What is Patriarchy? Literally it means "the rule of fathers"; it is a form of social organization in which males dominate females.

Sexism is the belief that one sex is innately superior to the other.

It is more than a matter of individual attitudes. This idea is built into various institutions of our society

What are the costs?

For women, the costs are lost opportunities, an increased risk of poverty, and enduring sexual violence.

For men: patriarchy compels men to relentlessly seek control, not only of women but of themselves and the entire world - higher rates of death from suicide, violence, accidents, stress, heart attacks and other diseases related to lifestyle.



Gender Stratification: a societies unequal distribution of wealth, power, and priviledge between the two sexes.

A. Gender and Occupations

While more women have entered the workforce since 1970, the work that is done by the two sexes remains distinct.

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1994), women engage in a narrow range of occupations. ½ of working women hold just two types of jobs: 1) administrative support, and 2) service.

Close to 27% of working women hold administrative support jobs such as secretaries, typists or stenographers. Of all such "pink-collar" jobholders, 79% are women.

Service work is performed by 18% of working women. This work includes waitressing, food service, and health care positions.

Both types of jobs lie at the low end of the pay scale, offer limited opportunities for advancement, and are subject to supervision.

Bottom Line: Despite increasing numbers of women working for pay, women remain highly segregated in the labor force because our society continues to perceive work through the lens of gender.


Men hold the lion's share of position that provide a great deal of income prestige, and power.


% of Men in Occupation



Lawyers and Judges




Corporate Managers


Computer Specialists


Top Executives of Large Corporations

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The pattern of gender stratification in the work place is that men typically fill the occupational positions that confer the most wealth and power. This is easy to see in our everyday lives where it is not uncommon to see a Male physician assisted by a female nurse, a male executive with a female secretary, or a male airline pilot with female flight attendants.

The greater a job's income and prestige, the more likely that the position is filled by a man.


Educational Occupation

% of Women

Kindergarten Teachers


Elementary School Teachers


Secondary School Teachers


College and University Professors


College and University Presidents

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

B. Housework: Women's Second Shift

Housework embodies a cultural contradiction: Although everyone agrees housework is essential, it carries little reward or prestige.

Despite womens increased entry into the labor force, their hours of housework has declined little

The Average American couple shares equally: the disciplining of children and the management of finances.

Men: Home repairs and yard-work (weekend chores) which total approximately 7 hours per week

Women: daily tasks of shopping, cooking and cleaning, ect which total approximately 26 hours per week.

The second shift then refers to the unpaid housework that women typically do after they come home from their paid employment.

In short, men support women's entry into the labor force, and many depend on the income women earn. In practice however, men resist modifying their own behavior to help their partners establish successful careers and manageable home lives. Further, men are more likely to call special attention to housework they perform, while taking the contributions of women for granted.

C. Gender and Income

The median earnings for women working was $22,167 and for men, $31,012.

Stated in terms of the work week, by lunchtime Thursday men earn as much as women do for working throughout end of the day Friday.

More simply, for every dollar earned by men, women earn about $.72

This has declined over time however, in 1980, women earned only $.60 for a mans dollar.



A. Pink collar occupations

The type of jobs women hold are low paying. (33%)

B. The Family (33%)

Both men and women have children but our culture defines child care as more a woman's responsibility that a man's. Pregnancy, childbirth, and raising small children keep many younger women out of the labor force altogether at a time when men ofthe same ae stand to make significant occupational gains.

In addition, women who have children may be reluctant or unable to maintain fast-paced jobs that ie up their evenings and weekends.

Among executive men who reach age forty, 90% have had a child. Among executive women over age forty, 35% have had a child

Women risk their careers by having children

The "Mommy Track" suggestion would allow women to meet family responsibilities while continuing their careers, for a time, with less intensity. Opponents however, fear that it only plays into the hands of corporate men who have long stereotyped women as being less attached to careers in the first plae.


C. Discrimination (33%)

Discrimination is illegal, yet occurs in subtle ways.

Corporate women often encounter the glass ceiling, a barrier that, while formally denied by high company officials, effectively prevents women from rising above middle management.

How does gender discrimination occur: through social networks