I can tell you are annoyed with women talking about patriarchy, but that doesn't mean it's not a real societal dynamic that creates real issues. But feeling that way is about as kind or realistic as being annoyed with a black person for blaming systemic racism for holding them back. Yes, people need to be self-responsible, AND at the same time, there are real societal dynamics in play which contribute to women (and blacks) still not being on a level playing field with men (and whites). Pretending that isn't a real factor is just wishful thinking and it's mean. White men have 8 times as much political power as black women. Do you honestly think that’s because black women haven’t tried hard enough or been self-responsible enough? 🙄

There's overwhelming statistical evidence of all of that, some of which I've already quoted to you. I won't go into the racism thing because that's a whole other kettle of fish, but jeez, wake up learn about what's really happening in the world, even though it doesn't fit how you'd like to believe it should be! What you are doing is a defense mechanism.

The fundamental attribution error says that what befalls other people is a product of their choices and character whereas when bad things happen to me, it’s because of bad luck or someone else’s malice. Combine that with hierarchical ideas about who really matters the most and where we should focus our attention, and you’ve got a narrative that blames victims for the bad things that have happened to them and turns that very word into a pejorative.

As relates to women, more than 50% of the people in this country believe that a man is the head of the household. More than 60% believe that being a mother is the most important thing that a woman can do.

And beyond those more conventional metrics of patriarchy are the other ones that I keep talking about and you keep ignoring that have to do with social stratification and the hierarchical maintenance of traditional power - which is the sociological marker of patriarchy (because those elements came about for the first time at the same time as the coercive control of women for the purposes of definitively knowing paternity). If you consider yourself an egalitarian, you might want to learn more about how prior to the onset of patriarchy 6-9 thousand years ago, enforced egalitarianism is the way that our ancestors kept themselves alive.

Patriarchy is inherently about the stratification of society, with the strong exerting domination over anyone weaker or less powerful. It is about turning away from the cooperation and community that human beings crave in favor of aggrandizing the self at the expense of anyone who gets in your way. In order to do this, you must view everyone around you as a threat to your place in the hierarchy and you must numb yourself to the pain of others. That's what I was speaking to in the comment I made in Jessica's story.

And you don't "reclaim your power" by refusing to acknowledge the actual obstacles in your way and pretending that they don't matter. I'm a certified life coach, and I can tell you, that's a terrible and really harmful thing to tell people. It robs them of their full humanity and their actual lived experience and blames them for where they are in life. Of course, you have to take charge of your own life, and of course, you have to play the hand you were dealt as best you can, but pretending that everyone has been dealt the same hand or that there aren't still artificial barriers to equal opportunity is delusional and unkind in the extreme. It's helping no-one but your own sense of superiority that you have made your own way (despite all the privilege you were born into just by being white).

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store