Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shutting down Patriarchy

It's become more and more obvious that fighting patriarchy absolutely must be a primary emergency for anyone who desires for civilization to be brought down.

This idea that males are inherently aggressive is, to be sure, incredibly harmful and silly. But this does not change that this male-dominated culture has waged war against women: their bodies, souls, and minds. Those males who reject this notion of entitlement and actually resist patriarchy are just too few and far between.

The notion that females are inherently nurturing is, in my opinion, more accurate, but I believe that all human beings, regardless of gender, are nurturing outside of this wretched system and both females and males can be aggressive when appropriate, nurturing when appropriate, and everything else when appropriate. Obviously.

That said, everywhere I look in this culture i see aggression winning over nurturing. I see women being shut up. I see men doing the talking, doing the action, and taking control. I see rape and gendered violence. I see an economy being run on the devouring of others, the destruction of the natural world, the penetration of the sacred. This economy is run by men and by women who have internalized these messages of domination over relationship. I see women being beat, raped, and murdered. I see men waging this war against women and against life.

If we want to stop this culture, we can start with patriarchy. If you are a male, look around and see the privileges you have. Look around and see the ways you participate in patriarchy, in the silencing and destruction of women and life and all of the relationships they entail. If you are a male, shut up and let her talk, because she has been told to shut up while being oppressed for too fucking long. If you are a male, find ways to support her before and especially during or after she has been in an abusive situation. Better yet, stop the culture that would allow this abuse to happen. Stop this abusive culture.

We all need to start confronting this wherever we see it. As long as women are silenced and destroyed, the battle against civilization rages on.


Philly's Pissed.
Wonderful downloadable readings on supporting survivors of sexual assault, community responses, and combating sexism.

The Witch Burnings.
A video on women's spirituality and genocide.

Healing the Earth Radio. A great, two-part interview with survivor-support activists.

Male Ally. A resource for men combating patriarchy, which i started.


  1. What you say about aggressive MEN controlling everything seems true. But I don't see boys or young men in their twenties having that same power. The culture has shifted. Youth is oppressed. I see many more young men are in prison. Boys are circumcised, a horrific and barbaric practice. Boys definitely suffer more from school as it favors those who can sit still longer (girls' bodies are built more to do this) and girls have finer motor skills. This means that boys really have to struggle in grades 1 to 7 compared to girls. Boys receive less cuddling as babies and aren't permitted to show their vulnerability without derision in this culture. Many are raped but too humiliated to report it. It's a sick culture to EVERYONE. Those powerful males became that way because they wanted to have control for a reason. The reason was suffering.

  2. Thank you for your comment. From my own experience, i have to respectfully disagree with what you said about young men or twenties-age men not having the same power. Sexual assault between young people is extremely common (more common than even i thought) and this perfectly lays the foundation for both men and women to internalize male entitlement and other patriarchal values. In my own life, i've actually seen many more young, abusive, aspiring misogynists than I've met older folks. Not to discount the fact that i've spent more time around young people. Regardless, i feel many boys like power over girls just as much as men like power over women.

    It is a sick culture to everyone, but women do not have a choice to walk away form that sickness, it's thrust upon them. Men have the luxury to be part of a rape culture or not be part of a rape culture, which means until we put an end to male violence against women, all men are responsible for the rape culture. I don't know if the only reason for amassing power over women is "suffering". I feel that's definitely part of it but i think there's a little greed, hatred, and downright evilness in there too.

  3. I was speaking broadly about patriarchy and focusing on earning. If women earned more for their work they would be valued more and feel that had more options. . Fewer would be prey to sexual exploitation through prostitution, etc. There are currently more women managers than men yet they earn less for the same work. Women who permit men to beat them often feel they have no choice because they have no job and feel their dependency economically.
    It's possible your take on boys and girls may be more accurate than mine because I only know nice kids.
    Another example is breast cancer. 1 in 7 women will get it in their lifetime. But 90% of men who reach 70 will have prostrate cancer. No one does much for that by comparison.
    I think it is good to work on issues like this but not if they divide people into thinking that only or mostly women need extra help becaus that's patronizing (from pater, like patriarchal.)

  4. Peg,

    Thank you for your thoughtful response. Lots of interesting stuff there!

    I sincerely hope to not be patronizing. I don't think that only or mostly women need help, i think women need allies in a culture that is woman-hating. But, as you were alluding to, i definitely think we need to fundamentally resist the way men are socialized and taught to participate in rape culture.