Well, I’ve been arguing with Feminists across the blogsphere and one thing that seems central to their worldview that I can’t quite wrap my head around is a system they call “patriarchy.” Even though this seems to have a “Matrix” element similar to when the MRA’s speak of a Red Pill and a Blue Pill, I have been seriously trying to understand this concept. I have been told to “educate myself” in threads at Feministe. I have read over a hundred pages worth of material across the internet. Still, the concept eludes me….
Ballgame has an interesting post over at Feminist Critics- My (Evolving) Definition Of “Patriarchy”
It’s worth checking out and I have been leaving comments there to which Ballgame has graciously replied to.
Below is a link to an article I recently read along with a few paragraphs. It’s an interesting read, still hasn’t shown me exactly what patriarchy is or proven that it exists:
“As this paper shows, patriarchal control is not exercised in exactly the same way throughout the world. Over the centuries, the patriarchy has had to maintain its power through subjugating women in a multitude of cultures and through using varying forms of governments. The system has experienced setbacks, regained some lost ground, reasserted control after resistance to it weakened, but in a relentless pursuit for world domination by one or another of its factions, its power remains unchallenged, partly because it is not explicitly recognized. It is unusual to find a discussion about patriarchy in the account of a particular war or about war, in general, or to hear an analysis of patriarchy’s obvious role in the plight of women.”
“Under patriarchy men and women are socialized to view themselves and the world through different lenses. While patriarchy severely oppresses women, men have been given a stake in the system, but may not recognize the price they pay for it. In trying to eradicate patriarchy, men start from a place that is quite different from women’s. It is the work of men to raise the consciousness of other men in regard to the trade-off that patriarchy requires of them.”
“Even though men are more privileged under patriarchy than women, some men are more privileged than others. These differences vary according to the culture with its particular class subsystems and, of course, the castes based on physical characteristics like skin color and sex that cannot be changed. These subsystems can also be based on lineage, on religion, or on wealth. Women within the subsystems, however, always occupy a lower status than their male counterparts. [A woman who is attached to an upper-class man has a better life in a material sense than lower-class men and women, but she may be physically or emotionally abused. If she displeases her father or husband she can find herself relegated almost overnight to a life of poverty or prostitution.] In any case, it is male privilege in all its gradations that is the glue that keeps the patriarchal system intact.”
“A male’s privilege begins during his mother’s pregnancy when his family expresses the age-old preference for a boy, especially if the baby is the first. In many cultures, if a man does not father a son his virility is questioned. The patriarchal system makes a daughter a liability since it requires that she be married, a status that normally affords her no long-term possibility of economically benefiting her family of origin. Male privilege also means that a son stands little chance of having his life snuffed out at birth.”
NOTE: I would’ve previously disregarded the entire paragraph above as nonsense had I not concurrently been reading things like this:
“By providing each man with the services of at least one female, marriage rewarded men for their allegiance to, and for their willingness to fight for, the patriarchy. Marriage also successfully settles disputes among men about who has the right to which woman. Since women’s sexual activities are confined to the private realm, men are guaranteed certainty concerning the paternity of their children. Men, on the other hand, enjoy a double standard since they have access to prostitution via the public arena and tend to excuse one another’s sexual liaisons within the private sphere. With the growing prevalence of the nuclear family and more mobile families, marriage increasingly isolates women from one another, distinguishing us in that respect from other oppressed groups.”
“When the patriarchy wants another war, it has to be able to generate support for it. At the end of World War II, a British writer interviewed Hermann Göering, Hitler’s Field Marshall, in his prison cell. Göering noted a potential snag, “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece.” Exactly. But the patriarchal code disallows “the poor slob” from asking this question. Göering continues, “Naturally the common people don’t want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. . . . voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.E21”
“Our challenges today include raising awareness among men of the price they pay for upholding patriarchy and to work with them to change male culture. Another is to insure that the relationships of men and women who are living together, whether within the institution of marriage or outside of it, are ones in which women are treated with respect and as equals and in which both partners are committed to providing a nurturing and healthy incubator for the fragile young. Without this transformation within the family, women’s ability to participate in the public arena will not develop strong roots.”
“Through understanding patriarchy we become even more aware that our insistence on controlling our reproductive functions strikes at the heart of patriarchy, provoking conservatives and reactionaries into waging an ongoing struggle to turn back the clock wherever progress has been made.”