Let’s start with the basic premise of patriarchy theory: men have controlled society, have designed society, and have done so in a way that oppresses women.
Let’s start with some other historical facts:
- Civilization evolved separately seven different times throughout history.
- The earliest civilization evolved around 8,000 BCE in the Fertile Crescent.
- All seven civilizations have been classified as “patriarchal.”
That means that in seven separately evolved society beginingg 10,000 years ago, this supposed system has always—and exclusively—oppressed women.
Frankly, how does this make any sense?
Oppressed Demographics Revolt
One thing has been constant throughout human history. Human beings do not like being controlled. Estimates state that in the last 3,400 years of human history, there have only been 268 years of peace. You will not find a single example of one group conquering and oppressing another group without resistance, usually resulting in violent revolution at some point.
Oftentimes, people revolt for much less than the oppression we are supposed to believe women have suffered at the hands of men. Don’t forget the many revolutions started over high taxes on tea and whiskey.
Yet there has not been one revolution of women against their male oppressors. There was not even any notable resistance until the modern era. And this is all when women are supposedly better at cooperating. Surely they could come together to overthrow the men.
Okay, So What Does That Mean?
The answer is simple: patriarchy doesn’t exist and never has. This is “the myth of male power.” Rather, men and women have created a society together that has specialized each gender based on its strengths. This comes with advantages and disadvantages for each gender, but neither has been “oppressed” by the other.
Historically, women were far from “oppressed.” The gender roles helped them survive. For example, their lower physical production was subsidized by men doing all the physical labor, though this benefit may have come at the sacrifice of other things.
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What Are the Implications of the Patriarchy Myth?
When we analyze society through the lens of specialized gender roles with trade-offs, we can better address current social issues. And what we see is that the mainstream feminist narrative demands liberty for women, liberation from their gender role… but not the same for men. They no longer want the sacrifices of the female gender role, but they still want the benefits. However, this requires men to continue making the sacrfices of their gender role.
For example, consider paid maternity or menstruation leave. Men have always subsidized women in these instances. That is why the male gender role is the provider, yet traditionally the man received children and a wife in return. So feminists are promoting a system whereby they no longer must make the sacrifices—providing children and being a wife—but they receive the benefits—subsidization. And this means men don’t get the benefits of the male gender role but they’re still left with the downsides.
Real gender equality would involve liberation for both genders.