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WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

Women Talk: What does Patriarchy say?


Natalie K. Falemaka, 12th Grade
AMES University of Utah Humanities

WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

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Abstract

"You're a woman, why don't you take this job." As a FOX News interviewer and news reporter, I
was given an assignment on the active feminism movement. Feminism in general is the belief
that women are and should be treated as potential intellectual equals and social equals to men. I
was to arrive in Chicago at noonday for the Feminism Women Convention down at State Street.
From there, my job was to hear in and give a report on what these strong feminists thought
concerning societys male dominant world. One I stumbled across was the effects of patriarchy.
Upon arrival, I found a sit in where two feminists, bell hooks and Simone de Beauvior, talked an
agreement of what patriarchy does to a man and woman in society. "Patriarchy is a politicalsocial system that insists that males are inherently dominating, superior to everything and
everyone deemed weak, especially females, and endowed with the right to dominate and rule
over the weak and to maintain that dominance through various forms of psychological terrorism
and violence," Simone de Beauvior said. The lectured took a whopping two hours. These ladies
earnestly talked of how patriarchy tells boys to be aggressive and for girls not to. Its origin is of
the home. It tells girls to stay at home and that boys arent allowed to cry. The discussion
concluded on the question of why males do not strongly fight against patriarchy as females
which may be the key end of patriarchys existence in todays world.
Keywords: feminism, patriarchy

WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

Women Talk: What does Patriarchy say?


"Looks like we got a crowd. Beauvoir?" "Yes hooks?" "I would like to chat on the
matters of male dominance I have understood as "patriarchy." Have you read my work
concerning the subject?" "Patriarchy is a political-social system that insists that males are
inherently dominating, superior to everything and everyone deemed weak, especially females,
and endowed with the right to dominate and rule over the weak and to maintain that dominance
through various forms of psychological terrorism and violence, " Beauvoir said. "I have read
your work and I too have similar theories concerning this so called patriarchy." "You do?" hooks
questioned. "Yes," replied Beauvoir. "Let's start with the content resulting males' high hostile
rating compared to the opposite sex." "You've lost me Beauvoir." "Only boys can be aggressive,"
Beauvoir explained.
ONLY BOYS CAN BE AGGRESSIVE
"Growing up, I was told that it was normal for boys to express aggressiveness and not
girls," hooks began. "I believe this idea is the result of patriarchy, the idea that men are more
dominant than women." "Patriarchy has been rooted in society since the beginning of time for
humans." continued hooks. "Like for example, many Christian religions believe in the creation of
man between Adam and Eve by a male God. In the story, it was Eve, a woman, who was the one
who gave in to Satan's temptation first. In theory, many religions consider woman as weaker than
man because woman was the first to sin." Beauvior nodded. "And so man have to lead woman
back to salvation to the male God because they are more easily tempted by the devil than man."
"But the only way to do that, man must come off conqueror or have a bit of aggressiveness to
help the woman find their way back to God." "Sorry for cutting you," Beauvior interrupted. "But
I agree. May I add a few things to your notion?" "Please," hooks said." "In a religious point of

WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

view, sin is seen as an abomination. You do it and you will be damned to hell." "In a Christian
faith's perspective, yes," hooks added. Beauvior continued. "Because woman are "easily"
tempted to sin, that's once again an abomination, men must be shown with aggressiveness to
cause fear to woman so that they wouldn't want to sin." "So the woman can go back to the male
God, which also goes hand in hand with my theory of women needing men in their lives." "To
cause fear," hooks repeated. "I have a story that goes with that and I totally agree Beauvior."
hooks said "When I was four or five, I wanted to play marbles with my brother." "But one day
my brother told me I wasn't allowed to play with him because "only boys" were allowed to play.
I was upset so I aggressively urged my brother to let me play. My father came into the picture
and told me "No!" I didn't listened. My father then beat me up in front of everyone. "You're just a
little girl. When I tell you to do something, I mean for you to do it" is what he said while he beat
me. After my beating, my father, over the years, would retell the story especially when relatives
came over, specifically, female relatives. He retold the story to not only tell my siblings and I
"This is going to happen when you do not listen." "But I'm sure he did," Beauvior said. hooks
smiled. "His main purpose was to show everyone the powerless of females and how gender roles
need to play out in today's world especially at home." "It is a female's duty to obey the male or
punishment will have to be done. Females need to obey males or else the males will use their
aggressiveness to cause fear towards them. Females are not allowed to be aggressive, only males.
And it goes along with the idea that men are to stop women from sinning but that can only be
done through fear, through being aggressive." "Only men has the power to wheel women in their
lives, to bring their "salvation" or whatever," said hooks. "Right and that is why men are the only
ones allowed to show aggressiveness because it is their own super power from God to bring
woman their salvation or the right path in their life," Beauvior said. "That is what patriarchy is,

WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

male dominance, but in a sense that it is to benefit the males and females. I also want to bring up
the whole God's creation again. You said that it was normal for boys to be aggressive," Beauvior
said. hooks nodded. "I think that's where patriarchy comes from. God made man and he added
aggressiveness to them. So when they come down to earth, they would be aggressive because
that's how God made them. It is their normal, natural selves." hooks and the crowd chuckled.
"Yes, I suppose so." hooks said. hooks then went on to say "However feminists, such as you and
me, become aggressive as we go against patriarchy. Does that mean God also put aggressiveness
in woman?" "Because I believe he did. It's just man, who has become our main caretaker for
centuries, do not want to admit it." "So they wouldn't give up their power to control women,"
Beauvior stated. "Well yes, but it would also cause chaos in many religions because the theories
of aggressiveness being a power that God only gives to man would be wrong if God also gave
that power to woman," hooks said. "I believe that is why society has made patriarchy. It's easier
to say "only boys can be aggressive" then to go through that difficult process that woman can
also be aggressive. Because then men and many religions would be wrong for stating women are
to be controlled by men. This means man do not have the right from God to be over woman."
"Whether it to be right or wrong, patriarchy has been practiced for thousands of years, why
change it now? Why challenge it now? This is the mind set the world has today and it comes
from boys and girls," hooks stated. "I agree," Beauvior said. "I have theorized that boys, when
they hit the age of thirteen, start their stage of being aggressive. While girls, at the same time,
stop being aggressive from their younger years. Girls stop because they create this psychological
mindset that only boys can be aggressive." hooks agreed on the matter. Beauvior continued on.
"Girls would rather please boys than to be an equal amongst them. In order for them to
accomplish that, they need to wear dresses, put on make-up, talk sweeter, and not be aggressive."

WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

"Patriarchy wires the minds of males that aggressiveness and striving for power is a normal and
an acceptable action for them in the world. Patriarchy wires the minds of females that
aggressiveness is not normal for them to have therefore restricting their participation in activities
that would include rage and aggressiveness. As a result of females not being "allowed" to
participate in such activities, they would think "well it's probably because boys are better at those
things than girls are." They wouldn't blame patriarchy. This thinking then follows the thought
that girls, because of the boys being better than they are, are weak. Because they're weak, in
order for females to make it in the world, they would need to be dependent on males, the strong,
and that's where, patriarchy enters." "I couldn't have said it any better than myself," hooks said.
GIRLS NEED TO STAY AT HOME
"And this psychological thinking is rooted in the home," hooks said. "I have originally
experienced patriarchy in my home, but I believe it is because patriarchy was being practiced
before I was born." "My parents were being taught about patriarchy long before they met and had
me," hooks continued. "Patriarchy became a way of living for them and anyone who didn't
believe that males and females would be equal." "For my parents to teach my brothers and I
otherwise, of no patriarchy, would of been something they would not have considered because it
was something they never thought of doing." "And what did they teach you concerning
patriarchy?" Beauvior said to hooks. "When I responded with rage at being denied a toy, I was
taught as a girl in a patriarchal household that rage was not an appropriate feminine feeling, that
it should be not only not be expressed but be eradicated. When my brother responded with rage
at being denied a toy, he was taught as a boy in a patriarchal household that his ability to express
rage was good but that he had to learn the best setting to unleash his hostility." "Which we just
discussed that "only boys can be aggressive," Beauvior said. "Patriarchy also taught me that girls

WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

need to stay at home. When I was planning to do anything, I had to check if it was okay with my
parents. I wasn't allowed to leave the house on certain days and times. I had to be careful with
what I wear and what I said. My parents set a curfew for me when I did get out of the house. I
was restricted with what to do and say and had to stay at home for most of my life as I lived with
my parents." "My brothers on the other hand weren't as restricted as I was. Come to think of it, I
don't think they were. They can wear whatever, say whatever they liked, and do whatever they
wanted to do. They had no curfew and they were hardly at home. They played outside and
hanged out with their friends while I was only allowed to do chores and play outside for a certain
amount of time," hooks shared. "Do you disagree?" "Actually I agree on that statement. Girls are
to stay at home and be careful with everything they do because of patriarchy," replied Beauvior.
"Before I begin, was your mom a stay at home mom hooks?" "Yes," hooks answered. "When
females get married, their usual response is not to go find work or buy a house for the family. It
is to be at home and tend to the children while cleaning the house. They cook and cater to their
husband while he goes find work and buy a house for the family," Beauvior stated. "Your theory
that patriarchy was practiced among your parents is correct. Like we mentioned earlier,
patriarchy gives men the right to be aggressive because it gives them dominion over women.
Patriarchy telling girls to stay at home gives men that same dominion." Beauvoir continued on.
"By keeping the woman home, man can go around and gain experience and knowledge than
woman. They can learn to file for a bankruptcy, build homes, and manage businesses. Woman
cannot because they stay at home. Girls need to stay at home and are set with these rules by their
parents because all they ever need in life is to know how to cook, clean, nurture, and cater to
their husband and family." "Simple statement but very true," hooks said. Beauvior said "And not
only that, but males in the marriage would control which house the family were to live in, how

WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

much money to place for clothes, groceries, and furniture. They would determine vacations days
because it would have to go along with their work schedule. Even if the man was to not be
aggressive, he would still control every aspect of the woman's life." "What do you say hooks?"
"In the world today, male dominion occurs because of patriarchy being used," hooks said. "I
believe everything you say to be true Beauvior. Now I would like to know what bad things
patriarchy does for boys."
BOYS DO NOT CRY. "I can't think of anything but I'm sure you do hooks," Beauvior
said. "Patriarchy tells boys they are not allowed to cry or show any emotion for that matter. It
denies males access to full emotional well-being" hooks claimed. "Boys can show aggressiveness
and competitiveness but pain or sorrow? It is not allowed according to patriarchy." Why do you
think so Beauvior?" Beauvior then said "If a male were to, they would be seen as having female
traits because females can express their feelings. This then makes them look weak, because in
patriarchy, females are weak." hooks nodded. "Well then perhaps hooks you can explain to me
one more matter." "What is that?"
WHY DO BOYS NOT FIGHT?. Beauvior asked "Why is it that only females are strongly
fighting against patriarchy but males are not?" "The will to not show emotion is like asking a
baby not to cry. Humans have feelings and need show it. Otherwise, you are a robot," Beauvior
laughably said. hooks answered and said "One is to believe it is because it is a normal thing for
males. For some, showing feelings is something they've never thought of doing." "However I
also believe it is because going against patriarchy would call for suicide." "Perhaps men do go
against patriarchy. This would mean women can go against them in an athletic game, they can
leave the home and get jobs, and become their fellow peers in college. But most importantly,
woman would not have to do anything man has demand of them. They would lose that power

WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

that patriarchy so willingly gives." "I am with you a hundred percent hooks, but you are also
missing the obvious," Beauvior said. "In order for men to go against patriarchy, they must
express that through their feelings. Feelings is a woman thing. Going against patriarchy would
also mean being weak in the world's eye and I believe that is what is keeping man from fighting.
Their pride is in the way." "Right you are my friend. Do you think patriarchy can ever end?"
Beauvior boldly stated "If men act like women, then yes." Two hours have passed. "Let's go out
for coffee."

WOmen talk: what does patriarchy say?

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References

hooks, b. (2004). Understanding Patriarchy by bell hooks. Understanding Patriarchy, Pages 1-4.
Beauvoir, S. (1953). The second sex. New York: Knopf.