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Who is part of the patriarchy?

(402 Posts)
EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sat 29-Sep-12 15:36:22

When we use the term patriarchy, do you think that the men you know are part of the patriarchy? And if no, then who is part of the patriarchy?

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 29-Sep-12 15:52:48

I don't know. What do you think?

AKissIsNotAContract Sat 29-Sep-12 15:53:46

Isn't the patriarchy a social construct rather than a members club?

FastidiaBlueberry Sat 29-Sep-12 15:55:46

We're all part of the patriarchy, we're all living in a patriarchal society

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 29-Sep-12 15:58:35

That's what I thought, but I'd be interested to hear Eats's thoughts on the subject

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 29-Sep-12 16:16:50

Well, you've got to understand that the patriarchy is a term feminists use in a particular way, Eats.

If you look at this article, it gives quite a decent basic explanation. The first bit explains how the term is meant in general usage. Then if you click on 'feminist theory', it explains some of the basics of that a little more:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarchy

That should answer your question.

kim147 Sat 29-Sep-12 16:19:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sat 29-Sep-12 16:23:09

Okay what I and feminist theory says is that the patriarchy is how men as a class oppress women as a class. That means all men are part of the patriarchy.

That means our brothers, fathers, friends, male partners - are all part of the patriarchy.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 29-Sep-12 16:25:27

That's pretty much it, yes.

The wiki article adds a bit of detail, but that is I think the basic idea.

kim147 Sat 29-Sep-12 16:25:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 29-Sep-12 16:26:06

I actually think wiki can be a pretty good resource when it's not been messed around with by idiots (as does sometimes happen with polemical issues).

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sat 29-Sep-12 16:26:22

Men can be allies, but they are still part of the patriarchy

kim147 Sat 29-Sep-12 16:27:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sat 29-Sep-12 16:29:29

No women are not part of the patriarchy. They might support it, but they are not actually part of it

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 29-Sep-12 16:30:14

'The patriarchy' describes a social system, not a group of individuals, kim.

Basically, the idea of asking 'who is part of the patriarchy' is a question based on a misunderstanding of the word.

BlameItOnTheCuervo Sat 29-Sep-12 16:33:20

Of course they are. Sociiety is the patriarchy. Youi have made the mistake of thinking of men as "the enemy" and that's just not helpful.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 29-Sep-12 16:33:36

Maybe this helps as an analogy:

You wouldn't say 'who is part of socialism?', because the question doesn't make sense.

You might ask 'who is part of the Labour party' or 'who was part of the Labour party in 1970?'. Those questions could be answered in terms of actual, individual members. But, they wouldn't answer the first question, 'who is part of socialism', because the first describes an ideology and the second a political party.

EatsBrainsAndLeaves Sat 29-Sep-12 16:33:58

Yes the patriarchy describes a social system, but individuals make up that social system. It is not a vague thing that exists on its own.

Just like slavery was a social system, but it was individuals who were part of maintaining and benefiting from slavery

kim147 Sat 29-Sep-12 16:35:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 29-Sep-12 16:37:01

eats, I think you are still misunderstanding, although your point about slavery shows you are pretty much on the right lines.

You are correct that individuals make up a social system, and of course, they are a way of maintaining and benefiting (or fragmenting and being oppressed by) a social practice. That's what 'social' means.

That doesn't mean you can categorise every individual as 'part of the patriarchy' or 'not part of the patriarchy'.

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 29-Sep-12 16:37:48

It would be lovely to think that some of us lived outside the patriarchy, of course, and I see why that is a tempting idea - but sadly, it's not true!

If it were, the patriarchy would have far less power.

EleanorHandbasket Sat 29-Sep-12 16:39:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kim147 Sat 29-Sep-12 16:40:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mydogsleepsonthebed Sat 29-Sep-12 16:40:57

But Eleanor, if all the menz were dead where would the spermies come from? To grow the babies in the test tubes? <wrings hands>

LRDtheFeministDragon Sat 29-Sep-12 16:42:44

Come the revolution, all sperm will be free, unoppressed sperm, roaming untamed ...

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