What is Patriarchy?
• "Patriarchy" (derived
from patriarch in Greek
) is a term
for societies in
which male is the
favoured gender, and
in which men hold
• Male power in a
patriarchy can be found
at family, community,
• Because patriarchy defines men as the rulers, men's and
women's roles are strictly defined and, in a sense,
enforced. Women must be seen as inferior, weaker,
generally less capable, less intelligent, and less worthy.
Their work is equally considered "lower." They are
relegated to hearth and home. Cleaning, caring for the
family, and serving the husband.
• Critically, the same pressure exists for men to conform to
particular roles. One classic example (though not
universal by any stretch) is that men must be tough and
strong, must not cry, must not back down, must be
willing to get into physical altercations to solve
Unfortunately, just like racism,
patriarchy still exists, around
the world. And just like racism,
it often manifests in casual
ways that tend to go unnoticed
by the majority of people.
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
Patriarchy around the world
• For the last 5000 years the global rule of men, or
patriarchy, has wreaked havoc and destructive chaos
on earth and all her children.
• This grievous fact is hardly noticed by anyone in our
species other than those who are victimized by it-
women and children.
• And even then, those who suffer at the hands of
male rule are often blamed for that which is inflicted
•Religious: Male dominance is “God given.”
•Biological determinist: “Man is the hunter and dominates.”
•Marxist theorist Friedrich Engels: Women become men’s
•Anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss: civilizations manage social
relations through the “traffic in women” or the “exchange of
•19th century theorist, Bachofen hypothesized: Matriarchal society
preceded patriarchal society in historical time.
•Suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton theorized that “maternalist” or
mother centered societies existed in some Native American tribes.
How many times we try to live a non-patriarchal life, change the
deep rooted culture. Just try the following and see why can't century
old patriarchal culture old won't change overnight !!
• Share the costs of dating.
• Give up your seat on the bus to an old man.
• Hold the door for a man coming into the building behind you.
• Promote based on pure merit in the workplace.
• Raise your daughters to be as brave and physical as
they want to be, and your sons to be as sensitive as
they want to be.
Stop being opportunist. Stop having the
habit of taking the feminist stance when
convenient and non-feminist stance
Definition of patriarchy in context of
An arrangement of society where
men hold power over women and
can inhibit them to do what they
• Daily Life Example
• Lead to Crime
-Materialism and Patriarchy together causes
rape , harassment and other heinous crime
Action 1: Push for a culture of excellence to hold men/boys accountable for their
language and actions where all people can make positive influences on the world.
This means countering the “boys will be boys” idea.
We shouldn’t discount men and their ability to be upstanding individuals, we just
have to keep high expectations.
Action 2: Support a spectrum of ideas of what a “real man” looks like , such as those
that are compassionate and responsible. We need to stop holding up “macho” or
the “tough, silent type” as the gold standard for maleness.
How to Combat Patriarchy
Action 3: Reframe patriarchy as an issue for everyone (not just “a
women’s issue”), since men should take responsibility for altering both
themselves and challenging men around them.
As bell hooks’ quote from the beginning of this post reminds us,
“Patriarchy has no gender,” thus it’s going to take all people to combat
Action 4: Teach boys and men how to authentically communicate
their emotions and listen empathetically to others. From an early age,
many try to encourage boys to “hide their emotions.”
So whether you work with kids, have a child, or want to contribute to
reducing sexual violence, we need to train males how to express
Much of the discrimination against women arises from India's dowry
tradition, where the bride's family gives the groom's family money and/or
gifts. Dowries were made illegal in India in 1961, however the law is
almost impossible to enforce, and the practice persists for most
2. Women as a Liability
The Indian constitution grants women equal rights to men, but strong
patriarchal traditions persist in many different societal parts, with
women's lives shaped by customs that are centuries old.
3. Discrimination against Women: Before Birth / As an Infant
India is one of the few countries where males outnumber females
Though “prenatal sex discrimination” was legally banned in 1996, the law is
nearly impossible to enforce and is not even familiar to all Indian families.
Hence, the preference for a male child persists
4. Widespread domestic violence
Since times immemorial, domestic violence has been an intrinsic part of
the society we are living in. The contributing factors could be the desire
to gain control over another family member, the desire to exploit
someone for personal benefits, the flare to be in a commanding
position all the time showcasing one’s supremacy so on and so forth.
Patriarchy is the root of the world's problems-i.e.,
war, colonization, rape, sexism, racism, destruction
of the environment, so-called "domestic" violence,
terrorism, pornography, sexual slavery, kids killing
kids, fascism, religious fanaticism, and homophobia,
to name a few
It is time for all women and men to rise and unite our
voices, hearts, and minds to change and transform
that which does not serve life. The patriarchal event in
human history must come to an end.