A really thoughtful piece that brings up a lot of important topics. I do want to point out though that patriarchy is only 10 K years old. It’s not been that way since the caveman at all. Early societies did not have this kind of hierarchy, which is what patriarchy actually is — social stratification of all kinds, not just a power differential between men and women. I write about this all the time because I think it adds a lot of necessary nuance to this conversation. I actually quote from Mark Greene quite a bit in these stories.

This is because patriarchy is a pyramid, with only a few elites at the top. In the US, not all White men are at the top of the hierarchy, but nearly everyone at the top is a White man. This stratification and dominance-based culture is harmful to everyone, even those who are successful at it because it erodes their humanity. In order to get to higher levels or to even maintain position, you have to dominate other people and make sure they know their place. And not only does this apply to other individuals, but to whole classes of other people as well.

“Pervasive violence and aggressive as well as coercive domination are relatively new parts of human culture, only appearing in the last 6–9 thousand years when Proto-Indo-European tribes (Kurgans) overtook the “peaceful, matrilinear (hereditary through the female line), matrifocal, though egalitarian cultures of ‘Old Europe’, replacing it with a patriarchal warrior society.” For the vast majority of human history, we lived in much more cooperative and partnership-oriented societies with minimal social stratification. Violent domination and coercion were not central elements of those societies, as they are today.

If pervasive domination based systems are less than 10 thousand years old (less than 3% of human history), it means that they are not inevitable. Although it will take time and significant effort, I believe that with an understanding of the larger dynamics that are in play, we can begin to move our society in a more partnership-oriented direction.”

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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