NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1059409
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1556-763X
Gender Bias in Women
Bynum, Gregory Lewis
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2014 n2 2014
The philosophical anthropologist Dorothy Dinnerstein, in her 1976 work "The Mermaid and the Minotaur: Sexual Arrangements and Human Malaise," argued that in order for us to address the excesses of male-dominated rule in society (militarism, rapacious consumerism), we must attack the root cause of patriarchy--women's domination of early childcare. In Dinnerstein's analysis, dangerous and unsustainable excesses of male and "masculine" authority in adult life (excesses linked to men's domination of political and economic institutions) arise from dangerous and unsustainable excesses of female and "feminine" authority in childhood (women's domination of childcare). Our misogynistic tendency to make women second-class in the highest-status areas of political and professional leadership arises from our lingering, childhood resentment of women's power over us as we experienced it in childhood. Therefore, in order to get rid of our misogyny, we must give men half of the work, responsibility, and authority associated with childrearing, according to Dinnerstein. While men's resistance to such anti-sexist reform is well known, women's resistance anti-sexist change is, perhaps, less generally understood. Therefore, this article draws from Dinnerstein's philosophical framework in critically examining and comparing various manifestations of gender bias in women, including the following: scholarly documentation of maternal gatekeeping behaviors (behaviors of women in the home that may prevent men from having equal authority and responsibility in childrearing); women's sometime tendency to discourage other women from advancing in workplace status; women's historical resistance to political innovations, such as the Equal Rights Amendment in the United States, that would advance women's political and professional status; and the misguided effacement of the "feminine" work of childhood educators by some "child-centered" women scholars in the education field.
Oxford Round Table. 406 West Florida Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. Tel: 217-344-0237; Fax: 217-344-6963; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Equal Rights Amendment