Claims concerning the exitence of The Patriarchy posit the existence of a fundamental social division between men and women whereby men collectively rule society and hold all power over all women. At its most general The Patriarchy posits that (all) men have an interest in women’s oppression. The theory was conceived and developed by feminists during the second half of the twentieth century.
The English Wikipedia page for Patriachy begins by defining Patriarchy in this manner:
Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and control of property.
This sentence is representative of feminist definitions and even without digging deeper it shows how deeply flawed the feminist notion of The Patriarchy is. Women have held greater moral authority in many societies including our own. Even more common has been the ability of women to move in the social hierarchy more easily then men, who often find themselves in a fix position.
Definitions from Feminist Sources
Patriarchy is a term used in feminism to describe the system of gender-based hierarchy in society which assigns most power to men, and assigns higher value to men, maleness, and "masculine traits". Feminism recognizes most of human society as patriarchal. Feminists work to end the perpetuation of patriarchy, deeming it oppressive for women and people of non-binary genders. Some feminists and anti-oppression activists prefer to analyse gendered power relations in terms of kyriarchy and/or intersectionality, finding "patriarchy" too focused on gendered societal power at the expense of other intersecting oppressions. Others prefer to continue using the term patriarchy when describing gendered oppression.
Patriarchal (adj.) describes a general structure in which men have power over women. Society (n.) is the entirety of relations of a community. A patriarchal society consists of a male-dominated power structure throughout organized society and in individual relationships.
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- Ancient queens
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- Patriarchy:Feminist theory
- The Creation of Patriarchy, major feminist text on the topic
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- Feminism and Religion