social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property
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- Woman, compared to other creatures, is the image of God, for she bears dominion over them. But compared unto man, she may not be called the image of God, for she bears not rule and lordship over man, but ought to obey him. The woman shall be subject to man as unto Christ. For woman, has not her example from the body and from the flesh, that so she shall be subject to man, as the flesh is unto the Spirit, because that the flesh in the weakness and mortality of this life lusts and strives against the Spirit, and therefore would not the Holy Ghost give example of subjection to the woman of any such thing.
- We have to work to find solidarity in each other’s stories, as differing as their inciting perspectives may be. The patriarchy sands out the edges of our rightful infuriation, making it harder to see in any light but our own. This blindness is part of what denies us community-forming solidarity and part of what has allowed widespread sexual assault and harassment to continue for so long.
- Understanding the total impact of the patriarchy on the female experience is endlessly elusive. ... It is a constant process, perpetually blurred by the ebb and flow of so many epiphanies clouded by self-doubt.
- Consider a birdcage. If you look very closely at just one wire in the cage, you cannot see the other wires. If your conception of what is before you is determined by this myopic focus, you could look at that one wire, up and down the length of it, and be unable to see why a bird would not just fly around the wire any time it wanted to go somewhere. Furthermore, even if, one day at a time, you myopically inspected each wire, you still could not see why a bird would have trouble going past the wires to get anywhere. There is no physical property of any one wire, nothing that the closest scrutiny could discover, that will reveal how a bird could be inhibited or harmed by it except in the most accidental way. It is only when you step back, stop looking at the wires one by one, microscopically, and take a macroscopic view of the whole cage, that you can see why the bird does not go anywhere; and then you will see it in a moment. It will require no great subtlety of mental powers. It is perfectly obvious that the bird is surrounded by a network of systematically related barriers, no one of which would be the least hindrance to its flight, but which, by their relations to each other, are as confining as the solid walls of a dungeon.
- Men see with arrogant eyes which organize everything seen with reference to themselves and their own interests.
- Marilyn Frye, The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory (1983), p. 67
- If we take a survey of ages and of countries, we shall find the women, almost - without exception - at all times and in all places, adored and oppressed. Man, who has never neglected an opportunity of exerting his power, in paying homage to their beauty, has always availed himself of their weakness He has been at once their tyrant and their slave.
- Anonymous (attr. Thomas Paine), "Women, Adored and Oppressed" (1775)