A rhetorical device which props up feminist ideology by making it easy to impose a state of collective guilt upon half the human race, namely the male half. Upon closer examination, we find that 'patriarchy' as a concept is either A.) Coherent only when too narrowly defined to be broadly useful, or B.) INcoherent when it IS broadly enough defined to be broadly useful.
Feminist ideologues promote the idea of patriarchy nonetheless, because they are banking upon the average person's lack of analytical discrimination -- rather like slipping a 'mind rape drug' into the punchbowl of common discourse. You might wake up with a weird feeling, but you have no idea that you've been screwed.
When radical feminists talk about 'patriarchy', it is actually a code word for Male Power of ANY sort whatsoever. So long as any man on earth has anything that could even vaguely be described as power (up to and especially the power of self-control), they wll say that patriarchy still exists, and that feminism's work is not finished. They want feminism to have a job for a good long time....
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