You are the one who is telling women to be quiet; saying that they are harming men and society by talking about their experiences. You called it “punching down” I believe. Meanwhile, it’s a worldwide epidemic but we aren’t supposed to talk about it. I have not said that a woman can’t rape a man. In fact, I said the complete opposite of that. I said that we should be talking more loudly about things like that. You are quite bad about putting words in my mouth that I have never uttered. It’s a pretty sloppy debate technique.

Patriarchy did evolve naturally, but not in the way or for the reasons that you cited. I specifically said that patriarchy did not evolve for the specific purpose of malicious oppression — in fact I said it more than once in more than one way. But never-the-less, that was the net outcome of it. This is what anthropologists all agree. If science doesn’t work for you, I really don’t know what else to say to you.

Today, most anthropologists would agree, regardless of their stance on issues such as the universality of male dominance, that an entirely different order of male dominance became associated with the rise of the large and populous agricultural states organized in terms of classes. The patriarchal systems that emerged brought women for the first time under the direct control of fathers and husbands with few cross-cutting sources of support. Women as wives under this system were not social adults, and women’s lives were defined in terms of being a wife. Women’s mothering and women’s sexuality came to be seen as requiring protection by fathers and husbands. Protecting unmarried women’s virginity appears to go along with the idea of the domestication of women and an emphasis on a radical dichtomy between the public and the private sphere.

Also, until 50 years ago, we had laws that enshrined the ways that patriarchy disadvantaged women (and AA’s but I won’t cite those here, but racism is also a part of patriarchy, as is homophobia — because it’s a dominance hierarchy). Well into the 1970s women couldn’t own a business or a credit card in their own name, much less a home. They couldn’t attend Ivy League colleges and could be fired simply for being pregnant. Women could be struck from a jury simply for being female and law firms would not even interview female candidates. Sandra Day O’Connor graduated near the top of her class at Stanford and had to beg the overworked city attorney to let her work for him for free. Her desk went in with the secretary. Marital rape wasn’t a crime in all 50 states until 1993, etc., etc., etc.

During this same time patriarchy was disadvantaging men also, but in more subtle ways. It’s entirely possible to talk about men’s issues, men’s problems at the hands of societal expectations, etc., but those all come from the social system of patriarchy. Every last one of them.

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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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