May 12, 2004
Ramble of the Moment
So, in this book (Terrence Real's "How Can I Get Through to You?") at one point the author starts talking about "the Patriarchy". And I have to admit, for some reason that language starts a low level alert on my BS-detector. For some reason I associate it with immoderate and excessively-PC viewpoints...but then I think, why does it set off that reaction in me? I mean, to a probably large extent, "the patriarchy" is a fact: we're not likely to have a woman president in the next few years, there ain't that many women CEOs overall, and look at the structure of the most dominant religions in this country.
I think what I find troubling is the implication that the Patriarchy is some kind of conspiracy, some kind of deliberate ploy. To the extent that it does exist or is dominant, that would indicate that its a strong player in some kind of societal darwinian struggle. Which doesn't mean it's superior overall; the ability to survive in darwinian terms is indicative of...an ability to survive, that's it. Inedible weeds thrive over other many other more useful (to us) and/or beautiful (again, to us) species.
Maybe subsocieties that had that kind of male-dominated structure did do better than some that didn't, but that doesn't mean that it's a better way for us to live, that some other system might not be healthier for us emotionally and mentally and spirtually and all that. I think the point of this book is that it's more or less an established thing; we can fight against it or make our peace with it, but if we live in denial of it being there and how it has likely affected us, it probably won't be good for us in the long run.