The origin of patriarchy lies back in history and has only changed forms with time. Patriarchy literally means “the rule of father” in Greek. It is described as, “male is the leader of the family, or a society controlled by men in which they use their power to their own advantage” in Cambridge English dictionary. Patriarchy was women being limited to household works and 100 years later it is “men giving opportunities to women.” Patriarchy is oppressing because it places women as a sub-ordinal class.
Toxic masculinity, sexism, and eventually, sexual assault are all the results of patriarchy, in one way or the other. Women were suppressed in every way possible, subtly and brutally, for years and the realization came with the movement “feminism”. Feminism has come in waves and the idea has only evolved. The first wave started in the nineteenth century in Europe with women raising their pens for the very basic, the right to vote and property rights. The second wave highlighted political and cultural inequalities and apprised women of sexism in the dissemination of authority. The third wave has been the most influential so far led by women all over the world. It combats patriarchy with its success stories of rebel against sexism, racism, and classism.
The movement of feminism has been an obstacle in the way of patriarchy. It is laughed at, made trolls of, and talked about as a vague movement while the same men in authority make policies disguised in the name of protection to persecute women.
“It’s time the we all see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of opposing ideals”
– Emma Watson
The dominance of patriarchy was recently evident when the immigration department proposed a law wherein women under the age of 40 would need permission from the local government and their family (male members) to travel abroad. This clearly demonstrated that women were still viewed as second-class citizens who weren’t capable of making decisions and needed men to make their decision and for their protection.
In a country with a female president, this certainly infuriated all the women and brought them together to uprise against patriarchy yet again. Patriarchal society approaches to bind women and their freedom rather than seeking for a solution to create a safe society where men do not feel superior just because of the gender they are born as and where gender is not only the defining trait for a human being.
Patriarchy is so deeply rooted that it is almost normalized. Patriarchy has manipulated women to believe that the cage that they are kept in is actually where they belong and there is no world beyond it. The cage is only as big as a husband letting their wives work after marriage but the cage doesn’t open to let her know that she can make her life choices. The cage is only as big as a woman being as ambitious as a man but the cage doesn’t open to let her out where she is respected and equally paid for her hard work.
Feminism for me has always been about equality and not superiority. I believe that men and women are different and they were created to be different but different never meant less.
Men and women are both human and should have the right to be equals. It isn’t apt to question someone’s ability based on their gender, be it a man or a woman. Unequal pay is patriarchy and so is rape and so is an abortion of a female fetus. So it is a step towards the burial of patriarchy to fight and win against any of these exploits.
We have come a long way and there is more to go to bury patriarchy and build an equal society. I am very grateful and inspired by women and men taking steps, big or small; to end this prejudiced system and I know the day isn’t very far where we bury patriarchy deep enough to know that it even existed.
Gender Equality is a human fight NOT a female fight