Allan G. Johnson states that social environment study has not been underscored. It has been disregarded and usually not studied or even understood. Allan continues to highlight the problems that persist in the society. There are perception that generally men are socially and biologically dominant than women. This is viewed by the women as a problem rather than a privilege.
The author underscore that men are slow to grasp some of the fundamental aspects regarded as male privileges. Those vacillate from intolerable roles to offensive ones. Women endeavor to get men understand but with no avail. Men usually judge things from what they want rather than critical inquiry and they any argument dictated to drive a point is not taken seriously but rather regarded as a privilege. Men are usually in cocoon of myopia and they fail to see the inequalities that do exist in gender gap.
The author juxtaposes this phenomenon with magic. Allan highlights that the secret of magician is to direct our attention to another insignificant thing so as to distract from the main idea. Hence, when attention is elsewhere we are unable to tell the difference. Therefore, the relationship men have to the societies will have magical effects on how they perceive things. This is demonstrated in the language where there is less distinction of she and he in the pronouns. In such a language, male are less likely to see female as less privileged. In addition, social position and language itself cannot make men and women to appear the same. Rather, their distinction would be less critical on how they make sense in their social life.
The author claims that women are not criticized as much for dressing like men because they have imitated the dominant group. In contrast, men who dress as women are heavily criticized because they are lowering their status by mimicking the women which, in this case are regarded as inferior to men. Male dominance has also promotes the idea that men are superior to women. Therefore, if this occurs it is hard to distinguish between the superiority of positions in a hierarchy and those who occupy them. Hence, if men occupy positions which are superior it is evident that men must be superior. Male dominance does not mean that all men are powerful nor does male dominance mean that all women are powerless.
Dominance is also a racial factor where the white colonial master would discriminate the colored whom they colonized. Hence, technology and education is also a dominating factor not necessarily a race. The author also highlight that men who have excelled in life have been regarded as having balls. In contrast the women who have achieved socially and financially have been regarded as “it”. This clearly indicates that those men who are not well of have been equated to be the same with those women who has achieved.
Using gender to define the ability and what makes a human is contradictory. This is because men and women are essentially different across the bond and when traits are made gender specific each gender is encouraged to estrange itself. The author argues that men are dominant in society, not because of their skill, but because of gendered stereotypes that dictate that men are better.
Allan Johnson G. (2005). Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy. New Delhi:
Temple University Press.