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Male Discrimination in Romania

Male Discrimination in Romania
In Romania, the topic of Male Discrimination almost does not exist. Unlike Female
Discrimination, topic in which there are a very high number of manifestations and articles being
published every year, righteously so, Male Discrimination, on the other hand, is mostly
neglected. The magnitude and importance of each are, undoubtedly, different. But this difference
is not reason enough for the complete neglecting of the latter.
In his book, “The Second Sexism”, David Benatar states that discrimination against men and
boys on the basis of sex is “so unrecognized (…) that the mere mention of it will appear
laughable to some.” (Benatar, 2012) Yet, in spite of this, it can and usually does happen, and, in
some cases, it could even be more prominent than the one against women and girls.
1. What is Discrimination?
The word “to discriminate” means to “distinguish, single out, or make a distinction. In everyday
life, when faced with more than one option, we discriminate in arriving at almost every decision
we make. But in the context of civil rights law, unlawful discrimination refers to unfair or
unequal treatment of an individual (or group) based on certain characteristics, including: age,
disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion or sexual orientation.”
Other aspects of discrimination include the following characteristics: “Bias or prejudice resulting
in denial of opportunity, or unfair treatment regarding selection, promotion, or transfer.
Discrimination is practiced commonly on the grounds of age, disability, ethnicity, origin,
political belief, race, religion, sex, etc. factors which are irrelevant to a person's competence or
suitability”, “Unequal treatment provided to one or more parties on the basis of a mutual accord
or some other logical or illogical reason” or “Differences in two rates not explainable
or justifiable by economic considerations such as costs.” (
2. What is Gender Discrimination?
Diac Sabina Ana

with the latter having perhaps a greater influence than the former. which can be both genetic and hormonal. 2010) The Cambridge dictionary defines “gender discrimination” as “a situation in which someone is treated less well because of their sex.Male Discrimination in Romania In order to fully understand gender discrimination. but then a boy may mope at not looking or behaving like David Beckham. economic development and other multiple factors. Each of them is pressured by social norms. In order to study male discrimination in Romania. but the differences in men and women heavily rely on a complex interaction between physical and social factors. one must take into account the Romanian context. as well as both women and men. He explains how both girls and boys are affected. maleassociated items will have connotations such as activity and strength while female related items will have passivity and weakness as connotations. overall.. a specific culture and history which influences social norms and expectations. A girl may be miserable at not looking like Angelina usually when a woman is treated less well than a man” ( 3. “Gender stereotypes relate to the appropriate roles of males and females within various cultures and societies. Simply put. undoubtedly. Based on this definition. Diac Sabina Ana 2 . we can see that.” (https://www. and it has repercussions on the “strong sex” as well. as well as the extent of the discrimination processes. Therefore.cambridge.” (Berariu et al. the assignment of sex-roles greatly depends on the various expectations a society has for men and women. About Romania Each country has. culture. stereotypes are the expectations that we have of one sex or another. “Girls are supposed to be girly and boys to be boyish. male discrimination is absent from the general discourse regarding gender discrimination.timeshighereducation. and those who will not or cannot conform may suffer as a result. Thus. David Beckham explains that the gender discrimination process is double-sided. one must firstly understand what are the gender stereotypes underlying this process. Scientists agree on biological and physical differences between men and women. They refer to the assignment of traits and tasks on a gender basis: thus women seem to be more often associated with the domestic area while men tend to be related to external activities.

White. 2012) After the collapse of the communist regime. Tufis. play a central role in the activation and use of stereotypes. especially cultural ones. “is experiencing significant cultural changes as it moves to democracy and capitalism. Diac Sabina Ana 3 . Women were seen as submissive. The result was a significant persistence of traditional values and gender stereotypes. 2011) 4. Respecting the patriarchal model.”(Vanc.” (Curseu. dependent mothers and housewives. hardworking and independent. but did nothing to encourage gender equality in the private space.” (Vanc. Law based discrimination When identifying the ways in which the male gender is being discriminated against in Romania. 2008) Romania was a very rural society after the Second World War and the gender division of work was a very traditional one. 2011) Attitudes in Romania nowadays are “a blend of the old and new and are influenced by history and politics. Boros. It can be said that both the patriarchal and agrarian model were present. and as a consequence regained respect for older traditions and customs that included high power distance and male dominated roles. the activities done by the women in the private sphere are equally important to the economic development of the family. 2011) Nowadays.(Vanc. Romania. White. which had been controlled during the communist regime.Male Discrimination in Romania “[In the] Romanian context (…) traditional values are still shaping the way people make social judgments. based on the law that is or used to be valid. while men were seen as strong. (Berariu et al. we can classify them into two main groups: law-based discrimination and social norms and expectations. The second refers to the more discrete ways of discrimination.” (Voicu. women were assigned to the private area and men to the public area. as well as other former communist countries. This is the context in which “the communist regimes promoted a full employment policy for women. “Romanians embraced the Orthodox Church. The first group refers to some more pronounced ways of discrimination. White. which are not based at all on the law. (…) contextual factors. as well as for men.. 2010) According to the agrarian model.

Although this is the law.. in practice.” (https://sharedparenting. no matter the wishes of the father. “As a result. Although the law was changed after 2011. This presumption worked for both Sole custody cases – in which the total custody was given to the mother – and for Shared custody – in which the child was established to live with his mother. [are] causing millions of men to die or suffer physically and psychologically. into military conscription and combat. women are seen as the primary caretakers of children. Military Service David Benatar states that “state policies and/or social norms that primarily encourage men.”(Fodor et al. Since 2007. 2012) The law in Romania included Compulsory Military Service for men until the 31st of December 2007. offering parents the chance to agree on a joint physical custody. state policies concerning child bearing and rearing are determined by. this was hardly ever the case. setting a clear set of rules by which judges have to evaluate which one of the parents would be most suitable for the custody. c. which meant that. Child Custody In Romania. if the mother has the necessary resources to take care of the child. As in the case of the Child Custody laws.Male Discrimination in Romania a. 2002) For a long time (1954-2011). it would probably take a while until the changes in the law would be able to be seen in practice and would reflect social expectations.” (Benatar. Retirement Age Diac Sabina Ana 4 .com) b. the decisions made by judges regarding Child Custody operated by the Presumption of custody to the mother. as well as in other Eastern-European countries. but rarely women. gender inequality and women’s place in the family. The law was changed again in 2013. in Romania. and are simultaneously highly consequential for. “the ‘maternal preference’ is deeply rooted in the minds of the divorce judges.wordpress. the law states that every Romanian citizen has the possibility (but are not obliged) to do military service. the labor market and civil society. the custody would be given to her.

for example. to pay expensive entrance fees for clubs or pools that are free for women. Romanian people still see men as the providers for their families. Taking this into consideration. a male artist might encounter much more frustration due to the lack of money than a female working in the same field. they never receive free drinks or other perks which are given only to women. as well as students. 5. social expectations of men limits their choices in this regard. b. sets the retirement age for women at 63 and the retirement age for men at 65. They still represent power and strength whether they are involved in physical work or office work. This pressures men to pursue high-paying careers or jobs.” (Berariu et al. Unmarried men. at home or at work. other than the social perception of men. Behavioral expectations Diac Sabina Ana 5 . who are still able to choose.Male Discrimination in Romania The law regarding retirement age in Romania. who are seen as stronger and hardworking than women. which is still valid nowadays. Another consequence of this fact is the rarely-given option for men to be a stay-at-home parent and not pursue a career. Unlike women. no matter their financial status. even if their passions or interests are related to other fields that are not as highly paid. Men are still seen as seducers. [but] women had more choice in this respect.. 2007) Nowadays. There are no valid arguments for this reason. we may say that. Social norms and expectations regarding men In Romania. “men had a legal obligation to have a job. strong and rebellious while women are to be seduced. since they are still connected to work as they have always been. “traditional sex-roles for men have not altered much either. 2010) a.”(Gheaus. Financial expectations of men in Romania don’t apply only to men that have a family. are always expected to pay on dates. Financial expectations During the communist regime in Romania. Also.

forceful. you would always be told to not “cry like a little girl” and to avoid expressing emotions. no matter your interests. 2012 – The second sexism: discrimination against men and boys. References  Benatar. & Peterlicean. strong. enterprising. you would be very less likely to get the custody of your children. 233-254 Diac Sabina Ana 6 .  John Wiley & Sons Inc Berariu. you would be pressured to follow a high-paying career. due to the fact that they are not able to be themselves in the present Romanian society. you would have to work 2 years longer than women. S.. Secui. During your youth. dominant. 661-662 CURŞEU. Moraru. 6. Conclusion It is very hard to be a sensitive man in nowadays Romania. daring. Annals Of DAAAM &  Proceedings.. Growing up. 7. A. In case of divorce. 2012) The Romanian advertisement industry portrays men as “powerful and independent. courageous.. independent. aggressive. C. makeup or hairdressing because of social stigmatization. it is hard for men to pursue careers in fashion. L. STEREOTYPES AND PREJUDICE TOWARDS WOMEN MANAGERS: AN EXPERIMENTAL ILLUSTRATION USING THE GOLDBERG-PARADIGM IN A ROMANIAN SAMPLE. David. stern. & BOROŞ.” (Berariu et al. 2010) Men are usually socially sanctioned if they are seen displaying emotional or sensitive behaviors. (2010). energetic..Male Discrimination in Romania In Romania. Both men and women are being discriminated against based on their gender in Romania. E. when it comes to retirement.” (Stan. Being expected to be strong and courageous in any circumstances – just because they are men – might lead those that don’t have these qualities to frustration. the discrimination of men is yet to be acknowledged. men are expected to be “active. GENDER-RELATED ISSUES IN ROMANIAN PRINT ADVERTISING. Studia Psychologica. A. (2008). You would also be expected to do military service. Although some actions have been and are still being taken in order to fight against women discrimination. Also. P. 50(3). Also.

Rosana.1016/j. J. A. A.pubrev. 60(1). A. 33-53 Vanc. & Popescu.. Feminist  Economics. doi:10. (2007). doi:10. E.wordpress.2010. 37(1).1080/13545700601184930 Stan. IMPLICATIONS FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF MASCULINITY AND http://www. Kawachi. July. Family policies and gender in Hungary.html http://dictionary. 475.timeshighereducation. Communist & Post-Communist  103-105. P.12.cambridge. (2011).003 Voicu. Cultural perceptions of public relations gender roles in Romania. Ultima inegalitate: Relatiile de gen in Romania.  doi:10.. Monica. Glass.findlaw.html#ixzz3xK5UYq      UV http://civilrights. Current GENDER STEREOTYPES IN ROMANIAN SOCIETY. C. Secui. 61-80. 13(2).com/2013/11/25/37/ https://www. & White.pdf https://sharedparenting..article Diac Sabina Ana 7 .. L. Gheaus. Public Relations Review. 35(4). International Journal of Education and Psychology in the  Community http://www. (2012). Trends in gender beliefs in Romania: 1993–  2008. & Tufiş. (2002).. and Romania. Poland. 2012. C.Male Discrimination in Romania  Fodor.