How to eliminate the patriarchy?(173 Posts)
Whilst researching the Institute of Directors recently I came across this fantastic piece of double-think on their website commenting on the gender pay gap -
"the Government should have accepted the hard evidence which shows that influences and choices made by women at the pre-employment stage are what generally lead to average gender pay differences"
It is just so sexist and privileged that it took my breath away for a moment.
Also, the Arab revolutions where it seems that one patriarchal system is being replaced by a potentially worse (for women) one has made me realise that these guys are never going to give up easily.
I have had enough of this system and need to focus my energies into solutions
This is a genuine question - how can we overcome, remove, eliminate the patriarchy?
PS - if after the other thread on this topic, you still don't "get" the patriarchy or don't see the problem, feel free not to contribute here.
I hear M&S are reporting a big surge in sales this weekend, I can't think why.
I haven't had time to read the whole thread (for which I apologise and I will come back later and do so with interest).
I just wanted to contribute something in response to the title. I think we should challenge the patriarchy whenever we can, whenever we notice it. For example, I have just asked my solicitor (house sale) to address us as Mrs and Mr PromQueen. The (female) paralegal was surprised and not sure their computer system would allow it. I await the result of my request with interest...
As you were.
Try turning it around;
You would need to convince a critical mass of these women that there is a problem, that it's important enought to warrant sacrifice for radical change, and then that they should direct their money accordingly - eg only buying from female-owned business etc.
You would need to convince a critical mass of these men that there is a problem, that it's important enought to warrant sacrifice for radical change, and then that they should direct their money accordingly - eg only buying from male-owned business etc.
I'm sure the idea isn't to actually give the MRA lot a strategy to get their demands heard.
This would doom an awful lot of women-run businesses.
Not that I disagree with many of the ideas already expressed here, but don't forget one thing: who pays the piper, calls the tune.
If you really want to force the world to change in a particular way, you need to follow the money. It's probably pertinent that this thread started with an observation about money - the pay gap.
Now this ought to be relatively easy, given that women make up some 50% of the population. And that despite some things like pay differentials, their capital ownership and spending power is fast catching up with mens'.
I suspect the problem is what ClassWar pointed out - a great many women, possibly the majority, just aren't that interested in radical feminist change. I have spoken to plenty of women who really don't see themselves as subject to a patriarchy. It probably depends a lot what field you work in. You can talk about company directors, but most people don't work or move in those circles so it's not really that meaningful to them. In some fields, there appears to be no real sexism affected job prospects at all, so women within then just don't see the problem.
You would need to convince a critical mass of these women that there is a problem, that it's important enought to warrant sacrifice for radical change, and then that they should direct their money accordingly - eg only buying from female-owned business etc. Not sure how you do that.
there is one way to demolish the patriarchy for sure no matter what your definition may be...
put all the patriarchs on the isle of white. the people of the isle of white may need some convincing or possible evacuation (at least all the non patriarchal types)
The way to destroy the patriarchy is to create a global economy where high levels of productive labour can be achieved by people for whom work is equal or secondary to their private lives. At the moment people reach the top through selfless dedication to work, and that has traditionally been men - men who have made the sacrifice of coming home after their children have gone to bed, foregoing social occasions to attend a meeting and changing plans at a moment's notice to meet a new deadline. It seems to me that most of us have to make a decision about that horrible cliche 'work/life balance' and if we want more time to ourselves in the evenings and weekends we have to accept that work-a-holics will get promoted above us (and earn more...). That's the case whomever you are...
If women started rejecting crap marriages en masse, I think men would be forced to 'shape up' more.
What they will do is the same as they do in the States; import and marry Thai and Filipino girls. And its not hard to observe; watch inside any mall car park and see the station wagons draw up, with plenty of portly dudes sporting 19-year-old (or less) Pacific wives.
In the US the MRA crowd routinely advocate a life without marriage, and its not just some cynical ploy. There are plenty of 40+ 'mustangs' still acting like they are 18 years old. These blokes positively adore the single life.
Don't think men would 'shape up'. More likely it will be 'ho-hum' and off down the pub.
Tie dads to the kitchen sink. Seriously - the reason there aren't enough women in powerful positions is because they dont believe in themselves. The Father - Daughter relationships is critical. Put simply, girls who get loads of attention from their dads become confident women who feel they're able and worthy of such positions.
I'm doing my bit to eliminate the patriarchy by refusing to live in a less-than-satisfactory relationship. I would like to see more women leave unhappy relationships.
I am not against marriage BTW, just crap ones.
I'd like to see a growth in communities, rather than couples. I think we should stop seeing the marriage as the focal point of our social structure, but instead focus on positive lifestyles - which include single parents, same-sex relationships, friends, and communal living as well as nuclear families.
If women started rejecting crap marriages en masse, I think men would be forced to 'shape up' more. There would be a lot more happy relationships around.
The only way to do that it to provide greater economic support for women and families who choose to reject coupledom.
Abolish benefits based on households, focus on individuals - we do it with tax after all.
We need some philanthropists to come along and buy whole villages to house communities of say, single mothers (as just one example). Childcare can be exchanged for money or food or other services etc, and because all these women have had to do it all on their own beforehand, the chances are they will treat the help with a lot more respect than their previous partners did.
If I win the lottery I intend to pioneer something like this.
<doesn't hold breath>
LOL The MRAs are all over these threads now, documenting everything. I'm looking forward to seeing how reactionary it gets here when they start arguing back in mass.
"yet when a group (he was writing about colonized people) are oppressed by violence (as women are the world over), how can it be countered non-violently?" I wonder that too. Tiananmen square being a perfect example. How is peaceful protest effective when your oppressors open fire on you without conscience. Yes, you may have the moral high ground but you still end up dead .
I hate violence btw. Really hate it. But what is the answer when people are trying to kill you?
Well, giving this thread's title a slightly more practical twist, it might be "How to undermine male entitlement?" You can certainly do that by building economic & politcal clout among women. So the other part of the question might be "How to build female entitlement?" That part's even more important, imo. A bunch of undermined, sexist men would be very likely to attack those who undermined them (women) even harder. Women need to feel more entitled, so as to resist attack.
You can see this happening in changes to the law - the laws get changed, by men who've listened to women, then women feel scared to invoke them and they are subverted by sexist judges. Economic strength does help with confidence Imagine a rich woman being accused of "crying rape" against a poor man. Would the judiciary be less likely to agree with the man in those circumstances? I think they would.
(answering own question after thinking about it)
Giving women more economic independence would presumably mean fewer would feel forced to sell their bodies to men.
So we need to look at ways of encouraging wealth to reach the most vulnerable women so they don't need to do this.
That removes economic coercion from that equation, anyway.
I suspect wiping out porn and prostitution would also help reduce rape - the more women are seen as human beings by men, the less they would feel able to treat them in this way.
But I think that would only be one part of changing the mindset that permits the rape epidemic to continue all over the world.
YY to hassling MPs!
Many of them are on FB/Twitter now (I'm FB friends with mine) so that may be one way of getting quick access to them.
I haven't checked, but I imagine there may be info online on the government website and/or HoC website regarding policy debates etc....
Financial clout is definitely useful for women and one area in which to gain power within capitalist patriarchal constructs. But how would that fight effectively against porn/prostitution/rape - all instruments (it seems to me) of keeping women as 2nd class citizens at best, less than human at worst?
The way to make them change is to change ourselves.
As Xenia would say; go for the money, fight for the money.
I would add; get vocal.
As a result of this thread, I have decided to stop being nicey nice if someone does something that pisses me off or hurts me, and vocalise it.
Also I want to write to my MP and basically hassle him on every unfair policy. What do you think? Is there somewhere to find out which policies will be debated?
IMO (having continued to think about this since originally posting on the thread) is that in order for the patriarchy to be dismantled, the main thing that has to change is MEN.
How can men change their attitudes/ have their attitudes changed?
-sons can be raised by enlightened feminist families.
-husbands and partners can be influenced by their wives/partners
-possibly most effective of all, pro-feminist men can work on the other men they encounter and fight against misogyny/sexism in all its forms.
Women fighting is important, nay essential, but I don't think true change will ever happen unless men change.
I know the thread has moved on, but I wanted to pick up on what HerBex and hogsback said about the effect of professions such as medicine and law becoming female dominated. It could be argued that the effects of this are already being felt.
Certain areas of law in which proportionately more women work, such as social justice (housing, welfare benefits, and low cost employment), family law and immigration, have all already had substantial funding cuts, with more in the pipeline.
10-15 years ago work in these areas was seen as important for social cohesion and social mobility. It was felt that legal work in these areas was of such value that it should be remunerated at the same level as that which a privately paying client would be prepared to pay.
Is it a coincidence that now that large numbers of women work in these areas that lawyers are expected to work for little more than the warm glow of satisfaction, and in many cases for free? Especially when the clients most badly affected by the withdrawal of access to justice tend to be women and children?
As to what can be done to make changes, I think that part of the problem is that the patriarchy is so all pervasive that it makes it very hard to tackle. It is like trying to pop a balloon- you can squeeze it to nothibg in one place only to find it bulges out in another. Unlike the analogies with apartheid, there is no one direct source of ill that we can point to and attack. For that reason, I don't think we will ever see revolution.
For me, the answer is that I will do everything I can on a personal level to change the attitudes of the people I encounter. I also have a cause that I am passionate about, and will campaign for that, an encourage others to do so, from a feminist viewpoint.
The other idea that I find interesting is that the biggest changes may not come from within the Western world. That although there are bigger problems for women in developing countries, there is a bigger capacity for change, as the capitalist patricarchal structures that are so entrenched in the West are not so solid in developing countries. If I had my time again, I would probably go to work for a development project supporting women inva developing country.
<pins it to lapel>
<throws party membership paraphernalia in skip>
You do realise that I will have to vote for the hated party for my MP now? Not that it makes any odds - super safe seat and she has been there for years. DH votes for her anyway... So can I sort of have his vote as mine and I can vote for a party I like?
<trying to wriggle out already >
No I will do it, I really will. Even though I am a member of a political party... <bottom lip quivers>
No I'm going for it.
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