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...
Prices shown in USD.
Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!
Emails are sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll never spam you.