The difference is you keep asserting that patriarchy just always was or evolved millenia ago for reasons you’ve invented. It actually evolved for very specific reasons only 10,000 years ago. That’s a drop in the bucket of human history. And before that time, there is a lot of scientific analysis that believes that humans had a pretty egalitarian and cooperative lifestyle — one where women’s sexuality was not policed and restricted. You are purporting a theory that isn’t based in any science or facts and using it to bolster some of your other assertions and positions. That’s the problem.

The fact that men are also victims of crime/assault/rape does not mean that we shouldn’t talk about the women who are. We should talk about the men ALSO! And why are you not excusing female perpetrators of any responsibility for their actions, since they too are a by-product of their cultural conditioning — one that favors violence, domination and coercion? Women live in and uphold patriarchy also. Why don’t they get a pass too?

Individual men are not a societal problem, but a societal problem that negatively affects both women and men does exist. Same goes for racism. I have not condemmed all men and have never advocated that anyone should. In fact, I’ve done the exact opposite. Your complete inability to separate out the actions of individuals from the very real societal dynamics means that it’s time for me to bow out of this conversation, since it is not likely to progress any further.

One of the things that make it difficult to speak about patriarchy, or any other system, to a mostly North American audience, is that the capacity to see systems as distinct from the individuals that live within and are affected by them has been systematically rooted out of most people’s awareness. Instead, everything is seen as an individual issue with only individual solutions.

In other words, although it is difficult for many people to readily grasp this, patriarchy is not about men as individuals, per se. In fact, women may play a significant role in maintaining the social system of patriarchy as well, in part by helping to enforce the rules of the so called “man box.”

Societies that have matriarchal leanings emphasize equal footing for men and women. They are not reverse patriarchies, built upon performative domination of men by women. Some still have specific gender roles, but the overall constructs are much more partnership oriented and egalitarian and they provide hope for a more cooperative, less combative world — a better world for 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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