Who Exactly is Responsible for Women’s Problems?

Responsibility

Okay, this seems to be necessary, because the defensive claim that women are ignoring their responsibility for their own problems is driving me crazy.  It is false.  Apparently nobody else around here can understand the concept that a structure and pattern can exist without any fault being placed on the people involved.  Apparently we all would rather fight than accept the proposal that this is really quite, quite possible to do peacefully.  But then, we’re human, so what else is new?  When life is consistently getting more comfortable and convenient, we need bigger and bigger arguments to keep our minds occupied.  Phooey.  Here is this thing I just read from thegreatantagonizer (good name, buddy):

When a feminist writer blames male dominance in society on patriarchy, they are not considering what women are doing wrong to deny themselves access to the dominant positions in society. Thus, the need to be introspective and work harder to attain betterment of oneself is negated.

I guess I have to drive this home one more time:

Patriarchy is not the fault of men.

Male dominance is not the fault of men.

They are structures in which men and women both play a role in helping them continue, which means WE ARE ALL F%$$*&ING RESPONSIBLE SO PLEASE GET OVER THE WHOLE BLAME GAME AND LET US DO OUR JOBS TO FIX IT.  When a feminist writer blames male dominance in society on patriarchy, she is probably thinking and considering a whole ton of shit you don’t know about.  Clearly, this guy knows nothing about the rich history of feminist writings.  There couldn’t be a genre of writing more introspective and focused on the betterment of oneself!!  The feminist movement has been almost completely focused on bettering women, up until the backlash which forced them to stop and defend themselves to men who felt threatened by the lack of attention!!

Here are some examples of how men and women both continue patriarchy and male dominance, written by an introspective feminist writer:

A man opens the door for a woman.  The woman smiles and thanks him. 

Male and female news anchors respond to a case of rape with pity for the young rapist, instead of for the girl who was raped. 

A female author writes a book series about an abusive relationship in which the man completely absorbs the life and agency of the woman.  She writes this book as a romantic fantasy and girls everywhere swoon with yearning.  

A man and a woman go home together after a date and the woman says nothing of what she wants, while the man makes his intentions clear.  When they start to have sex and she feels confused and hesitant, she still says nothing, letting him proceed in ignorance.

A man and a woman are both worthy of getting a promotion at work.  The man talks to his boss and tells him he thinks he deserves the promotion and why.  The woman works harder at her job hoping to get noticed and the man gets the promotion.

A teenage girl goes to her first job interview and sits hesitantly and quietly, looking around nervously instead of straight ahead, at the employer.  When asked about her skills and qualifications, she doesn’t know what to say.  She doesn’t think she has any skills.  She doesn’t get the job.

When shopping for Halloween costumes with her two children, a woman tells her son he can’t wear the princess costume because it’s for girls, and she tells her daughter not to try on the superhero costume because she’s not a boy.  The girl believes she’s not good or strong enough to be a superhero, but at least she gets to be pretty and carefree.

A woman gets dressed up to go to a party and decides to wear a low-cut shirt and high heels to impress guys she might see.  She loves feeling beautiful and admired and told she’s sexy, regardless of what she wants to do that night.  At the party, men whistle at her and flirt and she feels fulfilled and happy, like she is the luckiest girl in the world.   Until one of the men rapes her.  Immediately she feels guilty and ashamed and dirty, like the whole thing was her fault.  The rest of the world agrees with her assessment.  She shouldn’t have asked for it.

A man makes a comment about how some girls down the hall are sluts and his female friends agree zealously, scorning the girls down the hall as lowlife whores.  When the man tries to feel up his female friend a few minutes later, she is struck by her own words and wonders whether to sleep with him or not.  She doesn’t want him to think she’s a slut.  

When writing a movie script, it never occurs to the male writer to make the main character a woman, because there’s no “need.”  When the movie premieres, it has only one named female character, who exists to give love and support to the male character.  The movie gets rave reviews and millions of women find it so inspiring.  They love the positive and respectful portrayal of the female character, and it doesn’t occur to them that the female character has no life or purpose outside of the man.  They give the movie five stars and suggest it to all their friends.  It wins an Academy Award.  

A woman gets pregnant and decides to leave her career permanently in order to raise her children.  Her husband takes another job to make up for the lost money.  

The list could go on and on.

Saying that women are responsible for their own problems, in addition to patriarchy and male dominance being responsible is a JOKE.  Any responsibility that women have is a PART of patriarchy and male dominance.  Patriarchy and male dominance are structures that women and men play into.  They are not things that men do.  The whole point of having a word like patriarchy to pin the blame on, is to get OUT of the female patriarchal pattern of accepting blame and responsibility for everything men do.  Get it yet??

UPDATE:

The blogger who inspired this defensive post responded to my response with the suggestion that feminism has become a cult, because so many react emotionally to disagreement as opposed to calmly and logically conversing.  I commented on his post with the following:

I apologize for making you specifically a target in my response to your piece. That was not fair to you, as I am not familiar with your writing or your life. Reading your piece was really “the last straw” as they say, since I had read many other infuriating posts that day. It seems as if your style of playing the devil’s advocate (i.e. antagonizing) is filled with good intentions, and in general, I like it.

I do want to address more calmly some of the ideas you seem to have garnered from my emotional reaction. I very much appreciate glitterandgirlpower’s comment, as I think she hit the nail on the head in many ways. As an academic feminist, I blog to communicate my ideas to a larger audience and to hopefully spread critical thinking about some of the gender dynamics we take for granted. Recently I’ve become sidetracked defending feminism against attackers, which tends to be very emotional, because as a social and political movement, feminism’s progress is hindered whenever somebody pushes against it. Islam, on the other hand, as a religion, does not require movement, so resistance does no harm. It is a personal matter of faith, as opposed to a societal issue which depends entirely on how many people support it.

I am not personally offended when people disagree with feminism or feminist goals, but my life’s work and passion does feel threatened. It is especially discouraging to continue to read antagonistic points which I believe have been appropriately clarified by feminists, including myself recently. The effort to move forward, as the term “movement” implies, becomes increasingly difficult the more we have to drive the same points home to people over and over again. And since feminism is logical and not faith-based, the ability for people to continually “disagree” is astounding and frustrating. As a feminist, I’m not asking anyone to have blind faith in something invisible; I’m simply asking them to look, think, and notice unfortunate patterns that have developed. While the words used to describe these patterns may be controversial, the patterns themselves are hard to dispute. Yet people keep trying. And it is endlessly frustrating for those of us who seek progress.

Obviously, I disagree with the idea of feminism as a cult, but that doesn’t mean I don’t concede the fact that some feminists do not fully understand what they believe in, have knee-jerk reactions, and do not question things sufficiently. Feminism, as you said, has a history of “questioning everything,” but the questions flow much easier in a safe environment of non-threatening discussion. Most feminists want to talk analytically about the ins and outs of patriarchy and question everything, but not if somebody is sitting nearby ready to use the questions as an attack to discredit the whole conversation. Then questioning becomes dangerous. Since the post-second wave backlash against feminism and the ever-growing disapproval of it, many feminists have become sidetracked (as I did) from their original goals in order to ensure that their conversations would be allowed to continue productively. That is part of why this third wave era is so nebulous. Feminists growing up in this atmosphere of fresh tension and harsh disapproval have very few opportunities to actually relax and ask questions and seek solutions because there are very few outlets for such discussion without an attacker (or dozens) prowling near. Conversations become shorter and less in depth, leaving us with only straws and key concepts to grasp at under pressure. This can make it seem like we are swallowing tenets as opposed to thinking critically, but if people, both well-meaning and hateful, would leave feminism off their list of things to antagonize, maybe feminists would be able to go back to the rich and wonderful culture of questions and peaceful conversations.

Cheers! And sorry again for my reactionary post. I forgive your harsh judgment of my writing. Hope you will try reading my blog again some time! :)

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16 responses to “Who Exactly is Responsible for Women’s Problems?

  1. Wow. I guess all the exclamation marks and boldface and ALL-CAPS helped me get it. However, to be honest, I pulled some punches when I wrote my original post. But, I suppose you can handle it. I think the whole concept of patriarchy is questionable because it is not a scientific theory. It is not scrutinized by a scientific peer review like any new grandiose theory of how the world works should. I prefer to question everything, and patriarchy is something I find that feminists just accept without thinking critically about it first.

  2. I could talk about this on a point by point basis, but you continue to shoot your own feet because you fail to comprehend the implications of basic English.

    pa·tri·arch·y
    /ˈpātrēˌärkē/
    Noun
    A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line.
    A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.

    The very WORD you are using assigns the blame. Why can’t you seem to grasp that? The very definition of the word defines men as your target. I have tried to reason with you about this before, and yet you still do not get it. The very WORD is offensive because through its use you are broadcasting against MEN, not women, not everyone, not SOME MEN. Every father, every son, every man that lives and breathes.

    You want progress, find a new word. Words have power because they are the expression of an idea. You are expressing the idea that you have a beef with men, and then wondering why men get pissed off and defensive.

    The rest of your words do not matter, because the word you choose as your target enemy is assigned to men. Just as if I were using the words bitches, sluts, or whores to talk about men, it would still be offensive to women. You are beating your head against a wall because you are ascribing arrogance, ignorance, and spite to people for not agreeing with you when you call them your enemy!

    And, also, for the record, saying that anyone who disagrees with you is ignorant(as you did in your op), is foolish in the extreme, reflects poorly on you, and diminishes the respect I have come to have for you and your opinions.

    “When a feminist writer blames male dominance in society on patriarchy, she is probably thinking and considering a whole ton of shit you don’t know about. Clearly, this guy knows nothing about the rich history of feminist writings. ” Because obviously anyone who disagrees is ignorant….

    • No, using the word ‘patriarchy’ does not define men as the target. If you re-read the definitions you posted, they just describe a situation: men have power; descent is traced along the male line. The description of the situation does *not* say anything about *how* that situation came about. It does not say “men claim all the power for themselves and beat women” – or, “women sit by idly allowing men to define society according to their own terms.”

      Since I (a feminist) started learning about patriarchy, I have wondered how and why *women* allowed it to happen. You are the one who keeps pointing fingers at men, while the author of the article *continuously* describes ways in which *women* contribute to the perpetuation of patriarchy (the situation). Is it all women’s fault? Of course not. Do women share responsibility? Of course! The key word in that sentence, though, is “share.”

      • If I said there was a matriarchy, would you think I was pointing fingers at men? Be honest.

        • When I say the Earth rotates around the Sun, which gets the blame? When I say we live in a democracy, who do you blame? What about global warming? Who gets the blame for that? What if I told you my sister likes her peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with more jelly than peanut butter. Would you blame jelly for taking control of the sandwich?

          Obviously, this is all hypothetical and mostly symbolic. My point is that blame is not the point. I am an environmentalist who worries about the state of the world in global warming. When I remind my friends and family to turn lights off when they leave the room and unplug their electronics, I am not angry with them for not doing so in the first place, nor am I blaming them for forgetting; I am simply trying to help them remember next time because I feel strongly about its importance. Our country is overwhelmingly not environmentally concerned; most people are not informed or worried about composting or their carbon footprint. Do I blame them for that? No! I want them to change their priorities, but it makes perfect sense that they are that way, because our country does not value the environment as much as money and comfort.

          The concept of blame and fault is all rather petty, from my perspective. It gets us nowhere. It’s backtracking, talking about the past. I prefer to aim for the future, and as I’ve said repeatedly, change for the future requires change from everybody. From my environment analogy, the people who are already aware have the responsibility to make other people aware, and those who aren’t yet have the responsibility to learn and consider change. It is the same for feminism and women’s issues. Blame has nothing to do with it. Pointing fingers is for children. If you want to continue to insist that people are blaming you, you are making the choice to stay stuck in that cycle. Nobody else is forcing you.

          • To use your analogy, it is the difference between saying “We should turn off the lights if we don’t need them, please, it’s better for the environment.” and “If people like you would turn off the lights, we wouldn’t have global warming issues.”

            While both statements have the same stated intended goal, one is more palatable to the listener. No? Unfortunately, your blog often reads like a mixture of the two. On one hand, you will say, we are all responsible and we should all work to change the state of things. That is a message I can get behind. On the other hand, you often make statements where either you use blame assigning phrases or lay all of the onus to change on the feet of the men. In either case, readers are going to pick up on that and they will be offended.

            I am sure you have heard the phrase “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” There is some truth in that. It’s called tact, not because it is polite or courteous, but because it is a tactically sound method of speaking to or about others in order to achieve the desired results.

            Despite what you and Cat seem to think, my remarks have nothing to do with me wanting to point fingers, or with me feeling like you are blaming all men. So, please stop saying that. I am simply trying to get through to you that your choice of words often will determine the response you get, regardless of your intentions. In this case you are choosing a word(s) that has been given a heavily negative anti-male connotation over the last century and expecting men not to be offended. That is counter productive. What I am saying is no different than when I tell my kids to say please, thank you, or to ‘mind their manners’. It is not what you are saying, it is how you are saying it.

            And, just for something for you to consider, take a look at the link: http://www.mindingthecampus.com/originals/2013/05/a_classic_text_on_genderand_it.html

          • That makes sense. I will try to be more conscious of blame assigning phrases in my writing. It is important for me to find a balance in my writing between a sense of urgency and importance and a sense of respect. I would argue that the intentions of your two example sentences are a little different. The first is merely a request, while the second explains the stakes and why the request is important, so the person understands why it matters. The goal of my blog is to share information and provoke thoughtful questioning, not to instruct. That is why I mix both kinds of statements. Because the stakes are high and I want people to know that. I regret that it may cause offense and I will be conscientious, but I must also be mindful of my goal.

            Additionally, I feel strongly that to stop using a word which accurately describes what I’m talking about simply because I know many people misinterpret it (despite my continued explanations and reassurances) would be to cave into bullying. I understand tactful speaking. I am being tactful when I define my terms. When I use the word patriarchy, I am alluding to the organization of the world as we live in it, and as I and many many other people understand it, similar to democracy and seasons and capitalism. The bad connotation is self-inflicted and I can’t take any further responsibility for people’s false interpretations after I have clarified my intended meaning.

    • Ravaught, really? It seems you are bound and determined to get someone to agree with your point that “feminists” blame men for patriarchy and that that is an inherent flaw in the theory. Here you go:
      “pa·tri·arch·y
      /ˈpātrēˌärkē/
      Noun
      A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line.
      A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.”
      This IS in fact the way our society has been from it’s inception. If you want to BLAME someone, then, you’re right. It is the fault of men that our society has been patriarchal–white men, I might add. When the Declaration of Independence was penned it referred to “Men” as equals. It DID NOT include women or slaves or native americans. Period. That is inarguable. That is historical fact.
      Women were possessions of their fathers. The wedding ceremony, to this day, includes the question by the officiant “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” followed by the requisite answer by the father, “I do.” In this day and age we have come so far as to suggest the answer, by the father, to be “Her mother and I do.” That’s progress.
      During this part of the ceremony, historically, the father hands his “property”, his daughter, over to her husband whose possession she now becomes. That is a FACT. Like it or not. Be comfortable with it or not. Some people purposely exclude this part from their ceremony for this very reason. Others keep it for the sentimentality of tradition.
      When one does genealogy it is very difficult to trace the maternal side of the family. The woman loses her family of origin name and becomes Mrs. Somebody Else. Unless somebody somewhere along the line is sure to write down a “maiden name” then it can be nearly impossible to trace that line of ancestry. Women currently struggle with this issue of name changing. It’s not ancient history. “Are you going to keep your name?” is a question nearly every newly engaged woman is asked. My father, when asked about a possible name change for me when I got married, said, “I never expected you to keep the family surname.” That’s not that long ago.
      In this day and age women still do not earn the same wage as men for the same job. Across the board in many different levels of the work force. Not in all jobs, of course, or in every case. But it is a common, prevalent, and pervasive issue. Historically men were paid higher wages because it was believed they needed the higher income to support their families. Women did not. In addition to that women could be expected to need time off to take care of children or couldn’t be counted on to continue in a profession once they got married so employers didn’t want to invest in them. This is not ancient history.
      So that’s the truth of the matter. If you insist on going there patriarchy is the fault of white men. I agree with you completely. My finger is pointed directly at you –and you and you and you–whoever you are. And by fighting the progress of feminism/women’s rights, etc you are perpetuating it. Period. Whether you personally behave in any way that could be considered “sexist”. Is that what you wanted to hear? Someone to finally admit it? Consider it done.
      HOWEVER, you are MISSING THE ENTIRE POINT of this blog. Yourlesbianfriend is not interested in discussing who did what to whom. That is so sixth grade. This next wave of feminism is about moving past that. It’s not “whose fault is it?” It’s “what are we going to do about it?” Pointing fingers, assigning blame: WE ARE SO PAST THAT!!!
      And if you “lose respect” for yourlesbianfriend because her frustration with trying to make this point is so highly evident then shame on you. I am equally frustrated with your refusal to move beyond this whole defensive stance; a defensive stance that comes out of the corner attacking anyone who might possibly make you feel uncomfortable about your role in our culture. Give me a frickin’ break and get over yourself. It’s not about you. You are one tiny tiny speck in a huge macrocosm of history, culture, relationships, science and psychology.
      If you really care about this issue then, as a male, have some humility, compassion, openness, usefulnessand integrity in looking for solutions. If you don’t then stop raining on someone else’s parade and get on with your life.

      • @Cat

        You are completely missing my point. The author is saying that the blame has to be shared, which I COMPLETELY agree with. Yet, she wonders why men get so defensive. I am simply pointing out that the word she is using defines a target. If that is not your target, then change your word. Simple as that. If you don’t want men to be defensive about what you say, quit using words that by their very nature assign blame.

        How difficult is that? I am not disagreeing with what she is saying about moving away from a blame culture, merely pointing out that she is using a poor choice of words.

        Further, I do not believe that I tried to make this issue about me. The OP was confused as why men react the way they do to what she says, and I was merely explaining why. If you take issue with that, it is your right, and I really do not care as the comment was not directed at you in any way shape or form.

        Throughout all of the conversations I have had with the op, my position has always been one of equal assignment of blame when looking at the current state of affairs in the world because it is no longer a gender issue, it is a basic human rights and responsibility issue.

        • Ravaught, what other word would you choose? “Patriarchy” is the correct word. You don’t like that word but I have yet to see you make a suggestion for an alternative. Patriarchy is the correct word for the system that is in place, alive and well, in our society. When I said “it’s not about you” I meant to say that if you personally reject the term because you don’t think it accurately reflects how you are in the world (or whatever) then you can distance yourself from it. But you can’t really change the fact that it’s a term that is used in our language to accurately describe a system that is alive and well.

          • @Cat Blue

            That would depend, I suppose, on what you can actually define as the problem. Every time I have tried to pin down the particulars of the problem that the author is arguing against, I get evasive or non-committal answers.

            For example, recent articles from the article clearly place the problem at the feet of both men & women, yet, when pressed for some form of definite criteria on what particular power imbalance the she is addressing, I receive instead a dialog regarding the attitudes of parents towards gender roles in children, and gender roles in general.

            Well, gender roles are not, in and of themselves, a power imbalance. Likewise, a genderbased power imbalance can not be quantified rationally in modern society because a) the numbers simply do not justify the assertion, and b) there are many different types of power, and most feminist refuse to specify which form of power they are specifically referring to.

            A ‘patriarchy’ is a form of socio-political power, where men are the ruling authority inside the family and also in the larger societies political and economic arena. In these types of societies, women have few, if any, rights, such as the right to own property, vote, choose their mate, divorce their mate, perform military service, own or operate a business, or run for political office.

            Obviously, women have ALL of these rights, and more, in modern Western civilization. In fact, not only do they have those rights, there are actually laws, policies, and public programs in place that actually give them an advantage in many of these arenas. So, it is not just that I find the term insulting on a personal level, but also that the word is plain wrong in its usage because the system that it describes does not exist. If you want to see it in full force, I respectfully request that you spend a few years in the middle east, or certain parts of Southwest Asia and then re-evaluate your criteria.

            The short version is, if you want to find the right word, first you have to identify the problem that you are trying to fight. The OP has already plainly admitted that her intended target is nebulous and not restricted to one gender, so obviously a ‘patriarchy’ is not her target.

            For now, until I get a clearer definition of what exactly it is she is targeting, ‘cultural perspective’, ‘power imbalance’, ‘limited mindset’, or just good old fashioned ‘inequalities’ are all acceptable alternatives. The weakness in the OPs argument is that she admittedly restricts herself to one demographic, as if that one demographic somehow exists in a bubble independent from all other demographics. The broader view allows a much more balance approach because it enables us to set aside targeting demographics and focus on targeting actions or particular mindsets.

            Don’t like gender roles? Great! Targeting gender roles is a less offensive target because it tackles an actionable idea and mindset that can be changed. It also opens the door for civilized discussion on the moral and ethical ramifications of attempting to change that one aspect of civilization with the discussion spiraling into an endless diatribe of personal attacks. As a parent, I think I should have the right to raise my kids how I see fit, according to my own moral codes and ethical standards, and other people should get their nose out of my business. Raise your own kids how you like and leave mine to me.

            Don’t like the differential in the workplace populations? Great, we can discuss that, and perhaps actually get to the core of WHY some occupations have much lower gender or ethnic populations than others. Perhaps while anyone has the potential to be as good at anything as anyone else, psychological or biological imperatives tend to narrow the bandwidth of prospective employees interested in certain professions. It is no secret that jobs with greater gender differential are also reflected in university degree programs for that profession, supporting the concept that there is a differential because people of a particular demographic simply are not interested in doing that particular job.

            Don’t like salary discrimination? Great, we can discuss that, and I doubt you will find anyone, or very few at least, that will argue that salary discrimination is ok. Equal pay for equal work for equal pay. (Intentionally repeated) If you are paid as well, you are obligated to work as hard and held to the same standards, and if you meet that criteria, you deserve the equal pay.

            The point being, that if you declare what it is that you are actually targeting, society can have productive discourse and find a moderate path that navigates the issue without infringing on personal rights. In the end, the answers are all painfully simple, but people are painfully set in their ways and unlikely to change for any of our benefits.

          • OP here (always here reading, fyi). All of your repeated questions about what the problem is tell me that you truly care to understand. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt in assuming this. As I’m not a certified teacher, I recommend taking a Women’s and Gender Studies course at your local college or university or doing a good amount of second wave feminist reading, and taking the initiative to fill in the gaps in your education. Just because you can’t see the problems doesn’t mean they do not exist.

            The equal rights under the law you talk about have not always existed in this country, and some of them were instituted disturbingly recently. Our generation’s privilege is that we take laws for granted and don’t recognize how scarily close we were born to the outright oppression you have described. Much has changed and much has improved since women could not own property or vote, but laws do not equality make, as Jim Crow taught us (or should have).

            Patriarchy is an umbrella term for a variety of issues. It is not simple, as you continue to say, nor are the solutions. That is not a cop-out or a way to skirt the issues; it is an acknowledgement that hundreds of factors we might not see could be at work and a reminder that nothing that matters in life is easy. There is a reason we have a whole academic field devoted to these studies, and the reason is not that it is simple.

            If you believe yourself immune to gender bias and not contributing to patriarchy, fine. I don’t need to believe you. If patriarchy insults you than it insults me just as much. I hate that I might decide somebody is more credible or worthy because they are a man or that I might inadvertently teach my daughter to seek help while teaching my son to believe in himself and be self sufficient. I hate that potential for oppression in myself (that we all have unless we were born and raised under a rock), and that’s why I educate myself about the issues and stay always on alert. That is a choice I made because I hate the idea of patriarchy and am just as insulted as you are. The thing is, I learned at a young age that if I feel insulted by something, it is probably because I think it’s true. Basic psychology. Shakespeare penned it perfectly: “methinks the lady doth protest too much.”

            So do all of us (who you have been assaulting with wordy, unproductive, frustrating and unnecessary debates) a favor and either seek education from legitimate sources (no blog is one) or go away. Methinks you protest too much.

          • @yourlesbianfriend

            I’m glad you read it.

            A) I have not claimed, now nor ever, that equal rights have always existed.

            B) I do not claim that specific issues do not exist.

            C) I do not claim that in SOME cases, women do not face challenges that men do not, though I do assert that in MOST cases, it is not a matter of the nature of the challenge but rather the localization of the challenge. (Gender Roles, as mentioned previously, which I have discussed with you.)

            C) I have not claimed, now nor ever, that laws equal are the end all be all solution to inequalities that exist.

            D) If by ‘education from legitimate sources’ you mean ‘Women and Gender Studies’, no thank you, I prefer legitimate unbiased research. (Such as can be found in peer reviewed psychology, cultural anthropology, medical, and scientific journals.) I have studied formal psychology, along with Women and Gender Studies(required at my university a decade ago), and I found the whole thing rather uninspiring because of the significant bias and lack of peer-reviewed data sets to back up the assertions of the professors and texts. The texts did not even agree with themselves!

            E) Since honest, open, and critical discussion disturbs so greatly, I will indeed go else where.

            F) Protesting too much …That phase does cut both ways in this conversation. No? Or are you somehow immune to your own supposed ‘basic psychology’.

            G) Please enlighten me as to how addressing issues on a point by point no accusatory fashion is ‘assaulting you with wordy, frustrating, and unproductive debates? I will see any response you may deign to give in my email, but I will not ‘assault’ you further.

            Sincerely,
            Richard

  3. Pingback: Has feminism become a cult? | thegreatantagonizer·

  4. I would call these things traditional gender roles. There is no sense in patriarchy there is no -archy, no buildings, rulers, etc.

  5. I love this view of patriarchy!!! As a guy, its easy for me to think “I think of women as equal to men”, but a lot of those situations you point out could still easily happen because I wouldn’t have thought to look for patriarchy being perpetuated by women as well.

    Part of why this came so unexpectedly to me is that “patriarchy” does sound kind of man-blamey (I mentioned this in a comment on another post before I read this one). After reading your description of patriarchy, I know that this is not at all your approach. While it is probably the most accurate word choice, I do believe it may be doing you a disservice. As you said, both men and women contribute to patriarchy and they do so unknowingly. I think a corollary to this is that many of them do not think it is a problem. People who don’t think about patriarchy and hear about it at first could easily misinterpret your approach as blaming men. Naturally this would be off-putting for men (no one wants to be called the bad guy) and could put off women who recognize that finger pointing isn’t a solution.

    Ultimately you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place on word choice, and unfortunately I can’t contribute any suggestions, but it might be worth considering a new way of framing the same issue such that it gives a more accurate first impression

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