It is the matrix of our very existence; the fibers of it woven into our being like strands of DNA. It imbues nearly all societal norms and cultural interactions. We are steeped in it from our earliest moments until the day we slip the mortal coil. Patriarchy will define every hierarchy, every categorization, every method used in civil society.
There are plenty of definitions of Patriarchy. Look them up, if you’re confused here. I don’t have the time to do your intellectual labor for you. Once you understand what the Patriarchy is, we can talk.
We feel, live, and breathe patriarchy daily. You don’t believe me? What do you call the feeling you get when you’re walking down a street at night and hear heavy footsteps coming up behind you? What do you live every day, when you’re paid less for the same work as someone else? What pollution enters your lungs with each breath because men, who run corporations and governments, value money more than life? Those are all examples of patriarchal influence in our world. There are a million more, from caste systems to plant and animal classifications to the displays of intimidation used by warriors, gang members, politicians, and children on the schoolyard daily.
Once you understand how much of your life is determined by this structure, you can identify it and then work to defeat it. Smashing the patriarchy isn’t specifically about women’s empowerment, though that is a crucial foundational element. It is also about freeing men from the system of oppression that values competition for resources as the sole measure of success. The size of one’s penis shouldn’t define prowess just as courting a super-model shouldn’t be the ultimate sign to determine sexual desirability.
After you’ve spent some time realizing all the ways you’ve been fucked by the Patriarchy, literally and figuratively, you come to an understanding of what could work better for all of us: a matriarchy. Not that the matriarchal system will over-power the patriarchal one so much as it will engulf and subsume it. Instead of competition for resources, we’ll strive for collaborative efforts toward abundance, for example. Women won’t be “in charge” simply by being women, but neither will men. All voices will be heard. All forms of humanity will be respected, loved, and revered. The matriarchy will come unto us, and it will embrace differences as strengths, not threats. The matriarchy will allow communities to provide structures for support that suit the communal needs, not the financial coffers of an elite few. Wealth will not be determined by how much you have but by how much you are able and willing to give.
Does it all sound crazy? If so, take some time and think about what I’ve said. Meanwhile, read these wise, eloquent words from Guy Jones, a Native American man from the Standing Rock community in North Dakota:
“These are gifts that were given to us by a woman. It is the woman, (who) is the giver of life. It is the woman, who is our first love. It is the woman, who is our first teacher. This is about feminism. This is about our mother, going back to the beginning, going back to the Earth. The Earth is where we come from, no matter what theology, ideology or belief or religion you have, it all goes back to the origin. And the origin is our Mother. That is important that you keep that in mind.”
We are the origin. We are the Mother. We are the source of all life. Viva la matriarcha!