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What is Patriarchy? 

Alright Royals, big topic ahead of us right now…what is patriarchy? Any takers? This idea comes up a lot, and I mean A LOT in the conversations I am listening to. The description is there but not there, if that makes sense. Over the years, my opinion on patriarchy has been adjusted to a more productive way of thinking. Let me start off by first saying that patriarchy is not NOR has it ever been the shaming of men. This is often a common misconception in our society. Men tend to get a bit defensive when this topic is brought up. Frankly some men have every right to be upset with being blamed for no reason, it comes hand and hand with confusion. Although some human beings deserve it, but that’s a different conversation, focus. 

Human beings are absolutely terrified to fail, right? I know I am and so when we say that we are confused or are caught being confused, that’s a sign of weakness and leads to anger internally and externally as well as frustration. Let me break this down because things start to get messy towards the true meaning of patriarchy. Before we start I would like to say that I am a supporter and advocate for every human being and as a participating audience member and speaker I am here to respectfully explain my beliefs. Therefore I hope these beliefs affect you in a way of progression rather than the opposite. Also, I would like to put out in the universe that many of these ideas are NOT my own and I have been establishing them from the work of Allan Johnson in his article “Patriarchy the System.” Great read, highly recommend!

So, patriarchy, this crazy notion that it was created for women to just blame men for everything and hate men right? Absolutely a hundred percent wrong! It does not blame, this type of societal structure, and I will repeat it… the societal structure that Johnson puts more clearly in saying, “patriarchy is a way of organizing social life through which such wounding, failure, and mistreatment, are bound to occur” (Johnson 26). Pay attention to the quote, do you see the words female hatred towards men anywhere? Didn’t think so either. And so, we continue deeper, patriarchy is this form of extreme living that we all have come accustomed too, however, some have realized this pattern of behavior occurring between all genders creating power structures. Again a baby boy is NOT born and then told to be a patriarchal a** as a career, frankly, they are blinded to it. This is where the confusion comes back into play, and what comes with confusion is anger and frustration, which is fine to a certain point. Its a whole spider web of people upon people just following each other. Like a trail of ants following each other into an oven. Or we’re constantly rehearsing a play. There is bound to be a mess coming up if we stick with this structure. But that’s what society is about right? To raise no issues or trouble we construct our behaviors for the benefit of the day, the time, the people around, and the routine of life. We just follow and live through the day as best as we can. We rarely disrupt the routine of life. But… shall we for a moment? Just a tiny moment.

Patriarchy creates this culture as Allan Johnson puts in his article, “a culture of control and domination” (27). So what comes with control and domination, power. Now if you control something and dominate something there is no need for confusion right? Keep that in mind. So this power, some are obsessed with it, one, some crave it, two, and some are born into it, three. Think of those three examples, can you staple a man’s name to all of those? Good, me too! But I am not saying that is a bad thing but pay attention to male culture, the values behind this certain gender and behind a women’s culture. Again not saying patriarchy only affects men and women because those are not the only genders available for a human being. 

Certain genders that are in this percentile of human beings have privileges, but it is extremely important to recognize that a lot of other human beings that can be separated in million other categories are not as fortunate and not have opportunities as some have been cast to have. Our society loves the color white for some damn reason, obsessed with the idea that white comes with power, domination, purity, and blah, blah, blah. 

Who am I talking about? Rich white straight men? Absolutely, however, this is where the defensive side comes into play, slow your roll and chill. There is no blame cast on anyone nor HATE, but its time to break the norm of this dusty way of thinking. Being robotic bystander, going through the motions of how life has BEEN for THOUSANDS of years…is boring…so break the norm. As an audience member, I appreciate you listening to my rant but patriarchy to me is a societal structure that has ingrained beautifully into our tiny heads how gender roles are different, separate, and that certain genders dominate the other and have to control the other. Screw that. It is 2020 let’s change it up, shall we? 

So now that patriarchy has become a conversation of societal ingrained harmful motions rather than women hating men take a look at a progressing male culture. Would we progress more as a society if we were taught respect and kindness, or power and domination? Two different things and yet both are constantly taught to two different genders till the day we meet the dirt. All I am saying queens is, its time for a change and if you do not like change, that’s okay, but there is people out there that can explain it to you and show you it is not harmful and it is more normal. So get ready ducklings, change is coming. And as always, Stay Royal! 




Chrissa Apostolopoulos

Illinois State '20

Chrissa Apostolopoulos is a Senior at Illinois State University "As a first-generation Greek Feminist, I write my articles as a respectful listener and advocated speaker for all persons. I open the platform for those silenced and as I continue my journey of opening up new perspectives, I advise my readers to be respectful audience members as well as knowledgeable persons." She/ Her Pronouns Follow Chrissa on Instagram: @chrissa_apostol
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