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'Everyday sexism' vs origins of patriarchy and big ideas for the future

(95 Posts)
thepennyshop Wed 28-Dec-16 23:40:11

I'm just getting into learning more about feminism and talking more about feminism, and I've found there is a lot of talk about the everyday sexism and obvious barriers women face. But there isn't much talk about big ideas for the future.

I suppose I'm frustrated because with the barrage of talk about everyday sexism (which is undoubtedly great to be highlighted) it makes it feel like great progress is being made every day, and people can't get away with being sexist anymore, or for much longer at least. But actually, people being sexist is just one small part of the problems women face. Do we just want people not to be sexist anymore? or do we want an end to patriarchy? And if so, what would go in its place? And why are we even living in a patriarchy in the first place?

I think it would be good to discuss those questions, so we knew what we were aiming for, and whether it was even realistically achievable.

Is anyone with me?

ICJump Thu 29-Dec-16 03:18:51

I want an end to the patriarchy but I don't want it to be replaced by a matriarchy. Greer says the opposite of patriarchy is fraternity. I like that i idea.
I'm also not sure you can remove the patriarchy without removing capitalism.
What does that look like ? Fuck knows. But I think there would be less possessions, more time, more art, less worship but more connections, safety, freedom.
will I see it in my life time? Not sure it matters as I'm relatively safe but I want change for the next generation, I want change for girls and women who aren't safe

girlwiththeflaxenhair Thu 29-Dec-16 10:24:31

One question I get stuck on is when women would ever trust strange men ? Or how would they know they were safe from them, or that they wouldn't be harmed ? If that makes sense.

i.e. if men are to take on more of the "caring" roles in society, particularly looking after children - would men and women be comfortable handing over their kids to a nursery full of men rather than women ? How would the required trust be manifested ? A lot of feminism seems to be about reminding us all of the threat men pose. How can that threat be removed ?

MrCreosote Thu 29-Dec-16 13:54:36

Here is a question for you.

Why is it acceptable to be sexist against men?

I've been driving for over 25 years without a point on my license or a claim on my insurance, yet, it is cheaper for my wife to insure the same vehicle, with only 9 years driving and 2 no fault claims.

Also, we have sexist advertising against men.

I agree with equality but, it should be equal for all.

thedancingbear Thu 29-Dec-16 14:05:23

Because extensive statistics heavily suggest that, if and when you do have a crash, it's more likely to be a fucking massive one that causes much more damage that your wife's minor dings ever will.

Back under your bridge, feller. When are you back in work?

ChocChocPorridge Thu 29-Dec-16 14:19:05

Are you also the same age and do exactly the same job? Because if so you should take your insurance people to court - it's illegal to charge men and women different prices for insurance - despite it being a clearly evidence based-decision.

Interesting isn't it - all the discrimination faced by so many groups that takes years of discussion and fighting to get even an ear, let alone action, but blokes pay a bit more for their car insurance and with very little fuss it's on the books as a law.

One might almost think there was some kind of cultural and institutional bias towards men wouldn't one?

VestalVirgin Thu 29-Dec-16 14:50:27

And why are we even living in a patriarchy in the first place?

Because some day some men got the idea to oppress women and rape women.
Rape leads to unwanted pregnancy, unwanted pregnancy leads to superfluous population, and if your piece of land is overpopulated, what better solution is there than to put that population to good use and invade the neighbouring country?

Repeat, until the whole world is a patriarchy.

That's my theory. Of course it would likely have been more than one little group of men, but patriarchy would likely have spread like disease wherever it broke out, because people who are not aggressive against anyone would not know how to fight back when they are first attacked - and often one attack is all it takes.

There's other theories, but I am 100% sure that patriarchy exists because men can exploit the differences between the sexes and are cruel and amoral enough to do it.
And most definitely NOT because some ethereal sense of "gender", as the genderists would have us believe.

girlwiththeflaxenhair Thu 29-Dec-16 14:58:10

Like, I suppose "background checks" aren't going to cut it ?

girlwiththeflaxenhair Thu 29-Dec-16 15:04:20

Vestal - what makes men want to exploit the difference ? Are you saying that if women had the physical advantage they would behave differently ?

PhoenixJasmine Thu 29-Dec-16 15:16:23

Naomi Alderman's novel 'The Power' is based around the concept of women becoming suddenly physically 'superior' and the effect that has on society. It's next on my reading list grin

There's a lot more to (my) feminism than challenging everyday sexism though - women's healthcare provision/access, domestic violence issues, rape culture, representation of women in public office for example.

The patriarchy is a deeply ingrained cultural mindset, and you can't just 'end' that overnight. You challenge each little bit of it, step at a time. Change is gradual, but real.

girlwiththeflaxenhair Thu 29-Dec-16 15:23:16

Anyone have any opinion about what it would take for society to trust men to become the main carers ? Is it never going to happen ?

MrCreosote Thu 29-Dec-16 15:25:26

Dancing bear. I was trying to ask a serious question as to why it is ok to be sexist towards men. Your Neanderthal reaction is quite uncalled for.

I have been driving for 29 years without any points, high speed crashes or any prangs at all, yet, you are tarring me with the same brush.

As for the question as to when am I back at work? I am a dad of 3. Work never stops.

Xenophile Thu 29-Dec-16 15:40:11


An "ex police officer" who doesn't understand how car insurance is worked out.

Bear might not have stated it in language pretty enough for you, but he's basically correct. Men's insurance premiums are not worked out in relation to women's, they're worked out in relation to other similar men's. If you want to blame anyone for your insurance premiums being higher than your wife's, you might want to go and speak to men similar to yourself. Feminists and feminism has little control over actuarial tabulation.

If you have a problem with the way premiums are worked out, you could always complain to the professional body for actuaries here

MrCreosote Thu 29-Dec-16 15:57:53

As insurance is not supposed to be calculated on the sex of the driver anymore, it shouldn't matter whether I am male or female.

We seem to be missing the point here. What I am trying to say is, men and women should be treated equally. If sexism against women is wrong (which it is), then, shouldn't sexism against men be wrong?

DeviTheGaelet Thu 29-Dec-16 16:06:45

Do you drive the same make and age of car as your wife creosote? Same miles per year? Same business use? Do you have the same job? There are lots of reasons your premium might be higher than just sexism.

phoenix the power is amazing! Very thought provoking. There's a discussion thread on here about it. Pop on when you are finished.

thedancingbear Thu 29-Dec-16 16:07:20

Feminists and feminism has little control over actuarial tabulation.


And, for the avoidance of doubt, I'm entirely happy with syntactical and semantic aspects of me previous post. I feel the tone was about right.

DeviTheGaelet Thu 29-Dec-16 16:14:11

Penny I think the historical very high risk of women dying in childbirth means that it would make better sense in a family for assets to be handed down the male line. I would love to do some computer modelling of it, I bet that it provides an advantage (if more resources means less chance of death).
Also men guarding their wives and preventing other men accessing her, coupled with social pressure for women not to have sex outside marriage, increases the chances that a man is putting resource into his own offspring and could be advantageous from a genetic POV. (Ever wondered why there is no female equivalent to a cuckold? And why the etymology of cuckold is from the bird, cuckoo, that lays it's eggs in another's nest for raising?)

HilbertRiddle Wed 04-Jan-17 08:00:10

thedancingbear "Because extensive statistics heavily suggest that, if and when you do have a crash, it's more likely to be a fucking massive one that causes much more damage that your wife's minor dings ever will.

Back under your bridge, feller. When are you back in work?"

While you are partially right, why do you feel the need to be an arsehole in your reply? And why do you think it is fair to discriminate based on this gender difference? If say black females were also known to insurers to be the higher risk and thus be charged more, would you be happy for them to be charged more? Would black activists?

0phelia Wed 04-Jan-17 08:44:29

Well a black activist wouldn't go onto a feminist forum to winge about it, but a man's activist, by the looks of it, would. A black activist would do something about it rather than blame white women for it all.

0phelia Wed 04-Jan-17 08:47:49

This was a really interesting thread btw!
Devi particularly your posts have really made me think.

0phelia Wed 04-Jan-17 08:49:55

So if patriarchy has grown up since time immemorial and is so unconscious, maybe even based in genetics, is anyone here genuinely optimistic for women's liberation?

HilbertRiddle Wed 04-Jan-17 11:57:12

0phelia it is irrelevant to the question what what activist would or wouldn't do on internet forums. I wonder why you would even write that since the question was not even addressed to you, nor did you answer it.

PoochSmooch Wed 04-Jan-17 12:18:11

That would then equally apply to you scolding thedancingbear for his reply to mrcreosote though, hilbert? That wasn't at you, was it, so by your logic you shouldn't reply.

I don't think we should do that rule, Mumsnet would be rubbish if we all did that grin

PoochSmooch Wed 04-Jan-17 12:28:03

anyhoo, back to the original question.

I like what phoenix said above: "The patriarchy is a deeply ingrained cultural mindset, and you can't just 'end' that overnight. You challenge each little bit of it, step at a time. Change is gradual, but real".

I think that, much as I would like an immediate overthrow of the patriarchy, I don't actually think feminism itself will necessarily change that. What I think might have a much bigger impact is the challenges that are shortly going to be faced by humanity in general, such as the impact of climate change, which is going to change the dynamics of global politics so much in the next fifty years that I think the structures of patriarchy - democracy, how we live, how money is used, how and why we engage in work outside the home - will change unrecognisably.

So in broader terms, I think patriarchy will undergo a big change, but not necessarily because of feminism, but because its underpinnings - individual ownership and transmission of wealth, the 1% controlling and managing things - will change because of technological change. For example, we're about 50 years from building star trek type replicators to create things. What impact will that have on our model of work-to-buy-stuff? Then I think more egalitarian, feminist ideals and modes of working will be there, ready and poised to feed into whatever the new modes of doing things might be. I hope grin

Sorry, these are huge ideas and I'm not explaining them well, but that's what i think might change.

Elendon Wed 04-Jan-17 12:34:07

An interesting theory is that Patriarchy is ownership. Ownership of land, assets and also the vulnerable into slavery (women are included in this because of rape - all are symbols of power). When peaceful non patriarchal communities were invaded, one of the first things imposed was the veiling of women, apart from sex workers, which distinguished them. So, Patriarchy has prevailed throughout the world in which civilisations moved from one place to another in a non peaceful way. Remember, it was just until Edwardian times that women got the vote. I recall a radio programme about life in the UK pre divorce. I woman was told to go back to her husband because he wasn't beating her up, despite him never engaging in a loving way. This was the 1950s, less than a hundred years ago.

Equality is a long, long way off. What women have are basically crumbs from the Patriarchal table, some women will benefit, but these are the exceptions that prove the rule. To give up power is admission of defeat and to enter a world unknown. Best to throw some crumbs, divorce, contraception, abortion are beneficial to the Patriarchy, to keep the status quo.

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