social system dominated by men

Patriarchy is a social system where in gender roles dictate the availability of positions of leadership and the scope of social privileges in preference to males.

The traditional European of the prereformation period lived and believed in the patriarchal principle which was one of authority based on love. Medieval man had not only a physical father, but also a Father in Heaven, a Holy Father in Rome, the Monarch (the Pater Patriae), the godfathers, and a "Father" in the person of his confessor. ~ Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

Quotes edit

  • Patriarchy requires that powerful women be discredited so that its own system will seem to be the only one that reasonable or intelligent people can subscribe to.
  • Patriarchy is based on three key ideas: that ‘male’ and ‘female’ are a natural, immutable and exhaustive binary; that all males should be masculine, and all females should be feminine; that masculinity is incompatible with and superior to femininity.
  • 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.
  • Those of us in Jane, in the Women's Movement then and now, had not done, have yet to do, our homework, either that or we are far too trusting, or maybe we believe that the system is only in need of revision and that it will somehow at some time begin to include us (structurally), work for us. What we must understand is that the system of patriarchal imperialism is inimical to women: it always has been and it always will be. We live by the tolerance or privilege or oversight of the patriarchs.
    We didn't win at Suffrage. We didn't win at Roe v. Wade. There is no winning. A hundred years of hindsight has us asking how could the Suffragists have thought that getting the vote in a rigged, white, male, heterosexual system was a win. We understand that they should have not organized to become a part of such a system, but, instead, worked to take apart that system. Why do we not ask the same of ourselves?
    Decisions/laws hold only as long as they work for or do not work against the decision/law makers. The acts of "asking permission," of marching, of lobbying, and demonstrating acknowledge the very power imbalance women must change.
    We should all know by now that the rights of women are legally unacknowledged and structurally, fundamentally incompatible with patriarchy. We are treason and heresy: I think we should, embrace that, consider it kernel, foundation, nucleus, and core to being women.
  • The traditional European of the prereformation period lived and believed in the patriarchal principle which was one of authority based on love. Medieval man had not only a physical father, but also a Father in Heaven, a Holy Father in Rome, the Monarch (the Pater Patriae), the godfathers, and a "Father" in the person of his confessor. It was his physical father who had brought him into being, cooperating with the Divine Power of Creation. The physical father was truly regarded to be the auctor (in a similar, not identical sense, as God is creator mundi) and human beings looked upon themselves to be existing ex voluntate viri. Woman was merely in the position (physically as well as psychologically) to accede to man's will, to reject it or to influence man's free will through her power of attraction.
  • 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)
  • When we wrote Ecofeminism we raised the issue of reductionist, mechanistic science and the attitude of mastery over and conquest of nature as an expression of capitalist patriarchy. Today the contest between an ecological and feminist world-view and a worldview shaped by capitalist patriarchy is more intense than ever. This contest is particularly intense in the area of food. GMOs embody the vision of capitalist patriarchy. They perpetuate the idea of ‘master molecules’and mechanistic reductionism long after the life sciences have gone beyond reductionism, and patents on life reflect the capitalist patriarchal illusion of creation. There is no science in viewing DNA as a ‘master molecule’ and genetic engineering as a game of Lego, in which genes are moved around without any impact on the organism or the environment. This is a new pseudo-science that has taken on the status of a religion.Science cannot justify patents on life and seed. Shuffling genes is not making life; living organisms make themselves. Patents on seed mean denying the contributions of millions of years of evolution and thousands of years of farmers’ breeding. One could say that a new religion, a new cosmology, a new creation myth is being put in place, where biotechnology corporations like Monsanto replace Creation as ‘creators’. GMO means ‘God move over’.Stewart Brand has actually said ‘We are as gods and we had better get used to it.’
  • Despite the admirable intentions of those who believe that patriarchy is solely a cultural invention, there is too much contrary evidence. Patriarchy is worldwide and history-wide, and its origins are detectable in the social lives of chimpanzees. It serves the reproductive purposes of the men who maintain the system. Patriarchy comes from biology in the sense that it emerges from men's temperaments, out of their evolutionary derived efforts to control women and at the same time have solidarity with fellow men in competition against outsiders. But evolutionary forces have surely shaped women, too, in minds as in bodies, in ways that both defy and contribute to the patriarchal system. If all women followed Lysistrata's injunctions and refused their husbands, they could indeed effect change. But they don't. Patriarchy has its ultimate origins in male violence, but it doesn't come from man alone, and it has its sources in the evolutionary interests of both sexes.

See also edit

External links edit

  •   The dictionary definition of patriarchy on Wiktionary
  •   Encyclopedic article on Patriarchy on Wikipedia
  •   Media related to Patriarchy on Wikimedia Commons