Patriarchy is a tricky concept, and in the domains of conflict between liberals and conservatives, it monopolizes much of the conflict. Here, however, all I intend to do is to create a little distinction, if I at all can, between the idea of patriarchy endorsed by a number of supposed liberals, and the patriarchy, which in its covert forms is still alive, and operating, every day, everywhere one goes.
The first and relatively simple thing to understand in this context is that men are not just the agents of patriarchal control, for it is a form of hierarchical constraining that transcends the feminine gender, and is applied to men as well. This brings me to the crux of my viewpoint on feminism and patriarchy. Think of the numerous adjectives accorded to women across historical time frames. Needy, needing protection and care, yes. Manipulative, evil, yes, indeed. After all, it was Eve that corrupted Adam.
Polluting the “chaste” men through her sexual abilities, hell yes!
Now think of all these epithets in a gender-neutral context. A needy man is never the image that comes to one’s mind necessarily. How often do you see a boyfriend crying to his girlfriend for buying him a watch? Is it natural? Are men not needy? That’s hard to believe, for emotions are not limited to certain sexes. So, is it a social construction, almost a conspiracy to project women as needy and men as providers? Seemingly. Think of a man who complains, cries, throws tantrums. Isn’t he shamed or jeered at? This is so subtle that the idea of being needy becomes repulsive to a “normal” man.
Yes, men can always be needy when it comes to sexual gratification, because that can be justified as a biological need, and thus women can easily be labelled manipulative seductresses, spoiling the otherwise pure men. So, a woman is demanding, due of her whims, and the man provides – and later, the man is demanding in the bedroom, because of his biological need, and the women exploit men’s biological needs to attain their own ends. How convenient.
Think of how homosexuality is linked to this. If a man has sex with a man, women can no longer be blamed for the “pollution” they cause to men, for men can also entice and manipulate people of the same sex through sexual favours. Furthermore, in the case of lesbians, the so-called pollution remains within the other gender and men cannot blame women again.
Imagine a group of friends with both guys and girls. It is highly likely that upon meeting them, someone might say, “Hey guys!” On the other hand, if he or she said, “Hey girls!” to the group, it’d be funny – and in fact, an insult to the guys in the group. So, you can call a girl a guy, but not a guy a girl. A woman dressing up as a man, is bold, modern and sassy, while a guy dressing up like a girl is a sissy.
In all these instances, there is a constant glorification of the masculine and belittling of the feminine, and these are all the more prevalent in the so-called liberal domains of today as well. So, they will shame the men who disrespect women, but shame femininity at the same time. It reminds me of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, where after Caesar’s death, upon hearing Marc Antony’s speech, a citizen shouts with fervour, “Let him be Caesar!” That’s the jargon of today’s pseudo-liberals, “Let the woman be the man! (and long live patriarchy).”