A social system in which a father is the head of the family, property ownership and surname are traced through the male line, and men have legal or social authority over women and children. A family, community, or society based on this or a similar system, or governed by men to a degree far out of proportion to their numbers.
Jane Doe: Can you believe patriarchy still exists after all our valiant struggles?

John Doe: What do you mean? Patriarchy doesn't exist! Sure, women make on average a lot less than men for the same work, and sure, there are very few women in positions of power in government and business, but at least now we let you vote and own property!

Jane Doe: But why didn't you take my last name when we married? Why are women still raped (outside of prisons) so much more often than men, and why do men so often inflict rape on others? Why do we still have a sexual division of labor, with some entire industries dominated by men and other industries, typically lower paid, staffed almost entirely by women? Why is it, when someone says "doctor" everyone thinks "man" and when they say "nurse" everyone thinks "woman?" The same is true of "construction worker" vs. "secretary," "engineer" vs. "stripper," "soldier" vs. "maid"... you name it! Why is it a scandal when a middle aged woman like Demi Moore marries a man in his twenties, but it's routine for rich old men in their 60s and up to marry barely legal young 'trophy wives?' It's so common it has it's own term!

John Doe: I guess you're right. Come to think of it, I've been trained to take on all sorts of patriarchal roles that I don't like myself! I've been trained to act like an automaton, to hide my feelings, to be "the provider" in an economy where two parents working is the norm, to go off and die in wars... you know, Jane, a lot of my anti-feminist anger is really unjustified! I've just been resentful of my own role within patriarchy, in such a misdirected way I couldn't even see it existed. I've been defending what I felt were privileges, but in fact were limitations. It's time for us to smash all forms of sexism, patriarchy - hell, even matriarchy if it ever crops up anywhere - together!

Jane Doe: Now you're talking! Let me get my hammer!

John Doe: You know, dear, this means you'll have to face the draft, too...

Jane Doe: True, sweetie, but there should be a lot fewer wars with patriarchy out of the way!

John Doe: Actually, love, capitalism, not patriarchy, is the root of imperialism and resource conflicts, which are the primary cause of modern wars...
by Buenaventura Durruti May 28, 2004
13 more definitions
Top Definition
A term used by feminists, to blame men for all their problems.
Jane: "Why have we ran out of bread?"
Gill: "Because of the patriarchy."
by JizzySpunkbubbles August 25, 2013
The bogeyman that feminists blame for women's problems or under-achievements because their big-girl pants apparently don't fit.

However Seeing as women are free to pursue any career they want, own any property they wish, attend any college they desire, are owning businesses and running corporations, actively involved in political power, engineering and science, are protected from discrimination by law and are openly praised for all this to cloying degree... We are NOT living in one and have not been for some time.
It is rumored that every man secretly receives a patriarchy check in the mail each month. Feminist scholars are still trying to confirm this.
by shikaku August 26, 2014
The deity of the 21st century liberal woman; it doesn't exist but they acknowledge its influence.
"The patriarchy is the reason why I can't wear a miniskirt without being slut shamed"
by JizzySpunkbubbles March 09, 2014
A non-existent entity used as a scapegoat by women, when there is no other individual to blame other than themselves (as if they'll own up to that).
It's not my fault that I got rejected for this job because I'm underqualified, it's the patriarchy's.
by LogDecker March 12, 2014
A social organisation that grants power to men and oppresses women through political, social and economic institutions. Harmful side effects include the gender binary, unequal wages and Rush Limbaugh.
Person A: Did you know that women do two thirds of world labour and own less than one percent of world property?
Person B: Damn patriarchy.
by Hellonhairylegs December 29, 2008
A worldwide societal conspiracy where men keep women downtrodden and subjugated which exists exclusively in the minds of female Liberal Arts majors who were abused as children by a male authority figure.
Female Liberal Arts Major: "It's because of the Patriarchy that so many women are sold into sex slavery"
Friend: "Wow, your stepdad sounds like a real scumbag"
by Fistinchen February 19, 2015

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