Some use it to describe a pattern derived from the family structure; for others it is an entire system of oppression based on misogyny, exploitation and brutalization of women. Part of the idea behind patriarchy is that the social structure of male supremacy is complex at the expense of women. At its simplest, it conveys the existence of a social structure in which male supremacy comes at the expense of women, just as white supremacy conveys the existence of social structures that function at the expense of blacks.
Patriarchy means in its broadest definition the manifestation and institutionalization of male dominion over women, children and the family and thus male dominion over women in society in general. Patriarchy implies that men hold power in important structures of society, and that women are denied access to that power.
Patriarchy is a social system in which men have primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege and property control. It is associated with a series of ideas or “patriarchal ideologies” that explain and justify this dominance, attributing it to natural differences between men and women.
At the heart of feminist sociology is the idea that in most societies women are oppressed and men are dominant. Feminist sociology has focused on power relations and inequalities between women and men since the early work of sociologist Harriet Martineau. Patriarchate manifests itself in social, legal, political, religious and economic organizations in a number of different cultures.
Women are informed that they are conditioned by their gender and their own position. As a result, noble women are placed under moral power and indulge not only in hypocrisy, but also in breaking the bonds of silk cold iron and other feudal prejudices and customs.
Men explained that the preference for submissive wives was a tactic to control women by making sure they were afraid to be submissive to their husbands and submit to their dictation. Involving women in decision-making rewards their subservience and supports men’s ideas – a subtle strategy to control them and to keep the existing hierarchical structure unhampered. The idea that the best women submit to men is a strategic tool to strengthen traditional masculinity, aimed at maintaining male dominance over women.
Women have been socialised to be pleasing, flattering, entertaining and satisfying to men. Works such as Aristotle portrayed women as inferior to men, viewed them as the property of men, claimed that their role in society was to reproduce men and serve them in the home and regarded male dominance of women as natural and virtuous.
The word patriarchy can be used to refer to male domination of power, a relationship in which men dominate women and characterized by a structure in which women remain subordinate in many ways. It can mean “ruling father” or “patriarch,” but it is also used to describe a certain type of male-dominated family: a large household in which the patriarch consists of women, younger men, children, slaves and domestic servants all under him.
Walby defines patriarchy as a system of social structures and practices through which men dominate, oppress and exploit women. Patriarchy is a system of stratification in which men are given more power and prestige than women. It refers to a series of institutional structures of property rights, access to power positions, relationships and income sources based on the belief that men and women are dichotomous and unequal categories.
Translated as the “dominion of the Father,” patriarchy evolved from the need to establish authority and power in society. When society needs leadership and authority, the patriarchy subjects women to subordination, abuse and exploitation.
Patriarchy influences many aspects of life: political leadership, corporate governance, religious institutions, economies, property, and the family home, where men are considered the head of the household. In some societies, women are not allowed to own property, and they are considered to be owned by men.
In some countries, female infanticide and selective abortions are carried out to ensure that the family has a man to support it and escape the financial burden of a daughter. Women’s sexuality is controlled to the point where those who do not conform are ostracised, abused or even killed. Recently, there has been a positive change in attitudes to patriarchy, but a life of unequal wages between men and women ends with equal access to opportunity, failure to talk about women’s achievements, the unequal distribution of household responsibilities and unclear gender roles, to name but a few.
According to critical sociology, society is structured around relations of power and dominance between social groups, in which women and men determine access to scarce resources. According to this theory, social problems and contradictions arise when dominant groups exploit and oppress subordinate groups. When sociologists look at gender from this perspective, we see men as the dominant group and women as the subordinate group.
In patriarchal societies, male contributions are seen as more valuable than women’s contributions. Women perceive a discrepancy between their personal experiences and the way the world represents society as a whole. It is difficult for women to rise above men as dominant group members and to set rules of success and opportunity in society (Farrington and Chertok 1993).
For example, variables such as the proportion of older people living in shared flats are strongly correlated with variables with high correlation coefficients in the domination area between men and women. The proportion of wives older than their husbands and older wives correlates with patriarchy if we assume that men in patriarchal areas do not marry women older than themselves. Similarly, policies that correlate with patriarchy, if we assume a patriarchal society, correlate with the fact that young unmarried women tend to be controlled by relatives and prevented from living and working with non-relatives outside marriage.
There are two possible reasons why the under-representation of women in censuses associated with patriarchal regimes is less well understood. First, women tend to be worse treated in patriarchal societies than men, so we can assume that female mortality is higher than male mortality. Secondly, in societies where women are given less importance, there may be higher rates of registration of women in censuses.
When social justice and economic prosperity are mutually reinforcing, a long period of peace tends to follow. Thus, there is a noticeable difference in the standard of living between the privileged and the underprivileged. The former have no arbitrary restrictions placed upon them; they can exercise their freedom freely, and they will reciprocate the action. Everyone has the right to an equal opportunity for self-realization in society. As long as there is someone who does not have this, social inequality will continue to amend racial, gender and wealth inequalities.
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