nuances of patriarchy and expose its pathology as one that sought to control and subjugate women.

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