Barbie fever has officially taken over the world.
Keeping the glitz and marketing aside, the movie has shifted focus on the impact of patriarchy on every aspect of society, including mental health. Living in a patriarchal world like ours is quite similar to what is shown in the Barbie movie – a space where rigid societal roles and norms are thrust upon us every moment.
But beyond the film, patriarchy’s chilling and detrimental effects on mental health are far from glamorous. Despite social improvements, gender biases and misogyny continue to affect mental health institutions.
Women bear the brunt of patriarchal structures that present extreme mental health and well-being challenges. Not just that, patriarchy also affects men by forcing them to translate emotions in the form of toxic masculinity.
In this post, we will dive deeper into the impact of patriarchy on mental health in society. We will look at how it affects both men and women, leading to stigma, misinformation, and marginalization of people.
Impact Of Patriarchy On Mental Health In Women
1. Setting Unrealistic Ideas For Women
Patriarchy sets unrealistic expectations for women at every step. They are expected to behave, dress, and feel a certain way. They are under constant pressure to be the epitome of perfection, behaving like an apt caregiver. Any divergence or disruption from this set perspective leads to fury, discrimination, and even violence.
This is why women constantly live in fear of making mistakes. They become overly critical of themselves and might have frequent feelings of not being enough. All this leads to overwhelming stress and anxiety, thereby affecting their mental health and well-being.
2. Suppressing Emotions
Patriarchal societies actively discourage women from sharing their emotions or expressing themselves. These ideas are so internalized that women worldwide are deemed unfeminine when communicating assertively or vocalizing their thoughts.
Due to this fear of discrimination and stereotyping, more and more women choose to suffer in silence. This gets even more severe in the case of mental health issues, where early detection and treatment are considered keys to recovery.
3. Overexploitation Of Women
Another effect of patriarchy on mental health in women can be traced to how society overexploits women. They are supposed to work harder and put in more effort for promotion. After returning home, they are also expected to put that same effort into household chores to gain respect and validation from the family.
As per a report by Future Forum, 46% of women reported feeling burnout which is a testament to how overwhelmed women in society are.
Read more: Top 25 Motivational Podcasts For Women
Impact Of Patriarchy On Mental Health In Men
1. Toxic Masculinity
In the realm of patriarchal societies, men are supposed to be rigid, emotionally closed, independent individuals who do not require any support. They avoid displaying their emotions or vulnerabilities. This societal pressure is termed toxic masculinity.
Toxic masculinity is a significant barrier that severely restricts men from seeking help for their issues and displaying their feelings. This eventually leads to social isolation and immense emotional distress.
2. Dismissing Mental Health Needs
Apart from stifling emotional expression, patriarchy also denies the existence of mental health issues and shames those who ask for help. It is one of the primary sources of stigma and stereotyping. This way, men (and women) struggle to discuss their issues or seek out professional help openly.
It’s the Barbie world, and we are all immersed in it. The movie has taken over regular conversations about casual sexism, toxic masculinity, and patriarchy. Apart from other issues, the impact of patriarchy on mental health in society is immense and has severe debilitating results. We hope the conversations around Barbie and mental health will be the start pointing to a grave issue that needs urgent attention.
Women’s mental health is significantly affected in workplaces. To learn more about it, click here.
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