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In feminist thought, patriarchy is simply the root of all evil, a system dominated by men. But what does that even mean? Take away the hyperbole and hysteria and we’re left with some vague definitions, “a social system in which family members are related to each other through their fathers” or “Patriarchy is an emotional economy as well as an unequal distribution of power” or “Patriarchy is a form of social stratification via a power/dominance hierarchy – an ancient and ongoing social system based on traditions of elitism.”

Quite simply patriarchy is a Very Bad Thing. A Vague Thing with an elusive definition mostly related to perceived power and who allegedly holds such power. Power is also a very bad thing and if somebody has it, it’s only because they obviously stole it from somebody who is now powerless.

In much of feminist thought, men are oppressors because they’re hogging all the power. The only way for women to gain any power is to render men powerless and steal some of theirs. You do this by regulations, laws, public shaming, anything you can to tear men down so they will relinquish their power and release it into the hands of women.

This alleged hierarchy of oppression can get somewhat comical when you introduce race and class into the equation. Also the theory begins to completely fall apart, with everyone shrieking at each other to “check their privilege.” Sooo, if you are a wealthy white woman supported by her father and later her husband, are you a victim of a sexist society or an oppressor? What if you have a Mexican woman you pay under the table to clean your house? Wouldn’t this make you a bit sexist, a bit racist, perhaps even exploitative, even though you are a woman yourself? How about the Asian guy you pay slave wages to clean your pool? Is he really part of the oppressive patriarchy that allegedly enslaves you? Well now it gets really complicated. If you are a wealthy white woman who supports LGBT politics and Obamacare, then you are not really an oppressor, you are a good person who cares deeply for the downtrodden. So who is really oppressing the Mexican maid and the Asian pool boy? Like duh, “the patriarchy.”

In crazy upside down world, last summer I literally hid in the broom closet with the Mexican maid and the Asian pool boy, while we tried to stifle giggles about all this. (They’re lucky we weren’t hiding in the booze closet.)  What sparked these fits of hysterical giggling was a deep and profound awareness that feminism, liberalism, atheism, and assorted other social engineering schemes, are so hypocritical and disconnected from the rest of the real world, you just have to laugh. Yes, the Lady of the Manor with her fancy Harvard education, (paid for by her father) who had never worked a day in her life (supported by her wealthy husband) had just lectured the hired help regarding the oppressive nature of men and the evils of patriarchy……before shoving us all into the broom closet so we wouldn’t be in the way of her dinner guests.

In the bottom rungs of society men are not often perceived as the powerful, as oppressors, they are allies, partners in crime, people you are more likely to seek to encourage and lift up, rather than to tear down. Heady intellectual concepts like hierarchies of oppression or feminist ideology or patriarchal theories from academia are not misunderstood by the little people, they are rejected entirely as the nonsense they are.

What triggered this little foray into the “evils of patriarchy” was something Violet commented about on the other thread “I had a quick scan to say if you’ve said anything that could be contrived as oppressive to women, and came up with a couple of your comments that don’t make the accusation seem out of the realms of possibility.” Then she lists some things I’ve said including, “…I’ve found patriarchy under Christianity to be the most women friendly of them all…..I’ve found Christianity to be one of the most respectful and kindest of religions towards women.”

I’m laughing a bit here, but sheesh, oppressing women now includes pointing out that something is woman friendly, respectful, and kind?? Well, obviously I am oppressing women then!  My bad.