What Is Patriarchy Anyway?

What Is Patriarchy Anyway?

Patriarchy (Noun):

A social structure that perpetuates traditionally masculine attributes at the detriment of traditionally feminine attributes. 

Help me understand...

Patriarchy is a social structure meaning it may not always be intentional but often damaging and oppressive to many non-dominant groups.

Even those who fit patriarchal norms can be subject to the enormous pressures of a social system such as "going along with the locker room chatter". 

Patriarchal Values

– Power
– Control
– Autonomy
– Independence
– Toughness
– Invulnerability
– Strength
– Aggressiveness
– Rationality
– Detachment

...and many other traditionally masculine attributes. 

How does patriarchy impact pleasure?

The patriarchy often denies that people with vulvas can be sexual agents who make moral decisions in light of their own sexual desires. In heterosexual relationships, for example, the patriarchy reinforces that women should have sex with male partners regardless of whether or not they desire it, or are likely to find it pleasurable.

Key Takeaways 

To move towards greater equality, we must move away from a patriarchal culture and towards one that values meeting the needs and valuing the traits of all non-dominant groups.

Each of us has the ability to challenge the patriarchy in our own lives and relationships on a daily level, but we must also continue to push for radical *systemic* change.

Patriarchy can be challenged, but only by those who see it. 


Source: Mary Becker 'Patriarchy and Inequality: Towards A Substantive Feminism.'

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