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What I mean when I talk about the Patriarchy

07/09/2010

I’ve been talking about feminism in terms of bringing down the patriarchy. I should probably mention that this point of view is often called “radical feminism” and as such is sometimes dismissed as unrealistic and idealistic.
One of the purposes of this blog was as a place to voice my naive idealism as well as my ranty skepticism. Hence, Skeptopia.

Finally, Feminism 101 Blog is a great place to start learning about radical feminism. Their article on the patriarchy is an excellent introduction to the subject.

I acknowledge that we live in an incredibly good time for women. Women in the US and Australia and most of Europe experience a kind of freedom and equality that women in previous generations never could have had. That doesn’t change the fact that the patriarchy still exists, however weakened it may be in our society and people are constantly fighting to keep it in place. Whether dictated by religious beliefs, or misuses of science, men and women who believe that women should conform to  strict gender roles seek to limit women’s autonomy and equality as human beings.

I also acknowledge that patriarchy is not the only problem. The kyriarchy is the complex system of privilege that exists in every country. As a white, middle class, (apparently) heterosexual, cisgendered, English speaking, inbetween and able bodied, married woman, I am more privileged than most women in the world. The kyriarchy gives me a huge advantage, and yet I’d like to see it gone. This is why I argue with people. This is why I make a point of speaking up. People who are disadvantaged by the kyriarchy are constantly being silenced or dismissed. I’m not satisfied to sit back and enjoy my privilege which includes the ability to be blissfully ignorant of it.

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