The key insight is this: I had to reread that line several times, slowly, when I first encountered it. Here’s what it boils down to (TL;DR): Patriarchy lives within each of us. Because he owned the land she lived on. It’s like the tap has been suddenly turned off. Gilligan and Snider further delve into the psychological effects of patriarchy and the intricacies leading to its persistence by exploring the idea of loss. Change ), See the editorial and submissions link above for contact details, Hong Kong and Chinese Literature and Culture. The construction of masculinity is thus figured as a response to loss. Want to bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later? Under feudalism, an accident of birth gave you the right to have sex with whomever you pleased. The unconscious pressure to oblige these patriarchal gender norms eventually destructs the emotional health of both sexes. As we read, we believe intimately that what they say is so. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Patriarchy is neither natural nor inevitable but its codes of masculine detached stoicism and feminine selflessness can come to defend us against losses in connection that have come to seem irreparable, inevitable and unbearable. Men are taught to conceal their sentiments by separating their mind from their emotions in order to fulfill the social expectations of an adamant, intrepid patriarch. She is currently a University Professor at New York University, where she and her students have initiated the Radical Listening Project. The fun and games are over. Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Snider and Gilligan then chart a path detailing how responses to the relational losses incurred by patriarchy’s disciplinary forces come to shape the psychology of adult men and women, utilizing Bowlby’s observation of stages in the responses of young children to separation from their caregivers: protest, despair, detachment. The third point is more subtle and I will get into it in more depth in the next post (how are we socialized into patriarchy, and how does it harm us). Sigh. To conform to these expectations of physical and emotional behavior, both genders are expected to mask their genuine feelings. I will say more about this in the next post on how we’re socialized into patriarchy and how it operates. But it follows the first point above: patriarchy is a system (it is not about individuals) that begets sexism and misogyny, just as white supremacy is a system that begets racism and xenophobia. A man regrets giving up a valuable friendship with a gay classmate out of distress of being viewed as effeminate. The book is a “gentle dialogue” between a professor and her student that reaches across generational and hierarchical divides. The injunction is invisible and, by most, irresistible. There are strands within the tremendous diversity of feminisms that challenge the dominant discourse and in my view offer a path forward. I understood—before I had words or concepts to express it—that American gender norms were oppressive. And then, how are we identifying our interests? Why Does Patriarchy Persist. With that context: let’s take up adrienne’s invitation to “work on excellence” together. In my next post I will elaborate on the social mechanisms that enforce patriarchy and how our children are socialized into it… and the harm it does to us. In Why Does Patriarchy Persist?, Snider reveals her own loss and grief as she details her suppression of sorrow and anger towards her father’s passing in order to conform to patriarchal expectations of femininity, as well as her vicissitudes of emotional response as she learns to boldly tackle this trauma with a newfound resistance against loss. This leads to the persistence of patriarchy. is that we sacrifice connections in order to immunise ourselves against a loss of connection. Trans women in particular (and especially trans women of color) suffer sexual and physical violence at the highest levels. The authors attempt to tackle this question and reveal the reasons behind the resilience and resistance of patriarchy. Gilligan and Snider argue that it stems from our inability to remain at rest when confronted with the “still face”. Undoubtedly it endures in part because some people benefit from the unequal advantages it confers. Public Seminar is a journal of ideas, politics and culture published by the Public Seminar Publishing Initiative at The New School. ( Log Out /  But I also find myself resisting that urge. A long line of feminist thinkers have reached the same conclusion: the women of the Combahee River Collective noted that “the systems of oppression are interlocking.” South African human rights activist Pregs Govender made this point at the 2008 AWID forum, observing: Second, though it is unproductive to debate primacy in the current context, it is important to understand the foundational role patriarchy played in how these interlocking systems came to be... in order to understand how to dismantle them. We can’t see the forest for the trees. In the nearly 50 years since Morgan wrote that (in 1970), the dominant discourse in feminism really hasn’t made much progress in answering that implicit question. After despair comes detachment, a way of dissociating from the need to be in connection when “hopeless longing has become too painful to pursue.”. More importantly, they provide an intimate perspective of the issue and reminds us that patriarchy is not just an academic concept, or a thing of the past that enslaves only women, but a malicious framework that still chains both men and women, stripping away our agency from living an honest life of truthful admissions and meaningful, intimate connections. Bobbie Harro offers a nice graphic to explain how this process of socialization works in practice: Patriarchy was made, and can be unmade. At its crudest, this ideology takes the form of “might makes right.” In practice, we invent stories to justify what on its face seems morally indefensible: a system enforced through domination that arbitrarily elevates one group of people over another. I was reminded, in thinking about the lost souls described in their book, of those shades in Elysium after they have bathed in Lethe. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. We would rather imagine that men are from Mars and women are from Venus than ever accept the obvious, that we are all from Earth. But no reaction. The core feature of patriarchy—and therefore of its various offspring—is domination. Nothing. Omertà. To return to our first definition, this is part of the way patriarchy operates: we see a textbook example of it in front of our faces, and instead reach conclusions about our propensity for “us vs them” behavior. This is the second post in a 4-part series exploring the titular question: why does patriarchy persist? Patriarchy is an ideology. But we gave that all up for “love”. The two lovers will meet one more time, but she is disincarnate in Elysium, and Aeneas makes some kind of apology by saying that, “the gods’ decrees drove me with their behests”. Except, this time, it was women crossing into what was in many ways, and yet also not, unfamiliar territory. I can think of contemporary embodiments, and Gilligan and Snider tell of their own experiences in a very personal way, but this story is already right there, alongside the journey into the Underworld, in Virgil’s Aeneid, in the tragic love affair between Dido and Aeneas. I find this last point is often the hardest to grasp for those of us who have been taught to conflate patriarchy with sexism or misogyny… which are both focused on women. Exploring the Complicated Gender Power Dynamics of This Age For your security, we need to re-authenticate you. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. But there are no gods. Each tells her own stories of loss and discovery, and each is open, conversational, and frank. [If you’re interested, Rob Okun’s Voice Male is a great place to start.] Then learn. It’s right in your face. Of course this is fraught, and super hard. We feel it and see it in our own lives; it cannot but leap up within us. If we accept that patriarchy also hurts men… then how can we explain the persistence of a system that harms everyone? Ourselves-as-we-are (full of needs, affection, desire, vulnerability) are forcibly but imperceptibly supplanted by the idea-of-ourselves-as-we-should-be. Patriarchal rules can be administered by women. It is both political and social. I’ve spent several years now trying to sift through the layers behind this assertion, and the essential paradox it presents. From a historical origin standpoint: patriarchy as a system is roughly 8,000-10,000 years old (and evidence is persuasive that it was patriarchy that led to imperialist/conquest cultures and its more modern incarnations in colonialism; Miki Kashtan does an exceptional job synthesizing various data points on this). Speaking of loss is an intimate act. I remember when I first encountered it I blushed at the boldness of the statement, and immediately went into defense mode, coming up with arguments about intent vs impact, relative arguments about the American imperial footprint vs colonial powers like England, all the good we’ve done, etc. This short blog provides an accessible summary of the theory; this is a deep-dive into the presumed origins of patriarchy and “matricultures”. This book is an antidote for the shaming practices that I feared would stanch discussion and movement toward self-understanding. it is something you must practice with your body, emotions, soul. Feminists were swept up by complete shock and devastation when Donald Trump, an unabashed chauvinistic and misogynistic candidate was elected. This was for me the particular delight of first discovering Riane Eisler’s work (and since a whole body of scholarship challenging the “conventional wisdom”). Today I’m tackling the first question: what is patriarchy? In Why Does Patriarchy Persist?, Snider reveals her own loss and grief as she details her suppression of sorrow and anger towards her father’s passing in order to conform to patriarchal expectations of femininity, as well as her vicissitudes of emotional response as she learns to boldly tackle this trauma with a newfound resistance against loss. Request PDF | On Apr 30, 2019, Cynthia Burack published WHY DOES PATRIARCHY PERSIST? Patriarchy exists as a voice in our heads - the question this book addresses is how did it get there and what can we do to get rid of it? There was a time when we used to have a “best friend”. ), you probably haven’t read any serious feminist works by men—most of us can’t even name a single male feminist intellectual. It’s something we can see in action every day. Gilligan’s sharp, incisive discussion of theoretical ideas is aligned with the candid, expressive and movingly vulnerable testimonies of Snider and other victims of patriarchy. Taking her to his cave, presumably. This site uses cookies. There are two seemingly contradictory points here that need to be unpacked. This short blog provides an accessible summary of the theory; this is a deep-dive into the presumed origins of patriarchy and “matricultures”. Why Does Patriarchy Persist? Snider identifies within Bowlby’s work the innate “seeds of resistance,” as the protest response to loss represents an inborn “ability to challenge cultural prescriptions that are inimical to our most basic relational needs and desires.”. Why Does Patriarchy Persist? They might have realised from the name, meaning “forgetting” or “oblivion” in the original Greek, that when they come out again, all memory of their past lives will have been erased.

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