This week the @ecoTrain have answered a question proposed by @clara-andriessen. This is the first of a three part question, and the question this week is:
What is Patriarchy: a society led by men or a society led by fear and a feeling of scarcity which happens to be an environment in which the masculine takes charge?
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Patriarchy and its definition according to the Oxford dictionary : a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line.
A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. This, however, is just a definition. What I find more interesting than anything is where this came from. Mid 17th century: via medieval Latin from Greek patriarkhia, from patriarkhs 'ruling father'.
Now, what would have been meant by ruling father'? Was this truly in the simple sense of the meaning above, or even simpler: the male head of the family in that time with his partner as equal? During the Celtic times for instance, the woman was just as much the head of the family as the man. Sometimes even more so. Queen Maeve was an excellent example of a Matriarch with great powers, not subduing to her male Patriarch 'colleagues'.
So what happened?
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Well, this is a big topic. And it always surprises me how controversial it is. It's something I have been passionate about for a long time. I have been known to shout, Smash the Patriarchy!! Honestly I think saying things like that defeats the whole purpose, though. I no longer believe in fighting fire with fire.
To directly answer the question, technically speaking a patriarchy is a family or social system run by men. I want to talk a little about what it has come to mean and how it has manifested. I don't want to spend a whole lot of time on the consequences of patriarchy because the question is about what patriarchy actually is, not what it leads to, but it's basically the source of most, if not all, of our societal problems, including sexism, racism, capitalism, poverty, and destruction of the planet. And of course also the horrible lot of children these days. As I talk about how patriarchy has evolved, perhaps it will become more clear how this is so. If not, perhaps it will be the source of another post.
Patriarchy is the rule of the father, it is a system in which men have all or most of the power and importance in society.
If we look in Wikipedia the definition is:
A patriarchal society is one that has had huge negative effects on both women and men. It is very out of balance, as it focuses only on certain male qualities and In order for men to be seen as successful within the patriarchal society they need be seen as possessing only these qualities.
Patriarchy sees male qualities as being the most important and that everything else is of little or no value. Within Patriarch these qualities arepower, control, competitiveness and manipulation. Males are seen as superior to everything and as a result are dominant over women, children and the environment. Exerting control over all.
I can't say Humanity was designed to be divided, split, hoarded controlled and manipulated, more ironically by none other than itself really.
Personally for me the word Patriarchy has little to no value at all, I'd rather not even look at it.
Never the less, we can't dodge reality on this matter and simply say that Male and Female are equal. Or at least, we can't say that both sides are perceived as Equal. On a spiritual level, both sides hold the same qualities, but due to social orientation, some aspects are repressed both in Male and Female.
Due to the demand of Males to be somewhat of a working force and are perceived as a more Masculine structure, Emotionally there seems to be a sort of a repression going on. Most men these days aren't well connected to their Emotional Being, thus allowing them to neglect some crucial aspects of themselves in order to focus on a more "Hard Work" orientated social role.
Secretly I have hidden my answer in the title of this pondering session.
But I'm hoping you'll stick with me till the end anyway.
What is patriarchy for you?
For me it is a culturally formed social system based upon the belief in scarcity.In other words: There is not enough and we are not taken care of.
When put like this it sounds a lot like a social system based upon a cultural abandonment wound.Which I actually think it is.
How did this come to be?
It has a lot to do with the myth our western culture is based up on:The story of Adam and Eve.
One of the symptoms of modern patriarchic culture is that we don't give much value to stories, especially ones that the non-christian world has dubbed 'mythical', which is almost synonymus with 'made up' or 'non-existent'
In almost every culture, women, and men have suffered from the system of patriarchy, where a man or a group of men controls a family, group, or government. We can trace this right back from 10,000 BCE when we lived as hunter gatherers, with men hunting and women gathering. It was also at about this time that we became consciously aware that it took a man and a woman to have a child, and at this same time men started to claim ownership over their herds and lands. Before this time, in the paleolithic era people shared their resources and supplies. This claim of ownership had many effects, and one of them was that men wanted to know that a child born by their woman was indeed their child. This led to the desire for men to be with a virgin woman, so that the offspring was surely theirs and could be handed down when they passed on. This concept of ownership and control led to the development of the earliest patriarchal families.
This concept of ownership extended from land and supplies to women, and led to the earliest abuses that we have had in our civilizations. Women were treated as commodities, and from a young age became accustomed to this identification. Women's values lay in their reproduction, especially in farming villages. Children became an economic asset, and if women were unable to produce them, they were seen as all but worthless. The idea of women being only good for their womb has progressed even into today's society.
One of the nicest things about being a part of the @ecotrain is having interesting and inspiring questions to answer and exciting challenges to be a part of each week. Also, it isn't mandatory for all the passengers to participate every week, it is better though, but you have a lot of flexibility which makes it quite comfortable for you to be a part of the train.
This week we were asked the following question which I found extremely intriguing, exciting and important.
I am walking in circles. I think this is one of the hardest questions I have ever was asked to write about. Yet I thank our #ecoTrain qotw for raising important questions each week and @clara-andriessen who asked this particular one.
I got up at 5 am and erased all I had written before. It happened for the second time already. I think the topic is such a big one I can write the whole article of each of its aspects. Netherless, I wanted to choose the one which is most important to highlight for me at the present state.
In the first draft, I looked at the cultural and social aspects. The ideas were to build it all about the current moment, the habits existing in the World and how they affect us, both men and women. My second attempt was to look at it through the eyes of a women-traveler who was born in the diverse cultural environment and traveled through so many countries to see the way it spread and rule the World. Yet in both of them, something was missing and I kept thinking again and again. Until it was today 5 am it finally came.
Much love to you all, and many thanks to the @ecoTrain passengers for taking part! This was a challenging question and we hope to have inspired you to write your own!
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