Alistair Wischer, here’s some more about what patriarchy actually is:

First off, patriarchy isn’t about men — not really. It’s a social system that is a dominance-based hierarchy and it includes race, class, education level and other things as well as gender in its stratifications.

This social system is pyramid-shaped and the only people it works better for are those at the apex of the pyramid — primarily rich white men. For other men, even other white men, it’s also a pretty destructive system. Patriarchy brought about not just stratification between men and women, but rather, an entire class system that had not previously existed.

Some men gained wealth and power, but nearly always at the expense of others around them. The maintenance of this class system and social hierarchy is an ongoing thing — leading to most of the social ills in our society, such as racism, homophobia, sexism, classism, and bullying of all kinds.

Some men get defensive because they think that speaking against patriarchy is saying that men are bad and that long ago they conceived an evil plot to hold women down. But that’s much too simplistic and one-dimensional and that’s not what I’m saying at all. Patriarchy is a social system with a lot of destructive elements — for most of the people in it, including most of the men.

It did result in the coercive control and disempowerment of women, but it wouldn’t have continued if women didn’t uphold this social system as well. And it resulted in the stratification of entire societies and the unfortunate creation of social classes, which has let to no end of problems and social ills. More centralized power brought some good things too, but it came at a pretty high price.

Patriarchy wasn’t better for everyone. It was better for some people, and as those people gained more power, it became easier for them to hold onto it. The maintenance of traditional power is one of the hallmarks of this social system. That’s what happened Bro — not because it was an evolution for the betterment of all.”

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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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