In Gloria Steinem’s writing, she focuses on the so-called ‘supremacy’ of men over women. This argument is given proof by her writing which primarily tackles gender and racial issues.
Gloria Steinem is a leading figure in women studies. She is considered as an advocate of women’s rights; an American feminist icon who became the founder and original publisher of Ms. Magazine. In magazine became an instrument in reaching out to the women in the society. As a feminist, she writes about things that reach out to the mind of the women who are victims of oppression. As part of her movement as a feminist, she writes “supremacy Crimes”.
The essay practically talks about the superiority of men over women. Steinem establishes a good argument about her stand regarding the topic. The essay, I can say, was stated and therefore established as a good weapon in addressing the supremacy issue today.
Basically, the term ‘supremacy’ refers to supreme power or authority. This power, however, according to Steinem’s essay, is just given to the men in the society. In her essay, she also states her argument that this so-called ‘supremacy’ or power of men is being used in such a way that is destructive to the society. Crime, such as murder and other forms of killings, illustrate the men’s abuse of their so-called ‘supremacy’. The essay’s view, as a whole, strays on the abuse of men to the authority that the society has given to them. According to Steinem, this is somehow the fault of the families per se.
The family is considered as the basic unit in the society where basically, everything starts. From our families, we learn many things and are able to grow as a good or bad person. This, however, mean that the family is responsible for a person’s growth. The family is also responsible in educating its members about how life and the people in the environment should be perceived. According to Steinem, in her essay, it is the family’s fault why men are considered as the ‘superiors’ in the society.
In Steinem’s view, the family is responsible for engraving in the minds of everyone especially on women that the men should be the ones to be followed because they are superior. The family somewhat engraved in our minds that men are the authority, that they know better, and that therefore, they should be followed. The parents are also accused by Steinem to be teaching their sons to overpower women. The fact that we consider men to be the leader of the family does not mean that they should forever carry the authority. Women, in fact, are also great leaders and bringer of life.
The main argument of Steinem in her essay is that the ‘supremacy’ given to men by his society is being used in a destructive way. The society itself reflects the fact that men are abusive of their power and authority as men. All the killing in the environment is primarily the fault of the men. In the news, there would only be a few reports about women killing other people. Men, however, are always on the front page. Men kill because of authority. They kill and commit other forms of crime merely because of the thought that nobody can stop them because they are the authority and they are no doubt superior over others. This is the one sad thing that remains in the minds of men, according to Steiner. However, nobody can blame anyone because all of us are the culprits for this. We are all unconscious participants of the movement about male superiority. Even though people are not aware of it, everyone makes men feel the way they feel and consistently believe in what they are in the society.
In her essay, Steinem also points out racial issues. “It’s our sons–and ‘our’ can usually be read as ‘white,’ middle-class and ‘heterosexual’” (Steinem 1999). The superior men, therefore, are most of the time regarded as the ‘white’ men. As we all know, the ‘white’ people, are considered to be more superior to the others. This, however, means that they are also the ones who ‘do not commit crimes because they are the good guys’. Steinem also states that the ‘black’ are the ‘bad guys’ who are capable of committing crimes. In her essay, she includes famous ‘black’ American males who have committed crime. She includes this in her essay to further establish her point about the racial issue and to give proof to her stand in this regard. In the essay, it is somehow observable that Steinem uses repetitive arguments. This somehow helps her establish her point. She introduces an argument in one point and then repeats it and elaborates afterwards. This obviously helps in establishing her argument by giving emphasis on what she said, thereby, making her stand clearer.
It is clearly observable in the essay, however, that Steinem refers to the ‘white males’ as the ones who are guiltless about killing. They, according to Steinem, guiltlessly do this because it makes them feel more superior. Just like Steinem says, these white males can easily say “I’m superior because I can kill” (Steinem 1999). Another point which Steinem states is that the children today are exposed and therefore influenced by these acts by white adult males.
In the essay, Steinem states that, “The drug of supremacy is not their only root, just the deepest and most ignored one” (Steinem 1999). Supremacy is not the only thing that motivates men to do crime; however, it obviously still is a main factor.
In line with the ‘white’ issue, Steinem also mentions some black Americans who commit crimes, such as murdering specifically.” Colin Ferguson, the crazed black man on the Long Island Railroad, or Wayne Williams, the young black man in Atlanta who kidnapped and killed black boys, apparently to conceal his homosexuality.” (Steinem 1999). She believes that the larger portion of the killing committed in America is committed by the “black”. Another thing is that women are actually not famous for committing crimes, however, when they are reported to have committed one; it’s like they have committed something really big and really destructive. This, again, is because of the fact that the men are the superior ones. There is this one man, according to Steinem who commits a crime by murdering women just to feel that he is superior and that he has control over them.
Steinem mentions murderers who fit the criteria of her argument. Edmund Kemper, for example, started killing animals, then proceeded with his grandparents. She also mentions people such as Colin Ferguson, Waneta Hoyt, and Aileen Carol Wuornos. These people, however, does not fit the criteria of her argument. However, these help built her credibility. She says that “The reasons are buried deep in the culture, so invisible that only by revising assumptions can we reveal them” (Steinem 1999). The readers will remember the things or points that Steinem is trying to make and he or she will eventually remember it as he or she continues reading Steinem’s essay. Another point Steinem makes is that “…a homophobic one that empowers only one form of sexuality” (Steinem 1999). A man kills young men whom he had sex with in order to hide his homosexuality. Because of this statement, Steinem makes her readers understand her point.
The essay is primarily the thoughts of the author, Steinem. She tries to reach out to her audience by telling them what is currently happening in the society with regards to the position of men and women. In the essay, Steinem’s style is that of believing that what she is saying is true. In order for her to make her reader believe what she is saying, she gives examples and proof to her arguments. She also makes repetitions for her readers to finally grasp what she is trying to say. This essay is basically about gender roles and how could it be improved. The essay tackles the issues concerning the superiority of man over woman. This, however, according to Steinem cannot necessarily be considered as true. For her, men are considered as ‘superior’ over men just because this is what the environment and the society want to believe. The main influence for men to remain as the ‘superior’ in any society is the fact that his environment looks up to him as such, thereby, he lives to be such kind of person: the superior one. This does not automatically mean that he really is superior over women.