I get a lot of friends who try to say that patriarchy can't be a real thing because in the beginning no one would go around saying "let's make a patriarchy!" I often address this issue by explaining how the oppression of women fits into capitalism like property issues and inheritance etc. because I double as a poor excuse of an armchair Marxist, and so that was the first thing I thought of. So I was wondering where non-marxists say the patriarchy comes from. (Assuming you aren't a Marxist.)

I actually am a socialist (a democratic one, at least), but I wouldn’t self-define as a Marxist. However, I think your Marxist explanation makes sense. To my mind, the patriarchy comes from the self-perpetuating system of controlling resources and limiting access, intense socialization, and gender roles. Men control the institutions, the levers of power, the influence-making media — their power used to come from religious institutions and warfare, and it continues by using all of the forces at their disposal to teach women that they can’t be in control, that they shouldn’t be equal, or that the fight for equality should come in a man-friendly, fun feminism package. If they limit women’s access to education, if they control all of the media to depict only one way of life, if they socialize women for meekness and submission, they’re perpetuating the patriarchy, every day, even if no one ever had a meeting and said “let’s do this!”

Posted 2 years ago on July 16 with 3 notes