Women’s Docility: Patriarchy is the Problem, Education the Solution

Historically, mothers and fathers have been especially scrutinizing their female offspring. Traditionally, women have been raised to be afraid. To fear the world. To fear their fathers. But most of all, to fear themselves. “Close your legs”, “don’t anger him”, “dress modestly so you don’t provoke him”, “don’t attract too much attention to yourself”, “stay home”, “don’t go outside after dark”, “don’t be alone with a boy”, “respect your husband” and much more, are very common phrases female children hear growing up. These phrases are most instilled with the intention to protect the child from the atrocities the world can subjugate them to. These atrocities are unfortunately predominantly committed by men. Not any men, but men who have been socialized to believe in hierarchy, entitlement, and misappropriated and selective human rights. Through repeated gendered socialization, women grow into adults with fear and terror enshrined. Men, socialized to believe in equality and equity or to believe in gendered and classist rights and hierarchies, both benefit from that fear.

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