In the book I am reading “Dance of the Dissident Daughter” there is a large section discussing how the social and religious patriarchal system keeps a lot of women in a state of perpetual daughterhood.
First of all, I would like to explain what I mean by patriarchal system. I think the social patriarchal system is created by men and women. This system is so old, many men have no role models to look to when trying to establish an emotional vocabulary and fully express themselves. So many men have been trained that the only acceptable feeling is anger. So many men have been taught that they need to keep people in line.
Women have a part in it too, this is a system. So many women have been taught to tear each other down and nitpick to get ahead socially and professionally. Women have been taught to be quiet in order to keep peace and to define themselves by their relationships.
The system is self perpetuating. But there are also people that actively buy into it and battle to continue it. The whore wars over birth control are a great current example.
In his book, “Becoming the Kind Father: A Son’s Journey” Calvin Sandborn says, “Patriarchy demanded that people sacrifice important parts of themselves. Women were forced to sacrifice their strength and autonomy – any woman who dared to show such “masculine” characteristics were promptly condemned as a “shrew”, “bitch”, “nag”, “witch” or castrator. Conversely, men showing such a “feminine” characteristic was condemned as a “sissy”, “wimp”, “wuss”, “pussy”.
Over the centuries, a profound human tragedy occurred. Men and women were cut in half. Women lost their voices – and men lost their hearts.”
So although the patriarchy is an obsolete social system, it is perpetuated by some (male and female) and fought by others (male and female).
But I think it started from the religious patriarchal dogmas. I’ll talk about that next time.