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Patriarchy is a
social system In , social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal of role and status that can form in a small, stable group. An individual may be ...
in which
men A man is an adult male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot sexual reproduction, reproduce ...

men
hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership,
moral authorityMoral authority is authority premised on principles, or fundamental truths, which are independent of written, or positive, laws. As such, moral authority necessitates the existence of and adherence to truth. Because truth does not change, the princip ...
,
social privilege Social privilege is a theory of special advantage or entitlement, used to one's own benefit and/or to the detriment of others. Privileged groups can be advantaged based on social class A social class is a set of concepts in the social scienc ...
and control of property. Some patriarchal societies are also
patrilineal Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship In , kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact ...
, meaning that property and title are inherited by the male lineage. Patriarchy is associated with a set of ideas, a patriarchal
ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psychology) In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of ...
that acts to explain and justify this dominance and attributes it to inherent natural differences between men and women. Sociologists hold varied opinions on whether patriarchy is a social product or an outcome of innate differences between the sexes. Sociobiologists have argued that the roots of inequality were set in humanity's earliest period and are primarily due to genetic and reproductive differences between men and women. Aligned closely with
evolutionary psychology Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach in the social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchang ...
, this theory posits that gender inequity is an inherent part of human social structures. Social constructionists contest this argument, arguing that gender roles and gender inequity are instruments of power and have become social norms to maintain control over women. Constructionists would contend that sociobiological arguments serve to justify the oppression of women. Historically, patriarchy has manifested itself in the social, legal, political, religious, and economic organization of a range of different cultures. Most contemporary societies are, in practice, patriarchal.


Etymology and usage

''Patriarchy'' literally means "the rule of the father" and comes from the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
(''patriarkhēs''), "father or chief of a race", which is a
compound Compound may refer to: Architecture and built environments * Compound (enclosure), a cluster of buildings having a shared purpose, usually inside a fence or wall ** Compound (fortification), a version of the above fortified with defensive structu ...
of (''patria''), "lineage, descent, family, fatherland" (from ''patēr'', "father") and (''arkhē''), "domination, authority, sovereignty". Historically, the term ''patriarchy'' has been used to refer to
autocratic Autocracy is a system of government in which supreme power over a State (polity), state is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (exc ...
rule by the male head of a family; however, since the late 20th century it has also been used to refer to social systems in which power is primarily held by adult men. The term was particularly used by writers associated with
second-wave feminism Second-wave feminism was a period of feminist activity, and though it began in the United States in the early 1960s, it lasted roughly two decades. It quickly spread across the Western world with an aim to increase equality for women by gainin ...
such as
Kate Millett Katherine Murray Millett (September 14, 1934 – September 6, 2017) was an American feminism, feminist writer, educator, artist, and activist. She attended Oxford University and was the first American woman to be awarded a degree with first-class ...
; these writers sought to use an understanding of patriarchal social relations to liberate women from male domination. This concept of patriarchy was developed to explain male dominance as a social, rather than biological, phenomenon.


History and scope

The sociologist
Sylvia Walby Sylvia Theresa Walby (born 16 October 1953) is a British sociologist, currently Professor of Sociology, Director of the Violence and Society Centre at the City University of London City, University of London (abbreviated CUL), is a public ...

Sylvia Walby
defines patriarchy as "a system of social structures and practices in which men dominate, oppress, and exploit women".
Social stratification Social stratification refers to a society's categorization Categorization is the human ability and activity of recognizing shared features or similarities between the elements of the experience Experience refers to conscious , an English ...
along gender lines, in which power is predominantly held by men, has been observed in most societies.


Pre-history

Anthropological Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, l ...
,
archaeological Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote ...
and evolutionary psychological evidence suggests that most
prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, ...

prehistoric
societies were relatively
egalitarian Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all hu ...
, and that patriarchal social structures did not develop until many years after the end of the
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally ...
epoch, following social and technological developments such as
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
and
domestication Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that sec ...
. According to Robert M. Strozier, historical research has not yet found a specific "initiating event".Strozier, Robert M. (2002)
Foucault, Subjectivity, and Identity: Historical Constructions of Subject and Self
' p. 46
Gerda Lerner Gerda Hedwig Lerner (née Kronstein; April 30, 1920 – January 2, 2013) was an Austrian-born American historian and woman's history author. In addition to her numerous scholarly publications, she wrote poetry, fiction, theatre pieces, screenpl ...
asserts that there was no single event, and documents that patriarchy as a social system arose in different parts of the world at different times. Some scholars point to about six thousand years ago (4000
BCE Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the , reducing the average year from 365.2 ...

BCE
), when the concept of
father A father is the male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male gamete can fuse with a larger female gamete, or ovum, in the process of fertilization. A male cannot sexual reproduction, reproduce sex ...

father
hood took root, as the beginning of the spread of patriarchy.
Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies soci ...
theory, as articulated mainly by
Friedrich Engels Friedrich Engels ( ,"Engels"
''
in ''
The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State ''The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State: in the Light of the Researches of Lewis H. Morgan'' (german: Der Ursprung der Familie, des Privateigenthums und des Staats) is an 1884 historical materialist treatise by Friedrich Engels ...
'', assigns the origin of patriarchy to the emergence of
private property Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the prope ...
, which has traditionally been controlled by men. In this view, men directed household production and sought to control women in order to ensure the passing of family property to their own (male) offspring, while women were limited to household labor and producing children. Lerner disputes this idea, arguing that patriarchy emerged before the development of class-based society and the concept of private property. Domination by men of women is found in the
Ancient Near East The ancient Near East was the home of early civilization A civilization (or civilisation) is any complex society that is characterized by urban development, social stratification, a form of government, and symbol A symbol is a mark ...
as far back as 3100 BCE, as are restrictions on a woman's reproductive capacity and exclusion from "the process of representing or the construction of history". According to some researchers, with the appearance of the
Hebrews The terms ''Hebrews'' (Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Jud ...

Hebrews
, there is also "the exclusion of woman from the God-humanity covenant". The archaeologist
Marija Gimbutas Marija Gimbutas ( lt, Marija Gimbutienė, ; January 23, 1921 – February 2, 1994) was a Lithuanian archaeologist Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. Archaeology is ...
argues that waves of
kurgan A kurgan (russian: link=no, курга́н, uk, link=no, курга́н, висока могила) is a type of tumulus File:Gamla uppsala.jpg, The Royal mounds of Gamla Uppsala in Sweden from the 5th and 6th centuries originally the site h ...
-building invaders from the Ukrainian steppes into the early agricultural cultures of Old Europe in the Aegean, the Balkans and southern Italy instituted male hierarchies that led to the rise of patriarchy in
Western society The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabita ...
. Steven Taylor argues that the rise of patriarchal domination was associated with the appearance of socially stratified hierarchical polities, institutionalised violence and the separated individuated ego associated with a period of climatic stress.


Ancient history

A prominent Greek general
Meno ''Meno'' (; grc-gre, wikt:Μένων, Μένων, ''Ménōn'') is a Socratic dialogue by Plato. Meno begins the dialogue by asking Socrates whether virtue is taught, acquired by practice, or comes by nature. In order to determine whether virt ...
, in the Platonic dialogue of the same name, sums up the prevailing sentiment in
Classical Greece Classical Greece was a period of around 200 years (the 5th and 4th centuries BC) in Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dar ...
about the respective virtues of men and women. He says: The works of
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
portrayed women as morally, intellectually, and physically inferior to men; saw women as the property of men; claimed that women's role in society was to reproduce and to serve men in the household; and saw male domination of women as natural and virtuous.
Gerda Lerner Gerda Hedwig Lerner (née Kronstein; April 30, 1920 – January 2, 2013) was an Austrian-born American historian and woman's history author. In addition to her numerous scholarly publications, she wrote poetry, fiction, theatre pieces, screenpl ...
, author of ''The Creation of Patriarchy,'' states that Aristotle believed that women had colder blood than men, which made women not evolve into men, the sex that Aristotle believed to be perfect and superior. Maryanne Cline Horowitz stated that Aristotle believed that "soul contributes the form and model of creation". This implies that any imperfection that is caused in the world must be caused by a woman because one cannot acquire an imperfection from perfection (which he perceived as male). Aristotle had a hierarchical ruling structure in his theories. Lerner claims that through this patriarchal belief system, passed down generation to generation, people have been conditioned to believe that men are superior to women. These symbols are benchmarks which children learn about when they grow up, and the cycle of patriarchy continues much past the Greeks.
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
left no philosophical record, but
Herodotus Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece, ancient Greek writer, geographer, and historian born in the Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the Achaemenid Empire, Persian Empire (now Bodrum, Turkey). He ...
left a record of his shock at the contrast between the roles of Egyptian women and the women of
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...

Athens
. He observed that Egyptian women attended market and were employed in
trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of r ...

trade
. In ancient Egypt,
middle-class The middle class is a class Class or The Class may refer to: Common uses not otherwise categorized * Class (biology), a taxonomic rank * Class (knowledge representation), a collection of individuals or objects * Class (philosophy), an an ...
women were eligible to sit on a local
tribunal A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington Samuel Phillips Huntington (April 18, 1927 – December 24, 2008) was an American political scientist, adviser and academic. He spent ...

tribunal
, engage in
real estate Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, (more genera ...

real estate
transactions, and inherit or bequeath
property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property may have the right to consume, alter, share, r ...
. Women also secured loans, and witnessed legal documents. Athenian women were denied such rights. Greek influence spread, however, with the conquests of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
, who was educated by Aristotle. During this time period in China, gender roles and patriarchy remained shaped by
Confucianism Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of thought and behavior originating in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC ...
. Adopted as the official religion in the
Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
, Confucianism has strong dictates regarding the behavior of women, declaring a woman's place in society, as well as outlining virtuous behavior. ''
Three Obediences and Four VirtuesThe Three Obediences and Four Virtues () is a set of moral principles and social code of behaviour for maiden and married women in East Asian Confucianism, especially in Ancient and Imperial China. Women were to obey their fathers, husbands, and sons ...
'', a Confucian text, places a woman's value on her loyalty and obedience. It explains that an obedient woman is to obey their father before her marriage, her husband after marriage, and her first son if widowed, and that a virtuous woman must practice sexual propriety, proper speech, modest appearance, and hard work.
Ban Zhao Ban Zhao (; 49 – c. 120 CE or 45 - c. 117 CE), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultur ...

Ban Zhao
, a Confucian disciple, writes in her book '' Precepts for Women'', that a woman's primary concern is to subordinate themselves before patriarchal figures such as a husband or father, and that they need not concern themselves with intelligence or talent. Ban Zhao is considered by some historians as an early champion for women's education in China, however her extensive writing on the value of a woman's mediocrity and servile behavior leaves others feeling that this narrative is the result of a misplaced desire to cast her in a contemporary feminist light. Similarly to ''Three Obediences and Four Virtues'', ''Precepts for Women'' was meant as a moral guide for proper feminine behavior, and was widely accepted as such for centuries.


Post-classical history

In China's
Ming Dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming Dynasty
, widowed women were expected to never remarry, and unmarried women were expected to remain chaste for the duration of their lives. ''
Biographies of Exemplary Women The ''Biographies of Exemplary Women'' () is a book compiled by the Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and rule ...
'', a book containing biographies of women who lived according to the Confucian ideals of virtuous womanhood, popularized an entire genre of similar writing during the Ming dynasty. Women who lived according to this
Neo-Confucian Neo-Confucianism (, often shortened to ''lixue'' 理學, literally "School of Principle") is a moral, ethical, and metaphysical Chinese philosophy Chinese philosophy originates in the Spring and Autumn period () and Warring ...
ideal were celebrated in official documents, and some had structures erected in their honor. In ancient
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
, power in society was more evenly distributed, particularly in the religious domain, where
Shinto Shinto () is a religion which originated in Japan. Classified as an East Asian religions, East Asian religion by Religious studies, scholars of religion, its practitioners often regard it as Japan's indigenous religion and as a nature religion. ...

Shinto
ism worships the goddess
Amaterasu Amaterasu, also known as Amaterasu-Ōmikami () or Ōhirume-no-Muchi-no-Kami () among other names, is the goddess of the sun A solar deity (also sun goddess or sun god) is a sky deity who represents the Sun, or an aspect of it, usually by ...

Amaterasu
, and ancient writings were replete with references to great priestesses and magicians. However, at the time contemporary with
Constantine Constantine most often refers to: * Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was a Roman emperor from 306 to 337. Born in Naissus, Dacia Mediterra ...

Constantine
in the West, "the emperor of Japan changed Japanese modes of worship", giving supremacy to male deities and suppressing female spiritual power in what religious feminists have called a "patriarchal revolution."


Modern history

Although many 16th and 17th century theorists agreed with Aristotle's views concerning the place of women in society, none of them tried to prove political obligation on the basis of the patriarchal family until sometime after 1680. The patriarchal political theory is closely associated with Sir
Robert Filmer Sir Robert Filmer (c. 1588 – 26 May 1653) was an English political theorist who defended the divine right of kings The divine right of kings, divine right, or God's mandate is a political and religious doctrine of political legitima ...

Robert Filmer
. Sometime before 1653, Filmer completed a work entitled ''''. However, it was not published until after his death. In it, he defended the
divine right of kings In European Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Majo ...
as having title inherited from
Adam Adam (; Aramaic Aramaic (: ''Arāmāyā''; : ; : ; ) is a language that originated among the in the ancient , at the end of the , and later became one of the most prominent languages of the . During its three thousand years long his ...

Adam
, the first man of the human species, according to
Judeo-Christian The term Judeo-Christian is used to group Christianity and Judaism Christianity is rooted in Second Temple Judaism Second Temple Judaism is Judaism Judaism ( he, יהדות, ''Yahadut''; originally from Hebrew , ''Yehudah'', "Kingdom of ...
tradition. However, in the latter half of the 18th century, clerical sentiments of patriarchy were meeting challenges from intellectual authorities –
Diderot Denis Diderot (; 5 October 171331 July 1784) was a French philosopher, art critic, and writer, best known for serving as co-founder, chief editor, and contributor to the ''Encyclopédie'' along with Jean le Rond d'Alembert. He was a prominent fi ...

Diderot
's
Encyclopedia An encyclopedia (American English), encyclopædia (archaic spelling), or encyclopaedia (British English) is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either from all branches or from a particular field or discipline. ...
denies inheritance of paternal authority stating, "... reason shows us that mothers have rights and authority equal to those of fathers; for the obligations imposed on children originate equally from the mother and the father, as both are equally responsible for bringing them into the world. Thus the positive laws of God that relate to the obedience of children join the father and the mother without any differentiation; both possess a kind of ascendancy and jurisdiction over their children...." In the 19th century, various women began to question the commonly accepted patriarchal interpretation of Christian scripture. One of the foremost of these was Sarah Grimké, who voiced skepticism about the ability of men to translate and interpret passages relating to the roles of the sexes without bias. She proposed alternative translations and interpretations of passages relating to women, and she applied historical and cultural criticism to a number of verses, arguing that their admonitions applied to specific historical situations, and were not to be viewed as universal commands.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Elizabeth Cady Stanton (November 12, 1815 – October 26, 1902) was an American writer and activist who was a leader of the women's rights movement in the U.S. during the mid- to late-1800s. She was the main force behind the 1848 Seneca Falls C ...

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
used Grimké's criticism of biblical sources to establish a basis for feminist thought. She published ''
The Woman's Bible ''The Woman's Bible'' is a two-part non-fiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") ...
'', which proposed a feminist reading of the Old and New Testament. This tendency was enlarged by feminist theory, which denounced the patriarchal Judeo-Christian tradition. In 2020 social theorist and theologian Elaine Storkey retold the stories of thirty biblical women in her book ''Women in a Patriarchal World'' and applied the challenges they faced to women today. Working from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament, she analysed different variations of patriarchy, and outlined the paradox of Rahab, a prostitute in the Old Testament who became a role-model in the New Testament Epistle of James, and Epistle to the Hebrews. In his essay, ''A Judicial Patriarchy: Family Law at the Turn of the Century'', Michael Grossberg coined the phrase ''judicial patriarchy'' stating that, "The judge became the buffer between the family and the state" and that, "Judicial patriarchs dominated family law because within these institutional and intraclass rivalries judges succeeded in protecting their power over the law governing the hearth. In China's
Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Pr ...
, laws governing morality, sexuality, and gender-relations continued to be based on Confucian teachings. Men and women were both subject to strict laws regarding sexual behavior, however men were punished infrequently in comparison to women. Additionally, women's punishment often carried strong social stigma, "rendering
omen '' (1493): natural phenomena and unnatural births. An omen (also called ''portent'') is a phenomenon A phenomenon (; plural phenomena) is an observable fact or event. The term came into its modern philosophical usage through Immanuel Kant ...

omen
unmarriageable", a stigma which did not follow men. Similarly, in the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
, laws governing morality which were written as egalitarian were selectively enforced favoring men, permissively allowing
female infanticide Female infanticide is the deliberate killing of newborn female children. In countries with a history of female infanticide, the modern practice of sex-selective abortion is often discussed as a closely related issue. Female infanticide is a major ...
, while infanticide of any form was, by the letter of the law, prohibited.


Feminist theory

Feminist theorists have written extensively about patriarchy either as a primary cause of women's oppression, or as part of an interactive system.
Shulamith Firestone Shulamith "Shulie" Firestone (January 7, 1945 – August 28, 2012) was a Canadian-American radical feminist, writer and activist. Firestone was a central figure in the early development of radical feminism and second-wave feminism and a foundin ...
, a radical-libertarian feminist, defines patriarchy as a system of
oppression Oppression is malicious or unjust Injustice is a quality relating to unfairness or undeserved outcomes. The term may be applied in reference to a particular event or situation, or to a larger status quo or is a Latin phrase meaning the ex ...

oppression
of women. Firestone believes that patriarchy is caused by the biological inequalities between women and men, e.g. that women bear children, while men do not. Firestone writes that patriarchal ideologies support the oppression of women and gives as an example the joy of giving birth, which she labels a patriarchal myth. For Firestone, women must gain control over reproduction in order to be free from oppression. Feminist historian
Gerda Lerner Gerda Hedwig Lerner (née Kronstein; April 30, 1920 – January 2, 2013) was an Austrian-born American historian and woman's history author. In addition to her numerous scholarly publications, she wrote poetry, fiction, theatre pieces, screenpl ...
believes that male control over women's sexuality and reproductive functions is a fundamental cause and result of patriarchy.
Alison Jaggar Alison Mary Jaggar (born September 23, 1942) is an American feminist philosopher born in England. She is College Professor of Distinction in the Philosophy and Women and Gender Studies departments at the University of Colorado, Boulder , mottoe ...
also understands patriarchy as the primary cause of women's oppression. The system of patriarchy accomplishes this by alienating women from their bodies. Interactive systems theorists
Iris Marion Young Iris Marion Young (2 January 1949 – 1 August 2006) was an American political theorist and socialist feminist who focused on the nature of justice and social difference. She served as Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago ...
and
Heidi Hartmann Heidi I. Hartmann is a Feminist economics, feminist economist who is founder and president of the Washington-based Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), a research organization created to conduct women-centered, public policy research. She ...
believe that patriarchy and
capitalism Capitalism is an economic system An economic system, or economic order, is a system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea o ...

capitalism
interact together to oppress women. Young, Hartmann, and other
socialist Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive pr ...
and
Marxist feminists Marxist feminism is a philosophical variant of feminism that incorporates and extends Marxism, Marxist theory. Marxist feminism analyzes the ways in which women are exploited through capitalism and the individual ownership of private property. Acc ...
use the terms ''patriarchal capitalism'' or ''capitalist patriarchy'' to describe the interactive relationship of capitalism and patriarchy in producing and reproducing the oppression of women. According to Hartmann, the term ''patriarchy'' redirects the focus of oppression from the labour division to a moral and political responsibility liable directly to men as a
gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women A woman is ...

gender
. In its being both systematic and universal, therefore, the concept of patriarchy represents an adaptation of the Marxist concept of class and
class struggle Class conflict, also referred to as class struggle and class warfare, is the political tension and economic antagonism that exists in society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, socia ...
.
Lindsey German Lindsey Ann German
''Evening Standard'' (This is London), 14 May 2004
(born 1951) is a B ...

Lindsey German
represents an outlier in this regard. German argued for a need to redefine the origins and sources of the patriarchy, describing the mainstream theories as providing "little understanding of how women’s oppression and the nature of the family have changed historically. Nor is there much notion of how widely differing that oppression is from class to class." Instead, the patriarchy is not the result of men's oppression of women or sexism per se, with men not even identified as the main beneficiaries of such a system, but
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
itself. As such, female liberation needs to begin "with an assessment of the material position of women in capitalist society." In that, German differs from Young or Hartmann by rejecting the notion ("eternal truth") that the patriarchy is at the root of female oppression.
Audre Lorde Audre Lorde (; born Audrey Geraldine Lorde; February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was an American writer, feminist, Womanism, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. She was a self-described "Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," who ...

Audre Lorde
, an African American feminist writer and theorist, believed that
racism Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to inherited attributes and can be divided based on the superiority Superior may refer to: *Superior (hierarchy), something which is higher in a hie ...

racism
and patriarchy were intertwined systems of oppression. Sara Ruddick, a philosopher who wrote about "good mothers" in the context of maternal ethics, describes the dilemma facing contemporary mothers who must train their children within a patriarchal system. She asks whether a "good mother" trains her son to be competitive, individualistic, and comfortable within the hierarchies of patriarchy, knowing that he may likely be economically successful but a mean person, or whether she resists patriarchal ideologies and socializes her son to be cooperative and communal but economically unsuccessful.
Gerda Lerner Gerda Hedwig Lerner (née Kronstein; April 30, 1920 – January 2, 2013) was an Austrian-born American historian and woman's history author. In addition to her numerous scholarly publications, she wrote poetry, fiction, theatre pieces, screenpl ...
, in her 1986 ''The Creation of Patriarchy'', makes a series of arguments about the origins and reproduction of patriarchy as a system of oppression of women, and concludes that patriarchy is
socially constructed Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge in sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social scien ...
and seen as natural and invisible. Some feminist theorists believe that patriarchy is an unjust
social system In , social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal of role and status that can form in a small, stable group. An individual may be ...
that is harmful to both men and women. It often includes any social, political, or economic mechanism that evokes male dominance over women. Because patriarchy is a social construction, it can be overcome by revealing and critically analyzing its manifestations. Jaggar, Young, and Hartmann are among the feminist theorists who argue that the system of patriarchy should be completely overturned, especially the heteropatriarchal family, which they see as a necessary component of female oppression. The family not only serves as a representative of the greater civilization by pushing its own affiliates to change and obey, but performs as a component in the rule of the patriarchal state that rules its inhabitants with the head of the family. Many feminists (especially scholars and activists) have called for culture repositioning as a method for deconstructing patriarchy. Culture repositioning relates to
culture change Culture change is a term used in public policy Public policy is an institutionalized proposal to solve relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and implemented by programs as a course of action created and/or enacted, typically b ...
. It involves the reconstruction of the cultural concept of a society. Prior to the widespread use of the term ''patriarchy'', early feminists used ''
male chauvinism Chauvinism is the belief in the superiority or dominance of one's own group or people, who are seen as strong, virtuous and supreme, while others are considered weak, unworthy or inferior. It can be described as a form of extreme patriotism and n ...
'' and ''sexism'' to refer roughly to the same phenomenon. Author
bell hooks Gloria Jean Watkins (born September 25, 1952), better known by her pen name bell hooks, is an American author, professor, Feminism, feminist, and Activism, social activist. The name "bell hooks" is borrowed from her maternal great-grandmother, B ...
argues that the new term identifies the ideological system itself (that men claim dominance and superiority to women) that can be believed and acted upon by either men or women, whereas the earlier terms imply only men act as oppressors of women. Sociologist Joan Acker, analyzing the concept of patriarchy and the role that it has played in the development of feminist thought, says that seeing patriarchy as a "universal, trans-historical and trans-cultural phenomenon" where "women were everywhere oppressed by men in more or less the same ways tended toward a biological essentialism." Anna Pollert has described use of the term patriarchy as circular and conflating description and explanation. She remarks the discourse on patriarchy creates a "theoretical impasse ... imposing a structural label on what it is supposed to explain" and therefore impoverishes the possibility of explaining
gender inequalities Gender inequality is the social process by which men and women are not treated as equals. The treatment may arise from distinctions regarding biology, psychology, or cultural norms. Some of these distinctions are empirically-grounded while others ...

gender inequalities
.


Biological theory

The testimonies of other
primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutherian mammal constituting the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomic order (biology), order Primates (). Primates arose 85–55 million years ago first from small Terrestrial animal, ...

primate
s (for example,
chimpanzee The chimpanzee (''Pan troglodytes''), also known simply as chimp, is a species of Hominidae, great ape native to the forest and savannah of tropical Africa. It has four confirmed subspecies and a fifth proposed subspecies. The chimpanzee and t ...

chimpanzee
s) about male
sexual coercion Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse Sexual intercourse (or coitus or copulation) is sexual activity typically involving the insertion and thrusting of the penis A penis (plural ''penises'' or ''p ...
and female resistance suggest that sexual conflicts of interest underlying the patriarchy precede the emergence of the human species. However, the extent of male power over females varies greatly across different primate species. Male coercion of females is rarely, if ever, observed in
bonobo The bonobo (; ''Pan paniscus''), also historically called the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee, is an Endangered Species, endangered great ape and one of the two species making up the genus ''Pan (genus), Pan''; th ...

bonobo
s, for example, and bonobos are widely considered to be
matriarchal Matriarchy is a social system In , social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions. It is the formal of role and status that can form in a small, ...
in their social structure. There is also considerable variation in the role that gender plays in human societies, and there is no academic consensus on to what extent biology determines human social structure. The ''
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia which is now published exclusively as an online encyclopedia, online encyclopaedia. It was formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., ...
'' states that "...many cultures bestow power preferentially on one sex or the other...." Some anthropologists, such as Floriana Ciccodicola, have argued that patriarchy is a
cultural universal A cultural universal (also called an anthropological universal or human universal) is an element, pattern, trait, or institution that is common to all known human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior ...
, and the masculinities scholar David Buchbinder suggests that
Roland Barthes Roland Gérard Barthes (; ; 12 November 1915 – 26 March 1980) was a French literary theorist Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an a ...

Roland Barthes
' description of the term '' ex-nomination,'' i.e. patriarchy as the 'norm' or common sense, is relevant. However, there do exist cultures that some anthropologists have described as matriarchal. Among the
Mosuo The Mosuo (; also spelled Moso or Musuo), often called the Na among themselves, is a small living in and Provinces in , close to the border with . Consisting of a population of approximately 40,000, many of them live in the Yongning region, ar ...
(a tiny society in the
Yunnan Province Yunnan () is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivi ...

Yunnan Province
in China), for example, women exert greater power, authority, and control over decision-making. Other societies are
matrilinear Matrilineality is the tracing of kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, although its exact meanings even within this discipline are often d ...
or
matrilocal In social anthropology, matrilocal residence or matrilocality (also uxorilocal residence or uxorilocality) is the societal system in which a married couple resides with or near the wife's parents. Thus, the female offspring of a mother A m ...
, primarily among indigenous tribal groups. Some
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
groups, such as the !Kung of southern Africa, have been characterized as largely
egalitarian Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all hu ...
. Some proponents of the biological determinist understanding of patriarchy argue that because of human female biology, women are more fit to perform roles such as anonymous child-rearing at home, rather than high-profile decision-making roles, such as leaders in battles. Through this basis, "the existence of a sexual division of labor in primitive societies is a starting point as much for purely social accounts of the origins of patriarchy as for biological." Hence, the rise of patriarchy is recognized through this apparent "sexual division".


Patriarchy as a human universal

An early theory in
evolutionary psychology Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach in the social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchang ...
offered an explanation for the origin of patriarchy which starts with the view that females almost always invest more energy into producing offspring than males, and, therefore in most
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
females are a
limiting factor A limiting factor is a variable of a system that causes a noticeable change in output or another measure of a type of system. The limiting factor is in a pyramid shape of organisms going up from the producers to consumers and so on. A factor not lim ...
over which males will compete. This is sometimes referred to as
Bateman's principle Bateman's principle, in evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolution, evolutionary processes (natural selection, common descent, speciation) that produced the Biodiversity, diversity of life on ...
. It suggests females place the most important preference on males who control more resources that can help her and her offspring, which in turn causes an
evolutionary pressure Any cause that reduces or increases reproductive success in a portion of a population potentially exerts evolutionary pressure, selective pressure or selection pressure, driving natural selection Natural selection is the differential survi ...
on males to be competitive with each other in order to gain resources and power. Some sociobiologists, such as
Steven Goldberg Steven Goldberg (born 14 October 1941) is a native of New York City and chaired the Department of Sociology at the City College of New York (CCNY) from 1988 until his retirement in 2008. He is most widely known for his theory of patriarchy, which a ...
, argue that social behavior is primarily determined by
genetics Genetics is a branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, ...

genetics
, and thus that patriarchy arises more as a result of inherent biology than
social conditioning Social conditioning is the sociological process of training individuals in a society to respond in a manner generally approved by the society in general and peer groups within society. The concept is stronger than that of socialization, which is t ...
. Goldberg contends that patriarchy is a universal feature of
human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, and habits of the individuals i ...

human culture
. In 1973, Goldberg wrote, "The
ethnographic Ethnography (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is ap ...

ethnographic
studies of every society that has ever been observed explicitly state that these feelings were present, there is literally no variation at all." Goldberg has critics among anthropologists. Concerning Goldberg's claims about the "feelings of both men and women",
Eleanor Leacock Eleanor Burke Leacock (July2, 1922April2, 1987) was an anthropologist and social theorist who made major contributions to the study of egalitarian societies, the evolution of the status of women in society, Marxism Marxism is a method of soc ...
countered in 1974 that the data on women's attitudes are "sparse and contradictory", and that the data on male attitudes about male–female relations are "ambiguous". Also, the effects of
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
on the cultures represented in the studies were not considered. Anthropologist and psychologist
Barbara SmutsBarbara B. Smuts is an American anthropologist and psychologist noted for her research into baboons, dolphins, and chimpanzees. Smuts received a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Harvard University and a Ph.D in neurological and biological beha ...
argues that patriarchy evolved in humans through conflict between the reproductive interests of males and the reproductive interests of females. She lists six ways that it emerged: # a reduction in female allies # elaboration of male-male alliances # increased male control over resources # increased hierarchy formation among men # female strategies that reinforce male control over females # the
evolution of language The origin of language (spoken and signed, as well as language related technological systems such as writing), its relationship with human evolution, and its consequences, have been a centuries-long subject of study for the human race. The topi ...
and its power to create ideology.


Sex hormones and social structure

Patriarchal and matriarchal social structure in primates may be mediated by
sex hormone Sex hormones, also known as sex steroids, gonadocorticoids and gonadal steroids, are steroid hormone A steroid hormone is a steroid that acts as a hormone. Steroid hormones can be grouped into two classes: corticosteroids (typically made in the ...
s. For example, bonobos, who exhibit a matriarchal social structure, have lower
testosterone Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of Male reproductive system, male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondar ...
levels in males compared to patriarchal chimpanzees. Hormones have been declared the "key to the sexual universe" because they are present in all animals and are the driving force in two critical developmental stages: sex-determination in the fetus, and
puberty Puberty is the process of physical changes through which a child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natur ...

puberty
in the adolescent individual.
Testosterone Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of Male reproductive system, male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondar ...
and
estrogen Estrogens or oestrogens, are a class of natural or synthetic s responsible for the development and regulation of the female and s. There are three major estrogens that have estrogenic hormonal activity: (E1), (E2), and (E3). Estradiol, an ...

estrogen
have been labeled the "male-hormone" and "female-hormone" respectively because of the role they play in masculinizing or feminizing the body. They may also be causally associated with psychological and behavioral differences among individuals, between the sexes, and among species. For example, testosterone is associated with dominant and aggressive behavior, and with male-typical sexual behavior. Studies have also found higher pre-natal testosterone or lower
digit ratio The digit ratio is the ratio of the lengths of different digits or fingers. The 2D:4D ratio is the most studied digit ratio and is calculated by dividing the length of the index finger of a given hand by the length of the ring finger of the sam ...
to be correlated with higher aggression in human males. In humans, patriarchal social structure may have evolved due to intersexual selection (i.e. female mate selection), or intrasexual selection (i.e. male-male competition). Physical features associated with testosterone, such as facial hair and lower voices, are sometimes used to gain a better understanding of sexual pressures in the human evolutionary environment. These features may have appeared as a result of female mate selection, or because of male-male competition. Men with beards and low voices are perceived as more dominant, aggressive, and high-status compared to their cleanshaven higher-voiced counterparts, meaning that men with facial hair and lower voices may be more likely to attain a high status and increase their reproductive success.


Male criminality

Male crime has also been explored through a biological lens. Most crimes are committed by men. Sociologist/criminologist
Lee Ellis Altis Lee Ellis (born March 1, 1942) is an American sociologist who was a professor of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds every ...
put forward an evolutionary explanation for male criminality known as the evolutionary neuroandrogenic (ENA) theory. The most brutal criminals in the world had the most testosterone, compared with those who were serving sentences for more harmless crimes. Therefore, Ellis posits that the human male brain has evolved in such a way as to be competitive at the verge of risk and gangsterism is an example of an extreme form of male behavior. Psychologist and professor
Mark van Vugt Mark van Vugt (born 9 May 1967, Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 ...
, from VU University at
Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the City Region of Amsterdam, urban ar ...

Amsterdam
, Netherlands, has argued that human males have evolved more aggressive and group-oriented behavior in order to gain access to resources, territories, mates and higher status. His theory, the Male Warrior hypothesis, posits that males throughout hominid history have evolved to form coalitions or groups in order to engage in inter-group aggression and increase their chances of acquiring resources, mates and territory. Vugt argues that this evolved male social dynamic explains the human
history of war Military history is a humanities Humanities are List of academic disciplines, academic disciplines that study aspects of human society and culture. In the Renaissance, the term contrasted with Divinity (academic discipline), divinity and r ...
to modern day gang rivalry.


Social theory

Sociologists tend to reject predominantly biological explanations of patriarchyMacionis, John J. (2012). ''Sociology'' (13th ed.). Prentice Hall. and contend that socialization processes are primarily responsible for establishing
gender roles A gender role, also known as a sex role, is a social role A role (also rôle or social role) is a set of connected behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, ...
. According to standard sociological theory, patriarchy is the result of sociological constructions that are passed down from generation to generation. These constructions are most pronounced in societies with traditional cultures and less economic development. Even in modern, developed societies, however, gender messages conveyed by family, mass media, and other institutions largely favor males having a dominant status. Although patriarchy exists within the scientific atmosphere, "the periods over which women would have been at a physiological disadvantage in participation in hunting through being at a late stage of pregnancy or early stage of child-rearing would have been short", during the time of the nomads, patriarchy still grew with power. Lewontin and others argue that such biological determinism unjustly limits women. In his study, he states women behave a certain way not because they are biologically inclined to, but rather because they are judged by "how well they conform to the stereotypical local image of femininity". Feminists believe that people have gendered biases, which are perpetuated and enforced across generations by those who benefit from them. For instance, it has historically been claimed that women cannot make rational decisions during their menstrual periods. This claim cloaks the fact that men also have periods of time where they can be aggressive and irrational; furthermore, unrelated effects of aging and similar medical problems are often blamed on menopause, amplifying its reputation. These biological traits and others specific to women, such as their ability to get pregnant, are often used against them as an attribute of weakness. Sociologist
Sylvia Walby Sylvia Theresa Walby (born 16 October 1953) is a British sociologist, currently Professor of Sociology, Director of the Violence and Society Centre at the City University of London City, University of London (abbreviated CUL), is a public ...

Sylvia Walby
has composed six overlapping structures that define patriarchy and that take different forms in different cultures and different times: # The state: women are unlikely to have formal power and representation # The household: women are more likely to do the housework and raise the children # Violence: women are more prone to being abused # Paid work: women are likely to be paid less # Sexuality: women's sexuality is more likely to be treated negatively # Culture: representation of women in media, and popular culture is "within a patriarchal gaze". :''Cited in'': The idea that patriarchy is natural has, however, come under attack from many sociologists, explaining that patriarchy evolved due to historical, rather than biological, conditions. In technologically simple societies, men's greater physical strength and women's common experience of pregnancy combined to sustain patriarchy. Gradually, technological advances, especially industrial machinery, diminished the primacy of physical strength in everyday life. Similarly, contraception has given women control over their reproductive cycle.


Psychoanalytic theories

While the term ''patriarchy'' often refers to male domination generally, another interpretation sees it as literally "rule of the father". So some people believe patriarchy does not refer simply to of male power over women, but the expression of power dependent on age as well as gender, such as by older men over women, children, and younger men. Some of these younger men may inherit and therefore have a stake in continuing these conventions. Others may rebel. This psychoanalytic model is based upon revisions of Freud's description of the normally neurotic family using the analogy of the story of
Oedipus Oedipus (, ; grc-gre, Οἰδίπους "swollen foot") was a mythical Greek king of Thebes. A tragic hero #REDIRECT Tragic hero#REDIRECT Tragic hero A tragic hero is the protagonist 200px, Shakespeare's '' Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.'' ...

Oedipus
. Those who fall outside the Oedipal triad of mother/father/child are less subject to male authority. The operations of power in such cases are usually enacted unconsciously. All are subject, even fathers are bound by its strictures. It is represented in unspoken traditions and conventions performed in everyday behaviors, customs, and habits. The triangular relationship of a father, a mother and an inheriting eldest son frequently form the dynamic and emotional narratives of popular culture and are enacted performatively in rituals of courtship and marriage. They provide conceptual models for organising power relations in spheres that have nothing to do with the family, for example, politics and business. Arguing from this standpoint, radical feminist
Shulamith Firestone Shulamith "Shulie" Firestone (January 7, 1945 – August 28, 2012) was a Canadian-American radical feminist, writer and activist. Firestone was a central figure in the early development of radical feminism and second-wave feminism and a foundin ...
wrote in her 1970 ''
The Dialectic of Sex ''The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution'' (1970) is a book by the radical feminist Shulamith Firestone. Written over a few months when Firestone was 25, it has been described as a classic of feminist thought. Firestone argues th ...
'':
Marx was on to something more profound than he knew when he observed that the family contained within itself in embryo all the antagonisms that later develop on a wide scale within the society and the state. For unless revolution uproots the basic social organisation, the biological family – the vinculum through which the psychology of power can always be smuggled – the tapeworm of exploitation will never be annihilated.


See also


Patriarchal models

*
Biblical patriarchy Biblical patriarchy, also known as Christian patriarchy, is a patriarchal social system In sociology, social system is the patterned network of relationships constituting a coherent whole that exist between individuals, groups, and institutions ...
* Chinese patriarchy *
Pater familias The ''pater familias'', also written as ''paterfamilias'' (plural ''patres familias''), was the head of a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, th ...

Pater familias


Related topics

*
Androcentrism Androcentrism (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: My ...
* '' Capitalist Patriarchy and the Case for Socialist Feminism'' *
Correspondence principle (sociology) The correspondence principle or ''correspondence thesis'' is a sociology, sociological theory that posits a close relationship between social standing and the educational system. Writers in this vein (notably Gary Watson and Diep Tran) are in parti ...
* Family as a model for the state *
Family economics Family economics applies economic concepts such as production, division of labor Division or divider may refer to: Mathematics *Division (mathematics) Division is one of the four basic operations of arithmetic, the ways that numbers are comb ...
*
Feminism Feminism is a range of social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of people to achieve a particular goal, typically a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting popu ...

Feminism
*
Gender role A gender role, also known as a sex role, is a social role encompassing a range of behaviors and attitudes that are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for a person based on that person's sex. Gender roles are usually cente ...
*
Hegemonic masculinity In gender studies Gender studies is an interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from ...
* Heteropatriarchy *
Homemaker Homemaking is mainly an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United ...
* Male expendability *
Masculinity Masculinity (also called manhood or manliness) is a set of attributes, behavior Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences) is the Action ...
*
Nature versus nurture The nature versus nurture debate involves whether human behavior is determined by the environment, either prenatal or during a person's life, or by a person's genes. The alliterative expression "nature and nurture" in English has been in use sinc ...
* Patriarch (disambiguation) *
Patriarchate Patriarchate ( Greek: , ''patriarcheîon'') is an ecclesiological term in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of ...
*
Patrilineality Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship In anthropology, kinship is the web of social relationships that form an important part of the lives of all humans in all societies, althoug ...
*
Patrilocal residence In social anthropology Social anthropology is the study of patterns of behaviour in human societies and cultures. It is the dominant constituent of anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens' ...
*
PhallocentrismPhallocentrism is the ideology that the phallus File:The Hindu God Shiva LACMA M.69.15.1 (2 of 3).jpg, Ithyphallic Shiva, 3rd century AD A phallus is a penis (especially when Erection, erect), an object that resembles a penis, or a mimesis, mime ...
* Sociology of fatherhood *
The personal is political ''The personal is political'', also termed ''The private is political'', is a political argument used as a rallying slogan of student movement Student activism or campus activism is work by students to cause political, environmental, econo ...
* Tree of patriarchy *
Womb envy In psychology, womb envy, denotes the envy that men may feel of the biological functions of the female (pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding). The Neo-Freudianism, neo-Freudian psychiatrist Karen Horney (1885–1952) proposed this as an innate ma ...


Comparable social models

* Androcracy *
Kyriarchy In feminist theory, kyriarchy () is a social system or set of connecting social systems built around Domination (sociology), domination, oppression, and submission. The word was coined by radical feminist Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza in 1992 to des ...
*
Male privilege Male privilege is the system of advantages or rights that are available to men solely on the basis of their sex. A man's access to these benefits may vary depending on how closely they match their society's ideal masculine norm. Academic studi ...
*
Matriarchy Matriarchy is a in which hold the primary power positions in roles of political leadership, , and control of property. While those definitions apply in general English, definitions specific to the disciplines of and differ in some respect ...


Contrast

* Shared earning/shared parenting marriage


References


Further reading

* * * :'':Cited in'': :* * * *
Pdf.
* * *


External links

* * * * {{Authority control Male Cultural anthropology Family Fatherhood Gender and society Men Sociobiology Family economics Feminism and society Feminist terminology Feminist theory