Patriarchy: A Response to marinashutup (Feminist Fridays)

So I was surfing around youtube, and I came across this intelligent, well spoken young lady, who has offered to explain to us how her version of patriarchy works.

Her name is “marinashutup”… which is a beautiful name.  And you can see the vid here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzFo150G4V8

Do go ahead and give it a watch, as we’ll be going through this heaping pile of grade A horse shit well thought out and articulate explanation, in our usual point by point fashion.

From the vid:

—– —–
Patriarchy is a social system that values masculinity over femininity.
—– —–

^^^ Notice how this definition is totally different from Everyday Feminism’s version.  Here, it’s a social system of values.  Before, it was a conspiratorial group of rich white men.

If women were just worthless property that could be so freely oppressed, why did THIS guy sacrifice his life so Rose could stay warm?

If women were just worthless property that could be so freely oppressed, why did THIS guy sacrifice his life so Rose could stay warm?

And these don’t necessarily preclude each other.  It’s possible to have rich white men without a system that values masculinity, and it’s possible to have a system that values masculinity without a bunch of rich white men.

But lets move on.

—– —–
This type of social system dictates that men are entitled to be in charge and dominate women, and implies that the natural state of gender relations is a dynamic of dominance and submission. According to patriarchal society, women are seen as weak, submissive, and an extension of men. The highest accomplishment a woman can hope to attain is marriage – heterosexual, of course – and child birthing.
—– —–

^^^ We can actually see a system that fits this description exactly in modern Syria, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. By contrast, developed first world nations are almost the exact opposite. They’re nothing like this.

Although even in undeveloped nations, the wording here doesn’t exactly fit. This makes it sound like men are all living high on the hog, while women are on their hands and knees constantly scrubbing something. Men in those nations are just as oppressed. They have greater power of agency because their lives are survival-oriented.  Men take greater power of agency, but also take a greater chance of being machine-gunned on their way to the store for a gallon of milk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ZIPLLERpKI – women were kept at home while this happened.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ironPIYIPYk – and this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGGQR4F3jkg – and this. (and I’ll keep saying – of course women are also attacked and brutalized. But the point is that in extremely rough situations, like the kind that happen every day in Syria, who’s more likely to come back from a gun fight? Who’s more disposable? Which one is less tragic to lose? The men. Just like how the loss of agency isn’t always a bad thing, the gain of agency ain’t always great either.)

—– —–
On the reverse end of the spectrum, men are expected to be physically and emotionally strong, dominating, and the breadwinner and protector of his family.
—– —–

^^^ Wanting to jump ahead for a moment. Related to this, the speaker later says:

—– —–
However, men face negative consequences of the patriarchy too. They’re expected to provide for their family, and face the pressure of being financially supportive.

Patriarchy perpetuates the idea that women need the protection of men, which is one of the ways that the patriarchy actually disadvantages men.

At many points in time, men have been legally forced by draft to fight in wars and risk their lives.
—– —–

^^^ When we use the word “patriarchy” in a context like this, it brings to mind a system that is somehow controlled by men, created by men, or at the very least, is strongly in favor of only men and disregards women.

If the patriarchy is an intelligently built system built by men, why would it hurt men? The concerns of women are extremely well heard, routinely broadcasted through all forms of media, and almost universally answered. The Wage Gap – which has absolutely no truth at all – still managed to get before the US Congress numerous times, and even recently appeared in the President Obama’s State of the Union address. Women have had laws passed specifically regarding only their interests, like the Violence Against Women Act. How is this possible if they were disregarded by a system that promotes only the interests of men, or “values masculinity over femininity”? Why would the patriarchy make it okay for a woman to hit a man in public (while everyone walks by and laughs), but downright horrid if a man even dares to say “God bless you” to a woman? Why would the patriarchy make it so that even when men call the police for help against domestic abuse, most of the time, it’s still the man that goes to jail?  See:

If women weren't valued, why in the hell is the knight down on his knee, swearing his allegiance to her?  If she is just a worthless piece of property, why do this?

If women weren’t valued, why in the hell is the knight down on his knee, swearing his allegiance to her? If she is just a worthless piece of property, why do this?

http://www.law.fsu.edu/Journals/lawreview/downloads/304/kelly.pdf

And here’s more:

https://nationalparentsorganization.org/blog/3977researcherwhathap3977

From the link:

—– —–
Of the abused men who called domestic violence hotlines, 64% were told that they “only helped women.” In 32% of the cases, the abused men were referred to batterers’ programs. Another 25% were given a phone number to call that turned out to be a batterers’ program. A little over a quarter of them were given a reference to a local program that helped. Overall, only 8% of the men who called hotlines classified them as “very helpful,” whereas 69% found them to be “not at all helpful.” Sixteen percent said the people at the hot line “dismissed or made fun of them.”
—– —–

Why would a patriarchy that values men over women do this?

If a building is on fire, how many people would rush in, risking their lives, to save Bob, the big fat bald-headed accountant?

How many would rush in to save Tammy, the bikini model? Almost everyone goes for the model – but why, when Bob is more valuable?

If a woman is inside her house naked, and a man walks by and looks in the window, he’s a peeping tom, and gets arrested. Yet if it’s a man inside the house naked and a woman walks by, it’s still the man who gets arrested. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JRdFf8qtSc .

If patriarchy were a top-down system designed and run by men, for men, where men are more valued, why would stuff like this constantly happen?

If patriarchy were a bottom-up system organically emergent and designed by no one, which places greater value on men or on women depending on the situation and circumstance, and was constructed by the situations our species evolved through, it would make perfect sense. But then… why call it “patriarchy”?

But back to the vid:

—– —–
Although the domination of women today might not be as bad as say, a couple hundred years ago, when women had no legal rights, and were considered their husband’s property, or even as bad as something you’d see on an episode of Mad Men, gender is still something that’s strictly enforced on people today.
—– —–

^^^ The notion of women being “oppressed for thousands of years” is a common trope in the 3rd Wave Narrative. Most historians do not accept the 3rd Waver narrative of history. In fact, in her book “When God Was a Woman“, Merlin Stone outlines numerous ancient civilizations that were matrilineal / matriarchal (the women were in charge), and explains the gradual transition of agency to men. As cultures met one another and began fighting for resources, men mobilized to do the fighting.

This worked out so well partly because they were physically stronger, and partly because they’re disposable. Merlin Stone cites author Robert Graves in his book, The Greek Myths, where he explained that ancient Greece was actually matrilineal, but this ended for the reasons I just described, sparked by an Achaean invasion in the 13th century BCE. The shift in agency from female to male in Greece at this time also coincided with the creation of the “father god” known as Zeus, and later Jupiter.  This is where the greater agency came from, which remained after the establishment of nation states and trade routes, and direct fighting over immediate resources did not happen as often.

What’s more, this shift of agency didn’t exclude women completely, and didn’t mean life was necessarily better for men. In the middle ages, everyone was oppressed. It is simply not the case that women had to stay home, and men could go on all sorts of adventures like what you’d see in Dragon Warrior. Serfs had to work the land, day in, day out, through rain, sleet, or snow. Vassals, or knights, had to whoop their asses and collect taxes. They had to give those taxes to the Lords, who in turn had to constantly appease the king or queen (yes, a woman was sometimes at the very top of the chain). Everyone had a strict role they had to be happy with. And if they weren’t happy, well that’s just tough turkey.

If women had no power at all, how do you explain this picture?

If women had no power at all, how do you explain this picture?

In fact, we even get the word “blackmail” from this time period. Silver coins and currency were called “white mail”, cuz, you know, they were shiny. But if a peasant / serf didn’t have enough change on him, then when the tax man cometh, he could arbitrarily, right on the spot, decide how many chickens, pigs, and cows he wanted (which were called “black mail”, probably because they weren’t as shiny as pennies and coins). He could say 2 chickens and a pig were enough to cover the money he owes. Or he could say 10 cows and 5 horses. He could say whatever he wanted – so you pay up, or I could end up taking everything. This happened so often (and only to men, since they’re the ones who were responsible for paying taxes), that “blackmail” became a word.

The women were inside busy not being men, and not having their asses blackmailed.

Because life sucked for everyone.

Also, if you’d like a look at the everyday lives of women in the middle ages, there are in fact history books written on the subject. There’s a good one to read here (sorry for the long URL):

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Z4SL2X3uHEAC&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=women+in+phy sical+labour+england+middle+ages&source=bl&ots=kkkVIF5sEK&sig=pz2slCKq4pL4aCOwtSsr5n EnrN0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HQxDVJb4O9PVaoLagbAP&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=wome n%20in%20physical%20labour%20england%20middle%20ages&f=false

A passage from the book:

Peasant women’s work was very similar regardless of whether they were un-free or free, welloff or poor. For women living in the towns, on the other hand, the types of work available depended in large part on the status of the families to which they belonged. The very wealthiest townswomen, the wives of successful merchants, enjoyed high status, and did little physical labor.”

It’s pretty much what you’d expect. Most people, both men and women, simply trying to get by in a feudal society. What you unsurprisingly won’t find is how amazingly wonderful life was for all men everywhere because they walked about beating and oppressing women every few minutes. Because penis.

—– —–
In patriarchal societies today, cis-gender men are typically valued over cis-gender women. However, the system forces people into strict boxes called gender roles, and gender roles hurt everybody. If someone was assigned a certain gender at birth doesn’t fit into the social norms expected of that gender they’re often ostracized by society.
—– —–

As someone who lived as a man for 33 years, and who has been living as a woman for almost 2 years, I can say first hand that this is total bunk.  As a man, I was expected to survive on my own, or die trying.  Hungry?  Get a job!  Tired?  Tough shit!  Homeless?  LOL LOSER!

Now that I’m a woman, this is all totally different.  Hungry?  Lets go get something to eat.  Tired?  It’s okay sweety, go lay down.  Homeless?  You can stay with us for a while.

That men are valued over women is being stated as if it’s already been proven as fact, when it isn’t. We need facts and evidence.  Otherwise I could say the exact opposite – “cis-gender women are typically valued over cis-gender men”, and with no evidence, it would be equally true.

It’s extremely unfortunate if a woman ever feels as though she’s being marginalized. And as I’ve said, and will continue to say, a person’s feelings are always important. But “important” does not mean “in line with reality”. When dealing with social theory, we’re dealing with a science. We require facts and evidence before we can build anything that even remotely resembles proof, and then your proof has to be falsifiable, or it still isn’t science.

In regards to gender roles, I love being a woman. I love everything about being a woman – from how I’m treated, to how I’m seen, to how I feel. If gender roles hurt everyone, how am I being hurt? It’s very possible the speaker is referring only to the unfair enforcement of such roles, though the wording on this point is ambiguous at best.

It is true that trans people have been ostracized, but why would an intelligently designed system do this? What possible benefit is there for the designers (men)? Again, it makes more sense if this were an emergent system that came about on its own with no precise designer, the way all cultures come about (similar to the way living organisms developed through evolution). I’ve referred to the study of emergence in other writings. See: http://necsi.edu/guide/concepts/emergence.html

If women are seen as less valued, why did the husband of Mumtaz Mahai have one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, the Taj Mahal, built just for her?

If women are seen as less valued, why did the husband of Mumtaz Mahai have one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, the Taj Mahal, built just for her?

It’s also important to note that trans people are not universally ostracized everywhere, as you would expect if patriarchy had infiltrated the minds of everyone on some subconscious level, or were prevalent everywhere we looked. Recently, I stopped into a restaurant on my way home to use the restroom. A very uneducated employee decided to walk over, hold the restroom door open, and bellow out loud asking if I was really a woman. When I got home, I posted about this on my facebook, then went to sleep. When I woke up, I had a veritable Facebook Army of supporters – not one, but TWO civil rights agencies – and a local news agency that was considering doing a story on this.

I woke up to what was basically my Personal Army, and started feeling sorry for the restaurant! One person said one thing to one transperson, and the entire city is up in arms over it.

So does patriarchy just not exist in Portland? Does it exist but it can’t enforce its own rules? If I’m universally oppressed, how exactly did all that happen? I think is more accurate that maybe the treatment of trans people simply has other causes, largely related to prejudice and a lack of education.

Later, the speaker says:

—– —–
Patriarchy isn’t solely male perpetuated. Even though everyone is negatively affected by the patriarchy, the patriarchy is perpetuated by everybody.
—– —–

^^^ So if men and women both are responsible for keeping it going… why is it called “patriarchy”???

And why do they call it Apple Jacks if it doesn’t taste like apple…

—– —–
In the past 100 years or so, we’ve seen a loosening of gender roles for women, but not so much for men. Women can act or dress in a more masculine fashion with less repercussions than if a man were to act or dress in a feminine way. This stems from the valuing of feminine traits over masculine traits, and the association of femininity with weakness [Note: I’m sure she meant “valuing of masculine traits over feminine traits”, and just misspoke.]
—– —–

^^^ So to be clear, women are allowed to dress and act like men, while men aren’t allowed to dress and act like women.

This fact in itself does not automatically, in some a-priori way, suggest the conclusion given as for why it’s happening. For example, “all bachelors are unmarried” is an a-priori statement, because no outside information is needed to confirm the truth of the statement. Bachelors are, by definition, unmarried.

But women being allowed to assume masculine gender roles does not suggest, on its own, that the reason for this is that femininity is viewed as weak. It could just as easily be asserted that women have greater privileges than men, are more valued, and thus less likely to be policed. If a man dresses like a woman, it’s okay to yell, scream, and hit him. If a woman dresses like a man, a normal, non-psychotic man, does not want to yell and scream at a woman, or hit her. She’s privileged, and has more options.

Later, the speaker also says:

—– —–
As for women, they’ve been discouraged by a society that doesn’t see them fit for combat from enlisting in the military.
—– —–

Again, this is not a-priori information. It is just as possible that westerners can’t stand the thought of their mothers and daughters being gunned down or bayonetted. Because men are seen as disposable, it’s okay if they get shot to pieces. This is an equally valid conclusion that’s better supported by other data, but of course only one narrative is allowed by the 3rd Wave.

—– —–
It’s more okay for a woman to act like a man, or whatever that means, than it is for a man to act like a woman. However, the patriarchy doesn’t just hurt cis-women and cis-men. It also hurts trans identities, and anyone who doesn’t identify with the gender binary. Being transgender is almost the ultimate slap-in-the-face to patriarchy and gender roles. A lot of the transphobia we see is based in sexism and the fact that someone is refusing to stay in the gender box that society puts them in.
—– —–

Donning armor, riding into battle, risking life and limb, fighting furiously to your last breath… all because she’s worthless property and not valued as much as a man.  Got it.

Donning armor, riding into battle, risking life and limb, fighting furiously to your last breath… all because she’s worthless property and not valued as much as a man. Got it.

We also see a vast amount of hatred towards trans people coming from TERFs. This means it’s just as possible for women, who are fanatically opposed to the concept of patriarchy, to still hate trans people. I’ve also had girlfriends before who were not TERFs, but were feminist, and still transphobic.  I’ve known heterosexual white cis-men, the horrible demons of hell that they are, be totally cool with my transition, and have completely respected me and gave me total support.  This again indicates some other mechanism responsible for what we see (like simple prejudice and lack of education).

In other words, transphobia is not necessarily proof of the existence of patriarchy. It’s possible to be transphobic without it. As I said earlier, the treatment of trans people (and virtually every other item mentioned so far) appears to have other reasons that are better supported besides “patriarchy”, or “because penis”.

This does not in any way dismiss or lessen the importance of trans issues! Those issues are extremely important, which is why it’s equally important to ensure, through scientific inquiry, that we properly understand the cause. A better understanding means a better fix for the problem, with shorter recovery times and fewer side effects. It sucks to be the doctor who treats a patient’s liver problem for years, only to find out her liver was fine, and one of her kidneys had failed.

I would also like to point out a mumble the speaker says, almost under her breath, in the first line. “. . . to act like a man, or whatever that means”. This hints that the speaker is aware that gender roles are in some cases arbitrary, and in all cases, are only a social construct.

So it’s a bit confusing when the speaker says later:

—– —–
And the women who do reach positions of power often have to assert masculine qualities in order to be respected in their position.
—– —–

Because there is nothing at all masculine about speaking firmly, having direct eye contact, and being decisive. It’s perfectly fine for a woman to act this way, and she’s not less of a woman because of it.

What’s more, I could point out numerous examples of women who have outrageous levels of power and influence, who do not use any masculine qualities to be respected. Oprah comes to mind. Hillary Clinton is another. Sarah Palin was very nearly the Vice President of the United States – knew utterly nothing about the position or about politics in general – and was as womanly as they come.

On the other hand, Richard Simmons, anyone? Would you consider that guy “masculine”? Because he is one of the most prominent figures in the fitness industry.

Aside from that, is there in fact any actual way to measure the amount of masculinity and / or femininity needed in the first place, for a man or woman to maintain something as vague and ill-defined as “being respected” without relying on personal experience and anecdotal examples?

—– —–
Can we talk about the harmful things that the patriarchy perpetuates, because there are a lot of them.
—– —–

*sigh*…… we haven’t even shown that the patriarchy EVEN EXISTS YET!!!  But sure.  Go on.

—– —–
Women are less likely to hold positions of power. There are only 27 females CEOs on the Fortune 1,000, and only 18.5% of congress is occupied by women. You might say women should run, or start their own companies, but this ignores the reality that women have to face large amounts of discrimination and harassment, because their gender is seen as less powerful, or less credible.
—– —–

See the discussion on the Wage Gap.  According to feminist research, women do not run for office because they do not choose to run.  There is nothing stopping a woman from running for office.  Otherwise how the hell did the current female politicians in congress get elected?

I’d also like to take a moment to point something else out.

If you’re a man, and you work in the medical field:

– If you work as an orderly…………lol omg loser!
– If you work as a nurse’s aid…….lol omg loser!
– If you work as a nurse………….. lol omg loser!!!
– If you work as a doctor………… Okay, acceptable. But only as long as you keep working yourself to the bone, non-stop, to prove your worth.

And then something interesting happens when this social stigma finally pushes more than a few men to the forefront: Typical! Men are always in charge!”

However…

If you’re a woman, and you work in medicine:

– If you work as an orderly……….. You go girl!
– If you work as a nurse’s aid…… You go girl!
– If you work as a nurse…………… You go girl!
– If you work as a doctor………….. You go girl!

Why would this happen if Patriarchy were real?

Why would this happen if Patriarchy were real?

As the speaker mentioned before, men have the pressure of being the breadwinner, and supporting their family. Women don’t. Men must succeed. Women can, but don’t have to. So why is it so shocking that there are more male CEOs? How does this amount to men getting ahead because “masculinity is more valued than feminimity”?

Women aren’t running businesses because of harassment? You mean if I went down to the registrar right now and asked to file for a DBA license, the guy behind the desk would point, laugh, and say “You can’t do that, you’re a girl!”?

A common response is “No, it’s more subtle than that”. But you can’t use that to move the goalpost every time your claim fails against inquiry. You need to start off by including that it’s “more subtle” in your original statement, or giving specific examples. What kind of discrimination and harassment are we talking about? According to the speaker, it has to be related to me being viewed as less powerful or less credible somehow. After living full time as a woman for a year and a half now, and after living 33 years as a man, I have not ever felt anyone treat me or see me that way. In fact, if anecdotal evidence meant anything, as a woman, my opinions and input are more important than when I was a man. People listen to me more now than they did before.

I had the pleasure of working for the Democratic Party of Oregon this season. I got an up-close and personal look at how politics are done, and I can assure you that women do not face more discrimination or harassment than do men. In politics, it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman. The opposing side has people who research your entire life, and will drag out into the open any disreputable thing you’ve ever said or done.

Women typically value their privacy enough that they don’t want this to happen. That’s partly why they choose not to run. It’s why I will never run for office. Never. Not in a million years. But a choice is a choice… if I really wanted to, I could brave the storm, and go for it anyway. That’s the power of agency. I could put myself out there and try. I will not be harassed any more than anyone else would be who applied for the job.

I’m willfully choosing not to engage. Because it’s too hard. I don’t want to do it, and that’s perfectly okay.

But I’m not gonna then turn around and claim women don’t run for office because we’re all oppressed somehow.

If patriarchy is a fact-based conclusion, then I shouldn’t be able to find multiple, equally valid explanations that are better supported by actual research at each and every turn along the way.

Besides women not being as pressured to succeed, and being congratulated no matter where they fall along the spectrum (and hence not as many female CEOs), it’s worth mentioning that the avenues to success are greater for women.

What do I mean by that?

As a man, I had only one avenue when it came to getting a job. I had to be better qualified, and able to work harder, than the next candidate for the same position.

As a woman, I have two avenues when it comes to getting a job. I can be better qualified and able to work harder, =OR=, I can just look really pretty.

For some strange reason, you never hear *THESE* kind of women complain about being judged on their bodies.

For some strange reason, you never hear *THESE* kind of women complain about being judged on their bodies.

Batting my eyes, showing some cleavage, and speaking softly makes getting a job a hell of a lot easier. A man can’t do any of that. You might say it’s sexist, but when I get the job, then get the promotion, then get put in charge, then buy a car, a house, and then drive down town to visit the guy who’s still on the streets looking for work, it becomes extremely difficult to view this as in any way unfair towards me. Women may be “judged” this way, but that only means that women are able to “win” this way too. In fact, in her book “What Would Judy Say: Be The Hero of Your Own Story”, Judge Judy says:

“Let’s be real. I understand that as women we want to be respected for our abilities and our intellects. But the idea that we should all treat each other as if we are neutered, genderless creatures is just plain silly. I say to women—and to men, too—use all of your assets. I find it disingenuous for women to wear short skirts, high heels, and flattering sweaters and then complain because men look at them.

“I figured this out as a lawyer because there are few places that so rely on personal appeal as a courtroom. Use my feminine wiles? Damn right! It’s not just women who do this. I remember going to see Jerry when he was a lawyer. He was delivering his summation to the jury—six men and six women. Jerry cut a cute figure and I saw him unbutton his jacket, put his hands in his pockets, and strut back and forth. He was working that jury like a hooker on a street corner. He probably would have won anyway, but he was using his assets—all of them.”

But back to the speaker:

—– —–
Women are more likely to be sexually assaulted than men. Women generally do much more of their share of parenting than men do because of gender expectations, also while working a job.
—– —–

Depending on where you look, women may be statistically more likely to be sexually assaulted outright (and I’ll get into this again later). But is that because of this patriarchy? If so, it would seem to imply that most men think it’s okay to sexually assault a woman, and we have well established evidence that this isn’t the case (see the discussion on rape culture) and no supporting evidence to the contrary.  Most statistics currently show that it’s a very small portion of men committing assaults against women, and that sexual assaults also occur rather often in lesbian relationships which make up a large chunk of the data. See https://mainweb-v.musc.edu/vawprevention/lesbianrx/factsheet.shtml. It does not logically follow that patriarchy is responsible for sexual assaults.

I remember growing up as a kid in Louisiana, and being told repeatedly that it was not okay to hit girls, even if they hit you. How is it that this message was so loud, so strong, and made clear in so many different ways, in a patriarchy that says it’s okay to hurt women?

Women are not required to do more parenting than men. This is a choice women make. At least some power of agency must be considered.

Women may have to work a job while also helping to take care of the household, but this is an economic issue that affects men too. In 1960, the average job paid 33 dollars per hour by today’s money, and the largest employer was General Motors. Clearly, somewhere, something went horribly wrong, and now both parents have to work 2 jobs full time if they expect to eat – but this has nothing to do with patriarchy.

What’s more, and as it is with all points so far, the speaker does not cite where she got her statistics from. But here are some additional points to consider.

As far as domestic violence goes, men and women receive similar treatment.

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_298904.pdf – from the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics, this shows some mixed information. In some categories, men experience more violence, while in other categories, it’s women.

https://mainweb-v.musc.edu/vawprevention/lesbianrx/factsheet.shtml – from the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center, and the University of Missouri, St Louis. Up to 45% of women in lesbian relationships report physical violence. Up to 50% report sexual abuse. Psychological abuse is as high as 90%.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1854883/ – from the US National Library of Medicine, and the National Institutes of Health. This shows that women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of cases.

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00978098 – from the Journal of Family Violence. According to the study: “Criminal statistics indicate a relatively low proportion of women among violent offenders in the public domain, while in the domestic and/or private domain statistics reflect almost no gender difference in violent behavior.”

http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm – from the Department of Psychology, California State University. This is a meta-analysis (considered the strongest form of analysis in science), indicating that women are just as violence in relationships, if not more violent, than men.

http://www.saveservices.org/2012/02/cdc-study-more-men-than-women-victims-of-partner-abuse/ – From the CDC: “Men were also more often the victim of psychological aggression and control over sexual or reproductive health. Despite this, few services are available to male victims of intimate partner violence.”

Yet, despite all this, violence against women is given top priority, while violence against men is laughed at. In fact, during the 2015 Grammy Awards, President Obama made a speech, wherein he stated: “Today we can change our culture for the better; by ending violence against women and girls . . . it’s not okay, and it has to stop”. Nothing about domestic violence, which would include both – no, only violence against women and girls is a problem.

So f*ck men and boys I guess.

In a patriarchy.

Where they’re more valued.

This appears to be the consensus in nearly everywhere you look; from newspapers, to scholarly publications and peer reviewed research journals, all the way up to massive, worldwide, global organizations like the United Nations; every voice, everywhere, unanimously denounces violence against women, with a fist-shaking flag-waving sense of holy righteousness.

It seems bewildering and dumbfounding that 1) women can be responsible for their fair share of violence towards men, 2) despite this, violence against women takes priority anyway, and with these two in place, the conclusion is 3) there’s a social system at work that promotes or endorses violence against women!

There is never an excuse for violence on any level, and initiation of violence is always wrong. No one is disputing that. The claim here is that a social system, owned and operated, at least on some level, by men, which is somehow involved with promoting greater violence against women, when reality shows the exact opposite happening; violence against women is unwaveringly denounced.

—– —–
Women are also less likely to be seen as criminals and are incarcerated at lower rates than men.  This is because women aren’t seen as dangerous.
—– —–

^^^ I’m starting to notice how absolutely everything is conveniently interpreted in only one direction.

double standard drinking

If you’re a woman and you get drunk, then have sex, you were raped. If you’re a man and you get drunk, then have sex, you’re a rapist.

If women have the privilege of wearing either men’s or women’s clothes, it’s because being a woman is seen as weak.

If women are discouraged from taking a job where their sole purpose is to kill or be killed, it’s because they’re seen as not worthy.

If women get off easy for doing the same crime a man does, it’s because they’re not seen as dangerous.

I can’t help but notice this same exact “either-or” at work in multiple other areas. If you hold a door open for a woman – how insulting, I’m a woman not a child! If you don’t hold a door open – yea because of your male privilege.

If you tell a woman she’s ugly, you’re a self-conceited asshole who doesn’t respect women. If you tell a woman she’s pretty, you’re harassing her.

If a man gets promoted instead of a woman, it’s because men are more valued. If a woman gets promoted instead of a man, it’s only because of sexist corporate culture.

These are all examples of what happens when you start with the story, then work backwards to find facts.

Finally:

—– —–
And when they are convicted of these crimes, the defense claims that they must be mad because they’re going against their natural “womanly” instincts.
—– —–

I was not able to find any instances where this was a commonly used defense for women on trial for violent crimes, although I’m sure this isn’t because the speaker is just making shit up as she goes to support her narrative. I will point out that even if this was the case, the defense’s job is to get their clients off the hook, and this often means trying to elicit sympathy from a judge or jury.

Finally, just a word of advice, if you don’t share and subscribe… I’ll feel bad about myself, and start passive-aggressively blaming you by coming up with convoluted pseudo-academic “theories” that are totally baseless and have no evidence, but will repeatedly cast YOU as the villain in every imaginable situation, and if you don’t agree with me, it only proves how right I am.

SO SHARE AND SUBSCRIBE!  Or you’ll be a great big ol cis-hetero male who hates women.  :~(

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Patriarchy: A Response to Everyday Feminism

As I mentioned in “Is Feminism a Religion“, Third Wavers have their sacred dogmatic tenents which cannot be questioned.  And of course, this site is dedicated in part to questioning each and every one of them (making me one of the few hardline feminist constantly accused of being an MRA).  So far, we’ve covered Rape Culture, The Wage Gap Myth (which is also here and here), Sexual Objectification Theory, and Male Privilege.

That means there’s only one left that we haven’t addressed yet: Patriarchy!

This is a very important sacred tenant for Third Wavers, because it’s the one that ties all other tenents together.  White heterosexual cis-men are able to create rape culture, the wage gap, sexual objectification, and male privilege because of the Patriarchy!  It’s the keystone that holds everything else together and allows circular reasoning.  For example, we know male privilege is real because of the patriarchy, and patriarchy is what allows male privilege to happen.

As with most religions, there are different interpretations and definitions of what patriarchy means, and how it works.  You might think this is strange, because if patriarchy were really real, why would there be so many different definitions and stories of how it works?  But that’s the point – it isn’t real.  It’s part of a belief system.  If we’re trying to justify the Wage Gap, we’ll use the story of patriarchy one way.  If we want to make women look less valued, we’ll use it another way.  For that reason, we can’t respond to Patriarchy all at one go, like we could with objectification or rape culture.  Here, we’ll respond to each different version of Patriarchy as we find them.

For today, we’ll explore Everyday Feminism’s explanation of Patriarchy.Patriarchy aliens

Everyday Feminism boasts a viewership of 4.5 million monthly visitors, according to their About page. In the last 2 years, they’ve received 12 million unique users, and their articles have been read over 33 million times.

Their claim is to help people heal from, and stand up to, everyday violence, discrimination, and marginalization through applied intersectional feminism. This is quite a claim. What’s more, with that level of viewership and support, this is a source that indicates a relevant amount of public consensus. They even go so far as to offer online courses in feminism.

You can see the post here:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/05/patriarchy-and-how-it-shows-up-for-everyone/

From the link:

—– —–
Although most of us know what patriarchy is — a system of domination by which the wealthy, white, male ruling class has authority over everyone else — few of us understand how it plays out in our everyday lives.
—– —–

As a woman, I don’t feel dominated. At all. Ever. I walk around town, and I never feel this way. I can shop where I want, I can spend money on anything I want, I can hold any job I want. I get paid just as much as men do. At the Portland Rescue Mission, when it’s time to eat, all the men in the Mission stand aside, and let all the women eat first. Whenever I get to the end of the checkout line at the same time as someone else, they always smile, and let me go first. Whenever I drop something, if there’s a man nearby, his automatic reflex is to help pick it up for me.

You could of course assign all sorts of completely unknowable reasons to each of these things, without ever having known or met the people doing them.  If your narrative tells you that I absolutely must, somehow, someway, be the victim, then certainly I’m being allowed to eat first because everyone hates me, I’m allowed first in the checkout line because I’m weak, and people pick things up for me because I’m horrible. Or evil. I forget which.

I suppose with that same mentality then, it’s possible to say I’m “dominated”.

And the male ruling class has authority?

So… the simple act of being male, gives someone authority? Having a penis gives you power? It’s hard for me to relate, having been a man, and simultaneously working myself to the point of collapse multiple times over the last 10 years all so I could buy just barely enough food to keep me alive until the next week. I can’t recall the number of female bosses I had during that time, or how utterly vicious some of them were.

Of course it’s different to say “those in charge are male”, instead of saying “being male puts you in charge”. Because then it’s totally possible that the ones who were horse whipped by such societal expectations as “you’re not good enough unless you’re the best” and “second place is first to lose”, are the ones that simply work longer hours, seek out harder challenges, and take more risks, and are simply the ones who finished first, like what every independent study into the matter has confirmed.

But they don’t dominate me, and they don’t have any authority over me. Rich CEOs can’t force me to buy anything. Politicians are kept in check by the general public. We’ll riot and protest if they go too far out of line. The fact that they’re male makes no difference – what if Sarah Palin were president? Would we see less oppression, or more of it? Or how bout Michelle Bachman? How bout a whole senate full of women like that?

I believe it was Indira Gandhi, who was prime minister of India in 1984, who ordered a raid that ended up killing thousands of Sikhs, and Queen Mary of England burned nearly 3 times as many people alive than did King Henry the VIII.

Of course, neither of those, or any of the other hundreds of female tyrants I could name committed those acts because they were female. Sometimes the issues were complex, and involved multiple interconnected factors with unforeseeable outcomes, and sometimes they were just idiots. It doesn’t reflect bad on “women in power”.

Game Theory is a study of how people make decisions in social situations. See http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/whatis.htm . It raises an interesting question; would the decisions and outcomes really be that different if it were women, instead of men, that were involved? Would the outcome be better, or worse? Perhaps they would be better in some ways, and worse in other ways? Would we still say they “dominated our lives” simply because they were women, and not because they actually affected anything in my day to day life?

But anyway, the article promises to tell us of how it does impact our daily lives. So let’s move ahead.

—– —–
We may even think of it as something that existed a long time ago in the United States, during the days of the Puritans when women were property of their husbands and were being accused of witchcraft and hanged.
—– —–

And men were dipped in boiling tar and feathered, so as to be humiliated in their final moments as their skin came off due to third degree burns? I’m sure this won’t be the last time we hear it implied that only women were oppressed, while all the men were out being awesome. Because penis.

—– —–
It’s like how some may say that racism is no longer an issue because we’re past the days of Jim Crow laws and the extreme, hate-based activism of the KKK (even though they’re still active today).
—– —–

We will never see a day when racism just does not happen. But there’s a difference between it being endorsed by the state, a culture at large that’s ignored by the state, and then finally outlawed by the state. We currently have a black president. Surely, we are not going to compare modern day America to living in Mississippi during the 1950s and actually say they’re the same exact thing.

—– —–
And women aren’t the only ones who suffer under this everyday patriarchy. Everyone does. Because patriarchy demands that those in power conform to a specific set of rules — ones that require the suppression of feelings, and include a lack of empathy.
—– —–

So even the ones in power have to conform? I thought they basically *were* the patriarchy!…

So then, this patriarchy… it must be above all else, even them! From whence does it come? What group of men are causing it? It has to be a group of men involved here, else it wouldn’t be called “patriarchy”. Plus that was the definition given earlier; it was defined as a system where rich white men controlled everyone else. But now it’s also controlling them!!!

This is so big… it goes even higher than we ever expected.

In actual fact, suppression of feelings comes from gender expectations, not patriarchy. And those gender expectations have a very complex system of causes that stretch back for thousands of years and involve multiple different cultural influences, many of which were concerned with the need for survival. That’s why even the so-called Patriarchy is affected by them.

Again, these gender roles were a product of survival, at a time when men risked greater agency and were “in charge”, for what it was worth. Just because we still have gender roles doesn’t mean that men still have any special privilege.

But back to the article.

—— —–
Most of us are aware of the obvious ways in which patriarchy plays out in the workplace: women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar and occupy just 15% of upper management positions and less than 4% of CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies.  In other words, the workplace is still dominated by men.
—– —–

Remember how I said at the beginning that Patriarchy was used to hold all the other claims together?  Well, here’s a fine example.  The wage gap happens because of the patriarchy.  And patriarchy is what causes the wage gap.

—– —–
And the higher up the corporate ladder a man climbs, the more he is expected to conform to the patriarchal expectations within the good ole’ boys’ club: he must commit 100% of himself to the job, refrain from outward displays of emotion, and be completely reliable at all times.
—— —–

These guys are working on a bridge that thousands of people will drive over each day.  I *INSIST* they be as reliable as humanly possible.

These guys are working on a bridge that thousands of people will drive over each day. I *INSIST* they be as reliable as humanly possible.

Um, no. These are expectations that generally apply to any employee at any company. It’s not part of a good ole’ boys’ club. Every place you work at wants your 100% while you’re on the job. Every place wants you to keep your cool when dealing with irate customers, and be “completely reliable at all times”.

Before I move on, I have to let that one sink in a bit. Patriarchy demands you be “reliable at all times”. Really? Thank God for patriarchy then. If I’m running a company (which I’ve done a few times before), I definitely want this from my employees. When you’re off the clock, go home, enjoy yourself, and rest up. But when you’re on the clock, I expect you to do your job and yes, believe it or not, I want you to be “reliable at all times”.

Dammit, turns out I’m part of the patriarchy!

—– —–
In other words, he sheds his humanity and becomes the company’s robot.
—– —–

I seriously have to wonder if the author has ever worked for a company before.

—– —–
As a result of his commitment to this patriarchal culture, the man may become controlling and dominant when placed into a management position, thus being less sensitive to the needs of his employees and coworkers.
—– —–

Most of the managers I’ve had in my life were women. And let me tell you one thing; if you were late to work, they were not going to sit there and be sensitive to your needs! Hell hath no fury like that of a woman, who’s your boss, when you’re late for work.

I can’t recall how many female managers bitched me out because I was not able to stand up for long periods of times due to my feet being in pain (I’m disabled and have a condition with my feet). I got shouted at a lot. They didn’t care how much pain I was in. They fired me just as soon as it became apparent that I was “going to have problems”, like my feet hurting so bad that I couldn’t walk. But then this isn’t patriarchy, or matriarchy, or any other social theory I could conjure up to help validate my feeling of anger and resentment. This was a woman plainly not understanding that I have a disability, and drawing from her life experience that when someone says their feet hurt, they’re just complaining and being lazy. Unfortunately, there’s no system to blame. I have a disability that not many people are going to notice, or know how to address.

Other than that, I’m really not sure what to say… the idea that a manager of a company is not supposed to be controlling really does make me wonder if the author has ever worked before. It is completely true that there are better styles of management. Most management coaches now recommend that instead of “being over” your employees, you “get under them”; facilitative management is currently promoted as the most effective style. This is where you become the floor that your employees work upon, and give them support while they make the decisions. You become their foundation, and allow them to grow.

But again, failure to adopt this as a widespread method has nothing to do with patriarchy. Having the social skills, emotional intelligence, and cognitive awareness to let your employees totally disagree with you, when you’re supposed to be “the manager”, and not get in a power struggle, is difficult due to basic psychology, not patriarchy. There’s no system at work here. Nearly every person from every culture all around the world, regardless of gender, will feel defensive once they’ve been given a management position, and an employee disagrees with them.

—– —–
The woman manager, on the other hand, may feel obligated to fill the traditional female role in the workplace patriarchy — sensitive to the needs of others, more emotional, and more team oriented.
—— —–

Next paragraph…

—– —–
And while the gendered female role may seem like the most appropriate for workplace interaction in order to build teamwork and create a comfortable environment, it can have detrimental effects.
—— —–

Continue…

—– —–
Because when a woman takes on the traditional female role in corporate culture, she undermines her ability to assert control over her team and her environment. She is seen as weak and is less likely to be promoted.
—– —–

Coming up with a hypothetical one-dimensional person to show what they “might do” in your own imaginative situation, using that to illustrate how adhering to strict gender roles is always adverse, then presenting that as evidence for an overall dominating social system, is probably why “patriarchy” almost never appears in serious academic literature.

A “woman might” do X, which is related to the thing you don’t like, and is bad.

But then a woman might not do X, and if she does, X is not always necessarily bad. She doesn’t always have to do X either. People usually have more than one option in how to go about their lives, and often a person has different sides to them. They play multiple roles throughout the day: as a mother, teacher, caregiver, employee, daughter, sister, best friend, adviser, etc – and play each of those roles differently based on the situation.

It’s also being implied here that all gender roles are basically either caused by, or are the same as, patriarchy. This is simply not true. I love being a woman, but I’m not doing so because of any patriarchal influence. Most women who deeply enjoy being women aren’t doing so because of – by the authors own definition – “a system of domination by which the wealthy, white, male ruling class has authority over everyone else”. Men enjoy being men with or without authority of any sort. I’ve met California surfer beach dudes who were genuinely at peace with everyone, who liked being beach bums, who were happy to be dudes.

But the author seems to be insisting that gender roles are somehow necessarily connected to a system of white-male domination, and then suggesting that only her narrowly interpreted outcomes are possible.

—– —–
Children are at the bottom of the family hierarchy when it comes to the power structure within the family. Often, they are controlled instead of being treated as an equal participant.

Now, I’m not saying we should let our children control us. What I’m saying is that we should give children a voice. We should make them active participants in the family structure and communicate with them. We should let them express their opinions.
—– —–

This seems to be turning into a game of finding something you don’t like, then calling it Patriarchy.

You know how that guy in the theater answer’s his phone in the middle of the movie? Patriarchy. You know that guy who does curls off the squat rack? Patriarchy. And how bout that dude who takes the entire salt shaker over to his table, then leaves it there? Yea, that’s definitely patriarchy.

Honestly, people controlling their kids is patriarchy? So what do you call it when people *don’t* control their kids? Probably patriarchy. Find something you don’t like, and that’s the name you give it.

But yes, kids should be empowered on a level that’s reasonable for them, and given options. That’s a very good idea. Probably this idea came about through experiments conducted with families and children… in the male-dominated psychiatric and mental healthcare industry.

—– —–
Sometimes women compare themselves to other women.

We may be envious of another woman’s great hair, awesome sense of style, high IQ, or assertiveness. If we’re straight, we may even be envious that other guys pay more attention to her than they do to us.
—– —–

A bit later…

—– —–
This competition among the female sex stems from a time when a woman had to focus on being as attractive as possible to find a good husband to provide for her —during a time when most women didn’t work outside the home and relied on men to support them.

It’s like that scene in Titanic when Rose’s mother is trying to convince her to stay with the wealthy Cal Hockley instead of running off with poor boy Jack Dawson: “He’s a good match, Hockley. He will ensure our survival.”

And while that may have been true in 1912, it’s not the case 100 years later.
—– —–

So the author has done well to both identify a behavior, and explain its origins. So what comes next?

—– —–
Women need to stop reinforcing patriarchal mandates that require competition amongst each other and start forming relationships that build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
—– —–

Feelings of envy and competition may be a result stemming from our evolutionary past, but these aren’t things being enforced by any sort of patriarchy now! Calling them “patriarchal mandates” is strange… it sounds as though there’s a man somewhere, standing high upon a rock, holding a scroll in his hands at arm’s length, issuing a proclamation that all women shall henceforth as decreed by Patriarchal Mandate, be jealous of each other!

The feelings of envy I may have for other women are indeed a result of our species development, which makes me wonder why the author – in the very next breath – claims it’s caused by a bunch of rich white men in some good ol’ boy’s club somewhere mind controlling women to behave this way. Women have to be responsible for identifying and managing their own emotions, without projecting this somewhere else.

—– —–
Relationships in patriarchy demand that one member assumes the typical “masculine” role (dominant, assertive, controlling) while the other person assumes the “feminine” role (submissive, passive, weak).
—– —–

The cultural expectation of relationships between a man and a woman are spread across the world in nearly every civilization, and come from the same source as most other gender expectations. They were once survival oriented, and the behaviors once useful for survival became traditions. Traditions are a part of cultural identity, and all cultures are resistant to change, regardless of the topic or concern.

… it’s not caused by a bunch of rich white guys issuing mandates or proclamations that all dicks go into vaginas.

Also, one-sided relationships can be caused by an unending list of psychiatric dimensions, some of which are related to TA theory. I’m not aware of any research literature anywhere outlining “patriarchy” as being something that demands this behavior. You’d think something so prevailing and dominant would appear in more psychiatric journals.  But then this is all part of a belief system, not a science.

—– —–
We could benefit from understanding how detrimental gender stereotypes are and working toward eradicating them.
—– —–

What’s really ironic here is how the author has been using her own conjured up gender stereotypes to make her point.

As I said, I deeply enjoy being a woman. I woke up each morning at 5am for nearly 2 months and practiced female voice on a daily basis. I go through the effort of putting on makeup and making myself pretty before I go out. I enjoy being approached, admired, and hit on. These are wonderful things called “gender norms”, not stereotypes, and I very much appreciate them.

The author is trying to equate absolutely all cultural and gender norms as patriarchy, which is why it doesn’t make any sense. Rich white CEOs may have some subtle influence, as when it comes to creating a demand for a new product. For example, after the video game crash of 1982, Japanese entrepreneurs decided to market their Famicom system as a “home entertainment system”, since no one would carry a “video game” system anymore, and then later just referred to it as an NES. This change is an example in a subtle way companies can influence culture, but they can only do so if it is profitable, and for something to be profitable, there has to be a demand for it.

Men and women both already placed value on being thin because value is most often placed upon things which are scarce. In the middle ages, when food was not as plentiful, most people were super thin, and being voluptuous, with a few extra pounds, was considered attractive – because it was scarce and hard to obtain.

In our modern age, empty calories are very easy to find, and so being thin is something scarce.

That’s why it’s so valued. People already valued this, so magazine companies began marketing images of thin women – which women bought – which means companies sold more – which means women bought more – and it was then, only after it reached this point, did some companies want to out-do one another by photoshopping images of women to make them look even thinner. That’s the chain of events that brought us to where we are now.

This was not all some sort of evil plot hatched by rich white men who practically use mind control to make everyone act against their own will, and ruin everything for everyone in all aspects of life, just because they’re evil maniacal villains who cackle from castle tops as lightening cracks across the sky. That’s ridiculous.

The “patriarchy” is one of the Third Wave’s most valued cards.  The wage gap needs actual numbers, and rape culture needs statistics, even if the data used in both of these are completely fabricated.  But the patriarchy is a faceless, nebulous, shadowy and ever-present force that is all around us.  It doesn’t need numbers, statistics, or any data at all.  Loosely made up stories of a man being dedicated to his job is enough proof for patriarchy.  If a woman ever feels uncomfortable in any situation at all, it’s because of patriarchy.  You can point at something you don’t like, and call it patriarchy.

So as you might imagine, we’ll probably be seeing this topic come up a lot.