I’m not entirely sure that I look at all of this in the exact way that you do, although I think there is a lot of overlap. What I’ve been researching and writing about pretty heavily for the past 6–12 months is our peaceful and egalitarian history as human beings. This was the case for 97% of our history and it’s only been with the onset of patriarchy as a social system, that this has been disrupted. This involves much more than any power differential between just men and women, there is all kinds of institutionalized stratification and it’s also a system that harms men because in a pyramid-shaped hierarchy, only a small few really experience any significant benefit.

This is one of the reasons that so many men reject the idea that patriarchy still exists because they haven’t experienced the level of benefit that has been attributed to them. To be sure, some of that is just unconsciousness, but some of that is also because they are not at the apex of the social hierarchy. In other words, I don’t see men as oppressors, since they are also disadvantaged by the same system. As of right now, we are all upholding this paradigm, in part because we don’t know much about the options.

“In a pyramid-shaped hierarchy, you must constantly dominate or risk being dominated. If you don’t win, you lose.

The rules are enforced through creating fear, the threat of pain, coercion and the ostracization of those who will not comply.

Patriarchy is generally not an explicit ongoing effort by men to dominate women. It is a long-standing system that we are born into and participate in, mostly unconsciously.

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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