are modern western democracies still patriarchal? Watch

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mimi112
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Patriarchy is a social system in which males are the primary authority figures central to social organization, occupying roles of political leadership, moral authority, and control of property, and where fathers hold authority over women and children. It implies the institutions of male rule and privilege, and entails female subordination.
anyone can be a candidate and most voters are women. as for authority, even calling your wife fat is seen as domestic violence these days.
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efthemia
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Of course they are- just look at the percentage of men in government as opposed to women and try to say otherwise. Yes, anyone can be a candidate, but the fact that primarily men hold political power is significant. Note that your definition states that males are the ones "occupying roles of political leadership." Just the fact that women can hold political power doesn't erase the fact that they are a much smaller percentage in the government.

Your "domestic violence" example strikes me as a bit offensive. For one thing, you don't seem to grasp the concept of verbal abuse. For another, I'm fairly sure that if a woman brought a claim to court based on her husband calling her fat (even if it had reached the level of verbal abuse, which of course depends on the context and other factors) she would be ridiculed, not commended, for her efforts. Have you seen the statistics from western democratic countries about how many rapes and domestic violence cases go unreported? That is a result of patriarchal influences preventing women from speaking out or being taken seriously.

Certainly, things have improved in modern western democracies from how society was in the past, but inequality and sexism towards women has by no means vanished. I would venture to say that you need to look into the influence patriarchal structures in society still have some more. The few examples you have by no means typify the general structure of society in these countries, and you strike me as someone who wants his own hypothesis confirmed.
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mimi112
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(Original post by efthemia)
Of course they are- just look at the percentage of men in government as opposed to women and try to say otherwise. Yes, anyone can be a candidate, but the fact that primarily men hold political power is significant. Note that your definition states that males are the ones "occupying roles of political leadership." Just the fact that women can hold political power doesn't erase the fact that they are a much smaller percentage in the government.

Your "domestic violence" example strikes me as a bit offensive. For one thing, you don't seem to grasp the concept of verbal abuse. For another, I'm fairly sure that if a woman brought a claim to court based on her husband calling her fat (even if it had reached the level of verbal abuse, which of course depends on the context and other factors) she would be ridiculed, not commended, for her efforts. Have you seen the statistics from western democratic countries about how many rapes and domestic violence cases go unreported? That is a result of patriarchal influences preventing women from speaking out or being taken seriously.

Certainly, things have improved in modern western democracies from how society was in the past, but inequality and sexism towards women has by no means vanished. I would venture to say that you need to look into the influence patriarchal structures in society still have some more. The few examples you have by no means typify the general structure of society in these countries, and you strike me as someone who wants his own hypothesis confirmed.

your definition of patriarchy is not one that is enforced, it's just victim mentality for the most part. women can do whatever the hell they want. and btw in some countries women are almost half of people in power (norway, sweden...). like i said women make up most of the voters, it's for them who decide. those men are in power because most women want them to be. obama is the most powerful man in the world because mostly women decided he should be. if only men had the vote romney would be in charge right now. get it?

The Obama campaign's heavy focus on women's issues for the past year paid off in a big way on Tuesday night, resulting in an 18-point gender gap that largely contributed to the president's reelection.

According to CNN's exit polls, 55 percent of women voted for Obama, while only 44 percent voted for Mitt Romney. Men preferred Romney by a margin of 52 to 45 percent, and women made up about 54 percent of the electorate.

the other point : in a patriarchal society the man could do anything to his wife short of killing her (even that in some cultures). a wife can get her husband kicked out of his home or even arrested for infinitely less nowadays in a western country. and don't even start with the divorce courts............
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Kezza Wilson
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Yes. But I don't think it's stuck that way any longer. I.e. while men occupy powerful positions, there's nothing stopping the balance from tipping.
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mimi112
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actually, if i think about it more , most politicians in every democracy are probably in office because of women since the sexes differ on what they vote for and women are pretty much always the majority of adults . if women didn't have the vote, i doubt the welfare state would be what it is today especially in western europe.
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Hopple
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Our leaders just happen to be men. Perhaps women are discouraged more from politics, but given that women are accepted into politics and things dissuade men too, I'm not sure what you can do except for put it down to personal preference. It's not exactly a career path that regular people particularly want to get into.

One possibility is that a lot of women will go into politics intending to represent women, whereas men don't really do that. That attitude of focusing on only women could well put people off from voting for them, and also from having them in their party (imagine if half the Labour cabinet when they were in power were Harman clones).
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wildrover
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More men are interested in politics than women, so more men are at the top of the field.
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efthemia
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(Original post by mimi112)
your definition of patriarchy is not one that is enforced, it's just victim mentality for the most part. women can do whatever the hell they want. and btw in some countries women are almost half of people in power (norway, sweden...). like i said women make up most of the voters, it's for them who decide. those men are in power because most women want them to be. obama is the most powerful man in the world because mostly women decided he should be. if only men had the vote romney would be in charge right now. get it?

the other point : in a patriarchal society the man could do anything to his wife short of killing her (even that in some cultures). a wife can get her husband kicked out of his home or even arrested for infinitely less nowadays in a western country. and don't even start with the divorce courts............
You're being overly simplistic and looking at this issue in a childish way. For one thing, I don't see that I "defined" patriarchy anywhere; I used your definition from the first post.

There are varying degrees of patriarchy. Norway and Sweden may be less patriarchal than the US. The US now is less patriarchal than it was a hundred years ago. But that doesn't mean that the patriarchy no longer exists. If you try to say that the US is a matriarchy, I'll laugh in your face. I'm a white woman living in the US, and there are still acts of everyday discrimination and misogynistic jerks that I have to deal with. All a result of an existing patriarchy.

Also, I can assure you that it's not as simple as "women vote for Obama; men vote for Romney." It's true that Obama was a liberal candidate and women are slightly more likely to be liberal by about 5-10%. But it's still nearly half and half. The amount of women who voted for Obama was only greater than the amount who voted for Romney by a few percent, the amount of men was about the same. It's not that Obama won because women voted for him, it's because he got essentially all the minority votes (including racial/some religious) and because Romney was an idiot.

The main point you're missing here is that there's a difference between what a woman theoretically can do- that is, what her legal rights enable her to do- and what she can actually do in practice. Yes, a woman can try to get her husband arrested for domestic violence and succeed if she is very determined, but she also absolutely will be told by people "it's not that bad. Are you sure you really want to take this to court and ruin his career and life? Don't make a big fuss." Because of the patriarchy. Same thing with rape. As for divorce courts, you know why women tend to get control of child care? Because women are seen as more "feminine" and needing to be in the domestic sphere, again, because of the patriarchy. I don't see how you can fail to grasp this.

I've provided an amount of examples I really don't think you can ignore, though I have a feeling you will. You've been bifurcating this issue and looking at it in a simplistic manner, and I have a feeling that since you're male, you'd prefer to be free of guilt by stating that the patriarchy is a thing of the past. You're wrong, and if you ever had to live as a woman in a "modern western democracy" you would understand why. If you continue to insist that these democracies aren't patriarchal after this, you're just being purposely ignorant and I don't really feel like responding.
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AWJChadders
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I would say that our societies are indeed patriarchal, but not our laws (in the UK). Instead, people need to be educated about these issues so that society can change.
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Psyk
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As much as I hate it when feminists blame everything on "the patriarchy", I think it's pretty obvious that our society is still quite patriarchal.

The difference is that now there are fewer and fewer things which prevent women from taking positions of power (I'm not denying there are still some issues which at least make it harder), but the mindset that it's a man's job and women are better suited to other things is one that still lingers. And I think that it's not just men who perpetuate that idea, it's society as a whole. There are women whose aim in life is to pop out a couple of kids and having a man take care of them, just as there are men who are willing to oblige. I don't think it's the case that women with those attitudes are necessarily being coerced into it by the male population. Note that I'm not generalising all women. Most of the women I know aren't remotely like that.
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efthemia
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(Original post by Psyk)
As much as I hate it when feminists blame everything on "the patriarchy", I think it's pretty obvious that our society is still quite patriarchal.

The difference is that now there are fewer and fewer things which prevent women from taking positions of power (I'm not denying there are still some issues which at least make it harder), but the mindset that it's a man's job and women are better suited to other things is one that still lingers. And I think that it's not just men who perpetuate that idea, it's society as a whole. There are women whose aim in life is to pop out a couple of kids and having a man take care of them, just as there are men who are willing to oblige. I don't think it's the case that women with those attitudes are necessarily being coerced into it by the male population. Note that I'm not generalising all women. Most of the women I know aren't remotely like that.
I think you said this better than I did, haha. I completely agree with you, as I said it's not an issue of women being legally prevented from gaining power (things have improved tremendously in that respect) but of the general mindset of society. There are definitely women who contribute to a patriarchal mindset as well, and that mindset is not limited only to men.
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Psyk
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(Original post by Algorithm69)
But what is wrong with that? I thought feminists wanted above all else to give women freedom of choice. If women chose to conform to traditional gender roles then why is that a sign of Patriarchy and not women's liberty?
I didn't say there was anything wrong with it. It still fits most of the definition of patriarchy as it's defined in the OP though.
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desdemonata
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There has never actually been a matriarchal society that we know of - in every society to date, men have been the ones to hold political power.

I think that while what we have today has the capacity to turn into something truly egalitarian, several things are still holding us back. Not only attitudes towards women, but also the conceptions we have about ourselves - a lot of women don't even consider politics as a career choice.
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uktotalgamer
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(Original post by wildrover)
More men are interested in politics than women, so more men are at the top of the field.
This. I wish people would stop using this as an example in feminism threads, or in this case patriarchy. It's abit like saying there are more male builders; well yes, they are built with sturdier stuff. Women just aren't interested in politics.
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desdemonata
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(Original post by Algorithm69)
Most men don't consider politics as a career choice either. Only a very certain type of person is drawn to politics, and of them only a tiny minority succeeds. In both cases these are more likely to be men, as we are biologically driven to desire power and love competition. These drives also explain why more men are business leaders. It has nothing to do with made-up concepts like "glass ceilings" and discrimination in the workplace.
I... know? :nothing: I didn't mention glass ceilings, I said that women themselves don't consider politics as a career choice. But in other areas we've moved far past what we're biologically driven to do, and I do think there is a lot of cultural background and history that further cements the normalcy of a government/system run mainly by men.

And actually in terms of discrimination, that's another thing we're biologically driven to do. We discriminate and have preconceptions about every group, obviously including the genders, whether we want to or not. E.g in a group of people have a conversation, even if the loudest/most obnoxious person was technically a man, the majority will put a woman, including other women (including feminist women :gasp:) :dontknow:
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Darien
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The question is like asking "do you still beat your wife"?

As to the answer, let's check the dictionary first.


(Original post by Oxford Dictionaries Online)
  • a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line.
Since universal suffrage in 1918 (in the UK) and before that in many other western nations, the male has not been recognised as the head of household. In the UK, government payouts for children have been exclusively paid to the mother.

People drawing up family trees have for centuries traced both male and female lines. An unmarried father has no automatic rights to his children; a married man has no ability to escape responsibilities as a father, regardless of the parentage of his wife's children while married.

More than half the children borne nowadays are born out of wedlock. Not all children borne in wedlock carry the father's name. The surname is now more commonly traced through the female line.

Conclusion:
The system of society or government in most western nations (and specifically the UK) has the mother as legal head of the family and descent is most commonly traced through the female line.

(Original post by Oxford Dictionaries Online)

  • a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.
In a democracy, the ultimate political power is wielded for society and government by the voter. Almost all western nations have the majority voter being female for almost all elections since universal suffrage about 100 years ago. The race, age, gender or other characteristics that the majority voter gets to do their bidding is almost irrelevant.

Conclusion:
The system of society or government in most western nations have women holding the majority of the power.

(Original post by Oxford Dictionaries Online)
  • a society or community organized on patriarchal lines.
Laws and customs in western nations emphasise the role of motherhood and the freedom of women, while making females less responsible for their actions than males. Males are made to be more legally liable than females and have less legal rights than females (there is no legal discrimination against women).

Conclusion:
Western nations are not patriarchal as they are run primarily by and for women.
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mimi112
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(Original post by Darien)
The question is like asking "do you still beat your wife"?

As to the answer, let's check the dictionary first.



Since universal suffrage in 1918 (in the UK) and before that in many other western nations, the male has not been recognised as the head of household. In the UK, government payouts for children have been exclusively paid to the mother.

People drawing up family trees have for centuries traced both male and female lines. An unmarried father has no automatic rights to his children; a married man has no ability to escape responsibilities as a father, regardless of the parentage of his wife's children while married.

More than half the children borne nowadays are born out of wedlock. Not all children borne in wedlock carry the father's name. The surname is now more commonly traced through the female line.

Conclusion:
The system of society or government in most western nations (and specifically the UK) has the mother as legal head of the family and descent is most commonly traced through the female line.


In a democracy, the ultimate political power is wielded for society and government by the voter. Almost all western nations have the majority voter being female for almost all elections since universal suffrage about 100 years ago. The race, age, gender or other characteristics that the majority voter gets to do their bidding is almost irrelevant.

Conclusion:
The system of society or government in most western nations have women holding the majority of the power.


Laws and customs in western nations emphasise the role of motherhood and the freedom of women, while making females less responsible for their actions than males. Males are made to be more legally liable than females and have less legal rights than females (there is no legal discrimination against women).

Conclusion:
Western nations are not patriarchal as they are run primarily by and for women.

wow too good lol. are you a lawyer?
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Nimair
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There is certainly no patriarchy in the West outside of the imaginations of professional victims. Yes, there is gender inequality, but look at both halves of the coin-- e.g., men may hold more positions of power, but they also have a higher rate of homelessness and imprisonment as well as poorer health.
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mimi112
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(Original post by Nimair)
There is certainly no patriarchy in the West outside of the imaginations of professional victims. Yes, there is gender inequality, but look at both halves of the coin-- e.g., men may hold more positions of power, but they also have a higher rate of homelessness and imprisonment as well as poorer health.
would white knight irl.
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truffle_girl
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(Original post by efthemia)
Of course they are- just look at the percentage of men in government as opposed to women and try to say otherwise. Yes, anyone can be a candidate, but the fact that primarily men hold political power is significant. Note that your definition states that males are the ones "occupying roles of political leadership." Just the fact that women can hold political power doesn't erase the fact that they are a much smaller percentage in the government.
But how do you know that this is down to discrimination? And, given that MORE THAN half of voters are female, surely it makes more sense for politicians to pander to women, rather than men.

And more to the point: why look only at the TOP? What about at the 'other' end of the scale? There are far more homeless men, more unemployed men, higher suicide rates, lower educational achievement in boys and lower life expectancy for men. That a TINY MINORITY of men hold power, does not automatically indicate privilege is an inherent part of men's lives.

Your "domestic violence" example strikes me as a bit offensive. For one thing, you don't seem to grasp the concept of verbal abuse.
There's a difference between VIOLENCE, and verbal abuse. The latter may still be wrong, but it's not VIOLENCE, whichever way you look at it.

For another, I'm fairly sure that if a woman brought a claim to court based on her husband calling her fat (even if it had reached the level of verbal abuse, which of course depends on the context and other factors) she would be ridiculed, not commended, for her efforts.
And what about a MAN, whose wife had called him "fat" etc etc? Are you suggesting he'd be ridiculed any less?

Have you seen the statistics from western democratic countries about how many rapes and domestic violence cases go unreported? That is a result of patriarchal influences preventing women from speaking out or being taken seriously.
Please provide evidence, ALONG WITH AN EXPLANATION AS TO HOW THE FIGURES ARE ARRIVED AT.

And to quote another poster in another thread:

Convictions for rape are among the highest for all types of crime.

Don't be confused by the feminist figures: such figures as "6%" conviction rate put about by the Fawcett Society, Harriet Harman and many others are not true. Those lies do enormous damage to women, putting them off reporting because they tend to feel "what's the point" whereas spreading the accurate message that convictions for sexual crimes are very high will encourage more people to report and follow-through on such crimes.

Only drug-related crime has persistently higher conviction rates. Considering the comparative ease of proving such crimes compared to something like rape, it's hardly surprising.

The most recent data: https://www.gov.uk/government/public...-statistics--2 shows a 38.2% conviction rate for sex crimes in the 12 months to September 2012, up 2% from the 12 months previous.

http://antimisandry.com/good-news-fo...ing-37254.html

http://straightstatistics.org/articl...s-orchestrated

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...e-victims.html
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