Characteristics of patriarchy

Can You Imagine? By Carol P. There are many reasons for women, slaves, and the poor to rebel against domination and unjust authorities in patriarchal societies. But we should not assume that there are any reasons to rebel against domination where no domination exists or to rebel against unjust authority in societies where there are no unjust authorities.

In response to my recent series of blogs on patriarchy as a system of male dominance created at the intersection of the control of female sexuality, private property, and war Part 1Part 2Part 3I was asked if there is an injustice inherent in matriarchal societies that caused men to rebel and create patriarchy. The assumption behind this question is that if women are dominated by men in patriarchal societies, then men must have been dominated by women pre-patriarchal societies.

Women and men are defined by their connection to the maternal clan which holds land in common.

characteristics of patriarchy

They often view the Earth as a Great Mother. Both girls and boys would be equally loved and cherished by their mothers and grandmothers and by their uncles and great-uncles. Both girls and boys would know that they would always have a place in the maternal clan. You would be raised in a large family with sisters and brothers and cousins, all of whom you would consider your siblings.

You would never feel lonely. You would not be taught to compete with your siblings. You would never be hit by or hit others, because violent behaviors would not be considered appropriate in families. When you got old enough to have sex, you could have all the sex you wanted.

You would learn that the purpose of sex is pleasure and enjoyment. When you or your partner no longer wanted to have sex with each other, you could separate and find other partners. Children born of sexual relationships would find their home in their maternal family.

Mothers would be helped in the raising of children by their sisters and brothers, by their mothers and grandmothers, and by their aunts and uncles. A young man would contribute to his clan and would help his sisters and female cousins to care for their children. Whether you were a girl or a boy, a man or a woman, you would always know that you were loved.Patriarchy and Matriarchy are two forms of social systems between which a key difference can be identified.

In different parts of the world, patriarchy and matriarchy were to be seen from the ancient days. A patriarchal system is a social system in which the father is the head of the household. On the other hand, a matriarchal system is a social system in which the mother is the head of the household.

As explained in the introduction, a patriarchal system is a social system in which the father is the head of the household.

GENDER EQUALITY/ लैंगिक समानता

This, however, is not confined to the household alone. It can be extended to the entire society where males dominate in all social, political, economical, legal and cultural roles. For instance, in most patriarchal societies women were very much confined to the domestic sphere, where they were completely cut off from the realities of the society.

One of the best examples for this can be taken from the Victorian era where women were considered as delicate, fragile, and ignorant beings. Jane Austen in her novels such as the Pride and Prejudice clearly depicts the social climate during a patriarchal reign. From this, we can comprehend that the lives of women in a patriarchal society are that of complete dependence.

In the patriarchal society, even philosophers such as Aristotle believed that women were inferior to men in all aspects.

This emphasized the idea that the inferiority of women was not limited to biological differences but went as further as intellectual differences.

However, feminist theories on patriarchy highlight that this is merely another social system that has been created to oppress women. A matriarchal system is a social system in which the mother is the head of the household. In a matriarchal society, the governance of the society is also in the hands of women. When examining the human history, there is very little evidence of matriarchal societies, because most confuse an egalitarian society or matrilineal society to a matriarchal society.

The Mosuo culture in China can be considered as a matriarchal society. In this society, females are the head of the household and women dominate the economic activities. Also, in the Mosuo culture, inheritance is through the female line. However, myths of the Amazon society can be considered as a clear matriarchal society. This is because in the Amazon societies women ruled the society. To be more explicit, Amazon queens were elected to rule over the people. They also acted as warriors and hunters as well.

Patriarchy: A patriarchal system is a social system in which the father is the head of the household. Matriarchy: A matriarchal system is a social system in which the mother is the head of the household.

Patriarchy: In a patriarchal system, the father has more power and control over others.Definition : Patriarchal adj. Society n. A patriarchal society consists of a male-dominated power structure throughout organized society and in individual relationships.

Power is related to privilege. In a system in which men have more power than women, men have some level of privilege to which women are not entitled. The concept of patriarchy has been central to many feminist theories. It is an attempt to explain the stratification of power and privilege by gender that can be observed by many objective measures.

A patriarchy, from the ancient Greek patriarcheswas a society where power was held by and passed down through the elder males. When modern historians and sociologists describe a "patriarchal society," they mean that men hold the positions of power and have more privilege: head of the family unit, leaders of social groups, boss in the workplace, and heads of government.

In patriarchy, there is also a hierarchy among the men. In traditional patriarchy, the elder men had power over the younger generations of men.

In modern patriarchy, some men hold more power and privilege by virtue of the position of authority, and this hierarchy of power and privilege is considered acceptable. Father or father-figures hold the authority in a patriarchy. Traditional patriarchal societies are, usually, also patrilineal — titles and property are inherited through male lines.

For an example of this, the Salic Law as applied to property and titles followed male lines strictly. Feminist theorists have expanded the definition of patriarchal society to describe a systemic bias against women. As second-wave feminists examined society during the s, they did observe households headed by women and female leaders.

They were, of course, concerned with whether this was uncommon. More significant, however, was the way society perceived women in power as an exception to a collectively held view of women's "role" in society.

Rather than saying that individual men oppressed womenmost feminists saw that oppression of women came from the underlying bias of a patriarchal society. She argues that before this development, male dominance was not a feature of human society in general. Women were key to the maintenance of human society and community, but with a few exceptions, social and legal power was wielded by men.

Women could gain some status and privilege in patriarchy by limiting her child-bearing capacity to just one man so that he could depend on her children being his children. By rooting patriarchy — a social organization where men rule over women — in historical developments, rather than in nature, human nature or biology, she also opens the door for change.

If patriarchy was created by culture, it can be overturned by a new culture. Part of her theory carried through into another volume, The Creation of Feminist Consciousnessthat women were not conscious that they were subordinate and it might be otherwise until this consciousness began slowly to emerge, starting with medieval Europe. In an interview with Jeffrey Mishlove on "Thinking Aloud," Lerner described her work on the subject of patriarchy:. From bell hooks : "Visionary feminism is a wise and loving politics.

It is rooted in the love of male and female being, refusing to privilege one over the other. The soul of feminist politics is the commitment to ending patriarchal domination of women and men, girls and boys. Love cannot exist in any relationship that is based on domination and coercion. Males cannot love themselves in patriarchal culture if their very self-definition relies on submission to patriarchal rules.

When men embrace feminist thinking and practice, which emphasizes the value of mutual growth and self-actualization in all relationships, their emotional well-being will be enhanced.

A genuine feminist politics always brings us from bondage to freedom, from lovelessness to loving. From Andrea Dworkin : "Being female in this world means having been robbed of the potential for human choice by men who love to hate us. One does not make choices in freedom. Instead, one conforms in body type and behavior and values to become an object of male sexual desire, which requires an abandonment of a wide-ranging capacity for choice Because our existence provokes fear of the Other, fear of wildness, fear of sexuality, fear of letting go — our bodies and our hair traditionally hair is a source of magical power must be controlled, groomed, reduced, covered, suppressed.Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authoritysocial privilege and control of property.

Some patriarchal societies are also patrilinealmeaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage. Patriarchy is associated with a set of ideas, a patriarchal ideology that acts to explain and justify this dominance and attributes it to inherent natural differences between men and women. Sociologists tend to see patriarchy as a social product and not as an outcome of innate differences between the sexes and they focus attention on the way that gender roles in a society affect power differentials between men and women.

Historically, patriarchy has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, religious, and economic organization of a range of different cultures. Historically, the term patriarchy has been used to refer to autocratic rule by the male head of a family; however, since the late 20th century it has also been used to refer to social systems in which power is primarily held by adult men, [13] [14] [15] particularly by writers associated with second-wave feminism such as Kate Millett ; these writers sought to use an understanding of patriarchal social relations to liberate women from male domination.

The sociologist Sylvia Walby defines patriarchy as "a system of social structures and practices in which men dominate, oppress, and exploit women". Anthropologicalarchaeological and evolutionary psychological evidence suggests that most prehistoric societies were relatively egalitarianand that patriarchal social structures did not develop until many years after the end of the Pleistocene era, following social and technological developments such as agriculture and domestication.

Strozierhistorical research has not yet found a specific "initiating event". Marxist theory, as articulated mainly by Friedrich Engelsassigns the origin of patriarchy to the emergence of private propertywhich has traditionally been controlled by men.

In this view, men directed household production and sought to control women in order to ensure the passing of family property to their own male offspring, while women were limited to household labor and producing children. Domination by men of women is found in the Ancient Near East as far back as BCE, as are restrictions on a woman's reproductive capacity and exclusion from "the process of representing or the construction of history".

The archaeologist Marija Gimbutas argues that waves of kurgan -building invaders from the Ukrainian steppes into the early agricultural cultures of Old Europe in the Aegean, the Balkans and southern Italy instituted male hierarchies that led to the rise of patriarchy in Western society. A prominent Greek general Menoin the Platonic dialogue of the same name, sums up the prevailing sentiment in Classical Greece about the respective virtues of men and women.

He says: [31].

7 Reasons Why Patriarchy Is Bad (and Feminism is Good) for Men

First of all, if you take the virtue of a man, it is easily stated that a man's virtue is this—that he be competent to manage the affairs of his city, and to manage them so as to benefit his friends and harm his enemies, and to take care to avoid suffering harm himself. Or take a woman's virtue: there is no difficulty in describing it as the duty of ordering the house well, looking after the property indoors, and obeying her husband.

The works of Aristotle portrayed women as morally, intellectually, and physically inferior to men; saw women as the property of men; claimed that women's role in society was to reproduce and to serve men in the household; and saw male domination of women as natural and virtuous.

Gerda Lernerauthor of The Creation of Patriarchy, states that Aristotle believed that women had colder blood than men, which made women not evolve into men, the sex that Aristotle believed to be perfect and superior. Maryanne Cline Horowitz stated that Aristotle believed that "soul contributes the form and model of creation". This implies that any imperfection that is caused in the world must be caused by a woman because one cannot acquire an imperfection from perfection which he perceived as male.

Aristotle had a hierarchical ruling structure in his theories. Lerner claims that through this patriarchal belief system, passed down generation to generation, people have been conditioned to believe that men are superior to women.

These symbols are benchmarks which children learn about when they grow up, and the cycle of patriarchy continues much past the Greeks. Egypt left no philosophical record, but Herodotus left a record of his shock at the contrast between the roles of Egyptian women and the women of Athens. He observed that Egyptian women attended market and were employed in trade. In ancient Egypt, middle-class women were eligible to sit on a local tribunalengage in real estate transactions, and inherit or bequeath property.

Women also secured loans, and witnessed legal documents. Athenian women were denied such rights.

characteristics of patriarchy

Greek influence spread, however, with the conquests of Alexander the Greatwho was educated by Aristotle. During this time period in China, gender roles and patriarchy remained shaped by Confucianism. Adopted as the official religion in the Han dynastyConfucianism has strong dictates regarding the behavior of women, declaring a woman's place in society, as well as outlining virtuous behavior.It's always a sincere privilege to think about and discuss new ideas with a renowned feminist scholar.

For the third year in a row, bell hooks has just finished her week-long residency at St. Norbert College. During her stay, hooks shared her thoughts on femininity, patriarchy, and spirituality to name a few through dialog with various individuals.

characteristics of patriarchy

As a young woman seeking knowledge and formats for innovative thinking, I was beyond excited to attend the majority of her lectures. I even got a book signed by her! While she speaks in a way that suggests patriarchy is damaging and oppressive for women, bell also addresses the negative consequences for men as well. This concept took me by surprise because most often it is thought that females are the only ones affected by patriarchy.

Despite my assumed awareness, I have seen countless examples of patriarchy negatively impacting men. Since they are born, boys are told messages that lead them on a path of destruction. Be a man! Grow some balls! Why are you crying? Man up! These words and phrases are what cause men to question their worth and their identity. They are forced to hide their emotions and put on a facade of strength and power. This image is typically portrayed through sports. Some men may feel comfortable playing sports because it reinforces their masculinity.

Regardless of how they truly feel, it is a way for men to engage in aggressive behavior. Because it's what they've grown up understanding as the norm. For some it is expected that they engage in sports based on their biological sex. Now, I'm not discrediting men playing sports. If I have a son who wants to play soccer or football or hockey growing up, I will encourage this behavior.

If my son wants to paint or perform on stage or play the cello, I will also encourage this behavior. It's not about what I want for my child.

Difference Between Patriarchy and Matriarchy

It's what makes them feel comfortable expressing themselves, regardless of their sex and the boxes society places them in. Like sports, violence is often considered an "expected" activity for men to engage in. I say expected because of the stereotypes society pushes saying, "Boys will be boys" as they beat the crap out of each other.

The average boy spends about about 40 hours a week watching TV, 15 hours a week playing video games, and roughly two hours a week watching porn. Through these forms of media, viewers are bombarded with images which promote domination, violence, lack of emotion, etc. This form of masculinity is normalized by society, encouraging individuals to partake in patriarchal, dominating behavior whether they realize it or not. Additionally, we live in a culture in which sexual activity is normalized.Social historians and other scholars frequently disagree about the meaning and usefulness of the word "patriarchy.

By this definition, every culture that has left written records has been patriarchal. Others use it more narrowly, to mean social systems in which older men, particularly those who are fathers and heads of households, have authority over women, children, and men in dependent positions, such as servants, serfs, and slaves.

By this definition, most Western cultures were patriarchal until the eighteenth or nineteenth century and retain vestiges of patriarchy today, such as the continued power of fathers over their children. This narrower definition of patriarchy is sometimes termed "patriarchalism" or "paternalism. Most historians who choose to use the word "patriarchy" emphasize that despite their ubiquity, patriarchal systems have taken widely varied forms.

Male assertions of power over women, children, and dependent men have involved physical force, legal sanctions, intellectual structures, religious systems, economic privileges, social institutions, and cultural norms.

Thus patriarchy does have a history, and social historians have been particularly active in investigating the changing construction of patriarchy and the responses of women and men to it. Most investigations of that history in Western cultures concentrate on three periods, which will thus be the primary topics of this article: the origins of patriarchy in antiquity, the explicit institutionalization of a father-centered patriarchy in western Europe during the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries, and the challenges to that patriarchy by the liberal revolutions of the late eighteenth century and radical social movements of the nineteenth century.

Because patriarchal configurations of power were less explicitly a matter of concern in the Middle Ages than they were in the early modern period, most medieval historians have not felt compelled to make them a specific focus of investigation. Historians of the twentieth century tend either to use the term without explicating or defining it, or to avoid it altogether, although some investigations of authoritarian regimes that made extensive use of father imagery—such as Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, and Stalin's Soviet Union —do label these as patriarchal and explore the consequences of this ideology.

Whatever century they lived in, all later supporters and most opponents of patriarchy hearkened back to ancient models and made references to patriarchy's origins, so it is important to understand the scholarly debate about this before looking at more recent developments. Explanations of the origins of patriarchy were first advanced in the nineteenth century, particularly by German social theorists. The scholar J. Bachofen asserted that human society had originally been a matriarchy in which mothers were all-powerful.

The mother-child bond was the original source of culture, religion, and community, but gradually father-child links came to be regarded as more important, and superior to Bachofen's eyes patriarchal structures developed. Bachofen's ideas about primitive matriarchy were accepted by the socialist Friedrich Engelswho postulated a two-stage evolution from matriarchy to patriarchy.

In matriarchal cultures, goods were owned in common, but with the expansion of agriculture and animal husbandry men began to claim ownership of crops, animals, and land, thus developing the notion of private property. Once men had private property, they became very concerned about passing it on to their own heirs, and attempted to control women's sexual lives to assure that offspring were legitimate.

This led to the development of the nuclear family, which was followed by the development of the state, in which men's rights over women were legitimized through a variety of means, a process Engels describes as the "world historical defeat of the female sex.

The idea that human society was originally a matriarchy with female deities and female leaders continues to be accepted by some scholars and a number of popular writers, but it has been largely discredited among anthropologists and historians for lack of evidence. What has not been discredited is the notion that both property ownership and political structures were intimately related to patriarchy.

The historian Gerda Lerner has tipped Engels's line of causation on its head: women, she argues, were the first property, exchanged for their procreative power by men with other men through marriage, prostitution, and slavery. Thus patriarchy preceded other forms of hierarchy and domination such as kin networks and social classes, and women became primarily defined by their relation to men.

Like Engels, Lerner links patriarchy with economic and political change, but she also stresses the importance of nonmaterial issues such as the creation of symbols and meaning through religion and philosophy. Women were excluded from direct links to the divine in Mesopotamian religion and Judaism, and defined as categorically inferior to men in Greek philosophy. Thus both of the traditions generally regarded as the sources of Western culture—the Bible and Greek particularly Aristotelian thought—affirmed women's secondary position.

Because other hierarchies such as those of hereditary aristocracy, class, or race privileged the women connected to powerful or wealthy men, women did not see themselves as part of a coherent group and often supported the institutions and intellectual structures that subordinated them. Lerner's ideas have been challenged from a number of perspectives. Materialist historians have objected to her emphasis on ideas and symbols, and to the notion that gender hierarchies preceded those based on property ownership, while some classicists have argued that she misread ancient prostitution and other aspects of early cultures.

Despite these objections, however, some of her—and Engels's—points are now widely accepted. Though it is unclear which came first, women's subordination emerged in the ancient Middle East at the same time as private ownership of property and plow agriculture, which significantly increased the food supply but also significantly increased the resources needed to produce that food. Men generally carried out the plowing and care for animals, which led to boys being favored over girls for the work they could do for their parents while young and the support they could provide in parents' old age.

Boys became the normal inheritors of family land and of the rights to work communally held land. The states that developed in the ancient Middle East further heightened gender distinctions. They depended on taxes and tribute as well as slave labor for their support, and so their rulers were very interested in maintaining population levels.

As hereditary aristocracies developed, they became concerned with maintaining the distinction between themselves and the majority of the population, and male property owners wanted to be sure the children their wives bore were theirs. All of these concerns led to attempts to control women's reproduction through laws governing sexual relations and, more importantly, through marriage norms and practices that set up a very unequal relationship between spouses.

Laws were passed mandating that women be virgins on marriage and imposing strict punishment for a married woman's adultery; sexual relations outside of marriage on the part of husbands were not considered adultery. Concern with family honor thus became linked to women's sexuality in a way that it was not for men.As opposed to the term patriarchy, matriarchy is first and foremost a relationship systema family conception. It is a common term in anthropology to designate a political system in which women have a dominant role in relation to men.

Acculturationsocial stratificationgentrification. Matriarchy maternal law or maternal social order is a society model based on mother's filiation and in which legal parental authority is exclusively maternal. Thus, the biological father has no rights over the child. It is the mother and not the father who has the real power over the child, the house, land and wealth.

This is how, later, ethnographic studies were carried out about different peoples governed under this political system. Indeed, it seems that Abraham owed his position as tribe chief to his wife Sarah as she was a princess who had conferred her status on Abraham by marrying him. The kingdom of Sheba, led by this great queen, would have existed between Yemen and Ethiopia in the eighth century BC. It is said that this Queen was so beautiful that Solomon proposed marriage to her, which she rejects.

An example of a matriarchal community is the Umoja village made up of a group of women in Kenya. Rebecca Lolosoli leads this village. Men are forbidden to enter this village. Women who live there seek independence after being raped, repudiated and beaten by their husbands.

They are in charge of raising their children of both sexes. On the other hand, the Mosuoa people in southwest China close to the Tibetan borderhave lived for two millennia following a matriarchal organization in which marriage and paternity are practically unknown. In this society, sexuality is free and without domination relations between men and women.

The last ones are in charge of the maternal uncle. People united by a bond of maternal consanguinity share a common social condition and past.

In this artisan city, men were initially in charge of bringing raw material used by women to sell their handicrafts in the market. This is how women ended up taking responsibility for family finances. Today, these roles are better distributed, but they continue to have control over the economic life of the city. Recommended for you Social Darwinism. Sociology Matriarchy. Related topics Acculturationsocial stratificationgentrification.

What is matriarchy? Cultural appropriation. Cultural diversity.


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