We are who we are because of who we are constantly with. Our social interactions do not only influence us for they can complete define us in ways that are so unconscious we think that we have 100% autonomy over our lives, but we do not.
Karl Marx further showed me how the ruling class uses the apparatuses of production to control power and to marginalize those without access to production means (Delamont 107). If class oppression is real, so is gender oppression. Marx talked about the rise of the public or social sphere that will integrate the private sphere, so that public and private inequalities would both vanish (Delamont 107). In reality, such vanishing is not occurring at all. Instead, what we see is a continued sexual division of labor that produces the bifurcation of our experiences. Bifurcation refers to the split between the world as it is and the world as the prevailing viewpoint say it is (Appelrouth and Edles 542).
My concept of bifurcation has its roots from Alfred Schutz. Schutz argues that our personalities have different levels based on different aspects of our reality (Appelrouth and Edles 542). He coins the word “mitwelt relations” to refer to relations that are considered as “types” or that between us and the mailman, for instance, and the word “umwelt relations” for face-to-face interactions (Appelrouth and Edles 542). I am extending his concepts by asserting that if men want to become full participants of the real world, they must not only focus on the jobs that they see as concrete, or, in essence, stop delegating umwelt relations to women (Appelrouth and Edles 542). Women’s work experience devaluation and delegitimization because they are categorized as mere umwelt (Appelrouth and Edles 542).
I find it particularly disconcerting that sociology promotes gender oppression because it studies society away from its everyday gendered social life (Sprague 44). Men, in line with Schultz’s mitwelt-umwelt relations, live