Get in loserrrr, we're dismantling the patriarchy!
What is the patriarchy?
Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property.
Patriarchy is a social system of oppression that piggybacks off of other oppressive systems (like classism and racism) and creates a hierarchy in which cis-gendered straight (white) males are at the top.
Why should we want to dismantle the patriarchy?
*takes a deep breath and reminds self that there is no such thing as a dumb question*
We want to dismantle the patriarchy because it is an oppressive system that hurts EVERYONE. Yes, it even hurts the cis-gendered straight men that the system is designed to uplift.
How does the patriarchy hurt women?
Yikes, how much time do we have?
Patriarchy creates rape culture and is the reason there is “slut-shaming”. The patriarchy is the reason that girls have disproportionately low self esteem while growing up and why there is a socially accepted imbalance of work load and responsibilities within a heterosexual relationship. (i.e. both people work full time but the woman is expected to work full time, rear the children, maintain the house, AND be the emotional backbone of our her husband).
How does the patriarchy hurt men?
In a cruel twist of fate, the system that was created to uplift men has absurd and ridiculous side effects that decrease the quality of life of men in a way that it does not do for women.
Patriarchy is the reason that while women are shamed for wanting sex, men are shamed for NOT wanting sex. It’s the reason why male victims of domestic violence aren’t taken as seriously and why boys are not “allowed” to cry. The patriarchy is why men with mental health issues are less likely to seek help and why men are afraid to hug their BFFs lest they be called gay. Have you ever wondered why men have 6-1 beauty products? It’s the patriarchy telling men that to care about their outward appearance would make you less of a man, and so what do the men do? Stay ugly. (Kidding... kind of)
How can I do my part to dismantle the patriarchy?
1. Empower Women. Use you privilege/access/ power to empower other women. Give women a seat at the table and don’t be afraid to uplift THEIR voices.
2. Support women’s choices. That means supporting women’s (constitutionally protected right to) abortions, motherhood, career choices, sex work, etc. Women have the right to choose and much of patriarchy is built around restricting or eliminating that right.
3. BELIEVE WOMEN - I can’t stress this enough. Unlearn the socially supported habits of questioning women. Believe women who are victims. Believe women when they say they are discriminated against.
4. Give money to women. Seriously. Money is the ultimate resource. You want to close the inequality gap, then give more of your money to women.
5. Acknowledge your privilege and then USE IT to help women with less privilege. When I say privilege this includes, pretty privilege, white privilege, economic privilege, and of course male privilege. Most people who have privilege did nothing to get that privilege. You had no parts in being born male or being born beautiful and so it is not your fault that society rewards you for things you did not attain yourself, HOWVER it its your responsibility to use whatever you can to make the world a better place.
6. Do not cosign and support rhetoric that is designed to separate women. Dichotomies like “ho vs. housewife” are created to make women feel like they have to be better than other women in order to attain the “prize” of a man. Spoiler alert, a man is not inherently a prize.
Patriarchy, like many other systems of oppression, is not your fault but it IS your responsibility.
Over 1/2 of the population is under the thumb of patriarchy, the majority of the planet (because men die more often and faster). Try your best not to be an agent of the patriarchy by doing your part to dismantle it. Bonus assignment, consider how patriarchy affects people who are already under the thumb of other oppressive systems like racism, classism, ableism, etc.
Now you know...