Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence. Patriarchy is the single most life-threatening social disease assaulting the male body and spirit in our nation. bell hooks tells a very interesting recollection of her childhood to help us further understand how patriarchy affects all of us in her piece “Understanding Patriarchy”. She tells these stories about her and her brother’s life and how both of her parents played a part in the patriarchal system. You see how women can have been the victims but also the perpetrators in their own demise. Time after time we have seen some women vote or go against their own best interest. The conditioning of women over time has been to only be beautiful doll like creatures. How her mom was content with the life they that lived. There was an issue with her and her brother playing marbles and she was too “aggressive” compared to her brother and her father beat her for “stepping” out of line and when it happened her mother came into the bedroom to soothe the pain, telling me in her soft southern voice, “I tried to warn you. You need to accept that you are just a little girl and girls can’t do what boys do.” She as the daughter in the house her role to serve, to be weak, to be free from the burden of thinking, to caretake and nurture others. Her brother was taught that it was his role to be served; to provide; to be strong; to think, strategize, and plan; and to refuse to caretake or nurture others. It has been a social norm for women to be these nurturing mothers but not being able to be autonomous in their own care without the help of the “man of the house”. This has been acceptable behavior since forever. Men have run the country and made it their business to keep women under their thumbs but if we never make any noise or fuss about being these beautiful objects we couldn’t look to men to fix some of the problems that start within ourselves. We all have to become self-sufficient human beings. We can’t look to a man for their approval or guidance in what a woman is. The fascination with giving birth and mothering for little girls is created subconsciously by always giving them mother roles from birth. A little girl by age 3 has a baby doll who she’s a mother too because that is deemed normal in society. Mothers have also been responsible for making their daughters feel like second class citizens compared to their brothers in their own household. The sister could be younger sibling in the household but still be expected to be more active in maintaining the house and if asked why, it would be that’s just the way it is or you're smarter and more mature than your brothers. That’s where the envy towards male counterparts comes in, their ability to be allowed to just relax and not be accountable at all times. It is often the way we were raised but we know how much we disliked our mothers for that treatment and tell ourselves we’ll be better parents but subconsciously we had become our mothers. We have come farther as of recently to break down gender roles in our household.
-- works cited --
hooks, bell. Understanding Patriarchy. Louisville Anarchist Federation Federation, 2010. https://books.google.com/books?id=YeQenQAACAAJ.