I have to wonder about a group titled "Patriarchy" that excludes men from attending. Makes me tend to think that you are going to say something about me that you wouldn't normally say to my face. In any case, you can view a short blog post written by one of the pastoral staff of this church titled "The Curse of Patriarchy" by Angie Fadel by going here. Angie and her husband Todd are also the worship music leaders at this church, and have tirelessly kept up writing, arranging and producing progressive church music for several years now, over and against at times untenable circumstances.
I'd like to respond to Angie's piece on patriarchy, but that's a bit difficult to do. To be brutally honest, it doesn't contain much of a logically coherent argument, and instead kind of rambles on, touching on different topics that obviously touch her temperature control. There are however, a few presuppositions inherent in what she's written that I think could be addressed at length
Now I'm going to go ahead and upfront state what will become obvious in due time: I believe Patriarchy Theory is an inherently flawed and fallacious way of looking at history, and that it is not helpful for understanding anything, save for the political agenda some wish to drive with it.. I'll unfold my reasons for doing so over the course of these 2 blog posts (perhaps more?) But for those unfamiliar with the topic and who want a good crash course can read Wikipedia's attempt at comprehension here. Not surprisingly, the neutrality of the article has been disputed (in Wikipedia politics anyway.) You can also get a brief one-paragraph synopsis of the concept from an online Feminist Theory Dictionary here.
Before launching into the bulk of this post, I'll give the following thesis statement or statements so that what I'm saying in regards to Patriarchy Theory will be made crystal clear. Everything I will say that follows will be in support of these statements:
1) Using the term "Patriarchy" implies that the history of oppression has been largely about Gender conflict, when in fact much of the time it's been more about class struggle than gender.
2) Women have not necessarily been "held down" by Patriarchy. In fact, to a large degree women have accepted and benefited from it. This is true both in terms of attaching themselves to men of power, but also in terms of general preferential treatment and of occupying a place in society that asks them to take less responsibility overall. (PS: Feminism has done nothing to correct this problem either. but has served to reinforce it.)
3) In keeping with the previous statement, Men have by and large responded to wonmen's inequality by going out of their way to empower women, They have done so in terms of passing a great deal of legislation women have asked for, but also in terms of creating safe spaces for women with technological and construction innovations that have brought this about.
4) The current push for equality by much of politically organized feminism has resulted in untenable circumstances for men and for society in general. There does not need to be a "gender balance" in every single sphere of life, and failing to recognize this has caused economic hardships, has forced people to support things against their conscience, and have resulted in inequlity for men in many verifiable instances.
5) Most (if not all) of politically active Feminism has not been about achieving equality for both men and women, despite what is often claimed. Most of the women's movement has actually resulted in a perpetual net gain of inordinate female privilege.
I say all this as a heads up: If you already have your mind made up about the nature of patriarchy, feminism, and gender-equality, then you most likely will not like most of what you are going to encounter here. Choose your time, interests & battles wisely.
For an introduction to some of the Men's Issues thought and philosophy that I've been absorbing, I'll post some recent videos by some the vloggers I read and listen to, particularly as it relates to Patriarchy Conspiracy theory. Be forewarned also, there will be plenty of external links posted on this blog entry of mine, although you can feel free to consider them supplementary material, and just focus on my writing for the time being if you prefer. But if you come away from all of this wondering why I take the positions I do, don't say I didn't warn you there was more to absorb.
Canadian Men's Rights Vlogger Typhon Blue on "Why Feminism is wrong about patriarchy theory:
Another Female Men's Rights vlogger, Girlwriteswhat, addresses the question of whether violence against women has ever really been "socially acceptable" and comes up with some surprising historical evidence often not considered:
Self-described "Counter-Feminist" vlogger Fidelbogen asks: "What is this thing called Patriarchy?":
And finally, vlogger Rocking Mr. E talks bout why so-called Patriarchy is largely a Conspiracy Theory:
I'm going to unpack my views on this topic by focusing on one section of Angie's essay, respond to that, follow up with some historical notes not often considered by most people, and pull back the curtain hopefully on the larger picture of where I think things are today in Gender-related issues.
Near the end of the blog post "The Curse of Patriarchy," Angie Fadel writes the following:
"I have watched too many women and girls crushed by a culture and society that wants to make them victims. Sexualized them, while not allowing them to call there viginas what they are, VAGINAS! Gives them impossible standards of beauty, then is surprised that they are starving to death and going under the knife. Tells them they have a future, but is only willing to pay them 70 cents to every $1.00 made by their male counterparts. No matter what her qualifications."
I will leave it to Angie to explain exactly what, where and how women are being kept from calling their "viginas' as such. As far as I can see, most women don't have any real problem doing so in an extensive, ad hoc & ad nauseam fashion.
What I want to focus on here is the implied issue of the so-called Gender Wage-Pay Gap, to what degree does it or doesn't it exist and what I really think it means. Are women really earning less than men in America, and is this the result of some kind of conspiracy on the part of men, either consciously or unconsciously, to keep women out of better living & earning circumstances?
Hear out the 2011 report "Women In America: Indicators Of Social And Economic Well-Being" prepared for the White House Council on Women and Girls by the US Department of Commerce. The report spells out the scenario as it is today with the following evidence:
*" roughly equal access to flexible work schedules." Wait. What? Did I just hear that right? Men and women have the same access to flexible work schedules as men? Yet women are working part time more than men? No way!
But isn't that because men are keeping women out of the work force, expecting them to stay in the bedroom and the kitchen? Well frankly, no. The same report cites Bureau of Labor stats that show female participation in the labor force has steadily risen, while male participation has declined: