patriarchy - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
In a patriarchy it is problematic when women from one sector of society blame the women of another for a social or physical environment that is predominantly the preserve of males in historical and current times.
The opposite of patriarchy is chivalry, because the opposite of oppression is support. Thus the rights of women and men exist not in a balanced relationship with one another that take into account one another's needs and abilities - in this way we can see relationships and health as part of the same cultural ecosystem. When in balance we understand our rights and responsibilities in the context of both ourselves as individuals and of society. Because women are the child-bearing gender, they require a protective society, a protective culture. To give women the "exact same rights as men" with no extra protections is actually a form of cruelty. To give women the same opportunities as men, however, can be seen as a form of chivalry.
A patriarchal society uses women as slavery in its various forms and even leaves mothers to fend for themselves with judgemental attitudes that blame and shame. A society based in chivalry takes care of women, giving them the freedom to pursue (if they wish) motherhood with a safety net and societal support to enable them to remain fully rounded human beings with respect to the development of their talents and other interests.
Plastic surgery can be a life saver for those who need rebuilding or are born with a deformity. It can be as impactful and important as any other branch of medicine. Yet what we have generated with relentless images of "one kind of body as 'perfect'" is a problem for many, especially women. When the average breast size is a B, why do we see the bulk of women in advertisements being so much larger? As a woman, it feels abusive on a grand social scale. Patriarchy is male dominated, but many women have taken on the same attitudes for personal enrichment and now abuse other women just as much. There are men who fight for women, who oppose these images and are protective. Thus, patriarchy vs chivalry is not women vs. men, nor the converse, but utilitarian emotionally cold personal enrichment vs. what is loving, kind and right. Nobody should feel the need to become a Barbie doll human for acceptance in society or to become successful in the public eye, though I have felt that pressure and empathise.
It is interesting to me as a biologist and a linguist that the female reproductive part of a flower that receives the male pollen is called the "stigma" and in society for so many generations a woman who has sex with a man outside of marriage has carried a social "stigma." This is linked to old fashioned notions that a woman must be a virgin or pious and is linked to greater certainty of paternity for males. Again, we are back the kind of basic biology that is at the root of much misogyny and patriarchy. We will always need chivalry because women who are pregnant or mothers have specific needs and because males have greater physical strength from babyhood onwards. Women have sexual needs as much as men do. Perhaps it is time society at least admitted that so we can move on to a more grown up attitude toward female sexuality.