Is this world EVER going to dismantle Patriarchy???
Why has its destructive influence not been challenged, criticized, denounced? Not only is Patriarchy as selfish as elitism, as destructive as Naziism, as criminal as the Mafia, as harmful as the KKK, as heinous as slavery — Patriarchy is the underlying root of every one of these ugly, personally and socially destructive systems.
Patriarchy is a hierarchical system that promotes a chosen few to rule over everyone else, to do-whatever-they-choose with everyone else.
Patriarchy is what women are still fighting against; Patriarchy is what black people are still fighting against. A system that endorses “power over.”
For centuries, women have been pushing for, demanding, claiming their right to move beyond their kitchens; their right to move into the business world, into professions; their right to relationships of their choosing. Great! But are they fully aware that when they emerge from confinement into the public realm they are walking into a profoundly patriarchal world?
Women should learn from the the world of African Americans, where mothers still have to teach their children how to navigate safely in a culture that professes to accept them, but is trigger-happy to harm them.
Both men and women have been steeped in Patriarchy for eons; both men and women feel emotions, make decisions, choose sides, fight battles, belong to cultures, political parties and religions that have been created within an atmosphere heavy with Patriarchal values.
A certain kind of sympathy must be urged for white males who sincerely believe what they have been taught about being a “man in charge,” have been taught what they owe to society as well as what they are owed and should expect from society; about how to be a boy and then a man in a patriarchal world. They’ve been inculcated into the system since they were in their mothers’ wombs. So have women. But white men have something to gain from Patriarchy. Power. Some gain a great deal of it; others gain little. Those men who are locked out of any illusion of power, feel betrayed. But power, or their feeling of entitlement to it, feeds them, enthralls them. What they gain is illusory, a figment of the collective imagination. But it holds them and us in its persuasive grip.
A woman is raped every 90 seconds in this land of equality and freedom; a major cause of women’s death is from domestic violence; women are denied salary, advancement, respect. Advertising and window displays for women’s clothing pretend to offer women the freedom to reveal as much of the body as a young “liberated” woman wants, but in reality these venues are selling bodies to patriarchal desires. Low-cut dresses (nothing new there), short skirts that barely cover the pubic region, heels that ensure that women cannot move freely. These are not designed to give women freedom. They are designed to attract the patriarchal gaze. A patriarchal male wants women; he wants to “have” women; but often he doesn’t want to work with women as equals; he doesn’t even know how to think about equality.
In a patriarchal world, freedom from racism is impossible. In a patriarchal world, women will never achieve equality.
Why don’t we get that??
All men — of all cultures and races — have got to accept the fact that the gender “man” is not now and never has been superior to, better equipped or better qualified than women to do squat and white men are not superior to any other men.
If this human world is ever going to become a safe environment for any and all humans, it will take enormous, deliberate, systemic as well as systematic effort to dismantle the patriarchal expectations and rules of engagement. In that process, every impulse to dominate, to take advantage of or to control anyone must be recognized for what it is: a power play to demean by domination.