Play in Patriarchy?

When I first read Klages’ chapter on Feminism, I was a bit confused by the idea that women, being further away from the central controlling influence of the system, have more play.  Weren’t women stuck with narrowly defined roles in the past, which they weren’t able to eaily break out of?  I’m thinking of the idea of the housewife, or the idea that women cannot leave the house without an escort/being veiled/etc.  And don’t men have equally strict roles (the breadwinner, the one who has to deal with the problem, etc)?

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it is tue that women have more play; it’s just not in the way I was originally thinking.  It’s okay if a girl is a tomboy; people aren’t really bothered by it.  But if a boy is more feminine, then he better watch out!  Boys are still encouraged to be “manly,” while there is a lot more leeway for a girl to go against the gender norm.

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